Had to go to a different parish today

Our parish building had a power outage so all of our Masses were called. A friend and I went to a different parish in town.

Still trying to process it. My parish is the only parish I have ever experienced Mass at (came into full communion at the Easter Vigil '07).

I had the niave idea that most parish liturgies were like mine. My pastor is by the book without being in your face about it. He doesnt veer off the text of the liturgy. He sings part of it but not overly much. I wouldnt call our parish heavily traditional but its not real progressive either.

Today’s parish experience was more of a progressive one. It felt odd to me. I felt out of place in a way.

My prayer to God at the end of it was more along the lines of

“Thank you Lord for the priest who celebrated the Sacrifice of the Mass and made You present for me in the Eurcharist. Beyond that, Im not sure if I was deeply feed I was. Forgive me for that”

I will say that there are obviously a lot of people whom this style works for. It’s a very active parish (so is mine by the way, and both parishes are in the same town).

There must be a real need for both parishes, ones for those of us who like a bit more of the traditional style, and those who need more of a progressive one??

Any thoughts from those who have experienced such differences I would love to hear from. I still find myself a bit uncomfortable with the differences.

Can you be more specific on what you observed as the differences? That might help give a better idea of what you found uncomfortable.

Well instead of pews there were chairs, hence no kneeling. The alter servers (they were dressed in their everyday school clothes; at least with a robe they would seem a bit more, um “appropriate”) and EMOE also didnt wear robes. There was not a cantor, but three people instead (like a treo) doing the Psalm etc.

The church itself felt more of like an auditorium. When the deacon bowed he bowed to a cross that was outside the building but can be seen because that portion of the wall was made up of window, but the tabernacle was off to the side in a small room but he didnt bow in that direction.

There was never any kneeling. Just standing.
The priest often time would ad lib during part of the liturgy, including the consecration.

The music too was a bit more up-to-date but I can understand where that may have a little more leeway in style and form.

The other parts bothered me…

I mean no disrespect to our other Christian brothers and sisters, but this had more of a Protestant feel to it than what I have to to expect as a Catholic feel to it

(or at least what I am used it at my parish)

Also the vestments of the priest was just a white robe with something more akin to what I see on a deacon. It wasnt the full robe?

I hope this make sense

Wow, that would make me very uncomfortable, very. Sounds TOO progressive for my taste. I don’t think I’d be going back to that parish. The only thing I could see about the chairs and it having an auditorium feel to it is if the parish is in the process of planning to build a formal church, that’s the only excuse I could see for that.

Oh no there is no renovations underway. This is the way they built the church back in the late 80’s (the parish I go to was build in 1960).

It did make me uncomfortable, so much so I had to be grateful for the opportunity to be able to partake of the Eucharist and leave it at that.

(I tried not to let my uncomfortableness detract from that, but even that was a challenge)

I wonder what they did before Electricity?


You make a very good point. :slight_smile:

It remined me of people going to the hardware/Home store seeking flashlights and batteries after a storm or a Grocery store and it being locked up tight and the manager guarding the door. When asked he said we can’t open because we have no electricity to run the cash register? The cashiers would not know how to make change! Do they not know what the original purpose of a candle is?

Well, with respect, before electricity they probably heated the building with wood or coal and had gas lamps etc.

Today with a lot of buildings/churches electrified it’s not just the organ that’s affected. . .it’s the lights, the heat, the sound. . .

So imagine a church where it was freezing cold and dark, probably after a tornado or large storm, where the coal had been blown out, and it was raining heavily, and people had a few kerosene lanterns at most. They probably wouldn’t have much of a service either.

I don’t know where the OP lives but even though it’s March, there are a lot of places in the U.S. where it is still barely above freezing in the daytime, and below freezing at night. If the power goes out they’re worried about freezing water pipes and even heavier damage, as well as the cold and the darkness. . .and the safety of some of the elderly and very young. We young or middle aged people might be able to handle an hour in a freezing building with little untoward effect, but we need to consider others.

Practically speaking that may be the case. I live in the north east. Over night temps have been in the 30’s, this morning in the 40’s and had a very big storm (3" of rain) over night.

Also, our parish building is very large in the main church. It would have been very cold, and the lighting we have is mostly the stained glassed windows (which depict the Stations of the Cross).

So it could be that even with candles for lighting, it would have been very cold (not sure what time the power went out. If over night I expect it was very cold in the main church)

There are some serious problems. The first one lies with the ad-libbing. Please note what Redemptionis Sacramentum has to say:

[51.] Only those Eucharistic Prayers are to be used which are found in the Roman Missal or are legitimately approved by the Apostolic See, and according to the manner and the terms set forth by it. "It is not to be tolerated that some Priests take upon themselves the right to compose their own Eucharistic Prayers"129 or to change the same texts approved by the Church, or to introduce others composed by private individuals.130

Regarding the vesture, RS states that:

[121.] “The purpose of a variety of color of the sacred vestments is to give effective expression even outwardly to the specific character of the mysteries of faith being celebrated and to a sense of Christian life’s passage through the course of the liturgical year”.210 On the other hand, the variety "of offices in the celebration of the Eucharist is shown outwardly by the diversity of sacred vestments. In fact, these “sacred vestments should also contribute to the beauty of the sacred action itself”.211

[122.] “The alb” is “to be tied at the waist with a cincture unless it is made so as to fit even without a cincture. Before the alb is put on, if it does not completely cover the ordinary clothing at the neck, an amice should be put on”.212

[123.] “The vestment proper to the Priest celebrant at Mass, and in other sacred actions directly connected with Mass unless otherwise indicated, is the chasuble, worn over the alb and stole”.213 Likewise the Priest, in putting on the chasuble according to the rubrics, is not to omit the stole. All Ordinaries should be vigilant in order that all usage to the contrary be eradicated.

The celebrant needed to wear the proper color of the day, which, today is either Rose (Laetare Sunday) or purple, not white.

The Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion (not an EMOE, no such title in the documents of the Church) does not necessarily have to wear an alb, but, the altar services should wear one.

One would think that, if the pastor canceled all Masses for whatever reason, he would have given an ad-hoc dispensation from the “obligation” at the same time. :shrug:

If there is more than one parish in the city, this would not have necessarily been valid since other opportunities for assisting at Mass exist.

there are a couple of other things out of line–the priest not vesting for one thing–but this is the only thing that your report that would make the Eucharist invalid, if you are absolutely sure he was not using a Eucharistic prayer with which you are not familiar.

I suppose that depends.

For example, I know of a town that has two parishes. One is quite orthodox (they even offer the EF) while the other is anything but. It actually has a reputation for miles around as the bastion of the “spirit of Vatican II” where “say the black and do the red” is an unknown expression (which sounds rather like what was described in the OP).

The point is that the pastor knows his parishioners and it’s rather unfair to expect people who are orthodox to put up with the shenanigans in the other church, particularly when they’re “expected” to go there for reasons that are (a) none of their doing and (b) beyond their control. In such a case, the “obligation” becomes a burden. But, no matter what, the dispensation would have been valid without question with a simple phone call to the bishop.

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