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Monday, November 26, 2007

Of Penance Services, Sharks, and Liturgists

Last night after Mass, as I was walking with the venerable Msgr. S. out to the parking lot, the conversation fell upon the subject of the modern Penance service. I remarked that I hate going to those things, and refuse to go to them any longer, on the grounds that when I committed the sin in the first place, I didn't need anybody's help to commit the sin, so I should be big enough, all by my lonesome to go to Confession on my own.

Father has remarked in the past that he hates those services too - as sometimes things really serious can come up, and something where the "line is expected to keep moving at a rapid clip" isn't what's always what's best for the penitent by a long shot.

We are both in agreement about modern liturgists:

What's the difference between a liturgist and a terrorist? You can negotiate with a terrorist.

If a liturgist falls into the sea and is surrounded by sharks, why doesn't he have to worry about being eaten? Professional courtesy.

oh, and:

If a liturgist is riding in a bus, and the bus goes over a cliff, what's sad about this scenario? There was room for 59 other liturgists.


ArchAngel's Advocate said...

What's worse is a music director who THINKS he/she is a liturgist. I can't count the number of times when the music has hijacked the liturgy, rather than supporting it.

gemoftheocean said...

Thank you, amen, amen I say to you. And unless my guess we both have insomnia, or you have to be up at ridiculous o'clock to get to work on time!


gemoftheocean said...

Oh, and the only "music to my ears" that I need to hear at Confession is "Ego te absolvo" either in the Latin or vernacular - it works for me.

ArchAngel's Advocate said...

Kareb, today is a bit of both. I have to be at work by 6:30, and after a 4 day weekend I was going thru caffeine withdrawl.

swissmiss said...

The church I've attended since 1986, is renowned for their music program and also for having a great Krauty Monsignor (God rest his soul) who ran a tight ship. When I got married, all I had to do was talk to the organist and she did the rest. Very traditional and beautiful. I processed into the church with my dad to the "Trumpet Voluntary" playing up in the choir loft (with organ and trumpet). I felt so regal. If only church music folks appreciated the beauty of these pieces instead of "I'll fly away" or "This little light of mine."

Adrienne said...

I once again have to defend the song “I’ll Fly Away”. It is not some new song from a recent movie but one of the most recorded gospel songs of all times. It is an example of music notation written in shape notes, which are designed to facilitate conngregational singing.
I don’t particularly like hearing it in Catholic liturgy but its message is certainly not heretical and it should not be compared to "This Little Light of Mine."

Angela Messenger said...

I went to a penitential service once. I had just come back to the Church after a lengthy absence so I had a LOT to confess. I also had only been to confession maybe twice in my life prior to that. Once was face to face (NEVER again!!!!) at 21 before my FHC and I did a "side by side" a few years later.

Anyway, for the service I FINALLY understood how and what to confess. It was SO scary and SO good. But...prior to that I had to wait in line an HOUR! It was all I could do to keep myself from hurdling the pews and running out the side door. It was only a little old Portuguese lady who was in front of me that kept me there. She said in heavily accented English "I jus confess de beeg one firrrst and den de leetle ones." I almost laughed out loud - if only she knew what I had to confess!!!!! (let's just say I'm glad there are only 10 commmandments to break!)

Finally I got my turn and I was in there for what seemed an eternity. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who was in line after me that night for waiting patiently!

I will probably never go to one of these services again. The only benefit is that it gives one a chance to confess truly anonymously but sometimes I find I get better guidance confessing to our pastor who knows me and my weaknesses and background.

Oh - actually I did go to a second pen. service and I felt like I had to "take a number" and the priest whisked me in and out I swear in 90 seconds. That was when I decided to just go on my own some other regularly scheduled time and make sure I was first in line.

Wow...that could have been a blog entry!

gemoftheocean said...

