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  #1  
Old Jul 22, '08, 9:07 am
SJP SJP is offline
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Default The Pope's New Youth Mass by Jeffrey Tucker

The Pope's New Youth Mass
by Jeffrey Tucker
http://thenewliturgicalmovement.blogspot.com/
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here is my column for the Wanderer, which repeats much of what you have already read on this blog. Still, maybe it is a help to have it in one place.
______________

Some of the worst liturgical abuses in the last decades have taken place in the name of appealing to the youth. Liturgists set up this category called the "youth" to be an archetype within a dialectical drama that pit tradition against innovation. The youth were supposedly uninspired by solemnity and preferred laxity, pop music, casual celebrant demeanor, and practices such as liturgical dance and liturgical puppeteering that had no precedent in the entire history of the Roman Rite. The music in particular is my concern here, and in this area we heard the use of music that was not only incompatible with true spirit of the Mass but utterly contrary to it. The idea was that the Catholic Church had better embrace this stuff else it risks losing an entire generation.

So many parishes complied, first with set-aside youth Masses in which all heck broke loose, and any savvy Catholic in America knows exactly what I mean by that. Then the next step took place: the culture of these Masses began to flow into the other Masses at the parish. The reductio ad absurdum was the phenomenon known at Life Teen, at which garage bands were encouraged to unleash their talents and celebrants were encouraged to use any and every method to entertain people rather than draw people's attention toward the transcendent. One must also observe that previous World Youth Days—with their exhibitions of pop stars and over-the-top displays of emotional unleashings—have not been a help in this regard.

Well, there is a slight problem with hinging an entire liturgical project around a dogmatic demographic claim. Time moves forward. The present is infinitely vanishing, as Kierkegaard said. Demographics change. The youth get old, and the vanguard of the movement eventually gets trampled by the sheer passage of time. Thus do we observe the absurdity of obviously aging old-timers attached to styles and approaches that are as dated as shag carpet and big-bell jeans telling the actual youth of today what they should and shouldn't desire in liturgy. It comes across like 1970s kitsch, the stuff of low-budget comedy films about a time that today's real youth only know in caricature.

Well, that was then and this is now. Observe the Masses at World Youth Day in Australia. The trappings of the "youth Mass" of yesteryear were gone, replaced by a new solemnity that included Gregorian chant, traditional vestments, beautiful altar arrangements, attention to the rubrics, and so much more. Far from being an example of what not to do, these Masses were, in many ways, models that today's truly progressive parishes would do well to follow.

What were the youth doing during the event? Many of the most active were involved in Gregorian chant scholas, either with the main event or side projects such as the group Juventutem, which has a special attachment to the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite. The group brought in chant master Scott Turkington to train the new generation, which sang Mass ordinaries and hymns from the Parish Book of Chant published by the Church Music Association of America. They sang propers from the Liber Usualis, a book with a grand tradition that was being tossed out in the 1960s and 1970s but which is now experiencing a glorious resurgence.

But even in the ordinary form Masses celebrated during the main events, we heard Gregorian introits and communion antiphons. Here we see what was even a step forward from the best of the U.S. Papal Masses, which provided only selected seasonal communion antiphons in chant. It seems like the Vatican advance team, led by Papal MC Guido Marini, is getting ever more vigilant in encouraging a recovery of traditional practices and liturgical ideals. They have not been 100% successful (the final Mass in Australia included a few highly unfortunate moments), but they learn to be less naïve as time goes on. As Fr. Zulsdorf frequently says, progress in this area takes place brick by brick.

An example of an important step that represents an ongoing transition is the Benediction altar arrangement that we see in Papal Masses. The altar is not the high altar of the extaordinary form. It is the altar of the ordinary form, but with an important difference. The candle sticks are on the altar itself and there is a crucifix in front of the celebrant so that he can truly be turned toward the Lord rather than the people as if they are some kind of audience for his actions. The altar arrangement carries with it the important symbol that the purpose of liturgy is directed toward eternal things, glorifying God rather than the tastes of the congregation. This arrangement of course is not the final ideal but it is a step forward toward the historic Roman Rite practice of saying the Mass oriented toward the liturgical East, together with the people in procession toward the risen Lord. If the goal is to unseat the cult of personality and to get away from these entertainment-focused liturgical events, no step is more important.

