How do you react to Liturgy abuses?


No matter what rite you attend. For we all know that there can be abuse in every rite, How do you respond?


This question came from another thread I have been looking at. Did not want to high jack that thread.

From all the music threads to the hand holding to many other kinds of big and small abuse we all tend to react in some way. So I am asking others how they react.

I am a person that avoids personal conflict at almost all costs. This comes from my life background. So I tend to go into prayer and then flight mode.


I pray for the parish, but otherwise ignore it if I am visiting that parish.

If something happened at my own parish, I would speak to the priest about it.


I picked “stew inside” - not to imply that I get angry, but that I’m just too scared to address the issues (I seem to have an inordinate fear of confrontation…especially with priests :p).

Although we seem to have the same source for our reactions, I have to admit that your approach seems much more healthy. Note to self: PRAY!


Since I don’t see anything in my Parish worth worrying about (any abuses are minor like at the Mission Parish we don’t have room for an Ambo so all the readings, Gospel and Homily are done from the one spot and Fr. tends to walk away from it while giving his Homily - he does not do this at the main church though).

If I am visiting a Parish I just pray for the people there. What is interesting is the Parishes I have visited where there seemed to be glaring abuses were also the Parishes with the most friendly people:confused:.

Brenda V.


I chose “Ignore It”, because of what the average level for what an “abuse” is in discussions around here, which tend to be minor things.

I have been around so many different parishes in my lifetime that personal styles are hard to make out of minor “abuses”. I also have better use of my spiritual time than to nitpick every movement and word, as it is completely missing the point for coming to mass. A few minor differences/mistakes does not detract from the spiritual encouragement I receive by the end of the mass.


I checked “other.”

Abuses are not easily detected, and for the most part in these forums, they are matters of preference that are simply not in the category of catestrophic, or worth pursuing.

For instance, my pastor says, The mass is ended, go in peace to love and serve the Lord, and some radical liturgist comes along and berates my pastor’s closing with his superior knowledge, saying, “The rubrics demand that he says, The Mass is ended, go in peace – period!” Well, I am not going to go into a tizzy and call the bishop to find out if he’s allowed to say the other form. It is very immaterial to me, and I trust him to pray the mass per his training and to know what is licit or illicit.

I’m reminded of those who chided Jesus for not cleaning cups or washing hands. Same principle. The letter kills, in many cases, and as a lay person, I am not held responsible for knowing or not knowing what is absolutely correct in order to police my priest. God doesn’t call me to that. :smiley:

Like Scylla said in another thread, with which I agree, we are called to unify, not nitpick.


The rubrics permit some freedom at the dismissal in the ordinary usage. No such freedom exists for the Communion announcement.

Those who screw around with the rather clear rubrics are the ones destroying unity, not the ones who are simply exercising their right to an abuse-less liturgy.


I didn’t really find an answer in the choices of the poll. When I see liturgical abuses in my parish, it is almost always because of the people who are in charge of their little ministries, and not because of the priest. It does no good to talk to them, because they just don’t understand the message. I have talked to the priest before, after the fact, and in one instance the abuse was not repeated. Actually, I can think of two times where this approach has worked.

Mostly, though, I feel driven away by the nonsensical happenings that people force on the liturgy at my parish.


I may ask the priest about it…I usually don’t, because if it’s at my parish, I know it wasn’t on purpose- and if it is at another parish, they aren’t likely to listen to me.

Sometimes I gossip (:o ).

Sometimes I stew inside.

I usually ignore it.

It would take something really bad to make me walk out- like invalidating a Mass, or blatant heresy. There have been times that, looking back, I wish I had walked out.

I try to pray harder.

I don’t e-mail, because I can be *very *harsh in e-mails- that has got me into trouble before.

I would look for another parish if they were serious- I did just that, and am now in a parish where they are not a problem. I would write the bishop, now that our diocese has a bishop who is likely to listen. I hope to always have an orthodox parish to go to, so this won’t ever be an issue.


