Liturgical Vigilantes

**Why should I have to? My sentiments exactly…

Liturgical Vigilantes

When one thinks of notorious vigilantes, several names and personality types come to mind. Perhaps Charles Bronson or Dirty Harry, or maybe even the Dark Knight, Batman. But personally, I have yet to run into tragic costumed figure or a rogue cop who has just had enough.
But I have met a person who has had enough and can’t take it anymore, a person who has seen too much lawbreaking simply ignored by the competent authorities, a person who has finally decided to do something about it—to become a vigilante—Mrs. McGillicuddy. She sits in the third pew on the left.
As general rule, vigilantes are not born, they are made. Their steely resolve to right the wrong, forged in the fires of un-rectified lawlessness, transforms them into self appointed guardians of the good. They become—watchmen.
The Mrs. McGillicuddys of the world have had much to endure these last forty years. They sit in their pews and watch as liturgical experimentation and improvisation transform the holy mass into a vehicle of self expression for those who do not understand what it truly expresses. They sit and wonder, when will somebody do something about this? When? When they finally reach the reluctant conclusion of never, what follows results in either resignation or transformation.
Now a confession, I’m a Mrs. McGillicuddy. But I don’t want to be.


Why should I have to? My sentiments exactly…


I find it telling that so many of the comments just told the writer he should just give up and go to the nearest EF Mass.

But again. Why should I have to?

while i cannot know for sure exactly what Mrs McGillicudy’s real issue is, i do know that the first Mass was over a meal at a communial table. It has changed a lot since then so i’m wondering how far back she wants to go.

Though im reliably informed from a from a friend of my wifes great uncles nephew twice removed who heard it from the sister of his friends great aunt that it was one of Mrs McGullicudy ancestors who were trying to stop the children from getting to close to Christ as they too felt that Christs message could only be heard by the very serious in faith. Christ sent no one away that day if i recall. The Church needs the Mrs Gillicudy’s and the children too but it needs them on the same side. When granparents and grandchildren love each other somehow wisdom is passed through the ages.:wink:

That is the frustrating part. One has to parish shop.

I believe Mrs. McGillicudy just wants the Priests to follow the GIRM reverently.

That was a really nice perspective on liturgical abuse. I like the way he used the term “vigilante” (I’m sure that’s not an unused descriptor of certain people ;)) and fleshed out the analogy to make his point that it’s really not the job of the person in the pew to correct these things.

Thanks for sharing. :thumbsup:

Did you read the linked article?

Mrs.McGillicudy doesn’t want to go “back” at all. If anything, she (and I) wants to go forward to a time where the OF Mass is said reverently without 1970s-style DIY innovations.

I read that and loved it.

I came into full communion at the Easter Vigil in '07. I have only experienced my parish (which I love, very reverent and non-abused NO).

Once when for circumstances beyond our pastor’s control, Mass couldn’t be held at our parish (emergency situation where fear of safety of the building) we went to the our sister parish in the town.

I didnt feel like it was a Catholic Mass. I felt it was like the local Protestant church.

I barely recognized it as the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

I dont necessary want everything to go back to the Latin Mass, but I would like the NO to be prayed as it was intended and not turn it into a Protestant worship service. Im Catholic by choice. I want to worship the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in a Catholic way. Not some version that it was never ment to be

I understand the O.P. struggle. At the early Mass our pastor usually skips the Gloria and then he goes in reading things that are not a necessary part of the Mass. Yesterday after breakfast he started talking about the new version of the Gloria and how the catechists should explain it to the parents and students. I simply asked “Are we going to re-introduce the Gloria in the Mass?” The deacon sitting next to me almost fell from the chair.:smiley:

Later in the morning I also attended the Mass with the contemporary music. It was the first time in almost a year. I forgot the people that grab your hands for the “Our Father” even if you have your hands clasped together.:eek:

I do not want to be a vigilante but I want a basic complete Mass without people distracting me.

The sad message in the article is, that the liturgical director of the diocese told him that his brother (the brother of the liturgical director) attends masses at a different church. The authority could do nothing, the authority resigned the case.

The only thing what we can do, to find reverent parishes, gather around them, and tell others to do so.

We shall not participate when Jesus Christ is shamed by His own priests.

“But, for me, it always comes back to this question. Why should I have to?”

-Because you know better.

-It’s a corporal work of mercy.

Consider this:

You can’t assume proper catechesis. This is not the fault of the people in general. God graced you with the gift of knowledge, why on Earth hide it under a basket?

