Monday, July 09, 2012

What has happened to our Liturgy?

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Greendale - The processional at the start of Mass at St. Alphonsus Church on Sunday morning was a bit unusual.

In addition to the cross and Bible held high, a tool belt and firefighter's helmet were carried out before the altar by congregants grateful to have a church. ...

Above the doors were banners that said "Welcome Home."

The first hymn sung at Mass was "All Are Welcome," a song with a double meaning in the newly constructed house of worship:

"Let us build a house where love can dwell and all can safely live, a place where saints and children tell how hearts learn to forgive. Built of hopes and dreams and visions, rock of faith and vault of grace, here the love of Christ shall end divisions."

I am often amazed at how the casual, careless tinkering with sacred liturgy is taken so lightly by so many who should know better and do more in terms of corrective measures. There are other, better ways to honor firefighters than this. And "All are Welcome"... Seriously, can't we get beyond this kind of schmaltzy, dated music? To whom does this kind of music appeal?

Bishop Morlino on "All Are Welcome":
Beautiful means, in the first place, embodying the truth. Some of the songs that we sing at liturgy contain lyrics which clearly are not true — for example, the song “All Are Welcome.” As a matter of fact, the liturgy takes place mystically in the heavenly sanctuary. All are welcome at the liturgy who truly seek salvation in and through Jesus Christ, by following God’s Will, as spelled out through His Son’s very Body, the Church. People who have little interest in doing God’s Will don’t fit at the liturgy. And certainly, by their own choosing, the poor souls who suffer in Hell for all eternity are not welcome. Those are simple, but true facts. Thus the song, “All Are Welcome,” gives an impression that the choice for the Will of Jesus Christ, as it comes to us through the Church, makes no difference; and nothing could be further from the truth. It could therefore be concluded that the song, “All are Welcome,” is not beautiful so as to be appropriate-for-liturgical-use. Being true is necessary before anything can be beautiful.

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