If you heard a church was including hand-clapping, standing ovations, dancing, flag waving, jumping up and down and lots of applause for the choir singing Gospel music all as part of their "unique" worship, would a Catholic Basilica be the first thing to come to your mind?
Watch the (I think) deacon jumping up and down like a kid who has to go potty really badly, while the priest just grooves out clapping his hands to the beat next to him.
Published on Jul 30, 2014 Basilica of St Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Norfolk is the only African American Basilica in the country. The music director and the rector talk about their unique music direction and worship.
So much for universal.
Quote: Packed with worshippers, it’s even more remarkable: the only African American basilica in the country, a place where an overwhelmingly black flock is led by a white priest with Irish roots and the formality of ancient rituals pulses with stand-up-and-shout soul.....
“This is a Catholic Mass,” said the Rev. James Curran, “but done unlike anything you’ve ever seen. There are times when I have to look down to see if my feet are still on the ground.”
In the last census, of the 66 million Americans who said they were Protestant, 20 million were black. Of the 68 million who said they were Catholic, only 2 million were black.
More than 1,000 of them attend St. Mary’s. Many are like Bomar, a “converted Catholic” instead of a “cradle Catholic,” and they’ve brought their heritage with them – the fiery gospel ways of African American denominations.
That union meshes the pageantry, reverence and flickering candles of the Roman Catholic service with a worship style that’s full of movement, flavored by a full-throated choir, punctuated by “AMEN!”
Music plays a rich role. The choir sways in unison, belting out hymns, backed up by drums, a violin, even a horn section. Palms raise, lips and hips move, riding notes that swell to the domed rafters. Sermons are interrupted by applause – and finished off with a standing ovation....
I've "been there and done that" in my past as a Protestant. I was thrilled to find REVERENCE and DEVOUT WORSHIP in the Catholic Church. I am nothing but saddened by what I see here. This feel good hand clapping foot stomping is NOT worshiping God- it's delighting the people. They are allowing their Mass to be turned into something that focuses on THEM and what THEY are enjoying. That is what we used to call a "praise service", but it is not what Mass is supposed to be.
Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner
PS- save the "you're a racist" crapola, this is about how to PROPERLY WORSHIP GOD IN A CATHOLIC CHURCH - it isn't about skin color.
St. Mary's Basilica: http://www.basilicaofsaintmary.org/