Where have all the men gone?
I just came from a "retreat" for first Communicants (really just a practice), and I spent most of it shaking my head. Lesson One: you don't give second graders choices, you tell them to do something. So that means, when you tell them to fold their hands when processing, tell them to do it in a particular way, not just "in a prayerful position." Heck, I'm not sure I know what that sort of liturgese is supposed to mean.
Lesson Two: don't place sacred vessels on the ground, even if they contain unconsecrated species. I don't know why this needs explaining.
Lesson Three: Nothing that goes on in a Sacrament or in the Mass is done because "people want to see you" or so that you can "look nice." You fold your hands and walk slowly and act in a reverent manner because YOU'RE IN CHURCH and because you're about to receive THE BODY, BLOOD, SOUL, AND DIVINITY OF THE INCARNATE SON OF GOD. For the love of everything sacred, something has to be done to counteract the urge to make our liturgy a self-absorbed celebration of how pretty we all look and how special we all are. Of all the things that are important in the Mass, you and I are not very high on the list.
Lesson Four: What sort of example does it set for a gaggle of small children if you, as a teacher and an adult, take off your shoes and wander around the church barefoot? What on earth makes you think that this is an appropriate thing to do in any sense of the word? What on earth makes you think that this is a good thing to portray to children as "ok"?
Lesson Five: The USCCB (uhm, well, somebody) should send every Catholic adult in this country a book of basic Catholic vocabulary. That thing the priest stands at is an altar, not a table. Therefore, the thing that covers it is an altar cloth, not a table cloth. Holy cards, rosaries, and the like are sacramentals, not items.
Lesson Six: Learn the norms that govern what you're teaching. If you don't, you'll tell little children things that are wrong. For instance, don't tell children to chew the Sacred Host. Why? Because doing so is not permitted. Don't tell the children they can just touch the Precious Blood to their lips. Why? Because you actually have to swallow it in order to receive.
Lesson Seven: Keep your modernism to yourself. We had a little girl from an orthodox, traditional family who was bullied by her teachers into not wanting to receive on the tongue because "we'd really like it if you received in the hand." Give me a cotton-picking break.
If you're orthodox and informed and not teaching catechesis, why? Go to your parish, right now, and sign up. There's a clueless heterodox ninny there who needs replacing.
File Under: The_Liturgy