Fashion Statements

A little more of interest in the liturgy news. From CNS:

(T)he pope would begin wearing a shorter pallium — a circular woolen band worn over the shoulders with a shorter strip hanging down the front and back — similar to the kind worn by Pope John Paul II.

Pope Benedict had been wearing a pallium similar to ones worn by popes in the first millennium, when the woolen band was wrapped around the pope’s shoulders and hung down his left side to just below his knees.

The longer pallium the pope had been using created “different and troublesome problems,” he said.

Not impressive, I have to say. Catholics are looking for a number of things in the liturgy. Good preaching. Good music. A sense of welcome. The surveys say it over and over again. What kind of fashion statement the presider makes by wearing wool down to his knees or not–that’s not really essential to the Eucharist, especially the noble simplicity of the Roman Rite.

Can’t say I think much more of the kneeling and tongue routine either. It is described as “the pope’s preference for the traditional practice.” Heh. I’d think the Holy Father would be above this sort of narcissism.

What the Church needs is enthusiastic and visionary leadership to inspire millions of Catholics worldwide to live and share their faith and transform the world. As a liturgist I believe it starts with real liturgy. Not fashion statements.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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8 Responses to Fashion Statements

  1. Sean says:

    This is what happens with famous people. There are entire industries and tv shows based on what people wear and who wears what.

    This is also what happens in a monarchy. Part of the function of a monarch is to be splendid and a living symbol of their communities.

    It is partly for fun and interest, partly for propaganda to promote the institution personified in the person of the pope.

  2. Jeff Pinyan says:

    I don’t think it’s a “fashion statement” so much as recognizing the development of pallium over the centuries. Instead of all-the-sudden reverting to an ancient form, he’s opting to respect this vestment’s development.

  3. Charles in CenCA says:

    Where is the land between and beyond the Land of the Poncho Ladies, and that of the Liturgy Queens? And does Christ live there?

  4. Gavin says:

    I don’t see a huge reason for doing either change to the palium. Why couldn’t they have just come out and said what they REALLY thought? “Marini 1 was a fool who can’t tell a palium from a stole, so we’re switching it back to what everyone but him likes.” Strikes me as power politics with a vestment, although that’s what we see from fiddleback fetishists.

  5. Tony says:

    Hit counts getting a little anemic, Todd? Time to stir the pot a little?

    Not impressive, I have to say. Catholics are looking for a number of things in the liturgy. Good preaching. Good music. A sense of welcome.

    You can get that in practically any Protestant church in town.

    The surveys say it over and over again.

    I’d suggest polling Catholics as to what they’d like their liturgy to be like during Vatican III and going with the majority if I didn’t think you’d run with the idea.

    What kind of fashion statement the presider makes by wearing wool down to his knees or not–that’s not really essential to the Eucharist, especially the noble simplicity of the Roman Rite.

    Then why do you hunt out “fashion statement” articles?

    Can’t say I think much more of the kneeling and tongue routine either. It is described as “the pope’s preference for the traditional practice.” Heh. I’d think the Holy Father would be above this sort of narcissism.

    That might be how it’s “described”, like you describe it as “narcissism”. I tend to think it’s “leading by example”.

    What the Church needs is enthusiastic and visionary leadership to inspire millions of Catholics worldwide to live and share their faith and transform the world.

    ~`~~I’d like to teach the world to sing (to sing) in perfect harmony (per-fect-har-mo-neeee) ~`~“

    As a liturgist I believe it starts with real liturgy. Not fashion statements.

    The Latin rite is richly symbolic and sensual. That means that the differing vestments mean something (but as a liturgist, you knew that, right?). Those who vest the pope have to understand that people might read bad theology into the changes, and should take steps to explain what it means.

    Had the Church done the same immediately after Vatican II, we would have avoided a lot of the problem we see today, both with silly masses (mostly thought up by “progressive” liturgists) and the traditionalist backlash embodied by the hated (to libs) motu proprio.

    Todd, how many of those 500 people in the seats of your church (which you bring up incessently) understand what each of the gestures and the prayers during the Mass mean? I’d imagine a small percentage (as it is in my church).

  6. Deacon Eric says:

    I’ve wondered when Benedict would dump the restored form of the palium. I considered it only a matter of time, for a simple reason: it doesn’t go with fiddleback vestments. I predict now we’ll see him in fiddlebacks more often to match the sea of lace that has “blossomed” in his wake. Can the overly precious buskins and gloves be far off?

  7. Sean says:

    While I was checking my email on msn. I saw a link to an article “Does the Pope wear Prada?”

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25387737/?GT1=43001

  8. Jimmy Mac says:

    I think he should be wearing what was the title of a popular song way back when I was a teen: “A White Sport Coat and a Pink Carnation.”

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