Sunday, June 01, 2008

HCPT and me

Fr Tim's pilgrimage to Lourdes has brought to mind my involvement with Lourdes and the time I spent there as a student helper and then a doctor with the Handicapped Childrens' Pilgrimage Trust (HCPT). First up I must say that the achievement of taking 5000 pilgrims and most importantly 2000 children (as they did this year at Easter) and many others through the season to Hosanna House at Bartres, is immense and praiseworthy and undoubtedly to the good of souls. The dedication of the staff and the medical support for the pilgrimage is second to none. Helpers pay a large amount of money to spend an exhausting but ultimately happy week caring for often profoundly mentally and physically handicapped or socially deprived children. I went on ten consecutive Easter pilgrimages with a HCPT group and/or a group of student helpers

Now that I've said that, down to the serious business. I think that HCPT is a sump of liturgical abuse that will hold back the Benedictine reforms and ultimately contributes to the liturgical malaise in which the Church finds itself. During the pilgrimages I went on I attended Masses celebrated in fields and hotels rooms in a place where one was surrounded by large numbers of altars consecrated to that purpose. I'm pretty sure I never saw a priest attired for Mass as he should be and the priestly state was trivialised by the addition to the prescribed liturgical vesture of comedy wigs, baseball hats, toy jewellery, face paints etc etc. The Trust Mass on the Thursday of Easter Week is the apogee of John-Paulesque Mega-Mass - dancing girls galore, an orchestra the looks like the backing band for Ike and Tina Turner singing 'River Deep Mountain High' (except they would be better dressed for Ike & Tina) and all the reverence of a Westlife concert. All these abuses are normalised and a tacit approval given to them (not least by the members of the Hierarchy who attend and participate) and then brought back home. If you want to see what it all looks like, you can see it HERE. It's all followed up with HCPT's trademark 'hymn', 'Rise and Shine'

Rise And Shine

Words & Music: Traditional[sic]

The Lord said to Noah, "There's gonna be a floody, floody."
The Lord said to Noah, "There's gonna be a floody, floody."
Get those children (clap!) out of the muddy, muddy!
Children of the Lord.

CHORUS:
So, rise and shine and give God your glory, glory.
So, rise and shine and give God your glory, glory.
So, rise and shine and (clap!) give God your glory, glory,
Children of the Lord.

So, Noah, he built him, he built him an arky, arky.
So, Noah, he built him, he built him an arky, arky.
Made it out of(clap!) hickory barky, barky, Children of the Lord.

[CHORUS]

The animals, they came on, they came on by twosies, twosies.
The animals, they came on, they came on by twosies, twosies.
Elephants and (clap!) kangaroosies, roosies,
Children of the Lord.

[CHORUS]

It rained and poured for forty daysies, daysies.
It rained and poured for forty daysies, daysies.
Nearly drove those (clap!) animals crazies, crazies,
Children of the Lord.

[CHORUS]

The sun came out and dried up the landy, landy.
The sun came out and dried up the landy, landy.
Everything was (clap!) fine and dandy, dandy,
Children of the Lord.

[CHORUS]

The animals, they came off, they came off by twosies, twosies.
Animals, they came off, they came off by twosies, twosies.
Elephants and (clap!) kangaroosies, roosies,
Children of the Lord.

[CHORUS]

The is the end of, the end of the story, story.
The is the end of,the end of the story, story.
Everything is (clap!) hunky-dory, dory,
Children of the Lord.

[CHORUS]

MOTIONS:
"Rise" = stand up
"Shine" = move your hands and arms out like a sunrise
"give…glory" = palms
turned forward, move your hands from side to side in time to the music.



The 'accepted' hymns are the sickly-sweet nonsense beloved of guitar-strummers throughout the anglosphere (Marty Haugen, Paul Inwood, David Haas, Dan Schutte) - you know the stuff (Here I am Lord/Eagles' Wings/Though the Mountains May Fall/You Are Mine etc etc etc ad nauseam).

