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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Liturgy on BROADWAY!

Just the other day I was musing over the show-tune fare offered to us at Mass. You know those old and tired song-and-dance rhymes from Haugen-Haas-Joncas? And while I toyed with the idea of writing a Broadway-style script (or Vaudeville, maybe, or even Burlesque!) based on Haugen-Haas, I've decided that maybe it would be easier to follow the example from the L.A. Religious Ed. Conference, and write my OWN Mass. And instead of using the same-ol'-same-ol', I decided to use some REAL Broadway tunes!

I mean...if we're going to be humming show tunes, we should at least have enough taste to hum the things that haven't bothered to out of style and will ALWAYS entertain! And in fact, some of the Broadway and off-Broadway showtunes are just as relevant to Mass as the dated drug and heresy-inspired compositions provided by Haugen-Haas-Joncas!

What a BRILLIANT idea! But wait....there's MORE!

And I thought- so I thought to 'bout I take the tunes from Broadway, and cast the different characers - I mean - roles - in the Mass, and not only use the music, but use it to tell the story about what's happening in that church? What if a lone voice for orthodoxy stood up at the right time...what would happen? Why not do what the modernists are doing, and use show tunes, and tell the truth about what's REALLY going on? Because, as the progressives have taught us, Mass isn't about's about US! So let's CELEBRATE OURSELVES! Let's sing and dance and tell the truth, because there is no's all social. And if it's out in the open air, it can't be sin anymore, because we have to forgive each other!

Jesus was a really nice guy. He really was. We should all try to be as nice and loving and peaceful as He was. After's not like there was blood involved in His saving us. Don't be so melodramatic.

So, I've gone through my showtune library, and I'm working on editing some of the lyrics, but just off the top of my head, this is what I wrote as a program...uh...I mean, Worship Aid...for what the graduates of a local college here insist on calling "Liturgy":

Prelude: Anything Goes!
(Adapted from Anything Goes)

Gathering Song: There's No Business like Church Business!
(adapted from "No Business Like Show Business", Annie Get Your Gun)


The costumes, the scenery, the makeup, the props
The dancers that lift you when you're down

The heartaches, the alter server’s flip flops
The ushers who dance in the aisles

The opening when your Tom-toms beat like a drum

The closing when we celebrate ourselves!

There's no business like Church business
Like no business I know

Everything about it is appealing
Nothing the rubrics will allow
No where could you have that happy feeling
When you’re fully defying, the Vatican!

There's no people like Church people
They smile when they disobey!

Yesterday we told you you would not go far

That night we were ordained and here we are

Next day on your sacristy We've hung a star

Let's go on with the SHOW!

The servers, the choir, the bread, and the wine
The priestesses that wear the tablecloths!

The music, the spotlights, the people, the Pow’r
Your baggage with the feminazi pawns!

The colors and swirls and emasculation

The funky drape we've turned into an alb!

There's no business like Church business
If you tell me it's so
Traveling out of the country is so thrilling
Standing out to be ordained secretly
Smiling as you watch the benches filling
And see your billing up there on the boat!

There's no people like Church people
They smile when they are wrong
Even with theology you know will fold
You may be choosing excommunication
Still you wouldn't trade it for a sack o' gold
Let's go on with the show
Let's go on with the show!
The show!
It’s all we want to know!

Responsorial: Old Deuteronomy
(Adapted for liturgy, choral - congregation, CATS)

Alleluia: Alleluia It's Rainin' Men

Offertory: Father Hanks the Heretic *** _ _ *** See below for lyrics
(Adapted from Skimbleshanks the Railway Cat, CATS)


Father Hanks the Heretic, Pastor of Saint Heresy!

There's a whisper down the line at eleven twenty-nine
When the Liturgist’s ready to begin
Saying, "Father where is Father?
Is he diving in baptism water?
We must find him or no Liturgy!"

All the ushers and the servers
And the old sacristan’s daughters
Would be searching high and low
Saying "Father where is Father for unless he holds his water
Then the Liturgy just can't go.”

