Friday, February 25, 2011

Why Real Worship Matters, continued...

by Larry Beane

HT: fellow Gottesdienst editor, Fr. Ben T. Ball at in a post at Four and Twenty + Blackbirds.

Notice how in all of these liturgical trainwrecks the defilement of the liturgy involves either entertainment, ethnic culture, the order of creation, or outright syncretism.  In other words, the anthropology of fallen man and his self-serving lusts encroach upon the christocentric Holy Ground of Word and Sacrament.

The good news is that all of these examples are from Roman Catholicism and the Episcopal Church.  The bad news is that those in glass houses...

Lord, have mercy, indeed.


  1. You are right. Everyone knows that Jesus was a stoic German and liked medieval architecture. For anyone to worship the Triune God in any way different than the Stoic German and European High Church manner is evil. It even warrants the use of words like "pagan" and "naked native" being used against fellow Christians. They can call us racist, xenophobic, and petty, but we know the truth! We KNOW that God only likes our culture's traditions, doesn't want us interacting with others, and feels that liturgical styles is an issue that needs to be made a priority over the Great Commandment and Great Commission! That isn't racist, xenophobic, or petty! (also- pretty sure I read on a White Supremest site that Jesus was Western European anyway.)

  2. Well then, Donna, it's a good thing we know our Lord and Savior was not of European descent, just like we know that most of the Scriptures, traditions, and ceremonies we uphold are also not of Western European origin.

    Condoning the borderline-blasphemous behavior exemplified in the video of the original post would be neither loving ("The Great Commandment") nor proper catechesis ("The Great Commission"), so your sarcasm here is rather disappointing. If you think that mimicking the worship practices of false religions and prophets - while making the Sacrament of the Altar akin to a circus show - is an appropriate proclamation of Christ crucified . . . well, there is not much more that can be said to you.

  3. Most of these are repulsive, but you must agree that it is possible to have a reverent Lord's Supper out-of-doors. Prisoners and martyrs-to-be have celebrated very simple masses with no vestments or altars; are we to believe that these weren't real Holy Suppers?
    I kind of liked the "canoe-as-altar". Since I spend so much time in the wilderness, I saw this as a practical and and beautiful altar.

  4. Come on people, there's a point to the post: not everything is "best practice" (stated ever so lightly). Yes, canoes can be altars and out-of-doors is not out-of-bounds. Brightly dressed laity and even poorly dressed clergy don't remove the glory of the Lord from His Temple, (though perhaps the Lord will remove His glory for the sake of His glory).
    But those in these pictures were not prisoners. They were not out of options as many of our brothers and sisters are in this world. Indeed, they had too many options. They were not under duress or cornered or on the run.
    You can't judge a philosophy by it's abuses. And in this case the philosophy is that everything is permissible, the abuse is that since everything is permissible then everything is also beneficial. But this the Apostle condemns (1 Cor. 10).
    Moreover, cultural differences, while apparent, are often minimal when the focus is on Christ and His mysteries rather than on the many and varied expressions of sinful men. Christ must increases and we must decrease.

  5. Thank-you, Fr. Lovett. I agree with you; we shouldn't establish the rule by the exception. But the context of each photo is not known. I can't therefore say that each and every photo is an example of liturgical chaos or abuse, or that the "canoe altar" was, in light of 1 Cor. 10, injurious to the consciences of anyone present there. But you are very correct. Thank-you indeed.


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