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New Forms of Incense in LA Cathedral
TCRNews.com ^ | Sept 3, 2002 | TCRNews.com

Posted on 09/03/2002 5:05:37 PM PDT by petrusv2

New Forms of Incense in LA Cathedral

 Nuns, Incense, LA Cathedral

Whatever one may think of Cardinal Mahony's new LA Cathedral---recall even Charles Ryder in Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited was moaning the "deplorable" liturgical art work in Lady Marchmain's pre-Vatican II ornate chapel after his conversion ---one cannot help but notice that it is nuns here (above), recognizable nuns in modest habits, who are lifting huge newstyle censers which complement the transcendental sense of open space which surrounds the new altar which itself is surrounded by space for the People of God, all focused in on the altar of the Eucharist.

I have been amused to watch various extremists suggest the nuns look more like "wicca priestesses" than Catholic nuns. That is simply preposterous, even if I might prefer the old way of incensing the altar.

At any rate, the Church has always absorbed or assimilated aspects of ancient non-Catholic (read: pagan) worship into its liturgical celebration. Thus there can be no a priori objection to its assimilation of new style art today within dogmatically established parameters. One must understand the difference between the substance in the Mass and its accidents if one is to understand how His Holiness JPII could send congratulations to Cardinal Mahony on the opening of this temple in itself.

The New Advent on-line Catholic Encyclopedia notes the ancient origins of incense, common to both Christians and, much earlier, pagans.

"The use of incense was very common. It was employed for profane purposes as an antidote to the lassitude caused by very great heat, as perfumes are now used. Mention of its introduction into pagan worship is made by classical writers (cf. Ovid, "Metamorph.", VI, 14, Virgil, "AEneid", I, 146). Herodotus testifies to its use among the Assyrians and Babylonians, while on Egyptian monumental tablets kings are represented swinging censers. Into the Jewish ritual it entered very extensively, being used especially in connexion with the eucharistic offerings of oil, fruits, and wine, or the unbloody sacrifices (Leviticus, vi, 15). By the command of God Moses built an altar of incense (cf. Ex.. xxx), on which the sweetest spices and gums were burned, and to a special branch of the Levitical tribe was entrusted the office of daily renewal (I Par., ix, 29).

When, exactly, incense was introduced into the religious services of the Church it is not easy to say. During the first four centuries there is no evidence for its use "

Let the ultra-traditionalist critics prefer this or that kind of architecture, this or that age or style of song, but so long as the essential elements of the Catholic Mass remain in place, it is a matter of taste, not orthodoxy. Consider that in Psalm 150 the LORD even invites praise with "dancing, string and lute...with the clash of resounding cymbals". One may or may not prefer it---one may even despise it!---- but to argue it is some blasphemy, outside the bounds of orthodoxy per se would be news to the God of the Covenant---Jesus Christ---and is to show a dismal acquaintance with revelation. It is the Eucharist which makes the cathedral, not vice versa.

We are much more concerned as we wrote in our Letters / Musings section on the way the poor seemed to have been excluded from so much in the opening week's festivities of the Cathedral. We are also concerned with the state of catechesis in the LA Archdiocese. But that is another matter. We must make distinctions, otherwise we are just "fool"-ing around.


TOPICS: General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: catholiclist; lacathedral

1 posted on 09/03/2002 5:05:38 PM PDT by petrusv2
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To: petrusv2
"Let the ultra-traditionalist critics prefer this or that kind of architecture, this or that age or style of song, but so long as the essential elements of the Catholic Mass remain in place, it is a matter of taste, not orthodoxy. "

Yup.

2 posted on 09/03/2002 6:57:25 PM PDT by Theresa
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To: petrusv2; GatorGirl; tiki; maryz; *Catholic_list; afraidfortherepublic; Antoninus; Aquinasfan; ...
See Steven Hand defend the NewChurch of Roger Mahony.
3 posted on 09/03/2002 9:09:49 PM PDT by narses
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To: narses
I have been amused to watch various extremists suggest the nuns look more like "wicca priestesses" than Catholic nuns. That is simply preposterous, even if I might prefer the old way of incensing the altar.

