1. Penance: As I noted in the post Pilgrims of Lent – Meditations, “… just last night I received a mild admonishment from my son.” One of my daughters also indicated that my “tone” in the post Petition Update #6 had possibly been less than appropriate. This morning, the reading in the Liturgy of the Hours was from Ephisians 4:29-32. In those verses I heard the mild and respectful admonishment from my son and daughter reverberating in the words of St. Paul:
“Let no evil speech proceed from your mouth; but that which is good, to the edification of faith, that it may administer grace to the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God: whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption.”
So, I went to Confession this morning. I offer my sincere apologies to whomever I might have hurt with my words.
2. Thank You: You will find that the Pastor’s Piece in Bulletin_2015-02-15 provides the official decision by our pastor concerning the Petition. There are thanks to be given:
- Thank you to Ben Shealy for organizing the petition effort;
- Thank you to all who signed of the petition;
- Thank you to all those who were able to attend the petition meeting and contribute; and
- Thank you to our Pastor for providing a public answer to our request.
Special thanks should be given to our Pastor for publishing a clear statement of what occurred at the meeting and for providing the specifics details of his decision. Father’s account of the meeting captures the pertinent details and it is important that all parishioners are aware of what occurred and what was decided.
3. Questions: Father’s response leads my wife and me to ask a host of questions. Below, we will pose some of those questions in the simplest form and most respectful tone possible:
S1: “The petition (which was signed by 33 parish families) requested that I “reinstate one Sunday Mass as previously celebrated” at St. Peter’s. At the meeting on the 24th, I asked what aspects of the mass as Fr. Murphy celebrated it that they were talking about. I made a list of what people told me about the mass as celebrated in the past and I am sure that we can accommodate some of their requests.”
Q1: Why was it necessary to disregard the fundamental and central concern the petition presented in the phrase “as previously celebrated“? Why immediately break it down into individual “aspects” when the petition addressed a much larger concern – an entirety in substance, not just a pro forma set of acts?
S2: “These are some of the changes that we will make.”
Q2: Will there be more changes?
S3: We will use gold looking chalices instead of the pewter chalices that I normally use.
Q3: Will the pewter paten (bread dish) also be replaced by a gold paten?
S4: “We will use more Greek (e.g. Kyrie Eleison) and Latin (e.g. Agnes Dei) in the mass. We will use more incense in the mass (especially during the Easter season and Solemnities).”
Q4: Would it not be more preferable to capitalize the word Mass?
S5: Some requests, we will not do. I will not eliminate the option for people to receive Communion under both species.
Q5: Why is this needed? How does this help to “reinstate one Sunday Mass as previously celebrated“?
S6: The servers will continue to bow instead of genuflect.
Q6: How does this help to “reinstate one Sunday Mass as previously celebrated“? What was the impact on the altar boys when they were made to bow instead of genuflect? Did that contradict and undermine the teaching that their parents had given them?
S7: I will not limit the use of the Eucharistic Prayers (using only 4 of the options instead of all 10 options for Eucharistic Prayers in the Roman Missal).
Q7: Why would that be an inconvenience for one Mass out of three, especially when those who have their own missals would be able to follow along with you?
4. The View from 2,000 Miles Away: At this time, what St. Peter’s is undergoing is an exception in the Diocese of Arlington. Nearly 2,000 miles away, in the Diocese of Boise, the current experience at St. Peter’s is the norm. Let us share a few lines from a friend in Idaho, who was thankful for one Sunday Mass that was a departure from that norm: (We have slightly edited the text for purposes of privacy)
The exceptional things for our Mass on Sunday (by exceptional I mean what is usually NOT done here)1.No Altar Girls. 2 well trained servers and I don’t know the family but they are very well behaved and seem pretty ‘orthodox’.2. Father wearing an AMICE (never seen here).3. NO guitar. That probably just happened but….my preference for Mass. The music selections were much better than usual with correct Gloria, Mass responses.4. A BIGGIE: Eucharistic Prayer #1 (never hear that—always, or almost always they use #2). IMO #1 ought to be used EVERY Sunday at least and on Holy Days. I would like it every day!5. Just the VERY reverent offering of the Holy Mass by Fr. X AND he doesn’t look around etc. etc. Keeps his eyes down like they do for Latin Mass and etc.6. Excellent sermon.