I have not seen a genuine liturgical abuse for many years. The few times I did see it, I took it up with the priest immediately after Mass or during the next week. On only two occassions, which affected the validity of the Eucharist itself, did we document the actions and report to the bishop, and in both cases the situation was rectified within the month, and the priest disciplined, and the reasons for the actions explained to the congregation.

When I see things that rub me the wrong way but do not constitute actual abuse, I recollect myself to contemplation of the Eucharistic mystery and full active participation in the Mass. Only in situations where I have a direct responsibility do I take any action (such as training HS students to be readers and ushers, if I see my students have been instructed wrongly by others I correct the situation).


Are most people really aware of the abuses when they go into Church every Sunday? Probably not. Given the proper dosage of conditioning (with a little change at a time) it will take hardly any time to get used to it. It’s when it’s sudden (like, for instance, seeing dancers coming from the sacristy) that people will respond either positively or negatively. But when it’s slowly applied, hey, it’s not a bad thing, it’s just the sign of the times. :rolleyes:


Other :slight_smile: - there’s nothing one can do, because all the power to change things is concentrated at the top; the laity just have to take what they get, whether it’s an abuse or not.

The CC is just like any other multinational corporation - so mere office-boys are deluding themselves if they think their likes or dislikes matter, or even register, at World Headquarters.

Solution - ignore it, don’t have silly ideas about being able to make any difference to it, & move on to things which one can, perhaps, influence for good.

There have always been abuses, & always will be - the use of the Mass, and of churches, as a setting for compositions in the 18th century was an abuse - the Mass did not come into being in order to be used as a means of demonstrating the (very great) abilities of Mozart or Haydn: It is an act of worship, or it is nothing. In many ways, the CC is far healthier than it has been for a long time; though Americans, who have no awareness of just how entangled with the state the Church has often been in Europe, to the great harm of the Church’s effectiveness as a distinctively Christian body, won’t realise this. We are very well off in having only the Liturgy & catechesis to worry about: sexual irregularities are not new, neither is unbelief, neither is supersistition, neither is worldliness. It’s not as though abuses in the Liturgy were universal - far from it. So IMHO we have a lot to be thankful for - matters could be far worse than they are, so we can be very grateful they aren’t. :slight_smile:


Depends on different factors - whether I’m visiting the parish or a regular, whether the priest is a visitor or a regular, the nature of what has been done, for example.

And yes, there are some things that truly don’t matter enough to take action about. One or two EMsHC more than are strictly needed, for example, as opposed to EMsHC who threaten to outnumber the congregation.

I would be more likely to take action about those that affect the Consecration, or the distribution and handling (and possible abuse) of the Blessed Sacrament itself.

Luckily I’ve never come across any liturgical dancers, Clown or Halloween masses, or any priest who mangled the words of the Consecration, nor even anyone who seriously overdid the number of EMsHC or anything on that level of abuse.

I have heard within the past week - unfortunately second hand and well after the event - of one or two cases in another diocese of serious abuses. One included a priest inviting non-Catholics to receive Communion at a funeral Mass :eek:

These I intend, if possible, to have documented and contact the local Bishop about and take it from there.


To some extent this is true. However, the CC doesn’t close a unit in, say Indonesia, just because it is unprofitable there. It must listen to and accept everyone who is interested in what she has to offer; otherwise it is not a religion and it certainly wouldn’t be following Christ. Canon Law allows any Catholic to contact the Pope, if necessary, in order to report abuses, to report any deviation from what it has decreed or any deviation from custom. It would be most irresponsible and very cruel for anyone in the Church to simply tell someone else to “offer it up” as if it’s not important. Truly caring for another’s soul is just as important, if not more so, than caring about his bodily needs. It’s simply not Christian to think otherwise.


I usually just ignore it. First of all, I have a hard time determining what is an actual ABUSE and what is just my own preferences. For most things I just think in the long run they’re pretty minor, and I’m certainly not going to bother the bishop who has so many other things to be doing and ask if something is an abuse (if it were a serious issue, yes, I would contact the bishop).

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