Christmas Mass in Rome

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Yelsew, Dec 25, 2003.

  1. Yelsew

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    I watched the Roman Catholic Christmas Mass last night believing it may well be the last by the current Pope, whom I greatly admire as a man of faithful achievement.

    I know that what I am saying here may insult and perhaps anger my Catholic Christian brothers, but I am not criticizing them personally, only what their church does. So please accept my heartfelt apology if you are offended.

    My overall impression is that of "much wealth attempting humility of the poor". That is, gold robes, gold sashes, gold trimmings, gold cups, gold candle stands, fine-leather bound books, much pomp and "pageantry". Even the exterior stable scene looked better than the house I live in. I have not even imagined a stable with a fireplace, nor a "living room" with a wooden straw filled manger.

    Am I criticizing Rome? Only in this, If Rome is the church of humility, the trappings should not be opulent. I came away with the impression that I was seeing man's version of heaven, and not surroundings into which the King of Kings was born. I did not see one person in attendance that could be considered a poverty case or underprivileged. Most men were dressed in tuxedos or other highly formalwear the women in formal attire. Those in poverty, which the church espouses as a basic tenet, were not in the least visible. What I witnessed was an expensive production for the wealthy. Seems to me an open display of hipocracy.

    The words the pope spoke did not seem discernable in any language. No, I am not criticizing a faithful old man, but the words simply were not intelligible. And no, I did not expect the event to performed in the English language, however audible groans with no apparent tonal inflections and syllabic pronunciation does not convey a message in any language. And if there had been no announcer reading from a script, the meaning of the event would not have been evident.

    But then, those who already have accepted the Gospel message were the only one's watching, so I suppose it does not matter. All the others were out partying or were stuck in traffic on some crowded byway.

    Yes, the "show" was one of grandeur, opulence, and was a tremendous spectacle. However, there was nothing that related to the poverty, or squalid surroundings into which the King of Kings entered this world.

    I also watched the Midnight Christmas celebration of some "First Presbyterian Church". Though not as spectacular and opulent as the Roman celebration, it too neglected the truth while presenting the story. And while fully understandable linguistically, and while the music was wonderful and expertly performed, the program left one with the impression that Jesus was born in an opulent downtown Metropolitan birthing center. There was nothing to tie the truth of scripture, or tradition, to the reality.

    I also watched the Zefferelli movie on Jesus and was thrilled with the effort expended to bring the reality to the screen, and I complement Zefferelli for that effort. I was reading the scriptures as the movie was playing, and though not 100% accurate to common scripture, the movie brought to life the characters in the scriptures in a very believeable fashion. And Yes, the Gospel message was clearly presented.
     
  2. Kathryn

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    Yelsew: Sorry you did not understand the Pope's message. Here it is:

    URBI ET ORBI: MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE JOHN PAUL II
    CHRISTMAS 2003


    1. The Saviour of the world has come down from heaven. Let us rejoice! This proclamation, filled with deep rejoicing, echoed in the night of Bethlehem. Today the Church renews it with unchanged joy: the Saviour is born for us! A wave of tenderness and hope fills our hearts, together with an overpowering need for closeness and peace. In the crib we contemplate the One who stripped himself of divine glory in order to become poor, driven by love for mankind. Beside the crib the Christmas tree, with its twinkling lights, reminds us that with the birth of Jesus the tree of life has blossomed anew in the desert of humanity. The crib and the tree: precious symbols, which hand down in time the true meaning of Christmas!

    2. In the heavens there echoes the proclamation of the angels: "To you is born in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord" (Lk 2:11). What wonder! By being born in Bethlehem, the Eternal Son of God has entered into the history of each person living on the face of the earth. He is now present in the world as the one Saviour of humanity For this reason we pray to him: Saviour of the world, save us!

