Mass is boring…

Is a complaint we too often hear

012_holy_spirit_massThe following comes from a post by Fr. Dwight Longenecker on Patheos.com.

….Part of the problem is that we live in a high energy entertainment culture. People go and sit down together and they shift into an audience/consumer mindset. Subconsciously it’s like they have settled down to watch TV, attend a sports event or go to a movie. They want to be stimulated and entertained. Their involvement level is very low.

Worship is a different dynamic and many people don’t know what to do so they’re bored.

It’s been put in a different way in a good question from a reader:

What are we, the faithful (read: not clergy) supposed to do during the Mass? I understand that the post-Vatican II era severely mis-understood what Vatican II was all about and tried to tell us that to participate in the mass we had be involved in a ministry or three. The reading ministry, singing ministry, greeting ministry, gift-bearing ministry, altar serving ministry, dancing ministry, extraordinary Eucharistic ministry, you name it. I’m pretty sure that’s not what was meant. And regardless, what is an average lay faithful man (or woman) supposed to do during the mass?…

…I understand that we are supposed to have a prayerful attitude. And that we should listen to the readings and the homily, to learn what we can. And of course we should focus on the consecration when it happens. But I seem to remember being told something about bringing up one’s struggles or sorrows or something when receiving communion. As a layman, I know I am supposed to prepare myself before receiving the body and blood, but apart from not thinking on how fast I can get back home to watch my sports team, I’m at a loss as to what I am supposed to be preparing for. Receiving Jesus into myself obviously, but what does that mean in real life? I guess what I’m searching for is some kind of concrete, step-by-step explanation on what I am supposed to do. Something low on poetic language and high on basic, everyday language instructions. Or at least guidelines. Obviously one is often distracted, but it would be good to learn what I should be trying to do.

My problem with Catholic literature, online or offline, is that (to my view anyway) everyone is always writing in very beautiful, poetic metaphors how great the mass is, and how we should be so happy to be there (all very true of course, and I do enjoy such treatises) but so very rarely on what one does while there.Just what am I supposed to do while I’m there? Primarily, what am I supposed to in conjunction with receiving communion? I know Vatican II emphasized the laity’s need to participate, but what does that entail? Any knowledge you have on the matter would be most appreciated

First of all, you’re right. The documents of the Second Vatican Council called for “full participation” in the Mass and many people  assumed that “full participation” meant “everybody has to do something.”  Sancrosanctum Concilium teaches,

“Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such participation by the Christian people as “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people (1 Pet. 2:9; cf. 2:4-5), is their right and duty by reason of their baptism.In the restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy, this full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else; for it is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit; and therefore pastors of souls must zealously strive to achieve it, by means of the necessary instruction, in all their pastoral work.” (SC 14)

“With zeal and patience, pastors of souls must promote the liturgical instruction of the faithful, and also their active participation in the liturgy both internally and externally, taking into account their age and condition, their way of life, and standard of religious culture. By so doing, pastors will be fulfilling one of the chief duties of a faithful dispenser of the mysteries of God; and in this matter they must lead their flock not only in word but also by example.” (SC 19)

This certainly means that there should be a proper level of involvement of the lay faithful in appropriate roles as altar servers, lectors, ushers, extraordinary ministers of holy communion, music ministers etc. It also mean that the lay faithful should come prepared properly for Mass. This means arriving ten or fifteen minutes before Mass starts–not ten or fifteen minutes after it starts. The lay faithful should join in with the words of the liturgy and join in singing the hymns–engaging their hearts and minds.

When you compare the Catholic liturgy to most Protestant churches–Catholics are far more involved and participate far more than other Christian groups who pretty much just sit there, sing a few hymns and listen to long sermons.

However, I think part of the question posed by the reader reveals an underlying misunderstanding of what Mass if for.

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Comments

  1. Good music is central to true worship. Good music is not boring. It is up-lifting.

    Why not borrow from the Byzantine tradition, and have the congregation recite this prayer in unison before receiving communion: “I believe, O Lord, and confess that you are truly Christ, the son of the Living God, who came into this world to save sinners, of whom I am first. Accept me this day, O Son of God, as a partaker of Your mystical supper. For I will not tell of the mystery to your enemies, nor will I give you a kiss as did Judas. . . . .”

  2. Elizabeth says:

    If these poor kids were being taught the AWESOMENESS of the Mass and what is actually going on, as we sit in the pews!!! They would be there in a heartbeat.

  3. When people go to Mass to be entertained – they should not even be there.

    Mass is the prime time we spend with the Lord.

    • Amen!

      • Anne T. says:

        I did not mean by my “Amen!” that parents should not take their children and teens to church with them, even though they might object, just that we parents and grandparents need to model what we want our young people to learn by explaining the Faith at home to them; reading along with the missal that is in the pew or out of one’s own missal; trying to sing the hymns if we have a voice at all; even those in languages not our own and not trying to be the first one out of the pew all the time so one can see the ball game, etc. When I go to Mass early, I try to sit in the middle of the pew, so late comers do not have to climb all over me, unless it is super hot, and I want to be by an open window. I will say one thing about the approved Extraordinary Mass (Traditional Latin Mass), and that is that one has no doubt that God has come down on that altar by the reverence shown at the ringing of bells and the following prayerful silence, especially after Gregorian chant and often the ringing of church bells at the Consecration. It IS awesome!

  4. Clinton R. says:

    And yet wasn’t the Mass changed to make it “more interesting” and “accessible”? So why then are the pews empty? If Mass is nothing different than what the secular world offers, if it is not transcendent, then why would anyone feel compelled to go? The Mass of All Ages is the most beautiful sight this side of Heaven. Christ is the focal point of worship all throughout the liturgy. There is no attempt to entertain, or for the laity to assume clerical responsibilities. We know why the Holy Mass was changed, because modernists were allowed to do as they pleased, to change the Catholic faith to suit their own desires. The result has been the near loss of Faith throughout the world. Lord, have mercy on us. +JMJ+

    • Anonymous says:

      Clinton asks “So why then are the pews empty? ” Maybe it;s because parents don’t want their kids around priests anymore…

      • Pews are empty because many Diocese Bishops and Priests do not encourage the Laity to read the Bible and the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” at home.
        People do not know their Faith, and then cannot pass it on to others.

