I HAVE AN INSATIABLE APPETITE FOR SEEING CHURCH CEREMONIES WHEN THEY ARE CARRIED OUT WITH DIGNITY

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

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One Response to I HAVE AN INSATIABLE APPETITE FOR SEEING CHURCH CEREMONIES WHEN THEY ARE CARRIED OUT WITH DIGNITY

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I have wondered this morning a little of what Eugene means when he uses the word dignity, if he is alluding to a state of respect and honor or perhaps to an attitude that may not have been present at the time that Eugene was there. Hard to know. Easier to focus with the quote that Frank has chosen of Garrison Keillor’s; “Anyone who thinks sitting in church can make you a Christian must also think that sitting in a garage can make you a car.”

    One has to be more, has to do more than just dressing up for the part and putting ones self (myself) in a location or place. How do I come to church each week? What is my attitude? How do I take part? Do I take part, or am I content to come and fill a space, hoping that ‘magically’ some good or grace will rub off on me? How do I use my time there? Is it in trying to raise up myself above others (falsely and of course not possible, yet trying) or is it in the lifting up of others? Is it somehow about me – or is it about God?

    This isn’t just about Sunday church, or even daily Mass. It will and must carry over into everything that I do; who I meet, how I will be when we meet, how I will think – of myself and of others. Another of these days when I seem to have strayed off topic, however this is the garden though in which I stepped today. “Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.” (Mt 5:8)

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