Oh I know some commenters will say "Oh think of the children, the chiiiiiiiiildren!" but I'm afraid I don't buy that anymore. Kids get the numinous - they just do. I take my lads to Mass in the parish which is straightforward, middle-of -the-road vernacular, GIRM compliant and its OK. They get something more from the occasional Sundays we toddle along to the Ordinary Form, Latin Mass at St Pat's. There are two other reasons why I don't buy the 'It's For The Kidz'(© every Children's Liturgist going) argument: Fr Tim appears to have made the Extraordinary Form exceedingly child friendly without trivialising it in Lourdes. Secondly, the Trust was formed in 1956 by Dr Michael Strode (now an intern oblate Cistercian at Caldey) so for the first ten years of the Trust - a time of great growth, Mass was celebrated for the children in the pre-conciliar form, the Tridentine Rite. It doesn't seem to have impeded the growth of the Trust. The one thing HCPT don't get to mess up liturgically is the Blessed Sacrament Procession and the children respond incredibly well to that.

I realise some commenters may take offence in that in my experience the good people who run HCPT and go on the pilgrimages are the salt of the earth and good Catholics with a deep devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes. This is absolutely true. That many people who would otherwise not get the spiritual benefits of the pilgrimage or hear the message of Our Lady to do penance and follow her Son is also very true. But I think it also true that the liturgical influence of the pilgrimage is ultimately destructive to the spiritual life of Catholics in these islands (and beyond) and precisely what the Holy Father is trying to root out.

I would welcome comments.

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42 Comments:

Anonymous Bob said...

As students at the Scots College in Rome we were often encouraged to go to Lourdes with HCPT but many of us resisted it beacuse of how bad it was liturgically-theologically. Few of those who did go were eventually Ordained. I believe nowadays that it is actually compulsary for the seminarians to go!

7:59 AM  
Blogger Paulinus said...

Thanks bob. Tellingly two of the group chaplains are no longer in the clerical state (one having absconded with a lady friend, the other a burn-out)

Hardly a scientific study I accept but by their fruits and all that.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

In what is admittedly a gross generalisation, Paulinus, such outcomes are not too uncommon in the sort of priests involved in HCPT. Too many of them have a very "low" idea of their priesthood and as a result can either end up leaving for romance beacuse they don't understand the real meaning of the sacrifice they have taken on or leaving burnt-out beacuse they feel that everything depends on them personally and on what they can do rather than trusting in God working through them.

As I said, this is a generalistaion about HCPT priests, but it is not too unrealistic.

7:01 PM  
Blogger Fr Tim Finigan said...

This is a very important post, Paulinus and all the more effective for the fact that you went as a volunteer yourself. The liturgies of the HCPT are thought to be unassailable because not only are they for children, they are for the disabled and, by implication "Don't you dare say anything about their Masses."

As 90% or more of Downs Syndrome children are now killed before birth, the Catholic Church is increasingly becoming the main home for children with trisomy. I see no reason why they should always be subjected to dumbed-down clown-fest liturgy.

9:15 PM  
Blogger Paulinus said...

bob
That's an interesting take on the phenomenon. I did have the feeling that many of the priests involved were looking for something new in their priestly lives and the transgression of being away from home and the normal rules not applying gave them some sort of cheap thrill.

First name terms didn't help - familiarity breeding a type of contempt. The structure of the days in Lourdes meant that withdrawing to say the Office was virtually impossible.

Of course the novelty wears thin and the fact is that a priest is not one of the lads. When he tries to be, it all ends in tears.

Fr Tim
Good point - I hadn't reflected on the Catholic Church being the last refuge of Downs but that's true.

9:19 PM  
Anonymous Ebo said...

Well said Paulinus and the Chaplains' status is ringing bells (geddit) with me.

I have long admired HCPT, but, even the most briefest of looks at the photos of their liturgies makes one wonder just where the sacred is. By all means dress up like a looney at the right time, but, Mass is Mass is Mass is Mass.

I can recall hearing the previous English Speaking Chaplain to the shrine describing the HCPT's involvement in the Blessed Sacramant Procession as "The World's Biggest Conga".

Tragic.