Great Story Angela. Personally, I go to a parish where the priest DON'T know me personally. Msgr. S. is a dear and I hear he's a good confessor, but for me to feel really at ease UNLOADING I do it best anonymously. So after some trial and error I have settled on a priest or two, solely for confessions. I must say Msgr. S. is very good about hearing people's confessions after Mass, should they ask him. He comes from the old school where they were drilled that "this may be the first time in years that that particular penitent has screwed up the courage to ask for Confession, and you want to mess with it by begging off so you can go to dinner? What are you, crazy?"

DigiHairshirt said...


As an attorney, I am not amused by your feeble attempt at humor comparing liturgists and sharks.

We all know it is towards LAWYERS that sharks extend their professional courtesy.

However, I will allow comedic license if the person aforementioned herein is both a LITURGIST and a LAWYER, in which case Mass will be preceded by a recitation of legal disclaimers.

As for the confidentiality of the Confessional, I always keep a handy copy of California Evidence Code, sections 1030-1034, to provide my confessor. And I make him sign a confidentiality agreement. Sure, it holds up the line outside, but we legal types believe you can never have too much protection against risk . . .

gemoftheocean said...

Digi-- ROTFL -- I had a side bet with myself if you would notice that allusion or not. I won. :-D I suppose Fr. John Boyle is still safe, though he teaches canon law (is it safe to say he's a canon lawyer?) I don't think he's a liturgist. As far as the penal code, you can't really take the or your constitutional rights, it's hard to take the fifth. Now "A" fifth, that's a different story.

I LOVE the movie "I confess." Hitchcock, as you probably know, was a Catholic - he later said he thought the movie might be too arcane or something. But it's one of my favs. of his.

In your honor, I shall add another liturgist capper to the post.

swissmiss said...

I certainly don't dislike "I'll Fly Away." I have a CD of it! However, hearing it in a Catholic Church is like nails on the chalk board. It's not the song, it's the use in Mass.

The parish that played it then played "This little light of mine" the next week. They have gone off the deep end of the spectrum of liturgical music.

Adrienne said...

Oh Swiss --- say you are joking or smoking something weedy. Your church didn't really do "This Little Light" at Mass??!! No, No - be still my beating heart.

DigiHairshirt said...

I gave a cheap CD player I have to my 7-year-old son. He asked me to make him a CD of his "favorite" songs.

One he keeps listening to all the time ("Mom, I'm gonna play number 6 again!").

It's the version of "Here I Am, Lord" played by the punk rock band, The Vandals.

ArchAngel's Advocate said...

Associating liturgists with sharks is an insult to sharks LOL

WhiteStoneNameSeeker said...

I'd like to 'bind [them] together with cords that cannot be broken' sometimes.
We are lucky that the lady who puts the music together for our church seems to be pretty good-doing her best with what's she's got to work with anyway.

gemoftheocean said...

Well, part of the reason I'm "under the radar" is I am just a weensie bit disappointed. Part of the "problem" is the cantor is a convert from whichever - and Lord knows she does a fine Panis Angelicus and Ave Maria - a really nice lady, and overall sings well - but honey, "Holy God We Praise thy Name" isn't -- oh, say an "offertory" song. That sort of thing. Write church, wrong pew. And what can I say about the organist....talented player but we LOVE our Plain Chant Our Father, and X, for reasons knowst to X - hss been playing some freaky sappy Out Father - I want my plain chant, dammit...the sainted Msgr. S is the supply priest, so he doesn't want to complain.... grrrrrr... grrrrr ... we're supposed to get our REAL Our Father back, in the this week, allegedly, mean time I can't even "offer it up" bah, humbug. I guess it could be worse, we could be humming under our breath for fear some commie prison guard will beat us. Wait. What am I SAYING? Father and I aren't giving this particular tune any "help" we're sorta SAYING it, as the rest of them SUFFER. I say, if you REALLY, REALLY, REALLY hate a song -- DON'T SING IT... maybe a few parties will take the hint.

I think Angela Messenger has hell freezing over at -500Kelvin.


Angela Messenger said...

Karen - LMAO!!!!! re -500 Kelvin!

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