Hand reads Free Republic, and read your post, narses.

He's nailing YOU, as an extremist.

You did get quite a wedgie over this innocuous display.

Did you object to the native Indians dancing at the conclusion of the Holy Father's Mass in Mexico City last month?

Inculturation in liturgical non-essentials is an added personal expression of praise.

4 posted on 09/03/2002 9:23:46 PM PDT by sinkspur
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To: sinkspur
I use incense when the restroom fan isn't powerful enough. Larger building , larger incense holder,...I guess.
5 posted on 09/03/2002 9:55:12 PM PDT by Cvengr
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To: Cvengr
Are you suggesting that Mahoney's Cathedral stinks?

;-)

patent

6 posted on 09/03/2002 10:05:12 PM PDT by patent
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To: Theresa
Nope. The essential elements are present at a Black Mass--but it is still an abomination. Non-essentials matter.
7 posted on 09/03/2002 11:35:44 PM PDT by ultima ratio
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To: sinkspur
Think about it. These Indian women were "exorcising" demons from the Vicar of Christ in the middle of a papal Mass for the canonization of men who died in order to rid the world of such pagan ceremonies. Meanwhile the Tridentine Mass of the ages is kept under lock and key, as Christopher Ferrara recently pointed out. Hello? Anybody home? You think Catholicism is having some kind of nervous breakdown?
Somebody sure is looney--and it's not traditional Catholicism!
8 posted on 09/03/2002 11:46:44 PM PDT by ultima ratio
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To: narses
I wonder if Mother Angelica will weigh in on this latest fiasco. Was this covered on EWTN?
9 posted on 09/03/2002 11:54:42 PM PDT by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: ultima ratio
"Non-essentials matter."

"In essentials, unity, in doubtful matters, liberty; in all things charity." Pope John XXIII, Ad Petri Cathedram and popularly attributed to St. Augustine

10 posted on 09/04/2002 12:05:27 AM PDT by Theresa
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To: sinkspur
I don't have a clue as to what you're talking about ; )
11 posted on 09/04/2002 12:31:25 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler
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To: Theresa
What is non-essential for the validity of the Mass is often essential to liturgically express the faith. The idea of propitiation is an essential doctrine of the faith. But its absence in a liturgy would not render the Mass invalid--though it would render it offensive.
12 posted on 09/04/2002 12:59:04 AM PDT by ultima ratio
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To: goldenstategirl
Was this covered on EWTN?

I think MTV would be more appropriate.

13 posted on 09/04/2002 1:08:04 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler
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To: petrusv2
but so long as the essential elements of the Catholic Mass remain in place, it is a matter of taste, not orthodoxy.

The author could not be more wrong.

Granted, the 'essential elements' are necessary. Taste, however, must be formed in orthodoxy and then deployed. This rather blase remark demonstrates a profound ignorance of the term 'culture,' and the individual should be returned to school for some genuine learning.

14 posted on 09/04/2002 5:52:54 AM PDT by ninenot
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To: ultima ratio
The broader aspect involves the definition of 'culture.' Culture necessarily derives from 'cult.' Thus, it can be quite plain to an observer exactly what is the object of cultic worship simply by noting the 'peripherals.'

No question that incense is a part of the Catholic culture, at Mass and at devotions. Also no question that priests, deacons, and altar BOYS have swung censers. (In convents, nuns have, I suppose.)

But to define all but the text of the Mass and the celebrants' intention as 'peripherals,' or 'matters of doubt' is not realistic in the least.
15 posted on 09/04/2002 5:58:36 AM PDT by ninenot
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To: narses
I'd comment but it just ain't worth the effort any more...
16 posted on 09/04/2002 6:56:36 AM PDT by Polycarp
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To: goldenstategirl
I wonder if Mother Angelica will weigh in on this latest fiasco. Was this covered on EWTN?

