To the editor,
Pope Francis noted recently that God is a God of surprises.
But there are surprises and surprises. Our parishes are admittedly full of them, and each parish has its own selection of surprises. It is hard to keep up with them all at Holy Mass. I am surprised at the noise in the church even before Mass begins, and also at the end of Mass. I am surprised to see so many parishioners dressed for the beach and the golf club. I am surprised to see so few young people at Mass when the silly Folk Mass together with its banal Gathering-songs was introduced just for them. I am surprised to hear the jokes by the deacon during his homily which passed over the meaning of the Gospel. I am surprised to see the priest at the Preparation of the Gifts elevate the bread and wine in one motion. I am surprised to see the young priest not genuflect after the consecration of the bread. I am surprised at the time of Communion to witness the elderly priest hand the Host to the deacon as if the latter were a priest and their consuming it in unison. I am surprised to see so many women as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion standing in a circle behind the altar as if they, too, were priest-celebrants. And what a surprise to see a person receiving Communion in the hand and walking out of the church with the Host! Finally, I am surprised to see so many parishioners not surprised at the dumbing-down of the Sacred Liturgy taking place before their eyes and ears.
I used to like surprises. No more!