  5. :,,,very beautiful, poetic metaphors how great the mass is, and how we should be so happy to be there…” for me personally , the priests are very much idealistic in their homilies, but not realistic. It looks as they are afraid to preach about real, very real life experiences, where people are desperately looking for God.
    Again, I personally think that a married couple or a mother struggling with children,, would give a better homily.

    • St. Peter says:

      My parish had a permanent deacon, married, who would regularly preach. He was able to preach from the point of view of a father, husband, wage-earner, etc., all the while incorporating the Gospel in a thought provoking way. It was refreshing.

      • Catherine says:

        St. Peter, = Disrespectful usage of St. Peter’s name

        Petra = Rock Solid!

        Not very difficult to see through you’re agenda. Over the years, had the majority A team of solidly formed and educated faithful priests, not been railroaded into silence or banished by compromised or corporate men then we would be teaming with truthful stories about holy homilies from Catholic priests. There is no priest shortage. The priest shortage tale was deliberately manufactured so that many people could have their preference of having their ears tickled… such as yourself.

        See ‘Wind Resistant Plants For Your Windy Garden’

        By Nikki Phipps
        (Author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden)

        How does wind affect plants? Wind is air in motion, and strong winds can cause plants to sway excessively, pulling and tugging on their roots. This continual movement interferes with the roots ability to remain grounded within the soil, which reduces the plant’s ability to absorb water, leading to severe water stress and even death. Let’s take a look at how does wind affect plant size, plant wind protection for your garden and plants that do well in windy places.

        • St. Peter says:

          I have no agenda save to express the fact that I really appreciated the deacon’s sermons. I thought it was a relevant statement. I know many priests, am friends with many priests, and have heard brilliant homilies from them too.

      • That is what Deacons are for.
        They are not Priests, thank goodness.

  6. The original article by Fr. Longenecker was absolutely excellent and I wish that you had put it here instead of the comment which, if it was a comment on the original posting, is missing the whole point and the clear instruction that Fr. Lounge necker offered. Here is a link:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/how-should-i-participate-at-mass
    As a catechist and parent, I have tried to communicate the necessary information. It saddens me that so many Catholics have no training or insight into the centre of our Faith, the Eucharist. Every aspect, moment and revelation of God to His people is figured in the Holy Mass. We should be passionate about it. We should be eager to attend and to bring others to faith so that they might experience this Heaven on Earth. We should make every effort to attend more frequently, even daily. I sent my last two boys to a Norbertine high school for many reasons, but the jewel of their education is celebration of daily Mass. They also provide a daily Holy Hour time for their students. Once upon a time, all catholic school students attended daily Mass and boys felt honoured to serve at the altar. Now, parents have complained so much that children are not allowed to leave class to serve at a funeral or morning Mass.

  7. Linda Maria says:

    The big problem with this writer and many others, seems to be a lack of proper religious education, a lack of upbringing in a devout Catholic home, and a lack of attitude of prayerfulness and respect for God– plus, a lack of good, Catholic religious culture! ( Typical Vatican II problems! I have always preferred the old Latin Mass, it is best, for me! ) When we go to Mass, we begin by proper dress, the Eucharistic fast, and a sense of devout prayerfulness, as we are going to “God’s house,” and we will be (hopefully!) receiving Our Lord, in Holy Communion! Have we sinned? How is our life? What is our relationship with God? Do we first need to go to Confession on Sat., perhaps, before Sunday Mass?? And next, we should try to prepare devoutly, listening and responding with respect, as the priest leads us, in the Mass. Religion has nothing to do with the outside secular world.. Religion is all about God! When we enter “God’s house,” it is very sacred! We must make the Sign of the Cross with the holy water, and step over the threshold, from the gross, “worldly” profane, temporal realm, to the beautiful, eternal, sacred realm, of God!

    • waltnd62 says:

      CONFESSION????? today it is an unknown…a half hour on saturday..a few people participate..YET..on sunday, everyone goes to communion… after Vatican II, everything changed…there is no more SIN..Bishops won’t allow priests to talk about it in the altar..the church has become an institution of FEELINGS…

  8. SandraD says:

    Matthew Kelly’s “new” Confirmation Program, called Decision Point will help all young and old alike to appreciate the Mass and the importance of their journey back to Him. It’s FREE and it’s awesome! Go to DynamicCatholic.com and rediscover your beautiful Church.

    Elizabeth’s post says it all!

    • SandraD says:

      Everyone should read Matthew Kelly’s very 1st book that he wrote when he was only 23 yrs old. Wow. “A Call to Joy”…..he received divine instruction and has passed it on to us. Such wisdom from such a young man……that was more than 25 years ago and he is still serving the Lord by teaching us how to be the best version of ourselves. “The Call to Joy” is the only book you’ll ever need to read (besides the Bible and CCC) to stay on the path to holiness.

  9. Those looking around with a blase’ look on their face waiting for something to happen to them tells it all. It’s useless to use the missalette because you can’t find anything in it. I recommend the Magnificat monthly prayer book to follow the Mass. Take a pencil to underline things that jump out to you in the Mass and readings. Also use a post-it to write down things that you want to look up later from the readings or homily. This way you are looking for things God is saying to you in the Mass, and things that need correcting in your life, or good things you should do. Mass is never boring and never too long. As for the “songs,” the word “tolerate” comes to mind. In the Magnificat there is always a hymn at the beginning of each Mass which I often sing to myself instead of the “song” the choir sings.

  10. The youth are bored because they commonly do not pray. Many having a poor understanding of the Mass and their salvation. A lack of entertainment may be a small part, but the greatest part deals directly with “not knowing God; not having a relationship with God”.

  11. Michelle says:

    My understanding of Vatican II was not so much for the laity to take active roles on the mass, especially ones that the priest or deacons should be doing, but starting ministries in the church as a whole…Adult faith formation, social groups etc.

