Tuesday, December 20, 2011


As someone who inexplicably indulges and traffics in the acquisition of all things trivial, I had some sort of synapse short circuit that prompted me to somehow typify how I now regard an extremely popular denizen of liturgical pedants via the medium of film scenes that are memorable to me. Eureka! I think I found it. This scene is from the Robert Zemekis movie "Death Becomes Her" and occurs at the end of the film.
The two main characters, Madeline (Meryl Streep) and Helen (Goldie Hawn) were friends and rivals for the attention of Dr. Melville (Bruce Willis), a famed plastic surgeon whom they co-opted to keep their external beauty viable after they had taken a magic potion that grants eternal life, but then try and succeed to kill each other to garner his sole attention and access to his skills, as they're not really dead, but they can, indeed, decay if left unattended. Melville escapes their clutches, and we find Mad and Hel at his funeral 37 years later, harping at the back of the church during his funeral.
This seems like the perfect metaphor for a lot of what passes for meaningful discourse at this liturgical blog touting itself as a haven for worship, wit and wisdom. People can spend infinite amounts of time and treasure deconstructing and reconstructing all things godly and human, but it's inevitably all about superglue and bondo and paint jobs in this veil of tears. Ya gotta laugh, really. In honor of Dr. Xavier Rindfleisch's fondness for Roman Trattorias, the first clip of the scene below is in the Italian translated version (irony is like ozone, it's everywhere here and full of holes!)  I do have the same scene below the fake dialogue in the original English, beginning at 2':37"

Imagine if a portion of Mad and Hel's dialogue in this scene was lifted straight from the blog in question:

They are all good questions, and I doubt that we will ever know.The sloppy work of Vox Clara is leading presiders to make all sorts of “corrections” on the fly.
Yesterday I faced the fussy preces for Monday in the 4th week of advent. The only thing to do was to simplify them impromptu (a practice that is bound to produce muddles or theological errors) or to root around in the back of the old sacramentary for the bad 1973 versions, or to come armed with the 1998 versions, or to say a prayer of one’s own instead.

Thanks for reminding those of us who do not go to daily Mass and only have to content with weekly mediocrity that some people deal with this on a daily basis.  
The collects as printed are just unprayable.  My understanding is that Vox Clara, operating in strict secrecy, made some 10,000 changes to the ICEL text. Some of these introduced mistranslations, some added heretical content and now, as we have learned today, some added “we pray” in curious places. It hardly seems plausible that the interventions were accidental; and in any event, the whole procedure of central checking and approval is supposed to ensure that such “accidents” don’t happen.

1 comment:

Scelata said...

"The only thing to do..."

The "only" thing?
Ya mean, actually putting some effort into it and doing as you are supposed to do was beyond your capabilities, Father?
I had such high hopes for that blog when it began...

Happy New Year, Charles and Wendy!

(Save the Liturgy, Save the World)