Glory to the Newborn King

24 12 2007

we359_2.jpg





Imperial Birthday

23 12 2007

Today, December 23, is the current Japanese Emperor’s birthday, and since it falls on a weekend Monday will be a day off.  My only complaint is that the King of Kings and Lords of Lords’ birthday is also not a day off.  Even in Iraq as of this year Christmas is a government recognized holiday.

For more on Emperor Akihito who’s wife went to Catholic school by the way http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akihito





Bongo Drum Mass

23 12 2007

Not in Japan that I know of!  No I experienced this remnant of Life Teen while visiting my parents.  Life Teen has disbanded in their parish but the band has not and gets a slot at the noon mass.  The church has a large and wonderful pipe organ that is played at a couple of the other weekend masses, however, one weekend the only mass I could attend  was the noon mass I dubbed the hippie mass.

The band has singers, guitars, and for percussion on that particular Sunday bongo drums.  After complaining to my Mom she said the drummer usually has his whole drum kit up there!  I grimaced.  The songs they played were better suited for a Protestant worship service in a hall without the Body Blood Soul and Divinity of Jesus present, and that is where one of my complaints lies.

The music is not appropriate for the setting.  It was not transcendent, it doesn’t really lift the mind to heaven for one hour, it is an insult to two thousand years of Catholic history and culture, and an insult to the intelligence of its target audience.

One excuse that is given to have this kind of music is that it attracts young people to church and helps to keep them attending.  I refute that by saying the Eucharist is why they should be going and what will keep them going.  We are the only religion, that I am aware of, where we eat our God, and such an awesome thing deserves better music than that.

I also find the band to be insulting to the intelligence of its target audience because it presumes the Eucharist is not enough, that people need something more, that basic Catholic doctrine and tradition is not enough, too hard or too old to understand.

Comparing the atmosphere of a mass where the pipe organ was played, and where the band played I would say there is more reverence & less talking during mass than at the band mass.  Before, during, and after the band mass I noticed an increase in volume of the tone of voice people spoke in.  After the band mass people lingered in  the main church in the presence of the Tabernacle talking loudly with friends and family.

All of this combines to make young people less interested in mass and lees likely to go since they are less likely to see anything special about the mass at all.  How can Go be truly present there if people talk, act, and sing like He is not? 





Catholic Mass and Japanese Tea Ceremony Meet

21 12 2007

I’m not an expert but it seems against the rubrics to include a tea ceremony following the homily, or at any point in the mass!

http://www.cbcj.catholic.jp/eng/jcn/dec2007.htm#8





Challenge secular culture, Pontiff asks Japanese bishops

21 12 2007

http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=55398

“…he also argued that Christian belief “is not foreign to Japanese culture,” but reaffirms the best elements of that culture.”

You tell them Papa!  I have read quotes from some Japanese bishops saying things along the lines of how Catholicism should be modified to fit Japan.  Thank you B16.

 If interested here is the text of the whole address

http://www.zenit.org/rssenglish-21320





Shooting

15 12 2007

A couple of days ago a man went into a sports club in Nagasaki and shot up the place killing two people and injuring six others.  Several hours later he was found dead in what looked like a suicide outside a Catholic church.  The news stories I have seen don’t say what his connection to the church is.

Here is a link to one story

http://www.japantoday.com/jp/news/422934

and another

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/national/news/20071215p2a00m0na002000c.html





In a Hotel Room

10 12 2007

2007-12-06-013.jpg

Here is an unusual but common couple found in hotel rooms around Japan, especially in hotels that cater to foreigners.  Yes it is a copy of the New Testament in Japanese and English and a copy of the Teaching of Buddha in Japanese and English.  The bible was placed by the Gideons, and the Buddhist book placed by some Japanese Buddhist group.

I have stayed at various types of hotels in Japan and from what I have noticed either the books are there together or not at all.  There may be cases where it is solely the New Testament or Teachings of Buddha but I have yet to see that.

Hotels that cater mainly to business men are less likely to have these books and much more likely to have the tv remote placed next to the porn channel guide on the desk.  Ive stayed at the business type of hotels because they are cheap and clean.  For example near Mount Fuji I stayed at a place that had business hotel in the name but lots of budget travellers stayed also.  I don’t watch porn but for the Catholic visiting Japan who might be tempted you might want to choose a bit more upscale hotel where the “adult” channel pamphlets aren’t so noticeable, and the New Testament is.