Saturday, February 14, 2015

Sunday Snippets

As the deacon and I waited for other participates to arrive Thursday, the final session for the parish Little Rock Scripture Study The Eucharist in Scripture, he shared about a recent mass at his workplace, a retreat house:
"The priest actually said, 'like the dewfall' and it sounded nice. You never hear that but it was alright."
With a few exceptions, I agreed with him that the prayers ought to be said as written. I expressed my frustration with the pastor who alters the prayers, especially as pertain to Mary. I confessed to him:
"I can't attend a Marian feast day here anymore. It's too distracting to hear him fumble for words. The pastor ought to mark his preferences in the book so it flows."
The deacon defended the pastor, saying, "He doesn't want people to get carried away with devotion to Mary. He's no Marianist, that's for sure. I, too, want the Big Guy to get top billing, you know?"

I replied that I trust the prayers to express proper theology (and mariology). Reading the prayers would correct any errors or exaggerations in anyone's piety. Attempts to downplay the significance may have the opposite effect.

After everyone arrived, we were discussing the homework questions. One asked, "How can you better prepare yourself [at mass] to receive Jesus [in the Eucharist]?"

My answer reiterated my earlier point: I rely on the prayers of the liturgy to prepare me. I'm not off doing my own thing at mass, not saying the rosary or any other private devotion. I'm not reading my Bible, at mass, or the pope's latest encyclical. Instead, I'm saying the public prayers with the congregation.

When I catch glimpses of people doing their own thing, usually as they're on their way out before the service actually ends, I wonder if they think they have a superior way.

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