The human person cannot but observe. Thus it was when I entered the church (in Toronto) nearly a fortnight ago; Sunday morning, the day for First Holy Communions. Naturally, there was an increase in the congregational size. Relatives, friends - good.
|Mass like this? - in Toronto with Dancing|
But, alas - also greeting me was an atmosphere that would not alert one to being in a church; let alone before Him in the Tabernacle. What I was met with was the constant buzz of loud speech, laughter, people moving about, greeting each other... all very relaxed. But what really brings me to finally write this post was the incredulous sight of a woman tottering through the church, cup of coffee in hand to finally sit herself down in a pew. The din, ever increasing, finally caused the parish priest to ascend into the pulpit to try to call the congregation to order: "we are about to begin Mass, please try to recollected etc...". This seemed to do the trick, as the noise subsided considerably.
|Or, Mass like this? - The Holy Father saying Mass|
Mass over, contemporary minds having short memories, the noise commenced immediately after the Procession exited the church. In fact, the din grew even louder, as the congregation strolled out, laughing, shouting... yet in all this God worked a small miracle. Our anonymous coffee drinker did not approach Holy Communion. Yet what about all those who did; it was obvious that the majority had never been in church since perhaps Easter or Christmas.
My conclusion: we have a real crisis on hand. When people no longer know where they are, what they are doing, what Mass is, then it is a real, real problem, Could it be that since Mass has been reduced to a repast, a communal gathering, an assembly, "supper" - that indeed a family atmosphere is correct? If so, then, yes, these people - arguably - did act correctly. Family gatherings are to be jolly times. But one huge problem remains: the head of the family was misunderstood, ignored, misbelieved, disrespected. For another post, the abomination (I call it what I believe it to be: evil) of Communion in the hand - but that practice no doubt has contributed mightily to the disgraceful - objectively non-believing - carnival atmosphere I witnessed that Sunday.