This doesn’t mean you have to force the compliance; but by all means ***ALWAYS ***speak up productively. Don’t gossip please.

Get more involved.

It annoys me to no end when Mrs. McGillicuddy sits with her lips pursed like she ate a lemon, but won’t share what has made her so sour. We’re not mind readers; we’re not omniscient.

We are all aware that there are two different issues at hand, however: actual abuse, like changing words of prayer; and liturgical variation like holding hands during the “Our Father” (something some of us have grown up with – and so becomes our “norm”). Even if the issue is in regards to holding hands during the “Our Father” one should still speak up; even if you think you’re 2 people in 100 that feel that way, more likely you’re 10… you still deserve to be heard on some level.

There’s this older gentleman at my Church who is completely disgusted by the fact that he can’t say or sing YHWH in church anymore. My explanation wasn’t enough for him, I could tell, so I have brought him every possible document I can find on the subject for him because I know it means that much to him. If he had never spoken up, he would have just stewed in his juices and grown bitter. He’s still not convinced, but at least he knows his opinion matters and so I see less bitterness and more resignation. Not perfect, I know, but better.

As a dual director: Liturgical & Music, I (personally) feel like people (where I am) aren’t speaking up because they don’t want to do the work: come to the planning meetings; let us know. Like petulant teenagers, they would rather sit and complain to everyone else who with give them an ear, but not actually step up to the plate and help out. Seriously, if you don’t like “variations, and innovations”, join the liturgy committee. Nip these ideas in the bud; even ones from the priest, at least give him the chance to “fix” it before it goes public and then (heaven forbid) becomes a “tradition”. Isn’t that so much better than sitting there waiting for the next “incursion” and then either spreading sedition or shouting “gotcha” or, worse yet, stewing in rage or even leaving for another church?

Still, even if you can’t make it to these meetings or …whatever, it’s important to speak up productively. Going to the priest or the liturgy director, or even the music director (though warning many of these are not Catholic, so may not get what you are telling them - hey, even those of us who are Catholic may never have seen it done “right”); also there’s the parish council. If you are not an eloquent speaker, write down in a letter to the council just what the problems are. Don’t be one of the Israelites in the desert that sat back and shook their heads as Aaron built his golden calf. Make sure you look at the heart of what you take issue with and first ask yourself, is it a sacred calf to you?

The liturgical director of a diocese doesn’t technically have authority to reprimand priests for liturgical abuse, especially when (as is increasingly common) the liturgical director is a lay person.

It’s not about authority, it’s about access and diplomacy.

Lay person or not, any half-way decent liturgy director should be able to more gently phrase to a priest the concerns of parishioners. It *is *best when the pastor is in charge: I have witnessed the ugliness of a parish w/o a leader for a pastor and it’s a frightening thing.

This may not work for all times and places but it’s the most viable option in many circumstances.

I have witnessed the same and it is truly frightening. When the pastor is pathologically unable to say ‘no’ to anyone, regardless of what the request is, the parish descends into chaos with things done the way the persons with the strongest personalities want them done.

I agree. Well put.

That is the key: REVERANCE. :wink:

Even for those who have no idea what the GIRM is, or what it contains, just being reverant would make all the difference in the world. :slight_smile:

It’s not just what we do, but why we do it and how. If we are putting OUR thoughts and OUR desires and OUR plans before the Body and Blood of Christ, we can’t help but to lack reverance!:eek:

No, it’s not the job of the person in the pew to correct, but it is the job of the person in the pew to do what is right, to be respectful of the Eucharist, and when they see something that is wrong, to go through the proper channels to correct these things.:thumbsup:

Else, we all risk being at a parish described in the article, and after so long, ‘good’ parishes will be harder to find!:o

try if you can to understand that before Vatican II there were a hugh population of the all over the world who were having trouble understanding the EP.Now one might say they should take the time to understand it.(its not that difficult)If their really seeking God they will put in the effort.Some Catholics say I dont care the Pope (whole Magisterium)have no right to change or cut out parts of the Mass just so you can draw more people into going to Mass.All were doing is chavging to satisfy protestants and in essence becoming more like them.Isnt it posible that more people (protestants included)can draw closer to God and the church by going to the OP and Maybe even start going to the EP.Afterall the EP wasnt eliminated.We do see that the Church has grown and is continujing to grow.You might say yea but all we got now is a bunch of misguided,weak Catholics.I dont believe that there isnt a basic hardcore group of Catholics that arent as holy,saintly as there ever was.

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