Correcting someone at Mass?

Not sure if this is the correct forum but I’ll try here first.

I have been attending daily Mass and it takes place in a small chapel. I frequently end up sitting near this one particular man (who thinks this is a Protestant church and offers up "uh huh"s and "right, yes"es during the homily, but that’s a different story!).

Something I have noticed is that, before the Gospel, instead of saying “Glory to you O Lord” he says “According to the Lord”. Now, I assume he just misheard the response and has been saying it wrong for years without any idea that this is the wrong respose.

I’m sure he is a very nice person and seems devout as I see him there every time I go. I have no desire to embarrass him or to be a know-it-all. At the same time, I feel like someone should tell him. I mean, if I were saying a response wrong I would want to fix it and say the right thing.

What do you think?

Politely approach and speak to him after Mass. “Sorry I can’t help but notice…”

While I understand your concern for appropriate responses to be given, I think that it is more important that this man is attending Mass very often. Consider how many graces he may be receiving just for being present at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass! If he is not Catholic it may be that God is leading him to the Faith. Pray for this man. Let God take care of the minor problems. God bless you.

He may well be someone from a protestant denomination who has never realized that there is an RCIA process.

I was watching “The Journey Home” on EWTN and a young man was a member of the Catholic Church (he’d even served as a liturgist) for a couple of years without ever knowing that there were Rites to become Catholic.


I’m a sponsor in RCIA, and one of the catechumens was attending daily Mass and receiving Eucharist. He didn’t know any different.

I think it’s your pastor’s job to correct how people are acting during the liturgy. Every parish has “that guy” that does weird things during the liturgy. Unfortunately the Church really is “here comes everybody,” including some stranger types :slight_smile:

There is a couple of things to consider. Is this person’s mistake going to harm them or other’s around them? If not, then correction isn’t required. Is there a liturgical requirement that needs to be met? If not, then correction isn’t required. However, it would make sense that everyone use the same responses during mass. Why have the rituals if no one is bound to follow them?

Regardless, if you plan to provide a friendly reminder or suggestion, do it in private with the utmost of tact (e.g. with an amiable and non-judgmental voice) and thank them for their participation.

I do not see this as “Unfortunate” at all. The church should be exactly that, welcoming to anyone and everyone that wishes to attend.

The Lord himself chose to associate with sinners, outcasts, Lepers, the diseased, those possessed by the devil (who made strange utterances) etc., etc.

It is neither our place to “educate them”, nor is it our place to merely tolerate them.

Personally, I would make a point of trying to introduce myself to this person, and let them know how glad I am that they attend Mass so frequently.

Oh, and by the way, in many predominantly Black Catholic Churches, people do say “Yes”, Uh huh", Praise the Lord", etc., often rather loudly. They also clap with the music, sway with the music, and “make a glad sound unto the Lord”. The Priest that baptized me (he is from Ireland) chose to remain in a predominantly Black parish, even after retirement. As he put it, the spoiled him for other parishes, by the sheer happiness they have in serving the Lord".

We could learn a LOT from them.

I’m confused: Just what is wrong with an occassional ‘un huh’ or ‘right, yes’ during the Homily? If one agrees, one is likely to say so… .right? And while it may not be COMMON, what makes it wrong? :confused:

As for the response before the Gospel, that is prescribed by the Magisterium. That has a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ response. :wink:

So often, we have things that we do or don’t do, but that doesn’t mean that any one or every one else has to follow along. LIkewise, if there is something that I’m missing, I need to be aware of that myself.

I agree that the pastor of the church should make the corrections that need to be made, and encourage participation in RCIA… many of our priests won’t say anything. :blush: We can encourage the same. ‘Hey, nice to meet you. I notice you’ve been coming here for a while. How long have you been a member of this church? When did you join? When I came in, Mary Lou Johnson led my RCIA… who was your RCIA instructor?’ or "Father Mike was the priest when I had my First Holy Communion. What was it like when you had your First Holy Communion?’

These give you a chance to talk about where this person has come from, and allow them to share of themselves and let you know more about them and their experiences.:slight_smile:

It would be not only embarrassing, but INSULTING and really wrong on your part if you suggest to this person they are not Catholic because of some responses that they make that you don’t agree with.

I have visited other Catholic churches and it was assumed I wasn’t Catholic because I had a Bible in my hand. :shrug:

I’m with the “mind your own business” crowd

:slight_smile: “Everybody is somebody’s weirdo. And I’m so glad you’re mine” :slight_smile:

… but isn’t this our business? :stuck_out_tongue:

Leave it alone.

In my younger years I attended mass with my then-boyfriend (non-Catholic) and my grandparents (Catholics). I forget the occasion, but we were at a cathedral and there were hundreds of people in attendance. My grandparents and I got in the Communion line, received, and went back to our pew. My boyfriend wasn’t there. A scan revealed him in the Communion line about four people away from receiving the Eucharist. Have you ever hastily shoved your way to the front of a Communion line to pull someone out of it? I have, and I’m here to tell you it’s really embarrassing. :rotfl:

We asked him afterwards what he was thinking, and he said he sat in the pew for awhile not knowing what he was supposed to be doing and finally got in line to see what was being handed out.:rotfl:


Aye. Just think about what’s going to happen when the new translation comes out. Half the people will be saying “and also with you” and the other half will be saying “and with your spirit.” Oh, just think of the liturgical chaos! :smiley:

Just leave it. I attend the TLM and I assure you my “Latin responses” are a) not Latin and b) not the actual responses. I just make sounds that make it sound like I’m saying them.

I to am with the “myob” crowd! Pay more attention to why this is important to you! In the Church I attend we are one of the larger Churches that have become larger with the merger of closed Church. Many have responses that others do not say. The moral of this is if it isn’t offesive to God. Don’t let it bother you. He’s praying and attending Church, hooray! :thumbsup:

… and we know what is or isn’t offensive to God by… :confused:

I’m just asking… since you seem to at least believe you are knowledgeable on this topic. :shrug:

Could take the guy to coffee, or host a coffee in the back of the Church once in a while after daily Mass.

Definitely leave it alone.

Anyway, as Love Divine said, the new Translation is coming in a few months, so your parish will presumably make some missalettes or other printed form of the Mass responses available to everyone, then he will be able to read what he should say and correct himself.

In any case, not knowing the words is no proof that he’s not Catholic, I know plently of cradle Catholics who are less well versed in the responses than they should be…witness the myriad examples of the Hail Mary ending ‘pray for our sinners’.

Short answer: whether he genuinely doesn’t know the correct phrase or whether he is saying it wrong for some other reason, he is very unlikely to take kindly to a near stranger coming up to correct him, however well meaning their intent. Leave it to the new translation and God to sort out!


The first time I went to mass with my wife, everyone KNEW I wasn’t Catholic…I asked where the coat racks were.

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