August 12, 2004

Two homilies

Last Saturday, I drove down to Peoria, as did my mom and sister, to attend a family gathering in honour of a cousin's 50th anniversary. It was exciting to meet all these relatives that I barely remembered or had never even met before; contacts were made and I hope to be able to make plans and see them again.

That's not what this post is about, though.

Prefatory to the dinner, the brother of the couple (well, her brother, his brother-in-law), who is a priest, said Mass in the living room. This was in and of itself pretty neat. He brought in vestments and the necessary props (a chalice, unconsecrated wafers, etc.), and they pulled up a nice endtable with a pretty white doily to serve as ersatz altar. There were a number of liturgical misfires (as in, sitting through the whole thing, except for the Our Father, and skipping other non-optional bits), but hey, it was an unusual setting.

What really got me going, though, was that this priest used his sister's 50th anniversary as an occasion to lecture on the sanctity of marriage. And it wasn't an acceptable "they've made it through and taken seriously what so many today do not", either. Throughout the homily, he kept making totally inappropriate sideways digs at the current gay marriage debate, and the meddlesome government, and people trying to undermine the church's ancient and universal definition, and on, and on, and on.

I very nearly walked out.

Had he been any more direct, I really would have. Mom and Kathy were in a separate car (though Kathy was saying that she, too, was considering walking out, so she might well have come with me). And I long ago decided that I was perfectly able to walk out of a Mass during the homily if the priest or deacon said something ridiculous. Mom asked later (as I was discussing this) if I'd stayed because it was a family occasion, but that really wasn't it. The priest managed to skate just inside the line. And I was gratified to know that the Eucharist is sacramental, and symbolic of our full communion with the worldwide church, even if it was consecrated by an intolerant jackass like this one.

The next day, I went to Sunday Mass at St Pat's, where Fr Bill sermonised on the fraying morality of our society, and all the people trying to pass into law various immoral stances. Oddly enough, though, he spent a lot of time stressing the fact that we shouldn't keep quiet just because we held an unpopular moral viewpoint; he said specifically that we should not throw away the influence we hold within our families and social circles. Fantastic, thought I, because for all his martyr complex, I find that within most of my family and at least the religious social circle, it's my viewpoint (viz, what the hell are we doing trying to legislate on moral grounds) that is the minority. I'm glad he agrees that it's my duty to speak up about it! I feel that I've been a good influence on my young cousins and on the after-Mass coffee-and-donuts crowd, and I intend to continue on that path.

In the meantime, though, this cold weather has just got to stop. It's like it's October or something.

"For Friday's game, Tribune Co. installed safety netting, which, in the event of an emergency, I'm guessing, could fall and trap fans trying to flee the falling concrete." --Burt Constable

Posted by blahedo at 8:36pm on 12 Aug 2004
What do you mean, stop? It's BEAUTIFUL. Although we'll probably pay for it when it's 90 and 95% in September. Posted by Chelsea at 12:53am on 13 Aug 2004
How lovely and refreshing it has been lately! I am still waiting for anyone to make any argument against gay marriage that makes any sense. The very best they have is that we don't allow it now and change is bad. Hogwash of course, but it is the best they have. How can anyone say it is immoral? How can anyone observe a loving gay couple that have been together for years and deny they are married? You can tell just by the tone of voice they use with each other. But then, these same people would condemn my family, so I suppose my views hold no weight at all. In the mean time, I am quite sick of people telling us that a child can have only one mother. The current debate seems to have emboldened the intolerant. I suppose priests egging them on to speak up helps. As Vernon shops, he talks to Loren and tells her things like, "I need to find some gouda for your mommies." Strangers have seen fit to lecture him about how a child has only two parents, one mother and one father. As if no one has step parents. As if no one is adopted but knows their birth parents. As if all children today were conceived by one man and one woman. Funny that, very few of my friends had just two parents. Posted by lee at 6:24am on 13 Aug 2004
Dude, at least the sermonizing wasn't at your OWN WEDDING, with your GLBT friends shaking their heads and getting frustrated at the sermon, after you and your intended carefully picked readings that stressed the covenantal aspects of marriage over "one man and one woman". Not that I'm bitter or anything. Posted by Chris at 10:54pm on 14 Aug 2004
How can anyone say it is immoral? How can anyone observe a loving gay couple that have been together for years and deny they are married? I fear it's mostly the people who haven't observed such a couple who preach about how immoral it is. I know it took living across the hall from four gay men at IMSA to start shaking my anti-homosexual programming as a kid. Posted by Chris at 11:00pm on 14 Aug 2004
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