    3. Save us from the great evils which rend humanity in these first years of the third millennium. Save us from the wars and armed conflicts which lay waste whole areas of the world, from the scourge of terrorism and from the many forms of violence which assail the weak and the vulnerable. Save us from discouragement as we face the paths to peace, difficult paths indeed, yet possible and therefore necessary; paths which are always and everywhere urgent, especially in the Land where You were born, the Prince of Peace.

    4. And you, Mary, the Virgin of expectation and fulfilment, who hold the secret of Christmas, make us able to recognize in the Child whom you hold in your arms the heralded Saviour, who brings hope and peace to all. With you we worship him and trustingly say: we need You, Redeemer of man, You who know the hopes and fears of our hearts. Come and stay with us, Lord! May the joy of your Nativity reach to the farthest ends of the universe!
     
  3. Yelsew

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    I can only say, AMEN! and AMEN!


    Thank you kindly for providing the Popes words. They are eloquent!
     
  4. Kathryn

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    You are very welcome, Yelsew! Have a blessed Christmas.
     
  5. TP

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    Greetings,

    Please read the Book of revelations, especially chapter 4 and 5, and the end. You will see how liturgy is done in heaven. That is true Worship. It describes the altars, the words, the incense.... This is what Mass is all about. It is entering the Grandeur of God in Worship. As the "Lord's prayer" says: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Heaven has total worship and we are to imitate that.(Heaven, as seen in revelations, also has the struggle against evil and the lamb of God.).

    peace
     
  6. Jude

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    Someone's been reading Scott Hahn! [​IMG]
     
  7. thessalonian

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    Couple of comments:

    For those who say the Catholic Church should sell all it has and give it to the poor,

    John 12:4-6
    But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, *said,
    "Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?"
    Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.

    Blessings
     
  8. Kathryn

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    Here is more from the Holy Scriptures on worship and those who get indignant about the waste.


    Matthew 26:7
    a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table.

    Matthew 26:8
    But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, "Why this waste?

    Matthew 26:9
    "For this perfume might have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor."

    Matthew 26:10
    But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, "Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a good deed to Me.

    Matthew 26:11
    "For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me.

    Matthew 26:12
    "For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial.

    Matthew 26:13
    "Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her."

    God Bless
     
  9. Yelsew

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    It appears that the defenders of the opulence within the St. Peter's basilica are grasping as straws to support an otherwise wasteful extravagance. Do you not realize that what is here on this earth shall remain on this earth, and that this earth shall pass away to be replace by a new earth. Do you not understand that Jesus told the church to not lay up treasures here on earth but to lay up treasures in heaven. What I saw in that Mass, was "treasures here on earth", and little evidence of treasures in Heaven.

    It is not wealth on this earth that God is seeking of man. It is the spirit of man, and spirit has nothing whatever to do with material wealth. "It is harder for the wealthy to pass through the eye of a needle that for a camel". Frankly, it is horrendous stewardship on the part of the Roman church to dress itself in such "finery" while poverty and famine exist around the world. Same for any church faction, not just the Catholics.

    Unlike the Mormons, our mission is not to accumulate riches, anyone can do that. Our mission is to do those things of the spirit such as giving water to the thirsty, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, taking care of the new born and the elderly. Sure, Catholics do some of that, and arguably, as much as any group of people the world over. However, with the wealth accumulating power the Catholic church has, it should be no big thing to do so much more than any other group.

    It just seems that opulence has won out over frugality, and poverty wins where poverty should not exist.
     
  10. Kathryn

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    Yelsew:

    If the Catholic Church were neglecting the poor, I would agree with you. Jesus in Holy Scripture tells how there will always be the poor, and why giving precious items in worship to Him is not waste, but worship. Think of the 3 wisemen and their precious gifts for the Lord. I don't know of any other church that does more for the poor (money, resources, personnel, and prayers) throughout the world than the Catholic Church. Throughout history it was the Catholic Church that started the orphanages, hospitals, and shelters for the poor. Who took care of the lepers in Hawaii that no one would go near? Who takes care of the outcastes in India? Who takes care of Aids patients in Africa? Who runs soup kitchen’s for homeless? This is duplicated all over the world. Every day in my nearby town of Eureka St. Vincent de Paul Society feeds the homeless to a sit down meal. I don't know any other church that teaches by example faith, hope, and charity like the Catholic Church does. I also don’t know of any Pastors who make so little a salary. If our liturgy has a high priest in priestly vestments it is because it is the liturgy of heaven on earth. If Catholics build beautiful churches and Cathedrals it is because it’s the sacred house of God not an auditorium or meeting hall.

