Bow Down & Worship Me!

February 2001

It's all the rage now among liberal Catholics to say that Jesus is present in the congregation just as certainly as — and maybe more certainly than — He is present in the consecrated bread and wine. Which is why at many eucharistic celebrations these days it seems that the "gathered community" is basically celebrating or worshiping itself.

This self-deifying notion has even found its way into moderate circles, namely, the pages of Our Sunday Visitor. In its July 2, 2000, issue, J. Robinson of Illinois asked Msgr. M. Francis Mannion, who writes the Visitor's Q&A feature, about a priest who asserted that "in the Eucharist we are consecrated into the Body and Blood of Christ" (italics added). Mannion replied by affirming "this truth."

Your Deputy Editor recently attended a Mass where the visiting priest insisted, at the Sign of Peace, that the congregants turn to others in the pew to "shake hands with the Christ next to you." We don't know about you, but if we were to turn to Christ, we wouldn't be so pedestrian, so rude as to shake His hand. And we certainly wouldn't be so idiotic as to say, "The peace of the Lord be with You always," for He is the Lord and He is already the very definition of Peace. No, we'd exclaim, "My Lord and my God!" and then fall to the floor, beg for mercy, and perhaps dare to touch the hem of His garment.

As for your Editor, he recently attended a Mass where the visiting homilist assured the congregation from the pulpit that we "are Christ" because in receiving Communion we are consecrated into the Body and Blood of Christ. Your Editor was tempted to approach the homilist after Mass and, taking him at his word, demand, "Bow down and worship Me!"


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New Oxford Notes: February 2001

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The next time the pastor at the parish where my son attends school carries on with this sort of rubbish, I am going to approach him with that line - "Bow down and worship me." I can't wait!!! Posted by: gespin3549
February 19, 2007 11:01 AM EST
Fabulous article - I've been asserting this very thing for years from the musical perspective. This Glory and Praise trend - far from being merely more modern music - is subtly affirming co-equality of the creature with the Creator. Next time you pick up a Glory and Praise hymnal and read the lyrics of the songs to come out of that era, note how they are focused not on God, Christ and the Holy Spirit as the hymns before Glory and Praise. Instead, they are rife with self-praise disguised as glorifying God. As for the music itself, it is inane, insipid and musically devoid of any development, nuance.

Bring back the REAL hymns, REAL hymnals - and stop using youth-group mentality "Michael Row Your Boat Ashore" beach songs at a clambake mentatality at Mass. For a great read behind much of this musical mayhem, read Thomas Day's "Why Catholics Can't Sing:The Culture of Catholicism and the Triumph of Bad Taste."

I, for one, am sick of attending Mass and leaving feeling as though priest, choirmaster, and everyone else involved in the Liturgy feel it is their responsibility to entertain me. I want to touch the transcendent, to be reminded that there is Something far greater than me in this universe. I want to come together and collectively reaffirm a belief in Jesus Christ, 2nd Person of the Holy Trinity. Let's purge ourselves of priests who fancy themselves standup comics, and music directors who have never had a formal class in music in their lives. Oops - but we need to also be prepared to PAY for quality music of substance.

Too bad this article so accurately mirrors my own experience, having moved many times in the course of my career and having extraordinarily difficult searches for a parish that understands HOW to worship - and WHOM to worship.
Posted by: WalterRHunter
February 19, 2007 12:24 PM EST
Every time they sing this at Mass, I get the same reaction: "Bow down and worship me, then. Who needs Jesus?"

I myself am the Bread of Life,
you and I are the Bread of Life,
taken and blessed, broken and shared by Christ
that the world might live.

Posted by: Droddy
December 04, 2007 11:01 AM EST
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