Using the Sanctuary as a Stage

12 12 2008

I found this video on youtube that takes place in Daimyoumachi Cathedral Fukuoka.  I think the sanctuary of a church should be used for only one thing, mass, and that is it.  No plays, performances, parties or anything but mass.  When I was in elementary school we put on a play of Noah`s ark in the sanctuary.  I was probably only six or seven years old but I still felt very uncomfortable being up around the alter, I thought it was someplace special and we shouldn’t be treating it like a stage.

Here in Japan you would never ever find the inner sanctum of a Shinto shrine or Buddhist temple being used for anything other than religious purposes.  Ordinary people cant even get in to those areas unless they have a religious service they are attending.  So why are some Catholic parishes so disrespectful?  I personally think spiritual warfare plays a part.  I think Satan is very pleased each time the House of the Lord and innermost sanctuary are treated in a less than holy manner.

This video takes place with a Bishop standing watch in the back.




3 responses

19 12 2008

Yes. I couldn’t agree with you more. I think as part of this spiritual warfare, the idea is to undermine the Mass as a sacrifice and turn it into theater. You see it taking place in many ways; I live in Orange County, California where many new Churches do not have kneelers. This, of course, leads to people sitting or standing during the consecration – not exactly a posture of adoration and reverence in front of our Lord.

I must add that as someone who is both Catholic and married to a Japanese women (who is not Catholic) I find your blog quite interesting and encouraging. I appreciate your zeal and fidelity to the Church; it must not always be easy in a country where there are few Christians.

God Bless and thank you for your interesting posts.

22 12 2008
jasmine tea

Exactly! Even if people syncretize Buddhism and Shinto, even if they don’t understand them particularly well, they still treat temples and shrines with a lot more formality and respect than that with which a lot of people treat Catholic churches.

Why is that? Is it because part of Christianity’s history in this country is tied up with the counterculture, even socialist movements, of Meiji and later? Perhaps, if people think about it at all, they think the Church, or at least the Church in Japan, is primarily a social institution, with small need for reverence in its “gathering place.”

Who knows what happened here during and after Vatican II? I would love to learn about the state of the Church in Japan in that time. I wonder if there was ever a time when you could go to a church that looked like a church, hear some Latin at Mass, worship with beautiful music that displayed continuity with the rich musical treasury of the Church, and meet people really on fire for Christ and the Faith…

Don’t know if you ever read the Magnificat booklet of daily readings and prayers, but on Dec. 19th they gave a short synopsis of the life and martyrdom of Blessed Michael Nakashima (1528-1628), really amazing.
Bl. Michael Nakashima, pray for us.

24 12 2008

Come to think of it I actually dont know that much about the Catholic Church in Japan except for right now, and for the time around St Francis Xavier so I too am interested in finding out more about its recent history such as the time around WWII. As for Vatican II my guess is that the same changes like throwing out the alter rails, Latin, and bringing in folk bands that happened in basically every other county also happened here too. Definitely questions to keep in mind next time I have a chance to talk to some of the older parishioners or the one priest I know of who seems to really like history.

I hadn`t heard of Bl. Michael Nakashima or the Magnificat book of daily readings and prayers but definitely two more things for me to look into. Theres a new years resolution for me. To learn much more.

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