Papal biographer: new Mass translation seeks to halt 'narcissism'
Since the introduction of the new liturgical texts this past November, I’ve attended Mass in Australia, California, New York, Rome, Washington, and Phoenix, and in none of these venues have I detected any of the calamities confidently predicted by opponents of the new texts. Not only has there been no visible distress over “consubstantial”; the People of God seem to have rather quickly and painlessly adjusted to the changes, so that, three months into the process, it’s a rare “And also with you” that escapes the lips of an unthinking congregant. In fact, most of the people who’ve spoken to me about the changes have applauded them.
Things are not-quite-the-same with priests.
One implicit purpose of the new translations, with their deliberate recovery of a sacral vocabulary and their adoption of a more formal literary rhythm, was to discipline the tendency of priests to turn the Mass into an expression of the celebrant’s personality. The difficulties some priests have had with adjusting to the changes suggests that this tendency was, in fact, a real problem in implementing the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. Prominent Catholic psychologist Paul Vitz once wrote of this as a problem of “clerical narcissism,” and while the phrase undoubtedly stings, there’s something to it—something that needs correcting.
I hope these changes help many parishes that need their priest to become more in line with the Church.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts. Lord, You invite all who are burdened to come to You. Allow your healing hand to heal me. Touch my soul with Your compassion for others. Touch my heart with Your courage and infinite love for all. Touch my mind with Your wisdom, that my mouth may always proclaim Your praise. Teach me to reach out to You in my need, and help me to lead others to You by my example. Most loving Heart of Jesus, bring me health in body and spirit that I may serve You with all my strength. Touch gently this life which You have created, now and forever. Amen. To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
There seems to be a misconception among traditionalists that unless robo-priest is celebrating Mass to a congregation of robo-parishioners (preferably with his back turned away from them) that the priest and congregation are "worhshipping themselves."
My own opinion? God created people of different races, cultures, genders, talents, appearance because God doesn't want robo-priests and robo-worshippers.
Just as "coloring within the lines" is a detriment to the true expression of art, so worrying about misreading adjectives is a detriment to true prayer.
My pastor always seems to mess up around "through Him, in Him, and with Him." I'm paying attention to every word, because I play the organ, and am waiting for my cue, and he seems to go back and repeat and everything seems very circuminvolved and I'm thinking, "I hope he gets the end right so I don't mess up."
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I’m sure the priest in question is not a wicked or ill-intentioned man; he doubtless imagines that he’s making the Mass more user-friendly by taking liberties with the Missal. But, objectively speaking, he’s a prime example of clerical vanity: a man who imagines that his chirpy personality is the key to what Vatican II called the people’s “full, conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations.” It was neither the time nor the place to challenge this essentially narcissistic assumption after Mass. But had I the opportunity, I would have told this priest, in as kind a way as I could manage, that what he deemed helpful was in fact distracting; that what he thought user-friendly was silly and offensive (as it seemed based on the notion that a congregation of adults would be amused by such shenanigans); and that what he intended as an aid to prayer was in fact an obstacle to prayer and reflection.
__________________ Let us, therefore, forget for a while the technical discussions about the Church, its mission, its methods. Not that these discussions are wrong or unnecessary—but they can be useful and meaningful only within a fundamental context, and that context is the “great joy” from which everything else in Christianity developed and acquired its meaning."
---Fr. Alexander Schmemann, “For the Life of the World.”