  12. What I would do with my middle school classes was to teach them all to altar serve (no one was exempted). I would have them learn all the altar vessels and vestments, explain things like the sacrarium, we would talk about Transubstantiation (and ringing the bells so all will focus their attention to what the priest was doing), St. Thomas’ Quinque Viae, St. Augustine and the pears, take them to the Norbertine abbey where they could experience Sext, I would teach a little Latin, and we would have a book to read in class (Cronin’s Keys to the Kingdom). I would also give periodic pop quizzes on the readings or the central idea of the Mass. They would also know who the saint of the day was when we went to Mass each week, sometimes the pastor would ask. Sometimes things would also get turned around – my students would be excited about something they learned in Religion and they would tell the pastor before Mass started (the Golden Legend comes to mind). The pastor would seek out my students and ask them – and me on occasion – to talk about it.
    My own kids went to CCD each week (believe it or not, the diocese didn’t give discounts for your own children to attend Catholic school) and I would ask them what they learned when I picked them up and then I would embellish on what they weren’t told – sometimes this was quite a lot.

  13. Ann Malley says:

    Then let them pray the Rosary during mass and unite their prayers with those of the priest. Let them meditate on the Passion during Mass and teach them to unite their devotion to the prayers of the priest. Have them pray in a free form manner before during and after mass for the intention of doing God’s will.

    Teach them the ends of the mass: that is adoration, thanksgiving, supplication, and reparation. If one is inclined to praise more, let them praise God in their heart throughout mass. If one is inclined to adoration or reparation, let them do as much, uniting themselves to the mystical body which can supply for their lack of following the mass word for word. In other words, teach them to pray and keep them praying and trying. Not expecting to ‘get’ something or ‘see’ something as we are trained to do everywhere else in life.

    • Elizabeth says:

      With all charity Ann, I was told not to pray the Rosary at Mass!

      • Ann Malley says:

        With all charity, I have been told the same, Elizabeth. I have also been advised the exact opposite. Some priests instruct the flock to always use the missal. Others, especially when folks are having difficulty and/or are at a different place spiritually, advise their sheep to meditate during mass, joining themselves and their struggle spiritually to the actions of the priest on the altar.

        Praying a devout rosary and uniting those prayers to the sacrifice of the altar and perhaps meditating on the crucifixion and death of Our Lord is far better than staring off into space or attempting to ‘actively’ participate while being distracted into myriad thoughts that leave one spiritually hungry, frustrated to no end, or doing nothing but standing there. (Not saying that that is what you are doing.)

        Experience has taught me that it is better to pray a Rosary or meditate when, for whatever reason, my heart and mind seem incapable of strictly following the missal. It’s better than inserting endless innovations into the mass so that people will participate.

        And goodness knows there are those times, Elizabeth, when repeating Our Lord’s name in our mind/heart are the best, most unitive prayers one can muster. The assumption that praying the Rosary and/or devoutly attempting to engage one’s heart at the Holy Sacrifice of the mass is some sort of cop out on the mass is, in my opinion, part of what has left us with the never-ending circus act of changing the mass so people will participate.

        • It is best to pay attention to what is going on at Mass.
          Pray the Rosary before or after Mass, or at home.

          • Ann Malley says:

            Often those diligently praying their rosary, Oscar, or meditating are in deep union with what is actually occurring at mass. Much like those in contemplative orders are deeply united to the visible works of the Church despite what others may perceive as inactivity.

          • Catherine says:

            “Often those diligently praying their rosary, Oscar, or meditating are in deep union with what is actually occurring at mass. Much like those in contemplative orders are deeply united to the visible works of the Church despite what others may perceive as inactivity.”

            Beautifully said! Thank you Ann Malley for charitably helping others to understand many of the rich depths of the Catholic faith that have been either forgotten or omitted through years of spiritual neglect. No one is advocating others to not pay attention to the Mass but what you just explained is a foreign concept to many who do not understand. There is also more to the story and this has to do with some resenting this beautiful prayer.

            continued

          • Catherine says:

            continued from July 20, 2014 at 11:41 am
            There are in some cases enemies of the fullness of truth who are virtually hostile at the sight of someone promoting or praying the rosary because it signifies to them that old archaic practice which goes right along with those who walk the narrow path in striving to follow “all” of the teachings of the Church. Some will even downplay and mock the rosary and it is very telltale and it also ties right into what has just taken place within the Church and with the scandals. We know that the smoke of Satan has entered into the sanctuary and the fact that anyone would even bring up the issue of the rosary as being a distraction is revealing. You would think that Catholics would realize that where “Mary” IS the devil flees. Once again there are those who have demonstrated motives to squelch the truth that you just wrote. What a novel thought for some uncatechized Catholics to realize that it is possible to incorporate the contemplative prayer of the rosary while attending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. How utterly absurd for anyone to think that God would not be pleased with anyone who incorporates a love for his Mother, who only draws souls closer to her Son. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the reenactment of the sacrifice on Calvary.

          • Catherine says:

            Once again.

            It is often due to a lack of knowledge for someone to think that God would not be pleased with anyone who is able and willing to also incorporate a love for His mother who always and only draws souls closer to her Son. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the reenactment of the sacrifice on Calvary. Who would even dare to think that the same Immaculately Conceived Love WHO STOOD RIGHT AT THE FOOT of the Cross then (while the sacrifice was actually taking place) would ever interfere now in drawing someone closer to Jesus even during Mass.… Mary said, “My soul doth magnify the Lord.”

            Do Our Lord’s words ring any less true today? Douay-Rheims – Hosea 4:6

            “My people have been silent, because they had no knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will reject thee, that thou shalt not do the office of priesthood to me: and thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I also will forget thy children.”

