I Was HORRIFIED By Mass Today. It Was Really Strange?

I now moved from my previous location in Europe to the Caribbean. I attended mass today and last week at the nearest Parish, and I was honestly Horrified by it (and I still am). I’m Not sure If I am overacting, but I honestly think that some things were terribly wrong.

Please bear with the length of the post, and advise me accordingly.

So I went into the Church, which didn’t look like a church, IT was more like a giant room with many chairs, no pews. There was no proper altar, the altar was simply a wooden table with four legs, which was covered by a white tablecloth.

The mass started, on the right side of the room there were a group of people acting as a choir, they started singing first, not Catholic hymns, but what sounded more like Pentecostal songs, they also used Instruments such as Tambourines, drums, guitars, etc while singing, (singing, which took up about 60 % of the mass). And this Mass lasted 2 1/2 hours.

This initial singing was followed by the entrance of the priest, who was followed by a group of about 15 Men, women, and Children> (Children meaning people under 20) WHO WERE ALL WEARING EXACTLY THE SAME ROBES AS THE PRIEST, as well as assisting him. Not only that, There were Triquetra Symbols embedded on each of their robes, the priests robes included. EXACTLY THIS Symbol religioninsociety.com/files/2012/04/Triquetra-Vesica.png .

The worst part was yet to come, after Time passed the “congregation” (I cant think of a better word) yes the congregation all started Clapping and Holding Hands, clapping continued for more than half of the Mass, people were also Dancing, Twisting their bodies and raising their hands in the air.

The priest started talking garbage, literally garbage everything from Gay Marriage, to Children and parents, and from that he suddenly jumped to the topic of Donations, and said that the church needs money to build 3 other churches, in 3 different locations. While he was requesting these donations, his hands were clenched into a fist and index finger extended out, while he was pointing at various sections of where people were seated.

After this, While the priest was consecrating the Eucharist (I hope consecrating is the right word) the drumming, and Tambourine and Pentecostal style singing continued.

So TIME FOR COMMUNION, I went up, and I was refused Communion in the mouth, the distributor simply looked at me as if she was expecting something, and waited for me to Close my mouth, and open my hands to receive the host.

After receiving communion, I headed back to my seat and instead of having a quiet church, the “Choir” continued singing their songs during the time that people were receiving communion, and the singing and drumming continued, even while people were being seated from receiving communion.

The last thing, after receiving communion, there was only a brief prayer, and all of a sudden, the priest asked everyone to stand, and sing the National Anthem. After we were done with singing the National anthem, the priest concluded the communion prayers, and ended the mass. The National anthem just came up out of nowhere.

And this inst the only problem, a week ago I confessed to the same priest, who didn’t use the words of absolution, he simply used his own words and concluded by saying “I absolve your sins, for penance pray the rosary”.

Just to confirm, THIS IS A CATHOLIC CHURCH. It’s Called “Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church” and I’m sure it was catholic because after the mass the priest used the regular line that goes “Benedict our pope and Anthony our Bishop etc, etc, etc” (I forgot the bishops name, so Anthony is just an example). I’ve also seen pictures of the Pope hanging in the church’s office.

So to Sum up:

  1. Priest didnt use words of absolution.
  2. The church didnt use catholic style hymns and used instruments like drums, tambourines etc.
  3. The Priest as well as 15 other people of all ages, and genders were wearing exactly the same robes.
  4. Those robes had Triquetra symbols on them.
  5. People were dancing, twisting their bodies and clapping, + raising hands.
  6. The church was noisy from singing, during and after receiving communion.
  7. I was refused communion in the mouth.
  8. People were asked to say the National anthem, just after receiving communion.
  9. There was no proper altar in the church.
  10. Just a regular mass lasted 2 1/2 hours.
  11. The priest used threatening body language.

Considering all that I have written, Is this normal? I have never experienced this in any part of the world, that I have been in before. I initially followed everything from this church, because I believe in the saying “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” BUT I AM NOW CONVINCED THAT SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH THIS CHURCH AND I VOWED TO NEVER GO THERE AGAIN. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

This means that i’m now without a church, as I simply cannot afford to travel to any other parish.

I really need advise here.

Try to be a faithful parishoner, not the parish police.

Pray for humility and fortitude.

