Sunday, October 12, 2014
Mass changes begin; buckle your seatbelts!
Bishop Salvatore Matano has issued some rubrics for celebrating several sacraments in our diocese. The rubrics clear up some issues and abuses, but not all.
This morning at Mass Father announced a few changes - like requiring those seeking First Communion and First Penance and Confirmation to be regular Mass goers before they receive, or the sacrament might be delayed. Horrors. He sounded almost apologetic as he said it, probably afraid there might be some backlash. (After all, the Bishop has gotten some unfair flak already.)
He also talked about how Eucharistic ministers have to wait until after the priest receives Communion before approaching the altar - previously EMs at our parish had stood behind the altar while Father received.
If he had just announced the changes with a little explanation that we are following what the Bishop has decreed, it would have been fine. But Father added that before we just had guidelines and we didn't have to follow them strictly, now we had procedures. And we have to follow them.
That attitude helps to explain why there have been so many liturgical abuses and liturgical free lancing in the diocese over the years. Even when we only had "guidelines," the rules were there, just fudged or ignored because they were never really proclaimed or enforced. And folks who asked respectfully that we follow the rules were labeled and ostracized.
I'm waiting to hear how Father announces some of the other PROCEDURES - like the two-year confirmation process that has some people complaining because our kids are just so busy already - you know, with soccer leagues on Sunday mornings, jobs, sleeping in, etc.
Pax et bonum