Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Rubrics, Gestures and Symbolism of Our Sacred Liturgy

Here's something that should be painfully obvious to TTC readers: Carol does not take a shine to people who make up their own teachings of the Catholic Church, especially when it comes to the Sacred Liturgy. It doesn't matter to me whether it's the friends-with-benefit/seven deadly sins spin on our Sacred Liturgy or if it comes from the Traddies.

The devil is always in the details.

I'm going to talk about this piece from Anne Barnhart in a minute, but before I do, I have a little parable.

About six months ago, I was sitting in a Panera Bread having lunch and an elderly woman came in and sat at the table beside me.  She was modestly dressed, but wearing diamonds, gold, emeralds that would give Liz Taylor a run for her money. 

She took notice of my cross necklace and began talking to me about Christ, the depravity of the world and in particular women, the threat Obama is to the moral compass and sovereignty of our country.  It was clear by her cogent thoughts that she was educated, articulate, bright. 

Then she told me about the aliens from space who steal body parts and jewelry - and the bunker she was building to hide from them.  She told me there was room for my family and invited me.

The moral of the story is, sometimes brilliant people can be right on the money in 75% of something and just about the time you are salivating for the climax, they take off in a spaceship.

Let me start by saying, every educated Catholic would ratify Anne's citation from our theology that  Christ is a Bridegroom to his Bride, the Roman Catholic Church.   We would also affirm that our fiat here on earth is to gain admission to the Wedding Feast of the Lamb - eternal life in Paradise with Christ and Christ's atoning sacrifice in the Sacred Liturgy is mortal participation in His Glorious Feast.

While 60% of what Anne wrote to subsidize Catholic teaching is consistent with Church teaching, the spaceship lands just about the time she starts talking about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

There's a general rule of thumb that every Catholic better hang onto as we navigate the storms of this time in history:  We have 2000 years of Pontiffs and a Deposit of Faith that define the meaning and symbolism of rubrics and gestures of our priests in our Sacred Liturgy (and teachings). 

If you've never heard it before, ask the person for official sources from the 2000 years of the Deposit of Faith.   Do your own diligence.  If you can't find it in the Deposit of Faith, there's a problem.  Give it zero credence.
Here we go:
In the traditional, pre-Vatican II rites, such as the Tridentine, Ambrosian, and Byzantine rites, at the moment of consecration, when the priest, in an act of masculine initiation, is calling God to the altar, both at the consecration of the Host and at the consecration of the Chalice, the priest MUST bend over the altar, stare intently at the Host or the Chalice, and rest his elbows on the altar. In this posture, and this posture only, does the priest then say the words that actually effect the change of the bread and the wine into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ

The priest puts his elbows down on the altar because the altar is A MARRIAGE BED...The priest lovingly holds the Host in his hands beneath him atop the supernatural marriage bed of the altar..YES, the consecration of the Host and Chalice in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is a direct analogue to sexual intercourse between husband and wife. There. I said it. That wasn’t so difficult, now was it?...A baldachin is a bed canopy...

.The rubric of the elbows-down posture was intentionally stripped from the Mass by the Communist-homosexualist infiltrators in the 1960′s because they hated Our Lord, His Church, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, His Real Presence in the Eucharist, and specifically because of the connection to the marital act.... DO WHAT YOU WANT! Contracept! Sleep around! Be a sodomite! Abuse yourself!

The altar isn’t a table. It’s a bed, complete with bed linens. And it is NOT SYMBOLIC.


Giving the woman the benefit of the doubt, perhaps this piece is poorly written or perhaps I have developed a reading comprehension problem - but my read on this was the insinuation that our priests are simulating sex between the sheets on the marriage bed.

This woman is worried about the innovations of puppets in the bleachers at Cardinal Bergoglio's Mass in Argentina?

I don't think I have ever encountered anything more offensive. For a variety of reasons. Considering I am in Boston, that is saying a lot.

I'm here to remind all that the meaning, gestures and rubrics of the Sacred Liturgy come to us through Apostolic Succession.

I stopped reading Anne about six months ago. When an individual sent me a link to the piece, I spent about 1/2 hour reading. I could, quite literally, feel tidal waves of hatred pounding over me. The magnitude of visciousness and venom consuming this poor lamb rattled me.

  My Jesus Mercy.


Supertradmum said...

Too much but, the baldacchino, over the altars of older churches and the great one in St. Peter's is supposed to remind us of the marriage bed. This is an older idea than the person you quoted, and leave it to the Italians to have that symbolism. It was originally made out of ornate material from Baghdad, like silk brocade, hence the name, and was held over potentates etc. Same with the royal bed having posters and the covering. The idea of the altar as covered goes back also to the tents of the Holy of Holies in the desert in Mosaic times.

