Elizabeth Scalia skriver ofte mye interessant på First Things og andre steder, og skriver denne uka om hvor vanskelig det er å gå i en katolske søndagsmesse – og for hennes bror, som går i messen hver dag, er det visst nesten umulig.
(I Norge er dette heldigvis nokså mye bedre; mange menigheter har en stille fromesse, og flere steder har også høymessen både passende og god sang og musikk, og folk oppfører seg ganske fromt før, under og etter messen. Men rett skal være rette; jeg har selv opplevd noen messer som jeg bare med store vanskeligheter har klart å lide meg gjennom.)
… I think what my brother and I are missing is the sense of reverent anticipation that used to precede Sunday mass when, in the spare minutes before the processional, people used to kneel and collect themselves; they gathered their thoughts, remembered an intention, let go of what was frivolous and finally sighed a big, cleansing, quieting breath in preparation for the great prayer of the mass. If people spoke at all, they whispered; they were reverently aware of Christ present in the tabernacle and considerate of their neighbors at prayer.
Perhaps it is different where you worship, but in my parish—and I would count mine as one of the “quieter” and “more reverent” in our area—that sort of preparation is nearly impossible. The choir and musicians are noisily setting up, talking and laughing. The people in the pews—of all ages—are “being community” with such a boisterous disregard for time or place that a priest recently halted his robing to stride out from the sacristy and call, “excuse me! This is not a movie theater; it’s not Grand Central Station. Have a little consideration, please. There might actually be a couple of people here who are, you know . . . praying.”
Before beginning his homily, Father apologized for the intemperate tone, but his point was valid. We used to have a sense of “sacred spaces,” wherein one behaved differently than everywhere else. The lobby or narthex of a church was for chatting; once you entered the nave, you quieted down. …