Saturday, March 06, 2010

"As a dog returneth to his vomit,
so a fool returneth to his folly."

Ps. 26:11

My pastor said in a personal email that exposition/benediction in the context of stations of the cross is "inappropriate," as combining devotions and liturgy takes away from the essence of each other. Obviously I asked the wrong question because I had recognized intuitively its inappropriateness. Rather, I should have asked him, given that, is it ok for me to attend?!

Well, I'd already bought and received the booklet. Thus I was kinda bound. I printed out the exposition/benediction texts I would need and taped them into the covers of my copy.

I arrived with only enough time to light a candle and find a seat in the back. On the way in, I noticed the back table held no more booklets. A lady entered and sat behind me. She was booklet-less and seemed on the verge of leaving as she had quickly realized how unsatisfying is praying an unfamiliar version of stations without the texts that enable full participation. I invited her to move up a pew next to me to look on. To my surprise, she accepted.

The pastor, dressed in a black cassock, was seated with the congregation and a deacon again performed the eucharistic rite as before, with incense, etc. But he moved more rigidly than last week and I wondered whether it was the same man who was just nervous about his "boss" watching ... or whether this was a different deacon. The benefit of having the pastor in view was knowing when to kneel and when to stand.

Afterwards, the woman thanked me for sharing my booklet with her. I should have ordered a case of booklets and handed them out to folks. She said she hadn't been to stations in a long, long time so the version we were using was foreign but it worked for her. I told her it was from JPII and therefore bona fide. She accepted that. She introduced herself; coincidentally, her given name is the same as mine.


Barb Schoeneberger said...

If the pastor was saying that you shouldn't have exposition during the stations, that is right. Benediction after the stations is fine and always has been since the practice started. For Lent, in the traditional liturgy, at Benediction we always sing, "Parce Domine, Parce populo tuo, ne in aeternum, irascarus nobis" - Spare O Lord, spare thy people, do not be angry with us forever. The chant is hauntingly beautiful and sung three times, once for each Person of the Trinity. Here is the Gregorian chant notation: It is from Joel 2:17. Here is the YouTube with verses between the antiphon. It makes me want to fold my hands in prayer and weep. Well, I got off topic, but wanted to share something precious from my past.

Barb Schoeneberger said...

Whoops, the YouTube link did not show up in my comment. Let me try again: