Liturgical abuses at your parish or school

I’ve been going to a catholic high school, and many of the masses we’ve had seem to be more like band/chorus concerts rather than masses. At one Mass the band even did a jazz song. I cannot stand it when they do stuff like that.

I was just curious about any abuses any of the members of CAF have witnessed.

2 words.

Polka Mass. (they make me sick)

They did them once or twice a year at my old parish (Read: one of the reasons we left)

without knowing precisely what the music was during Mass we cannot say it is an abuse. It may be irregular, but that does not make it an abuse. That would be any practice on the part of the celebrant which renders the Eucharist invalid and the celebration illicit.

Rock band Masses…
Forced to sit on the floor Masses…
Nobody kneels Masses…

:mad: Worst experiences in my life.

polka mass?

if i’m not mistaken, some Eastern Divine Liturgies do not have kneeling

it was a jazz instrumental song during Holy Communion, i guess not an abuse but defiantly not respectful for the Eucharist.

If disrespectful music is not an abuse what is it?

Respect is difficult to judge because it is a personal thing. And it is even more difficult to judge what God respects. There are many that are sure they know what God likes, but they really have no idea.

Then if a congregation decides it likes some kind of wild popular music with vulgar lyrics that would be just hunky dory?
What does it take musically to qualify as an abuse or does absolutely anything nowadays pass muster as “sacred music” ?

We had a priest pass out kazoos at a school Mass, and have the kids blow them. He was one of those priests who desperately tries to be liked by the kids, to be one of the gang.

We tend to forget that the Church does have its standards for music, as evidenced in the Chirograph on Sacred Music that Pope John Paul II wrote back in 2003:

  1. On various occasions I too have recalled the precious role and great importance of music and song for a more active and intense participation in liturgical celebrations[9]. I have also stressed the need to “purify worship from ugliness of style, from distasteful forms of expression, from uninspired musical texts which are not worthy of the great act that is being celebrated”[10], to guarantee dignity and excellence to liturgical compositions.

In this perspective, in the light of the Magisterium of St Pius X and my other Predecessors and taking into account in particular the pronouncements of the Second Vatican Council, I would like to re-propose several fundamental principles for this important sector of the life of the Church, with the intention of ensuring that liturgical music corresponds ever more closely to its specific function.

  1. In continuity with the teachings of St Pius X and the Second Vatican Council, it is necessary first of all to emphasize that music destined for sacred rites must have holiness as its reference point: indeed, “sacred music increases in holiness to the degree that it is intimately linked with liturgical action”[11]. For this very reason, “not all without distinction that is outside the temple (profanum) is fit to cross its threshold”, my venerable Predecessor Paul VI wisely said, commenting on a Decree of the Council of Trent[12]. And he explained that “if music - instrumental and vocal - does not possess at the same time the sense of prayer, dignity and beauty, it precludes the entry into the sphere of the sacred and the religious”[13]. Today, moreover, the meaning of the category “sacred music” has been broadened to include repertoires that cannot be part of the celebration without violating the spirit and norms of the Liturgy itself.

St Pius X’s reform aimed specifically at purifying Church music from the contamination of profane theatrical music that in many countries had polluted the repertoire and musical praxis of the Liturgy. In our day too, careful thought, as I emphasized in the Encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia, should be given to the fact that not all the expressions of figurative art or of music are able “to express adequately the mystery grasped in the fullness of the Church’s faith”[14]. Consequently, not all forms of music can be considered suitable for liturgical celebrations.

  1. Another principle, affirmed by St Pius X in the Motu Proprio Tra le Sollecitudini and which is closely connected with the previous one, is that of sound form. There can be no music composed for the celebration of sacred rites which is not first of all “true art” or which does not have that efficacy “which the Church aims at obtaining in admitting into her Liturgy the art of musical sounds”[15].

Yet this quality alone does not suffice. Indeed, liturgical music must meet the specific prerequisites of the Liturgy: full adherence to the text it presents, synchronization with the time and moment in the Liturgy for which it is intended, appropriately reflecting the gestures proposed by the rite. The various moments in the Liturgy require a musical expression of their own. From time to time this must fittingly bring out the nature proper to a specific rite, now proclaiming God’s marvels, now expressing praise, supplication or even sorrow for the experience of human suffering which, however, faith opens to the prospect of Christian hope.

He goes on to say that:

  1. With regard to compositions of liturgical music, I make my own the “general rule” that St Pius X formulated in these words: “The more closely a composition for church approaches in its movement, inspiration and savour the Gregorian melodic form, the more sacred and liturgical it becomes; and the more out of harmony it is with that supreme model, the less worthy it is of the temple”[33]. It is not, of course, a question of imitating Gregorian chant but rather of ensuring that new compositions are imbued with the same spirit that inspired and little by little came to shape it. Only an artist who is profoundly steeped in the sensus Ecclesiae can attempt to perceive and express in melody the truth of the Mystery that is celebrated in the Liturgy[34]. In this perspective, in my Letter to Artists I wrote: “How many sacred works have been composed through the centuries by people deeply imbued with the sense of mystery! The faith of countless believers has been nourished by melodies flowing from the hearts of other believers, either introduced into the Liturgy or used as an aid to dignified worship. In song, faith is experienced as vibrant joy, love and confident expectation of the saving intervention of God”[35].

