So I’ve been going to church pretty much weekly (except when my work schedule prevents it) for 30+ years. It’s become more of a chore/hassle (though, admittedly, it was never something that I actively looked forward to):
*We usually go on Saturdays, because I usually work on Sunday mornings. Of course, I usually work on Saturday mornings as well. So I come home in the afternoon, get to take off my work clothes for around an hour, and then have to put on my church clothes (which I wear only once per week) and go out there for an hour, then come back home and take them off again.
*We often hear the some old hymns over and over again, rarely anything new.
*The church has fake bell sounds that play out the melodies of these same hymns before and after mass. I’ll get out of the car and think “Oh, it’s this song again.”
*They have a perfectly good piano sitting there, but I’ve never once seen anyone use it. The music director sure loves the organ (and letting one of the choir members play an acoustic guitar, even though you never actually hear it over the organ). Why not change things up, so it doesn’t sound like retirement-home music?
*I go to an old-people church. I’m not young (although others in the congregation seem to think so, including one annoying guy that keeps calling me “lad” during the sign of peace). Many weeks, I’m the youngest person there. It’s a sea of white and grey.
*The homilies (the one thing that I actually kinda look forward to) have become repetitive. Either they’re obvious interpretations of the readings that I could figure out on my own, or they’re repeated year after year, so I already know what the priest is gonna say when he starts talking. Even worse is when they try to be stand-up comics. I’m not sure how many times that I’ve heard the “Television to no one” “joke” during the homily after the transfiguration reading.
So, with around 80-90% of the mass being the same thing week after week, is there any compelling reason to actually get dressed up and go every single week? It doesn’t feel the least bit inspiring or uplifting. It just feels like a drag.
Let’s first make clear that the reason you go to Mass every week is to participate in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and see Him as present in the Eucharist - NOT to see the priest preach, sing hymns, talk with the other people there etc. and in many places you don’t even need to “dress up” as long as you look reasonably decent, modest and clean.
Now that we’ve established that, on to your issues. Is this the only Catholic church around for 30 miles or something? Did you consider trying another parish, or a different type of Catholic church such as a Newman center, a large cathedral, a church in a different type of neighborhood from your own, a shrine, or a convent or monastery that offers a public Mass?
Many times priests do have certain themes that pop up over and over again in their homilies and the best way to hear different perspectives is to go hear a different priest preach from time to time. In so many areas, there are Catholic church options available, so you don’t have to go to the same one every week any more than you have to eat the same thing for Sunday dinner every Sunday for 20 years.
Have you also tried something like reading the Mass readings ahead of time and reflecting on them yourself? Then you can think about those things during the Mass, regardless of what else is going on. USCCB has a nice website of the daily readings and a video reflection for each that you can use.
Ultimately, you get out of the Mass what you put into it. If you yourself are spiritually engaged and not relying on the priest, musicians, parishioners, lectors, etc. to somehow make it interesting for you, then you will have a fulfilling experience even if the priest is doddering and dull. One doesn’t approach Mass in the spirit of “here I am, now engage and entertain me.” You need to do some work on your end to make it interesting to yourself.
Maybe you should prioritize the reasons we go to Mass a little better.
Jesus is there, body, blood, soul and divinity. There. Really there.
If the Pope were coming to say Mass at your church, would you make a special effort to be there, no matter how bad the music or boring or repetitive the homilies?
Well, this is one better. Jesus himself is really truly present. Think about that, pray about that, spend some time wrapping your head about that, and ask yourself “how could I have ever thought that Mass was boring?”
For cryin’ out loud, IT’S JESUS HIMSELF - IN PERSON.
I can relate to much of what you say. But you have to remember, you’re not going there to be entertained.
I think what helped me in overcome some of these issues is learning about the mass and understanding the significance of receiving the Holy Eucharist.
I also take the opportunity to put myself in a more meditative state, to listen to every word. This is a form of mindfulness and I found it be helpful in staying focused and I began to appreciate the mass more.
Archbishop Fulton Sheen was often asked to explain why we go to Mass. People say that Mass is boring, they don’t get anything out it, or it’s a waste of time. Sheen’s response: “If you don’t get anything out of Mass, it’s because you don’t bring the right expectations to it.”
Mass is about God, it is about hearing words written by human hands but inspired by the Holy Spirit; it is about Jesus Christ becoming flesh for us, giving his body and blood for us in the Eucharist; it is about seeing God in one another.
So, if you go to Mass to be entertained, you’re going to be disappointed. If you goto feel good about yourself, that might happen. But every Mass will not will be an emotionally-uplifting, joy-filled celebration of what’s going right in your life. But if you go expecting to glimpse the presence of God, well then you should be able to do that. The Mass helps us to see and hear, taste and touch the very presence of God. And our faith tells us it is easier to glimpse God here in this sacred place than in the busy-ness of our lives.
We go to Mass because we are a hungry people, hungry for meaning in our lives; we’re looking for direction, guidance, strength to persevere and wisdom to know how to make right decisions. We go to Mass because we need some silence in our lives, we need to be able to listen to God’s voice, and not do all the talking ourselves. We go to Mass because we are not perfect and we need to hear Christ’s words of forgiveness – we need to remember that God loves us no matter what. We go to Mass to turn our attention to God, to spend some time not thinking about ourselves, but to glimpse the divine.
As we receive the body and blood of Christ, we can look around and see everyone else doing the same thing. God came to save not just me, but each and every person in this church and every person throughout the world. When we come to Mass, we see God’s presence in each member of the body of Christ, people who are hurting and broken; blessed and loved. We see God’s presence in people we know and love, but also in strangers and even in the people we have a hard time loving.