As for the entrance and communion propers in chant, this is music that is deeply embedded as part of the Roman Rite. It is the music that is heard in its normative form, and the Popes have long taught that any music that substitutes for chant must in some sense grow out of its style and approach and unmistakable holiness. This realization is not a burden but a relief for musicians who struggle week to week to program music as part of Mass, using every manner of liturgical guide. When they turn to the very music of the Roman Rite, they are truly singing the Mass as it has been given to us by tradition. This is a musical form of liberation for musicians and for people of all ages. Newly discovering this truth is a new generation of young people who find in its both artistic challenge and profound spiritual energy.

Meanwhile, there is the persistent problem that many parishes that some Sunday Mass has been set aside as the Mass designed to appeal to the youth. Ironically, it is precisely these Masses that are most open to reform in the direction the Benedict XVI is calling for—much more so that the main Sunday Mass. These are the Masses where a dignified ordinary setting can be used, either in Latin or English. The new schola can sing propers, again in either Latin or English. They should be encouraged to sing all music without instruments, as a way of clearing the air, encouraging participation, and emphasizing a core truth that the primary liturgical instrument is not the guitar or piano or even organ but the human voice itself. The celebrant can do his part by singing the parts of the Mass that belong to him. The Mass can be said ad orientem and use incense and bells, all of which today's youth find intriguing precisely because these symbols of holiness are not available in the secular world. Here we have the basis of a new Youth Mass, and perhaps the approach of this Mass will have a meritorious influence on the other Masses of the parish.

The goal of such a reform is not to appeal to a certain demographic but to use an opportunity presented by the existence of such Mass times to institute a new pattern of liturgical use that defers to the tradition and puts a premium on the idea of sacred space. What we find in such spaces is something completely unlike what the rest of the world offers: actions designed to reach outside the passage of time and into eternity. Here we should find a form of beauty for which the world itself offers no parallel. To attend Mass and be part of this mystical action is a privilege of the highest order. It can be offered to today's youth so that they can be part of something much larger and infinitely greater than their own times and their own generation.
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Old Jul 22, '08, 2:31 pm
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Default Re: The Pope's New Youth Mass by Jeffrey Tucker

EXACTLY!!!

Bravo!
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  #3  
Old Jul 22, '08, 3:18 pm
Matt33 Matt33 is offline
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Default Re: The Pope's New Youth Mass by Jeffrey Tucker

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Old Jul 22, '08, 3:29 pm
Catherine S. Catherine S. is offline
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Default Re: The Pope's New Youth Mass by Jeffrey Tucker

Quote:
Originally Posted by SJP View Post
The Pope's New Youth Mass
by Jeffrey Tucker
http://thenewliturgicalmovement.blogspot.com/
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here is my column for the Wanderer, which repeats much of what you have already read on this blog. Still, maybe it is a help to have it in one place.
______________

The goal of such a reform is not to appeal to a certain demographic but to use an opportunity presented by the existence of such Mass times to institute a new pattern of liturgical use that defers to the tradition and puts a premium on the idea of sacred space. What we find in such spaces is something completely unlike what the rest of the world offers: actions designed to reach outside the passage of time and into eternity. Here we should find a form of beauty for which the world itself offers no parallel. To attend Mass and be part of this mystical action is a privilege of the highest order. It can be offered to today's youth so that they can be part of something much larger and infinitely greater than their own times and their own generation.
Amen
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  #5  
Old Jul 22, '08, 5:17 pm
muffinmojo muffinmojo is offline
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Default Re: The Pope's New Youth Mass by Jeffrey Tucker

I can say with great certainty that as a youth, and having lots of experience with unreligious youth commenting on Christian behaviour that the 'hip', 'youth oriented outreach' stuff does not work. Outsiders laugh, and teenagers mock the 'hip' priests, the 'cool' music etc. When a religion is serious about itself, though, people take it seriously.
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Old Jul 22, '08, 7:55 pm
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Default Re: The Pope's New Youth Mass by Jeffrey Tucker

