(Quote) Chelsea-743484 said:
I do take exception with some of what you've said. I don't think that much of the behaviour I've witnessed at charismatic events (and, yes, the Masses offered at these events) is either reverent of the sacred or edifying to one's neighbour. The Catechism of the Catholic Church in para. 1182 states:
"The altar of the New Covenant is the Lord's Cross (cf. Hebrews 13:10) from which the sacraments of the Paschal mystery flow. On the altar, which is the centre of the church, the Sacrifice of the Cross is made present under sacramental signs. The altar is also the table of the Lord, to which the People of God are invited."
If that is so, that the altar IS the Lord's Cross, then ought we really be dancing about, waving arms, shouting, clapping to secular style music and singing in a raucous fashion? Can you imagine Our Lady, St. Mary Magdalene, and the Apostle St. John doing such as Our Lord was nailed to the cross and raised in ignominy for all to see?
I have seen much in the last five to seven years in so-called Catholic Churches that is a realy culture shock for me. There has been lots of secular music and secular style music, lots of violations of Canon Law (like women reading the liturgical readings and offering common prayers in the ambo), lots of violations of public decency and modesty, major loss of discernment between the sacred and the profane. Just yesterday the priest commanded us all to sit before the final blessing and called up all of the school children who attend the parish school to treat the parish to a protestant sola-scriptura song, complete with large and flashy cutout letters spelling the name of Our Lord, profane shouts and actions, etc. It was pretty horrifying to see these children who can likely not discern even what they're doing when they receive Holy Communion acting as trained monkeys entertaining the congregation with their beaming little faces. In the last year these children have been taught to take Our Lord's name vainly (meaning to say it if it has absolutely no meaning) and profane the sign of the Cross as if it were merely another dance move.
I, personally, can't imagine doing these things outside of the Church, much less inside. Looking at the altar in the fashion described by the Catechism (as the Lord's cross) makes it even less likely that I am going to start either doing, supporting, or promoting such action in the near future.
Another problem is the offering to God publicly of what is materially flawed as if there is no flaw. Is it good and praiseworthy to adorn the tabernacle with rotting flowers? Is it acceptable as long as the intention is good? I can't find any justification for this whatsoever...
Is it good and praiseworthy to have several individuals with speech impediments offer the common prayers/general intercessions? Is it acceptable as long as the intention is good? Is it good and praiseworthy to have individuals who cannot sing in tune to save their lives offer the ministry of cantor at Mass? Is it acceptable as long as the intention is good? I contend that all of these things are materially bad. Why in the world should we offer to God in a public manner in the Holy Sacrifice that which is lacking? I'm not referring to the individual and private offering each one makes of himself at Mass, we can't help that we're all lacking due to original sin, but we can, as St. Paul teaches, give those among us with less honour, more honour by shielding them, just as we do our less honourable parts. We do not expose our genitals to public view, so why do we expose those at Mass with less of what is honourable to the public? It doesn't make sense to me.
If you've never seen The Princess Bride, I suggest you rent or borrow it and watch the wedding scene near the end. The very atmosphere that scene invokes is, on a natural level, why the materially flawed ought not be offered publicly to God as if there is no flaw in it. This is why there are such stringent requirements for men who are on the path to priestly ordination, both in regards to physical appearance, ability and mental formation.,
It's fortunate for you that you've never experienced these things. I hope that continues for you.
Finally, regarding the notion that "those who sing pray twice," I merely have to say that the statement taken as an absolute, on it's own, is silly. If I say the lyrics of the song Row, Row, Row Your Boat, it certainly isn't a prayer, so how would singing it making it twice prayed? If you're referring to those songs which are true prayers to God, then I am in agreement. Those songs which are filled with error and heresy which the protestants, moslems, hindus, etc. sing for religious purposes and others which are heard sung in Catholic Churches are no prayer at all.
There's no doubt that the people are invited to the altar as "the table of the Lord," but that doesn't mean that we disregard the altar as the Lord's cross and act in a casual and profane manner around it.