1 April 2016

A RISUS PASCHALIS from Pope Francis himself

Pope Francis' says that when he was a boy he used to enjoy serving the Old Mass, and, "for fun, doing imitations of the priest, messing up the words a bit to make up weird sayings". His encouraging words were addressed to youthful modern servers.

Of course, since Bergoglio was young, the Church has moved on from vetus to novus Ordo. But I'm sure the essential principles have not changed; Hermeneutic of Continuity, doncha know.

Gosh! What a splendid reason for having lots of children, so that they can all join serving teams and do comic parodies of what Novus Ordo celebrants get up to! Lots and lots of scope there for imaginative tinies! What "fun", what jolly japes, to ridicule what a priest does and says while offering Mass! Actuosissima Participatio! Ex ore infantium and all that!!

How, I wonder, might an imaginative eight-year-old mime the concept of 'dewfall'?

I'm sure readers will be able to devise "funny imitations of the priest" and "words messed up to make weird sayings" for the kiddies to deliver in order to liven up banal and dull renditions of the  Novus Ordo. Shops like TOYS R US could market special 'Sacrilege Kits as approved by Pope Francis'!!

Thanks to Rorate (February 28) for the background story. Whatever would we do without it?


Unknown said...

What some might consider "cute" , others - such as pious Catholic mothers, ponder in their hearts with all seriousness : A young son engaging in what is sometimes known as playing the Mass.

You've gone right to the core on this one Father, in composing this beautiful bit of retrospective prophetic irony:
"What a splendid reason for having lots of children, so that they can all join serving teams and do comic parodies of what Novus Ordo celebrants get up to! Lots and lots of scope there for imaginative tinies!."

Here, we should draw the defining line between a young son playing the Mass and one who "messes up the words a bit" (deliberately as opposed to innocently).

As a priest, one could sometimes be at a disadvantage in terms of objectivity concerning the most salient point, Father H : Having attended and served Mass under a vast cross-section of varied celebrants, I confirm the unhappy truth , for whatever reasons , is that we don't need children "to ridicule what a priest does and says while offering Mass" , because we have more than enough priests doing it already.

Contrasted against the canvas of catholicity, against that raison d'ĂȘtre of Father Z's blog - Say the Black and do the Red we still occasionally encounter Append the Black and Surmise the Red , or the more painful Forget the Black , Leave out the Red , and Make Everything Grey.

Even certain celebrants with the best of intentions can cloud it up a bit inserting non-prescribed (what I heard a former Director of Vocations so aptly dub) mini-sermons into the Mass - particularly during the liturgy of the Eucharist ; rendering the Anamnesis more of an amnesia , or syphoning off a bit of praise and attention due to the most Holy Trinity by injecting an "Oh, and by the way. . . " between the Concluding Doxology and the Pater Noster - effectively preventing the Doxology from actually concluding.

The Mass does not belong to the priest. Neither does it belong to a childhood memory of Pope Francis. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and the Order of the Mass belong to the holy Catholic Church. Why is this so hard for some priests to understand ?

What say you Padre ? Is it possible that some "eight-year-olds" may have encountered obstacles in the process of growing up ? I know I did (though I'm not ordained).

orate fratman said...

God help us!

Dad29 said...

devise "funny imitations of the priest" and "words messed up to make weird sayings" for the kiddies to deliver

Yah--but one wonders whether the chilluns could be imaginative enough to out-do many OF priests in that regard...

Tom Broughton said...

Is this an April Fools joke?

Banshee said...

Well, it does go to show that the EF was never the cure for all irreverence that some people claim. But it does seem to be one of those moments when you really should be the adult when telling kids reminiscences.

I mean, sure there are plenty of fun Latin jokes and bilingual puns, and I am sure Spanish makes that easier than in English. But I hope he really didn't parody Mass lines, and that he is just exaggerating. People tend to exaggerate or even create bad choir behavior, for example, when they retell funny stories on themselves.

Shrug. I do not get this pope sometimes.

Ben of the Bayou said...

It's jolly good the English martyrs died for all this kiddy stuff, especially as the heard the taunts about the "Round Robin" and the Hoky Poky!

Heavens!, some will say, can't he lighten up?! About many thing, I'll chuckle it up with the best. About holy things, indeed the most holy things, forgive my stiff reserve.


dunmowflitch said...

At our last parish First Communion Mass, the children heard the answer which Benedict XVI gave in 2005 to a young questioner who asked him if he could remember his own First Communion, a truly inspiring reply. No mention of making funny noises at Mass. O tempora, O mores!

Anonymous said...

When I was a very small boy I followed my brother into the sacristy and went out onto the altar as a server. After Mass the local curate asked me to repeat some of the Latin responses. I couldn't. Goodness knows what I had been saying during Mass, gibberish probably. Yet there was not even the slightest hint of mockery, only well intentioned, childish ignorance. He asked me whether I had made my First Holy Communion yet. I hadn't but was due to that same year. He said in a firm and kindly manner that I should wait until after my First Communion then come back and he would teach me to serve properly. I duly waited and came back a year later, but by then the celebration of Mass was in English so I never did learn the Latin responses or the old way of serving.

There are plenty of humorous stories (some contrived and apocryphal) about how children have innocently misheard and misunderstood repeated prayers whether in Latin or English, but in either form of the liturgy it would never have occurred to me - neither as a child nor as an adult - to deliberately poke fun at the things of God.

Unknown said...

No, this was not an April Fools joke. The Pontiff was quoted in a children's book called "Dear Pope Francis" saying:

“Dear Pope Francis,
Were you ever near the priest as the altar boy?
Greetings from Alessio (Italy, age 9)”

“Dear Alessio, yes, I was an altar boy. And you? What part among the altar boys do you have? It’s easier to do now, you know: You might know that, when I was a kid, Mass was celebrated different than today. Back then, the priest faced the altar, which was next to the wall, and not the people. Then the book with which he said the Mass, the missal, was placed on the right side of the altar. But before reading of the Gospel it always had to be moved to the left side. That was my job: to carry it from right to left. It was exhausting! The book was heavy! I picked it up with all my energy but I wasn’t so strong; I picked it up once and fell down, so the priest had to help me. Some job I did! The Mass wasn’t in Italian then. The priest spoke but I didn’t understand anything. and neither did my friends. So for fun we’d do imitations of the priest, messing up the words a bit to make up weird sayings in Spanish. We had fun, and we really enjoyed serving Mass."

Kathleen1031 said...

This is no accident. This papacy seems so doggedly determined to undermine faith it is almost impossible to imagine it could be intended otherwise. I actually do not believe the pope alone could manufacture so many ways to be awful. I believe he has helpers. Nobody could do all this on their own, so thoroughly.