Pharisees & Rubrics

Why is it that whenever a person expresses the need to hold firm to the rubrics of the mass there is a blast of statements concerning the Pharisees made by some individuals?

[quote=mosher]Why is it that whenever a person expresses the need to hold firm to the rubrics of the mass there is a blast of statements concerning the Pharisees made by some individuals?
[/quote]

Most do not know what a pharisee is. They will use it as an excuse to get away with obiedence. The Rubrics are not their for our pride or our convenience, they are to their to** protect ** the liturgy!!! It is also to protect the Dignity of Holy Communion.

If the priest does not follow the consecration rubrics carefully, Matter, form and intent, then it is possible that there was no Mass after all. There is a reason why we have big Missal and a priest should at least read the Anaphora from the Missal. You see, rubrics are there to** protect**.

[quote=Iohannes]If the priest does not follow the consecration rubrics carefully, Matter, form and intent, then it is possible that there was no Mass after all. There is a reason why we have big Missal and a priest should at least read the Anaphora from the Missal. You see, rubrics are there to** protect**.
[/quote]

Protect? Like the Pharisees used their ritual and ceremonies to protect their ritual cleanliness, for example? You must admit, it does sound awfully familiar.

Who makes the Mass the Mass? God or man? If God, then frankly, it needs no protection. God will make the Mass when He wants to make the Mass. If it’s man, then you have to worry about Pharasaical “perfectionism”, as shown in your post by the use of the word “form”, and that could be the beginnings of an entirely new debate. Did Paul and the early Christians need a 1000+ page Missal to “make sure there was a Mass?” These are all modern-day trappings that, if done right, perhaps add to the Mass. If done wrong, they certainly detract from it immensely.

It’s reasons like these that people could give when they compare the modern-day Church to the Pharisees. People are so caught up in “was it done right?” that they miss the bigger picture. They get caught up in the letter and lose the spirit.

Of course, this is just one possible viewpoint, and is not necessarily indicative of my own. :slight_smile:

Mike

[quote=mhansen]Protect? Like the Pharisees used their ritual and ceremonies to protect their ritual cleanliness, for example? You must admit, it does sound awfully familiar.

Who makes the Mass the Mass? God or man? If God, then frankly, it needs no protection. God will make the Mass when He wants to make the Mass. If it’s man, then you have to worry about Pharasaical “perfectionism”, as shown in your post by the use of the word “form”, and that could be the beginnings of an entirely new debate. Did Paul and the early Christians need a 1000+ page Missal to “make sure there was a Mass?” These are all modern-day trappings that, if done right, perhaps add to the Mass. If done wrong, they certainly detract from it immensely.

It’s reasons like these that people could give when they compare the modern-day Church to the Pharisees. People are so caught up in “was it done right?” that they miss the bigger picture. They get caught up in the letter and lose the spirit.

Of course, this is just one possible viewpoint, and is not necessarily indicative of my own. :slight_smile:

Mike
[/quote]

But here inlies the problem. The Mass is not made by God or by Man. It is made by mans cooperation with God - hence rubrics.

[quote=mosher]Why is it that whenever a person expresses the need to hold firm to the rubrics of the mass there is a blast of statements concerning the Pharisees made by some individuals?
[/quote]

Sorry friend, I had to repost this here!

(good thread BTW)

