Catholic FAQ


Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Liturgy and Sacraments
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #106  
Old May 12, '10, 9:39 pm
GwenL GwenL is offline
Regular Member
Radio Club Member
Forum Supporter
 
Join Date: September 14, 2009
Posts: 625
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: why is the mass so long

We had only two OT readings at Easter Vigil, plus no litany of the saints, plus no sung Exultet, plus abbreviated entry with the candles (and it was still light out). I think our pastor was worried that people wouldn't come to the Mass if it was too long. Or perhaps he was going for the world record shortest Easter Vigil Mass ever.
Reply With Quote
  #107  
Old May 13, '10, 12:17 am
desertPavel desertPavel is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2009
Posts: 98
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: why is the mass so long

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcrae View Post
Seriously? I was under the impression that we had to have at least four.

I'd love to go to one where they have all seven. That would be glorious.
The parish's liturgical committee or pastor decided on 2 Old Testament readings for some reason. I was under the impression there had to be 7 and they are glorious and edifying, especially when the Church is illuminated with nothing but candles. I, especially, like the Creation story read

It is the holiest night of the year and surely people can make the sacrifice and sit through 7 OT readings. Maybe I'm becoming a curmudgeon in my old age!
Reply With Quote
  #108  
Old May 13, '10, 6:30 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: September 7, 2004
Posts: 37,470
Religion: Catholic no adjectives
Default Re: why is the mass so long

Quote:
Originally Posted by tgwall View Post
Then that priest retired, and sure enough, his replacement started lengthening the mass. I started thinking more about the length of the mass, and it started to bug me that these guys (the priests) were wasting my time by lengthening the mass.

(.
since you ask, and only because you ask, if your reason for choosing a parish is to find the shortest Mass, and that because it is a waste of your time, I wonder why you have decided to become or remain Catholic at all? May I suggest How To Book of the Mass from Our Sunday Visitor because at least in your post you exhibit no understanding whatever of what is happening at Mass and why.

on reflection, though, you may be right, 3 hours on the cross was needless for Jesus, and thoughtless for all those who waited and watched with him, standing in the heat the entire time, he could have saved us in 15 minutes so everyone could have gotten home sooner for the passover celebration, so why didn't he?
__________________
Whatever the Lord pleases He does, on heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps. Ps. 135
Reply With Quote
  #109  
Old May 13, '10, 6:50 am
desertPavel desertPavel is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2009
Posts: 98
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: why is the mass so long

Quote:
Originally Posted by puzzleannie View Post
since you ask, and only because you ask, if your reason for choosing a parish is to find the shortest Mass, and that because it is a waste of your time, I wonder why you have decided to become or remain Catholic at all? May I suggest How To Book of the Mass from Our Sunday Visitor because at least in your post you exhibit no understanding whatever of what is happening at Mass and why.

on reflection, though, you may be right, 3 hours on the cross was needless for Jesus, and thoughtless for all those who waited and watched with him, standing in the heat the entire time, he could have saved us in 15 minutes so everyone could have gotten home sooner for the passover celebration, so why didn't he?
Good post! It's amazing how many people take Christ's passion for granted.
Reply With Quote
  #110  
Old May 13, '10, 12:21 pm
ccolley ccolley is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 25, 2005
Posts: 135
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: why is the mass so long

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatbearer View Post
Do you happen to have a reference for this?
Yes, It is from A Concise History of the Catholic Church, by Schreck, Alan, PhD;St. Anthony Press; 2009. Sorry I can't find my copy to give you the exact page number, but if you look under the 4th Century it should be fairly easy to find.

My notes on this time period:

AD 381 – Emperor Theodosius declared Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire and moved to end paganism/

At this time, the number of Christians soared and now you have a problem with people joining the church for Political reasons…..It was now easier and more comfortable to be a Christian.
Sunday sermons were 2-3 hours long and were intended to instruct the new Christians.
Rite of Christian Initiation….developed by St.Cyril of Jerusalem.

