Frustrated with my local parish

Allow me to complain for a moment. I live in a part of town where if I cross the street to the west I’m in a nice parish. If I cross the street to the north I’m in a great parish, the one I usually attend. The problem is since I live on the wrong side of the street I am unable to register with either of the “nice” parishes and I’ve finally had it with the one I’m supposed to attend.

This weekend I tried to go back with an open mind, after all they did send me envelopes with my name on them. I really want to get involved with a church, maybe usher, or bible studies, that sort of thing. So I wrote a check, put it in the envelope and went to Mass with an open mind.

Here are my observations:

  1. No rosary before Mass. Just some guy playing a piano.
  2. A freaking trap set. Where’s Tommy Lee?
  3. Everyone is talking, except for the 60% of family who showed up late.
  4. Most of the music is contemporary.
  5. “Our Father.” 95% of the people there (include 100% of the choir) are holding their hands up in the air like a bunch of idiots. I get dirty looks for not holding hands with anyone.
  6. Apparently “Mass has ended - go in peace” means stand up, start talking, loudly. Hardly anyone left; they all just stuck around in the chapel discussing the college football game or some other nonsense. I like stay and pray for a little while after Mass, so I knelt down and tried. The noise was just too much, so I left, bitter and angry.

So what should I do? Should I talk to the local priests? They both seem like levelheaded guys. Or should I contact the diocese and try to get my membership transferred to the church that I really want to attend?

[font=Arial]I don’t know if I should be happy or sad that the mass on the college campus is about a thousand times more traditional than this one.[/font]

  1. No rosary before Mass. Just some guy playing a piano.

The rosary is a private devotion. It is not a part of Mass, nor is it necessarily a precursor to Mass.

  1. A freaking trap set. Where’s Tommy Lee?

More and more I’m seeing drums set up for the LifeTeen Masses, and then left in place. Last weekend I visited the parish where I had learned to serve Mass, and where I was confirmed. I noticed a drum set in the choir loft. There is nothing inherently wrong with drums in the liturgy. In fact, it’s an essential component in the Ethiopian Catholic Church (Ge’ez Church).

  1. Everyone is talking, except for the 60% of family who showed up late.

This seems to be a part of the modern mentality – and I haven’t found a way to deal with it. The one time I did (from the ambo) I received a number of complaints! Go figure!

  1. Most of the music is contemporary.

Again, nothing wrong with this. The selection of music seems to be a significant issue for some people, yet it boils down to personal taste. As a musician, liturgist and deacon I frequently don’t like the music (even when I was scheduling it) that is available – but music directors have to work with what they have, and that includes the people in the pews.

  1. “Our Father.” 95% of the people there (include 100% of the choir) are holding their hands up in the air like a bunch of idiots. I get dirty looks for not holding hands with anyone.

If you are referring to the orans position that is hardly an “idiot[ic]” position. It is the ancient position of the Church in prayer. If you are referring to holding hands – good luck. There seems to be no way to elilminate this. In fact, the very existence of this action shows that the people recognize the need for community, even if that expression is misplaced (the Eucharist is the paramount sign of unity).

  1. Apparently “Mass has ended - go in peace” means stand up, start talking, loudly. Hardly anyone left; they all just stuck around in the chapel discussing the college football game or some other nonsense. I like stay and pray for a little while after Mass, so I knelt down and tried. The noise was just too much, so I left, bitter and angry.

Since, again, there is little that one can do about this do what I do – learn to tune it out.

Deacon Ed

[quote=Deacon Ed]The rosary is a private devotion. It is not a part of Mass, nor is it necessarily a precursor to Mass.
More and more I’m seeing drums set up for the LifeTeen Masses, and then left in place. Last weekend I visited the parish where I had learned to serve Mass, and where I was confirmed. I noticed a drum set in the choir loft. There is nothing inherently wrong with drums in the liturgy. In fact, it’s an essential component in the Ethiopian Catholic Church (Ge’ez Church).
This seems to be a part of the modern mentality – and I haven’t found a way to deal with it. The one time I did (from the ambo) I received a number of complaints! Go figure!
Again, nothing wrong with this. The selection of music seems to be a significant issue for some people, yet it boils down to personal taste. As a musician, liturgist and deacon I frequently don’t like the music (even when I was scheduling it) that is available – but music directors have to work with what they have, and that includes the people in the pews.
If you are referring to the orans position that is hardly an “idiot[ic]” position. It is the ancient position of the Church in prayer. If you are referring to holding hands – good luck. There seems to be no way to elilminate this. In fact, the very existence of this action shows that the people recognize the need for community, even if that expression is misplaced (the Eucharist is the paramount sign of unity).
Since, again, there is little that one can do about this do what I do – learn to tune it out.