We come together as a community because we need to be reminded that I am not the only Christian in the world. As different as we all are, we are all searching for the same God. The community reminds us of that. And when we come to Mass, we hope and pray that we glimpse the presence of God in this place – in the scripture, in the Eucharist, and in one another.
The question should be why is it a mortal sin to deliberately miss mass on Sunday (or Sat eve). Unless of course there is a valid reason like sickness etc.
Is this a Church law or is something else at play here.?
While this following scripture from Hebrews, doesn’t mention • Mass
• Mortal sin for deliberately missing Mass
Anybody can see what is described , what they are doing when they meet, and what Day they meet, and that there is disastrous consequences for that person if they deliberately fail to meet on “the Day” once they become knowledgeable of the truth.
From the beginning, it’s already a huge sin to disobey this command, yes a command to attend mass on Sunday, and one can’t plead ignorance of this once they know the truth.
Given the consequences described in these passages, this is not a suggestion to do, but a command to do.
Heb 10: (all emphasis mine)
19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way which he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and ***all the more as you see the Day *drawing near. 26 For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful prospect of judgment,and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries. 28 A man who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy at the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by the man who has spurned the Son of God, and profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace?30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
*] The sanctuary = the altar
*]hearts sprinkled, bodies washed = baptism
*]deliberate Failure to meet on the Day, is already a habit of some and it’s a sin with huge consequences.
*]“the Day” = the LORD’S DAY / Sunday/ the Day Our Lord Resurrected
*]“sacrifice for sin”, & “blood of the covenant” = the words Our Lord spoke instituting the Eucharist Matthew 26:28, Mark 14:24 i.e. They are celebrating the Mass on Sunday
*]**For those who deliberately miss mass on Sunday
*]there no longer remains for Them, a sacrifice for sin
*] They Spurn the Son of God
*]They outrage the spirit of grace ]a fearful prospect of judgement awaits Them ]and a fury of fire will consume these **adversaries of God
Does all that sound like it’s only a suggestion to attend Mass on Sunday, or a command?
Does it sound like a venial sin to deliberately miss Mass on Sunday or a mortal sin?
Those consequences DESCRIBE HELL for one who dies in mortal sin
From the CCC (Catechism of the Catholic Church)
2178 This practice of the Christian assembly dates from the beginnings of the apostolic age. The Letter to the Hebrews reminds the faithful “not to neglect to meet together, as is the habit of some, but to encourage one another.”
Tradition preserves the memory of an ever-timely exhortation: Come to Church early, approach the Lord, and confess your sins, repent in prayer. . . . Be present at the sacred and divine liturgy, conclude its prayer and do not leave before the dismissal. . . . We have often said: “This day is given to you for prayer and rest. This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
2181 The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor. Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.
BTW: Grave sin = mortal sin, they are synonymous.
This phrase “After receiving the knowledge of the truth” applies to everything…right? Once knowledge is there, one is no longer ignorant of what they need to know. One is culpable for their actions.
**1791 **This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man “takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin.” In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits.
I go to Mass because there I experience peace.
I don’t find much peace in my normal surroundings.
There is strife, division, arrogance.
There is also love, affection, humor.
But at Mass there is quiet time. Time to reflect. An hour’s worth of absence of unease. There is unity in responses and hymns.
Probably not the normal advice, but I would say this: start going to daily mass two or three times a week in addition to Sunday mass. . eriously, you will start appreciating the repetitive Ness of the “essentials” of a mass, then o. Sunday when the music isn’t quite good, or the homily us a little off, you will shrug it off.
My aunt of 74 years old who has missed a handful of masses due to surgery or illness in her lifetime (cradle catholic ) and states the only reason she goes weekly is because of the fear of hell.
I think she also thinks the Mass is boring although she never outright said so.
I think it’s a more common sentiment than people might want to think and I pray all can grow to have an appreciation of the Mass non dependent on the music, priest, homily for the reasons so many posters have so eloquently stated.
I am sorry that you do not have Catholic Faith. If you have never believed these things then you are not really Catholic.
Without any doubt you may not receive the Eucharist believing what you believe, or the lack of belief. If you are receiving the Eucharist then you are lying to God and to the Church, committing one of the worst sins possible, and jeopardizing your soul. St. Paul said that some people are ill and some even die because of the abuse of the Eucharist. Without doubt, to receive the Eucharist unworthily brings spiritual death.
At the very least, never receive the Eucharist until you come to a Catholic Faith.
We will pray that you do come to that faith, repent, confess in the Sacrament and thereby to return to the Church living the Sacramental life.
I said, :“not really Catholic” which means that he does not believe what Catholic believe
Technically, yes, he is Catholic, an excommunicated Catholic since heresy invokes that automatically if he denies any dogma (Level 1 teaching). Or a Catholic who has been barred from the Sacraments and is not in communion if he denies definitive teachings (Level 2). Level 2 is sort of a heretic junior.
Either way, he is barred from the Sacraments and his soul is in danger.
By the way, any non-Catholic validly baptized, even Protestants, are an imperfect member of the Catholic Church.
Don’t go if you don’t want to. God wants everyone to choose freely what they want, Him or something else. But for me I found that Catholic church to be the way to grow nearest to Him. But I would say if you cant stand it that much don’t go.
You can get more invested by
*]taking note of the specific readings of that day ahead of time
*]Is it the day of a particular saint or other feast?
*]Getting a missal and noticing the difference between Prefaces and Eucharistic Prayers
*]Maybe even asking the priest why he chose them
*]Get to know the many parts of the Mass intimately
*]Consider being a Lector
*]Contemplation the Eucharist. What does it mean to you>
There are some very good books explaining the Mass and what it is about.
I don’t have the titles right now, but after I joined the Catholic Church almost 9
years ago, they helped me understand and appreciate the Mass.