The symbolism goes back to Solomon at least. However, the particular references to the priest's actions I have never read in 40 years of reading liturgical and theological texts regarding the Mass.

Is there always reference to the Bridegroom at least implied, yes, but that particular movement by the priest would have to be researched more in depth. The bending over is indeed a sign of respect and the sacredness of the moment. The bending over is sometimes related to a breath from the priest, at least in the TLM, but I do not know if priests are actually taught to do that.

Karen said...

Though Ann might take 'militant' to a new level, I have no doubt that her heart, especially her love for all things God and our beloved Bride of Christ, is in the right place. She's given up much for this love. It's frustrating to be able to see clearly what is happening in our church and our world (thanks be to the graces and illumination sent by the Holy Spirit) and to feel somewhat powerless to stop it shy of shouting out the truth. For those of you who do this via your blogs, it must be even more difficult as you reach more people than most of us and want to get it right with the voices God has given all of you for your particular tasks.
I hope that you are wrong about Ann. I see many differences in the styles of those whose blogs I instinctively follow and do not always agree with everything being said, but I don't doubt that the mission is coming from the right place. At least I hope it is!

I keep you, Ann, and many others in my prayers! What you all have felt compelled to undertake is not easy, and is in fact courageous. I'm sure that Satan works overtime to take you down! My prayers are for your protection that that does not happen!

Thank you for your thoughts here, and I'm hoping that what you see in Ann is more style than moving over the edge! We need you all!

TTC said...

SuperTradMom, Thank you for this. I saw many references to the canopy and explanations of the history. My travels has taught the canopy as symbolic of royalty, which is well documented but I accept the reference as it is documented. Her embellishment about gestures that symbolize sexual intercourse is not only the most offensive thing I have ever read, the fact that she delivers it with the authority that trumps Rome is very disturbing.

Karen, she loves Christ and His Church deeply. Blogging is very hard. I don't know how anyone could miss the venom and hatred with which she is currently writing and the things she is saying indicate she is now off of the reservation. Thanks for prayers for us! You are most kind.

KD said...

What an imagination this woman has! The Mass is a Sacrifice and Upon every Altar Christ is Crucified anew. At the moment of Transubstantion the Bread and Wine become Christ, the Priest is offering Christ again Body Blood Sould and Divinity to God The Father on behalf of many. I'm sorry but I have never ever seen anything sexual about this great mystery. Whoa, the devil is working over time!

breathnach said...


Unlike the catholycs who won't criticize anything going on amongst their tribe, authentic Catholics are willing to point out abuses within their ranks. I've only seen a YouTube video of Anne Barnhart (unrelated to Catholic issues). She seemed a bit fevered for my tastes. She has certainly jumped the shark here.Her literal equating of the sacrifice of the Mass with the physical sexual act is bizarre. Thanks for this posting.

TTC said...

KD and Breathnach,

She does equate our Sacred Mystery, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, with physical sex, right?

What's even more bizzare is when a reader, supporter and friend says that inferring Ann equated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with sex is a frightening and twisted lie, demands I accept it as an official teaching of the Catholic Church and when decline, respond by telling me she will never speak to me again.

Definitely the devil - too weird to to be human in nature.

KD said...

Carol, as the saying goes, "with friends like that who needs enemies" . Good riddens to bad rubbish ... Sure she needs prayers and maybe an Exocist!
Keep up your Great work, mission and Crusade,. May God Bless and Protect YOU,

breathnach said...


Apparently Anne's legitimate concern with the influence of homosexuality and feminism on some in the priesthood has unhinged her.

I shudder to think what she thinks happened at the Last Supper! This is nuts. Yes Christ's masculinity is necessarily reflected in the priesthood, but transubstantiation is not overtly sexual. The Church was founded at the moment of Mary's "yes"....I pray that is not sexualized.

This is reminiscent of the absurd Freudianism that equated every subconscious thought with sexual imagery.

TTC said...

KD, what makes this so puzzling is, she was always kind, gracious, thoughtful, giving. Right up until five minutes before I wouldn't affirm the Liturgy is about sexual intercourse. There is a reason for everything. I absolutely trust in Jesus. Thank you for your prayers!

Breathnach--nuts is just about the right word for projecting sex and sheets onto the Holy Sacrifice.

Time for more fasting and penance!

Boston Catholic Guy said...

I agree with Karen that Ann takes "militant" to a new level. Poor thing is about to be jailed for failing to pay taxes, I think.
But I think the Sacred Liturgy, rubrics and gestures ARE very important. Am concerned with reading stuff like this:

The lesson is clear: it may take but comparatively very little in the way of encouragement from Rome, intentional or otherwise, to set in motion a speedy unraveling of at least some of the hard earned gains realized over the last seven years.

