Tuesday, January 24, 2012

To ad lib....

To ad lib.

To add our own words, our own thoughts, to an occasion.

The ability to ad lib can be considered good, when one is a situation that requires us to wing it.. When a mishap occurs during a presentation, when I have to explain a little further in one of my public talks or presentations.

But even then I have to be careful that my ad libbing stays on topic, is relevant even if amusing, is not self indulgent patter but has a purpose. I am not there to deviate from the set topic.

And so, just as there are limitations to ad lib commentary in my public speaking, how much more are there limitations to ad lib commentary in Holy Mass?

You know where I am going with this.

The new translation of the missal is very clear... The priest says this. The priest says that. The rubrics do not say that one can say words of similar meaning or what one thinks is of similar effect .

It is annoying to have a priest ad lib throughout mass. To add his own words prior to and post the consecration. Even well meaning words.

No, it is more than annoying. It leads to liturgical problems, to pave the way for other priests to administer what constitutes liturgical abuse, to misguided words that can be misinterpreted and that can thus lead to misunderstandings of the faith on the part of the faithful. It can lead to something akin to heresy.

And it's downright banal and trivial and to be honest, a pain to sit through ad lib comments ad infinitum in mass, when you are trying to pray and to worship, as an individual and as part of a community.

"Liturgy is never anyone's private property, be it of the celebrant or of the community in which the mysteries are celebrated.... Priests who faithfully celebrate Mass according to the liturgical norms, and communities which conform to those norms, quietly but eloquently demonstrate their love for the Church". ( Ecclesia Eucharistia (52), Pope John Paul II )


Marina said...

Ah, a woman after my own heart!

molly said...


Leonie said...

Lol guys ! Nice to know I'm not alone! Btw that encyclical makes great reading . But am probably preaching to the converted! :-)