Monday, March 1, 2010

Andrei Making a circus out of Mass

These gentlemen are attending Mass in the southern Dutch village of Reusel.

Why are they dressed this way for Mass, you ask?

Well it goes back to just before Lent and the carnival in Reusel, where local barman Gijs Vermuelen was elected "Prince of the Carnival". As such he would address the congregation at Mass on Sunday.

But Gijs Vermuelen is "openly gay" and lives with his lover who he flaunted during the festivities and so the Parish Priest, Fr Luc Buyens, suggested to him a that he would receive a blessing rather than communion when he attended Mass.

As it happened Gijs Vermuelen attended Mass but did not come forward to receive his blessing and tumult followed.

Thus yesterday several hundred gays from all over the Netherlands turned up to Mass to insist upon receiving communion from Fr Luc Buyens.

Forewarned Fr Luc Buyens with the blessing of his Bishop did not distribute communion during Mass yesterday and the desired confrontation was averted.

Of course receiving communion is not a "right", it is a sacred gift. In our Eastern Tradition we only do it after long preparation, which should include confession shortly before, often the preceding day.

To assume it as of right slightly shocks me, as does making a fuss when it is declined.

Some soul searching is required here in my opinion.

3 comment(s):

Lucia Maria said...

It is a right, if one is in in the proper disposition to receive. Anyone in a state of mortal sin cannot receive.

A priest once told me that no one is EVER properly prepared to receive Holy Communion, but that is Our Lord's wish that we do so whenever we can. In receiving Him, He prepares us to receive Him more worthily next time. He strengthens us, and clears all venial sin.

If you think of the Our Father prayer, there is a petition in there for "daily bread". This refers to the Eucharist.

For more on Frequent Communion.

Andrei said...

I don't disagree with you on any of that Lucia.

The key phrase "if one is in in the proper disposition to receive"

" Not long ago in one of the churches of St. Petersburg during the Divine Liturgy the attention of the people taking Communion was attracted by a little fair-haired boy who was standing not far from the altar. He was watching attentively those receiving Communion and from time to time started laughing in a loud childish manner. He was asked to behave reasonably, but of no avail. The strange behavior of the boy stopped as soon as the Communion was over. His parents who had been very much surprised asked why he was laughing and this is what the boy replied:

"When I was looking at people approaching the Chalice, I suddenly noticed that a white dove flies up to some of them. Just at the moment when a man or a woman opens his or her mouth to partake of the Gifts the dove pecks the Gifts off the spoon and flies away. They do not see the dove, they close their mouths thinking that they have received the Holy Communion, but in deed they have just had an empty spoon. I thought that was very funny."

For a non-believer this story told by a child could appear as something imagined, and an Orthodox heart cannot but be overcome with awe having understood the meaning of the vision sent to a child. Indeed, it is frightening to realize that the Lord would not let some of us have the Communion because we approach the Sacred Chalice being unworthy and unprepared."

Lucia Maria said...

Andrei,

That's probably a kinder version of what I believe. For rather than Holy Communion not being received by the unworthy, it instead acts as death to whom receives it.

Those pink "ladies" ought to count themselves lucky that they didn't get the chance to go to communion.

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