      • When I was growing up the older people, particularly, said their rosary during Mass. It was the thing to do while waiting for communion or to leave Mass, having completed the obligation. At my parish, communion was given out prior to the Mass, for God only knows what reason. The rosary was a prayer everyone understood. They didn’t understand what was being whispered up on the altar by someone who had his back to them. Yes, we all had Latin/English missals, but …. One of the the outcomes of VII was making the Mass the center of our worship and making the altar the center of the church. There was to be nothing that would distract from the altar. We were taught that we were there to participate in the Mass; the Mass was a communion of all the parishioners worshiping God. It was not the place for private devotion, as is the rosary. One Priest told us that if we wanted to pray and adore God alone, we could do that at home, in the car, anywhere. But, we should go to Mass to pray, praise and adore God as a community of believers. That may be why you were told that it is inappropriate to say the rosary during Mass. I’m not sure who is right, but that is my historical context.

        • Ann Malley says:

          I am glad that the mass is the center of your worship as it should be. But those who attend the Tridentine Rite and use their missal or follow along without the missal because they *know* the mass are not left in the dark.

          Impressions from childhood are often a lot bigger and badder than reality, Bob One. Presuming that adults didn’t understand is a huge stretch unless you were from a largely illiterate community… or a parish where folks didn’t have a care to learn. That happens, too. But even the illiterate can understand action.

          Having the priest face God in the tabernacle is perfectly understandable as he is leading worship that is directed toward God. That’s one thing the Tridentine does teach and without any words – the reality that mass is about our offering worship to God, not having a dialogue with the priest turning his back to the tabernacle and facing us. It’s not about us.

          You are also correct in that Mass is a public prayer. But if one is attempting to unite oneself with the prayers of the priest and is impeded or overset by all of the clamor – of which there often can be – or is plagued for whatever reason by not being able to concentrate, praying one’s Rosary and spiritually uniting oneself to the prayers of the mass is an acceptable option. Certainly better than constantly remodding the mass in an effort to engage everyone in the exact same way.

        • All Priests must adhere to GIRM (General Instruction of the Roman Missal) for the OF Mass.
          If they refuse, contract your Diocese Bishop.
          No Priest has the authority to ad lib / change anything.
          http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccdds/documents/rc_con_ccdds_doc_20030317_ordinamento-messale_en.html

          The Priest must use the 1962 Missal at the EF Mass.

          Saying a Rosary during Mass is not acceptable. If you believe so, please provide a link to OFFICIAL Church teaching that says so.
          We must pay attention at Mass.

          • Ann Malley says:

            Deb, you are correct. We must pay attention at mass. Often that means allowing Our Lord to guide us where He wills. Spiritual union and attention at mass is not the same as keeping up with a Jazzercize step for fear of tripping up the class or worrying that you blinked for too long and therefore have sinned by not paying attention.

            But in times of spiritual desolation, often meditation and the rosary during mass is just the means to carry one to the foot of the cross. Not worrying over much about *having* to pay attention which in itself turns into a huge distraction from actual prayer.

            That may not be the official word on it, but it works just the same. And I doubt Our Lord will scoff at a devoutly prayed rosary, whenever it is offered.

        • Abeca Christian says:

          Bob One like it or not but I like the Tridentine Rite Mass. I don’t feel like how you describe it.. I don’t see it that way. I see it as its all about Jesus, and my kids who are teens also understand the depth of it because we have taken the time to not preach at them too much but to live our faith, to be a witness of our faith so that their eye’s will see what we hold dear to us.

          I tell my kids, let Jesus in and His mum, in your heart and you will see the Mass in a whole new light. Plus I also reach them in their own level, sometimes we also attend a devout holy NO parish too, just so they can also discern what a loyal NO parish should be especially in the Mass. Our kids have also attended Ukrainian Rite Mass,Marionrite Mass etc. all in union with Rome.

  14. St. Christopher says:

    Fr. Longenecker’s post is silly, and internally inconsistent. The destruction of the Mass is the direct result of Mgr. Bugnini and Gang of Protestant preachers that all wanted Catholics to be “more biblical” and to “stop worshipping statutes.” Well, how has the past 50-years worked for ecumenical relations? Chirp . . . chirp . . .chirp. Nothing, except the wonderful creation of the Anglican Ordinariate by the spectacular Benedict XVI. And, they became Roman Catholic to escape the lunacy of the Anglican-Episcopalian destruction, as well as to embrace the only Church which has Christ’s own sacraments. The Ordinariate Mass is lovely and reverent; far preferrable to the N.O. Sadly, given the recent news of yet another “visitation” from the Vatican to a Traditionally-inspired diocese (this one in Paraguay), Francis is slyly completing enough of his dance of the seven veils to reveal yet another Vatican II prelate simply astounded, and threatened, and angered by Catholic Tradition. Yet, we must pray for the Holy Father, and ask the Holy Ghost to intercede with him. The Novus Ordo is boring even if reverently said. But, simply no one cares, and those in power are increasingly elbowing the true candidate for “santo subito” status out of the way; watch out dear Benedict, as you walk near any stairs or balcony — a simple push from the current “illuminati” is a likely constant threat.

    • The infallibility of the Holy Spirit was “far preferrable” during Vat 1 days? Vat 2 masses are not ?

      “The Latin mass is just as legit as Novus Ordo, and just as much as a part of the Church’s liturgy.

      The Latin mass which is the extraordinary form, or the Novus Ordo which is the ordinary form, know that both of them are at the heart of the Church’s life, at the heart of the Church’s sacraments, and that all of them are intended to be ways in which we offer praise and thanksgiving to God; receive the sacraments; grow in grace, and therefore, live the life that Christ calls us.” (Bishop Christopher Coyne)

      “there is no such thing as Conservative or Liberal Catholics! , there are orthodox Catholics and there are heretics!”. (Cardinal Burke)

      • Abeca Christian says:

        Good comments koda

      • Yes, Koda, yours are good comments. We all have different types of personalities, too, sometimes even at different stages in our lives, so no one type of Mass pleases everyone all the time. Quite often we need a change once in awhile.