A quick essay on Pharisees from Wikipedia…
“Because of the New Testament’s frequent depictions of Pharisees as self-righteous rule-followers, and because most scholars agree that the gospels place the blame for Jesus’ crucifixion on a large faction of Pharisees, the word “pharisee” (and its derivatives: “pharisaical”, etc.) has come into semi-common usage in English to describe a hypocritical and arrogant person who places the letter of the law above its spirit. Jews today, who ascribe to Pharisaic Judaism, typically find this insulting if not anti-Semitic. Many non-Christians object that the four Gospels, which were canonized after Christianity had separated from Judaism (and after Pharisaism emerged as the dominant form of Judaism), are likely a very biased source concerning the conduct of the Pharisees. Some have argued that Jesus was himself a Pharisee, and that his arguments with Pharisees is a sign of inclusion rather than fundamental conflict (disputation is the dominant narrative mode in the Talmud). Jesus’ emphasis on loving one’s neighbor, for example, echoes the teaching of the school of Hillel (Jesus’ views of divorce, however, are closer to those of the school of Shammai). Others have argued that the portrait of the Pharisees in the New Testament is an anachronistic caricature. For example, when Jesus declares the sins of a paralytic man forgiven, the New Testament has the Pharisees criticizing Jesus’ blasphemy. But Jewish sources from the time commonly associate illness with sin and healing with forgiveness, and there is no actual Rabbinic source that questions or criticizes this practice. Although the New Testament presents the Pharisees as obsessed with avoiding impurity, Rabbinic texts reveal that the Pharisees were concerned merely with offering means for removing impurities, so that a person could again participate in the community. According to the New Testament, Pharisees wanted to punish Jesus for healing a man’s withered hand on the Sabbath, but there is no Rabbinic rule according to which Jesus had violated the Sabbath. According to the New Testament the Pharisees objected to Jesus’s mission to outcast groups such as beggars and tax-collectors, but Rabbinic texts actually emphasize the availability of forgiveness to all. Indeed, much of Jesus’ teaching is consistent with that of the Pharisees.”

I think that if some think that Jesus was himself a Pharisee, I’ll proudly stand with Him.

Rubrics are the Church’s way of ensuring that the faithful are receiving what they have a right to receive: a valid and licit Mass.

Those who cry, “Pharisee!” whenever someone dares to mention that there are Church documents which prescribe how a Mass should be celebrated have no real defense, and must fall back on name-calling. Such people seem to view the GIRM as suggestions made by old men who don’t really understand what the Mass is supposed to be: whatever you want it to be.

I’m glad there are a few “Pharisees” out there with enough guts to stand up to the Father Feelgoods and their All-Singin’, All-Dancin’ DIY Eucharistic Jamborees. When it comes to rubrics, I’ll take a Pharisee any day of the week over a Twinkie-and-apple juice “Mass” featuring a homily by the eighth grade spelling bee champ.

[quote=mhansen]Protect? Like the Pharisees used their ritual and ceremonies to protect their ritual cleanliness, for example? You must admit, it does sound awfully familiar.

Who makes the Mass the Mass? God or man? If God, then frankly, it needs no protection. God will make the Mass when He wants to make the Mass. If it’s man, then you have to worry about Pharasaical “perfectionism”, as shown in your post by the use of the word “form”, and that could be the beginnings of an entirely new debate. Did Paul and the early Christians need a 1000+ page Missal to “make sure there was a Mass?” These are all modern-day trappings that, if done right, perhaps add to the Mass. If done wrong, they certainly detract from it immensely.

It’s reasons like these that people could give when they compare the modern-day Church to the Pharisees. People are so caught up in “was it done right?” that they miss the bigger picture. They get caught up in the letter and lose the spirit.

Of course, this is just one possible viewpoint, and is not necessarily indicative of my own. :slight_smile:

Mike
[/quote]

Excuse me,

In order for a consecration to happen, you have to have the proper matter, form and intent. That is Holy Catholic Church Infallible Dogma, you can say pharisee this and pharisee that, but if the priest does not go by the proper matter, form and intent, the Mass will be invalid.

And if people are afraid of being to rubical or pharisical in correcting the priest to use the proper matter. They will offend God and lose graces that they would have gotten if they corrected the priest. For example one monsignor decided that one man should have rice host because he had allergic reaction to wheat. Guess what, that poor layman only got rice, because the monsignor did not follow the rubrics. What the monsignor should of done was to offer the Blood. So cry out pharisee this and pharisee.

I am saying that the rubrics are to protect the integrity of the Mass, and if people say that this is too pharisical, then they are deluded. Really there should not be any arguments at all. Everyone should at least agree on this issue.