9:25 PM  
Blogger Ottaviani said...

I remember going with my school group on HCPT Lourdes as a volunteer myself, a few years ago. I can't say I'll be going again.

The Catholicity is very much diluted, to the extent that I would say an equal amount of non-Catholics go along with the Catholics. It's the typical lowest-common denominator, ecumenical jamboree crap reminiscent of the church in England and Wales.

The celebration of the mass, in the St. Pius X basilica was sacrilegious and confirmed to some of my school-mates, why they were lapsed. Priests with face paint, chas-albs, pagan incense holders, altar serviettes galore, made-up canon prayer, etc. I remember one person breaking open a packet of biscuits next to me and I got told off for apprehending him.

That was probably the time, I figured out that you just can't trust the average ordinary form mass anymore and it wasn't too long after that, I started going to the old rite exclusively. It was also the time, I wondered if there was a crisis in the Catholic church and I was lucky enough to come across Iota Unum by Prof. Romero Ameiro which confirmed everything for me.

That and also the priests accompanying the pilgrimage are the 'justice and peace' brigade, that infected my old parish. Not to mention, some of them were rather... err... camp, which didn't help promote any vocations.

And to this day, the tune of "Rise and Shine" haunts me. It's spiritual rape, I tell you.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The whole thing is also a vicious circle - only priests (and layfolk) who "like" HCPT style stuff want to go with them; priests who might be able to improve matters won't touch them with a bargepole because they know they'll be forced to sit through the sacrilege and be condemned for complaining.

10:16 PM  
Blogger John Paul said...

I go to Lourdes in July most years and I have to say the Masses are typical of the general mass in lourdes. Thing is, HCPT (when I'm out) only seem to take old people. I was out for a month last year and every plane I welcomed in (I should say too that they did not request assistance and turned up demanding we help) was always full of old people.

On the seminarians note, I left Scotus last year and it wasn't compulsary or even encouraged. None of my friends from Rome reported anything compulsary and both would agree that in both Scottish seminaries all forms of Marian devotion were in fact discouraged.

Things have changed in Scotus thanks to a new spiritual director, but the Holy Mass is still Eucharist and all that.

I'm only glad that when I'm there for 3 weeks this year I'll have extraordinary rite mass at least once a week and wont have to sit through the Jesus peace mass which is the norm at the English Chaplaincy.

9:02 PM  
Blogger John Paul said...

It's also very strange considering the founder is now a monk and lives most of his life in silence. I wonder what he made of the anniversary celebrations.

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

I can well believe that in Scotus all forms of Marian devotion were discouraged. This was not really true of Rome. We had the Rosary in May and October at the statute of Our Lady and our nuns ensured that there were always fresh flowers at the statute, which was placed directly outside the chapel so that everyone passed it many times a day.

8:31 AM  
Blogger On the side of the angels said...

When we sang it in school it was the animals went IN by two-sie-oosie;
but came out [of the ark] by threesie-eesie;
must have been the birds and beesie-eesie....!!!

Who said the post vatican two church didn't promote family values ?

Never been to Lourdes, or Rome or Fatima ; but I really detested trips to Walsingham or Knock ; the way people seemed to adopt a psychological schizophrenia - one second overly pious, the next overfamiliarly crude or 'jolly hockey sticks' - I don't know.
Sometimes I think the communal pilgrimage idea warps the whole intent of it.

3:20 PM  
Blogger Paulinus said...

OTSOTA

It being traditional, you can probably make up your own words to "Rise and shine" - organic development and all that.

Sometimes I think the communal pilgrimage idea warps the whole intent of it.

I think Chaucer would disagree. There is much good Catholic fellowship to be had in the bars over a pint of "Dry 33" or Kronenbourg. We're not puritans, y'know.

6:46 PM  
Blogger Paulinus said...

John Paul

I used to "offer it up" in Lourdes. I did begin to despair at times. At the end of the torchlight procession a helper asked me "What was that?" when I'd joined in singing the Salve Regina she taught children RE at a Catholic Primary School.

So much lost in such a short time.