At eleven thirty-two with the signal overdue
And the Liturgist all frantic to begin
That's when I would appear and I'd saunter to the rear
I'd been lost in the labyrinth!

Then he gave one glance
To the Lord of the Dance
They'd be off at last to the front of the mass, to the middle of the liturgy!

Father Hanks, the Heretic
Pastor of St. Heresy!

You might say that by and large it was me who was in charge
Of the dancing parish mess
From the choir to the drums to the dancers in their tights
I would supervise them all more or less

Down the aisle Father prances and examines all the faces
Of the travellers in all the rows
But I’ve established control in the pastoral council
And I’d know if a spy was there.

I could watch you without blinking and see what you were thinking
And know for certain you don’t approve
Of hilarity and riot but I’d advise to be very quiet
While Father and I are on the move

You could call the Bishop on Father Heresy
She’s a "priest" that can’t be ignored
But all is well with our liturgical show
When "Father" Heresy is aboard

But it ticked us off when they went to the Bishop
To report about our liturgy!
But the Bishop didn’t care, said get out of his hair
And he did nothing because he didn’t see.

In our liturgy it’s all about “me!”
Because that’s what Vatican II said
And we don’t care if it’s not really there
And the funny little basin to dispose of the sacrament
Is better used to throw away old vino.

Father Hanks, the Heretic
Pastor of St. Heresy!

Father Heresy:

In the middle of the night when awakened by a call
To hospice to visit the sick
I take a drop of scotch while I was keeping on the watch
Only stopping long enough to call a cab.

The sick are fast asleep and so they never knew
That I was walking up and down the hallway
They were sleeping all the while I couldn’t find the room
Until I stumbled on a custodian’s broom.

They might see me at the DNC when I’m there to support Dems
If there was anything they ought to know about

So when they go to the polls they vote with me
For Father Heresy doesn’t care what’s right!

So I’ll give you a bow to your divinity
Which says “I’ll wash your feet again!”
But I'll be sleeping at Midnight Mass

ALL: The Pastor of St. Heresy!

Communion: Maybe *** _ _ *** See Below for lyrics
(Adapted from Annie)

It May be Liturgy…
Or maybe not so much
Jesus pouring His blood…
Or can we save ourselves?

Maybe in a Church
All hidden in a veil
Someone’s praying to Jesus
Neo-caths for renewal!

Betcha that they're young
Betcha that they're smart
Bet they’ve read the RUBRICS
And like Icons and Art!

Betcha that they pray --
(And study quite a bit)
Their one mistake
Was admitting to it!

So maybe now it's time,
And maybe when I cry
They'll be there calling me “Traddie…”

Betcha we can try
Betcha we can pray
Maybe Holy Father hopes
The Church will be reformed

Maybe he is strict
As straight as a line...
I don’t really mind….
As long as he cares…

So maybe now this prayer's
The last one of it's kind...
Won't you please come renew our Church…?

May - be….!

Secondary Communion Hymn: Doin' What Comes Naturallly! (Adapted from Annie Get Your Gun)

Folks are dumb where I come from,
They ain't had any learning.
Still they're happy as can be
Doin' what comes naturally (doin' what comes naturally).
Folks like us could never fuss
With CCC and CCD and learnin’
And we’ve ignored the Baltimore CC!,
Doin' what comes naturally (doin' what comes naturally)

You don't have to know how to sing or pray
When you're out meetin’ Gaia in a labyrinth!
You don't have to look in a book to find out
What to know about God in a terebinth!
That comes naturally (that comes naturally).

My uncle out in L.A. can't even kneel to pray
But he dances LA Conference
And we like him just the same!

If you saw my pa and ma,
You'd know they didn’t want children
So they've flushed their family
Usin’ contraception! (usin’ contraception!)

Cousin Jack has never read the rubrics on liturgy
Still he twangs guitar in Life Teen!
Doin' what comes naturally (doin' what comes naturally).