Mother suffered a major stroke last year. Half her head is paralyzed but she is still in charge. EWTN DID NOT cover the dedication ceremony. No surprise since Mother Angelica and Roger Mahony locked horns a while back.

17 posted on 09/04/2002 7:55:53 AM PDT by NYer
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To: sinkspur
I have to disagree. Using the "essentials/non-essentials" logic, holding mass in a giant trash dumpster, as long as the essetntials are there, is A-OK? Maybe so, but to me it reduces the spirituality of the Mass greatly.
18 posted on 09/04/2002 8:00:43 AM PDT by Conservative til I die
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To: petrusv2
I was right yesterday when I posted on three threads that they were incensing the new altar!!!
19 posted on 09/04/2002 8:01:57 AM PDT by Salvation
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To: ninenot; narses
Taste, however, must be formed in orthodoxy and then deployed.

Absolutely, and in my best impression of a Protestant minister, AMEN, BROTHER!

The author of this essay is in denial as he continues to defend the indefensible. He has written many worthwhile things in the past, but he loses credibility with this kind of BS and I doubt if even Joe pew warmer would buy it.

20 posted on 09/04/2002 8:14:09 AM PDT by Sock
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To: Theresa
petrusv2: "Let the ultra-traditionalist critics prefer this or that kind of architecture, this or that age or style of song, but so long as the essential elements of the Catholic Mass remain in place, it is a matter of taste, not orthodoxy. "

Theresa: Yup.

Nope.
21 posted on 09/04/2002 9:05:47 AM PDT by Siobhan
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To: goldenstategirl
From Colin Donovan at EWTN:

Dedication Mass for New Cathedral on EWTN?
Question from Matthew Dana on 08-28-2002:

How come the dedication Mass for the new Our Lady of the Angeles Cathedral in Los Angeles is not going to be broadcast on EWTN?

This is the first cathedral to be opened in 26 years within the USA. It is the cathedral of BY FAR the largest archdiocese in the USA. It's also likely the most expensive ever built in the USA with the possible exception of the National Shrine in DC.

I think it would have been most edifying and appropriate for EWTN to broadcast this momentus moment throughout the world. What happened?

+JMJ;

Matthew

Answer by Colin B. Donovan, STL on 08-31-2002:

We've not been asked.

I noticed that in your superlatives "the most beautiful" was missing. It seems to be missing from most articles on the subject. In fact, a recent article in the LA Times called it ugly. I would have used a superlative myself.

22 posted on 09/04/2002 9:08:38 AM PDT by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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To: ultima ratio
" Non-Tradition Catholicism"

I'm not familiar with the 'Indian women' or the situation you wrote of. But there is something very pagan going on. It's not just the Catholic Church. Maybe it's part of the grand Millennium Ecumenicism promoted by the world council of churches. Paganism has become deep rooted in this country and the world. Traditional Religions are sitting up, taking notice and inclusive worldwide.

May 22,2000: "Alarm over Church talks with Druids",Sunday London Telegraph http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/druids.html

August 6,2002: "Incoming Archbishop of Canterbury becomes a Druid", The Guardian- http://www.anglicansonline.org/news/

The Anglican Church, headed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, is communioned with the Episcopal Churches here in the US. Example:

http://www.st-tims-church.org/ep_int.html

Also the Episcopal Diocese of California promotes New Age Leaders. One named Matthew Fox a former Catholic priest is on a lecture circuit promoting "RAVE MASSES", with alters to the sun and the moon. See New Age movement in the Episcopal Church. http://www.fatima.freehosting.net/Articles/Art7.htm.
23 posted on 09/04/2002 9:13:45 AM PDT by juzcuz
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER
We've not been asked.

I wonder why?

I noticed that in your superlatives "the most beautiful" was missing.

