Irreverence at Mass?


#1

Hello! This past Sunday, I was astonished at Mass. I have been concerned a lot lately. This particular Parish has no kneelers, the Tabernacle is hidden in a back room with 2 prie dieus, and now the celebrating priest (Jesuit) didn’t even say the Sign of The Cross in the beginning of the Mass. I have never before seen this much change from what I am use to (Kneelers, Tabernacle central part of the Church, etc.). Any thoughts on when or why Churches have been built like this and the Mass is being said in this manner? Thank you!


#2

I don’t have an IMMENSE amount of knowledge on this, but I’ll give my two cents.

Regarding the kneelers, this is considered a luxury. Some parishes simply don’t have them, but that does not mean that we are not required to kneel during the required times.

As to the tabernacle, the CCC says

1379 The tabernacle was first intended for the reservation of the Eucharist in a worthy place so that it could be brought to the sick and those absent outside of Mass. As faith in the real presence of Christ in his Eucharist deepened, the Church became conscious of the meaning of silent adoration of the Lord present under the Eucharistic species. It is for this reason that the tabernacle should be located in an especially worthy place in the church and should be constructed in such a way that it emphasizes and manifests the truth of the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.

If it doesn’t fit this criteria, then it might be because of bad architecture, or maybe the parish is located in a dangerous area the parish wants it protected. :shrug:

Relating to the sign of the cross at the beginning, I believe the rubrics say that the priest must do this. So, this is something that might need to be brought to his attention, and if there are no changes made after that, bring it to the bishop.


#3

Thank you for your reply! About the kneelers, that makes a lot of sense but I didn’t see anyone kneel during the Consecration or the Lamb of God.


#4

I can’t provide a response to the third issue, about the Sign of the Cross, but I can address the others.

As dje101 said, kneelers are a luxury. Not a single one of the several beautiful churches I visited in France – ranging from one as popular and old as Notre-Dame de Paris to one as “modern” as the late 19th century church at my school – had kneelers. The majority of people would simply stand reverently the entire time. The younger people, such as myself, would kneel for the consecration, and that was about all even WE could bear on that stone-cold tile floor! :eek: Really, kneelers, padded or not, are something we can EASILY take for granted.

I don’t know how your particular church was designed, but my home parish was constructed in the 1980s in that interesting style where there’s only 15 or so rows of pews, but 8 sets of them around a semi-circle. Our tabernacle is in the side chapel as opposed to the main narthex. But our side chapel has transparent glass walls on two sides, so really all those who are physically capable in the parish should be genuflecting towards the* tabernacle * over the altar, as it can still be seen. Don’t ask me why they put the tabernacle there, because to me it seems like it has plenty of room behind the altar. :shrug:

And my on-campus parish is in an ecumenical chapel, so we have the tabernacle across campus in a basement chapel owned by the Archdiocese and specifically dedicated for the purpose.

TL;DR: again as dje101 said, it’s probably either wonky architecture or for a legitimate purpose that the tabernacle is NOT in its traditional location.


#5

This link might help:
www.adoremus.org/98-03_mcnamara.htm

and:
sacredarchitecture.org/articles/environment_and_art_in_catholic_worship_a_critique/

That publication was used as an excuse for the UGLY new auditorium-type church built in the mid-1990s in the parish i used to attend. The USA and Canada aren`t the only places to have suffered.

The Presence in the Tabernacle is only a STATIC presence.
The worship space !] is designed for ACTION.
The assembly of believers !] is all-important.
Christ`s presence in the assembly of believers is a DYNAMIC presence.

The absence of kneelers in newer churches is purely to discourage kneeling. Easy answer. "Were big people now!" The whole things Man…sorry: humankind-centred.


#6

I visited a new parish recently. It was a beautiful building, heavy in the glass and stonework, and a real stunner. Here’s the rub, I never figured out the location of the tabernacle. Oh, I looked and looked, but it was not to be seen.

I feel that having the tablernacle where people can see it when praying leads to a more reverent atmosphere. That’s nothing more than my opinion, so take it for what it’s worth.


#7

[quote="Imcatholic7, post:1, topic:296826"]
Hello! This past Sunday, I was astonished at Mass. I have been concerned a lot lately. This particular Parish has no kneelers, the Tabernacle is hidden in a back room with 2 prie dieus, and now the celebrating priest (Jesuit) didn't even say the Sign of The Cross in the beginning of the Mass. I have never before seen this much change from what I am use to (Kneelers, Tabernacle central part of the Church, etc.). Any thoughts on when or why Churches have been built like this and the Mass is being said in this manner? Thank you!

[/quote]

The tabernacle is apparently in a chapel, not a "back room". Perhaps in order to facilitate Adoration at time when the church is being used for baptisms, weddings, funerals, etc.

As for what the priest did or didn't do, you'll need to speak to him. Perhaps you were momentarily distracted and missed it. Perhaps he was distracted and simply forgot.

It is important to assume the best in regards to other's behaviors as opposed to the worst. Priests do sometimes accidentally skip something or get mixed up. It does not invalid the Mass, mean they are heretics, or consitute abuse that should be reported to the bishop.

It really points to us needing to pray more for our priests and for vocations to all form of religious life so that our parish priests are not crazy overworked!


#8

It`s not supposed to be seen. :shrug:

I feel that having the tablernacle where people can see it when praying leads to a more reverent atmosphere. That’s nothing more than my opinion, so take it for what it’s worth.

Same here, but [edited] “liturgy committees” have different ideas, often based on that wretched above-mentioned booklet. :frowning:


#9

I suppose you’re right, but I will always feel something special when I can see the tabernacle. When I don’t, it’s just not the same.


#10

I went into a church and looked all over for the tabernacle. Could not find it so I asked. It was directly behind the altar at the focal point of the entire church.:blush: It was so highly decorated I could not tell it apart from the decorations.

A tree of life motive with a stylized tree growing out of the presents of Christ. After it was pointed out I saw the tabernacle candle.

So don't think there's a problem if you don't see something, it might be better than you could imagine.

I love the way its centered in that church now. :thumbsup:


#11

[quote="Fiasco, post:5, topic:296826"]
This link might help:
www.adoremus.org/98-03_mcnamara.htm

and:
sacredarchitecture.org/articles/environment_and_art_in_catholic_worship_a_critique/

That publication was used as an excuse for the UGLY new auditorium-type church built in the mid-1990s in the parish i used to attend. The USA and Canada aren`t the only places to have suffered.

The Presence in the Tabernacle is only a STATIC presence.
The worship space !] is designed for ACTION.
The assembly of believers !] is all-important.
Christ`s presence in the assembly of believers is a DYNAMIC presence.

The absence of kneelers in newer churches is purely to discourage kneeling. Easy answer. "Were big people now!"
The whole thing
s Man......sorry: humankind-centred.

[/quote]

This makes a lot of sense because your first link says these changes took place in 1978. This Church I am talking about was built in 1990 and another local Parish that has kneelers/ Tabernacle in sight was built in the 60/70s.


#12

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