Sister Sal who's musical has never hear Gregorian
Still she sings contemp’rary
Doin' what comes naturally (doin' what comes naturally).

You don't have to go a Catholic school
To learn how to vest in the vestibule!
You don't have to have a Theo Prof’s Tome
To make it up as you go along!
That comes naturally (that comes naturally).

Recessional: Finale
(Adapted from same title, Annie Get Your Gun, see Gathering Song, medly of all above)

Postlude: Angelical Kids
(Adapted from Jellicle Cats, CATS)


Terry Nelson said...

LOL! Get a life! So funny!

Unknown said...

When do you sleep, Adoro?

That's absolutely marvelous. I know a guy who might be able to get a Catholic high school, a real one, to put that on!

Lillian Marie said...


I would have definitely thought you would have used 'Just a sipful of wine makes the bread go down' (medly from Mary Poppins - Just a Spoonful of Sugar) but then I had to think - it wasn't a show was a movie. Oh well...

Maybe we can get 'Moon River' (Breakfast at Tiffany's) however, we could call it 'Breakfast at Church' LOL

Or even 'Can't Help Lovin' that Man' or better yet, 'Make Believe' from Show Boat! LOL

We could even get a sequel about the other Sacraments! LOL

Look what you started....just after I read my LOH! (okay, maybe YOU didn't start was started long ago by some wayward 'Catholics').

but it is a weird way.

Adoro said...


Terry ~ What are you saying?

LM ~ Well, I figured the next one will have the Anything Goes tune about Gabriel's horn...that'll be the offertory. And Old Man River for a baptism. But Anything Goes...that's the new gold standard, to take the place of "All are Welcome".

And for a Funeral...Heavyside Layer from CATS.

Unknown said...

*reminder to self* Don't drink coffee and read adoro's blog at the same time.... must clean computer screen...

MJ said...

OK, you and LM are as bad as Fr K. I'm not going to be able to get those tunes out of my head. One day I'll be singing them absentmindedly (is that a word?) in the sacristy and I'll be banished as sacristan. It will be all you guys fault!!!!

Anonymous said...

Well, it COULD be COULD be humming "All are Welcome" or "Gather Us In"!

Lillian Marie said...

This is just getting WAAAYYYY out of hand! I was driving into work this morning, saying the Rosary no less, and a thought entered my mind.... Litany of Saints... 'Oh When the Saints, Come Marching In'

Now granted, this is NOT a musical number...but it is good. LOL

*shaking my head...* 'how do you solve a problem like Sister LM???? The world may never know! LOL

Banshee said...

Probably more useful for learning the words and poetic structure than for singing, but here's "In Paradisum" to "When the Saints Come Marching In". (I suspect that there is something very wrong with me.)

In paradisum, deducant te,
deducant te-e Angeli.
In paradisum, de-e-ducant te
Angeli, Angeli.

In tuo adventu, suscipiant,
suscipiant te Martyres.
In tuo adventu, suscipiant te
Marty-y-res, Martyres.

Et perducant te, in civitatem,
in civitatem sa-anctam.
Et perducant te, in civitatem
Sa-a-anctam, Ierusalem.

Et cum Lazaro, quo-ondam,
quondam paupere, aeternam
Et cum Lazaro, quondam paupere,
aeternam habeas requiem.

Requiem, aeternam,
aeternam habeas requiem.
aeternam habeas, habeas
requiem, requiem.

Banshee said...

It has suddenly occurred to me that there is a certain resemblance between the opening of the traditional chant tune "In Paradisum" and the first bar of "Oh, When the Saints Come Marching In". Given that New Orleans was and is a Catholic city, this is probably not just a coincidence.

Lillian Marie said...

I'm okay with all of this (sort-of) unless the Priests starts singing 'Hello, Jesus; Oh, Hello, Jesus.'

I'm runnin'!


Terry Nelson said...

Adoro - I'm just saying this is very clever hon! Very fun!

Cathy_of_Alex said...