Monday, December 02, 2013

Crank Upon Crank

Yes, we do indeed realize that the post below this one is the single crankiest thing we have ever written.  These days, Father Anonymous could not be more of a grumpy old man if he tried.  He spends half his time muttering darkly about Roosevelt and Freemasonry, and the other half telling kids to get off his lawn.

Still, lest readers imagine that our assault on wristwatches reflects a merely personal prejudice, we submit the Master of Liturgical Harrumph, Aidan Kavanagh.  In his indispensable Elements of Rite, -- which you must purchase now if you do not already own a copy -- Kavanagh notes that "the wearing of jewelry by liturgical ministers is severely restricted in Roman canon law," apparently meaning Can, 284, for both ascetical and liturgical reasons.

He goes on to say:
Austerity in altar appointments and vestments [i.e., the "soberness and sense" of the Roman rite] is made a mockery when the liturgical minister displays prsonal jewelry of apparent expense on hand, wrist and chest.  If the minister's identity needs such supports, they should be worn apart from the liturgy.  In the liturgy, they should be taken off.  This includes wrist watches ... which become distractingly visible at crucial moments, such as elevations, hand layings and blessings.
Or, as a priest friend, trained at Rome, put it many yeas ago, "God forbid that, at the moment I raise the chalice, a stray beam of sunlight should reflect off the crystal of my watch and keep a worshiper from seeing the cup of Precious Blood."

No comments: