an idea I've been kicking around...


#1

I’ve been thinking about building a survey Web site where users can rate a parish’s liturgical performance based on the rules of the GIRM. I’d like to get a lot of orthodox (lower case ‘o’) input on such a site, but I was wondering if people might find something like that useful.

Here’s how it works: you’d fill out a survey of questions designed to help you objectively describe your mass experience based on the rules of the mass presented in the GIRM. Based on your objective answers, the site rates the parish’s mass with a degree of liturgical orthodoxy. Ultimately, if people want to find an orthodox parish, they can search for parishes in their area and read the reviews…

I’d really like help, though. If you’re interested in helping me design the liturgy survey, please PM me.
–Ann


#2

How can you be objective?
It would simply be better to have a checklist and say this happened or this didn’t. Otherwise your opinons will color the outcome.
How would you know its a typical Mass? What if its not your type of music? Maybe they have a visiting priest, maybe they have more than one priest? Maybe the priest was having a terrible, horrible, no-good very bad day? :slight_smile:

How many people know the GIRM , Canon law and Redemptionis Sacramentum by heart to know if something is an abuse or an option?

That said, while it sounds good in theory, I think the idea has too many practical problems attached to it.
Any mass where you can recieve Jesus Christ is a good Mass.


#3

[quote=cmom]How can you be objective?
It would simply be better to have a checklist and say this happened or this didn’t. Otherwise your opinons will color the outcome.
[/quote]

Right. That’s exactly what I mean. A sample question would be something like this:

At the Profession of Faith did they
· Follow missal or use traditional Nicene creed unchanged?
· use a different creed (other than Apostle’s or Nicene)?
· change the language of the creed?

For the Eucharistic Prayer, Blessing of Gifts did they
· follow missal or use standard published prayers?
· use a different prayer (other than published prayers)?
· change the language of the published prayer?

How would you know its a typical Mass? What if its not your type of music? Maybe they have a visiting priest, maybe they have more than one priest? Maybe the priest was having a terrible, horrible, no-good very bad day? :slight_smile:

Reviews would average out. The more reviews a parish gets, the more the scores would average. That way bad days can be factored in. Of course, even on a bad day, the laity shouldn’t be particpating in the consecration or changing the words of the creed.

How many people know the GIRM , Canon law and Redemptionis Sacramentum by heart to know if something is an abuse or an option?

The only person who’d have to know would be the one who programs the survey (i.e. me…) As you can see from the sample question, it would be based on their observations of what they saw. I’d try to use laicized terms so everyone can understand what I’m talking about.

That said, while it sounds good in theory, I think the idea has too many practical problems attached to it.
Any mass where you can recieve Jesus Christ is a good Mass.

That is true, but what if the priest doesn’t do the words of consecration? That’s what I’m getting at.

But thanks for your opinion. It does help!
–Ann


#4

I agree with cmon; a good idea in theory difficult to be unbiased if done by the laity. Only if the very group that defines orthodox liturgy put a survey together could this problem be eliminated. (Congregation for Divine Worship?)


#5

I agree with previous posts that these reviews will be more useful the more objective they are.

Rather than asking “Did you like the homily” ask “Did a layperson give the homily?”

Asking about how EMHC approached the altar can be a subjective call – important, but difficult to quantify. But asking whether the main celebrant distributed Holy Communion or not is easier to answer.

Many service organizations – fast food, for example – employ “mystery shoppers” who answer specific questions: how many seconds did it take for someone to answer the telephone, what was the temperature of the hambuger, etc. If we want to get serious about this, we would use their techniques, scheduling people to attend all of the different services at each parish.

That would be a big job…


#6

There is a similar thread on this forum. forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=643

I like the idea.

Certainly this would be useful in many ways.

It would be
[list]
*]informational for priests and bishops
*]instructional for the faithful
*]informational for those traveling or relocating
[/list]Other benefits
[list]
*]might curb abuses
*]may cause both clergy and laity to become conscientious
[/list]Warning
[list]
*]may make you unpopular! :wink:
[/list]


#7

[quote=eLiturgist]I agree with previous posts that these reviews will be more useful the more objective they are.

Rather than asking “Did you like the homily” ask “Did a layperson give the homily?”
[/quote]

Exactly! That’s what I hope to do. Make the questions more observational. I’d be happy to post the questions here or send them to a select group of people if y’all want to help.

Asking about how EMHC approached the altar can be a subjective call – important, but difficult to quantify. But asking whether the main celebrant distributed Holy Communion or not is easier to answer.

Exactly.

Many service organizations – fast food, for example – employ “mystery shoppers” who answer specific questions: how many seconds did it take for someone to answer the telephone, what was the temperature of the hambuger, etc. If we want to get serious about this, we would use their techniques, scheduling people to attend all of the different services at each parish.

That would be a big job…

Yes, it would. However, what might help with the job is by posting and advertising the survey site on orthodox catholic sites so that catholics can review their own parishes and those they attend when travelling. Everyone, in other words, can fill out the survey. The questions would be geared so that no matter what your own personal views are, they’ll be tallied against how the rules of the mass are written.

For instance, the missal is clear that no lay person can give the homily. The question would be written like so:

The Homily was given by:
A. the priest
B. a deacon
C. a lay person or other

A and B would be answers jive with the GIRM. C does not, and would count negative in the final answer tally.

Make sense?
–Ann


#8

[quote=Sparky]I’ve been thinking about building a survey Web site where users can rate a parish’s liturgical performance based on the rules of the GIRM. I’d like to get a lot of orthodox (lower case ‘o’) input on such a site, but I was wondering if people might find something like that useful.

Here’s how it works: you’d fill out a survey of questions designed to help you objectively describe your mass experience based on the rules of the mass presented in the GIRM. Based on your objective answers, the site rates the parish’s mass with a degree of liturgical orthodoxy. Ultimately, if people want to find an orthodox parish, they can search for parishes in their area and read the reviews…

I’d really like help, though. If you’re interested in helping me design the liturgy survey, please PM me.
–Ann
[/quote]

I would find that extremely helpful. Here’s my experience: Our local parish’s school closed. We enrolled the kids in the next town’s parish school and joined the parish so we would be part of the school/church community. We find out, after its WAY too late, that this parish is liberal like Michael Moore and Al Franken are liberal. I’m not talking Joe Lieberman here. I mean like SDS, People for the American Way, ACLU liberal.

Information on how a church rates in terms of faithfulness to the magisterium I think would be a Godsend.

Great idea!


#9

I am not comfortable with the idea of “scoring” parishes.

There is some guy who maintains a Web site detailing Masses at various churches he attends. (Apparently he can’t bring himself to register at a particular parish, so he “shops around.”) I read through most of it and decided that he could not have been attentive at Mass if he was busily checking things off on a “score card,” or writing the titles of the hymns and critiquing the homily.

We do not attend Mass to do something akin to Nielson Ratings, but to worship Our Lord and partake in His Divine Eucharist.

'thann


#10

[quote=thann]We do not attend Mass to do something akin to Nielson Ratings, but to worship Our Lord and partake in His Divine Eucharist.

'thann
[/quote]

I agree, Thann. But to be honest I’ve been to parishes where the liturgical abuse is so obscene that I feel dirty being there. And if that is how a mass makes one feel…then there’s a problem. I can’t worship that way. Can you?
–Ann


#11

Thanks everyone for your input. I think it’s interesting that I got 15 yesses, whereas most of the written replies were negative. Oh well, everything’s useful!
–Ann


#12

I think it would have to be strenuously objective, looking only at requirements in checklist form. People are very sensitive about liturgy and would probably be offended if their parish received anything less than 100%.


#13

I voted ‘yes’ and would find this very useful, especially when traveling. My suggestion would be to post the survey responses and not do an overall rating. Maybe give a “red flag” warning to a parish which as too many questionable practices. This would reduce the subjectivity. Also since many times we are faced with chosing between two or more questionable Masses, this would give us more information on what is really problematic. For example, homily given by a lay person might be more concerning than priest not distributing Communion (he may be ill or recovering).

One thing that may help is to ask submitters to identify themselves as regular attendees at that parish or a visitor. This would even out the problem of inadvertantly rating a visiting priest or one on a bad day and giving it too much weight.


#14

I think it would be really useful!

Especially when traveling…or relocating…or whatever. How are we supposed to know that such-and-such parish has liturgical dancers and no standard prayers… but that the one down the street has a wonderful orthodox priest who says the mass the way it’s supposed to be said?

Make the questions straightforward, like you plan to.

I think some sort of sliding scale would be good, not necessarily a numerical score…make it colors or something (like homeland security??! :whacky: ) green…yellow…red…with some other shades in between…?

I think it’s a really good idea!!


#15

[quote=Sparky]I’ve been thinking about building a survey Web site where users can rate a parish’s liturgical performance based on the rules of the GIRM. I’d like to get a lot of orthodox (lower case ‘o’) input on such a site, but I was wondering if people might find something like that useful.