  15. The Novus Ordo Mass isn’t boring. Frankly, this just seems to be yet another opportunity for some folks to get on their “I hate the OF” soapbox. No thanks. The Mass is beautiful regardless of what form we attend. The Mass is what we bring to it. If we are just looking around trying to see how many people we can pass judgment on for doing something wrong (wearing shorts, hands extended during the Our Father, you name it), then we’re probably not really focused on Christ and it doesn’t really matter whether it’s the OF or EFM. We are there to worship God. Musical preferences are all well and good (and don’t think those who hate the “banal folk dittys” in your OCP music book are somehow putting their preferences aside when they tear down hymn after hymn) but they shouldn’t be paramount. The Mass isn’t boring. It never was, it never will be. The Mass hasn’t really changed all that much. If you are there to worship God, you will not feel “bored.” And it won’t matter if it’s the EFM or OF, whether they are doing Gregorian Chant or (gasp) singing something written by Dan Schutte. If you can’t go to either the OF or EFM and equally worship, then maybe you’ve gotta take a little more of yourself out of the equation. God only knows I do.

    • Ann Malley says:

      JJ: You begin by saying that mass is what we bring to it and then summarize by stating that maybe folks have gotta take a little more of themselves out of the equation.

      That is a very confusing position. Much like it is very confusing to equate the Novus Ordo Missae as being the same as the Tridentine Rite outside of the reality of Our Lord’s presence. There is no judgement there, just observation. And while focusing on Our Lord is paramount, focusing is very difficult amid a rite open to innovation and persistent reinterpretation – not from generation to generation, but from one Sunday to the next, one parish to the next, one priest to the next, etc. etc.

      This makes overall Catholic unity difficult as humans are creatures of habit. We’re also creatures with flesh senses which makes dismissing distractions and constant change unproductive. It’s like saying, don’t be hungry. Don’t note the difference between chicken and beef. Some things are a matter of taste, it’s true, while others are a matter of need. Calling out folks as judgmental for pointing out these very real obstacles just because one has been *graced* with the ability to block out natural sense perception and the ability to discern differences doesn’t help solve the disconnects, JJ.

  16. Father Karl says:

    The Mass is supposed to be an unbloody sacrifice. I am sure no one was bored at Calvary when Christ was crucified. If the Mass is no longer a sacrifice, but a banquet, then I can see where some might get bored. But, if people are educated, and have proper etiquette, then no matter what they feel, they, should never act bored at Mass. After all, they are at Mass to worship Almighty God, NOT to be entertained.

    • SandraD says:

      God Bless you Father Karl!

    • Anne T. says:

      I really do not like the use of the word “celebration” for the Ordinary Mass. In American English now the word “celebration” is mainly used for a party. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is a much better name for it I think. It expresses the awesomeness of what is happening. I also dislike the part, “The Mass is ended. Go in peace,” with the laity answering, “Thanks be to God.” It sounds to me as if we are saying, “Thank God the Mass is ended.”

  17. St. Christopher says:

    “JJ”: You are incorrect; there is a chasm between the Novus Ordo and the Mass of All Time. You are mis-educated as to this, being lied to my successive legions of priests and lay administrators about how great things are now and how wonderful the N.O. is for all. No only is the N.O. Mass boring, but it is not even the same from one diocese (or one parish) to another, even if in the same state. Bishops do what they want, as to local pastors. Women run completely crazy in some masses, virtually shutting down the role of the priest (particularly in one well-known parish in Berkeley, CA), who does little more than “preside” at the consecration. Often priests do not even give out communion, leaving this to the mis-named “Eucharistic Minister.” Nope, more and more Catholics have become Protestant in all but name, and their N.O. reflects this. The Church professes that Jesus can be found in the N.O. but it is a stretch. Better to worship as did the saints throughout the ages. Pope Francis and his goofy bishops and cardinals will continue to attack Tradition, but it will not die. This is the Catholic Church, not the “hide-the-Tabernacle” and “thou shalt not kneel” crowd of Cardinal Dolan.

    • Anonymous says:

      Better to worship as Jesus did! Let’s have the mass in Aramaic!

      • Steve Phoenix says:

        The Mass IS said in Aramaic in the Uniate Catholic Maronite church or Antiochene Rite(at least the Eucharistic Prayer is; usually the rest is in Arabic). The point is: the Maronites became united with the Western Roman Catholic Church because they saw the continuity of the Latin Rite with the Mass of All Time. Also, within their offertory prayers, the Mass is referred to as ‘ the unbloody sacrifice’, disproving post Vatican II claims but this was a medieval accretion.

    • S Christopher, you are a schismatic, and not in align with Church teaching.
      It is people who belittle the OF Mass that will cause problems at the Vatican for everyone.
      Pope Benedict made this very clear.
      http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_commissions/ecclsdei/documents/rc_com_ecclsdei_doc_20110430_istr-universae-ecclesiae_en.html
      ” 19. The faithful who ask for the celebration of the forma extraordinaria must not in any way ….. show themselves to be against the validity or legitimacy of the Holy Mass or the Sacraments celebrated in the forma ordinaria….”

      Further it would be most helpful if you would use the correct Catholic Church terminology rather than nicknames for either of the forms of the Mass.
      EF = “Extraordinary Form” of the Mass
      OF = “Ordinary Form” of the Mass

      • Abeca Christian says:

        Thank you MIKE finally someone calling out St. Christopher’s errors. I know that you did it out of charity, I hope he is humble enough to embrace.

        MIKE pray for me because I do not use the proper terminology. I have to try to remember to use it but being anemic, I noticed that I usually lose a lot of brain power. lol sorry not to make excuses but if I use slang like the NO or Latin mass, please know I mean well……lol

        Well anyhoo both the EF and OF are valid! Lets be clear on that!

      • Ann Malley says:

        MIKE, St. Christopher is perfectly fine in how he presents himself, terms and all. You have no call pronouncing anyone a schismatic as that is outside your realm of jurisdiction. Completely outside your jurisdiction.

        You cannot fault a man for speaking about that which, at least by example, is visibly allowed in the Novus Ordo all over the United States. The problem is not with people who are vocal in calling out the errors, but rather with the mentality of keeping silent about a huge elephant in the room just so you will not get your crust of EF bread taken away. So while some have their crust of EF, what of our starving brethren who are subject everyday to less than a crust in the form that is abused outrageously, to the extent that many do not even retain the Faith anymore? That’s a problem, MIKE.

