So me and my youth group were visiting a Catholic church for Adoration, Confession, and the anticipated Mass on Saturday. There was a library of books in the Adoration chapel, and the books content made me assume the church was very orthodox and traditional. But what happened next when I went to Mass was really, REALLY unnerving.
So, there was this other group (I think they’re called SPREAD, or something like that) that was visiting as well. The Mass started off as usual with the opening hymn, the penitential rite, etc., and then the readings came. As the first reader went up, some other people came up into the sanctuary. As the reader began reading, I saw those people begin to make movements with their hands. I assumed there were deaf people there during the Mass, but I saw that this wasn’t American Sign Language they were doing; it was more like an interpretive dance. One of the people in my youth group nudged me on the arm and expressed the same level of awkwardness I had. It was beginning to be an eyesore to me, so I just looked down at the missal I was holding as the reading was read.
When the psalm came, more people from that group went in front of the sanctuary, stood in a circle and held hands. They raised up their hands at certain points during the psalm and went back to their seats. They SKIPPED the Epistle and went straight to the Alleluia. The priest read the Gospel, and things started becoming a bit normal once more until the offertory.
During the Offertory, not only were the bread and wine being brought up, but the SPREAD people also brought up the corporal up to the sanctuary (I think they brought some other things, but I had my head down most of the time as they did this, because I was feeling really uneasy). Afterwards, the Mass went on as usual.
I was hoping for a decent and valid Mass for my 19th birthday celebrations that day. I’ve actually gone to that church occasionally in the past few years, but this is the first time I’ve seen something like this at the church.
Oh, and I do have a question: How would one have to approach a parish if there is blatant liturgical abuse in that church?