Deacon Ed
[/quote]

I admit that using the phrase “like a bunch of idiots” was totally out of line. I’m just frustrated that almost everyone was holding hands with their hands up in the air. It seems like they are requiring an action that is not in the GIRM. I don’t think that’s exactly Oran’s. Isn’t Oran’s done by the individual? Anyhow, I’d rather spend my time and financial support in a more traditional environment. For some reason the diocese seems to make that difficult.

I guess I could just move across the street :cool:

Thanks for the response.

In referring to the title of your thread… “Aren’t we all?”

At one time a Rosary was something that was done in the majority of the parishes throughout the world. It is still a preivate devotion, but it’s a great way to start off mass. Espically with the intentions to be as open as possible to everything the Holy Eucharist gives us!

Drums? Boo. At some of the vocal holy hours the youth group around here uses drums… I would never go because of said reality. Drums in mass? If you’re a Latin-Rite Catholic and you want a mass without the song and dance (not a good song and certainly not a good dance) it will continue to be hard.

If you want life teen tomfoolery, well… won’t be to hard.

Everyone is talking seems to be the norm. I recently posted something from a Saint John Chrysostom homily about this. Really sums up the sad state of the situation.

I recall it got so bad one time, I prayed that they would leave and have a better understanding of what the church is… didn’t work at the time. Maybe something will come out of it.

Holding hands during the “Our Father.”? See any protestant denominations “Lord’s Supper”.

Worst of all… I don’t know what you can do besides the usual. Talk to the priest, talk to a bishop. Maybe try another parish… it’s hard to get something done. Espically when the priest knows these people are paying his bills! So alot of times they are hesitant to do anything drastic.

In closing… I fell for you.

[quote=Freeway4321]In referring to the title of your thread… “Aren’t we all?”

At one time a Rosary was something that was done in the majority of the parishes throughout the world. It is still a preivate devotion, but it’s a great way to start off mass. Espically with the intentions to be as open as possible to everything the Holy Eucharist gives us!

Drums? Boo. At some of the vocal holy hours the youth group around here uses drums… I would never go because of said reality. Drums in mass? If you’re a Latin-Rite Catholic and you want a mass without the song and dance (not a good song and certainly not a good dance) it will continue to be hard.

If you want life teen tomfoolery, well… won’t be to hard.

Everyone is talking seems to be the norm. I recently posted something from a Saint John Chrysostom homily about this. Really sums up the sad state of the situation.

I recall it got so bad one time, I prayed that they would leave and have a better understanding of what the church is… didn’t work at the time. Maybe something will come out of it.

Holding hands during the “Our Father.”? See any protestant denominations “Lord’s Supper”.

Worst of all… I don’t know what you can do besides the usual. Talk to the priest, talk to a bishop. Maybe try another parish… it’s hard to get something done. Espically when the priest knows these people are paying his bills! So alot of times they are hesitant to do anything drastic.

In closing… I fell for you.
[/quote]

It’s just so weird. My girlfriend’s Lutheran church (ELCA no less) seems more traditional that this one. I feel bad because the priests here give incredible homilies and are very good in the confessional. I’m probably their only confessor, though (JOKE!!!)

I’m in a similar position, except that my parish is flexible in this regard and attracts all manner of Catholic lite types from far away, and the more orthodox ones adhere to their parish boundaries… Looks like there are two alternatives, not necessarily mutually exclusive:

#1 --I suggest you go to one of the parishes that you’re happy with, even if you can’t register. Become involved in the parish activities, even if you can’t register. Maybe they’ll make an exception? If not, once you get to know the people and the priests, it won’t really matter --except procedurally–and possibly at your funeral. If you’re planning that far ahead, be sure your family knows your preference for liturgical orthodoxy and traditional hymns.

#2 - Work within your parish to improve things by joining the appropriate ministries. Maybe you’ll grow to like the people there on a personal level and be able to nudge them in the right direction or at least understand them better. (Note: this is tough, and requires a lot of patience, especially if things are the way they are because of the parishioners and not the clergy. )

Why can’t you register in another parish? I thought that the current rules allowed you to register in any parish of your choosing.

