Monday, June 19, 2006

39-Year-Olds Embrace Opportunity To Be Liturgical Codgers

(Left: Inspiring codger gargoyle from St. Mark's Church in Wallabee, Massachusetts.)

The Vatican II generation of the Catholic Church now has their chance to wax poetic about "the way things used to be"....

With the change of the English translation of the liturgy, the oldest of the those born and raised with the initial English vernacular translation of the Mass--used for nearly four decades--are expressing relief that they, too, will get the opportunity to be the "old liturgical codgers" of their Church.

"I can't tell you how many times I heard from my dad that he gave up on the Catholic Church after learning all that Latin to be an altar boy and being told it was unnecessary," said St. Michael's parishioner Susan Tarrywood, 39. "Nothing has ever measured up for him since. I am in awe that my dad has spent most of his life complaining about this; that's just who he is. Now, here's my chance. This is my opportunity to be an old codger just like him wailing 'it isn't as good as back when...' for the second half of my life."

Other middle-aged parents of teenagers and elementary school children agreed wholeheartedly. "I've been looking for a cause to get grumpy about in my impending dotage, and this will fit to a tee," said Roger Lerdton, 37. "We've had a few great models in the elder generation of our parish--they still complain that the priest expects them to pay attention to the Word and Eucharist rather than pray the rosary during Mass. Personally, I think I can nurse this 'not worthy to have you under my roof' line for a long time."

Elena Garcia-Lopez, 38, was grateful to the bishops for providing some focus in her discontent. "Let's be honest, we all want to be grumps for the younger generation. It's a cultural tradition and a church tradition--no one likes the younger generation's music, or taste in movies, or liturgies. It's part of the rythym of life. So I embrace my impending codgerhood as part of our catholic tradition. And I thank the bishops for giving me a focal point: I will bemoan the loss of the liturgy I grew up with the rest of my life."

Susan Tarrywood smiled wryly. "I'm calling on my inner Amos to get me through to my eighties."

--I.C., 39

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