Good point about Brother Michael Strode (I refuse to call him Brother Doctor Michael - it sounds vaguely German). The liturgy at Caldey is light years away from HCT Masses.

He was a quite introspective chap from the one time I met him, just after I qualified, at an HCPT doctors' meeting. he was a convert in the 1940s, I think, so the pre-conciliar rite must have attracted him before it all went awry.

7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too have been to several pilgrimages to Lourdes with HCPT and have had to sit through the various 'celebrations of the Eucharist' that have taken place, some very prayerful and others...well!
I do think it a crime to condemn all the group chaplains, as a lot of them are good priests, who do love and trust in God. I am sure many a priest could pass judgement on the worthiness of the laity!
I remember a couple of Easters ago seeing a priest in soutane on a day trip up the mountains playing football with the children, and then later passing him and his group as the celebrated Mass on a table outside a cafe, whilst he wore a 'fiddleback' and wore lace from the ankles up! Does this make him a good priest or a bad one??
Perhaps more people should go and experience HCPT and help the groups in their liturgical development instead of sitting at home passing judgement?
Oh, and yes the students at the Scots College, Rome must attend atleast once!

1:11 AM  
Anonymous Derek said...

Well, one things for sure - if you force seminarians to go to HCPT you're bound to put them off for good.

8:44 AM  
Blogger Ottaviani said...

It is my understanding that Allen Hall seminary (Westminster) also sends a group every year. Talking to the more conservative seminarians, they too found the liturgical setting (and theological in some cases) a complete farce. The only thing that kept them going, was to help disabled children, experience the beauty of Lourdes.

The problem for the seminarians is that to complain or even raise questions... well... you just don't want to go there.

At least the old rite is now said at Lourdes every Sunday. It would make so much sense, to have a "Latin Mass" (preferably EF) at Lourdes everyday, so that everyone, no matter their colour or nationality, can be exposed to a truly universal and Catholic worship. But I don't suspect the French clergy to be that ecumenical...

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HCPT Doctors meeting

Did any of your colleagues ever question the "group dynamic" that has always been an integral part of the structure of HCPT even before they started dressing up in the "team colours"?

3:54 PM  
Blogger Paulinus said...

No they didn't, but then the fact that they went on the pilgrimage meant they were self-selecting. Eventually I couldn't ignore the liturgical abuse and that's why I haven't been for ten years.

5:33 PM  
OpenID berenike said...

Dear Anon,

Paulinus has been more than once. Most people have experienced something of the kind, even if not with HCPT.

No-one's saying anyone's a good or a bad priest or lay person. (are they? I might have missed something, it was a long post and comments thread).

6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doctors

I guess they did self-select but given their training I would have thought they might have had some worries about the emotions on show.

I haven't been for longer than I care to remember but on the two occasions I did attend I found the whole group experience introspective and intrusive.

The developments of the unusual "dress code" appear to have prepared the way for the liturgical abuses you have identified.

The failure of the leaders, (clerical, lay and professional,) to restrain the natural youthful exuberance and enthusiasm of the helpers has led to the results we see today.

If they want to take the children away for a fun time Disneyland Paris might be a better venue. However is it really about the children anymore?

On a wider note the liturgical abuses are going on in the parishes every week. If its not the leadrship team,its the welcoming committee with the altar the venue for experiments in diversity and inclusion.

6:20 PM  
Blogger Paulinus said...

anonymous

You have a touching faith in the general abilities of doctors but given that as a profession we are more likely tha the general population to be depressed, divorced, commit suicide or have addictions to drugs or alcohol, what makes you think we would be less liable than you to become prey to unfortunate group dynamics?

You hit the nail on the head with the leadership issue. There is a kind of 'Lord Of The Flies' element (if that's not to strong an analogy) to things of being marooned in Lourdes and the normal restraints of behaviour being abandonded. There is also a cult of youth in HCPT which is also somewhat destructive. Amazing too, that those who witter on about how wonderful the 'yoof' are are often septuagenarians. The 'yoof' ARE wonderful, I might add, but it gets a bit creepy when anyone over 40 (like me) goes all misty-eyed about it.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Paulinus said...

