Priests, Prayers, and Others

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This post is in direct response to that dude who spamrolled my tagboard about suggesting that I post things that actually made sense. So, moving away from our usual topics that either cover random articles and rants about work, life, pretty much everything else, I'd like to go back to a topic I covered before: prayers.

Last Sunday, our parish priest finally retired. To be honest, we all thought it was long overdue. The poor guy was too old for what he was doing. Father could barely deliver a homily without repeating himself, and during the times that he didn't, we barely understood anything that he said due to his weakened voice. It was like hearing the mass entirely in Latin, without the actual Latin involved.

So anyway, a new priest replaced him. The new priest is even more traditional than the one he replaced. The already lengthy 12 minute sermons now get stretched to 22 minute lecturefests. (I counted) Homily is almost always needlessly political (RH Bill, 2 weeks in a row) and grossly inappropriate for the Gospel of the week. The guy insists that more people in the country will deliver us to 1st world status - just like Japan. Yes, that country that started enjoying its best years after its population was decimated by WW2 and is currently enjoying a negative population growth. That Japan. I don't know. Ask him.

He also insists on doing certain "traditions" that take up a lot of time for the church goers, but doesn't bother to explain why we're doing it. Meanwhile, other more assumed traditional practices such as the closing SIGN OF THE CROSS has been taken out of the mass. And yes, you are right, I do not like him.

One additional thing that the new priest instituted are community prayers at the end of every communion which everybody reads/prays out loud. This is actually what I wanted to talk about. I just like to meander and mention about our new priest. Anyway I have three points to ponder for those prayers:

1. I've always thought those prayers were more for the people who said them than God Himself. If you inspect how they're written, they're more of statements that contain things that people might not know and the clergy feels we should know anyway. There are times, like that time we were praying for the automated elections that it felt partly like a public service announcement.

2. And since it's for the community, why do we have to word it so exquisitely? I don't mean to be a dick, but why do our prayers have to be flowery? Will God listen to our prayers more if they're worded like Shaekspearean literature? It's pretty safe to say that half of the people I go to Church with barely understand English, even more so if the words are fancy. What good will it be to ask the people to pray to God in terms they do not even understand?
Actually the same idea applies for songs that are highpitched and choirs that insist on using them. What's the point of singing beautiful sopranissimos if nobody else can sing along what's supposed to be a community effort? Do we really need to show off talents to the Dude who gave them to us at the cost of alienating pretty much everybody else?

3. Lastly, why is it that community prayers are always asking for something. Here are the things we've prayed for, for the last year: Reprieve from the supposedly deadly H1N1. Automated Election success. Rains to cure drought. And even the prevention of the building of some dam that will actually solve the drought problem. If you've been following news, all of those things happened, some of them just days after the community prayer. Call it Divine Will or not, we prayed, it happened. Now that's nice and all, but WHY ARE WE NEVER PRAYING FOR THANKSGIVING? Every community prayer is asking for something and never thanking for what we actually got. Forgive me for acting like a know-it-all, but just this once, wouldn't it make more sense to assume an Omniscient God already knows what we need, and it's more sensible that we just be thankful for what He gives us?

If the Church does really want to preach its flock being the good Christians we are all supposed to be, we can at least start with being thankful to the first one that we should be thanking.

Until then, I'm attending the service, but I'll be praying on my own.

p.s. (If you're atheist, a Dan Brownie critic, or a self-proclaimed agnostic, bugger off.)

1 comment:

rei said...

Those were the reasons why other 'religions' despise the Catholic Church. I agree with you, esp. in #2. I personally go to church not because I proclaim that I'm a Catholic, but because I have faith.
Yeah the Catholic Church has 'issues' but then, will jumping from one religion to another or being an atheist will save us? (I don't think so) --> I'm saying to those mentioned on your last sentence. haha

Regarding prayers, I remembered the movie "Bruce Almighty." :)

Sorry about my long comment, I just remembered those all-knowing people who hates the Catholic Church and brags that their religion is better. As if 'religion' matters.


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