Mass - What Would Jesus Say?

For the past year I have been following the discussions and debates on this forum with great interest. I have learned a great deal about my faith as part of that process and I thank all of you for your contributions to that process.:thumbsup:

However, I have been disturbed by how some people hold importance to rigidly following their views of the traditions of the Church. There have been heated discussions over how to receive the Holy Eucharist, head coverings for women, the evils of Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, “abuses” by Priests who deviate from how some people think the Mass should be celebrated, and the worthiness of the pre-Vatican II versus the Pauline Mass that came out of the council.

Clearly tradition has it’s place. But what would Jesus have to say if he were alive today and posting to this forum?

We might have a hint if we reflect on Mark 7:1-23. In these verses Jesus is confronted by the Pharisees because his disciples are violating the Mosaic purity laws pertaining to the washing of hands prior to eating. Against the Pharisees’ narrow, legalistic, and external practices of piety in matters of purification, external worship, and observance of commandments, Jesus sets in opposition the true moral intent of the divine law. He ultimately declares moral defilement the only cause of uncleanness (or causing offense to God).

"But what comes out of a person, that is what defiles. From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile."

Jesus doesn’t strike me as a guy who placed a great deal of emphasis on the mechanics of worship. The Gospels are full of examples where Jesus condemns those who focus on the external ritualistic practices of faith.

His was a message of love of God and your fellow man.

I think he is probably hurt by the fact that his people are debating the mechanics of how to receive the Eucharist and the possible defilement of subatomic particles of the Eucharist that may end up on the floor of the church.

So here are the questions. Does Jesus really care about these ritualistic debates over what should occur in the Mass? If so, what would he hold to be important?

This is like my post ‘Little things’. i think Jesus must find us really funny at times. We can be comical in the things that upset us. I don’t think He’d be angry because most people here are just trying to do what He wants them to do. I don’t think it’d make Him happy to see us arguing either though. No, there is a saying - If He doesn’t laugh, He’ll cry. I reckon He’d laugh.

The Tridentine Latin Mass has been handed down through the centuries, and every word, every gesture, the vestments that the priests wear, all have tremendous meaning. The priest says a prayer for each article of clothing as he dresses for the Mass. “Ritual” in the Catholic Church is not meaningless symbolism. It has tremendous meaning, and relates to the real meaning of the Mass, which is entering into the Holy of Holies, and re-presenting the sacrifice of our Lord. It is what separates Catholics from Protestants. The Protestants do not have the sacraments, and in particular, they do not have the Eucharist. To them, communion is just a symbol. For Catholics, it truly is partaking in the body and blood of our Lord and Saviour.

That is why so many of us get very heated about this. The Mass is not something to be taken lightly. It is of tremendous importance and tremendous seriousness. There is nothing laughable about it.



<<Jesus doesn’t strike me as a guy who placed a great deal of emphasis on the mechanics of worship. The Gospels are full of examples where Jesus condemns those who focus on the external ritualistic practices of faith.>>

You’re making up a Jesus out of your own head, preconceived notions, and personal prejudices.

Jesus frequented the Temple and Syanagoge services, and NEVER condemned them as such. He particiapted in them, in practices of domestic piety, such as the Passover Seder (a very ritualistic meal), and even led Synagogue services. See Luke 4:16–which describes His attending the Synagoge “as was His custom” and leading the service.

If Jesus didn’t care about the specifics of worship and prayer, then why would he give us very specific instructions, such as tell us word-for-word how to pray by teaching us the Paternoster, or by telling us such things as “when you pray, lock your doors.” To say that Jesus didn’t care about specifics is a gross misinterpretation–what he didn’t care for was empty ritual, and believe me, there is nothing empty about the mass. This sort of generalization of the Gospel’s message is the same as arguments in favour of homosexuality saying that “Jesus told us not to judge anyone.”

Note that although he greatly derided the pharisees, calling them hypocrits, he still told people to listen to them.

Also note that whenever he defied the law, it was to usually establish a new law, his law.

That is an easy one. Revelation Chapters 2 and 3 are the messages from Jesus to the Seven Churches. I have always assumed that the Church of Pergamos is the Catholic Church because of the manna?