        So how to deal with that? By gouging out the eyes and ripping out the tongues of those who would have ALL the faithful fed in the fullness of Truth? And all for the sake of not wanting to take ownership for a failed and sagging experiment. The Vatican makes it’s own problems, MIKE, either by exercising authority or not exercising authority. The hush little sheep might work if such rampant liturgical abuse and lack of moral understanding weren’t the order of the day. But they are. And it is no heresy to say it.

  18. What is this holding hand business in the picture supposedly at Mass?
    This is not part of GIRM (General Instruction of the Mass).
    This is clearly Protestant.
    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccdds/documents/rc_con_ccdds_doc_20030317_ordinamento-messale_en.html

    • F. Suleau says:

      You’re right. And following the ridiculous antic of holding hands, the next slide would be the congregation raising palms upwards as mock members of Luther’s ‘universal priesthood.’ Also clearly Protestant are the numerous other changes which diminish the status and privilege of the Holy Priesthood and detract from focus on the altar at Mass, including, but not limited to, communion under both species, communion in the hand, female altar servers, Eucharistic ministers, lay lectors, the lay deaconate, removal of communion rails, the ambiguity of the sanctuary, removal or relocation of the tabernacle, Mass ‘facing the people,’ shaking hands, clapping hands, architecture ‘in the round,’ Mass in the vernacular, etc., etc., etc. The research of eminent Catholic historian Michael Davies (RIP) revealed that the primary author of the Novus Ordo, Archbishop Bugnini, was later exposed as a Freemason and exiled to Iran by Pope Paul VI. The Masonic model of the universal brotherhood as a means of making man the ultimate authority of truth and to undermine the Catholic Church is a great starting point for understanding the changes. Vatican II should never be defended on the basis that that it did not specifically authorize all of the mutations that have taken hold. Rather, the official changes were just sufficient when mixed into the cultural mainstream to produce a new protestantized Catholicism.

  19. Dr. Carlos Diaz Lujan says:

    Shatter the Ordinary; Go for the Best.
    Experience the Extraordinary… the Traditional Latin Mass.
    The Mass of Tradition is the Mass of the Future!
    Want a clear idea of the serious problems with the highly controversial New Mass? Read “The Ottaviani Intervention: THE CRITICAL STUDY OF THE NEW ORDER OF MASS” here: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=456269596794

  20. Michael McDermott says:

    I do not consider Mass to be ‘Boring’ – although watching some in the pews read the newsletter during the Homily might give that impression.

    However – the position of Reader / Lector is second only in importance to the Gospel / Homily – and is often performed poorly by people with little public speaking skill, and all too often accents that are virtually unintelligible to those in the pews.

    The Readings Lead to the Gospel – which usually inspires the Homily, and failure to render them properly – Clearly, Loudly enough to be heard by all, and Addressed to the Parish as opposed to a head down recitation directed at the lectern by those who don’t even face the audience….

    Really Detract from the Fullness of the Service.

    It is ‘Nice’ to let everybody who wants to be a Reader do so, but it is often a Counter-Productive as a means of Proclaiming the Word – for the same reason, because some (far too many) Without the Skill Set needed to Proclaim Well, are allowed to do so because it might hurt their feelings to be left out.

    Mass is Too Important to be a ‘toastmasters training session’ for those who want to work on their language skills – and while the subject isn’t boring, those delivering the Word often do so in a boring and difficult to understand manner that turns off an audience otherwise wishing to be attentive.

    Comments?

  21. Those who are Lectors should be trained and critiqued prior to each weekend that they read. They need to know how to proclaim the Word, which words to emphasize, the meaning of the passage and how it fits the entire reading. People who know how to train others in public speaking should be available for coaching on each reading. It is not the job of the Lector to “read” the readings, but to make them profound for the people at Mass. People should practice with mic at the ambo prior to Mass and before anyone arrives. This is a awesome responsibility. Then, we can start asking the Priests to go through the same training so that the can proclaim the Gospel. If the kids are bored, its is because the adults make them that way.

  22. Any Catholic who bad mouths either the Ordinary Form (OF) of the Mass or the Extraordinary Form (EF) of the Mass is a heretic and schismatic.

    Bad mouthing either form of the Mass was forbidden by Pope Benedict.

    CCC: ” 2089 HERESY is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same; …..
    SCHISM is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”

    There is nothing wrong with stating how much you enjoy a particular form of the Mass, but you must never tear down the other form.

  23. St. Christopher says:

    The Novus Ordo Mass is something that is very recently man-made, per “F. Suleau’s” post, and did nothing — nothing — but rip out centuries of Catholic worship, belief, and identity. The generation or two of “Catholics” that have been raised in post-Vatican II “eucharistic halls” and gone to “services” where a “presider” chats about everything under the sun while confecting a “communal meal” really have little idea about what the Church stands for. In example, after example, orthodox priests and nuns that give talks about Catholic teachings on sexual ethics, especially to high school students, are attacked by irate parents, students, and usually the local ordinary for being “fringe” Catholics, not “pastoral” and all of that. They are irate, just as you are irate, because you do not understand much of the foundations of the Church, now sadly crumbling. Soon, the next poorly educated and trained generation or two of priests and lay people will close the door for good over much of the institutional church. But a promised remnant will survive, and the Mass they say is not likely to be the N.O.

    • Both forms of the Liturgy (minus the Eucharist, Readings, Lord’s Prayer) are all man made.
      Both the OF and EF are approved by the Magisterium
      The OF is over 50 years old.

      When the OF Mass is done without abuses according to GIRM (General Instruction of the Roman Missal), it is beautiful.
      http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/the-mass/general-instruction-of-the-roman-missal/
      When the EF Mass is done without abuses according to the 1962 Missal as required it is beautiful.
      Some people prefer the OF Mass and some prefer the EF Mass. This is perfectly appropriate.

