Friday’s Tremendous Trifles: Puppets and the Liturgy
UPDATE: Happy April Fool’s Day!
I love Sunday mass, but I have to admit that it is hard for me to be able to sit still for a length of time and not let my thoughts
wander. Long time readers of this blog will know that I bear the cross of ADHD and thus every service, no matter what the feast day, becomes either a) a period for reflection on the divine or b) a time to think about how Battlestar Galactica could have ended, how I need to do my laundry, the best episode of How I Met Your Mother, or what I’m going to smoke when I get home. A and B are mutually exclusive and thus cannot correspond in the same mind at the same time. However, some groups are trying to find a way for me to be more involved in the liturgy.
Puppets are the answer! While growing up as an evangelical I would look forward to the puppet show that happened every Easter. Always entertaining and always ridiculous, but oh so much better than Pastor’s three hour sermon about not getting caught up in the world. I was glad, then, when after years of the Mass and even sitting through the full Latin liturgy at S. Maria Maggiore in Rome, I found that the Catholic church was ecumenical and open to all. Even our felt and wooden friends need not be excluded from the Liturgy!
The Orthodox have used images since time immemorial and they even defended the use of ikons to the death during that unfortunate period. Even in the West we have been using statues and images and the Middle Ages showed that the Church could be a flourishing of the arts with the production of morality plays, liturgies written by influential composers from Helfta onwards, and not to mention the mosaics and statues. So, in that tradition we in the post Councilor Church stand to contribute our own cultural excellence in the form of puppet pagentry. See this video for the latest contribution by Catholics to the culture at large:
Now, some say that puppets are inappropriate for the Mass and that they do not inspire the needed reverence. I think the opposite, and in fact I believe that they inspire the necessary fear of God as described in the Book of Job. Tell me, dear reader, if
you could sit through the Mass and not be afraid with this swooping over you? Case made and the stick remains.