Posts tagged mass

Drop the Mic

Kevin White has an interesting analysis of the development in the use of microphones in Mass in the December 2012 First Things.

The seventeenth-century poet George Herbert coined the brilliant metaphor of prayer as reversed thunder. The microphone at Mass, one might say, goes some way to turning the metaphor into literal truth, to the detriment of its metaphoric force and charm. Acoustically, many Masses now have much in common with other contemporary events at which electronically projected voices fill the air, including political rallies, popular music concerts, sports events, movies in theaters, and travel in airports and subway stations. These events take place in cavernous, rumbling echo chambers in which crowds of people are subjected to unnaturally loud voices with a metallic timbre.

A microphone allows its user to impose his voice, and thereby his thought and personality, on many more people than an ancient orator could. Now a public speaker is anyone with a microphone. The amateur in front of a microphone is tempted to indulge the pleasure of broadcasting his thoughts and feelings, to the great amusement or annoyance of his audience. The more skillful speaker takes control of the microphone and the situation, using his amplified voice for other purposes. Popular singers and populist politicians have been masters of the microphone, expertly murmuring more loudly than anyone could ever shout.

Found another one! Stephen Colbert complains about the changes to the Nicene Creed.

Because Christianity is an historical religion, based on events in time and place, it is assumed too often, even by Christians, that those events are historically verifiable. Because we can point to classical references to a sect which believed in Christ, many jump to the conclusion that that belief is objective evidence of the facts they wish to establish. But history comes in later and in a different way.

What is inescapable for the most sceptical historian is not the fact of the Incarnate Body of Christ, but the fact of his Mystical Body, the Church. Whether or not on a particular Thursday evening in an upper room in Jerusalem, Jesus of Nazareth ordered His followers till the end of time to eat his Body and drink his Blood under the species of bread and wine can never be ‘historically’ established. But that for nineteen centuries this has been done cannot be ‘historically’ escaped.

… The unique phenomenon in history is the Church—that is to say, the company of people which no man now can number who eat, have eaten and will eat the Body, who drink, have drunk and will drink the Blood.

Hugh Ross Williamson, The Great Prayer: Concerning the Canon of the Mass (1955)
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