I am not talking about mistakes during Mass, for example a priest maybe once in a while misprounounces a word or forgets a genuflection, it is not severe or horrible, but the priest certainly should try his best and offer his best to God and next time do better.

What i am talking about is delibrate violation of rubrics, because the priest thinks he is above the Church or the Missal.

Have you guys not given the thought of those people who deliberately violate the rubrics think that they are better or above the Church, authority and Missal?

I read somewhere, there was a church that had a sign in the sacristy by the door that said:

PRIEST:

Say this Mass as if it were your first Mass

…your last Mass…

…your only Mass.

If more priests kept that in mind when they went to the altar, I bet we’d see more proper and reverent liturgies.

But even good priests can fall into ruts, as we’ve seen by the horror stories of the 9 minute TLM in the old days. :rolleyes: This isn’t about “punishing” good priests who fall into routine or misspeak or just daydream while saying Mass.

We’ve all seen enough deliberate liturgical abuse to recognize it when we see it. :tsktsk:

[quote=mhansen]They get caught up in the letter and lose the spirit.
[/quote]

I just knew it was merely a matter of time before somebody would drag the spirit into this discussion!
:wink:
I agree that the liturgical free spirits that cry “Pharisee” at the first opportunity are cowering behind that term in order to compensate for a lack of any justification for their position (or posture, in this context) on the matter of rubrics. Furthermore, the fact that they most often misuse the term when applying it demonstrates the shaky foundation upon which their understanding is built.

It is the letter of the law through which the spirit of the law is made apparent.

What is the spirit of the rubrics exactly?

[quote=mosher]What is the spirit of the rubrics exactly?
[/quote]

Whatever they “feel”:slight_smile:

[quote=Iohannes]Most do not know what a pharisee is.
[/quote]

Very true. Most who use that charge want to act out as they choose without “feeling” guilty.

I usually ask these folks if when I drive home each night and I do not rob a store, hijack another car, or set a house on fire if I am being legalistic for obeying the law.

The rubrics are there for a reason and those reasons are not legalisms.

Right. While the Sacrament is the most important part, the liturgy is still a priceless treasure cultivated and cared for by the Church that liturgists and parish priests have no right to tinker with any more than I have a right to add mustaches to paintings in an art gallery.

Scott

I find it quite absurd that anyone would argue against the strict use of rubrics. How many times have the saints stated that complete obedience to one’s superior in the Church is absolutely necessary. How many times have Christ or Mary appeared to the saints and told them this. The issue concerning the rubrics is no different. If the Church gives rubrics to be followed for the mass, then the priest must be obedient to the Church in the matter in order to be obedient to Christ. Furthermore, This forgetting the Spirit because of the Letter nonsense from the sixities is a bit worn out. It really is very protestant and creates a false dichotomy. Its not the letter or the spirit. Its the letter and the spirit. If we don’t care about the “letter” then why do we memorize bible verses and demand good translations of the bible. It is because, out of respect for the Holy Spirit, we reverence the word of God. That is not legalism, but love of God. It is the same in the Liturgy. We demand a Divine Liturgy that follows the rubrics out of respect for God and His Church. It is as simple as that. But there are other reasons as well. The Liturgy does not belong to any one man. Rather, it is the prayer of the entire Church. Just as public property can not be legally damage by any one person, the public prayer of the Church cannot be damaged by anyone priest with breaking the law of Christ and the Church. We have a right to attend a mass done right because it is the Church’s (the body of Christ’s) mass.
This argument that Peter and Paul didn’t use rubrics is equally absurd. Perhaps they didn’t have a missal like we do, but who is to say that they didn’t. They just may have. And furthermore, if anyone reads the early church father, they would discover that the early church was very strict about they way it celebrated the Liturgy. If a strict liturgist is a legalist, then the church fathers are legaists. What was good enough for them is certainly good enough for me.
One final point. Anyone who disagrees with the strict use of rubrics aught to read the old testament. There is an interesting scene in the mosaic books in which several of the priest decided not to follow the rubrics given by God at a liturgical ceremony when the covenant was established. These priest decided to offer inscence at the improper time. Does anyone know what God did? He struck these priests dead.

