27, 1996



Re: To stand or not

Re: To stand or not
From:            Edward J. Branley 
Date:            February 27, 1996

> From:          Ed Faulk 

> I agree with this, but I will suggest that many do not attend because
> there were changes that affected their "comfort zone". They had
> gotten used to Mass "the way Jesus said it" and aren't comfortable
> with the changes to the "new fangled way".

Yes, but there's an age limit on those folks, Ed.  I was six years
old when the changes in the Mass took place.  I didn't have such a
"comfort zone," and anyone younger than me does not, either.

> You are assuming a cause-effect relationship here which, I submit, is
> not supported. For example, I surely believe in the Real Presence
> which I affirm and teach, yet I stand during the consecration (but,
> you say, I'm a deacon so it's okay). When we hold Masses for various
> "special events" such as the Closing Liturgy for the Los Angeles
> Religious Education Congress (the largest of its kind in the world)
> NOBODY kneels for the consecration 'cuz it isn't possible! And, yes,
> the Eucharist is carried in baskets lined with a corporal (until its
> time for communion when the various ciboria are filled) but that's
> because the presider (either Bishop McFarland for the morning Mass or
> Cardinal Mahony for the evening Mass) is consecrating around 5,000
> hosts!

The paragraph to which you are responding was not by me.  I agree
with you.  I've been to Masses when I was teaching high school where
we had to do it in the gym because of space considerations.  Kinda
difficult to kneel on bleachers.  :-)

> Here you are attributing motive where none is evident. In my parish
> church (built in the early 1950s) we removed the altar rails to
> heighten the awareness of the link between what happens at the altar
> and what happens in the congregation. It had nothing to do with
> removing the "specialness" of the sanctuary, but rather emphasized
> the "specialness" of the entire church.

Again, you'll get no argument from me.

> Actually, I suspect that the vast majority of Catholics were not
> terribly well educated in their faith. My own experience says that
> most had, at best, an 8th grade understanding of their faith. This
> means they could not articulate what they believed, although their
> faith may have been quite deep. And, of course, personal piety is not
> the issue here.

This is an important point.  We're talking about very intelligent
people who don't expand their religious education.  It's like the
business people I meet who are very passionate  when it comes to
politics, but really can't articulate their feelings.  Business
schooles at colleges and universities don't require a lot of English
classes, and some of the skills needed to write a guest essay for the
paper or to be a good public speaker (even on a radio call-in show)
are never developed properly.  And, as you point out, religious
education often stops at an even earlier point.

Edward J. Branley
"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"


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