Well, as often, the holidays introduce us to new liturgical experiences.
Christmas Day Mass. The hour strikes.
A rather officious-looking woman went to the lectern:
“Good morning, and Happy Holidays. Welcome to Saint Joseph Catholic Community, and welcome to our Christmas Eucharist,” (Besides the politically correct banality, notice the US and YOU mentality…you’re a guest at OUR party, not fellow Catholics of the universal Church. The tone clearly sets the mood: you’re a captive audience at a private party).
“Please turn off all electronic devices until after the liturgy. We will now stand and joyfully proclaim Christ our Newborn King, by singing #132 in the Breaking Bread missalette.” (Ah, fascism. Got to love the adverbs…you will not just sing, you will sing “joyfully”. Every aspect of your next hour will be scripted.)
Once the hymn ended, Father also said “Good Morning, and Merry Christmas.” (Nothing like ruining any chance of sacral language or freedom from banality). He then asked why people weren’t “smiling” (Gee, maybe the atrocious liturgy?). He then reminded us that this was not “really” the day Jesus was born (Got to debunk those myths at every possible opportunity).
The Gloria was the liturgical text forced into the melody of “Angels We Have Heard on High”, complete with those Gloria in excelsis Deo refrains.
The readings, Father felt the need to tell us, were being "proclaimed’ by someone home from college. We were encouraged to clap for them.
The psalm was a Christmas carol, “Away in a Manger.”
The homily or sermon, if we can call it that, included two mentions of how there would a second collection for something I blocked out of my memory.
There was no Creed, but the General Intercessions took longer than the Eucharistic Prayer, it seemed.
Father used Canon II, and he inserted frequent ad libs about “this blessed Christmas Day”.
Before the final blessing, Father urged us to smile again, saying we looked “depressed.”
The same officious woman told us what to sing at the Offertory, Communion, and the Dismissal. She repeated the hymn numbers three times, even though they were posted, and even though nobody seemed terribly motivated to sing “Go, Tell it on the Mountain” for the Offertory.
Note: this parish has a “conservative” reputation.