Thursday, August 25, 2011

And so it goes...

The rubrics for this rather sarcastic but not entirely fanciful description of the worst in worship (Roman Catholic in this case but you might be able to substitute other traditions as well)...

The people who are church gather in the shared worship space while singing a suitable hymn, protest song or praise anthem. Suggested music choices are We are Gathering in this Place, We Would Rather Gather, Gather them In,  Bill Gaither's Trio, Let Us Blather as We Gather, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, I Dreamed a Dream, and other suitable songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Oscar Hammerstein.

You can read it all HERE. . . and a little weeping and moaning and gnashing of teeth may accompany the read...  I pass this on because I am not the only cantankerous curmudgeon who has used the blogosphere to complain about what passes for pious and faithful worship in some of the parishes...

Would that this all were merely a case of extreme rarity!  But, sad to say, it is not... 


Anonymous said...

"overlarge girth" is the reason
many clergy look ridiculous in
a white alb with the ropes holding
their belly in. Everyone knows that
white makes you look larger, so lets
make overweight clergyman wear black.

Rev. Allen Bergstrazer said...

Are you sure that Fr. Longenecker didn't post a transcript of a service at St. Paul's Episcopal, Richmond VA? It is getting harder and harder to parody certain sectors of heterodoxy.

I have to admit, this is laugh out loud funny:
Presiding Person: Do you accept that you are not a priest or a deacon, and that you shall only pretend to be one all the days of your life?

Parish Minister Person: It is meet and right so to do.

Presiding Person: Do you promise to faithfully complete your duties by dressing as a priest, behaving as a priest and doing everything a priest can do in order to deceive the faithful and usher in as soon as possible the new Vatican 3 church that all of us long for?

Parish Minister Person: With the help of God I will.

The only thing left out was a selection from the collective works of Marty Haugen.

John said...

I read Father L's post and had a great laugh. I loved it.

I grew up in an LCMS congregation. All of my many relatives on my father's side of the family were/are Roman Catholic. I have, accordingly had many opportunities to attend Roman Catholic Mass.

I was impressed with the authority held by the priest on the Chancel. I realized that my pastor held the same kind of authority. The Chancel was his!

I watched as the priests gave up their authority to the laity and any Tom, Dick or Harriet could do many things on the Chancel that once belonged only to the priests. No time to laugh, though. One can walk into many LCMS congregations, today and find the same thing. We find laity who believe that they're qualified to do most anything that their pastor does, and, sadly LCMS pastors who are willing to agree, and allow such things.

Let's consider vocation for a moment. How many of the doctors, teachers, CPA's, janitors, police officers, firefighters, bank tellers, lawyers, chefs, soldiers, etc, etc, etc that LCMS pastors allow to do what they're called to do would allow those same LCMS pastors to do any part of their callings?

I don't pretend to know what the answer is for the congregation in Rooster Poop Junction that can't get a pastor to accept its call, or to have a seminary candidate assigned.

What I do know is that I don't want my dentist to read the Epistle, this Sunday. Neither do I want my pastor to do my dental X-rays.

Anonymous said...

I watched as the priests gave up their authority to the laity and any Tom, Dick or Harriet could do many things on the Chancel that once belonged only to the priests.

Not quite, John. It's true that the laity may now read the OT/NT lessons but only a priest or deacon may proclaim the Gospel.

People who serve as extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist must undergo training first. They are usually some of the most committed members in the parish. I used to see them every Sunday at mass.

In the early centuries of the church lay people were permitted to take the Sacrament to the sick and those who were absent.

Nor will you find a lay person hearing confessions.


Terry Maher said...

Our Service of the Word is pretty much a synagogue service but with Christian prayers and readings (the Gloria for the Amidah, the Gospel for the torah, the other reading, or "Epistle", for the haftorah). To be called up to read is a great honour, and sign of recognition of the person's standing. It's called the aliyah, or ascent (to read). That's exactly what Jesus was doing when he read Isaiah and then announced This day this is fulfilled in your hearing. Lay readers fell out use, and since Vatican II have been used again, but, as Christine notes, with training. But the practice is hardly revolutionary and in fact dates to OT times. I think it's a matter of training or lack thereof, so the analogy would be more that a dental tech is not the dentist.

John said...


Nowhere did I say that the laity read the Gospel.

I stated that the laity are doing what used to be what only the priests did.

I stand by that!

John said...


I also made clear that I was addressing the fact that pastors of the LCMS are doing the same!

I care not how much 'training' the laity receive, we have no business doing that to which the clergy have been called.

Anonymous said...

John, as an LCMS layman you are, of course, perfectly free to take that position as regards the Missouri Synod.

I don't think you can speak for the Roman Catholic church.


Rev. Allen Bergstrazer said...

Christine you are correct (as usual) that laymen were allowed to bring the sacrament to those who could not attend the mass. But this is more a reflection of the doctrine of the sacrament itself than a usurpation of the Priest's authority.