The unasked-for return of Liturgical Lorena and her Shears of Sensitivity.
Mass at our parish is cause for little concern. Our parish priest and the men who occasionally fill in for him stick to the rubrics. Their approach to Mass is respectful and in an inadequate word, "workmanlike." The music is not all I would like in terms of selection, but it is performed well by solid musicians.
Of late, the irritation I've had has come from the pewfolk and "worship aids", not from the priest/cantor end.
Yesterday was a perfect storm of crapitude in this department.
The problem started with the OCP Breaking Bread/Gather missalette. I've noted this before, and the problem continues: somebody at OCP has a thong in a twist about calling God the Father God the Father. That's been holding true as long as I've noticed it: the two line introductions to the readings steadfastly refuse to use "he/his/him" when describing God. ICEL got called out on the carpet when it tried this rubbish with its joke of a psalter, but apparently someone at OCP remains inspired by that example. They'll have their great big Hermaphrodite in the Sky, and you'll like it. If nothing else, it shows once again it takes a rare talent to not be awarded an imprimatur these days.
With the New Testament readings and references to Jesus, even Lorena runs into a thus-far insurmountable obstacle, but no doubt she's still trying.
The problems started with the reading in Colossians, which OCP Lorena, genuflecting before the "assured results of critical scholarship," referred to "the author of Colossians," not Paul. I'm of the opinion that discussion of authorship hypotheses has no business being in the liturgy. Ditto any kind of reference to hot-button issues of critical scholarship. Frankly, the people who do this (1) invariably have an agenda at odds with the faith, and (2) invariably suck at presenting the info, offering it as magisterial when it is provisional. At its root, it is pointless preening that adds nothing to the liturgy. Just stop it.
That was relatively minor next to the lead in to the Gospel, which dealt with the Our Father in Luke. Surely the intro was going to have to cave and refer to the Almighty as "Father," right?Well, Sophia bless her, Lorena was remarkably inventive this week. In this reading, "Jesus gave us the 'Abba' Prayer."
Right on cue after reading that, I started hearing in my head:
If you change your mind/
I'm the first in line/
Honey I'm still free/
Take a chance on me...
Yep-per. God have mercy.
Yes, I know: "abba" is the Aramaic for "father." But it's only used in Mark (which does not record the Our Father) and by the author of Romans and Galatians. Nope--no agenda there.
The piece-de-resistance: Lorena possessed some woman during the responses of the liturgy, calling out "it is right to give 'God' thanks and praise," in a modest bullhorn voice not at all calculated to strike a blow at the patriarchy, no ma'am.
Is it too much to ask that those who have neuroses about the fatherhood of God do so silently? Apparently so.
Memo to self: Versed-firing dart pistols--get to work ASAP.
The good news: the visiting priest had a good homily about the privilege of being able to call God "Father." Hopefully that drowned out the rest.