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Ignatius II

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We recently attended a Catholic mass at a church outside of our immediate geographical area with some relatives. The building itself was quite new with lots of windows and light coming in, with all the modern architectural angles and nuances. The stations of the cross were all clustered on one wall at the back of the church (actually, it was probably the only place where sufficient wall space existed to place them), as opposed to being on each side of the church and down it's length, as in most Catholic churches. The statues were of a very modern nature, and you kinda had to search for them.  The church was actually quite beautiful, but it looked protestant.  The people were friendly and greeted us as we came in. As a matter of fact they continued to talk in groups in the back of the church and across the pews. Anyone wanting to kneel and pray in silence prior to the beginning of mass would have been severely tested. The atmosphere seemed more like a family gathering at the Holidays or a reunion of some sort.  The nun in attendance, didn't dress like a nun, and belonged to some order I had never heard of, that almost sounded "New Age".  The diocesan appeal at the beginning took longer than the Homily.  Later with our extended family members, I mentioned that I was disappointed with a lot of the "modernism" trends I see in many Catholic Churches. One family member quickly added that she had no problem mixing the old and the new. In discussion with my wife later we noted the increasing relaxed atmosphere we have seen in recent years.  Our home church, although not using the Tridentine mass, I would still consider somewhat conservative. However, it too is louder and less reverent than it was only a few years ago. Any other Catholics on this forum see this same trend happening?

I would have to say, that is something I respect about the few Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches I have visited.  They appear to still have maintained an atmosphere of reverence.

I know the Catholic Church is trying to reclaim a lot of what they have lost over the years, I hope it is not too little, too late. It is always difficult to backtrack. I say this not to slam the Catholic Church, but out of concern and realizing the direction we need to go to regain what we have lost.
 

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I definitely see the opposite trend happening. When I was growing up, yeah I would say that many Catholic parishes were headed in the direction you describe. But now, probably over the past ten years, I have seen many parishes moving in the opposite direction, towards a more traditional and orthodox stance. My parish has moved strongly towards the traditional side, adopting sacred music, a very reverant celebration of the mass, and even an ad orietem Eucharistic liturgy several times a year. We have perpetual adoration, full lines for confession, rosary groups, etc.
I think some parishes still have tons of work to do, but we are headed in the right direction. The Bishops approved by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI have been very conservative liturgically and theologically, when compared with bishops of the past and most of the young priests now coming out of seminary are faithful to the teachings of Holy Mother Church.
 

Wyatt

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I think a lot of this is certain liberal priests who like to misinterpret the Second Vatican Council and use it as an excuse to make the Mass what they want it to be instead of what it always has been. I strongly believe we are going to see big improvements with the Pontificate of Benedict XVI and a return to reverence and traditional practices. I am really excited about the more accurate translation of the Mass coming out in 2011.

Fortunately, I belong to a very good parish where the Mass is offered quite reverently.
 

Paisius

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Papist said:
I definitely see the opposite trend happening. When I was growing up, yeah I would say that many Catholic parishes were headed in the direction you describe. But now, probably over the past ten years, I have seen many parishes moving in the opposite direction, towards a more traditional and orthodox stance. My parish has moved strongly towards the traditional side, adopting sacred music, a very reverant celebration of the mass, and even an ad orietem Eucharistic liturgy several times a year. We have perpetual adoration, full lines for confession, rosary groups, etc.
I think some parishes still have tons of work to do, but we are headed in the right direction. The Bishops approved by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI have been very conservative liturgically and theologically, when compared with bishops of the past and most of the young priests now coming out of seminary are faithful to the teachings of Holy Mother Church.

Here is an example of a parish like the one the OP is talking about.








This is the local parish where I initially started my inquiry into Catholicism. I thought it was strange having the altar in the center of the church. The walls are completely bare just like the typical Protestant church. The inside had just been remodeled when I first visited and the parish website says it was redesigned according to "Vatican II guidelines."

I have to say it's sad compared to some of the Catholic parishes I've seen in person and on the web. It almost seems like they're not part of the same Church. 


 
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Papist said:
^ Absolutely horrid. Thank God we are seeing fewer and fewer of these churches.
Yeah. I agree.

Hopefully we'll get a new church building soon! Allegedly they're planning.
 

lubeltri

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That building is not just in bad taste, it is the artistic/architectural expression of heretical theology.