    Matthew 26:7
    a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table.

    Matthew 26:8
    But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, "Why this waste?

    Matthew 26:9
    "For this perfume might have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor."

    Matthew 26:10
    But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, "Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a good deed to Me.

    Matthew 26:11
    "For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me.

    Matthew 26:12
    "For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial.

    Matthew 26:13
    "Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her."


    God Bless

    [ December 26, 2003, 01:36 PM: Message edited by: Kathryn ]
     
  11. Yelsew

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    I suppose Kathryn that I do not see the connection that you are making of the woman's gift of contrition and humility toward Jesus, and what I observed in the St. Peter's Basilica. Unless you are stating that the Basilica is Jesus and that what is brought into the Basilica is brought in to Jesus as a form of worship. I would remind you what Jesus said of her and her gift! He said that she was symbolically preparing him for his burial. Is the Roman church symbolically preparing Jesus for another burial?

    If you are saying that the Roman Church is the Body of Christ, all I can say is wake up and smell the coffee. The body of Christ is ALL FACTIONS of the Church and not just the Roman church. Yet, the opulence of the Roman church sticks out like a sore thumb for an organization that "prides itself" in humility and servitude.

    Maybe I'm seeing things that are not there, but it never ceases to amaze me that the church itself does not recognize the apparent hypocracy in its behavior in taking on the adornments of God's heavenly picture. Someone said something regarding God's "will on earth as it is in heaven". I fail to see the connection in earthly material things and Heavenly things. The wealth that is accumulated on earth does not translate to "laying your treasures up in heaven". That which is heavenly treasure is not material wealth, but the spirits of those whom you've brought to know the Christ. That is heavenly treasure. Good works toward others is heavenly treasure.

    Gold chalises are not. Golden incense burners are not, long, heavily adorned, robes are not, magnificent edifices are not. Clowns in Jester clothing are not, Religious pomposity is not! But that is what was displayed on my television screen streaming from Rome. And that is what seems disingenuous to me. It seemed like a show made in the tradition of Cecil B. De Mille, rather than a humble celebration of the birth of our Saviour and Lord, Jesus, that took place in a lowly animal shelter in an obscure little town named Bethlehem many hundreds of miles from Rome. Zefferelli's wonderful film on the life of Jesus certainly deserves greater consideration than the ceremony at the Vatican. The church would do well to sponsor showings of that film in the place of putting on such elaborate staged productions as Christmas in St. Peter's Basilica.

    I hope you can sense my dismay in what the church has done, and continues to do.
     
  12. Kathryn

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    Yelsew:
    That was the Lord Jesus Christ in the Gospel of Matthew. You can ignore all the scripture I have presented, but the Church will continue serving the poor, and worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ in the feast of heaven and earth in the Sacrifice of the Mass.


    God Bless
     
  13. Kathryn

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    Yelsew:
    When is the last time you heard what this woman did spoken of in memory of her? [​IMG] Probably from a Catholic spreading the gospel.
     
  14. Carson Weber

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    Someone's been reading Scott Hahn!

    Jude,

    I wasn't going to be the one to say it. ;) If you enjoy his books, his new one that is to be published by Doubleday this upcoming Spring (April?) is entitled Swear to God and is all about how covenants drive salvation history and covenants are driven by oaths (Hb. sheba; Gk. horkizo). We had to convince him not to choose the blue graphic with the cow's butt (it was some trial story in the OT; which evades my memory at present) and to choose the red graphic with the knight kneeling with his sword: which is much, much cooler!
     
