On the weekend I visited a neighboring parish as I was unable to attend my own at the usual time. Some things seemed odd to me, though I don’t know if my suspicions are valid or if they are even worth worrying about. The parish priest is very popular with the congregation as I have heard about him on a few occasions.
Firstly, the priest mentioned at least 8 or 9 different names at several stages of the mass, people who had recent birthdays, anniversaries, recently deceased etc. to such a degree that it affected the flow of the mass and the prayers.
It was a Sunday but there was no homily.
The priest dipped the Body of Christ in the chalice rather than drinking from it, then one of the EMHCs drank from the chalice straight from the altar without the priest handing it to her.
During the sign of peace the priest literally shook everyone’s hand in the first three rows, and walked down to the back of the church down the aisles, saluting the crowd like the Pope would in a public appearance. People walked from pew to pew hugging/shaking hands etc. The sign of peace took about 3 minutes to complete, without any exaggeration… all the while there was an awkward silence. It seemed most unusual.
There were about 10 prayers of the faithful, read from a piece of paper that was passed from person to person in the congregation.
Finally, and perhaps it is allowed (though I wouldn’t know), several standard prayers in the mass were changed slightly, e.g. the final blessing was something like: May almighty God bless you, your families, and all your loved ones, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit (probably harmless?)
Is it OK for a particular parish to be taking these sorts of liberties with the Sunday liturgy? Or are some of these serious enough that they should be corrected? Part of me feels like I should mind my own business since it’s not my parish. But when you consider what happened in St Mary’s at South Brisbane (news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,25024429-952,00.html) it makes you wonder whether things should be corrected early rather than letting things fester for decades. Best to keep things in order before it gets out of hand in my opinion.
Can you please offer your advice/thoughts.