    • St. Christopher, where would there be room for all the older and newer saints’ feasts if we only had one form of Mass? Think about that. That was why some of the older saints were taken out of the newer Mass — to make room for some of the latest saints, such as the Vietnamese martyrs, St. Padre Pio and St. Gianna Molla. Now with the two forms we can honor them all.

  24. Homilies can be boring at OF Masses. But this is the Priests’ fault.
    They rarely speak about anything important like –
    Sin, Death, Judgment, Heaven, Hell –
    or what Jesus said about the narrow road.

    • Abeca Christian says:

      The priests where I have attended Mass too, in the OF and EF mass, do. Sometimes we just have to seek and find and ask our Lord. Also I have seen a few priests change for the better and it was due to the encouragement of the lay faithful, they encouraged him by letting him know what they wanted to hear during the homilies, it took building a friendly relationship with this priest and the mention of concerns, then to their surprise they saw their priest show more conviction in his homilies.

  25. MIchael McDermott says:

    AS regards the Holding of Hands during the Lord’s Prayer, as well as handshakes and group hugs all around – before receiving Communion in the Hand…

    The practice has already been curtailed during Flu Season, but should be re-examined on plane ole Public Health grounds – particularly in places like the Bay Area, where international airports and mass transit can serve as vectors for the very rapid spread of very dangerous virus…

    Many if not most of the Children coming across the border now, and being dispersed to various parts of the country, have never been vaccinated and may be active carriers – of whatever. This is not to place blame on innocent Children – but to simply acknowledge the Epidemiological Facts facing our ever more inter-connected world, and the potential to effect the Church because of Our Practices.

    How many Parishes include a sanitizer with the Holy Water? How many ministers at least use a Hand sanitizer (only somewhat effective, compared to thorough hand washing) before passing out the Host?

    Difficult Questions Indeed, but real ones none the less – and better addressed in advance than afterwards.
    Where does Christian Charity & Love intersect with spread of pathogens, and how in a Loving Christian Manner can we deal with the issue.

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      Mr. McDermott raises an interesting question, that of the spread of infectious diseases from those coming in across our borders, in some cases undervaccinated. It is a reasonable concern, to be sure. I am much more worried, however, about those coming from regions in Asia who often live in close proximity to birds known to harbor and transmit flu viruses onto human beings. These folks come here by the thousands every day, far more prevalantly than come across our southern border. If you want to do something about disease, other solutions might be the answer.

  26. MIchael McDermott says:

    While on the subject of ‘Boring’ Masses – I have a pet peeve that I want to share that at least tangentially relates – End Cappers.

    How many of you have entered a Church to find an otherwise empty pew, with one person sitting on the very end, and guarding it like it was an extra leg room seat on an airplane?

    Admittedly, some people may have valid medical reasons for wanting to be able to sometimes exit the pews in a hurry, and some may be in a Real Hurry to go somewhere important after Mass.

    But I have seen it too many times, where someone (often quite young / healthy) stakes out a seat on the end – and requires all others to climb over them to sit in the middle of the pew.

    My real question for these Convenience Christians – is for what purpose came they to Mass, if this is how they behave to others when there?

    • If you want an end seat, get there early. Don’t complain about others who get to Mass early.

      You never know whether someone has medical issues of any age due to stomach problems and has to get to the restroom in a hurry. etc.
      If they don’t leave prior to the end of Mass, you should not be judging, because you have no clue.
      It could even be a visibility issue whereby they want to see the Mass better.

      • Here are some common ABUSES by the LAITY at the OF Mass that are not in accord with GIRM:
        1) Holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer;
        2) Mimicking the Priest when he holds his arms up during the Lord’s Prayer;
        3) Giving the sign of Peace to others who are not NEAREST to you;
        4) Those who receive the Eucharist in the hand not bowing first as required;
        5) Applauding for any reason during the Mass;
        6) Socializing / talking before and after Mass while in the Church – Jesus is present in the Tabernacle from previous Masses, and it disturbs others are trying to pray.

        • Abeca Christian says:

          Sandra God bless you, you and MIKE and some others sure seem to know the faith well, I appreciate your positive witness here, we need to witness our faith. I appreciate you posting what is in accord to GIRM. Its very helpful and educational. The more I am around Catholics who do not know, the more I am growing compassionate and merciful. Where do I get copies of the GIRM? I want to buy many and hand out after Mass and or before Mass.

          I feel blessed, the Lord is blessing me to be surrounded with more and more holy Catholics who love our church and who know their faith. It is them today, that are helping correct the many errors I have been exposed too in the past years with all the hysteria, people sounding hopeless like if the whole church was lost etc. I don’t even bother with negative articles anymore, I just fix my eye’s on Christ and since I am well grounded with my faith, I seek out holy priests from both the EF and OF parishes.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Sandra I want to make a difference once again. I want to continue to share my faith with others like I use, so handing out copies of the GIRM is a good start. We can’t fix those who are outside of Mother church but we can help with love our own within our church. While others condemn, we can step in with action and be merciful and genuine and share the faith, of course to those who are open to it.

            If people want to argue, let them, we just move on to those who are open to the truth. But we have a huge responsibility to pray for those who reject these precious pearls, because once we present them and they ignore them or reject them, we can’t stop just at that, we must follow up with love and prayer. Prayer is our weapon. I have seen many miracles because of prayer. We are seeing them today. All it takes is love and prayer.

      • Abeca Christian says:

        Mr. MIchael McDermott I understand how you feel but I agree with Sandra as well. Just offer it up (that’s what I do) and give them the benefit of the doubt, it could be a health issue. I sympathize with anyone with health issues and I appreciate their effort to still want to make it to Mass even with their health issues. They deserve our respect and admiration.