Here’s how it works: you’d fill out a survey of questions designed to help you objectively describe your mass experience based on the rules of the mass presented in the GIRM. Based on your objective answers, the site rates the parish’s mass with a degree of liturgical orthodoxy. Ultimately, if people want to find an orthodox parish, they can search for parishes in their area and read the reviews…

I’d really like help, though. If you’re interested in helping me design the liturgy survey, please PM me.
–Ann
[/quote]

I’m not comfortable with this. Polls like this made up on the fly only tend to damage reputations. Polling can be tricky (view some of the polls on these forums).To me it sounds a lot like evaluating the parish priest…that is the bishop’s job.If a parishioner is concerned they should take it up with their priest and/or bishop. By the way have you seen the poll on this forum regarding how many parishioners are even familiar with the GIRM? Also, how would you control samples?.. How would you determine if someone just has an axe to grind (objectivitey)?How many samples would be collected to make a rating valid? How would you control “ballot stuffing”? What is the cut off for earning the “orthodox” seal? Are certain practices to be weighted over others? How many polls to earn any form of a rating? How long would it take to change a rating? Would there be an appeal process? …Do you think it wise to pit one parish against another to earn the title of more/most orthodox? … Ratings like this just opens up a can of worms that doesn’t need to be opened. I think liturgical issues are best left up to the local priest, parishioners and the local bishop. When I’m traveling I am just happy to find a mass to attend. I certainly would not miss mass or choose a parish based on a ratings poll.


#16

Middlefork - you need to read the other posts in this thread to see how it would be handled. Like Kmtexas said, it would be a survey (not a poll!) done as a checklist per what the GIRM says. No one need have knowledge of the GIRM to answer the questions. And if they have an axe to grind, it won’t make a difference. As long as they answer the questions honestly as to what they saw happening, they will get the score they deserve.

Thanks Kristalyn and KMtexas for your suggestions!

Does anyone know where I can get a database of all the parishes in the US?
–Ann


#17

[quote=Sparky]Middlefork - you need to read the other posts in this thread to see how it would be handled. Like Kmtexas said, it would be a survey (not a poll!) done as a checklist per what the GIRM says. No one need have knowledge of the GIRM to answer the questions. And if they have an axe to grind, it won’t make a difference. As long as they answer the questions honestly as to what they saw happening, they will get the score they deserve.

Thanks Kristalyn and KMtexas for your suggestions!

Does anyone know where I can get a database of all the parishes in the US?
–Ann
[/quote]

Thanks for your response! However, I did read the other posts… did you not care to respond to my other concerns? Call it what you will (poll, survey, checklist)…it will have many inherit problems and likely have no validity. If you are going to name names, surely you want to have the best objective and truthful information posted right? Surely the last thing that you would want to do is damage the reputations of a priest or his parish, correct?
From your last line in your post…
"**As long as they answer the questions honestly ** as to what they saw happening, they will get the score they deserve.
Makes me wonder how objective your survey could be.How will you control or set margins of error?
You obviously feel a great deal of good could come from such a bit of helpful information…please also be aware of the damage to reputations and animosity that can also be created if such a “survey” is not properly constructed. If you proceed, please do so cautiously.
Pax et bonum
Middlefork


#18

[quote=Middlefork]Thanks for your response! However, I did read the other posts… did you not care to respond to my other concerns? Call it what you will (poll, survey, checklist)…it will have many inherit problems and likely have no validity. If you are going to name names, surely you want to have the best objective and truthful information posted right? Surely the last thing that you would want to do is damage the reputations of a priest or his parish, correct?
From your last line in your post…
"***As long as they answer the questions honestly *** as to what they saw happening, they will get the score they deserve.
Makes me wonder how objective your survey could be.How will you control or set margins of error?
You obviously feel a great deal of good could come from such a bit of helpful information…please also be aware of the damage to reputations and animosity that can also be created if such a “survey” is not properly constructed. If you proceed, please do so cautiously.
Pax et bonum
Middlefork
[/quote]

Middlefork, you bring up some good issues. Thanks for your help. If I do this project, I will do it with great caution.

Thanks!
–Ann


#19

I think it would be nice to have a listing of TRADITIONAL parishes that don’t do horrible liturgical abuses! :thumbsup:


#20

A good idea would be to have inspections done by qualified persons who would arrive at parishes unannounced . These people would look like regular “Church goers” and they would make several visits. It is sad that inspections need to be done but even in a very conservative diocese I have seen and heard irregularities and have politely questioned an offending priest…he knew I was right but he wouldn’t tell me his name and walked away ( he changed words using God instead of Him)


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