Saturday, August 26, 2006

Ego te baptizo...

The former pastor of the parish I now shepherd had incorporated baptisms into Sunday Masses. In doing so, he and his liturgical "consultants" truncated the Rite of Baptism and Mass by eliminating the Gloria, as well as finessing the Profession of Faith and Prayers of the Faithful in order to meld the two ordos. The anointing with the Oil of Catechumens, and the ephpheta were also eliminated. There were often as many as five baptisms scheduled at each Mass.

I do not understand the Modernist notion of including the "community" in every aspect of community. Long ago I abandoned the "let's build community by innovation A, B, C..." Having lived in a religious community, I believe that communio happens by the grace of the Holy Ghost, not by contrived efforts.

This morning we presented the first Baptism preparation retreat for parents and Godparents who will be baptizing on September 9 using the complete Rite of Baptism in it's own ceremony apart from Mass.

So far I have received only one complaint--that being from a catechist who states that she is unhappy and will "miss" the baptisms at Mass. No matter how much I explain to her my reasons, she will never be satisfied since she is one of several parishioners who have accused me of taking "community" out of community. Once again, I am left speechless by their inability to hear and listen to reason.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with your comment "Having lived in a religious community, I believe that community happens by the grace of the Holy Ghost, not by contrived efforts." In such an environment of daily living with a religious order, certainly building community is an easier effort. But for a congregation which at best sees each other once a week, I think it is a biased viewpoint to expect a similar result without helping the Holy Spirit in some concrete ways to build community. Witnessing sacraments is a wonderful and special way to share God's love and the gifts God gives. The highest Mass of the Liturgical Year, the Easter Vigil, shows us the power of sacramental celebration - why relegate such communal baptism celebrations to one night per year? After all, Jesus' baptism was very public.

9:30 PM  
Blogger rev fr lw gonzales said...

The Easter Vigil is the ultimate expression of Catholic life for it progresses splendidly from ritual to ritual throughout the liturgy.

My main objection is the way in which baptisms were joined to the Sunday liturgy. The two rites seemed awkwardly mixed.

I am certain that we will have a "full house" with parents, Godparents, immediate and extended family members, and friends in attendance. Therefore, the celebration of the Rite of Baptism will be very public.

9:58 PM  
Blogger DilexitPrior said...

Our parish has baptisms on Saturday afternoons as soon as possible after the infant is born. I've been at baptisms with babies as young as one week old. Preparation for the sacrament with the parents and godparents usually takes place prior to the birth of the child. I agree that baptism should be public and a community event but I don't think that means that it needs to be in the context of the Mass. I've never been at a baptism with fewer than a couple dozen people present.

5:51 PM  

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