Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Just Because It's Old Doesn't Mean It's Cool

Hipster culture is obsessed with old.

Old cameras, typewriters, cassette tapes, etc. 

Catholic Hipster culture is much of the same.

We enjoy Latin, old prayers, mantillas, and a multitude of obscure saints from a bygone era. 

And yet, we have to be careful to make sure we aren't hopping on the bandwagon of something simply because it is old, while at the same time remembering that new things can be cool too. 

This idea popped into by head while reading a post on Aleteia about a video being played by a parish at Christmas Mass as a way of welcoming C&E Catholics back into a more intimate relationship with Jesus. 

As you can guess, I was immediately turned off.

A video at Mass? Why not a running Twitter feed of those in the pews? Why not show some Snapchat posts of the priest while he's getting his vestments on in the back? 

What these people need, I said to myself, is some serious tradition to remind them of the beauty, awe, and wonder associated with our faith. They need more incense, more bells, and more ancient prayers to get them in the mood to worship. 

I had to stop myself as I noticed myself falling further and further into the rabbit hole.

Where was my feeling really coming from?

After a little reflection, I realized that the idea of a video being played at Christmas Mass just felt too modern, and, I'll have to admit, modern things inserted into Christianity just feels a tad too Protestant.

We are an ancient 2,000 year old faith, after all. 

But, in reality, new things can be good, and this is especially true when it comes to evangelizing those who only visit their local parish twice per year. 

So let's remember that while old things can be cool, things aren't cool simply because they're old. And, similarly, while new things can often be trivial and out of place inside the walls of a Catholic parish, things aren't to be tossed to the side simply because they are modern and new. 

It all goes back to that ever ancient and ever new Catholic both/and.

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