Friday, December 23, 2011

Good Priest, Bad Priest, Poor Crazed Layman

No, the poor crazed layman is not in fact me (though close enough), but Vincent - pray for him - who became disturbed when he heard voices after Mass the other day (my voice and Father's! - I had popped into the sacristy to drop off his Christmas present), and started praying out loud such choice orations as "Send their demons back to hell"; which made me worry for his sanity.  Father told me this morning that he calmed him down by reading Vespers and Compline with him.  Do pray for Vincent, a well-known Mass-goer in these parts, who seems to have become stranger and stranger lately.

The good priest is of course my parish priest, at whose weekday Mass I was privileged to serve this morning; how good to sing Kyrie in Greek, Sanctus and Agnus Dei in Latin; how good to hear the new translation prayed with devotion in its entirety.  The Mass was prayerful.  Alas, not all Masses I've attended this Advent have been thus...

The bad priest?  One who couldn't be bothered even to don a chasuble for Mass.  One whose Mass was badly hacked about: no Penitential Act; the bread and wine offered up together using a made-up prayer mish-mashed together from the two actually provided; the Orate fratres utterly omitted; as much as possible of the Mass recited from memory using the old translation, including the Eucharistic Prayer and the words of consecration (doubtlessly forgetting for the moment that only the new translation - the one in the Missal before him - is the only one permitted now); and us poor layfolk incited to use the old responses!  

I made sure I said the right ones loudly.  By the end of that wretched liturgy, I was furious (to the extent, I regret to say, I swore under my breath).

Does this make me as mad as poor Vincent?

1 comment:

Blackfriar said...

seriously, Josh, you ought to avoid such Masses for the sake of your spiritual equilibrium. Meanwhile, spare a thought for me: there is still no sign of a date for the intro of the new translation in PNG, no texts available (I have a copy, but the people don't), no education of clergy let alone laity ... so I am still suffering the 1970s mistranslation, and gritting my teeth at almost every collect - er... "Opening Prayer" - with no end in sight!