Around the Table of The Lord


I went to mass today in the small university chapel (I go to a Catholic university) and there were about eight other people present. Before the Eucharistis prayer the priest said "Join me around the table of The Lord." Everybody stood up and mad a semicircle around the altar. I was uncomfortable and stalled, but didn't know what else to do so I joined. And so for the entire Eucharistic prayer and the consecration, everyone just stood there. And then we received communion and retired to our original seats.

Is this an abuse or is this valid? Was I wrong to feel uncomfortable about it?


It's an abuse. Colin Donovan wrote up an article on this which cites Church documents.


I’m not at fault though, right? Would I have to confess this?


No, you were ignorant to the proper actions, and were not intentionally trying to do the wrong thing. In fact you were trying to do the right thing. The celebrant priest should not confuse the laity by having such abuses.

In the future, now that you know, do not participate in this manner. And I would bring the manner up with the priest or pastor in the proper setting (i.e., not right after mass, but in a less hectic setting). If he refuses to change, then bring the matter to the bishop.

The faithful have a RIGHT to have the Mass celebrated properly.


Just to reassure you, no, at the most it was just venial, but even then very unlikely. But now that you know that what the Priest asked for you to do is wrong, you have every right to remain seated, if you ever encounter this situation.

And also pray for the priest.


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