Monday, February 04, 2008

Mass in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Well I was surprised with the mass I went to over the weekend in LA. I thought it was about a mile from my hotel but I think it ended up being more like 2 or 2 & a half miles. It took me about 45 minutes to walk there (taking my time). I jogged most of the way back. (I would have taken a cab if I knew it was that long).

Anyhow, I came half expecting some clowns or liturgical dancers to show up but it was pretty decent. The musicians were great (although a couple of the melodies were hopelessly out of place) and they insisted on standing in front, casually dressed, for everyone to see rather than in the choir loft.

The congregation remained standing after the Agnus Dei instead of returning to kneel and after the consecration, there was a lay-woman who poured the wine on the altar. That to me seemed like an abuse and even made me uncomfortable about receiving. Is this permitted? I've only seen a deacon or priest pour the wine before. Also, when I received I'm not entirely sure it was red wine used. I thought only red wine was permitted. (My senses may have been mistaken though).

The homily was good except for the standard plea for us not to fast during lent. Anyone else notice this? The priests (well the western ones anyone) are the biggest advocates of doing away with fasting for Lent. "This year, instead of saying I'm not going to do this or that, why don't we try to follow the Beatitudes". And what Joe-Schmoe pewsitter hears is "Don't worry about fasting, just be nice". I often consider how much more spiritual clarity we had in the medieval period than now in the "enlightenment".

And then they say "This year" (as if up until this Lent they've been fasting) but what if they've been following your advice father? You've been telling them not to fast ever since the 60s. Here's an idea: This year, instead of merely being nice, why don't you take up your cross and follow Christ. (Even if that means fasting).


japhy said...

... after the consecration, there was a lay-woman who poured the wine on the altar.

Do you mean after the consecration of the wine into the Precious Blood, someone poured it from one vessel to another? That is absolutely an abuse (cf. Redemptionis Sacramentum, n. 106).

If you mean simply that, before the consecration, someone poured the wine into multiple vessels, the GIRM states that the priest or deacon does the distribution of wine into the chalice(s), cf. nn. 142 and 178.

The wine needn't be red.

I don't know why the priest would speak against fasting. My parish's bulletin had a reminder about the "rules" for Lent regarding fasting and abstinence.

Tim A. Troutman said...

Yes I meant the Blood. It was right after the Agnus Dei or perhaps during it if I recall correctly.

"The wine needn't be red."

Oh ok I didn't know that. I thought it had to be red wine.

As for the priests telling us not to fast, maybe (hopefully) that's only the Franciscans at my home parish (and this priest) doing that. I guess when you hear something so often you start to assume its more widespread than it really is.

japhy said...

The abuse of pouring the Precious Blood from one vessel to another -- whether from a flagon or pitcher into chalices during the Fraction, or from one chalice to another to "aggregate" the remaining Blood -- is a "grave matter" (RS, n. 173).

Tim A. Troutman said...

Yikes. Maybe I'm confused but unless my memory is failing me in my old age (I'm saying this sarcastically) I'm pretty sure it was consecrated already.

Gretchen said...

We learned about lenten fasting in RCIA last week. The core team leader gave us the idea that fasting meant ONLY giving up meat on Fridays and having snacks for two meals. One of the candidates talked about fasting during Ramadan with a muslim friend, and how the severe denial of food (sunup to sundown for 40 days) brought her immense spiritual growth and clarity. We're preparing for lent in our household with more than the called-for fasting. And praying and almsgiving, of course. I've done it once before and it does draw you so much closer to God.