Do "liturgical trainwrecks" really matter?

I’m not sure if the above link is intact, but it’s from the Dynamic Catholic Institute and reads, in part: “…the music could be a complete train wreck, there could be kids running up and down the aisles screaming at the top of their lungs, throwing crayons and eating snacks…that’s OK–because the moment I receive the Eucharist is a pivotal moment…of transformation, a moment when I get to receive who and what I wish to become.”

I think that reminding us of the profundity on the teaching of the Eucharist is always excellent, but help me out here, please. The Church seems to take great pains to define what is and isn’t proper decorum for praying over and receiving the consecrated host in most church settings. But perhaps it’d be OK for there to be concession stands in the vestibule, selling those crayons and snacks? Or perhaps even in the nave? I can’t help but be confused sometimes, I’m not a frequent user of this forum. Thanks!

I think you are confused over the meaning of that quote. I believe it is referring to a Mass that happens to have the music or hymns an individual doesn’t particularly care for, very small children in the pew behind you throwing some dry breakfast cereal such as cheerios that some parents bring to keep a busy toddler occupied (same with the crayons), and screaming tots that aren’t removed to the cry area or outside the main sanctuary quick enough for one’s liking. These things do not change the fact that the most sacred thing is happening on the altar (regardless of the language of the Mass, what direction the priest is facing, and all the above occurrences, etc) the Mass is still the Mass and the Eucharist is still the Eucharist. Fear not, no one, even in parishes people disparage as being “liberal”, have a snack and coloring book kiosk set up for business. Those items were mentioned because they are often what stressed out parents of busy and noisy small children bring to Mass in an attempt to keep them quieted enough so others aren’t disturbed.

I wasn’t confused over the meaning of that quote. The meaning re: the Eucharist is clear. The question I raised was why be concerned with “proper rubrics” and solemnity/reverence given how, as you put it, “the Mass is still the Mass and the Eucharist is still the Eucharist. Fear not, no one, even in parishes people disparage as being “liberal”, have a snack and coloring book kiosk set up for business.”

Bad liturgical music is a cross to bear and I think it’s diminished worship perhaps even. I definitely don’t like it.

But it is true, the Eucharist is still the Eucharist

I think it’s a “both and” deal. One cannot say that these “other things” don’t matter, because to a point they do matter, I think, in that they fail to elevate the heart and mind to God and they don’t give God the worship really that he deserves as fully as we could, but at the crux of it, it is still the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

i agree with light bound on the point of the article, and music is in the ear of the beholder.

The Mass is supposed be a solemn and reverent sacrifice. That is why there are certain parameters regarding the Liturgy, lest we lose the sense of awe and respect which is due to God. I try to charitable, but I have a difficult time because my mother and sister prefer the teen Mass at our parish. I remind myself that it is still the celebration of the Eucharist but the more traditional Masses are my preference. But back to the subject, it definitely does matter whether or not the Mass is a Liturgical “train wreck.” The honor which is due to God has no room for anything that could be described as such. There should room to change things in order to improve the accessibility of the Mass; though this must always come second to the primary goal of the Mass, to re-offer Christ’s sacrifice in a way which is pleasing to God.

maybe they should police the aisle’s and toss out the evildoers.

The point of the article is that no matter what things happen at Mass that are distracting or annoying, they do not take away from what the Eucharist is and receiving it. There are, is and always will be distractions at Mass. No everyone there is going to be perfectly still and quiet. If one focusses on what they are there for, the rest fall to the way side. That is the problem i repeated see with “trads”, they seem to focus on all these distractions and annoyances as if the Mass was about me, myself and I and having the most perfect rubrics by everyone around me in order for me. It’s a real turn off.

the article was not about liturgical abuse. The article was about distractions and annoyances at Mass and those things don’t take away from what the Mass is about and the Eucharist. That is the point of it. People define reverence as usually being perfectly still and quiet. Sometimes that is true but reverence is more that having a perfectly still and quiet Mass. It’s an attitude from the heart.

^^well said^^ people come into mass late. people chat and chatter until mass starts, people leave early, people go to the bathroom, phones ring, babies cry, people dress poorly, some are half naked. it’s still the mass, it’s still the body and blood of our Lord. He is there with us.

There is truth to this, but the problem with the “as long as I receive Jesus in holy communion its all good” mentality is that it seems to confuse the pinnacle of the holy mass. The distribution and reception of holy communion is important, but it is not the pinnacle of the mass. The mass is first and foremost the offering of the holy sacrifice. In time past it was not considered necessary for everyone to receive. The Holy Sacrifice is offered regardless of whether anyone (other than the priest, who must receive) receives. It is the nature of the Holy Sacrifice which demands the utmost reverence and solemnity in the celebration of the Church’s sacred rites. The Church has always taught this…and still does even if some parishes haven’t “got the memo”.

Sorry, I was talking about the concession stands part(which, from my understanding, would be a violation of Canon Law). That I would consider abuse, though the distractions cannot always be helped and we should be lenient about those unless a person is being blatantly and intentionally distracting. As far as distractions, yes it is more about the individual.

I attend both forms, OF and EF, and I notice that more people arrive late and leave early in the OF as compared to the EF. For sure there is a noticeable emptying of pews after communion in the OF. Just an observation.

What’s the point? Are we to have liturgical police at every door ready to kick out anyone that isn’t by your opinion perfectly reverent? There are, was and always will be crying babies, wiggly toddlers, spilled cheerios, someone that smells, someone that coughs, someone the crumbles the paper taking a cough drop, a cell phone goes off, coming in late, leaving early. etc etc etc. These things are not liturgical abuse but part of life and what happens in gathering of people. Yes, they can be annoying and distracting if you focus on these things instead of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. That was the point of the article and not what “trads” are trying to turn it into which is the usualy laundry list of imaginary abuses.

I agree with twf, though I might nuance it a bit more. We are to perform the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with the utmost POSSIBLE reverence, meaning within reason. If there is an infant crying, thats dismissible, IF they try to the best of their ability to remedy the situation, taking the child outside being a last resort. I don’t think there should be “liturgical police” patrolling the pews, people should have the sense to offer the honor due to God on their own. Though I do feel that if someone lets their children run amok unchecked or is talking through the Mass, this should be seen as rude and irreverent.

Right. There seems to be a mentality that as long as I am ‘in time’ for communion I’m okay.

i have not heard that it is 'necessary for everyone to receive, if you’re in a state of mortal sin, you shouldn’t. otherwise, you should, shouldn’t you? and yes, it does demand reverence and solemnity. not sure what good sending a memo would do.:shrug:

This helps clarify quite a bit, thanks. To bisco’s and robwar’s comments about liturgical police, I think the point is more about the “train wreck music” and other forms of technical irreverence, than those in pew (or aisles) not sitting still like perfectly attired mannequins. I also can’t help but think of Jesus driving the money-changers out of the Temple during Sabbath worship. That kind of calls the kiosk into question, IMHO.

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