Anonymous (why can't you give yourself a moniker, BTW, I don't know which anonymous I'm addressing
I do think it a crime to condemn all the group chaplains, as a lot of them are good priests, who do love and trust in God. I am sure many a priest could pass judgement on the worthiness of the laity!
I remember a couple of Easters ago seeing a priest in soutane on a day trip up the mountains playing football with the children, and then later passing him and his group as the celebrated Mass on a table outside a cafe, whilst he wore a 'fiddleback' and wore lace from the ankles up! Does this make him a good priest or a bad one??


Who condemned anyone? The atmosphere in which liturgical abuse takes place is an organisational one. Individuals take decisions to take on these liturgical abuses but if the HCPT hierarchy (and the bishops) gave guidance along the lines of:
(1) vest properly;
(2)Say Mass according to the GIRM
(3) use the Church's musical heritage
(4) There are lots of consecrated altars around here - use them
(5)Laity - be aware of where you are and what you are doing - have some respect

It would end.

There - liturgical abuse sorted. But no-one does it (HCPT or bishops).

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doctors

Given who and what you deal with are you surprised.

If I every get to the stage of being misty eyed (and I am not that far of the years of risk) I'll consult one of your colleagues.

Best wishes and I do enjoy your pictures on the SPL

12:27 PM  
Blogger Paulinus said...

Anonymous

Those words are kind but we are merely flawed vessels.

1:22 PM  
OpenID ebomania said...

Having many years of Lourdes Pilgrimages under my belt (bretelles?) i have often found that for some glaringly obvious issues - Lourdes and acting on concern are complete strangers.

Eg. 1 - Liturgy. A Lay MC calling quite a few shots, thus the "Chicken Fajitas" being carried in the Blessed Sacrament Procession.

Eg. 2 - Health and Safety at processions. No real marshalling / stewarding or monitoring of the behaviour of people as they move on the domain. This at times has lead Dioceses to deal with situations impacting upon them whilst some stagieres stand and hold a cordon rope.

Eg. 3 - The Sanctuary's notion of Child Protection (aka le Malaise Anglais). Just not on the agenda at the last International Meeting despite it being an issue raised in the Youth Discussion Groups.

I suppose the Lourdes Sanctuary Management are well aware that they are the only model of Specific Practice in existance.

But in a lot of regards, you can't help but feel "Ignorance is Bliss" and that's how bad liturgy has came to be.

A case of anyone who wants to be in charge can be in charge, perhaps?

9:58 PM  
Blogger Philip said...

Have you come across this gem?

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=sRULNTperWE

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Fr Bede Rowe said...

I remember a couple of Easters ago seeing a priest in soutane on a day trip up the mountains playing football with the children, and then later passing him and his group as the celebrated Mass on a table outside a cafe, whilst he wore a 'fiddleback' and wore lace from the ankles up! Does this make him a good priest or a bad one??

That was me!!!

I also refused to concelebrate the trust mass and wore a biretta whilst being the principal celebrant at the regional Mass. Strangely no one (and I mean no one) in the clerical state ever greeted me in the street (even though I wore soutane and tricorn hat all week).

HCPT is fine, it is just the logical conclusion of dumbing down the liturgy and assuming that just because these people have certain needs they have to have "happy", "meaningful", actually patronising entertainment.

Forget the fact that they may just have suffered bereavement or are coming to terms with their own lives. Quick, quick, let's distract them.

The result is... the Trust Mass.

It is not essential to HCPT adn says more about "liturgists" than of the needs of people with learning disabilities.

Still... it's nice to be noticed by anonymous!

9:39 PM  
Blogger Paulinus said...

Father, welcome and well done!

There is a strange dichotomy in that religious priests in Lourdes (I remember a Dominican and a Redemptorist specifically) made great play of wearing their habits for most of the week whereas the diocesan clergy were largely in mufti.

Discuss.

1:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a strange dichotomy in that religious priests in Lourdes (I remember a Dominican and a Redemptorist specifically) made great play of wearing their habits for most of the week whereas the diocesan clergy were largely in mufti.

