Thursday, August 11, 2005

Musing While Moving: I

I've been thinking about a lot of things as I prepare for the big move (from north Arlington to south Arlington -- whew!!!) in four weeks.

That is, besides what to get rid of. You'd be surprised how much you can collect if you stay in one place long enough. Anyway, if you haven't figured it out by now, this is the first of a series.

First off, with the discussion within the Catholic blogosphere about the state of Catholic worship, and its future, I'm reminded that I'm eventually going to end up registering at another parish. If you think the Diocese of Arlington is one big happyland of Catholic orthodoxy, guess again. What some people might call a parish, I'd call a personality cult. You know what kind of yahoos have to show the world who's in charge, when the furniture in the sanctuary has to be rearranged every six years.

So, on that happy note, I thought I'd state for the record what I wish my parish Mass would look like.

By clicking here.

Personally, I wouldn't mind it much if the priest was "facing East," as the saying goes (and which does not occur in this example). But even the current Pope admits that returning to this practice overnight could be unsettling. Besides, this place appears to have that Anglican thing going on, and I'm down with that.

Yeah, you right.


Pertinacious Papist said...

Good luck in your impending move! I've enjoyed your own comments on my blog. Best wishes, PB.

Jack said...

Ditto...good luck on the move, Dave.

As I guess is the case with most Catholics, I've moved numerous time during my tenure here on Earth. This, of course, resulted in establishing myself (& family, eventually) in a new parish. Sometimes, the church was quaint, meeting the expectations of those who were immersed in what could be considered the traditional aspects of the religion...statuary, central altar, wooden pews, etc. Others were appointed in a more avant-garde approach...circular altar, minimal statues, and adorned with wooden pews (perhaps as a concession to our roots) that were positioned as in a movie theater, higher in the rear of the church so that all had an unobstructed view of the aforementioned altar that was merely a slab of granite.

Permeating all, however, was the undeniable presence of God. Perhaps realized because the celebration of the Mass remained the same, perhaps due to the reverence of the congregation...He was the central focus of the worshippers.

This reminded me of a story a Nun once told me while I was in elementary school. During WWII, soldiers came upon a bombed-out, roofless church somewhere in Europe. One of then righted an narmless statue of Christ and hung a sign from its neck, reading "lend me your arms." Mass was celebrated in the environs of the statue, and its meaning was not lost on the troops who were in attendance: no matter where you are, you can praise God; no matter what the physical structure or decorations, YOU are what makes up a church.

Hopefully I'll remember that lesson and not be upset when I move yet again in the near future.