The Phoenix Principle

Check out Rock’s one-minute clip from the beginning of the Papal Mass. The musings at PrayTell (thanks for the tip) focus in part on the looks coming from the upper clergy–like somebody put dried cat droppings in the thurible.

Common ground, perhaps, but I think I’ve found a delightful way of tackling the spiritual misadventures in a certain Arizona diocese. Let’s call it the Phoenix Principle.

If some church celebration somewhere in the world’s view has something dreadfully wrong, who are we as North Americans to presume we can do it better? We need to all settle at a nice level of uniformity just a tad south of mediocre.

Let’s throw out our Steinways and get cheesy synthesizers, preferably a nice, used Yamaha DX-7 from the 80’s. Who cares if the MC didn’t tell the musicians the presider was gong to incense the altar at the end of the entrance procession? Just be ready to vamp on I and ii7 chords until the cat poop burns up.

Note that Deacon Greg has already closed his combox on Bishop Olmsted nixing the cup. Let’s roll for another round of competing sensibilities–nice work, Bishop. I see that uniformity is really working well on this initiative. Good going.



About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Church News, Hermeneutic of Subtraction, Liturgy. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Phoenix Principle

  1. Commander Craig says:

    I don’t get offended by this stuff anymore, but overall, the music was inappropriate here and better suited to “your local weather on the 8s” from The Weather Channel. We should be looking at a satellite picture of cluds moving over the area. But I found it quite amusing. I’m glad I wasn’t on the altar: I would have had to excuse myself to go ROTFLMAO.

  2. Neil says:

    I’d tend to agree with Commander Craig, but here’s a question: When can we just be amused by mediocre music, and when should we be offended?

    Obviously, there is always the danger of complacency. But I think that the people who would get angry at a poor choice of music tend to overestimate the power of the liturgy – that if we chose the right music or exercised the proper reverence, we would immediately be transformed into a near-perfect church. As one blogger jokingly noted, that famous scene in the Godfather doesn’t seem to show any liturgical abuses …


  3. Mike K says:

    Having seen the video:
    1. Notice that Msgr. Xuereb (I believe that’s the name of the second MC) actually has to nudge the deacon to receive the thurible from the Pope. Maybe the deacon was waiting for someone to actually tell him to do so…just like you wait for a voice to speak to you after listening to this music for 10 minutes.
    2. The look on the Pope’s face after he sat down looked like, “Zollisch (the head of German Bishop’s conference) is dead.” Or perhaps he was thinking, “You guys lied! I thought I was going to celebrate Mass, not going to the dentist.”

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