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Full Version: Strange NO experience- MLK and the Superbowl..
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I wrote the below account earlier this week but decided not to post it…do we really need another thread about irreverent NO Masses? However the thread on MLK in the Secular News section, made me rethink it, so I decided to go ahead and post it, thanks for reading.

Although I sometimes attend a NO Mass and was raised in the NO, I had never been unfortunate enough to attend a Mass with the type of abuses and disrespect that I often see described here. I always read the descriptions of goofy NO displays with a sense of detachment (not that I doubt that it’s happening) because it just sounds so bizarre...
 
That is how I felt until this past Sunday...
 
I wanted to share my experience because it is just so unreal and I’m still kind of in a state of shock from this...
 
I was invited to attend the Christening of a relative’s child and the Mass that directly preceded it.
 
Are we allowed to name names? It was St Charles Borromeo parish in Sicklerville, NJ.
 
The church was very modern (built in 69) and looked more like a ski lodge than a Catholic Church- seating in the round- exposed wood beams and the altar looked like it was in front of a huge stone fireplace with the crucifix on the chimney (pics here: http://www.saint-charles-borromeo.org/De...hotoID=173).
 
The mass had numerous examples of the odd abuses I hear about here- lots of Eucharistic ministers; CITH of course; piano, flute and tambourine accompaniment; very few statues and candles; of course no altar rail and even a felt sign. The congregation was for the most part dressed over casually- lots of sports jerseys (maybe that accounts for the sermon- see below). I did see one older lady with a mantilla though.
 
As they began the Gloria, the whole place started singing and bopping to the beat- which was punctuated by the tambourine (!). Then people began clapping along and swaying. One of the priests (there were 3) was clapping along on the altar- but out of time to the beat...
 
The sermon was done by a visiting priest. He started by yelling “God is good!” to which some of the congregants responded “All the time!”. The priest shook his head and said louder “GOD IS GOOD!” This time the congregation replied satisfactorily “ALL THE TIME!”. Another priest did the same thing later in the Mass.
 
As he began the sermon, I though maybe there was a ray of hope... he said “I stand before you a humble man”. So far so good I thought and then he continued “When I was here last, I asked you to pray for the Dallas Cowboys. But it looks like it was your Eagles who really needed prayers. Then he proceeded to go into a bizarre sermon which lasted quite some time about how we are in the superbowl of life. God is the Manager, and the Holy Spirit is the Coach and we are the players. It was a poor sermon by any means, but it got really weird near the end. The priest said “One person who was a key player on our team was Dr Martin Luther King”. He went to expound about MLK for several minutes and then ended the sermon with “When we get to the final touchdown in the superbowl of life, and God greets us and says Well Done and we enter into his kingdom we can finally say (then in an imitation of MLK’s voice) Free at last, free at last, great God Almighty, I’m free at last”. Later, the regular priest thanked this priest for his inspiring sermon and the church erupted in applause. Was this whole thing appropriate? It was very bizarre.
 
The most disturbing thing though came during the prayer intentions. The first one was something like “We pray that modern understanding in the Church continues to prevail while still keeping our connection to tradition”- or something very similar. At the time it sounded much more hostile to tradition than what I quoted. I was shocked. Is this something that many NO churches publicly pray for? Wow.
 
If anything, this experience has driven home for me, how dire the situation is. There was hardly anything Catholic about this church and its service. The place was absolutely packed with people. My head is still spinning. I don’t doubt the validity of the NO but this was really skirting the edges...
(01-22-2011, 10:53 AM)henryt. Wrote: [ -> ]I don’t doubt the validity of the NO but this was really skirting the edges...

Start doubting.
(01-22-2011, 10:53 AM)henryt. Wrote: [ -> ]I don’t doubt the validity of the NO but this was really skirting the edges...

Nothing you mention has any effect on the validity of the Mass.
I perused their website.  Here's their definition of altar:

Quote:The Altar - We gather around the altar to celebrate a sacrificial meal that recalls the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is called an altar of sacrifice because we believe in Jesus' own self sacrifice on the cross through which we experience the reconciliation accomplished by His sacrifice. The altar is also our family table, dating back to the early Christian practice of meeting in private homes or in secret to avoid persecution. The family table in the home was where small Christian communities gathered, ate, listened to the Word, and celebrated the Eucharistic meal. The altars in St. Charles Borromeo church is made of marble. Older churches may have a relic from a saint "embedded" in it's top, although this practice is no longer very common.
(01-22-2011, 12:51 PM)jovan66102 Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-22-2011, 10:53 AM)henryt. Wrote: [ -> ]I don’t doubt the validity of the NO but this was really skirting the edges...

Nothing you mention has any effect on the validity of the Mass.

Ya, don't worry about validity till they start telling the communicants to "go deep" for the host.
(01-22-2011, 12:54 PM)Jesse Wrote: [ -> ]I perused their website.  Here's their definition of altar:

Quote: Older churches may have a relic from a saint "embedded" in it's top, although this practice is no longer very common.

Well, they're wrong here! Canon 1237. Para. 2, CIC 1983 requires all Altars to have a relic in them.
(01-22-2011, 12:54 PM)Jesse Wrote: [ -> ]I perused their website.  Here's their definition of altar:

Quote:The Altar - We gather around the altar to celebrate a sacrificial meal that recalls the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is called an altar of sacrifice because we believe in Jesus' own self sacrifice on the cross through which we experience the reconciliation accomplished by His sacrifice. The altar is also our family table, dating back to the early Christian practice of meeting in private homes or in secret to avoid persecution. The family table in the home was where small Christian communities gathered, ate, listened to the Word, and celebrated the Eucharistic meal. The altars in St. Charles Borromeo church is made of marble. Older churches may have a relic from a saint "embedded" in it's top, although this practice is no longer very common.

No, they're fine...............no need for a relic when celebrating a sacrificial meal.

Now if they were celebrating the Holy Sacrifice instead of a sacrificial meal.............
So without the relic is it still an altar, and if not is it a Mass ?
yim
Who knows what they're doing over there.

They say they have an altar and they use it for a sacrificial meal.
The NO religion needs an exorcism.

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