Quote:
Originally Posted by muffinmojo View Post
I can say with great certainty that as a youth, and having lots of experience with unreligious youth commenting on Christian behaviour that the 'hip', 'youth oriented outreach' stuff does not work. Outsiders laugh, and teenagers mock the 'hip' priests, the 'cool' music etc. When a religion is serious about itself, though, people take it seriously.
Exactly. It becomes a mockery of itself. Next thing you know- MadTV and Saturday Night Live will lampoon them even more than they already do.
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Old Jul 23, '08, 7:00 pm
brigid12 brigid12 is offline
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Default Re: The Pope's New Youth Mass by Jeffrey Tucker

I couldn't qualify as "youth", however our Holy Father's preference in liturgical areas is
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  #8  
Old Jul 23, '08, 7:21 pm
Margarite Margarite is offline
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Cool Re: The Pope's New Youth Mass by Jeffrey Tucker

I do qualify as a youth at age 19, and I LOVE the pope for the wonderful changes he encouraging and allowing. In Las Vegas we now have a hybrid mass! and the priest is forcing everyone to kneel and receive on the tongue (during this one mass) because that is what the pope is doing! and we are learning the chant from this ancient priest! and the liberal bishop can't do anything about it because "the pope says so"

My sisters and I were trying to raise enough $$$ to go to WYD, but it just wasn't working out. One of my sisters and I went to the last on in Koln and it was AMAZING! ELECTRIC! FANTASTIC! I mean to be in a field with hundreds of thousands of young people who all believe in the same basic truths, who all follow the same man (the pope), who all attend similar liturgies, who all receive the same Lord every Sunday, who all worship the same God, who all revere Our Lady as their heavenly mother....WOW! It is beyond words! And then my sister and I went to confession. They have a huge tent and in the tent are a lot of priests sitting in chairs and there is a chair in front of them. Next to the priest is a sign with all the languages that he can speak listed. So you walk around and find a priest who speaks your language and wait in line. My sister went to a German Benedictine, and I went to a French priest. It was the German priest's first English confession! And the French priest couldn't remember the name of the Act of Contrition, but they were awesome confessors! There was an adoration chapel. Everyone was singing and everyone wore jeans (that part was funny)! It was as if we had all become one, we were different as a finger is different than a toe, but we were all part of the same body!

If the next WYD is anywhere in the North-West of the Globe, my sisters and I will be there!

Thank you so much for this post it is GRRRRREAT!
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Old Jul 23, '08, 8:22 pm
Brennan Doherty Brennan Doherty is offline
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Default Re: The Pope's New Youth Mass by Jeffrey Tucker

Yes, excellent post. Thank you. It reminds me of something Dietrich von Hildebrand wrote concerning the liturgy (I am paraphrasing from memory). He said that even if one succeeds in attracting the youth (or anyone else for that matter) through these novel (to say the least) means, what are they actually being attracted to and by? Are they being attracted to the beauty, mystery and transcendence of the Catholic faith, God and eternity?

Or are they being superficially attracted by some "entertainment" that really has nothing to do with the faith? And in that case what good does it do even if you do get some people in the door?

I also agree with the poster above who talked about taking the liturgy seriously. We so often hear about the lack of reverence at Masses and people talking, etc. Yet I can't really blame the people. If you have the atmosphere of a tea party at Mass, you're going to have people behaving like they're at a tea party.

If you want to have people taking liturgy seriously, you need to have a serious liturgy.

I think that some of the irreverence at Masses has been a message to all those who want to "update" the Mass and make it more attractive to "modern" man. The message is that people see through this and they aren't taking your efforts seriously, which is indicated by their behavior.