Thanks for the reply, I would consider myself a faithful parishoner, but I am not going to any place where I feel uncomfortable and threatened. Simple as that.

In this situation, I think you’ll need an official dispensation to not attend Mass each week. I’m not sure that the eleven points in your summation are valid reasons for missing Mass. You may need to check with the priest or the bishop.

Nothing wrong with symbol.

Seems like this might have been a cultural thing.

Maybe you need to understand the culture before you get too judgmental.

I find it very hard to believe that 15 people, including children, were wearing chasuables and stoles.

I also believe that CAF has a rule that this form is not a place to complain about liturgies.

And another also, I believe that it will be ruled that this post has nothing to do with Catholic Tradition and should have been posted in Liturgy and Sacraments forum.

Perhaps a bit of culture shock? You went from a very euro-centered locale to the Caribbean. They likely incorporated a bit of their cultural flavor into the Mass.

Thanks for the replies everyone, I had no idea that this should be in the liturgies section, I ld highly doubt that it’s cultural, but I’ll try contacting the bishop and see what he says, after all I could be wrong.

Most of these are Liturgical Abuses.

Try to speak with the Bishop, and to get in another Parish.

P.S. I’m from South America, and place or culture aren’t justifications for a mess like that one.



I once went to an African Mass. Lots of clapping, dancing and african accent preaching… But thats alright. Thats why we call ourselves the UNIVERSAL Church… means the other rites and ways are as good as the European one :slight_smile:

Of course if the Pastor said that homosexual marriage or such things are okay, thats a completely different issue and its a problem.

Before you go running to the Bishop, I think a chat with the Pastor is in order first.
Make an appointment and talk to him about your concerns and ask questions.
You are in a different county, and the culture is different- no getting around that. But just because Mass is not being celebrated according to how you are used to does not mean it should “HORRIFY” you.

If you can’t get in touch with the bishop, I would suggest at the very least to contact an orthodox priest and see if you can get a dispensation from attending. There are some cases where attending a Mass full of abuses can be an occasion of sin for an individual, and you wouldn’t want to put yourself in that predicament. Having not been to this Mass in particular, I cannot say for certain whether it would be sinful to attend, but according to your description of it, there is at least some cause for concern.

I’d like to mention that I was once told by my friend, who is a priest, that “Mass is mass, wherever in the world it is, it is always the same.”

With this in mind I find it difficult to blame culture, anyway I’m still open to suggestions.

Different cultures can come out in the way they celabrate the Mass. Now that said, first try to talk to the priest about your concerns. Hopefully that might help. One thing, try not to be thereting and do not say you are going to do something (like going to the Bishop) with out being willing to do it. :gopray: One other thing, no matter what you do, pray about it!

Culture is not a justification for abuses.

No matter where is the place, a Mass should be celebrated with dignity and reverence.



P.S. Try to get documents regarding proper Liturgy, these would come in handy when speaking with the Priest or the Bishop.

Thanks, It’s good to know im not the only one who thinks that it is possible that something could be wrong.

Ill keep those documents in mind. Thanks. And I agree that culture shouldnt be an excuse.

Easy solution. Call the Bishop’s Office or the Office of Worship at your local Diocese. I work for the church and from what you described,many things seem liturgically incorrect. There is a thing called liturgical abuse and does need to be brought to attention.

Before speaking to the bishop the proper thing to do is to talk to the priest who was celebrating the Mass in question. Then you proceed to the pastor of the parish (if he was not the one celebrating the Mass). Then you go to the bishop.

No one could disagree with that, if in fact there are real abuses going on. However, the organ and standing dead still like a stone during mass is a cultural thing which belongs to the western world.
The fact is, what you find dignified and reverent might differ from what someone in a completely different culture finds…
You see, I have met Catholics who have never set foot outside Europe, and they honestly think that drums are inherently evil and that dancing during a mass is abominable.
They seem to think that Jesus Christ prefers latin and organ music to everything else… I mean, its a cute thought. But not if it turns into intolerance.

Some few youtube videos from African masses…

I agree,one needs to take culture into consideration.However,culture differences does not justify any abuse or alteration to the Mass if it is not in accord with the GIRM and liturgical documents,unless I am in the wrong?

God Bless

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