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May 23, 2005



Sorry for being stupid, but I don't understand the quote. Being a layperson means being a dead dog? Maybe I don't see the context of Fr Ernest?


Yeah, you really should read the article, but I still think the context is clear from the quote. Fr. Ernest is saying that since coming to Canada he looks at the way mass is celebrated and isn't surprised that no one is there, that the church is empty, because we don't celebrate the liturgy with any joy. It's an obligation for most people, not an act of love . . . or at least it seems that way.

Alan Robinson

I cannot understand how the priest really thought he knew what that congregation was doing. The laity's participation in the Sacred liturgy has to be genuine and real and actual, this means that is essentially internal and spiritual.This will not be obvious to a "spectator",only,surely to our Lord.He can judge how well I am praying and participating in the Mass, not judged by some external phenomena.the reverent and carefully celebrated liturgy will the lead the laity to acts of worship,prayer and adoration.Sometimes,it will mean joining in the words,sometimes it will be sad or joyful silent prayer behind a pillar. Sometimes, the Mass is so casual,slipshod and awful, with asides and insertions from the priest with horrible music, I am brough to acts of hate and anger. Alan Robinson (England)



With all due respect to your internal disposition, I don't think it is to forward to suggest that worship (particularly in North America) is a rather joyless event. Joy doesn't imply happy-clappy sentimentality. Rather, I think what Fr. Ernest is getting at is the desire to see a certainty in worshipping that is an act of love rather than a duty to fulfill. Having both duty and joy isn't a problem, but have duty without joy is certainly not the position with which one approaches a lover like God.

Imagine if your wife thought that everything you did for her was out of duty but joyless duty, duty without love!

alan Robinson

Stephen, Thanks for your comment. I am sure that I have an idea what you're getting at ! I agree,now, there can be a terrible atmosphere of awful dullness about most modern worship : or much of it. I suppose we have to be careful and to distiguish the words and ideas of the complaint. I worked with someone who thought this about our school chapel (in 2003,here in England). He thought that the reluctant bored students would be changed if he abolished the (largely) gregorian latin chants of the Mass and introduced subHolywood groovy tunes. What happened was that the students still stood reluctant and dour, whilst the groovy music went on and on and we lost the physical and spiritual presence of adults. It's all very hard.....sour dutiful dullness is awful,but maybe better than not turning up at all on a Sunday. Alan Robinson ([email protected] [England])

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