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  #1  
Old Apr 29, '12, 2:58 am
Cowra_Dude Cowra_Dude is offline
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Default Flag During Consecration

We recently had a military holiday here. I guess it would be like Memorial Day or Veterans Day in the States. During the Mass, the flag was placed on the side of the sanctuary by the priest's chair. During the consecration, they used drums instead of bells and one of the Army cadets waved the flag. I have never seen this before and I didn't really like it. Our priest is a little different, but is this normal practice for military holidays? I know Americans tend to be more patriotic than we are, so I thought maybe some here might have seen it before.
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  #2  
Old Apr 29, '12, 3:20 am
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YoungTradCath YoungTradCath is offline
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Default Re: Flag During Consecration

That seems quite distasteful.
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  #3  
Old Apr 29, '12, 5:27 am
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Default Re: Flag During Consecration

I'm not sure how I would feel about it. I would guess that if it were a single day of the year, and only to show respect to the military members of the congregation (they are part of the body of Christ as well) then I would be ok with it. If it were a daily occurrence I'd definitely have an issue with it. The flag waving during the consecration seemed to be a bit much, but if it were done respectfully and for the right reasons (asking God to bless the country etc) then I could see it as a good thing as well.

The waving though seems to detract from the consecration, which is the most important part of the ceremony. According to the country as well, some countries may not have a choice on certain days.
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  #4  
Old Apr 29, '12, 8:15 am
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domandcarols domandcarols is offline
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Default Re: Flag During Consecration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowra_Dude View Post
We recently had a military holiday here. I guess it would be like Memorial Day or Veterans Day in the States. During the Mass, the flag was placed on the side of the sanctuary by the priest's chair. During the consecration, they used drums instead of bells and one of the Army cadets waved the flag. I have never seen this before and I didn't really like it. Our priest is a little different, but is this normal practice for military holidays? I know Americans tend to be more patriotic than we are, so I thought maybe some here might have seen it before.
That's bizarre.. I have never heard of such a thing.
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  #5  
Old Apr 29, '12, 8:57 am
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curlycool89 curlycool89 is offline
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Default Re: Flag During Consecration

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Originally Posted by bmullins View Post
The waving though seems to detract from the consecration, which is the most important part of the ceremony. According to the country as well, some countries may not have a choice on certain days.
Or it draws your attention to it.

At Masses of higher solemnity here incense is used during the elevation. Someone could pretty easily say that the incense distracts from the Eucharist (speaking from personal experience, I was certainly a tad distracted the first couple times I saw it done. Now it doesn't distract me at all).
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  #6  
Old Apr 29, '12, 11:09 am
Cat Cat is offline
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Default Re: Flag During Consecration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowra_Dude View Post
We recently had a military holiday here. I guess it would be like Memorial Day or Veterans Day in the States. During the Mass, the flag was placed on the side of the sanctuary by the priest's chair. During the consecration, they used drums instead of bells and one of the Army cadets waved the flag. I have never seen this before and I didn't really like it. Our priest is a little different, but is this normal practice for military holidays? I know Americans tend to be more patriotic than we are, so I thought maybe some here might have seen it before.
Is there any chance that this was done because the Mass was being offered for military personnel (or perhaps just one military person) who died? If so, RIP to that man or woman.

Although I'm no expert on this by any means, I understand that there is a lot of history and symbolism behind the use of drums in the military. One of the uses that I read about is that drums were played to give the troops courage. A fitting reminder to those of us who are about to go forward to offer ourselves up at the altar and to receive the Body of our Lord Jesus, who was sacrificed for us.

Same with flag waving--lots of history behind this, too. I've read that during a battle, the commander oversees the troops, and next to him is the "standard bearer", a person who carries the standard of the battle, often a flag, and waves it. Since the priest, acting in personae Christae, is our "commander," it doesn't seem strange to me to have a "standard bearer" near him to wave the emblem of our country to remind all the faithful of those Christians who have died in service to our country and who now, we hope, are partaking in the Lamb's Supper with Jesus in heaven.

To me, this all comes back to the idea of remembering our Christian brothers and sisters who have died in Christ while serving our country. It is always appropriate for us to offer Mass for those who have died, and especially so on Memorial Day and other military national holidays.

You don't say what city/state you're from. If you are from a city with a large military base, it's possible that the parishes have developed certain unique local traditions that are allowed because they serve so many military families.
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  #7  
Old Apr 29, '12, 11:37 am
ConstantineTG ConstantineTG is offline
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Default Re: Flag During Consecration

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Originally Posted by YoungTradCath View Post
That seems quite distasteful.
That would be putting it very lightly.

