This weekend I found myself back in Lexington MI for a class reunion, and had to make provisions for Mass. I reported on St. Denis back in 2011. I found, sadly, that they had undergone a parish blending last year with the Port Sanilac parish (St. Mary) and Croswell parish (St. Patrick), and are now know as Ave Maria Parish. The big issue, for me, is that instead of walking to 8AM Mass, I’d have to drive 8 miles to Port Sanilac. Working around the reunion and needing to take my dad grocery shopping, the so-called vigil mass seemed like the best idea.
It’s always a bad sign when they begin with “the Battle Hymn of the Church of Nice”, All are Welcome. Ordinary by Dan Schutte, Alstott Psalms. The upside of this was that all the notes were in the missalette. Hymns were traditional, and all verses were sung. They had a relatively competent cantrix, though she stumbled somewhat in the Psalm. And the Pax was cut short by the intro to the Agnus, a commendable procedure. All this could be worse, in a country church in the summer.
The homily was…disturbing. The priest (new old guy. maybe the former priest of one of the other churches, not Fr. Schikora) used the Gospel (feeding of the 5000) for a lauchpad for a talk on the Eucharist. OK, good idea, but he was stuck in Community Meal and never brought up the sacrificial aspect. Then he encouraged universal Eucharistic participation, saying that it’s never been easier since all you need to do is fast for an hour and be free of serious sin. Well, what’s “serious” sin, and how do you get free of it? Is blowing off Mass a serious sin? (The Church has always thought so). No mention of Confession and absolution. So, let’s say somebody is working on Spouse #2 or 3, or is contracepting, or is a Chreaster. They didn’t KILL anyone; should they receive? I had to fight back and impulse to just walk out, and invoke The Peoples’ Canon 915. Of course there was the usual bevy of Extra Ordinary Ministers being extra and ordinary.
It’s always a privilege to assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Sometimes it’s more difficult than at other times, and this was one of those times. The liturgy is improving, but what if you improve liturgy and lose sound doctrine?