How Not to Say Mass

Has anybody read the book “How Not to Say Mass: A Guidebook on Liturgical Principles and the Roman Missal” written by Fr. Dennis C. Smolarski, S.J. and published by Paulist Press. Would you recommend it?

Judging by your posts here, I think that you will not like certain parts of it. Certainly not reform-of-the-reform-y.

AJV I am completely confused here by what you mean. I’d be grateful if you’d expand, explain. Thanks!

Excellent resource, and author.

99% sure I’m going to get it now despite the comments AJV made in Post #2, which have completely baffled me.:confused:

What interest would a book with title be to the laity?

At least two reasons immediately come to mind. 1. An interest in these matters. 2. Laity fulfil ministries such as MC, sacristan, etc. who may find the contents useful.

My apologies for the brief and mysterious response.

My impression from your posts is that you are in favor of a certain continuity of expression between the old form of the Mass and the new. If I read this wrongly, my apologies.

If that is in fact the case, then some parts of this book will be disappointing for you. The author is clearly against using certain gestures found in the old Mass in the new. It is not a bad book by any means, but depending on one’s liturgical orientation some parts of the book may prove disappointing.

Because the laity are full, active, and conscious participants in the celebration of the Mass. THe Mass is not something that simply the priest does.

You’re not suggesting that supporting the Mass approved by Paul VI following Vatican II is a problem, are you? After all, following Vatican II, that is how the Roman Catholic Church celebrated Eucharist. Why shouldn’t it be promoted, and explained? Just as, following the Council of Trent, the Mass of Pius V was similarly promoted, explained, and celebrated, even if radically different from certain peoples’ experience prior to the radical reforms and changes introduced.

I am naturally quite inquisitive so am perplexed at how you came round to this thinking. All I can conclude is that perhaps you have me confused with someone else.

I have never been to an EF Mass so anything I know about it amounts only to hearsay. There are certain things that I’ve heard about in the OF Mass and don’t think I’d like but have never seen, e.g. holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer, laity holding their hands in the orans position. And, those are two things I don’t recall ever raising on here. I could cope with shaking hands at the Sign of Peace if we only did it to the people immediately to the right and left of us rather than it become a free for all. I would be happy to see the whole Sign of Peace go. Or move it the whole thing is wrong in IMHO at the moment it takes place. I choose to receive communion on the tongue which is perfectly legitimate in the OF. I would like to kneel but because we don’t in our parish I choose not to disrupt the flow of the communion procession and choose not to make a show of myself. There, rant over but I can’t really recall ever bringing these things up.

But, as I said at the beginning never been to an EF Mass so in a way it’s not possible for me to want a continuity of expression from the old form of Mass to the new. If anything seems that way it can only be coincidental.

Nope. That’s not what he/she said. Sounds like a baited question.:rolleyes:
God Bless,

That is somewhat irrelevant (sorry, don’t mean to sound dismissive…but I couldn’t think of another word) because the book is clearly a book aimed at presiding, which the laity cannot do. Not to say that lay people shouldn’t read it, and can’t glean good knowledge from it, but if you want a book that goes into the Mass, then another book is porbably better.

No clue where you got all this from my post. However there are different styles of celebrating Mass in many cases indicative of (as we would say in the Anglican church) “churchmanship” either of the celebrant or the person who taught him. This is often possible due to the non-specific nature of the rubrics. Thus some priests will bow when reciting the prayers before Communion, and receive the Precious Blood, holding the paten or purificator under the chin. Others stand straight and just drink from the chalice. Some bow more profoundly then others when reciting the Words of Institution. Some prefer to elevate the Host at head or above head level, and others prefer a face-level “showing” to the people. Some bow their heads visibly at the name of Jesus and others do so imperceptibly. Etc., etc.

Of course the laity don’t preside.

But have you read the book?

If you have, do you really think its only benefit is for presiders?

If you haven’t read the book, then maybe you should check it out before commenting further on it.

I have, thank you. That’s why I bothered commenting. I am aware that the Fr. Smolarski explicitly states “This book is not geared exclusively towards priests but to all who have an active role in the liturgy” but he goes on to explicitly mention that is he directs his remarks to priests and that they can also be applicable to those who preside at communion services. However, clearly the book is directed to the former - because several actions pertain only to the Eucharistic celebration. And despite the fact that liturgy committees may decide many things, the ultimate responsibility is the priest celebrant himself.

And as I said above, it really depends what one is looking for. If one is not in a presiding or directing role, and is merely looking for the ethos of the revised rites from a certain perspective, then there are more detailed works out there. Nocent, for example. Or Pecklers.

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