CC
I love my Papal Papa!
Reply With Quote
  #111  
Old May 14, '10, 3:20 am
mick321 mick321 is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: July 7, 2009
Posts: 565
Religion: [√] YES
Default Re: why is the mass so long

[NOTE: As part of a TLM community, I normally assist an EF High Mass on Sunday morning. It is against this standard that I compare every Mass in which I attend. In recent months, I have also begun assisting daily Morning Prayers and OF Low Mass at a retreat center run by a religious order. The chapel also serves a small community of retired priests and religious brothers who's residence house is located there.]

I read the OP Sunday morning. At that point, it would have been easy to jump on the bandwagon of outrage which had already begun. But I had to leave for Mass. As it turns out, my mother was in the hospital on Mother's Day. I arranged to pick up my sister, attend Mass at her Church and then visit our mother at the hospital.

Her church is less than ten years old, very nice, had beautiful artwork, a pipe organ and seating for 1200. By the time the 10am mass began, every seat was taken and many stood along the walls. The pipe organ remained silent. Music was performed by a six-piece band with contemporary instruments. A choir of about twenty provided the voices. There were scriptural readings by four different lay parishioners, and a "green" sermon by the deacon. Eighteen EMHC's helped distribute Holy Communion. The priest remained seated for more than 50% of the 70 minute service. To his credit though, he did walk around the pews offering the sign of peace to a number of folks. Many parishioners did not return to their seats after communion. The went directly to their cars in the parking lot. The priest dismissed those who remained and led them in a round of applause.

OK, I had fulfilled my Sunday obligation as part of the Body of Christ. I sang the hymns, read the responses and participated in every activity that was available to a visiting layperson. But I felt as though I has missed something that everyone else "got".

Later that day, I attended Mass with my father at his parish, ten miles south. Very similar layout and work flow. New, expensive building and fixtures, 1000+ in attendance, standing room only, readings, EMHC's, band, choir, and all the rest. The sermon was given by a guest speaker. The topic was Arizona's new immigration laws and ways to make them "pay" for their unfair treatment of illegals. Cheers from the congregation. After communion, they charged the parking lot just like the earlier group.

Looking back, these were not the longest or shortest masses I have attended. They were not particularly complicated nor did they require one be familiar with a foreign language. Even one with EF sensibilities would be hard pressed to find anything abusive in either service. To me, both these OF services felt as if they were either light on genuine Catholic content, or that content was buried so deeply beneath other stuff that the essence of our Holy Faith could not shine through.

By putting too much emphasis on the number of hours we spend in church, we run the risk of getting MORE of what does us no good, and much harm: the religious pursuit of superficiality as an end in itself.

Faithful Catholics have no time for that.


Reply With Quote
  #112  
Old May 14, '10, 5:37 am
ProVobis ProVobis is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: January 26, 2008
Posts: 29,013
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: why is the mass so long

Quote:
Originally Posted by mick321 View Post
Looking back, these were not the longest or shortest masses I have attended. They were not particularly complicated nor did they require one be familiar with a foreign language. Even one with EF sensibilities would be hard pressed to find anything abusive in either service. To me, both these OF services felt as if they were either light on genuine Catholic content, or that content was buried so deeply beneath other stuff that the essence of our Holy Faith could not shine through.

By putting too much emphasis on the number of hours we spend in church, we run the risk of getting MORE of what does us no good, and much harm: the religious pursuit of superficiality as an end in itself.

Faithful Catholics have no time for that.
Good points.
Reply With Quote
  #113  
Old May 14, '10, 11:01 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: September 7, 2004
Posts: 37,470
Religion: Catholic no adjectives
Default Re: why is the mass so long

