Are these Liturgical Abuses?

Note: I am not complaining about the parish I noticed this at. It merely brought up these questions, to which I would like answers.

I went to Mass recently, at the parish I will be received into when I become Catholic soon. There, I noticed a few things, in multiple Masses, and I’d like clarification on them.

  • The priest added words into and paraphrased other parts of the Eucharistic Prayer. Is this allowed?

  • Is Pope Benedict XVI’s order to have pro multis translated as “for many” internationally effective, or just for the English language? In the Masses I went to, the Missal read “for all” and it was said accordingly, in German of course.

  • Is it OK to have not a single word of Latin? There was not one word of Latin in the liturgy.

  • Can Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion be adults, and can they not wear robes?

  • Is it legitimate to have Communion given to the faithful under both species as a general rule?

  • Must a Crucifix be present on the altar, or is it enough to have a fairly large one hanging from the ceiling on the border of apse and nave?

  • Is it permissible to have the candles crammed into a corner of the sanctuary (and arranged awkwardly) rather than having them on the Altar?

Quite a few questions, I know, but all of them were prompted by attending those two Masses. Can someone enlighten me? :slight_smile:

Unless it’s a permitted option, no. There are I believe some cases (especially for EP1, the Roman Canon) where there is additional text on especially important occasions like the Ascension, Easter, etc.

It’s international. “Pro multis” just means “for many,” it doesn’t magically acquire a different meaning in different languages. Noncompliance with this is a sore spot between the Vatican and the German episcopate.

It is OK (permissible) in the legal sense, yes.

As far as I know they are expected to be adults and there is no expectation or requirement that they vest in anything other than clothing appropriate to a layperson attending Mass.


I believe altar arrangements are not dictated by the Church but largely a matter of the preference of the celebrant. Someone else can correct me there. The altars at most non-Traditionalist parishes I’ve been to are relatively bare.

That I’m less certain about; someone else will have to answer. I’ve always seen candles flanking the altar but I’m not sure if this is an actual requirement or just a holdover from tradition.

God Bless

Can’t answer all the questions. If it wasn’t a Latin mass then it is unlikely that much, if any Latin would be included. Those who distribute communion are Lay people only called to undertake that privilege before melting back into the congregation, so we don’t wear robes. I only undertake the role if there are no deacons, acolytes or lay men.

I leave the other questions for wiser people than me.

Hope it helps a bit.

It was a “regular” Sunday. No feast. The priest paraphrased, and inserted quite a few additional words (that generally somehow followed the readings of the day).

I heard about that, now that you mention it. But they still have to comply, right? Given that Benedict is a German Bishop… :slight_smile: The Bishops’ Conference is publishing a new “Gotteslob” (I think it’s what you’d call a Missalette) this Advent, but I don’t know if the change is included.

Alright. It did make me sad, though. :frowning:

Oh. For some reason I thought of children. Must have confused them with altar boys. They just stand there for the whole of the Mass, take Communion to the faithful and then recline to their seats. From what I saw, they neither bowed nor genuflected for the Consecration or on being handed the chalice.


It is such a nice church, beautiful statues, stained Glass and paintings, even a wonderful little Lady chapel, but the sanctuary is whitewashed with a small granite altar stuck in the middle. The old altar in the apse was removed, leaving the beautiful altarpiece of the Sacred Heart just stood there with no connection.

It wasn’t a Latin Mass. There is none near me, and the only place half-way suited to have one at would be that parish.

Thanks. :slight_smile:

The German Mass has not yet been re-translated according to Liturgiam Authenticam. The German bishops recently rejected a proposed re-translation, so it may be a long time before any changes are made. More]

Thanks for the info! :slight_smile: Upon reading the article, only one thought enters my head: Just ditch the translation and go for Latin. :slight_smile:

Yup. In the old Mass there were practically zero options. There were options as to what Mass to say on non-Sundays, but once you picked the Mass, it was cut-and-dried.

God Bless

That does have its advantages. But let us not go off topic. :slight_smile:

I’m not sure what you mean by “there” in “stand there,” but I’m pretty sure they aren’t supposed to be anywhere but sitting with the rest of the congregation until after the Agnus Dei.

Of course the rules for bowing would still apply to them, but I think you only genuflect when you come in to the church (well, technically, come into whatever room the tabernacle is in) and when you leave, not any time in between.

But if they’re hanging out in the sanctuary for the whole Mass, I’m pretty sure that is wrong.


Regarding the altar candles, there is a fairly recent tradition in Germany and other places around Europe of placing the two candles on or next to one side of the altar and leaving the other side bare. Those of us in North America often find this asymmetrical, since our normal custom is to place a candle on either side of the altar.

let me say this you live in germany and the practices in your country will be different from the United States.


I number in order of how you brought them up

  1. which part?
  2. I think you are in good shape if the priest read the german correctly then he is in the clear
  3. no there is nothing that requires there to be latin in the GIRM
  4. Yes and Yes (at-least in this country)
  5. In the USA yes I don’t know about germany
  6. Yes a crucifix on the alter helps keeps the priest focus on the Lord
  7. Bad practice yes liturgical abuse probably not

most of the cases you have brought up are not issues. I think the more you attend mass the more you will understand the practices of the Mass and of your country. What I suggest for now as you are going to be a new Catholic and you may still be learning things about the faith, don’t worry about if the priest is doing it correctly or not if there are abuses or not focusing to much on that takes away from what really matters. Focus on Christ the beautiful sacrifice that takes place on the alter. Trust me if there are major liturgical abuses someone will notice and as you become more aware of what a proper mass is you may realize some of these. If this does happen talk to the priest and ask him you do X but I’m use to seeing it done this way why do you do that? You could say I heard the Church wants you do X this way but you do it another way why is that?

but again I would suggest for now to focus on the Mass and not worry if it is done properly.

Was it the Eucharistic Prayer itself, or the Preface to the Eucharistic Prayer?

I may be confusing words. There were multiple options to choose from in the book, one of which he picked and then modified. I think that is the Eucharistic prayer, since it led right up to the Consecration.

I guess it was the Eucharistic Prayer then, because the Preface leads to the Sanctus before going into EP 1, 2, 3, or 4 or any of the other approved EPs for various occasions.

Mass sounds fine. If those are the only issues, I wouldn’t give it a second thought. It is good to see these “abuse” threads are getting milder and milder. It’s a good sign.

Well, ignoring Pope Benedict’s pro multis thing isn’t exactly worth ignoring either. :wink:

You’re not saying it, so you aren’t ignoring Pope Benedict. The German episcopate is working on it. If and when the German translation changes are instituted, I bet this one will be one of the changes. Until then, the correct thing is that the priests not take translation issues into their own hands.

FYI - All disciplinary matters are in the hand of Pope Francis, so there really is no question of disobeying at this time.

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