Friday, July 08, 2011

Saint Cecilia's Parish...and how Father Unni (inadvertently perhaps) got me thinking

So, anyway, Father Unni, pastor of Saint Cecilia's Parish in Boston, and his parishioners, have evidently got their way in being allowed to "celebrate" Mass this Sunday to "celebrate" the "LGBT" community.

(Parenthetically, I've got a question: what do the sexual preferences of people have to do with transgendered folk? I never quite understood that.)

From the website (and yes, it is from the parish website...please don't tell me it's a "link" okay? It's right on the home page):

Please join the entire Saint Cecilia parish community for next Sunday's eleven o'clock liturgy where we will reaffirm that Saint Celia is a place of welcome for all, including the LGBT community.

Okay, what's wrong with this paragraph?

First of all, I believe the Sunday "liturgy" is called a "Mass."

That said, the purpose of a "Mass," at least for Catholics, isn't to "reaffirm" anything except the Sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Who isn't even mentioned in the notice, by the way) and to celebrate the fact that His Sacrifice is repeated, and that, through the words of His priest, His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity is made present under the species of bread and wine.

This is a bleeping MIRACLE, folks! And it isn't even mentioned. The notice seems to be glorifying the wrong people.

But wait...there's more!

In order to mark the occasion, Mass will be followed by a reception and a bountiful table. [And then it goes on to ask for help to provide foo for the "feast," yadda, yadda, yadda.]

This is all wrong.

Forget the fact that sin seems to be the star of the show. I mean, taken as it is, maybe they're merely saying "we welcome everybody who happens to be sexually attracted to the same gender, those who are attracted to their own gender and also to the opposite sex, and, while we're at it, those who truly believe they're not the gender they find themselves strapped into."

Maybe. (I doubt that, to be honest with you, but it's nice to think I might be wrong in my doubts.)

The real question is this:

When and why did we start "celebrating" all sorts of things other than Jesus Christ?

I mean, we have Masses to "celebrate" everything from long-time married couples, to the Boy Scouts, to those Who Have Contributed to The Church, to All Those Varied But Worthy Causes—well, the list goes on.

And so, this whole SNAFU has gotten me thinking (ouch! my head!):

Why don't we slow down, stop dislocating our shoulders by patting ourselves on the back, and remember what the Mass is all about?

If we're not ready, or catechized enough, to even acknowledge the sacred mystery of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, then we're damn well not ready to start sharing the stage—or, in many cases, including evidently this one—to usurp the celebration of the most loving God-made-Man.

You know, there's another option:

Most celebrants offer their Masses for a special intention, which is generally announced before the Mass begins, or perhaps during the Eucharistic prayer, or in the Prayers of the Faithful, or all three.

Can't we just stick to that? As in: "This holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered for the unification of all Christians." Or "This Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered for the intentions of the Boy Scouts of America." Or "This Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered for all married couples celebrating their [fill in the number] anniversary." Or "This Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered for those who are living with same-gender attraction."

You get my point.

May we consider the notion of keeping the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as the celebration of Christ's Sacrifice for us...and leave the partying for a time more appropriate?