Emphasis is all mine :D, as well as comments in brackets [ ]
13-July-2006 -- Catholic World News Brief
LITURGICAL DISCIPLINE NEEDED, VATICAN OFFICIAL SAYS
Jul. 13 (CWNews.com) - The Vatican is planning to restore some disciplinary control of the liturgy, according the secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, in response to widespread abuses. [Somebody pinch me!]
Speaking to the I Media news agency in Rome, Archbishop Albert Malcom Ranjith Patabendige Don will soon take steps [uh-oh!] to indicate the importance of following the Church's liturgical guidelines. Asked whether Pope Benedict XVI is preparing a document on the liturgy, Archbishop Ranjith answered indirectly, noting that the Holy Father has written and spoken extensively on liturgical issues in past years. [Anyone else reading this the way I am - like, he's done writing about them - it's action time?] Pope Benedict is keenly aware of today's challenges, he said, and determined to restore a proper sense of reverence to the liturgy.
This makes this passage out of Psalm 95 in the Invitatory of the Liturgy of the Hours just jump out:
Do not harden your hearts as at Meribah,
as on the day of Massah in the desert.
There your ancestors tested me;
they tried me though they had seen my works.
Forty years I loathed that generation;
I said: "This people's heart goes astray;
they do not know my ways."
Therefore I swore in my anger:
"They shall never enter my rest."
It took just a few days for me to realize that for forty years, the busy-ness of liturgies aimed at drawing me, actually hindered me from entering into rest with the Lord during my worship of Him. I don't feel so alone in my thoughts these days because many Catholics, in particular a growing number of young Catholics are discovering the same thing. Give me the Mass and save the theatrics for the theatre.
Community social hour always follows the Mass at my parish, not during the Liturgy. And, anyone who has been to Grotto knows we have probably the top social in town, with hot dogs, hamburgers, sausages, donuts - nearly every Sunday except key holidays, after the 9:30 and Noon Masses. This says nothing of the ice cream, Allinosi's no less, during the summer. Fr. Perrone once said that it must be the only parish where the pastor must finally take action to move people on out after 3 or 4 every Sunday. I know, I've been there just hanging out with people for hours after the 9:30 and got prodded along once or twice. Whole families socialize together for half the day. Now that's my idea of community! Love my neighbor? You bet. When you just hang out, you get to really know people and their families.
Further down we read this:
Every day, the archbishop disclosed, the Congregation for Divine Worship receives new complaints about serious liturgical abuses, and complaints that local bishops have failed to correct them. [Yes, Virginia, there really are liturgical abuses still going on - just read the Catholic forums in any number of websites]. If the Church fails to curb these abuses, he said, "people will attend the Tridentine Mass, and our churches will be empty." Liturgical guidelines are set forth clearly, he observed, in the Roman Missal and in Church documents. Now "some discipline is necessary regarding what we do at the altar....." [read that, they're done talking]
Go to EWTN to read the whole thing...
See the recent article by Sandro Magister, including an interview with Archbishop Ranjith.