-Unless your a certain Scottish Cardinal who walks about all day in full red choir soutane - so that you can get noticed!!

As the one who noticed Fr Rowe, do I get to claim a prize?? Congratulations Fr Rowe, for having the conviction to do what you did/do.

2:04 PM  
Blogger Paulinus said...

No. you should have done it at the time. You know the formula:

"You are Father Colly Kibber and I claim The Catholic Herald prize"

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As someone who has been to Lourdes with HCPT for 4 or 5 yrs and is now a seminarian, I have found all the pilgrimages a great encouragement for the Church. To see so many young people going as helpers, using up holiday and paying so much money is a sign that the church is reaching out. This constant talk of Latin Mass is all well and good for you tradionalists but the majority of Catholics no longer have any knowledge of Latin ! Were very much heading towards the Anglican form of High and Low Church which will only lead to division in the Church. The Liturgy may not be perfect but it is bringing people to God and getting people involved in the Catholic Church. Sadly people have seen the encouragement of the use of the tridentine Mass as a chance to attack and belittle the Vatican II Mass. On the subject of seminarians being forced to go, I think that seminarians should be encouraged to take part but certainly not forced to go, forcing people achieves nothing.

4:22 PM  
Blogger Ponte Sisto said...

"This constant talk of Latin Mass is all well and good for you tradionalists (sic) but the majority of Catholics no longer have any knowledge of Latin !"

I thought Vatican II taught that the faithful should be able to sing or say those parts of the Mass common to them in Latin. This is just another example of selecting the bits of Vatican II that the appeal to the liberal mind and ignoring the rest. (Cf ‘Sacrosanctum Concilium’ 36)

4:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Latin Mass should be made available in all Parishes. I have no problem with that. However to think of using Latin with HCPT in Lourdes would not work! The two forms should be treated as equal. However I feel that speaking to those that prefer the old rite, they feel that it is superior than the new rite, that too me is a dangerous route to go down!

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also I agree that Vatican II stated that the faithful should be able to do the responses in the Latin, that does not change the fact that this is not the reality on the ground. Especially with Latin rarely being taught in schools. It is not a case of chosing the bits you like of SC but the reality of were the church is now. Massive mistakes were made after the council, with incorrect interpretation but we have to work with what we have got. What is sad is all the energy that is wasted squabbling over liturgy, how better that energy would be used in helping those with special needs etc

5:07 PM  
Blogger Ponte Sisto said...

I think I understand what you mean, but for a seminarian to say, “What is sad is all the energy that is wasted squabbling over liturgy, how better that energy would be used in helping those with special needs etc” seems a bit odd, especially if you read SC73. Good liturgy, good praxis. The liturgy isn’t just something tagged on to our social work mentality. The worship of God should quicken us to fulfil our vocation as Christians, which includes caring for those with special needs, as well as many other things.

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In no way was I implying that Liturgy is not vitally important ! What I find sad is people feeling the need to critice the liturgy with HCPT and blame the way the liturgy is celebrated for no longer taking people on pilgrimage to Lourdes with HCPT. I feel that the Liturgy is done well, as must the hundreds of priests, bishops etc that go each year. The use of things such as rise and shine etc works for that week but by no means would it work everywhere. My personal view is the Latin Mass would not work on the HCPT pilgrimage but I would have no problems with Latin Mass being made available.

5:50 PM  
Blogger Paulinus said...

Sorry anonymouse, but you miss the point of my piece. Bad liturgy = bad theology. My experience of 10 years of pilgrimages with HCPT leads me to the conclusion that lazy liturgy leads to other abuses that contribute to the malaise English Catholicism is in (not excluding the other parts of these isles). The battle over the liturgy is a small part of a wider struggle for the heart of The Church.

If you think this is a bad as it gets, just wait my friend, just wait....

1:53 AM  
Blogger maytrees said...

