Monday, April 13, 2015

A Liturgy Snob?

Well, I would like to actually think of myself as a Church connoisseur--a believer who revels in good liturgy and worship in its many forms.  But that does not mean that anything goes in public worship.

As a Catholic, I believe in the true presence in the Eucharist.  Thus even if the homily is horrific, the sanctuary is wreckified and the liturgy is unappealing, I have the great privilege on receiving Christ's body and blood, soul and divinity.  However, such a sacramental experience is made so much more vivid with good liturgy.  Otherwise, the act of worship can devolve to a "Contractual Obligation" Mass for the New Covenant.

Some of my co-religionists suggest: "Don't sweat the small stuff" , such as liturgical abuse (e.g. ad libbing against the rubric).  Others who are not steeped in the faith wonder about snarky sotto voce comments on ars celebrendi and then think that I am "picking on a priest".    I am drawn to good liturgy, to the point of becoming a pilgrim during Holy Week to seek out fulfilling worship.  So to their eyes, I would probably be seen as a liturgy snob.  That is why I have embraced the title: "Confessions of a Liturgy Snob".  So to puckishly echo Pontius Pilate : "Quod scripsi, scripsi".

Hearing my phillipics on liturgical abuses and memories of lackluster liturgies, the Confirmand whom I sponsored suggested: "You should make an app for that".  While I am not sure that the  musings of one religious yet irreverent Roman Catholic layman will have Mass appeal (sic) like Masstimes.org, it can serve as an outlet for occassional observations on the ars celebrendi.  

Although I may flippantly embrace the monicker "a liturgy snob", the reality is that I seek appealing Masses rather than lamenting about lame liturgies.  Confessions of a Liturgy Snob  might has the potential of being a crowdsourcing YELP for liturgy snobs.    But the same church can have different feels depending upon which liturgy one attends.  Then it should be considered that  priests like to spice it up with their own spiritual sauce, so  their sui generis celebrations would be quite "special".

From the outset, I recognise that thoughts on good liturgy are colored by personal preference  and my own faith history.  What may seem down to earth and catachetical to some may strike me as folksy and basic.  Or what seems esoteric and abstract to others may be appealing to me as thought provoking  and informative.  So caveat emptor.  The faithful should be able to find a place where their souls are fed, ocassionally challenged and inspired to go forth and bring the fruit of the Eucharist  to the world.  May the Confessions of a Liturgy Snob help winnow the liturgical wheat from the chaff.

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