From the “What Were They Thinking?” file comes this snippet of a recommended “Liturgy On Ecology” from the book How Green is Green? by Rev. Etienne LeBlanc and Sr. Mary Rose Talbot (Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, IN, 1973). The subtitle is “38 Eucharistic Liturgies for Today’s Youth.” As with so many of these books, it is filled with things that make a reader fill with incredulous wonder at what was happening in the 1970s.

The next time you wonder if your pastor is reading the General Instruction on the Roman Missal carefully enough, just think of what you could be having.


A Liturgy on Ecology, pp. 98-99

In the center aisle a trash barrel is provided, and each child as he enters the church should deposit his trash in the barrel. Children should be given time before the celebration to collect trash… The celebrant stops at the trash barrel for the rite.

Penitential Rite: Exorcisms of Pollutions

Exorcism of Earth Pollution

“Depart, deadly spirit of pollution, from our earth. May we recognize you for what you are, an ever growing threat to all life forms, to all that is created.

“You litter our landscape in various forms: paper, glass, metals, and plastics. With beer cans and car hulks, paper bags and non-returnables, with billboards and refuse dumps you cover our streets and highways. Beyond our vision you lurk in pesticides and poisons rained in our soil…”

ALL: “OUT DEMONS OUT!” (child places his collage near or against the trash barrel)

Exorcism of Water Pollution

“Depart, deadly spirit of pollution, from our waters… You take the forms of phosphates and various industrial wastes. You come from our kitchen sinks and from the giant factories and municipal sewage plants. The heat of nuclear reactors on our waters makes them sources of death for the flowers and fish of the sea. You do all this in the name of progress.

ALL: “OUT DEMONS OUT!” (child places his collage near or against the trash barrel)


And lastly, on page 101, a suggestion is given for the possible quotes on the banner:

“Did you know that the word ‘American’ ends in I Can?”