Thursday, October 18, 2012

Overheard in Hallowed Halls

I am blessed to work for a Pastor with a great sense of humor, so I love being able to freely joke around with him and other co-workers.

Today he happened to be in our office speaking with my supervisor (not about me!) when I reviewed and printed out documents from an email from the Archdiocesan Office of Worship. This is the office that expresses the legitimate preferences of our Archbishop on all things liturgical and all things canonical in relation to our worship.

Because I coordinate the Confirmation program for my parish, the email was sent to me as a request for help. Apparently in September the person who runs that office sent out a mailing to all parishes, directed to the Pastor, asking them to designate someone from their parish to serve as contact for all things (excluding Confirmation) relating to the Liturgy. Not all parishes responded and ours apparently was one of them.

I dutifully printed the forms and brought them to my Pastor, explaining that I was "asked to give this to you" and that I was being "obedient."

My Pastor reviewed the letters and forms immediately and, glancing from me (pointedly) to my boss, and back to me again (pointedly), asked which of us wanted to be that contact. Neither of us volunteered.

I said that I believe it was directed at the parish Liturgist, but we didn't have one. Father (rightly!) pointed out that HE himself was the Liturgist.  Right he was!

So my superior suggested perhaps HE should be the contact.

He laughed, and once again, looked pointedly at me.

"I'm not a liturgist."  I said, squirming a little, seeing where this was going.

"But you know liturgy."

"Yes I do! I love liturgy!"

He didn't even have to say anything. He just kept looking at me sideways. A lot like my dog does, and when she does, that it means we completely understand each other and know the game afoot.  (Not that I'm calling my Pastor a dog).

Father, pointedly, "So will you be the contact?"

Me:  *sigh*  "OK"  pause  "Does this mean I get a raise?"

Father:  "Your reward will be great in Heaven."

*pause*  (I'm never good with on the spot stuff which is why I don't do apologetics).

Me:  "I could REALLY use a reward NOW, because I need new brakes for my car..."

Father:  *laughing*

Yeah, so I'm the contact for my parish for the Office of Worship. I've been had...or have I?


Something to ponder...


Julie said...

I love liturgy, too, but have some parishioners who just don't get it regarding church decor. Know of any good resources for them?

Julie Olson said...

Hi Julie,

Well, first of all, avoid "Art and Environment in Catholic Worship" which was the document that created all the wreckage. It was touted as "authoritative" when in fact, it had no authority at all and was written by a committee, not as law but as fancy. Unfortunately it went viral and its importance overblown. It should only have been a footnote in history, instead it wrecked the beauty of countless churches.

Try a newer document, "Built of Living Stones".

Also Sacrosanctum concilium, the Vatican II document on the liturgy (read what it says, not how some wild cards interpreted it and bulled their weird interpretation into widespread use), and check out the blogs of Fr. Z. and the New Liturgical movement. (sorry, links not currently handy.)

May God be with you, it's a tough sea turning this big ship around to bring it back to bear!