I mean, for me, a baby Catholic who's only been going to Mass since 2006, tales of clown masses, Pizza Eucharist and liturgical dance are as foreign to me as the Abominable Snowman or Sasquatch; unbelievable horrors I've heard about but never seen with my own eyes. (And thank goodness)
But while those vestiges of Sacrosanctum Concilium misinterpretation are almost gone, a few remain. No, I'm not talking about hand-holding during the Our Father, though I am thrilled it's on its way out.
Much worse, I'd argue, is the idea that the Mass is something we do, something that ought to entertain, something that is about us. This is a postmodern, mega-church mindset, and while such a mindset is not necessarily bad, is isn't appropriate in a Catholic liturgy. The liturgy is about God.
Jimmy Fallon did an NPR interview the other day during which he mentioned his Catholic upbringing. As a child he loved elements of the Mass now considered old-school: bells, incense, his special job as an altar boy. In the interview, Fallon mentioned that he recently went back to church but found it off-putting:
Notice that? Things that are supposed to make Mass more "relevant and accessible" to hip young adults like Fallon - like having a cool worship band, holding hands all the time, using gimmicks - didn't speak to him. And you know what? I don't blame him.
We don't need gimmicks to make the Mass relevant. It's already relevant for what it is. Jesus is always relevant, and His Church will endure forever.
Bring on the smells and bells. The hip music and social hour can wait outside, thank you.