[quote=Confiteor]#1 --I suggest you go to one of the parishes that you’re happy with, even if you can’t register. Become involved in the parish activities, even if you can’t register.
[/quote]

I am still wondering why one cannot register in a parish in whose boundries you do not reside. I thought that rule had gone the way of the dodo bird. Is it maybe a rule particular to your diocese? Living on the state Line between Wisconsin and Minnesota we have some people from Wisconsin registering across the river in the St. Paul Minnesota Diocese. Reasons vary. Don’t like our Pastor, Don’t like how Mass is celbrated, whatever?

[quote=Jabronie]Allow me to complain for a moment. I live in a part of town where if I cross the street to the west I’m in a nice parish. If I cross the street to the north I’m in a great parish, the one I usually attend. The problem is since I live on the wrong side of the street I am unable to register with either of the “nice” parishes and I’ve finally had it with the one I’m supposed to attend.(QUOTE]

Why are you not allowed to go to the Parish to the North? There are 5 Parishes closer to me than the one I belong to with the closest being only 6 minutes away. The last time I went to the Parish that is the closest to me, I was kneeling in prayer, trying to focus on God while the Contemporary band was banging away on the piano and drums. My eyes were closed, when after a few moments I became aware of an “AHEM!” When I opened my eyes, there was a woman looking at me as if to say, “are you going to let me in the pew?” I got up from the kneeler and let her in. There were AMPLE pews available as I looked around. I couldn’t believe that someone would actually do that to someone while they were obviously in prayer. My point is, that Church is the one I am “supposed” to be a member of. No way. Only when I have time conflicts do I ever go there.I am registered at a Parish 25-30 minutes away, downtown that I love very much. Traditional.
Reverent ,Beautiful music, Altar Boys, no hand holding. Everything a Catholic Church should be, in my opinion. I feel for you in this instance. I would join the other Church.
[/quote]

[quote=JimG]Why can’t you register in another parish? I thought that the current rules allowed you to register in any parish of your choosing.
[/quote]

Unless rules changed after 1984, I was told, NOT YOUR PARISH, very nastly I might add, by the Pastor even though the Church was only a half a mile away. I was new in town and did not know the “Bounderies”, My Parish Church was over 2 miles away. But let me tell you, if that WAS my Parish with that arrogant Priest, I would have drove 20 miles to the next Catholic Church, if I had to. He could have handled it differently.

[quote=JimG]Why can’t you register in another parish? I thought that the current rules allowed you to register in any parish of your choosing.
[/quote]

I called up the office at the parish is was attending and they told me that they wouldn’t sign me up because I wasn’t in their boundaries. They didn’t make it sound like I had any options.

[quote=Jabronie]I called up the office at the parish is was attending and they told me that they wouldn’t sign me up because I wasn’t in their boundaries. They didn’t make it sound like I had any options.
[/quote]

What? No one ever said anything to me:confused: I hope I don’t get busted:crying:

TE]

Why are you not allowed to go to the Parish to the North? There are 5 Parishes closer to me than the one I belong to with the closest being only 6 minutes away. The last time I went to the Parish that is the closest to me, I was kneeling in prayer, trying to focus on God while the Contemporary band was banging away on the piano and drums. My eyes were closed, when after a few moments I became aware of an “AHEM!” When I opened my eyes, there was a woman looking at me as if to say, “are you going to let me in the pew?” I got up from the kneeler and let her in. There were AMPLE pews available as I looked around. I couldn’t believe that someone would actually do that to someone while they were obviously in prayer. My point is, that Church is the one I am “supposed” to be a member of. No way. Only when I have time conflicts do I ever go there.I am registered at a Parish 25-30 minutes away, downtown that I love very much. Traditional.
Reverent ,Beautiful music, Altar Boys, no hand holding. Everything a Catholic Church should be, in my opinion. I feel for you in this instance. I would join the other Church.

I can go to the other parish, I’d just like to be an “official” member so that I can take participate in some of their other events.
[/quote]

I think the rules about which parish you may register in vary from diocese to diocese. Nowdays most places in the United States let you register in the parish of your choice. But others require you to respect physical parish boundaries.

In any case, there’s no rule about attending the parish of your choice. You’re just required to SUPPORT your home parish. (But if you regularly attend a parish other than your own it’s a good idea to put something in that collection basket too since you are making use of that parish’s resources.

[quote=Jabronie]Allow me to complain for a moment. I live in a part of town where if I cross the street to the west I’m in a nice parish. If I cross the street to the north I’m in a great parish, the one I usually attend. The problem is since I live on the wrong side of the street I am unable to register with either of the “nice” parishes and I’ve finally had it with the one I’m supposed to attend.