[quote=Topher]I find it quite absurd that anyone would argue against the strict use of rubrics. How many times have the saints stated that complete obedience to one’s superior in the Church is absolutely necessary. How many times have Christ or Mary appeared to the saints and told them this. The issue concerning the rubrics is no different. If the Church gives rubrics to be followed for the mass, then the priest must be obedient to the Church in the matter in order to be obedient to Christ. Furthermore, This forgetting the Spirit because of the Letter nonsense from the sixities is a bit worn out. It really is very protestant and creates a false dichotomy. Its not the letter or the spirit. Its the letter and the spirit. If we don’t care about the “letter” then why do we memorize bible verses and demand good translations of the bible. It is because, out of respect for the Holy Spirit, we reverence the word of God. That is not legalism, but love of God. It is the same in the Liturgy. We demand a Divine Liturgy that follows the rubrics out of respect for God and His Church. It is as simple as that. But there are other reasons as well. The Liturgy does not belong to any one man. Rather, it is the prayer of the entire Church. Just as public property can not be legally damage by any one person, the public prayer of the Church cannot be damaged by anyone priest with breaking the law of Christ and the Church. We have a right to attend a mass done right because it is the Church’s (the body of Christ’s) mass.
This argument that Peter and Paul didn’t use rubrics is equally absurd. Perhaps they didn’t have a missal like we do, but who is to say that they didn’t. They just may have. And furthermore, if anyone reads the early church father, they would discover that the early church was very strict about they way it celebrated the Liturgy. If a strict liturgist is a legalist, then the church fathers are legaists. What was good enough for them is certainly good enough for me.
One final point. Anyone who disagrees with the strict use of rubrics aught to read the old testament. There is an interesting scene in the mosaic books in which several of the priest decided not to follow the rubrics given by God at a liturgical ceremony when the covenant was established. These priest decided to offer inscence at the improper time. Does anyone know what God did? He struck these priests dead.
[/quote]

Thank you for another good post.

The Catholic Church teaches that Christ is present in the Eucharist if the Liturgy is done well. He is there with us in the Eucharist. This is the saving sacrifice of the Mass; Jesus comes to us. He touches us and we are carried a bit closer to salvation. We are strengthened to live our life by Christ’s example. A bit of heaven is brought here to earth through a well lead and well practiced Mass. This the Church teaches. This I believe.

The risk is too great to fool around with the Liturgy. Think about it, the Church teaches that Christ is there if we do the Mass well. She doesn’t teach 75% is good enough, nor show us some new way and we will feel it out together. We can be robbed of Christ and spiritually weakened if the Liturgy is done less than properly. Satan appreciates such a condition.

Christ’s Peace,

TJD

I just try to follow the rubrics because Christ is the real minister of the sacraments and not me. I was ordained to serve his body, the Church, and to serve the sacraments and the Word as his body, the Church, wants them to be served. It is not by my authority that I act.

[quote=TJD]The Catholic Church teaches that Christ is present in the Eucharist if the Liturgy is done well. He is there with us in the Eucharist. This is the saving sacrifice of the Mass; Jesus comes to us. He touches us and we are carried a bit closer to salvation. We are strengthened to live our life by Christ’s example. A bit of heaven is brought here to earth through a well lead and well practiced Mass. This the Church teaches. This I believe.

The risk is too great to fool around with the Liturgy. Think about it, the Church teaches that Christ is there if we do the Mass well. She doesn’t teach 75% is good enough, nor show us some new way and we will feel it out together. We can be robbed of Christ and spiritually weakened if the Liturgy is done less than properly. Satan appreciates such a condition.

Christ’s Peace,

TJD
[/quote]

This is not entirely precise. Christ is present even in poorly done liturgies. All that is required for Christ to be transubstanital in the sacred species is that the proper form, matter, intention, and minister and present in the context of the liturgy.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.