When I visit with people from a parish, or review their website, I ask myself honestly, “Can I help these people?” Obviously, if they need an organist, I can’t help them. If they have a classically-oriented approach, probably not. So all you reform2 lurkers here, rest easy–your favorite heretic will be going elsewhere.
One of my parishioners has been kidding me about John Romeri’s spot in Philly. You could work on the Pope Francis visit, he chides me. Um, no.
On my resume, I list “mission, not maintenance” as a ministry priority. I’ll consider a parish that is looking outward, not in.
Mass was in an auditorium, not a church. There was a happy buzz about the place. But all the staff were wearing superhero costumes. And the pastor was dressed as Thor. They had managed to hang him with wires so he appeared to fly for the opening procession rather than walk.
A teenager was having difficulty with the sound and light systems. His hands were full of wireless mics and other equipment, and inside, I debated assisting him with his technology. But none of it looked familiar to me. The lectors were nearly inaudible. And the priest said that since nobody could hear the Gospel reading, he was going to omit it.
But still, while I disagreed with the liturgical choices, I felt good about the place and I thought, “I can help these people.”
Perhaps a dream analyst reading this could draw all sorts of conclusions about my state of mind. Perhaps others would think of it as an apocalyptic vision of the state of modern liturgy. Me, I’m just looking forward to going somewhere new and spread the joy of the Gospel.