In our own parish our priest has asked that the secular flags (flag of Canada, flag of Ukraine) be placed at the back of the nave and not close to the banners of Christ, the Theotokos and the saints.
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  #8  
Old Apr 29, '12, 11:56 am
superamazingman superamazingman is offline
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Default Re: Flag During Consecration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowra_Dude View Post
We recently had a military holiday here. I guess it would be like Memorial Day or Veterans Day in the States. During the Mass, the flag was placed on the side of the sanctuary by the priest's chair. During the consecration, they used drums instead of bells and one of the Army cadets waved the flag. I have never seen this before and I didn't really like it. Our priest is a little different, but is this normal practice for military holidays? I know Americans tend to be more patriotic than we are, so I thought maybe some here might have seen it before.
very weird, and quite distracting from the consecration. We are not a nationalist church.
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  #9  
Old Apr 29, '12, 12:19 pm
Godric2 Godric2 is offline
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Default Re: Flag During Consecration

I too am uneasy with a national flag being waved at a Sacrament which transcends national boundaries.

But then I ask what about, say waving a plain golden flag at the elevation by children. This could be like sounding drums.


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  #10  
Old Apr 29, '12, 12:51 pm
PatriceA PatriceA is offline
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Default Re: Flag During Consecration

Been to quite a few military funerals, been to quite a few masses honoring military holidays in the US and I have NEVER seen such a display as the OP is describing. I'd be a little concerned.
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  #11  
Old Apr 29, '12, 1:13 pm
mikelionheart mikelionheart is offline
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Default Re: Flag During Consecration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowra_Dude View Post
We recently had a military holiday here. I guess it would be like Memorial Day or Veterans Day in the States. During the Mass, the flag was placed on the side of the sanctuary by the priest's chair. During the consecration, they used drums instead of bells and one of the Army cadets waved the flag. I have never seen this before and I didn't really like it. Our priest is a little different, but is this normal practice for military holidays? I know Americans tend to be more patriotic than we are, so I thought maybe some here might have seen it before.

That sounds quite disturbing. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.
Sounds a bit Protestant to me.
I've never seen this in a UK Catholic church, only Protestant ones.

Distasteful.
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  #12  
Old Apr 29, '12, 1:24 pm
JharekCarnelian JharekCarnelian is offline
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Default Re: Flag During Consecration

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikelionheart View Post
That sounds quite disturbing. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.
Sounds a bit Protestant to me.
I've never seen this in a UK Catholic church, only Protestant ones.

Distasteful.
I'd find it very disturbing, the last time I was in Ireland I popped into the Church of the Sacred Heart at Arbour Hill which is the Church used by the Irish Defence Forces. The Irish tricolour is displayed, but not near the altar and I know from my father who attended mass there that the tricolour is never permitted on the altar during the mass. There are regimental flags there but these are suspended around the balcony area and are a mix of regimental flags for Irish units and British units that became defunct after independence.

I would be of the mind of the priest that Constantine mentioned and would prefer national flags to be displayed in the nave or a least far away from the altar.
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  #13  
Old Apr 29, '12, 6:15 pm
superamazingman superamazingman is offline
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Default Re: Flag During Consecration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Godric2 View Post
I too am uneasy with a national flag being waved at a Sacrament which transcends national boundaries.

But then I ask what about, say waving a plain golden flag at the elevation by children. This could be like sounding drums.


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I've also seen the vatican flag held, not waved, during the consecration. That I'm a little more comfortable with.
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  #14  
Old Apr 29, '12, 6:18 pm
Cowra_Dude Cowra_Dude is offline
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Default Re: Flag During Consecration

The Mass was for ANZAC Day, and the holiday includes the military from all the wars. There were veterans in attendance, but our town is not a military town or near a base. The high school cadets were there to do the flag waving. I have served myself and am a firm believer in patriotism but not during the consecration. Flags during the procession don't bother me on special days but waving it during the consecration just seems wrong.
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  #15  
Old Apr 29, '12, 9:53 pm
ConstantineTG ConstantineTG is offline
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Default Re: Flag During Consecration

Quote:
Originally Posted by superamazingman View Post
I've also seen the vatican flag held, not waved, during the consecration. That I'm a little more comfortable with.
Why? It is still a secular flag.
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