I also think the youth, as evidenced by some of these posts, can tell when people are offering them superficial faddish stuff when in reality they want the real meat of authentic and transcendent worship. Too bad some adults aren't as good at telling the difference .
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Old Jul 23, '08, 8:55 pm
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Default Re: The Pope's New Youth Mass by Jeffrey Tucker

Fantastic article

Quote:
The idea was that the Catholic Church had better embrace this stuff else it risks losing an entire generation.
Yeah when in reality this stuff drove away a whole generation MY generation and that really upsets me. Through God`s grace I was able to revert but many my age have left and not yet come back. The road to hell is paved with good intentions so while people from my parents generation thought they were doing something good by implementing all this hippy stuff how many in fact have lost or even been denied knowing their faith because of that, and indeed could be headed to hell?!
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Old Jul 25, '08, 9:27 pm
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Default Re: The Pope's New Youth Mass by Jeffrey Tucker

I am hoping that all youth ministers are given a copy of this article and that they take it to heart.
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Old Jul 25, '08, 11:46 pm
FrRJBoyd FrRJBoyd is offline
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Default Re: The Pope's New Youth Mass by Jeffrey Tucker

I don't know... I think a lot of work still needs to be done...

Can someone explain what was happening with the Aboriginal dance at Gospel procession during the closing Mass... men in grass skirts and bare chests, with something that was not recognizable as an Alleluia verse being sung? Why were extra-ordinary ministers distributing Holy Communion, when hundreds of priest who were concelebrating did not? And why were priests receiving by intinction when no purificator, communion paten, or corporal was available to prevent the loss of a drop of the Precious Blood? I love the fact that the Holy Father is distributing Holy Communion to the faithful who are kneeling and receiving on the tongue, but, as a simple priest, I do not have the authority to mandate this be done by those who receive from me. I liked the Gregorian chant, but we still had a rendition of "Taste and See" that was fit for a lounge act. Sorry for the negative post, but no one else seemed to be saying these things. We still have a long road to travel back to the reverence and awe the Lord deserves in the Mass.
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Old Jul 26, '08, 5:49 am
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Default Re: The Pope's New Youth Mass by Jeffrey Tucker

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrRJBoyd View Post
I don't know... I think a lot of work still needs to be done...

Can someone explain what was happening with the Aboriginal dance at Gospel procession during the closing Mass... men in grass skirts and bare chests, with something that was not recognizable as an Alleluia verse being sung? Why were extra-ordinary ministers distributing Holy Communion, when hundreds of priest who were concelebrating did not? And why were priests receiving by intinction when no purificator, communion paten, or corporal was available to prevent the loss of a drop of the Precious Blood? I love the fact that the Holy Father is distributing Holy Communion to the faithful who are kneeling and receiving on the tongue, but, as a simple priest, I do not have the authority to mandate this be done by those who receive from me. I liked the Gregorian chant, but we still had a rendition of "Taste and See" that was fit for a lounge act. Sorry for the negative post, but no one else seemed to be saying these things. We still have a long road to travel back to the reverence and awe the Lord deserves in the Mass.
There are parishes out that that have the congregation receive via kneeling. It is the universal norm. I think all that would have to be done would be proper catechisis of the congregation as to why kneeling better.
And then explaining to the EMHCs why their services are no longer needed... That will be the sticky bit.
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Old Jul 26, '08, 6:06 am
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: The Pope's New Youth Mass by Jeffrey Tucker

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Originally Posted by PatienceAndLove View Post
And then explaining to the EMHCs why their services are no longer needed... That will be the sticky bit.
You know, I thought the same thing, but when I was responsible for training them in my parish and informed them of the meaning of 'extraordinary', only one had a problem being told that if they were scheduled on a day when there were enough priests present (not a weekly occurrence by any means) they were to remain in their pews.

It was the priests who had a problem with this and forbid me from training them that way. One argued with me that the laity were now 'ordinary' rather than 'extraordinary' ministers of Communion -- scary coming from a former seminary professor.
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Old Jul 26, '08, 7:08 am
FrRJBoyd FrRJBoyd is offline
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Default Re: The Pope's New Youth Mass by Jeffrey Tucker

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Originally Posted by PatienceAndLove View Post
There are parishes out that that have the congregation receive via kneeling. It is the universal norm.
Unfortunately, it is not the current norm in the U.S.; the 2002 IGRM leaves the posture for receiving Holy Communion up to the local conference of bishops, and the U.S.C.C.B. has decreed that it is standing. If I were to try to mandate kneeling in imitation of what the Holy Father is doing, I would be called into the bishop's office and would be unable to claim that I was in accord with the Church's law.
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