Happy Friday to you all.
Last night, we had our final choir rehearsal before Holy Week. It looks like things are in good shape for the celebrations at my parish, St. James, where I am currently serving as interim music director.
With all that has been happening in the Church worldwide recently, I have had this growing sense of awareness of what I can only term "congregationalism" creeping into the hearts and minds of some Catholics whom I encounter on a regular basis. Take, for instance, a recent conversation I had with a colleague. He attends, say, a parish whose name is Incarnation Parish. He said, "When I look at all this stuff happening in the Church, i.e. clergy sexual abuse scandals, cover-ups by bishops, the money spent on all of this, the upcoming new 'silly' translations, I identify myself as an 'Incarnationite" more than I identify my allegiance as a Roman Catholic."
I have heard this kind of talk on more than one occasion recently. I have always said that Catholic life is squarely rooted in the parish. After having spent some time ministering as a diocesan director of music, working in a chancery office, that sentiment rang truer than ever in my heart. This is not to say that people who work in diocesan offices are not ministering in any less a real Catholic environment than those ministering in parishes; their work is obviously of great importance to the mission of the Church. It's just that the parish is the primary locus where faith sprouts, grows, and is nourished. Perhaps the sense of "congregationalism" is what is helping fuel some peoples' negative and visceral reactions to the upcoming new translation of the Missale Romanum. Perhaps this is more of an ecclesiological issue than it is a liturgical issue; this has been my suspicion all along.
What do you think? Why not share your own reactions to this by clicking the comments box below. If that doesn't work on your computer, you can always email me directly here at WLP: firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll be glad to review your comments and post them to the blog.
I hope that your celebration of Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion brings you closer to the Lord.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.