Friday, July 1, 2016

Why the Extraordinary Form?

Fr. Billy Bob Presiding at the Altar "Table"
While the Band of Piano, Guitars, and Drums
Renders "Oecumenical" Songs

Recently James Kalb penned something with which I vehemently agree:

 If you look at religion that way a worship service becomes something like a lecture, pep rally, self-help meeting, or social get-together. Other people do those things at least as well as Catholics, so why bother with Catholicism? Why not go with something even more modern and American than the New Mass as presented in the average suburban parish? Why not do praise and worship at a megachurch?

I have witnessed the reality of the  following:

"...a poorly catechized Catholic attends a worship service at a megachurch, mistakenly believing the worship service simply to be a modern, non-Catholic version of the Mass. The Catholic feels emotionally drawn to the megachurch worship service and decides Mass, in comparison, is boring. A typical view might be, “Wow, I’m being fed here like I’m not being fed at Mass.” 

Kalb summarizes what brought him to the Church:

The Traditional Mass made it clear that the Mass is something different from all that. The formality, the silences, the use of an ancient language, the orientation and gestures of the priest, the indifference to popularity—all those things meant the Mass wasn’t anything like an ordinary meeting. It wasn’t about the people present, and at bottom it wasn’t even their doing. To the contrary, those present evidently understood what was going on as awe-inspiring, mostly invisible, and dependent on someone other than themselves. There was no other way to make sense of how they were acting.

Worshipping God in the way He wishes to be worshipped! Hardly boring. So to me it seems that those falling for the megachurch scene are not truly being fed, but spend all of their time reading and discussing the menu and the entertainment, while the Extraordinary form is centered around the meal, the sacrifice, and not  the  mere coming together in a community of mutual concern, acceptance, and support.