Illustrating Liturgical Chaos
The illustrations in the New Missal look handsome. I hope similar illustrations will grace the versions for the use of the laity. I was given a Sunday Missal when I was confirmed in 1976. The illustrations are shown. They explain much. When a book carries the Imprimatur of ++John Carmel Heenan, it seems to an impressionable and pious young boy to validate all that is in the Missal. Is it any wonder, then, that my generation of anglophone Catholics thought the Mass was some sort of meal and not a sacrifice because we are shown like a bunch of demented diners around the kitchen table with the elements of Mass (and no identifiable priest)? Is it any wonder that liturgical chaos ensued when the incorrectly vested priest was shown in his multi-striped Magic Stole (TM)? Or that the non-Christian menorah is given equal prominence to the Paschal Candle (bizarrely held by a squatting punter)? Or that the strummers won favour over traditional chant (whether in Latin or the vernacular) when they are shown so prominently, a-croonin' over their guitars? These images have wormed their way into the consciousness of a generation of Catholics. It will take a heck of an effort to win back our Catholic culture when it was felt acceptable to fill Missals with images that look like T-shirt designs for Woodstock cooked up by Hans Kung on acid.