I don’t expect a lot on Sunday morning. It’s OK with me if the priest is a lousy orator. I don’t mind if the choir sings badly. I can put up with a Sanctuary that looks more like a Rotary Club meeting hall than a House of God.
But I DO expect to hear a Catholic Mass. The very same Mass that I find printed in my pew misalette (even the dreadful ones produced by my hometown Oregon Catholic Press).
I come to hear a Catholic Mass, celebrated in the manner that the Church proscribes. I expect the priest and congregation to “say the black” (the words, traditionally printed in black, which are meant to be spoken) and “do the red” (the words, traditionally printed in red, sometimes called rubrics, which describe conduct). This is my RIGHT as a Catholic layman. I have a RIGHT to the Catholic Sacraments, celebrated in the manner that the Catholic Church proscribes.
I don’t come to hear someone else’s personal idea of what the Mass OUGHT to be. This person (be he priest or layman) is DEPRIVING me of my most fundamental RIGHT as a Catholic layman – this person is depriving me of the authentic celebration of the Mass.
Why is this such a problem? Why is it so hard to Say the Black and Do the Red? Why?