As if all of this were not foreboding enough, that which took place during the Holy Father's gathering with journalists in Paul VI Hall on March 16th can hardly be considered anything other than a harbinger of darkness. The relevant details were described by Dr. Robert Moynihan as follows:

The moment had come for him to impart to all of us his Apostolic Blessing, but he did not do this in the usual way.

In fact, he made no exterior gesture at all. He did not lift his hand, he did not move it in the form of a blessing, and he did not speak "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" out loud.

He said, in Italian: "I cordially impart to all of you my blessing. Thank you." And then, in Spanish, he explained as follows: "I told you I was cordially imparting my blessing. Since many of you are not members of the Catholic Church, and others are not believers, I cordially give this blessing silently, to each of you, respecting the conscience of each, but in the knowledge that each of you is a child of God. May God bless you!"

And with that, he turned and left.

The anguish that this breathtaking episode engenders in the faithful Catholic defies description, and yet, I have discovered that many among us have grown so numb to such unthinkable acts of disregard for Our Blessed Lord that the mere retelling of this event is often treated as little more than an invitation to shoot the messenger.

For those unaware of just how much is at stake in the words and gestures in question, I would simply point to the Angelus address of September 11, 2005, wherein Pope Benedict XVI said:

The sign of the Cross is the fundamental act of our prayer, of Christian prayer.

Making the sign of the Cross – as we will do during the Blessing – means saying a visible and public "yes" to the One who died and rose for us, to God who in the humility and weakness of his love is the Almighty, stronger than all the power and intelligence of the world.

No one knows with precision what the immediate future holds for the Church under this fledgling pontificate, but a faithful Catholic can scarcely deny that when the Vicar of Christ is reluctant to make the Sign of the Cross and to invoke the Blessed Trinity in an act of public blessing, there is no motive lofty enough to render it anything other than what it is; "an imminent danger for the Faith" that demands repudiation in defense of "the One who died and rose for us."

Isn't this kind of scary?

Jack O'Malley said...

I read this a while back on her own site. I think she is a nutter anyway but I laughed out loud at this piece. I don't think she's really thought through the theology of her thesis though. I mean, if she's right, wouldn't the Mass of the Catechumens count as foreplay?

You're right about the spaceship.

She's learning Latin evidently. Her favorite expression was "chickenshit" which she literally translated from some pocket dictionary as "pullusfimus". LOL! Latin can come in handy though as she's definitely non compos mentis.

After her youtube skit bookmarking the Coran with bacon strips and burning the pages with a butane lighter, she published her home address and dared the Mohammedans (for whom she coined the term "musloids", whatever that is supposed to mean) to "bring it on". She apparently has an assault rifle and can shoot the thing, so the jihadists wisely forbore to storm the citadel. Either that or they too decided she is a whack job.

Besides, is it not strange that a convert more Catholic than the pope would burn a book that a pope himself kissed? It's a strange world. Maybe the spaceships have already landed.

She has stopped paying taxes and is now daring the IRS to "bring it on".

The poor woman desperately needs to get married and file jointly. If you catch my drift.

TTC said...

Boston Catholic Guy,

Know what my thoughts were on that one? He was not giving what was holy to the dogs.

Think about it - how many times did Christ not impart his blessing on the pagans? Every time, unless they spoke about their faith publicly.

IMO, there are no flies on this guy.

TTC said...

Jack - absolutely hysterical.

I checked out at the bacon strip episode. The tax evasion thing and doing things to dare the muslims to come and kill her --no way is her shtick holy martyrdom.

There are so many traps in blogging. Getting swallowed up in bitterness is one of the more serious ones. The scary thing is, people get attracted to consuming rage and watch it for entertainment. I'm praying for the poor woman at the Sacrifice of the Mass.

TTC said...

Boston Catholic Guy -- to clarify, Moynihan was referring to the assembly of journalists, right?

It wasn't just a Catholic assembly, there were atheists and people who have taken up the vocation of assaulting Christ's Church.

Jack O'Malley said...

Carol, I've actually said a few Hail Mary's for her but I think it'll take more than that to bring her round to orthodoxy. She is obsessed with the sexual connotation of the "Bridegroom" and the "Bride of Christ", apparently not realising that these are metaphors.

God help us when it dawns on her that the "Body of Christ" is actually the Church. She'll be hugging the bell tower in a climax of adoration.

Let's just hope she doesn't discover Bernini's Estasi di santa Teresa d'Avila or she'll start a Catholicism porno site. She already is featuring saints with "assault weapons'". Saints presesrve us.