Random thoughts to start the week...
I have been happy to see some great liturgical changes being instituted at our parish lately. These changes have been subtle and slow (which I suspect is the result of a well thought-out pastoral decision on the part of our priest – it’s better not to ruffle feathers with too many changes at once). Among other things, he has replaced the cheap-looking wooden bowls and glass cups with proper gold and precious metal objects. On certain occasions he has worn older vestments, very ornate and well constructed, from decades ago, rather than the polyester bland (and sometimes garish) vestments that pass for liturgical garments these days. He has placed a set of kneelers in the sanctuary for the servers to kneel before the Blessed Sacrament during the consecration. And hand-bells are now rung at the consecration – which was not completely uncommon at our parish in years past, but now both servers have a set of bells (which I must say adds not only volume, but also depth of sound – very pretty) and they are rung at every Mass rather than just holy days.
Many of these changes are first introduced by our priest on a specific Feast or Holy Day – for instance the kneelers and bells came out on Corpus Christi – so there is usually a reason behind the change. But once the change is made, it tends to stay. And so, as another holy day comes around you might see some new object or action on the altar pertaining to that Feast or celebration. But then, when the holy day is over, the new practice remains and we have a more beautiful celebration each Sunday.
My hats are off to Father for his well-planned re-ordering of our worship. I hope for more to come. I can’t wait for the new Mass translation, to see if that affects more changes.
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I read recently that the Obama Administration is considering a proposal which, under the new healthcare law, would require all insurance companies to cover birth control as “preventative” medicine with no added cost to the consumer. Basically, they would lump contraception together with cancer screenings and other procedures designed to prevent diseases and then mandate that insurance providers pay for these things with no increase to premiums. This would mean that pregnancy will be treated as though it is a dreaded illness.
This should come as no surprise from an Administration (and political party) that stands solidly on the side of the culture of death. According to them, the formation of new human life is a threat akin to cancer. Meanwhile it is ever more difficult to find good coverage for the expense related to the birth of a child, and the cost to the consumer for such coverage is huge. This healthcare law is codifying the culture of death into federal law and pushing our society beyond any sense of dignity for human life.
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I'm setting as a goal this week to finish writing a piece that I began at the start of the summer. I figure that if I post this comment here it will spur me to achieve that goal... We shall see.