Greetings paulinus and other contributors to your interesting post. I comment not only as an HCPT Group leader (Group 35)
but also as an ordinary catholic in the pew. By all means read my blog posts about HCPT before responding; at:

http://maytreesmusings.blogspot.com/search?q=hcpt

Music at Mass - any music - is imho distracting. Why should Palestrina's Missa Papae Marcelli
for example be laudable and an HCPT "Rise and Shine" not? Both distract (me) from the essence of the Mass and the former has the added disadvantages of being hugely long and almost unintelligble?

What did Jesus say about music? Was the Holy Spirit going where
he pleased, accompanied by music?Trumpet blasts are mentioned in psalms but my interpretation of those mentions is that the
trumpet blasting was brief and
not akin to the rather drawn out
and repetitive classical type
music that congregations often have to accept.

Also HCPT attracts 1000s of young people each year whereas they are
sadly often too noticeable by their absences from parish Masses.

Furthermore, do you remember the late Bishop Guazzelli during his celebration of one of those HCPT
Rise and Shine Masses, asking the5000 mainly young people present
to raise their hands if they had
ever though about vocations to the
priesthood or religious life? This question was asked after communion and some 3000 raised their hands
(including to my surprise my son
a helper at the time). Bearing in mind that Radio 3 is hardly listened to by the younger generation, emphasising the importance traditional church music will not assist in counter acting the tragic reduction in vocations. St John Boscoe's
attitude of going where they are going to stand any chance of influencing them seems right to me.

But if Jesus would have wanted
classical music at Mass then
obviously that is what there must be. However I see nothing in the
scriptures requiring Mass to
become a performance rather than
be a sacrifice with community at prayer. The amazing miracle of
transubstantiation is best
(imho) participated in in awe and wonder and some referential
silence. Classical music b4 during
and after risks limiting its
appreciation by the individual.

3:59 PM  
Blogger maytrees said...

Just to add following the reading of the Sequence at today's
Our Lady of Sorrows mass,
that the words seem (to me) to
be so much more meaningful when
read simply. The Stabat Mater
can be a beautiful piece of music when sung I know, but for comprehension
and prayer during Mass the meanings of the simple spoken word get through deeply.

The singing and music are
very much appreciated in concerts though.

7:43 PM  
Blogger Vernon said...

Maytrees: Nobody is expecting the Trust Masses to be only in the Extraordinary Form, nor that EF Masses are necessarily Sung Masses - and polyphony at that!

It is perfectly possible to have a reverential OF Mass, whether with singing or not, as V2 expected and decreed. What contributors here are objecting to is not the use of the OF but the ABUSE of the Mass.

Ideally the music used at a Mass should be that of the Mass itself, whether in Latin or the vernacular makes no difference to the argument. Hymns or motets can be added if desired either before or after the Mass itself or during long 'pauses' such as the Offertory or Communion. These should, however, be genuine praise of God or His Saints - Our Lady and St Bernadette being the most obvious ones at Lourdes. Rise and Shine is NOT a proper hymn. Apart from murdering the English language, it fails to praise God and so badly represents the Bible account of the great flood as to be bad catechesis.

Many, many handicapped children are much more intelligent than they look! Dumbing down the Mass for them is insulting.

12:51 AM  
Blogger maytrees said...

Greetings Vernon

I haven't been backto thisthread for a while so only just seen yr comment. I agree about theneed not to patronise disabled or any other people. Some disablities are at the least difficult ends of the spectrum whereas others are so severe that amateurs like myself cannot get through at all. Take Downs - one such who came in my HCPT group several times as a child was (with me and his mother and many others)commissioned as an Extaordinary Minister of the Eucharist today. Others with Down syndrome could not possibly be candidates but that does not make the Church patronising. Interestingly the now man who had been with us as a child with HCPT spoke with muchhappiness about his pilgrimage times. His (obvious) reverence and holiness as an adult
include imho something from that childhood experience. Any that I have (rather less obvious I regret to say)would also have been influenced by my own pilgrimage to Lourdes with HCPT experiences since age about 13. Like most things there is room for improvement but there is much too that is excellent. Liking or not liking Rise and Shine hardly matters.

8:45 PM  

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