Thursday, April 26, 2012

GULP Alert: What difference a few months make!

KUDOS to God's Undercover Liturgical Police for this latest photos!

Keep it up guys!


The photo was taken at Easter last year.

 This one is during this year's Easter celebration.

See the difference between the two?

It all depends on the parish priest.

Yup, this is the Parish of the Lord of the Divine Mercy in Sikatuna Village, Quezon City, once home to the Latin Mass in the Diocese of Cubao which is now in the Holy Family Parish in Roxas District.  The parish priest there is of course, Fr. Jojo Zerrudo, who is also the diocesan exorcist.

The new parish priest is REV. FR. STEVEN C. ZABALA.  And this is the kind of liturgical arrangement he wants.

See, the glaring difference between the two priests, I mean, on how they view the greatest feast of the Church?

I mean, come on, the externals would mean a lot and say a lot.

"Oh, Mr. Pinoy Catholic, what is important is on the inside, what is in the heart!"

Oh, yeah.  We both agree on that but remember that we are not even talking about what is in the inside.

We are talking on what is the outside.

When Christ reprimanded the Pharisees for walking around in their robes and expecting respect , He was condemning the incongruence of  the internal reality vis-a-vis the external reality of the persons of the Pharisee.  Remember how Christ used the analogy of the white washed tombs to describe the Pharisees?

Now, pray tell (yuck that website, Benedictine liturgist, too!  Ugh!), how will you tell how the greatest feast is celebrated in a parish?  Lesser flowers?  Cross to the side instead of on the altar so the cross won't block the people's view of the smiling priest while he celebrates the Mass?  Miniscule candles to the side that make the altar look like a barren table instead of a real altar....Poor crucifix and candles!  Boohooohoo!  The microphone has a better position!  Best seat in the house!

Poor Fr. Zabala.  He will always be compared to his predecessor in terms of celebrating the Liturgy.

I dread to see one day Fr. Zabala move the tabernacle to the side....

God help us!

And pray and support priests like Fr. Zerrudo who help bring back the sense of the sacred in our churches.

And pray and support Fr. Zabala that he bring the sense of the sacred to their parishes.


PS:  There is something missing in the set-up.  It is the topic of the latest GULP Exam.  Liturgical Police, report your findings!


  1. the altar rails were removed.
    Crucifix.. hmmm is it a crucifix or a cross?
    where is the Paschal candle?

  2. "I dread to see one day Fr. Zabala move the tabernacle to the side..."

    Did you know that the Church originally had the tabernacle at the side (Benedictine spirituality IIRC). But because of practicality (mendicancy and all), not because it was more reverent, St. Francis and his friars moved the tabernacle to the center. Parishes soon adopted the Franciscan innovation.

    I'll attempt to answer your question: missing: parishioners? :)

    1. It is more of the devotion to the Real Presence that put the tabernacle where it should be rather than the Franciscan practicality. St. Francis was very obedient in everything he does. So, I highly doubt that authenticity of that story.

    2. I'll attempt to answer your question: missing: parishioners? :)


    3. Here's the Link of the History of the Tabernacle:

    4. Well, a Franciscan fleshed out the details. I doubt you can challenge his knowledge about St. Francis and the Franciscans.

      See here:

      BTW, St. Peter's Basilica has the Tabernacle at the side. :)

    5. I know. So, if it has the tabernacle on the side? We all put the tabernacles to the side?

    6. "Much Eucharistic piety, as well as emphasis on the design and placement of the tabernacle can be traced to St. Francis of Assisi and to the Franciscan renewal. Francis asked the Friars to show great respect for the Blessed Sacrament and that the liturgical practices of St. John Lateran, where the Eucharist was reserved on the altar, were to be followed."

      - Guess the Franciscan missed out that detail eh?

    7. havent heard a story about that but i know that HF Francis had the greatest respect for the Most Blessed Sacrament. He is the author of the prayer "I adore you Lord Jesus Christ here and all the Churches in the whole world...."

      Sad to say though that the Order that he founded is one of the follower of side tabernacle trend now..

    8. Not really. If you read the link I posted, the Franciscan said in the fourth paragraph: "...Because the Franciscans did not have the large buildings that the monks did, we did not have several spaces available. The mass, the Liturgy of the Hours and private prayer all took place in one space. Francis of Assisi, who was very devoted to the Eucharist, very much wanted the Blessed Sacrament present in the chapel. As was the custom of the time, the tabernacle was very ornate and beautiful, except that it was always in a separate space."

      Then the following paragraph underlines the practicality. He stated: "Since the friars did not have the luxury of space, the tabernacle was placed in the front center of the sanctuary. It was usually on a pedestal directly behind the main altar. Franciscan altars were not attached to the back wall. That’s a Roman thing, not a Franciscan custom. In those churches built by the Roman clergy and later handed over to the friars, the altars were built into the wall. That was not the case with our chapels and is still not the case. If you look at the altars at both chapels on EWTN, the friars’ chapel and the nun’s chapel at the shrine, the tabernacle sits on a pedestal behind the main altar."

      St. Francis' devotion to the Eucharist instilled in him the desire for the presence of the Blessed Sacrament in the chapel, but it was their practicality that placed the Tabernacle front and center of the Sanctuary.

      "I know. So, if it has the tabernacle on the side? We all put the tabernacles to the side?"
      - I never said anything like that. It was only my response to your dread of Fr. Steve's moving of the Tabernacle to the side. My point was that having the Tabernacle at the side shouldn't instill fear in you. :)

      PS: Pardon me, if my screen name remains 'Unknown'. This is the only screen name that Google sign-in allows me to use. I don't have accounts with LJ, WP, TypePad, AIM, or OpenID.

    9. Well, Franciscans are known for their Eucharistic devotion and of course their extreme practice of poverty, well, back in the days. I don't want to go to details. :)

      Unknown, in fact even Church historians and Church officials do not acknowledge the so-called Franciscan influence of the placement of the tabernacle.

      Don't take this as discounting the devotion of St. Francis to the Eucharistic Presence. No, it's not.

      It's setting the record straight.

  3. Replies
    1. Congratulations! Thank God Fr. Steven administered to you the greatest Sacrament. The priest's preferences on Easter decorations doesn't make Christ's presence in the Most Holy Eucharist any less real. :)

    2. Unknown, did I even say that the "Easter decorations doesn't make Christ's presence in the Most Holy Eucharist any less real"?

      Such a non sequitur comment!

    3. TPC, I was only replying to Josemaria Paulo Jeromino Martin Carvalho-Von Verster's comment which he ended with a plea for the Lord's mercy. The plea at the end made it apparent to me that he felt regret receiving his First Communion from Fr. Steven--a probable result from your critique of the priest's Easter liturgy decorations. I apologize if I made it look like you said such things.

    4. Unknown, apology accepted. I think Josemaria was thinking more of how this priest has, uhm, "changed"?

    5. Actually His Sermon for my First Communion was More Kid-Friendly and did NOT have any Grounding in Doctrine,except We Receive Communion to Welcome Jesus our Guest.

      Some Days ago I Looked at My First Communion Class Photo and It Brought me Some Pleasant Memories.(None of the Parents and My Batchmates knelt for Communion that Day,even Myself since I did NOT know yet the revered practice of Kneeling before Receiving our Eucharistic Lord)