DAGUPAN City, Pangasinan, April 28, 2015—Just days before the start of May, a month especially dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, a prelate has called on his brother-priests in the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan to ensure they celebrate “Flores de Mayo” (Mayflower) Masses “without any insertion of additional devotional practices.”
“The Mass must be celebrated without any insertion of additional devotional practices, keeping in mind that the Mass is our prayer addressed to the Father through Jesus Christ,” shares Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas in a recent circular where he also asks the clergy to stick to the readings and presidential prayers assigned for the Mayflower devotions which the Ordo 2015 specifies.
“The month of May is traditionally celebrated in our Catholic life as a month dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary,” explains the prelate, noting how the veneration of the Mother of God characterizes the Filipino Catholic life, and that the predominant spirituality is “very Marian in tone and disposition.”
Avolding folk Catholicism
Moreover, Villegas, who concurrently heads the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), reminds the Lingayen-Dagupan clergy to conduct the recognition and blessing of characters in the Santacruzan or Flores de Mayo outside the Mass in order to prevent the liturgy from devolving into popular entertainment and folk Catholicism.
“We must shun all practices that appear like religious titillation and leisure, for example, coronations of children. We must protect the essentials of Catholic worship and avoid sliding into folk Catholicism,” he stressed.
Quoting Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Villegas states, “Whenever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement it is a sure sign that the essence of the liturgy has disappeared and has been replaced by some kind of religious entertainment. Such attraction fades quickly.”
“Until the CBCP makes a [defined] regulation, it is prohibited to dance and hold drama presentations inside the place of worship,” the prelate added. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)