Saturday, June 14, 2008

Come to the feast

I remember many years ago going to some kind of "Welcoming Lapsed Catholics Back" thing in Victoria, BC. It was run by a nice Polish priest who had moved to Victoria because he had heard that things were more friendly there in the Church. Groovy.

Groovy, it certainly was.

I don't remember much about it and I didn't stay for the whole thing, but I recall snippets of the talk. The lay volunteers took turns at giving their lived experiences in coming back to the Church (ooop, sorry, "coming back to church"). It was all very moving. I cried. Really...


But the priest talked about the Mass (oh, there I go again..."the priest talked about Eucharist") and he gave an eloquent explanation of the (there I go again) Eucharist as the great wedding feast to which we are invited by the Creator. He talked about all the nice things to eat and the fun friendly crowd we'd get to hang out with in heaven... it sounded wonderful.

Then we took a break, had some tea (it was could have coffee if you really wanted it) and then convened in the church for a liturgy.

Of course, I knew that Father had been speaking metaphorically. I didn't actually expect there to be tables staggering under their load of roast beef and Yorkshire puddings. But I did expect "a liturgy" (?) that was along those lines. I expected the Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pud liturgy.

What did we get after all that build up?

Well, it's nourishing in its way, I suppose.

Why do Traditionalists bang on about the Mass and the liturgy all the time?

Ever go to a restaurant starving hungry and order your dinner and then discover too late that it is one of those avant garde places that likes to make a little bit of art out of a thin slice of veal and a wedge of lemon?

Stretching the analogy further, it seems evident that there is a good reason that the N/O is often filled up with bongos, dancing paranuns, guitar bands, creepy giant puppets, teddy bears and clown noses. When you've finished your artistically arranged slice of veal, you look around the table and start eating the bread. It's not the same, of course, and it certainly isn't R. beef and Yorkies, but hey, you're hungry and now slightly miffed, and the bread is all that's on offer.

I like a bit of Bovril before bed time. But on Sundays, I want the full meal deal.

So do a lot of other people who are now wondering where the waiter is so they can give a piece of their minds.

No comments: