Louisiana Says No to Guns at Mass

I was glad to see this article on the USA Today’s website this morning. If you would like the complete article, click here. I would certainly hope that concealed weapons would not be allowed into a Church! Why would anybody ever have a legitimate reason to bring a gun into a place of worship? That literally makes no sense to me. The fact that anybody is opposing this law being put into action makes me sick. If anybody can give me one good reason they should be allowed to carry a gun to Mass I would maybe consider them being allowed to. I cannot think of any situation that this would be appropriate in though.

“Concealed handguns won’t be allowed in Roman Catholic churches, despite a new state law allowing them.

“We don’t think it is appropriate to have guns in churches,” Danny Loar, executive director of the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops — the church’s public policy arm in Louisiana, said Monday.

The law allows concealed handguns in churches, synagogues or mosques for those with a valid permit and training. It also says those with authority over a church have the final say in their church.

Bishops discussed the issue when reviewing bills, Loar said.

“The bishops decided that, if the bill became law, the bishops would let their pastors know that this would not be permissible in Catholic churches,” Loar said.

The previous law let only law enforcement officials carry concealed weapons into churches.” – “No Guns in Catholic Churches”, USA Today

Syro-Malankara Catholic Church Comes to the US

“On Wednesday Pope Benedict XVI has erected an Apostolic Exarchate for the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church in the United States and appointed Father Thomas Naickamparampil as its first bishop. The pope also appointed him Apostolic Visitator for the Syro-Malankara Catholics in Canada and Europe.

The erection of the exarchate and appointments were publicized in Washington, July 14, by Msgr. Jean-François Lantheaume, Chargé d’Affaires, at the apostolic nunciature in the United States.

Father Naickamparampil is a priest of the Major Archiepiscopal Eparchy of Trivandrum, India.

An apostolic exarchate is the Eastern Catholic Church equivalent of an apostolic vicariate. It is not a full-fledged eparchy (diocese), but is established by the Holy See for the pastoral care of Eastern Catholics in an area outside the territory of the Eastern Catholic Church to which they belong. It is headed by a bishop or a priest with the title of Exarch. An apostolic visitator is a papal representative who has been asked to familiarize himself with the situation of a given community and to report on its status to the Holy See.” – “Pope Erects Apostolic Exarchate for Syro-Malankara Catholic Church in US”, Catholic Answers Forum

This post from Catholic Answers Forum was pretty interesting and I thought it was worth sharing. The Syro-Malankara Church is Catholic and is found in India. It has eight different dioceses there called eparchies, and half a million followers. I had no idea that this branch of Catholicism even existed until I read this, and I find it extremely interesting. I didn’t know that there were Catholics in India, but I guess you learn something new every day don’t you. It is good to see that they are branching out and being accepted in the US, where they have a respectable 10,000 followers.

Slouchers and Wobblers Sending Wrong Message at Mass

“Since I was taught to go to Communion when I was small, I’ve noticed a troubling trend in the way people get in line to approach the Eucharist.

When I was taught to receive Holy Communion, the nuns made a huge deal out of the way we walked. We were to remain straight and rigid, moving forward gently but precisely when it came time to move forward. When they looked at us second graders from either the front or the back, everyone’s head was in a straight line, as we stayed perfectly lined up at all moments.

Now, I cannot get that same experience. When I am in a Communion line, people waddle from side to side more than they move forward. The result is that there is a disorganized movement of heads back and forth which looks, to people with training like what I had, as very careless and sloppy. Instead of Catholics lined up as soldiers to receive their spiritual meal, they look like fish circling or something.” – “Weebles Wobble in Communion Line”, Catholic Answers Forum

This post is all about something that I too have noticed in the Catholic Church recently. I do not like the way that people “waddle from side to side” either, and it doesn’t stop there. I also am not a fan of the way that people hold themselves in general while receiving the Eucharist and sitting at Mass. Too often I have seen people slouched down in their seats or dragging their feet and slouching up to receive Communion. They are at church after all and they should be able to hold themselves in a prideful manner while they are there. Just a little something I have been meaning to get off my chest for a while, and this article really reminded me of it.

A Problem Faced By Many Catholic Parents

So I was over on The Catholic Answers Forum today, and I saw this posting left by a mother who is having a lot of trouble bringing her kids to Mass. I have seen many others struggling with their children acting up at Mass and this is a prime example.

“I really need a lot of prayers with this. I really struggle with being at mass with my kids(especially the youngest two ages 1 and 2). In fact many days I just dread it. We last maybe 15 minutes in the pews before one of them wants to walk/crawl around or starts to get loud. I’m usually the only one who tries at all to keep the little ones quiet. We already have to separate the older two to keep them from goofing around. They in turn try to play with the babies and just make matters worse. We’ve tried sitting in the front, but that is always disastrous and I end up walking out anyway with both babies in front of the whole congregation.” – “I Dread Going to Mass Because of My Kids”

As you could probably expect, this is quite a common issue in the Catholic Church. As much as parents or guardians may not like to admit it, a church is not a very sensible place to bring children. However, it is something that does need to be done because you still need to attend Mass on a regular basis. Getting children acquainted with Mass early in life isn’t a bad thing either. With very young children such as the ones discussed above, it can be troublesome to find ways to keep them from causing disturbances during Mass. However, once children are older than one or two years old, you should be able to communicate a way to keep them from acting up during Mass. If you teach them that poor behavior during Mass has repercussions, while good behavior brings rewards it might lead to positive results to you and your family.

Rubric Information System

Today I found an awesome post written by Jeff Miller over on The Curt Jester. This article talks about a kind of strange topic in the Church that I had never considered before, do you stand or kneel after receiving Communion? I have always been told to kneel until the tabernacle is closed, however I have heard of parishes that stand during this time as well. The article goes into detail about what is right for this situation and is very informative, with a little humor as well too! My opinion on all this is pretty laid back. As long as you go back to your seat, keep quiet, have some form of prayer or deep thought, and keep to yourself I do not really care whether or not you kneel or stand. As long as you aren’t one of those people who leaves Mass immediately after receiving Communion, you’re okay in my book.

I think there must be a new Olympic event that many Catholic parishes are preparing for.  It seems that no matter what parish I go to I observe what must be some form of training.  This form of training occurs after Communion.  What I refer to is Synchronized Sitting.

You might ask what Synchronized Sitting is?  This is when everybody sits at the same time after Communion.  The event is normally synchronized to occur at the same time as the priest/deacon finishes the purification of the sacred vessels and sits down.  If the Deacon purifies the vessels and the priest sits down for a time of reflection, then people don’t sit down yet.  A blind person would know just when the purification of the sacred vessels is complete by the sound of everybody sitting down at once.

It is interesting how these strange non-rubrics occur in the liturgy and become common practice.  People just take their cues from others for the most part.

Now as you might expect Synchronized Sitting is not referenced in the GIRM.  In fact after Communion the GIRM says:

they may sit or kneel while the period of sacred silence after Communion is observed.

So people may choose as what they feel most conductive to this sacred silence after Communion.  If they choose to sit they may sit immediately after returning to the pew.  No need to wait for the purification of the sacred vessels to be completed and the last man in the sanctuary is seated.

I myself prefer to remain kneeling until the concluding rites.  Though with everybody else sitting down I would stick up like a sore thumb.  ”Oh look at Mr. Pious there remaining kneeling while everybody else is sitting down.”  So I normally sit down at the same time as everybody else. Pew pressure don’t you know.

What I also find funny when the Deacon does the purification, often what happens is that once the Deacon sits down the priest stands up for the concluding rite.  So you have this awkward everybody sitting down and then seconds later everybody standing up.  Pew calisthenics.  ”Kneel, Sit, Stand” to get your heart rate going and warming up I guess for the mad dash to the parking lot you so often see at the end of Mass.

Maybe we need to use the same system they use for live TV shows to indicate to the audience what to to.  The Rubric Information System (RIS) could be placed unobtrusively in the church, maybe above the hymn indication sign so often used.  The RIS could make it clear to people what the acceptable rubrics are for that part of the Mass to end confusion.  The messages in the RIS would be standard so that parishes could not use the RIS for GIRM-defying phony rubrics. After Communion the sign would go to:

Of course I am joking about introducing something like this into Mass, but if we had it I would certainly like to see this message at times in some parishes.

In fact for special occasions when people really want to praise someone we can turn on this message.

After all what do we have that He has not given us? Reciting the Te Deum Laudamus would be perfect in these cases.