        Wow what troopers I gotta tell ya, to go to Mass, especially if they go to a Mass that lasts longer than an hour and they are offering up their suffering just so they can be with our Lord at Mass, that is honorable and virtuous. Some women have female issues like Fibriods, they tend to bleed very heavy and have to be close to the exit just in case, when I was in mid 20’s, a close friend of mine suffered with that issue, but she didn’t let that stop her from attending Mass, she just made sure she met up with us and we got there early. She left soon after. We understood, I’m sure there where people probably judging her saying “those young people”. lol well anyhoo, just to take into consideration. God bless you. = )

  27. Of course they are bored, they are attending a Novus Ordo “show” not a Roman Catholic Mass, if they were attending a Traditional Latin Mass and praying with the priest they would not be bored!! That is true PARTICIPATION not hand holding, kiss of peace, altar girls, dancing girls in obscene leotards, guitars, drums, felt banners, Life Teen shows, giant puppets, communion in the hand, this is not the Roman Catholic Mass!!

    • Abeca Christian says:

      Janek no offense to you but this has nothing to do what your obsession to think that all NO are a show, this article also applies to even our youth who attend the Latin Mass. Just be honest OK! Our youth will be our youth, no matter if they attend a EF Mass or OF Mass, I know kids and some would even say that they feel mass is too long, their just being kids who haven’t yet disciplined themselves and have still more years to grow in wisdom and knowledge, OK so please stop with this nonsense.

  28. Abeca Christian says:

    You know what they say? I remember a teacher in high school told us kids “if you get bored easily, then you must be a boring person, always wanting to be entertained, so don’t blame it on class time, look in the mirror”.

    LOL yup that teacher sure said it right, boring people get bored more often. After that the students would joke about it, when one would say “I’m bored” another student would reply “you must be a boring person”….yup that teacher did teach us a thing or two and look ye here, the students took it in like a sponge! hehehe

  29. Kindly Abeca, I will not give up on this “nonsense’ that is what happend over 40 years ago, Roman Catholics gave up the Mass of All Times and low and behold we have the man made Mass of Paul the VI. I shall never give up the fight for the TLM, it is a utter disaster and man- made by six protestant ministers and the freemason Bugnini. You can have your drums, dancing girls, altar girls, hand holding, kiss of peace, giant puppets and all other un-catholic innovations. I wont settle for such childish “nonsense”

    • Abeca Christian says:

      Janek I will pray for you. That’s all I have to say. I can’t fret over this division, I think you are only being self righteous in my opinion. Well tally-ho, go in peace, I am not in war with you dear, just letting you know that I completely disagree with you and being on the outside, I already see more disliking the Latin Mass because of that attitude. I can say this though, that through those of us who understand both the OF and EF mass, I am seeing more and more fruitful Catholics today bringing the faith. It is the hard work and prayers of many who are in union with Rome, who are spreading the faith. People are soul searching, they are hungry for the truth and those who are faithful to Christ in what you call V2, are the ones who are spreading many truths within the church. Even a devout Catholic woman that I knew back then when I was teaching bible studies, she came from the EF parish, she was one who warned me about those who where schismatic and how they protested V2, I didn’t understand back then until now with this website even more, but she said continue to share the teachings of the early church Fathers, the bible and especially what the CCC teaches, because that is what will help people remain in union with Rome and help Catechize more Catholics.

      • Abeca Christian says:

        Janek I feel for you but you are insulting as well, to say that I can have my drums and dancing girls…what is that???? I never attended a Mass that had that, I heard of it, yest but I would not do so and I would be the first one to have an outcry if there was such disrespect! So this is your theory….look you have to work this indifference within yourself, stop insulting those of us who love our church! It is not perfect but if you read your bible, you will discover a lot more than you think you know.

  30. The sad story of the situation of the Novus Ordoites, especially the second generation that has only known the Novus Ordo service not the TLM of the Ages, is that the Novus Ordo service evolved into a mankind-centered entertainment show and in some parishes probably moreso woman-kind with female liturgical directors and altar girls. Many who attend want to be entertained with religious rock music, liturgical dancing, humerous homilies, clapping, hugging, and immodest dress. And this is during the Novus Ordo service, let alone not to mention the socializing, coffee and donuts, or saturday evening bar-hopping after the weekend service they attended. Land sakes alive if there wasn’t these entertaining venues, many Novus Ordoites would probably stop attending regularly or even stop all together.

    But what is Sunday and worship all about? Who commanded that man worship on at least Sundays? Why no one other but the Creator God Almighty Himself! To show Him due respect and honor, we are obliged to follow His Commandments, for example to worship in in a satisfactory manner. What manner might that be? Well obviously man-kind couldn’t come up with something to appease our Creator on our own, which is was the Novus Ordoites have done over the last nearly 50 years. No, with man-kind depending entirely on God for all life and subsistence only God Himself knows by the limitations of man-kind, what reverent and ornate worship man-kind must perform to satisfy the Blessed Trinity. God so prescribed to the 12 Apostles and all generations thereafter, how he wished to be loved, honored, memorialized, and worshipped at the Last Supper.

  31. An excellent theologian Fr. James Meagher wrote an excellent descriptive works in the early 20th Century on “How Christ said the First Mass”. It is available for sale infrequently, very explicit and gets into minute details one would not imagine. It has been years since I read it but it is over 400 pages long. One might wonder thinking about the Norvus Ordo service how it could possibly take 400 pages to describe it! “How Christ said the First Mass” is truly Roman Catholic, a great edition to your Catholic library, and filled with information of the Roman Catholic faith which we all need more of. To many of us are tepid in knowing the history of our faith, it hasn’t been passed down well at all in the last 50 years and that is why we have let the truth slip through our fingers and let the modern changes happen without protest.

    “How Christ said the First Mass” is truly a masterpiece of Roman Catholic art and worship, which explains how God’s Son, Jesus Christ the Author and Sacrificial Lamb of the Holy Mass taught the 12 Apostles how to honor and glorify God the Father in the highest of all forms of prayer we have today.

    To change the core, that is to say the Cannon of the Holy Mass what God had established, to change it smites God in the face as though the proud liberals inventing the changes thought that they could do better than God Himself!

    The only answer to saving the Roman Catholic Church is to return to the Blessed Trinity in worship and practice as prescribed by God Himsel; to return the Roman Catholic Church to what it was before all the liberal changes which made the Norvus Ordo service and all the modern sacraments virtually powerless.

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