Sunday, December 9, 2012

Microphones and the Mass

And while we are on the topic of technology and the sacred, I would like to pass on a short article from the most recent edition of First Things about "Marshall MacLuhan on How the Mic Transformed the Mass."

The article doesn't offer a definitive stance on whether microphones are good or bad for the Mass, but is rather an invitation to consider a phenomenon we normally ignore or are not even aware of. The article is sure to be met with glib objections by some (exhibit #1), but Professor White does a good job of pointing out why the change in the way Mass is celebrated was so momentous. For a religion such as Latin-rite Catholicism to go from observing the most solemn moment of the Mass in silence through clouds of incense to listening a man read the text from the Missal out loud is a huge change, which might not even have been considered in the 1960's.

And while we are on this topic, I should close with an even more shocking quotation from Ernst Jünger: "Where it identifies the dominion of technology with the dominion of Satan, the priesthood possesses a deeper instinct than where it places a microphone next to the Body of Christ."
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