Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A Seder! A Buffet Dinner! (And, oh yes, the Mass.)

The Orthometric Bloglodyte sent me another nugget of liturgical nausea. This time from that hotbed of 70s style relevant pseudo-Catholicism, St. Joan of Arc parish in Minneapolis. It is an event report from their 2007 Seder Meal which appears to have been joined at the hip to their celebration of the Holy Thursday Mass. The order of self-worship seems to have been the following 1) setting up tables and socializing 2) a gathering song 3) a welcome by the pastor and an opening song 4) an adaptation of the Passover Kaddish 5) a buffet dinner 6) songs 7) the liturgy (barely described as if an afterthought). The pastor even had a Lenten theme of 'Dangerous Stories'. Funny, I thought the Church gave us the Lenten theme; repent and believe in the Gospel. My mistake. The only part of the liturgy that was really described was,
"May Lane-Bernardo lead a processional dance through the tables of worshippers lifting the bread of Eucharist high for all to see. Worshippers bearing additional gifts of bread and wine and standard bearers carrying poles decorated with colorful ribbons followed her."

Oh my, where do I start. First, I am not a big fan of Christians celebrating Seders. The only Seder we need is the Seder of the New Covenant, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. (My parish does have a Christianized Seder on Wednesday of Holy Week. They do a good and respectful job, but I have reservations in general about the concept of non-Jewish people holding Seders.) Personally, I would only attend a Jewish Seder. I was invited to one this year, but was unable to attend due to Holy Week Confessions.

Second, the idea of joining the Mass to such a celebration and a dinner is ludicrous. There were and are good reasons why the Church abandoned the concept of Agape Meals. The message seems to be, the Mass is not enough, we need to Jazz it up, to make it relevant!

Third, what does it say that this particular Mass which celebrate the institution of the Holy Eucharist and the Holy Priesthood is seen as a footnote to a buffet dinner.

Fourth, the liturgical abuses....
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