Read these two excellent books to understand what happened and how things should/will be restored:





 

SolEX01

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I attended a wake here in 2009 (Holy Family Catholic in Middletown, MD).  Modern building; blends in nicely with the McMansions while nestled in a valley between 2 mountain ranges.  Lots of icons, which surprised me; however, the worship area was circular with a huge crucifix icon of Christ over the altar.
 

copticorthodoxboy

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a slideshow of the exterior and interior of a catholic church recently built a few miles from where i live (they perform the tridentine mass on sundays; might have to stop on by and observe):

http://www.holytrinityparish.net/SlideShows/NewChurch/Exterior/Exterior/default.htm

http://www.holytrinityparish.net/SlideShows/NewChurch/Interior/Interior/default.htm
 

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Welcome to St. Scaredycat's

"You're new in the suburbs, and it's Sunday morning, so you drive over to the nearest Catholic Church -- uh, make that community. You walk into the modern cement structure and are accosted by a GREETER, who welcomes you with a moist handshake... "

This was placed in the New Oxford Review years ago by English Catholics who were waging war on liturgical abuse.

I won't put the whole article here since, although it can give you a laugh, it can also be offensive/saddening to sincere Catholics who care about good reverent liturgy.

So for the whole article please go here

http://www.newoxfordreview.org/covers-pdf/ead-scaredycats.pdf
 

Asteriktos

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Greeters are one of the "seeker sensitive" ideas that actually could (and should, IMO) be used in Orthodox parishes ...
 

Irish Hermit

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Asteriktos said:
Greeters are one of the "seeker sensitive" ideas that actually could (and should, IMO) be used in Orthodox parishes ...
"Nice to see you here today, Madam.  Some of our best choristers are singing.

"Is your pew comfortable? 

"Would you like a pair of slippers? 

"Do you want meat or vegetarian for the coffee hour after this uplifting service?

 

Ortho_cat

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Ya, I could care less about greeters really. (sorry greeters!) I usually try to avoid them when I come in because I think it detracts from the overall experience. The icons are far better greeters, anyways :)
 

Ignatius II

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Ah!  I forgot to mention they had a guy playing the guitar (it wouldn't be quite complete without one), as part of the trio (choir) at the front of the church. Gotta be where the choir can be seen.  Need I say, only one song resembled Catholic music.
 

Ortho_cat

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Ignatius II said:
Ah!  I forgot to mention they had a guy playing the guitar (it wouldn't be quite complete without one), as part of the trio (choir) at the front of the church. Gotta be where the choir can be seen.  Need I say, only one song resembled Catholic music.
Once the Church starts bending to accomodate the masses, (by incorporating modern worship tactics, etc.) then people expect that the Church will continue to do so. Then, it becomes a competition between parishes to draw people with the 'hippest' worship styles. A very sad trend indeed...
 

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The funny thing is that my priest told me that his dream church would look like that but he also wears a soutane and something which people derogatorily call a "firanka" or lace curtain surplice.
 

Azurestone

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When I went to my first Orthodox church (GOA), there was a greeter at the door. He was extremely helpful and helped answer a few questions I had.

It's not all characature. They can be very useful, especially for inquirers who may have little experience with the liturgy.
 

Ortho_cat

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Azurestone said:
When I went to my first Orthodox church (GOA), there was a greeter at the door. He was extremely helpful and helped answer a few questions I had.

It's not all characature. They can be very useful, especially for inquirers who may have little experience with the liturgy.
This is true. Perhaps I was being unfair to the poor greeters.
 

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WetCatechumen said:
Papist said:
^ Absolutely horrid. Thank God we are seeing fewer and fewer of these churches.
Yeah. I agree.

Hopefully we'll get a new church building soon! Allegedly they're planning.
Indeed. Have you taken a look at the plans for Incarnation?
 

Papist

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coptic orthodox boy said:
a slideshow of the exterior and interior of a catholic church recently built a few miles from where i live (they perform the tridentine mass on sundays; might have to stop on by and observe):

http://www.holytrinityparish.net/SlideShows/NewChurch/Exterior/Exterior/default.htm

http://www.holytrinityparish.net/SlideShows/NewChurch/Interior/Interior/default.htm
Beautiful! Thank you for sharing.
 
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