maybe this is my day to be cranky, but as much as I thank everyone for their stories of excellent, satisfying experiences at Mass, I am compelled to point out that 90% of the discussion here has revolved around the subjective experience, expectations, and satisfaction (or disgruntlement) of individuals attending Mass at various times and places. That should be a factor in 10% or less of what makes a "good" Mass. 90% of the focus is and always should be on Jesus and his action, through the priest, and thanksgiving and grateful reception of and response to that action. Jesus is there, up close and personal, in every Mass, and he speaks to each of us personally, at every Mass, no matter how insipid the sermon, slovenly the servers, untalented the musicians, and especially, no matter how fervent or inattentive the congregation. Every time we leave Mass with our attention on the peripherals, what people did or did not do properly and ignore Christ and what he always does properly, the Enemy has won a victory, and detracted from the benefits we receive.
__________________
Whatever the Lord pleases He does, on heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps. Ps. 135
Reply With Quote
  #114  
Old May 14, '10, 11:13 am
jmcrae's Avatar
jmcrae jmcrae is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: September 7, 2006
Posts: 34,890
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: why is the mass so long

Quote:
Originally Posted by puzzleannie View Post
maybe this is my day to be cranky, but as much as I thank everyone for their stories of excellent, satisfying experiences at Mass, I am compelled to point out that 90% of the discussion here has revolved around the subjective experience, expectations, and satisfaction (or disgruntlement) of individuals attending Mass at various times and places. That should be a factor in 10% or less of what makes a "good" Mass. 90% of the focus is and always should be on Jesus and his action, through the priest, and thanksgiving and grateful reception of and response to that action. Jesus is there, up close and personal, in every Mass, and he speaks to each of us personally, at every Mass, no matter how insipid the sermon, slovenly the servers, untalented the musicians, and especially, no matter how fervent or inattentive the congregation. Every time we leave Mass with our attention on the peripherals, what people did or did not do properly and ignore Christ and what he always does properly, the Enemy has won a victory, and detracted from the benefits we receive.
Thank you for the reminder.
__________________
According to Quentin Tarentino, (Kill Bill Volume 2) Clark Kent is Superman's opinion of the human race. It occurs to me that, using the same logic, Jesus of Nazareth is God's.

Tiber Swim Team - Class of 2001
Reply With Quote
  #115  
Old May 14, '10, 10:00 pm
mick321 mick321 is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: July 7, 2009
Posts: 565
Religion: [√] YES
Default Re: why is the mass so long

Quote:
Originally Posted by puzzleannie View Post
maybe this is my day to be cranky, but as much as I thank everyone for their stories of excellent, satisfying experiences at Mass, I am compelled to point out that 90% of the discussion here has revolved around the subjective experience, expectations, and satisfaction (or disgruntlement) of individuals attending Mass at various times and places. That should be a factor in 10% or less of what makes a "good" Mass. 90% of the focus is and always should be on Jesus and his action, through the priest, and thanksgiving and grateful reception of and response to that action. Jesus is there, up close and personal, in every Mass, and he speaks to each of us personally, at every Mass, no matter how insipid the sermon, slovenly the servers, untalented the musicians, and especially, no matter how fervent or inattentive the congregation. Every time we leave Mass with our attention on the peripherals, what people did or did not do properly and ignore Christ and what he always does properly, the Enemy has won a victory, and detracted from the benefits we receive.
I agree. When we let unwholesome and unholy peripheral elements infect our worship space, degrade our sacraments and obscure the message of Christ, the enemy has already won a victory. We should pray for the wisdom to recognize the enemy - whatever form he takes - and the courage to eject him from our Holy Church.
Reply With Quote
  #116  
Old May 14, '10, 10:57 pm
mick321 mick321 is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: July 7, 2009
Posts: 565
Religion: [√] YES
Default Re: why is the mass so long

Quote:
Originally Posted by puzzleannie View Post
maybe this is my day to be cranky, but as much as I thank everyone for their stories of excellent, satisfying experiences at Mass, I am compelled to point out that 90% of the discussion here has revolved around the subjective experience, expectations, and satisfaction (or disgruntlement) of individuals attending Mass at various times and places. That should be a factor in 10% or less of what makes a "good" Mass. 90% of the focus is and always should be on Jesus and his action, through the priest, and thanksgiving and grateful reception of and response to that action. Jesus is there, up close and personal, in every Mass, and he speaks to each of us personally, at every Mass, no matter how insipid the sermon, slovenly the servers, untalented the musicians, and especially, no matter how fervent or inattentive the congregation. Every time we leave Mass with our attention on the peripherals, what people did or did not do properly and ignore Christ and what he always does properly, the Enemy has won a victory, and detracted from the benefits we receive.
I agree. When we let unwholesome and unholy peripheral elements infect our worship space, degrade our sacraments and obscure the message of Christ, the enemy has already won a victory. We should pray for the wisdom to recognize the enemy - whatever form he takes - and the courage to eject him from our Holy Church.
Reply With Quote
  #117  
Old May 15, '10, 7:54 pm
UncommonGrace UncommonGrace is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: April 9, 2010
Posts: 51
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: why is the mass so long

