“Liturgical entertainment” by the Papal visit?

Fr Ray Blake’s St. Mary Magdalen blog has a rather astonishing entry about a mail received from the diocesan “visit coordinator”. Apparently, in Hyde Park “liturgical entertainment” will be provided for the several hours between the opening of the park and the Pope’s arrival.

The word itself makes one cringe (as Fr Blake dutifully did). If it’s “liturgical” it’s not supposed to be “entertainment” at all and vice versa. We’ll have to see whether some nostalgic fan of guitar masses has decided to organise something according to the “hermeneutic of discontinuity” or whether it was just a case of a horribly worded email. Still, anyone with some respect for the liturgy would never come to the idea of using an expression like “liturgical entertainment”. This sounds rather like an oxymoron, as in “funny funeral” or “merry murder”. But I googled a bit and the expression really seems to exist! V II is a gift that keeps on giving….

As Fr Blake points out, that such ideas come out during the visit of the most liturgical of recent Popes would, if confirmed, rather look like a slap in the Holy Father’s face. I hope not and frankly do not want to think that Pope Benedict’s enemies would be so stupid, besides being so brazen; but should this really be true than it would be the duty of the Holy Father to save his own face and the reputation of Catholicism in this country buy taking harsh measures and cutting off the one or other guitar-strumming head.

Nothing tragic for now, anyway as the most probable option is that what is meant is superficial ’68 bollocks on which the adjective “liturgical” has been added because it sounded cool. Vatican II doesn’t want to die peacefully.


Posted on August 26, 2010, in Catholicism and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. “anyway as the most probable option is that what is meant is superficial ’68 bollocks on which the adjective “liturgical” has been added because it sounded cool”

    Are Michelle McManus and Susan Boyle in Bellahouston being billed as “liturgical entertainment”?

    • No idea as I am obstinately refusing to read about Susan Boyle for obvious reasons and do not even know who the other lady is.
      Still, if they are supposed to sing during Mass “liturgical entertainment” is not justified because it is not supposed to be entertainment, and if they are supposed to sing outside of the Mass then it is not justified because it si not liturgical.

      How I ‘d have wished a 100% Gregorian Chant setting. A slap in the face of the x-factor society.


  2. no it’s not during Mass.

    what are the obvious reasons? I am afraid they are not obvious to me, though I may be being dull.

    • The reason is that I am sick and tired with sensationalism-tv, the big brothers and x-factors of the world, the fabricated scandals and quarrels and public hysteria going with such events. Therefore I avoid all of them, and the people they deal with, with great accuracy. “Nazional-popolare”, we call this is Italy. It’s not a compliment 😉

      One of the consequences is that you have Susan Boyle probably singing some sugary crap liked by the masses instead of proper sacred music, and you will not know whether the people go there for the pope of for Susan Boyle. It reminds me of JP II, or of the “three tenors”.


  3. BTW…I know it may have been a joke, and he may have to er…adjust…to teach children, but I was looking for a school for my niece and so looked at the website of the country’s premier girls’ school, and found a quotation which worried me…and given your diagram above, I think this may be the place to raise it.

    “Father D was really sweet because he offered to baptise the animals at the pet shed.”

    Now I am sure he didn’t mean it – but shouldn’t he be emphasising the sanctity and specialness of the sacrament and the specificity of its application to humankind, not anthromorphising soulless creatures in a manner not designed to enlighten the pupils of whose spiritual formation he has the charge?


    • Good Lord again!
      Baptise the …. what??!!

      He think he might be allowed to bless pets. But this is blasphemous. You seem to be particularly unlucky in your encounters with nuChurch 😉

  4. “You seem to be particularly unlucky in your encounters with nuChurch”

    I just retain the bad experiences!

    I doubt very much that this man really meant it. But I do not think that even jestingly suggesting this can have helped in the formation of the pupils.

    The fact that he is chaplain at what is unquestionably THE elite Catholic girls’ public school in this country, attended by the scionesses of the Catholic aristocracy from the Norfolks downwards, does mean that I blench slightly when I see quotations such as the above.

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