  15. Yelsew

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    When is the last time you heard what this woman did spoken of in memory of her? [​IMG] Probably from a Catholic spreading the gospel. </font>[/QUOTE]Well until I came to this board, I had never heard a catholic of any flavor speak those words!
     
  16. CatholicConvert

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    That was out of line. If I were a Prot and read those words, I would consider them inflammatory and ill considered.

    You know, Thess, I realize that the anti-catholics on this board can be tough to deal with, but lately your posts have been considerably tart, sometimes without even having any provocation. Then the response comes, you respond in kind, and

    POW!!

    everyone's insulting each other.

    I have no problem with opulence in the Church, after all

    THIS:

    [​IMG]


    is where I worship. (And this doesn't even show our gold inlaid chalices, crosses, and other items galore!!) You and I understand that the living place of a king is PALACE, and palaces have a certain look to them.

    But it is hard for the Prots here to understand this, so cut them a break, okay?

    Brother Ed
     
  17. thessalonian

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    CatholicConvert:

    I will take your comments in to consideration. I know there are days when I am too harsh. Yet, I also feel that we must be bold in standing for our Catholic faith. I have to say that while the post in questoin was hard, sometimes hard words must be used. If Yelsew were a homosexual would you be okay with me posting:


    Romans 1:27
    and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

    or

    1 Corinthians 6:9
    Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,

    I am not sure that my post was unwarnted and it was not written with malicious intent toward Yelsew. It just seemed like he was not examining the Mass in light of worship of Christ but rather out of antagonism toward the Catholic Church. He needs to examine himself in light of scripture in this regard. If it is not true the verse should not bother him. Jesus was not always easy on the Pharasees. At times his words were harsh but they were the ones they needed to hear. Yelsew is in my prayers. I ask your prayers and as I have said I will consider your comments.
    That was out of line. If I were a Prot and read those words, I would consider them inflammatory and ill considered.

    You know, Thess, I realize that the anti-catholics on this board can be tough to deal with, but lately your posts have been considerably tart, sometimes without even having any provocation. Then the response comes, you respond in kind, and

    POW!!

    everyone's insulting each other.
     
  18. Yelsew

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    CatholicConvert, Christ the lord does not live in your "Palaces or temples" He instead lives in the hearts of those who love him and believe in him. An not one of them Hearts has a speck of gold or opulence in them. They are simply filled with God.

    Thanks for sharing the picture, but I don't see the Christ there at all.

    Gents, You must realize that I am not anti-Catholic. I am not a fool! I am simply against some of the things the Roman Catholic Church does and passes off as being Christlike or blessed by God, when God had nothing to do with it. I am not against the core tenets of the Catholic church for they are fundamental to the salvation of mankind.

    I am against the fringe doctrines that have no basis in scripture. I am against the blind "followership" of the masses who are looking for leadership and not finding it in the church. I am against the falsehood of "oral tradition". and I am against the Pompousness of the core government of the church, which has become nothing better than a clear beaurocracy. I believe that I, a protestant am more catholic than most who call themselves catholic.

    [ December 27, 2003, 04:18 AM: Message edited by: Yelsew ]
     
  19. mioque

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    "Thanks for sharing the picture, but I don't see the Christ there at all."
    Pay attention Yelsew. There are clearly paintings of Him on both sides of the door in the middle of the Iconostasis.


    What?


    Yes this is a feeble attempt at humor.
     
  20. trying2understand

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    Yelsew, why do you suppose that it was that God instructed the Temple to be constructed as it was?

    Why did God have them spend all those years laboring with stone when, as you would have us believe, they should have been putting the money and effort into the poor?

    Why did God have them use gold for decorations?

    After all, the Temple was merely to house the Ark of the Covenant. To be consistent, you would have to say that God Himself was not present there, right?
     

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