This weekend I tried to go back with an open mind, after all they did send me envelopes with my name on them. I really want to get involved with a church, maybe usher, or bible studies, that sort of thing. So I wrote a check, put it in the envelope and went to Mass with an open mind.

Here are my observations:

  1. No rosary before Mass. Just some guy playing a piano.
  2. A freaking trap set. Where’s Tommy Lee?
  3. Everyone is talking, except for the 60% of family who showed up late.
  4. Most of the music is contemporary.
  5. “Our Father.” 95% of the people there (include 100% of the choir) are holding their hands up in the air like a bunch of idiots. I get dirty looks for not holding hands with anyone.
  6. Apparently “Mass has ended - go in peace” means stand up, start talking, loudly. Hardly anyone left; they all just stuck around in the chapel discussing the college football game or some other nonsense. I like stay and pray for a little while after Mass, so I knelt down and tried. The noise was just too much, so I left, bitter and angry.

So what should I do? Should I talk to the local priests? They both seem like levelheaded guys. Or should I contact the diocese and try to get my membership transferred to the church that I really want to attend?

[font=Arial]I don’t know if I should be happy or sad that the mass on the college campus is about a thousand times more traditional than this one.[/font]
[/quote]

I hear you. Even so, I am learning that God uses situations like this to teach us to trust Him more.

There is no perfect Catholic parish. We are a Church made up of broken and fallible human beings.

Our tendency is to grumble and complain that this or that annoys us. When we do we lose our focus. We are a community drawn together by Christ, partakers of the One Bread, and the One Cup.

Jesus called a motley crew of disciples together. You can be sure that they got on one another’s nerves at times. Some were a bit traditional and perhaps legalistic, some were a bit progressive and perhaps somewhat free wheeling. Yet, they were united in Him, through Him, and with Him.

Trust me, I hate sappy expressions at Mass like holding hands during the “Our Father,” and endless Marty Haugen-esque music with lyrics like "We are the light of the world."too. But I won’t let these things get the better of me. Neither should you.

Let God work in you and through you as you experience the reality of what it is to participate in life of your local parish. And know that you have companions on this journey as I’m learning to do the same.

[quote=JimG]Why can’t you register in another parish? I thought that the current rules allowed you to register in any parish of your choosing.
[/quote]

That’s my understanding also.

Trick

Anyone suggesting the use of drums during the Mass is OK should read:

adoremus.org/1003Music.html

While the use of drums is not specifically prohibited, it is a very visual representation of the dumbing-down of how the Mass is celebrated at many parishes.

As to the noise after Mass, our parish instituted a practice that has helped. After the closing hymn and recessional, everyone kneels quietly, and remains kneeling until the altar servers return to the altar to put out the candles. Less than a minute, usually. After the candles are extinguished, the organist plays some music, possibly a reprise of the final hymn, which encourages everyone not to talk till they get to the vestibule.

I belong to a very orthodox parish with a very orthodox Priest who is always aspiring to follow the letter and the spirit of directives from our Bishop and Pope (while I know of none, I can’t guarantee that something inadvertently and with ignorance is slightly out of conformance to the GIRM). However, we have our early Sunday Mass that I would characterize as traditional (nearly always male altar servers, chants, Latin responses mixed in ie kyrie elyieson (sp?), traditional music usually with only an organ and single song leader, etc.), our latest Mass is what I’d call contemporary (male and female servers, folk music (of course theologically correct) or something more modern, no chants etc. The middle Mass is a cross between the two. Saturday is similar to the middle Sunday Mass.

While totally in conformance with the GIRM etc, the flavor of the Masses are different. Personally, I like the diversity of the liturgies as they fulfill one fo the objectives of Vatican II- emphasize the the laity is a critical player in God’s Plan including participation in teh Mass, whether it be the form of worship conducive to older parishioners or to the young. Myself, as I’ve aged, I’m moving to be more traditional (attending the middle Mass on Sunday ) but I am grateful for the “flavor” I enjoyed when I was younger and the “flavor” I’ll probably enjoy in my later years.

Even though the “flavor” of your parish doesn’t totally conform to your “flavor” (and assuming that there is not a GIRM abuse which you should point out to the Priest), may I suggest that you turn it around and celebrate that this “flavor” is satisfying so many around you and offer your “sacrifice” up to God as penance for the Holy Souls in Purgatory? In my city, we have a “parish” within a parish that caters to the Sudanese. On occassion, I’ve gone to this Sunday afternoon Mass. While I’m totally out of my element (the drums are the only instruments!), it is a cause for joy that these people are able to celebrate Mass within the traditions of their homeland.

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