Let's stand to sing the opening song as we welcome Father…

Elizabeth Harrington has a point in her latest column about the Media Release concerning the WYD Mass Setting:

My other concern with the wording of the WYD08 Mass Setting media release is the suggestion that the music will be “performed for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI” and that it will “celebrate the arrival of the Pope”.

Surely, the purpose and centre of all our worship is God!

The use of the word “perform” in reference to the liturgical setting is indeed more than a little unfortunate. It tends to recall the idea that Guy Sebastian will “perform” the World Youth Day Song. (I don’t think anyone else will actually be able to sing it–my comments on that subject here).

But my guess is that the media release was written by someone who had no idea what liturgy was about, and who quite possibly never even attends mass. Many of the people who have been employed by the WYD offices across Australia have been hired because they are experts at organising major events, not theologians or liturgists (or even Catholic in many cases). The press release should not be taken as a reflection on the good work done by the composer George Palmer or Fr Williams the liturgy director.

And while we are at it, that little quip about the “purpose and centre of all our worship” being God rather than the pope, how many times have you been welcomed to mass at your local parish church with the words: “Let’s stand to sing our first song as we welcome Father for mass today…”

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1 Response to Let's stand to sing the opening song as we welcome Father…

  1. eulogos says:

    Well, never, at my Byzantine Catholic church! We don’t have any announcer giving directions, and after Father comes in and censes the altar and prays and opens the Royal Doors, he walks up and down the center aisle censing everone; people bow and cross themselves as he goes by. Sometimes the parish is singing at this point. The choir starts singing and people join in. They expect that everyone will know their small repetoir of hymns. When Father gets back to the altar he begins the Liturgy with an invocation to the Holy Spirit and then a set of prayers to which the people respond, singing “Lord Have Mercy.” The only greeting at liturgy is just before the sermon, when father uses the greeting of the season ie “Christ is among us” and the people respons “He is and shall be.” or “Christ is born” response “Glorify Him” or “Christ is risen” “Indeed He is risen.” Or “Glory to Jesus Christ” “Glory forever.”

    We Latin rite Catholics who have found a Byzantine parish, just can’t get over our good fortune and our relief at our escape. Now mind you I am not talking about the Roman rite itself but certain current manifestations of it in certain places.

    Susan Peterson

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