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat View Post
I think the OP sounds like a Type A personality. It's hard for these people to sit still and just "be." They always feel as though they should be accomplishing something tangible. Type As sometimes feel that sleeping is a waste of time, so they try to get by on as little sleep as possible. And the idea of sitting on a beach doing nothing is intolerable to them--their idea of a great vacation is one with an action-packed itinerary!

I would suggest that the brothers and sisters on this thread ease up a little. I think this is a case in which the personality type is making it difficult for the person to experience Mass the way many of the Type Bs experience it--as a restful, fulfilling, restorative time. For the Type A, Mass just seems like a total waste of time, except for the "good part"--receiving the Lord. If a Type A could speak with the Lord Jesus, they would probably ask Him to eliminate all the "fluff" in Mass and just skip to the Main Event!

So I have a few suggestion for the OP.

First, go to the doctor and make sure that your blood pressure and lipids are healthy. Type As are often dangerously close to having a stroke or a heart attack.

Second, buy a good book about Mass and read about all the different parts of Mass and what they mean. Knowing exactly what the purpose of each part of the Mass is will help you to not feel as though you are wasting your time. I would suggest Scott Hahn's The Lamb's Supper. It's short, so it shouldn't take you long. But it's pithy, so very worthwhile. Read it while you are in the bathroom, or waiting in line at the grocery store.

Third, try to find ways to double your time at Mass. E.g., during the hymns, pray over each phrase in the hymn. Think of someone (yourself?) that the phrase applies to and then pray for that person. During the Scripture reading, use your OWN Bible and highlight the verses that you like, and then jot the verses that you REALLY like down in your PDA or Daytimer so you can read them when you have a spare moment (in a line at the store, etc.). During the homily, take notes--buy a little notebook exclusively for this purpose and keep a record of the homilies. Again, anything that you especially like should be put into your PDA or Daytimer for encouragement at a later time. During the Sign of Peace, make it a goal to really NOTICE who you are offering the peace to, and after Mass, meet them in the lobby or parking lot, ask their name, and write it down in your PDA or Daytimer; soon you'll feel a lot more like part of the family as you know lots of names.

etc. You get the idea.

Finally, do NOT pray for God to help you change unless you are prepared for Him to answer that prayer! Many a busy Type A person has been forced to slow down or stop altogether when a stroke, heart attack, arthritis, nervous breakdown, or some other physical manifestation of their dangerous lifestyle forces them to grind their activity-driven life to a halt.
Cat, This is such good advice and so charitable!

I haven't read the entire thread because it's too long, but I just wanted to say that 45 minutes sounds unusually short to me. I've always experienced 60-75 minutes masses, since we because Catholic when I was 6.

Prior to that, we were in the Orthodox church where the liturgy was much longer, and the adults did stand the whole time. So we don't have it so bad in the Roman church!

My current parish has two excellent priests and I actually find that I'm disappointed if they say a "short" homily, and happy if they say a "long" one, although I know my husband feels differently sometimes. It's funny how we can have very different perspectives of the same homily experience!

Anyway, I would just say to the OP that Cat's advice seems very good. It's easy for me to really enjoy mass because that's how I am and also where I am in my life. But I can also see how a person who is type A, prone to rushing, etc., might feel differently.

Blessings!
__________________
Grace
Reply With Quote
  #118  
Old May 16, '10, 1:00 am
EasterJoy EasterJoy is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: March 26, 2008
Posts: 16,784
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: why is the mass so long

Quote:
Originally Posted by UncommonGrace View Post
Cat, This is such good advice and so charitable!

