The responsibility rests with the pastor and his staff. The college een Mass at my parish actually used to be one of the more reverent. Unlike your parish the servers, readers and EMsHC had next to no training -- and they struggled but there was a real sense of desire to do the right thing.
I think the paid staffers in charge of such things at my parish are desperate to build attendance and they don't have a clue how. They attend the LA Liturgical Congress each year and it has taken a real toll, along with the fact they aren't the highest caliber people to begin with. One asked me about adding drums to the often excellent music. I advised against it. I attended that Mass a few weeks ago and there was the drum kit. I could almost sense a collective wincing of the younger folks in attendance.
On the other hand what's the response by many? They angrily suggest that the kids "need the TLM!" as they retreat to attend the one (struggling) EF Mass in the deanery. Maybe I'll make a working list of reasons I am so frustrated.
In the end though it comes down to two words. Good leadership.
[quote="zenith15, post:10, topic:283563"]
I visited my church's Teen Mass with my 12 year old last week--we had never been before. ANd I found I came out generally confused and not quite sure what to think.
On the pro side, the kids were very enthusiastic about praising God, there were a LOT of teens in attendance, the older teens who served as lectors, EMHC, etc did so graciously and respectfully, the altar servers had been well trained, and above all, my son was interested and wanted to come back.
Cons, at least from my view, were that at one point all the teens gathered near the altar (but below it) and wrapped their arms around each other, singing and doing gestures to go with the song. Many of them were attired in clothing that seemed more appropriate for a beach party than church and I can't fathom that the young men present were not distracted from worship by the sight of teen girls in short shorts and halter tops. The music was pulsating and loud, with lots of drums and guitar.
But the main thing that shocked me was at the very end, where a young man gut up, took the mike, stood on one of the altar steps and began talking for a few moments and was quickly interrupted (this was obviously planned) by two shrieking girls running up the main aisle yelling "save me save me" dressed in female pirate garb.. They were followed by a boy dressed as a pirate and one dressed as a beach goer, both with foam swords, fighting it out over whether the Teen Life group should have a Beach Party or Pirate Party this summer. The initial young man with the mike jokingly broke up the mock fight by telling them both were planned, and they departed.
Now--I think of myself as a pretty modern person, but wow. I mean, really--is the altar of the church a place for that kind of thing? On the other hand, am I being too prudish? Would Jesus have perhaps thought otherwise, and found more fault with ME instead for being judgmental? I wonder. At any rate , my son loved it and it encouraged him to want to return to Church--but.....at what price? When he went to a regular mass with me, prior to this, he did NOT want to return. SO, I don't really know what to think, as I am a new convert. Thoughts?