Help with my dilemma


#1

I need help on figuring out the best course of action.

The last 2 weeks as I have gone up to receive Communion on the tongue at my current parish has nearly ended in disaster. Both times the extraordinary minister was so unsure of, and uncomfortable about administering the Eucharist this way that it nearly fell on the floor. Last week I was so sure it was going to fall I stuck out my hands to try and catch it, and the minister promptly stuck it in my unprepared hands. (I push my aunt’s wheelchair at Mass and do not like the idea of Jesus being on my grimmy oily hands).

This is just sort of a last straw at this Parish which is very ‘liberal’ in many ways. The congregation simply prefers to stray from a reverant Mass (I suppose is the most polite way to word this). Yet I know the current Pastor is a very good and holy man who is trying his best to remedy this situation and bring the Parish to where it should be. (For reference, in case I am too vague: almost nobody genuflects before the Tabernacle which is positioned away from the altar BEHIND the choir, everyone holds hands during the Our Father, Happy Birthday is sung at Mass before it has ended every week, and more, but the lack of reverance toward the Eucharist concerns me the most).

Yet the good priest is trying to set things right and for the most part seems to be up against most of the congregation. I had decided that I would stay then and try my best to support him, and try and set good example by genuflecting to the Tabernacle (despite the weird looks I get from the choir), receiving the Eucharist reverantly, praying quietly during Happy Birthday etc. Hoping to try and turn the tide a bit at the Parish and help our priest as best I can.

Recently, however, I discovered that a nearby Parish which is very conservative and reverant (They even have their Tabernacle on the Altar!) has low attendence and is in financial trouble, while the one I attend is one of the wealthiest and largest around.

So now I am stuck in a dilemma. Do I stay where I am and try to help turn things around or switch to the other Parish and help try to keep things afloat?


#2

If I were you, I would go where I felt most comfortable and part of the community. If a more conservative parish meets your needs, then that’s the one for you.


#3

Wird looks thrown in your direction as you genuflect towards the tabernacle, holding hands during Our Father, noweone receiving the Holy Eucharist on the tongue except from you.
Happy birthday are being singed? What? Why?
Please let me in on the happy birthday part, I don’t understand at all why on earth it’s being singed during a mass.

To me it sounds like its more of a Pentacostal service than a Catholic mass.
Holding hands during our father would make me feel very offended and a bit disturbed as I think the mass should mostly be between God and me.

Anyway, my advice is to leave this parish and get involved in the Catholic parish nearby (I don’t label Catholic parishes liberal and conservative, but catholic)

Go where people are like minded:)

Pax Christi


#4

There’s certainly nothing wrong with going to a parish where you feel more comfortable. However, I think it would be charitable to suggest to this good and holy priest that the Special Ministers need to be trained on administering Communion on the tongue.

BTW, holding hands during the Our Father isn’t really abuse, although I must say I don’t care for it myself. Genuflecting to the Tabernacle may be a problem because people don’t see it right in front of them, and may feel it odd to genuflect toward the choir. (Like you, I would do so anyway.)


#5

I would go to the Church that I felt was meeting the needs of my spiritual growth & development.


#6

Hi Pablopedro,

Boy, that is a tough one. I am very sorry for your situation. It’s difficult to make a decision like that. Have you taken it to prayer? I would advise trying to treat this like discernment. What is God calling you to do? Maybe pray a novena to the Holy Spirit?

Also is there any third option? Could you do both? Perhaps donate money to the more conservative one but regularly attend mass at the other one? Or maybe switch off?

Are you married? Do you have kids? If you have kids I would probably recommend the mass you feel more comfortable at as you will want your kids to experience reverence for the mass.

The bottom line is that there is no wrong answer here, so I declined to vote. I think you need to prayerfully consider what God is calling you to do.

Hope that helps!


#7

Holding hands during the Our Father is a Liturgical abuse, it has not been approved by the Liturgical Commission in Rome, this is what started the Reformation everyone doing what they wanted to do not what was approved, its not a 60’s love in, or a party, its going to Mass to adore and give Praise to the Lord, not about us feeling a happy chappie like we do at a party when we all hold hands and have a sing along with the kids, its to say the Our Father by our self in front of God in a solemn fashion its not a sing along hee hee hee hah hah hah. The Mass furthermore is meant to be the same in every Church around the world except for the Language, how can it be the same if the laity are changing this, that and the other, have they gone to Pentecostal meetings or such like with this hand holding, I personally find it very offensive, and I notice some other people on this Forum also do to.


#8

No, it is not an abuse!

You do a disservice to everyone by claiming that it is because then anything that someone does not like gets labeled “abuse”. :mad:
There is no rubric for how people hold their hands during the Our Father. Period.


#9

First off: pray. Keep praying. And after that…pray some more.

I think there are more types of poverty than just financial poverty. You seem to view your current parish as being spiritually impoverished, even if financially well off. So I would say, serve the poor where God has placed you.

If you had kids and were worried about their formation in the faith, I would say to go to the parish where you would be most supported in that. But it doesn’t strike me that you are in danger of becoming wishy-washy about the faith just because of what those around you may (or may not) be doing. So (unless you have kids [which you didn’t mention in your considerations]) I would encourage you to consider the possibility that God is calling you to be a light in your current parish. Change has to start somewhere. And your pastor will need friends in the pews if he is to change the culture of the parish.

