Returning to St Peter’s for a ceremony, Eugene expressed a conviction that accompanied him throughout his life: the necessity for church ceremonies to be celebrated with dignity. As Vicar General and then as Bishop of Marseille, he vehemently insisted on this principle.
Third Sunday of Advent: I have an insatiable appetite for seeing Church ceremonies when they are carried out with dignity. That’s why I gladly returned to the papal chapel. The Sovereign Pontiff did not attend so a Cardinal officiated once more and nothing is more majestic than to see this noble assembly.
In the midst of this beautiful ceremony he expressed his displeasure at the preacher misusing the pulpit to make comments directed at some of those present.
After the gospel, an Augustinian Father preached in Latin. This sermon did not please me nearly as much as the one I had heard on the first Sunday of Advent. I found that this monk allowed himself to make entirely misplaced and disrespectful remarks by the allusions one could make by applying his words to the cardinals before whom he was preaching. I had two monks behind me who proved me right by their foolish laugh at each allusion .
Roman Diary, 11 December 1825, EO XVII
“Anyone who thinks sitting in church can make you a Christian must also think that sitting in a garage can make you a car.” ― Garrison Keillor