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At St. Edward parish, the new General Instruction on the Roman Missal applies to everyone except the Spanish mass, the Portuguese mass and the Charismatics, especially the Charismatics. Does anyone have any sugestions or advice on how to make the Charismatics pay attention to the church?

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What are they doing (or not doing)?

Their songs are all from protestant, fundamentalist or evangelical sources and many have quetionable theology. The ones that do not have questionable theology are basically repetitive and childish.

None of the Eucharistic acclamations use texts from the liturgy

Dear Father Jeff,

Would the Charismatic Group be willing to have a separate "praise and worship" service for 30 minutes to an hour before or after Mass?

Your frustration comes through loud and clear, but what you are asking for makes no sense in a Charismatic Frame of Reference. (Yes, I've caught the Lakoff vision of the role of frames in political life in the US, and think the ideas are applicable in this context.)

Reframing the vision of the General Instruction as the universal church at prayer is going to take decades of work.

For the Liturgies in other languages as well as the Charismatic Group, my hunch is that unless you have the ungrudging cooperation of the presiders, there is not much chance of the liturgical instructions being honored. I'm not saying it's hopeless, but it's hard to work with priests who have ignored rubrics for a long time.

These are, most likely, communities that are hierarchical in their outlook. You, although you are pastor, are not the functioning hierarch in the world-view of these communities. It may be the presider, or it may be the music ministry, that is the operative authority.

These sorts of groups, in my experience, often have music ministers that learn by ear, rather than from written music.

I'd suggest doing things in phases. First, impliment a "rule" saying that the actual Mass texts must be used. Then work on getting better hymnody in use by slowly phasing out their stuff.

"...advice on how to make the Charismatics pay attention to the church?"

Say something unintelligible periodically. They will wonder if you are speaking in tongues and jerk to attention to hear what comes next.

Dear Fr.Keyes,

My experience has been that the Charismatic Renewal is often much closer to the Pentecostal Revival than to the Catholic Church in some of their theology.

I remember telling one of my Charismatic friends about Mary, Queen of the Universe Shrine here in Florida and her reaction was, "Is that biblical."

So, you've got your hands full. I don't know why charismatic always seems to equal quasi-protestant, but it does.

Perhaps the best solution is to rigorously enforce the Mass texts and let the music go for now. It is often a Taize like chant that is purposeful in its simplicity. It isn't what most at St. Blogs like, but when I appreciate it for its intent.

But I do think it would not hurt to offer the Charismatics a little review and help on Catholic Theology. Too often they get lost in the sola Scriptura jungle and miss out on important points in theology.

Also, it is nearly impossible to reform from outside--it just tends to increase resistance--kind of like a non-newtonian fluid. You might even resort to the kind of "teaching Mass" that is often offered to children preparing for communion (at a higher level of course).

I don't know if any of these things sound viable, but I do think that it is well within your rights and the propers of the Church to insist that the Mass text propers be used at all Masses.



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This page contains a single entry by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. published on October 5, 2005 12:13 PM.

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