Sunday, April 12, 2009

He's Not The Only One Who's Back...

Yep. I'm back with Mother Church. I made my Confession on Good Friday, and I made the Easter Vigil. Honey, I'm Hooooome!
I think you can tell a lot about a parish by 2 things, how they celebrate the Vigil and the size of their RCIA class who “graduate” at the Vigil. The parish I attended last night got mixed review, but I think they have possibilities. I'll be investigating them over the next few weeks to see if I want to invest with them. (I purposely am not identifying the parish in case they read this blog (like THAT's likely! SNARK!)
First, their RCIA class was impressive, the likes I haven't seen since my days at St. Dominic's in San Francisco. If the number of new Catholics in this class is any indication, there's hope for the future of the Church. (Yeah, I know, Christ is the Hope of the Church so there can be no failure, but you know what I mean).
However, they only get a “C” for the Vigil celebration. Positively this parish did CELEBRATE Easter. On the downside, however, there's room for improvement. When I arrived early, the Jazz choir was practicing so the silence of the empty church was lost (Haven't hey heard of symbolism?). The lectors were testing microphones and in general there was a constant buzz of conversation. The presentation of the ceremony was more of a theatrical presentation than one of worship. The use of their projection system was used effectively to project the lighting of the Easter candle (which most of us miss unless we belong to a small parish). Unfortunately they also used it during the readings (now wonder there's a lack of imagination in our Catholics!_. I am not a traditionalist, but there are some parts of the Mass for which the Classics are the best, notably those related to Mass parts (like the Gloria). These classics were ignored (even to the point of using a Protestant version of the Our Father).
I also should have brought Elmer Fudd from from my side bar. Yup, there were liturgical dancers, during the Gloria, the Procession of the Oils, and the procession of the newly Baptized (they omitted the presentation of the Baptismal Candles for some reason. They entered the Church with lighted candles during the Procession of the Easter Candle into the Church (before they were Baptized), and again after their Baptism.)
I also missed some important classics in terms of music. They didn't intone the 3-Fold (Easter Vigil) Alleluia before the Gospel, and Jesus Christ is Risen Today was sung after the Recessional. (why do choirs sing that hymn at half tempo? Makes it sound like a funeral dirge!).
While I have some complaints, I have seen worse. I hope that I see some improvement. I'll try to keep you apprised of developments. Stay tuned.


Kelly said...

Hi AA. Great to see you back! Thanks for stopping by with your well wishes. Sounds like you may have some interesting posts in the near future. Looking forward to reading them. Have a Blessed Easter!

Adrienne said...

Congratulations AA.

May I suggest you start looking for a different parish post haste?? Liturgical dance??????? Errrrrk!

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Hmmmm, if you're in the area I think you are, maybe try St. Joe's in Hawethorne, Holy Innocents in Long Beach is also good parish, if not you're always welcome at my house of Liturgical Solitude St. Therese :)