Happy Clappy Installation

tim-dolanI caught Archbishop Dolan’s installation homily. Happy, yes, but one moment of definitive clappy, as +Timothy endured a minute-plus standing-o when he mentioned unborn children.The front row folks, whoever they were, weren’t clapping. But they stood.

Clapping also on the reference ot 9/11.

Clapping too on the final climax of his homily referencing NYC highways as the roads to Emmaus.

He’s an engaging and interesting speaker, but when was the last time you saw and heard clapping at a Mass broadcast on EWTN?

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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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12 Responses to Happy Clappy Installation

  1. Paul says:

    “when was the last time you saw and heard clapping at a Mass broadcast on EWTN?”

    The last time they broadcast a papal Mass. Applause happens spontaneously at St. Peter’s, St. John Lateran, and just about any place the Pope celebrates.

    Surely there can be inappropriate displays of affection or partisanship (just think of the horrible “left-right” applause battles that take place during the US president’s addresses to the Congress), but c’mon, it is not logical or wrong for true and authentic displays of human feeling to be displayed at worship when these are non-disruptive of the liturgical action.

  2. Todd says:

    I would agree, Paul, and it’s been my stake in the applause discussion that clapping hands doesn’t always signify a performing speaker or musicians.

    This event is just a reminder for the blanket condemnation of applause at liturgy.

    By the way, I don’t think extended applause here was spontaneous. People knew they were being watched, and people knew pro-choice folks were in attendance. It was calculated. I don’t have a problem with a small chink in good liturgy like that, but it wasn’t spontaneous.

  3. Mollie says:

    FWIW, the “front-row folks” were NYC politicians: Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Patterson, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, former NYC mayor Ed Koch… All prochoice, as far as I know.

  4. Mollie says:

    (Er, make that “NY” politicians.)

  5. Todd says:

    Thanks Mollie; thought so. The ovation was directed at them. Catholics may be notorious for coming to Mass early to get the worst seat, but they sure as heck know who sits in the front row.

  6. Liam says:

    The front row is, of course, the penalty box in the Catholic church in the USA (most of our parishes don’t have a history of aristocratic boxes more common elsewhere). That’s where you sit the miscreants who need to be watched closely.

    I say this as someone who grew up with a father who insisted on getting to Mass quite early, not to snag the desireable seats further back, but the penalty box seats. Another way we were a weird family.

  7. Jimmy Mac says:

    Happiness is not a station on the way but it is the manner of travel.

  8. Gavin says:

    I object to this just as much as any other in-liturgy clapping. And it shows that many in the conservative Catholic side want the same thing as many liberals: sermons that make them feel good about themselves. Conservatives are quick to cheer a priest who talks about contraception, but talk about care for the poor (by which I don’t mean socialism, I mean so much as saying the words) and they’re the arch-heretic of the week.

    You know what I look for in a sermon? Something that makes me feel bad, so I know how I can improve towards holiness. The bishop gave the conservatives a great big pat-on-the-back, and they couldn’t be more content with themselves.

  9. Gavin,

    So the Sermon on the Mount with its attempt to make people feel blessed — was a bad sermon? I fear this “it must make us feel bad” approach is Jansenist to the core.

  10. Gavin says:

    Henry, the sermon on the mount makes you feel blessed? Good for you, but I certainly don’t think I’m pure in heart, nor am I a good peacemaker. These are things I need to work on, with God’s grace.

  11. The message of the sermon was to call those who were the dispossessed, the poor, the lowly, the meek, those looked down upon and to say “HAPPY are you!” They aren’t called the beautitudes for nothing!

  12. Jimmy Mac says:

    God forbid that Catholics should make any form of joyful noise unto the Lord.

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