Donovan is a sharp guy and he gets the message across subtlety. It's too bad Hand doesn't follow his lead. In becoming advocates for the actions of these people, he appears to be and is acting as an enabler. Not a wise move when “these people” are lefties.

btw: thanks for those directions on the other thread regarding kneelers at the Cathedral.

24 posted on 09/04/2002 11:53:46 AM PDT by Sock
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To: Sock
You're welcome.

I like Donovan. He's a sharp guy who knows more about how Mass should be said and how priests should behave than the vast majority of those who have been ordained.

25 posted on 09/04/2002 11:58:11 AM PDT by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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To: ultima ratio
TCR ""Let the ultra-traditionalist critics prefer this or that kind of architecture, this or that age or style of song, but so long as the essential elements of the Catholic Mass remain in place, it is a matter of taste, not orthodoxy. "

Theresa "Yup."

Ultima "Nope. The essential elements are present at a Black Mass--but it is still an abomination. Non-essentials matter."

<>LOL still at it, huh? Comparing this to a Black Mass....You have compared the normative mass to a black mass previously. Is there any Liturgy of the Mass, after the close of the 16th Century, that you consider not a Black Mass?<>

26 posted on 09/04/2002 12:31:20 PM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: ninenot
The hysterical reaction is amasing. One would think the entire Liturgy of the Mass consisted in the one action photographed. <P.
BTW, I do think Mr.Hand has a fairly good understanding of the word "culture" despite your disagrement with him :)
27 posted on 09/04/2002 12:35:44 PM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: Siobhan
<>In your mind, is the such a thing as an Orthodox Cathedral, Epoch, or style of song?

Since when has these things achieved Doctrinal Status?

28 posted on 09/04/2002 12:39:43 PM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: Catholicguy
I never cared much for the incense thing, being allergic to the stuff. I always have to go outside when we get a priest who goes overboard with it.

Those sweet little Vietnamese nuns are about the farthest away from Wicca that you could get. The Cardinal invited them to incense the altar; they obediently complied.

What's the big deal?
29 posted on 09/04/2002 1:46:52 PM PDT by Palladin
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To: Palladin
. What's the big deal?

<>Beats me :) Apparently everything that doessn't duplicate the Mass of the 16th Century, including architecture, vestments, music, type of incense even, I guess, is some abominable heresy and signifies the death knell of Catholicism and all is lost. What faith :)

Pope Pius V created a New Rite after The Council of Trent and it was the right Mass for that age. Pope Paul V created a New Rite ( a revision of the old rite, actually) after the Vatican Two Council and it is the right Mass for this age but some, knowing far more and far better than the Divinely-constituted authority, will have none of it.

THEY, I guess, are the only ones competent to judge and if only they had the authority they justly deserve, all would be right with the world :) <>

30 posted on 09/04/2002 3:57:25 PM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: petrusv2
Is anyone but the priest even allowed to incense the altar? I know that the Deacon or altar server will incense the priest and then the faithful after the priest has incensed the altar, but I have never seen anyone but a priest incense the altar.

Bellarmine

31 posted on 09/04/2002 4:14:48 PM PDT by Bellarmine
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To: Catholicguy
Maybe he does understand culture quite well. But his offhand use of the 'essentials matter, non-essentials don't' in the context was a bit jarring.

The whole debate over liturgy and worship (music, text, smells/bells, altar 'girls', architecture, decoration) is a debate about culture, at least within the confines of the church building proper.

Many are of the opinion that the demise of the inter-building culture led to the demise of the larger culture. I do not hold this position; rather, the reverse: that the culture at large has a deleterious effect on the inter-building culture of the Church, which has had a serious negative impact. This is not to say that there are OTHER contributing factors, nor that it is black and white.

But the willingness of the American Bishops to push Americanization of the Church (and this stretches back more than 100 years) is certainly a major component.

