I was just browsing through a Catholic online forum and found a post asking the question: What Catholic traditions and liturgies do you miss from your youth (roughly paraphrased)? I was so surprised to see the responses...
Receiving communion at altar rails-
Altar boys (not girls) with patens-
Priests actually preaching from the pulpit (instead of wandering around like a talk show host)-
The priest purifying the sacred vessels at the altar
The choir actually in the choir loft-
Extra priests coming out at communion time to help distribute-
Confessions offered immediately before Mass-
Post-Mass recitations of the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel-
Of this list, we have many at our parish regularly... Communion at the altar rails is not done at the Novus Ordo Masses, but we do have a portion of the original altar rail still in the church! As for the priest purifying the sacred vessels... I am thinking if the priest isn't doing this, it is an abuse. The (indult?) allowing it to be done by others has expired and wasn't renewed, as I understand it. I think it now must be done by either a deacon or priest. We don't have pre-Mass rosaries at our parish, but I think it would be allowed if requested by parishioners... the Angelus prayers and Prayer to St. Michael are done before daily Mass regularly.
This evening, after the Holy Thursday Mass, there was adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the chapel separate from the main church... at 8 pm I attended my first Tenebrae service. I really liked it a lot... the sound of the wooden (clacker? -- don't know what else to call it) for the strepitus at the end definitely startled a few.
Good Friday Plans
The boys worked really hard on their schoolwork this week and were able to finish all five days' work in only four days... so tomorrow we'll be able to participate in the local "Way of the Cross" along with some other home schooling friends. I'm hoping for good weather...
New Musical Instruments
The boys are enjoying playing their new instruments. It has been a bit easier getting them to practice with the novelty of having different instruments (and that are their very own) to play. They are both progressing well... getting close to the end of the Suzuki Book 1 pieces. Another benefit is that I have pulled out my violin and gotten myself back into practice myself. I find that I often play their pieces along with them when they are first learning them... and also that I can use it to demonstrate a technique I am trying to get them to focus their efforts upon... much easier than trying to tell them with words. Prior to this, I probably hadn't pulled out my violin in 20 years or so... I had to have it restrung and a new bridge fitted for it before I could... now if I can just keep up with them as they progress, all will be well...
Seton Music Program
I don't know if I have mentioned how much I am liking the Seton Music books they provide as part of the curriculum for the kids before. Since we are a bit out of sync with the rest of the world on their schoolwork, I have to adjust the pages we use differently than they recommend in the lesson plans in some cases so that we are singing Easter songs at Easter... since my kids are a half-year ahead of their age group academically, we are always out of step with everyone else...
Anyway, back to topic... the music choices in the little books are great. They often give the solfegge hints for many of the pieces (which I make the boys sing alternately with the words). There are also many Latin pieces in chant notation in my older boy's book this year. It makes it easy for me to include chant notation reading (and Latin pronunciation) as a part of their normal singing and music education. I had a thought today, though, and was just wondering how many of the parents using the books know how to read chant notation... I wondered if a simple unaccompanied CD recording of the various pieces would be useful for those not really musically inclined. Perhaps it would make a good future project...
It is late... I am hearing (in the background news report) more discussion about the problems Obama may be facing because of the radical nature of the church he has been a member of for the past 20 years. I can remember reading the website of that church several months ago and being a bit appalled at the blatantly racist attitude fostered there... That being said, I am wondering at the timing of this big media blitz. Usually, the timing of these things is no accident, I find. So... who was pulling the strings (either by keeping the big thrust of this story back earlier in the game or by doing it now instead of later on in the campaign -- say, after he already had the Democratic nomination). I am guessing this is an insider (i.e. Democrat) strategy... and who stands to gain?
I thought Obama was a total left-wing nut-roll (for whom I would never vote) way before now... so it has done nothing to change my opinion of him... but certainly it looks to me like a last-ditch effort on the part of Hillary to help her campaign efforts. I am glad the radical nature of his religious affiliation has finally been made public... I am not so gullible that I would believe a man could be a member of a church for such a long time with this type of preacher and never have heard the type of vicious rhetoric Wright spews... in fact, I would go so far as to say that I think Obama is being disingenuous to try to say that he doesn't agree with Wright's views. I suppose he senses that speaking the truth about such political and racial views would not work out well for him in his campaign... and, of course, he is probably right. His is a bit more politically correct packaging, but probably the underlying attitudes are similar, in my opinion.
But, I digress... Happy Triduum...