Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Speaking of Quakers

In my previous post, I noted one egregious example of terrible forms of liturgical prayer. I used to be subjected to it a lot in the 70's and 80's when priests decided to extemporize and all that came out was pontificating: covert sermons, shows of intellectual information, etc. So much logorrhea.

I confess: I did a lot of it, too. I will say in my defense, however, that I at least consciously tried to keep to the themes and poetry of the faith. But that is all long past.

Perhaps it is my Five-ishness, but I was much more happy with a good text frequently repeated than with endless variations awkwardly accomplished. One of the great flaws of the "reformed" Catholic liturgy is options. Options for friggin days. Which means both confusion, sloppy performance and word, words, words. My friend er once sent me a cartoon of the Last Supper, showing Jesus and the Apostles all holding paperback missals and Him announcing, "Now we will proclaim Acclamation B from Year C, on page 47."

Naming the new trinennial lectionary cycle ABC instead of St Matthew, St Mark, St Luke...empty of imagination and continuity. And while I'm at it, de-sacralizing the weeks after Epiphany and the months between Pentecost and Advent as "Ordinary Time" (Tempus per annum) further deprived the year of its shape and color.

And then on top of the "official" prayers, we have the preaching of the clerics --mostly awful-- and the places where they were (and still are, I think) supposed to make "brief introductions". More blather.

It was a funny moment in Amadeus when the prince or whomever criticized Mozart's works for having "too many notes." Well, he was wrong about that. But Catholic worship now has way way way too many words.

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