Friday, September 16, 2011

Having some difficulty with the contradictions

It's very strange to be in a diocese where the Masses I've gone to in three parishes have been less reverent, pious, beautiful and mysterious than I've become accustomed to yet an orthodox, faithfully Catholic radio station thrives and will celebrate its second anniversary this weekend.  I'm finding difficulty in wrapping my head around the idea that within a parish, the uber-traditional practice of around-the-clock adoration coincides with liturgical and theological liberties taken during liturgies by the priests.  I walk into the churches and they are traditionally styled, complete with cruciform architecture, icons, stained glass, yet the music is mostly contemporary, the organ sits idle, a gaggle of EMHC form a semi-circle behind the altar before the priest takes communion and the clergy actually say "thank you" to the congregation after we respond "and also with you."  (If it were in Latin, would the priest say "gratias?")  I'm feeling a bit lost in reconciling the two extremes in my head and I just can't figure out how the two can coexist.  Well, that is just silly...I know why they can coexist...the Holy Spirit can make anything holy, despite what we humans do to muck up our worship experience.

I'm hoping that when the new translation is actively used this Advent, "say the black, do the red" becomes the norm.  Maybe from there the rest of the contradictions will resolve.  Until then, my faith and hope will be sustained in the fact that no matter what the liturgical environment, Jesus is still present at every Mass (and in the perpetual adoration chapel just next door).