The Armchair Liturgist: Readings at Liturgy

They’re having a grand old time* at open book today hammering away on St Joan’s. Amy wonders about the phenomenon of the blogosphere and how today we know all about many parishes–good and bad–thanks to the internet.

My sense is that while the technology has upgraded, we’re essentially talking about plain ol’ fashioned gossip and detraction. Just like parish coffee hours and other gatherings in your average parish ten, fifty, or a few hundred years ago.

Isn’t it interesting how a mob can just generate enough energy to go off half-cocked and get all full of themselves? The parish in question substitutes a non-Scripture reading at Sunday Mass, a practice I confess is pretty silly, but suddenly it becomes cause for an ecclesiastical condemnation. The pastor explains this past weekend’s submission choice here, by the way.

Listen in on one comment:

The praxis of elevating non-canonical readings at Mass – giving them the same weight and prominence as Holy Scripture is an indication of a heretical denial of divine revelation.

Not quite. You don’t convict in ecclesiastical court (or most any court except a kangaroo) on indications alone.

I mentioned on the thread that I don’t think the Office of Readings as celebrated in monasteries is indicative of monks and nuns denying Divine Revelation. There is good spiritual wisdom outside of the Bible. Many St Bloggers hawk it (in their books), and this is as it should be.

A sensible approach is for the person preaching to tie a non-Scriptural message into the homily instead, right? We get jokes, anecdotes, and parish announcements; I tend to doubt a bit of non-Scripture in the right place isn’t going to lurch us on the road to hell.

As for the armchair, consider it a judge’s bench. I’m assuming a baseline that we accept the Lectionary assignment as a given and any extra reading is truly an extra. Scripture only at Mass and nothing else? Or can some other spiritual source be considered as an addition at the homily or elsewhere?

*I’d say “gay old time,” but Rich would accuse me of bringing the sex abuse situation up again and he’d miss the Flintstone’s reference.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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