Thus, the 'counter-reformers' (of which I am one) are pushing for at LEAST an 'inter-building', e.g., within the walls of a church, culture which reflects the cult, what actually happens at Mass.
32 posted on 09/04/2002 6:55:30 PM PDT by ninenot
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To: Catholicguy
Pope Paul V created a New Rite ( a revision of the old rite, actually)

This statement is erroneous. Paul VI merely approved a new liturgy created by a committee.

Further, your gratuitous slam "...only [the protesters] know best.." is not really worthy of you.

The Mass as approved by Paul VI would be virtually unrecognizable to most Catholics--it is rarely, if ever, celebrated with the rubrics.

In addition, the Council's specific instructions regarding the 'new Mass' were ignored in practice (although not necessarily in form) by the implementors of the 'novus.'

There are some who would have nothing to do with the novus even if it were celebrated letter-perfect, in Latin, with the smells/bells, and a small army of altar boys. THEY WILL NOT SERVE!!

THere are others, myself included, who would really like to bring the surrounding culture to a level compatible with the Mass's gravity.

33 posted on 09/04/2002 7:04:18 PM PDT by ninenot
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To: petrusv2
What ya cookin' there, sisters? :-)

Sorry I couldn't resist. Looks like they be cookin' in the cathedral.

34 posted on 09/04/2002 7:20:51 PM PDT by Aliska
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To: petrusv2
Here are some snippets from the LA Times which was quoted IN FULL in the catholic newsgroup:

Norwalk resident Margarita Gonzalez, 68, took a bus, the Green Line train and then the Blue Line to get to the new downtown landmark. The trip from her home to the statue of Mary at the cathedral lasted an hour and 40 minutes. Kneeling before the statue, Gonzalez prayed and dabbed her tears with a tissue. "They say it cost $200 million, and that it was a waste of money," she said. "But really it's all for God. What's $200 million for God?" Many of Tuesday's visitors were as excited and awestruck as the business, civic and political leaders at Monday's dedication liturgy.

and:

One after another, worshipers went up to the statue, crossed themselves and began to touch it, many with tears in their eyes. They rubbed the bronze feet of the suffering savior; they rubbed the flayed and abraded skin. They lingered.

and:

One man carried a plastic grocery bag as he kissed the ring of Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, the archbishop of Los Angeles. An old woman approached the cardinal and wept as he blessed her.

For full article, click here and you can read if you are registered

One poster said it made him want to return to the church after having been gone for 20 years.

There was a picture of the pipe organ and a writeup in our local paper.

35 posted on 09/04/2002 7:41:29 PM PDT by Aliska
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To: ninenot
I don't want to be misunderstood. I don't like the architecture of the new Cathedral. Folks like Duncan Stroick (sp) and his coterie from Notre Dame are leading a real revival of authentic Catholic art and architecture.

We will have this abberation with us for awhile yet. But, imo, we have turned the corner

36 posted on 09/05/2002 4:29:43 AM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: ninenot
This statement is erroneous. Paul VI merely approved a new liturgy created by a committee

Popoe Paul said it was a revision. I don't have the text promulgating the revision of the Rite before me right now. But, I think he did say it was a revision

37 posted on 09/05/2002 4:31:23 AM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: narses; sinkspur
I have been amused to watch various extremists suggest the nuns look more like "wicca priestesses" than Catholic nuns. That is simply preposterous, even if I might prefer the old way of incensing the altar.

Hand reads Free Republic, and read your post, narses.

He's nailing YOU, as an extremist.

Congratulations, Narses! You are now the subject of an encyclical by Pope Stephen the Hand! Wow! How does it feel to be a muse?!

38 posted on 09/07/2002 4:47:00 AM PDT by Dajjal
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To: petrusv2
You forget to meantion at the new Cathedral for about $25 you can buy a bottle of Our Lady of the Angels wine in the gift shop or you can buy your own crypt for anywhere from $50,000 to $3 million. And if you want to park in the garage its $12.


39 posted on 09/08/2002 9:37:14 PM PDT by Irisshlass
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