Saturday, July 12, 2014


Astute readers of Catholic blogs will most likely tire of yet another arrow shot at that sacred cow of contemporary Catholicism, namely: "participation".  But I will not aim the bow at these readers.  I aim it at those priests who celebrate the extremely ordinary form of the Mass and those priests who celebrate a form that truly is extraordinary yet feel compelled to hector us every Sunday to sing our lungs out, drown out the hushed responses of the altar boys by dialoguing the responses aloud and, like a certain French religious order which shall remain nameless, insist that Mass must be accompanied by wall-to-wall sound. 

I will let Evelyn Waugh put things right:

“‘Participation’ in the Mass does not mean hearing our own voices. It means God hearing our voices. Only He knows who is ‘participating’ at Mass. I believe, to compare small things with great, that I ‘participate’ in a work of art when I study it and love it silently. No need to shout. …If the Germans want to be noisy, let them. But why should they disturb our devotions?’”

That was written in the late 1950s when the dreaded "reform" was on the noticeable horizon.  I would only add that it is now not only the Germans who are noisy. 


Elizabeth said...

Well said. Thanks once again, Aged Parent. It seems so obvious what was truly meant by "participation".

Be silent and know that I am God. said...

I will try to remember that quote the next time I run into a noisy Novus Ordite. Usually I offer a comparison of two fathers viewing their newborn child for the first time. One runs up and down the hallways passing out cigars while screaming "Yahooooo!". The other is on his knees, tears in his eyes as he gazes upon his child and silently ponders this miraculous gift that so good a God has just given him.

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