Thus, the Church has its standards and these are not necessarily the greatest hits nor the trendy tunes that OCP constantly shoves down the throats of unsuspecting parishes.

My son goes to a Catholic High School and he came home saying that during the Mass the priest invited a bunch of kids up. They then gathered around the altar and played volleyball with a beach ball over top of the altar. They were doing some sort of skit. NO THIS IS NOT A JOKE.

Ok, I don’t know if those are all abuses. :confused: But they were different from the masses I was used to in church. Most masses were held in the cafeteria or auditorium or gym.

From what I can remember…
We had liturgical dance- once… (this was inside a church though)
For most masses, our music came from a CD player…(no one wanted to sing…) and I’m not sure if the music was really for liturgies.
One priest had us sit the whole time, except for the opening song and maybe the Our Father …
In elementary school we sat on the floor the whole time. (Unless your were in the choir, then you got chairs). But we didn’t even stand for anything.

I am fortunate in that our Masses are by the book, no weird stuff goes on. The music could be better, and the homilies could be longer and more dynamic, but I’m not going to complain. The only thing that bothers me is that, despite our Pastor forbidding it explicitly, even writing about it in the bulletin, every once in a while, when the choir does an outstanding job on a song, some people will ignore his wishes and start to applaud. Then, after some hesitation, some others will join in, and then the ball starts rolling. It’s like they know they shouldn’t be doing it, but want to sneak it in, like kids. And the Pastor has a long-suffering look on his face, like an exasperated parent. You can only nag about something so much, I guess. Thankfully, it doesn’t happen very often, and it’s only at one Mass, when the choir sings. The only time he permits applause is when he leads it after Mass when someone is Baptized or makes a profession of faith and is Confirmed or something really special. But not during Mass. So it bugs me not only because I don’t like applause during Mass, but some people just ignore the Pastor’s wishes.

Oh, it wasn’t a DL, it was a Latin Rite youth Mass. Yes there are exceptions, but this one was ridiculous. It was both ignorance (high school aged Catholics didn’t know what to do during the Mass!) and intentional (being trendy and conforming). It made me sick.

Here is a collection of things I have personally heard and seen at various parishes in the past. Thankfully, I haven’t seen anything remotely this bad in several years.

  1. A priest who began the prayer as “Our Father and mother, who art in heaven…”

  2. Girls dressed something like druids prancing around in a circle to the “Celtic Alleluia” while waving streamers on sticks.

  3. A lector processing with the lectionary held aloft pausing while a woman stands before him with a smoking bowl of incense, offering it in the four cardinal directions.

  4. A priest who so altered the words of institution that the Mass was invalidated. He did not even say “This is My Body” or “This is the cup of My Blood” in that order.

  5. A priest who preached that Satan was a story to frighten children and that everyone goes to heaven.

  6. A cantor who bounced from the front of one section of pews to another in an attempt to direct the singing.

  7. At a Women’s Group meeting (not at Mass), a priest giving the women a blessing in “the name of the maiden, the mother, and the crone” (the “trinity” of goddess-worship and witchcraft).

  8. A cantor stopping in the middle of the communion hymn to complain to the organist in the choir loft that he was going too fast. The same organist often played as if he were at a silent movie and used the effects from the organs MIDI box to schmaltz things up.

  9. An extraordinary minister who wandered around behind the other ministers to top off their cups from a large flagon containing the Blood of Christ. This was, of course, several years after consecration in the flagon was disallowed.

  10. On several occasions, groups of unhabited sisters loudly altering the responses with gender-neutral terms, including “Our God” in substitution for “Our Lord.”

THESE PRIESTS NEED OUR PRAYERS! So do the good priests and bishops who take so much flak for trying to correct the situation. Please pray for all priests and bishops!

In our country, applause after the Mass is fast becoming a norm, possibly introduced by the charismatic movement. I do not like it either as the Mass is reduced to a mere show. This is wrong catechesis for the younger generation.:mad:


This happened 5 years ago at the Mass for our 20 year high school reunion (yes, CATHOLIC high school!)… just before communion, the priest announced that everyone should come up to communion and, if some people ordinarily wouldn’t because of their life circumstances, he would give anyone absolution if they needed it so they could receive (no confession, of course, not in the communion line… just absolution.)

Naturally, there was a stampede up to receive communion and the priest was absolving every other person in line… only ONE woman refrained. She had been married in the church, divorced, and remarried without an annulment… she had no intention of repenting and changing her way of life, so she KNEW she couldn’t be absolved, nor receive communion, so she didn’t approach. Later on, other alumni chided her for holding back (including a few in the same situation she was in) but I was very thankful that she knew better, even if the priest didn’t! I still pray that someday she will be able to return to the sacraments fully.

oh, okay, you has a specific one in mind. i thought you were saying no kneeling in general

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