Charismatic Mass

In a few weeks there will be a Charismatic Mass at one of my local churches. I’m planning to go, but I haven’t been to a Charismatic Mass since I was really young (10-ish?) with my Mom. I can’t remember much of the Mass from when I used to go with her, but I do recall people going up as if going to Communion (not for Communion, though - this was in addition to Communion), but then they would fall back, be caught by someone, and lie on the ground before returning to their pews. I never understood why. Does anyone have any ideas what that is about? I’m just curious because if that happens at this Mass, I would like to understand a little more about why people are doing that. Thanks!

I know from my experience of going to Pentecostal churches that when someone fell back, they were slain in the Holy Spirit and were overcome by the Holy Spirit’s power.

I would just point out that a Charismatic Mass will not necessarily have this as part of it. In fact, my guess is that it’s not licit to add something like this within the liturgy. If they do it after Mass, then that’s a different story.

I think gatewood is correct. It’s referred to as being “slain in the Spirit” and has to do with the power of the Holy Spirit. It seems to me to be primarily an exercise of surrender to God. In that respect, perhaps it could be beneficial to those who participate. But, again, I’m pretty sure it should happen after Mass, not during Mass.

Thanks for that reply. I would have never thought it might not be licit. I liken it to going up for a blessing on your throat on the feast of St. Blase, or getting ashes on Ash Wednesday. There are exceptions when you would go up to the front of the Church for something other than Communion.

Also, if that isn’t always done at a Charismatic Mass, what should be expected to make it different from a usual Mass? I’ve wondered this before about a pro-life Mass…what makes it different that it’s a pro-life Mass?

Intention. The intention of a pro-life Mass is to pray for pro-life issues. The readings may also be geared more towards pro-life messages rather than the readings for the day. Other than that you can’t change much in any Liturgy.

I’m guessing here, but in a Charismatic Mass there just may different songs and perhaps more expressions in line with the Charismatic way of worship. But the Liturgy shouldn’t be changed significantly.

Ash Wednesday is certainly an exception. My parish does the blessing of throats after Mass, not during Mass. :shrug: Hopefully someone will come along who is more familiar with the exceptions in the Missal and can shed further light on this aspect. :o I’m not 100% sure.

Constantine gave a good answer. The music will most likely be a bit different. They may also have different readings, probably focusing on the Holy Spirit.

They call it “being slain in the spirit.” Honestly I’ve think it’s just passing out under emotional hysteria. :shrug:
Anyway, that kind of thing should not be going on during Mass. If they’re going to do that kind of stuff they should do it at a worship service or prayer meeting, but not at the Mass.

Actually, I just spoke with my priest about this (a very conservative, traditional priest who tends to follow the rules to the letter). Basically, he says it is allowed within the context of the Mass, and that the charismatic Mass is completely licit. The falling over part consists of the following: you go up for a blessing (may even ask for a specific intention), the priest lays his hands on you, and gives a blessing. That’s it. It’s just that, as you said, some people are slain in the Spirit and are therefore moved to collapse for one reason or another.

Just my two cents, but I’ve known this priest a long time, and while he is human and therefore could certainly err, he feels this is completely licit for the confines of the Mass, so I’ll be going when it rolls around. Thanks to all who replied!

It’s certainly probable that the priest knows a lot more about the rubrics than I do. If that’s what he told you, I would go with it. :thumbsup:

A Charismatic Mass follows the rubrics of any Mass that you might attend. You may find it both livelier in praise, and more solemn during the Consecration.

If the Mass you attend is also a healing Mass, after the Mass you will see people process to the front “as if to communion.” There will be several stations with two to three people at each station as members of the congregation come forward to be prayed over. You may indeed see people overwhelmed by the power of the Holy Spirit “slain in the Spirit.” It is not to be feared. The Charismatic Renewal is a movement of the Holy Spirit within the lives of individuals and the Church as a whole. You will find it mentioned in the United States Catechism of the Catholic Church as such [Sorry I can’t give you the exact source within the Catechism. I did not bring my copy on my trip to the Middle East].

Not all Charismatic Masses are healing Masses. My parish provides a monthly Thanksgiving Mass for the group to which I belong.

Why do some pass out receiving the Holy Spirit and yet not experience the same effect when receiving the Body and Blood of Christ?

I am not sure I can answer your question in a way that is satisfactory. We are strengthened when we receive the Eucharist and filled with thanksgiving for what we have received.
There is healing any time we receive our Lord, whether in the person of Christ or overpowered by the Holy Spirit. Both are very powerful experiences that cannot be adequately described with words.

The blessing of the throats is independent rite, it is done after Mass. The blessing of the ashes and immediately after the imposition of the ashes is in the Missal, before the Mass, so part of the Mass. Similar rite is the blessing of the candles and the procession on Purification, and the blessing of the Palm leaves and also a procession on Palm Sunday. Also the washing of feet is part of the 1955 rite in the Mass, the Easter Vigil is significantly different structure.

Verifying what Constantine has already posted. A Pro-life Mass focuses on the intention of the Mass and respect for life. In a Charismatic Mass, there will be a greater expression of the charisms. The Mass itself remains the same.
My parish celebrated a successful family day with a Thanksgiving Mass on Wednesday. Wednesday is also when the parish as a Novena to the Perpetual Adoration. This did not change. The Novena is before both the 5:30pm Mass and the 7pm Mass. The 7pm Mass was the Thanksgiving Mass with different readings than the readings of the day which have been proclaimed during the morning and 5:30pm Mass. Immediately after the Wednesday evening Masses, the priests step to the foot of the altar and anybody attending can go forward to receive a blessing. This Wednesday, after leaving the church, each of us was invited to accept a snack in the courtyard.
Tuesdays is the day when the parish prays the novena to St. Anthony before the evening Mass. After Mass, everybody is given bread upon leaving the church.

There may be a particular intention attached to a Charismatic Mass. It may be a Pro-life Mass, a Mass of Thanksgiving, or a Mass in honor of the Holy Spirit, as examples. If it is a Healing Mass, any anointing (done only by a priest) or prayers over the individual take place after Mass.

One of the most memorable Masses I attended was a regular Mass in my stateside parish.
The gospel reading was the story of the Good Samaritan. There was a medical emergency during Mass and the paramedics needed to be called. The woman received communion during the normal course of the Mass. The rest of the congregation received communion.
As the paramedics rolled the woman down the aisle of this very small church, Father was able to give her the Anointing of the Sick.
The Communion Song was “Whatever You Do for the Least of My People.”
There was no disruption in the normal order of the Mass.

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