Black Mass in Orange County

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I think the best introduction to this YouTube video is to quote the text posted alongside it:

The following clips were captured at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Aliso Viejo, California. The parish bulletin encouraged parishioners to wear Halloween costumes to Mass. The segment includes Eucharistic Ministers dressed as a huntsman and a devil, as well as an organist dressed as a devil. The 6 min clip ends with Fr. Fred Bailey leaving before the end of Mass, returning shortly thereafter in his "Barney" costume.

There's also a witch singing the responsorial psalm, and there's also the immortal line, "As goblins and ghouls, we raise one voice: Our Father, who art in heaven…" As for Barney, the Rev. Joseph R. Chambers fingered him as a creature from "the world of demons and devils" back in 1993.

Not being a Catholic, nor a Jack Chick-besotted fanatical anti-Catholic, nor even Tim Cavanaugh, I have nothing substantial to say about this. But as an aficionado of anything soulful or strange, I have some sympathy both for whoever thought up this brilliantly deranged Halloween mass and for the traditionalists who have wondered whether it "make sense, to shut down and harass those who express traditional forms of Catholic worship while tolerating this type of strangeness."

NEXT: Give the People What They Want: More Casualties!

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  1. as an aficionado of anything soulful or strange

    Which are the Kinks?? 🙂

  2. We gotta get these folks out to Burning Man.

  3. My best costume ever was Fingerbang Cartman.

  4. This sort of thing was common in the medieval Church for centuries; typically, a local retard would be dressed as a priest once a year to conduct “mass” with all kinds of goofy and lewd costumery/behavior in attendance.

  5. I am frankly surprised at the repression of traditional Catholic rituals like…Kneeling? Come one, what good are those little fold-down steps in the pews if you don’t get to kneel any more?

  6. As a former Roman Catholic, I’ll be the first to point out they have their own silly superstitions. But could this just be an indication that, unlike fundamentalist christian sects, they don’t take this demons among us crap seriously?

  7. the president of my university (a priest) sent a letter to everyone with a line observing halloween.

    it is refreshing to see church members not going crazy over something as silly, fun, and harmless as halloween.

  8. typically, a local retard would be dressed as a priest once a year to conduct “mass” with all kinds of goofy and lewd costumery/behavior in attendance

    My church still observes this with an April Fools’ service, although we don’t have a “retard” leading the service. Very good time, very silly.

  9. That, and making fun of the notion of superstitious evil could have a cathartic effect, and remind people to concentrate on real evils in the world, not imaginary ones.

  10. As a former Roman Catholic, I’ll be the first to point out they have their own silly superstitions. But could this just be an indication that, unlike fundamentalist christian sects, they don’t take this demons among us crap seriously?

    I’d like to think so, but if you read the YouTube comments it demonstrates that the Catholic Church has their own share of raving loons…

  11. And they apparently hold services during earthquakes.

  12. “at least they weren’t kneeling”

    I think the faith and fervor of traditionalist catholics is much scarier to the church hierarchy than any type of “irreverent” behavior would be. People who are pretending to believe something have historically always been uncomfortable when in the presence of actual believers. Jokers are less of a threat.

  13. “the Catholic Church has their own share of raving loons…” Absolument!! lmao

  14. But is it because they’re Catholic, or because they’re from California?

  15. Never thought I’d say this, but I think it’s time to bring back The Inquisition.

  16. I didn’t expect The Inquisition.

  17. Back when i was a Good Catholic Boy I regularly attended mass wearing a silly costume. I was an altar boy, and let me tell you, a cassock and surplice was drag enough for me!

    We had separation of Church and Halloween, BITD. All Hallows’ Eve was for trick or treat, and the next day was All Saints’ Day – no school, but you had to go to mass. Since the introduction of mass on the eve of the Holy Day, services are actually held on Halloween. I can see teens and childless grownups going to church before heading out to Halloween parties and getting plowed. Then the partiers can sleep in the next morning, rather than trying to fulfill their Obligation before heading off to classes or work. Families with kids probably do T&T on Halloween night, if their municipality allows that, and attend mass in the early a.m., or after school/work on All Saints’ Day.

    One alternative for costumed church services is to come dressed as your favorite saint. No sacrilege or blasphemy there, right? Of course, some of the Holy Martyrs had gruesome deaths. Strap the rack from your charcoal grill to your back and go as St. Lawrence! Carry your head around and go as St Paul! What fun!

    Kevin
    (doomed to near-eternal Purgatory, if he’s guessed wrong.)

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