I would encourage you to be patient. Change doesn’t happen overnight. I would also encourage you not to get hung up on what others are or are not doing. Jesus came to die for them the same as you. Perhaps they don’t have that cognizant, personal relationship with Christ that they ought to have. Perhaps they are in need of conversion (and aren’t wel all?). They will need your help and your witness far more than they need any disapproving stares (not that I think that’s what you’re doing right now – I’m just speaking in general). The goal is for your fellow parishioners to be converted, not just for them to fall in line. That will require time and relationships.

The awkwardness as to Communion on the tongue is not surprising. If the EMHC never has anyone who receives that way, how are they to be expected to do it well? Be patient. It takes more than two times to become proficient at it.


#10

Back in the good old days of the 1950s when we had no option other than to receive the Eucharist on the tongue , I can recall one priest who always left the taste of nicotine on my tongue .

Not very nice .

The fact that his finger must have been touching my tongue indicates that spittle from the tongues of others must have touching my tongue .

Appalling .
[edited]


#11

Since you are now going to be angry & in a constant critical mood whenever you attend Mass in this Church, I would leave and go to the other. Each to his own.

The great danger is that we more ‘conservative’ folk, can easily fall into the sin of Pride. (We know best) So best to avoid the occasion of Pride where we might harshly criticise or even despise others in our arrogance. Your criticisms are valid & I agree with all of them but seems you are the loner/outsider in this congregation. So best move.


#12

I do have a daughter, and to be honest I hadn’t considered how she would be influenced in this (she is only 3 still right now). But I think I have to agree now that it will be best for me to change to the other Parish and help both the priest and congregation there (and myself).

I am not angry at the people at my current parish and make a point to avoid giving any sort of disapproving stares or anything of the like. Perhaps it isn’t my place to try and sway the congregation toward orthodoxy and perhaps I would only make things more difficult for our pastor.


#13

Points well taken.

We had a similar situation about 12 years ago, the parish closest to home was the one we attended and to which we belonged. After out Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, our faith was truly awakened and many things that we had overlooked before, including no Tabernacle in the Sanctuary, seemed to become much more apparent to us as not exactly correct. Perhaps the biggest one for us was the cacophony of noise prior to Mass. We like to go early to pray a rosary and prepare for the Mass. It was very difficult because of all the very unnecessary chatter. In many ways, we had become somewhat ‘immune’ to it out of self defense, but when we had family visiting us and they went with us to Mass, they asked ‘is it always this noisy in here?’ That was a real eye opener. Then we began to really notice a lot of things that were very loosely done.

During the week, we would attend the morning Mass at another church 10 miles away since they had a 7:00 am Mass and our Parish only had an 8:30, making it impossible to attend Mass and get to work on time. We really liked this parish, loved the Priests (Redemptorist) and enjoyed the tradition, including the Tabernacle in the Sanctuary. We began to wonder if we should make a change. I was of the mind to ‘stay and fight’. We did, for 2 years. Had more than one meeting with our parish Priest, who we loved dearly, but he was of a different mindset than we were, definitely not traditional, but more ‘worldly and inclusive’. After 2 years of trying to effect some change, we gave up and changed parishes. We don’t regret it. We really have a church family, especially our 7:00am Mass regulars. If someone isn’t there, everyone else worries about them!

We have had 4 pastors in 12 years due to untimely deaths of the first 2. Then we had an interim pastor, one we already knew and love so much, he is very traditional, but when his time was up, our current pastor, who had been a priest on staff there for several years, took the reigns. While we are not 100% content, he is a very good and holy man and truly does try to do what is right and so it works.

I would say if you do not see any possibility for real change where you are in the foreseeable future, I would make the change to the other parish. You can do it gradually, has others suggested, attend Mass there every other week and just get a feel for it. You will know soon enough if making that change is right.


#14

Rubbish, to receive communion on the tongue has been the only way of receiving the Holy Eucharist until after the second Vatican.
To “ban” a 1700 year long custom over some new fashion way existing as a substitute for only about 50 years would be a gruesome decision.
Why ban any of it anyway?!
If you do prefer to receive communion by hand by all means keep it up, but don’t expect others to do the same.

Yours in Jesus and Mary

  • MarianCatholic

#15

Thank you for your responses everyone. You have given me a lot to think about and pray over.


#16

I couldn’t answer the poll because my answer is, unfortunately, both. Is it possible to show your example of faith at the first parish and attend a later/earlier Mass at the second which needs financial support? I realize that this is an onerous obligation, but maybe it would ease your dilemna.


#17

Hi Pablopedro,

Your daughter is still a little young, but she will soon be influenced by the liturgical aspects of the mass, the sermons of the priest, etc. So you should take some reasonable care to ensure she goes to a church that you feel will properly raise her in the faith.

My parents made the decision to switch churches when I was young because one priest was just a little loony, frankly. It ended up being the right call.

Sounds like considering your daughter has helped you to come to a decision. I wish you all the best and I will say a prayer for you!

God Bless!


#18

You need to take some lessons .

For example , learn to read . When you do you will read why I think it should be banned .

Also , take some history lessons . Your knowledge of certain practices throughout the centuries is abysmal .


#19

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.