Using puppets and stuffed animals during the homily. Is it a liturgical abuse?


#1

Is it? I remember as a young child at the Catholic School I went to , we went to mass every day and the main celebrant who was also our principal would sometimes use puppets and stuffed animals during the homily. Sometimes he would use them as props or sometimes do funny voices to make a point. Was this liturgical abuse though? Its odd too because otherwise he was pretty reverent. He even taught us to say the Lamb of God and Gloria in Latin and celebrated a pretty reverent mass aside from some of his homilies.


#2

[quote="WildCatholic, post:1, topic:344102"]
Is it? I remember as a young child at the Catholic School I went to , we went to mass every day and the main celebrant who was also our principal would sometimes use puppets and stuffed animals during the homily. Sometimes he would use them as props or sometimes do funny voices to make a point. Was this liturgical abuse though? Its odd too because otherwise he was pretty reverent. He even taught us to say the Lamb of God and Gloria in Latin and celebrated a pretty reverent mass aside from some of his homilies.

[/quote]

Probably not, though it might make some needlessly uncomfortable.


#3

This happen in a Catholic School Mass and a “while” ago. I think it was the priest trying to reach out to the children that were there. This isn’t liturgical abuse at all. To worry about this sort of thing that happen in the past is ridiculous. It sound like you were well taught in the school by this priest. There is too much abuse of the term liturgical abuse and too much aganst about it.


#4

Tragically sad yes, but abuse, no. Real abuse of the senses entered the world when Sister Mary Marina took up silk tapes and started her liturgical dance. The horror is still with me even to my sixties from the sixties!


#5

What did the puppets say?


#6

If you actually remember to this day what he was talking about then he was a smart man. Children can get restless during mass and not even pay attention or understand what is going on. He probably wanted to make an impression on what he was talking about and have the children pay attention to him! Abuse? No . Brilliant? Yes, you are still thinking about it all these years later. I wonder how many children he spiritually touched that day!


#7

[quote="robwar, post:3, topic:344102"]

[/quote]

There is too much abuse of the term liturgical abuse and too much aganst about it.

Liturgical abuse is still a concern but it is getting better. Cardinal Raymond Burke addresses it and gives us reasons why we should still be concerned with liturgical abuse in this recent article.

zenit.org/en/articles/bringing-the-liturgy-back-to-the-real-vatican-ii

Here are a couple of slected statements but the whole article should be read.

ZENIT: Some also say that to be concerned with liturgical law is being unduly legalistic, that it’s a stifling of the spirit. How should one respond to that? Why should we be concerned about liturgical law?

Cardinal Burke: Liturgical law disciplines us so that we have the freedom to worship God, otherwise we’re captured – we’re the victims or slaves either of our own individual ideas, relative ideas of this or that, or of the community or whatever else. But the liturgical law safeguards the objectivity of sacred worship and opens up that space within us, that freedom to offer worship to God as He desires, so we can be sure we’re not worshipping ourselves or, at the same time, as Aquinas says, some kind of falsification of divine worship.

ZENIT: Does this mirror the loss of the sacred in society as a whole?

Cardinal Burke: It does indeed. There’s no question in my mind that the abuses in the sacred liturgy, reduction of the sacred liturgy to some kind of human activity, is strictly correlated with a lot of moral corruption and with a levity in catechesis that has been shocking and has left generations of Catholics ill prepared to deal with the challenges of our time by addressing the Catholic faith to those challenges. You can see it in the whole gamut of Church life.

And of course right up until the end of his pontificate Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was very much concerned about the liturgy.

This from October of last year.....

ncregister.com/daily-news/pope-benedict-the-liturgy-is-celebrated-for-god-and-not-for-ourselves/

Pope Benedict noted that when priests or parishioners reflect on how to make the liturgy “attractive, interesting and beautiful,” they can “risk forgetting the essential; that is: The liturgy is celebrated for God and not for ourselves.”


#8

[quote="WildCatholic, post:1, topic:344102"]
Is it? I remember as a young child at the Catholic School I went to , we went to mass every day and the main celebrant who was also our principal would sometimes use puppets and stuffed animals during the homily. Sometimes he would use them as props or sometimes do funny voices to make a point. Was this liturgical abuse though? Its odd too because otherwise he was pretty reverent. He even taught us to say the Lamb of God and Gloria in Latin and celebrated a pretty reverent mass aside from some of his homilies.

[/quote]

If more priests did this then more parishoners would pay attention. :)

Sometimes our priest will use props to illustrate a point, particularly when he's focusing his remarks toward children. I think everyone in the congregation benefits.


#9

[quote="WildCatholic, post:1, topic:344102"]
Is it? I remember as a young child at the Catholic School I went to , we went to mass every day and the main celebrant who was also our principal would sometimes use puppets and stuffed animals during the homily. Sometimes he would use them as props or sometimes do funny voices to make a point. Was this liturgical abuse though? Its odd too because otherwise he was pretty reverent. He even taught us to say the Lamb of God and Gloria in Latin and celebrated a pretty reverent mass aside from some of his homilies.

[/quote]

Your account of that Catholic School principal got me wondering; perhaps he was inspired to use such props by the words of that old Tom Jones song - 'The Young New Mexican Puppeteer'.


#10

[quote="Mount_Carmel, post:9, topic:344102"]
Your account of that Catholic School principal got me wondering; perhaps he was inspired to use such props by the words of that old Tom Jones song - 'The Young New Mexican Puppeteer'.

[/quote]

Well, I've never heard of that song, and if you're talking Tom Jones, the hunk, he didn't get popular until the later 1960s. But I suppose it's possible.

My guess is that the priest got inspired by the immense popularity in the 1960s of the great Shari Lewis and her charming sidekick puppet, Lambchop. Even after all these years, children still watch Shari Lewis re-runs, and Lambchop is still sold in many toy stores.

Another possibility is that the priest was an Edgar Bergen/Charlie McCarthy fan!

And one more possibility is that the priest got inspired by the hugely popular Captain Kangaroo and his puppets, Mr. Moose and Rabbit.

To the OP, why on earth would using puppets to teach children be a liturgical abuse?!

Jesus used parables--fictional stories that He made up, to capture the attention of the people and help them to remember what He taught. St. Francis created the Creche to help the children learn about the Nativity. Surely, SURELY the Catholic Church has not decreed that "the only teaching method allowed in the Mass homily is lecture. No visual aids--just one man talking and talking."


#11

[quote="WildCatholic, post:1, topic:344102"]
Is it? I remember as a young child at the Catholic School I went to , we went to mass every day and the main celebrant who was also our principal would sometimes use puppets and stuffed animals during the homily. Sometimes he would use them as props or sometimes do funny voices to make a point. Was this liturgical abuse though? Its odd too because otherwise he was pretty reverent. He even taught us to say the Lamb of God and Gloria in Latin and celebrated a pretty reverent mass aside from some of his homilies.

[/quote]

I'm not sure it's a liturgical abuse, but it sounds too childish for Mass (even if it is a Mass for young children).


#12

Thanks everyone, I didn't think it was abuse, but I wasn't sure. While this priest was very reverent and at the time young, sometimes he was a little odd and out of it. But he seemed like a guy who had a good heart and cared about us. Granted I thought the puppets were a little weird even as a child. BTW I don't remember what they said, but it wasn't anything too weird or else i'd remember.


#13


#14

[quote="larsont7, post:5, topic:344102"]
What did the puppets say?

[/quote]

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

-Tim-


#15

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