I haven't read the entire thread because it's too long, but I just wanted to say that 45 minutes sounds unusually short to me. I've always experienced 60-75 minutes masses, since we because Catholic when I was 6.

Prior to that, we were in the Orthodox church where the liturgy was much longer, and the adults did stand the whole time. So we don't have it so bad in the Roman church!

My current parish has two excellent priests and I actually find that I'm disappointed if they say a "short" homily, and happy if they say a "long" one, although I know my husband feels differently sometimes. It's funny how we can have very different perspectives of the same homily experience!

Anyway, I would just say to the OP that Cat's advice seems very good. It's easy for me to really enjoy mass because that's how I am and also where I am in my life. But I can also see how a person who is type A, prone to rushing, etc., might feel differently.

Blessings!
I grew up with 45 minute Sunday Masses. The pastor was reverent and thorough, but his delivery moved right along, his homilies were concise, the organist was quite adept at making songs end when whatever action they accompanied ended, and the congregation was small so the Holy Communion didn't take a long time.

It wasn't rushed, but it had this unfortunate effect: a great many people who have been in that parish for a long time formed the mistaken impression that since that priest could do Mass well in 45 minutes, every priest ought to not only be able to, but should desire to. They got that particular time frame in their heads as "how long Mass should take."

Mass ought to take as long as it takes to do it well. If that is a very long time or a surprisingly short time, then so be it.
Reply With Quote
  #119  
Old May 16, '10, 7:01 am
ProVobis ProVobis is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: January 26, 2008
Posts: 29,013
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: why is the mass so long

Quote:
Originally Posted by EasterJoy View Post
I grew up with 45 minute Sunday Masses.
I think most, especially in the pre-Vatican II days did too. Mass was primarily a Sunday morning event and to accommodate everyone, Masses were scheduled on the hour every hour with some even celebrated at the side altars. If you came in late, you stayed for part of the next Mass. As most walked to church and traffic was not a worry, It seemed like a pretty efficient system.

Today, however, you find most parishes have at least one-and-a-half to two hour time allotment between Masses so you can lengthen the Mass a little and not have to worry about crowds waiting outside for the previous Mass to finish, although this is still common at places like Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago, especially if the Cardinal says Mass there.
Reply With Quote
  #120  
Old May 16, '10, 12:35 pm
tjfitz tjfitz is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: August 13, 2008
Posts: 68
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: why is the mass so long

I agree with the original poster on this one. My family and I lived in Ireland from 1996 to 2007 and it was my experience there that Masses were quick, efficient and very devotional and reverent and inspiring. The shortest Sunday Mass we experienced was 28 minutes, but we never were at a Mass longer than about 45 minutes. The sermons/homilies were almost always wonderfully eloquent and meaningful, but maybe that is just because the Irish are so articulate.

We got back to the US, and it seems like Masses are an ordeal rather than a spiritual experience. Way too much stopping of everything for music and singing; the altar servers having to find the lectionary, walk across the altar to the priest and then he to find the right spot and begin reading; lectors coming from remote parts of the church (in the case of a woman lector in high-heels, the clack-clack-clack sound of her heels as she makes her way to the altar, then the same back to the pew while we are "thinking" about the reading--some of us probably thinking "Get on with it!"); and before Holy Communion is distributed, the mob of Extraordinary Ministers to be given Communion under both forms. I could go on, but I don't want to sound too crabby.

My Dad used to say that he remembers his mostly-Irish parish in Iowa that if Mass went longer than 40 minutes, people started leaving.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Liturgy and Sacraments

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
8547Meet and talk,talk talk
Last by: Eungang
5207CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: hopeful01
4434Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: DesertSister62
4037OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: eschator83
3871SOLITUDE
Last by: tuscany
3844Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: DesertSister62
3407Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: grateful_child
3302Poems and Reflections
Last by: PathWalker
3231Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: Rifester
3155For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: Paulette60



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 9:14 pm.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2014, Catholic Answers.