I don’t favor the abandonment of order in our worship, simply because the opposite of order is chaos and that’s hardly to be desired. I think God DOES care about “seemliness,” but I think your argument about the Pater Noster and Our Lord’s admonition about the conditions of prayer may be too literalist. It can easily be argued that what Our Lord gave a framework for prayer (praise and worship of God first, then a submission to His Will and an expression that that Holy Will be perfectly done, petition for our needs and for the forgiveness of our sins, with an explicit admonition to forgive others as well, and a petition to be delivered from temptation and evil) rather than an explicit, word for word prayer to be recited. Though one could never improve over Our Lord’s Own Words, He didn’t have to will or intend it to become a liturgical prayer precisely as He said it, but more along the lines of “this is what your prayer should be LIKE.” That it has become our liturgical prayer is entirely in keeping with the authority that He left to His Church. And as for “locking your doors” when you pray, then the Church has been in violation of His direct command from who knows when or how long! Outside of the time of persecution, I’ve never heard it said that doors were locked before Mass began. Rather than a literal locking of a door, contextually Our Lord seems to be saying that our prayers are not to be as the pharisees, ie, said for their own gratification and self-agrandizment, so that they would be well thought of by those who witnessed them praying.

I didn’t take Linnyo as saying that. Of course Mass is not to be taken lightly, but you have to admit that there are some that take the debate on certain things in the Mass to Pharisee-like extremes…to which Jesus might just shake his head and think, “They never learn…”.

An argument, of couse, would be that time spent debating points to the extreme would be better spent praying or in acts of Charity.

For the most part, I see good, informative debate in these forums, but on occasion see someone going over the deep end, arguing a point that may have great meaning to them. I guess that’s what forums are all about.

I agree that Linnyo was not saying Mass was to be taken lightly, but I do believe that many, many Catholics do not fully understand what Mass is all about, that it is actually coming to the foot of Calvary, and entering into the Holy of Holies. And that our Lord is literally present in the Eucharist. I think far too many of us don’t have the awe of Mass that we should have, and the reason for that is we have lost sight of the beautiful traditions which point to this.

I am curious as to what you would point to as a “pharisee like argument.” I believe the Mass is sacred, and must be approached with great reverence, and any changes should be done with great trepidation. Is that a pharisee like extreme? I don’t mean that sarcastically, I really want to know.


I believe you are right on the mark!! We tend to get all wrapped up in the “details”, and forget what is really important; plain 'ol devotion to God and trying to live our lives as he taught.

The Holy Mass is also a message of humility and obedience. If rituals are specified by the Church, so be it. Let us be humble and obey our Mother Church as indeed she is.

Remember how Jesus cured one time a blind man? He put “mud” unto the man’s eyes and told him to wash his face by the river. Why did Jesus require such ritual to be done by the blind man when He by one word could just have cured the man there and then? Humility and obedience.

Therefore, if we want to benefit from the Holy Mass, let us participate in it with attitude of humility and obedience.

The gospel (Mk 13:15) says our Lord gave instruction as to how and where to find the upper room—the place for the Last Supper. He also gave instruction to prepare the upper room. With this He did indicate there is to be order. He didn’t say find just any place-- in any condition.

the upper room. With this He did indicate there is to be order. He didn’t say find just any place-- in any condition.

To follow up on what Walking Home wrote, I want to point to the Catechism, 1367 - “The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice” (emphasis from the Catechism). When Christ offered himself up as our Sacrifice, everything that was said and done had been prophesied, and all had to be fulfilled or his sacrifice would not have been complete. Talk about attention to detail!!

Since the Church says the Eucharist and Christ’s sacrifice are one single sacrifice. it would seem to follow that attention to detail in Mass is of vital importance.


How old is the liturgy of the Tridentine Latin Mass??? Has Holy Mass always been done that way?? I’ve read that it was pretty similar back to 1000 and even back to 400. I’ve never been to a TLM (I’m still in RCIA), but the vibe I get from people is that you cant even bring your kids because if they make a sound, everybody is going to give you a dirty look and a “talking to”. I totally agree that Mass needs to be solemn because it is a VERY reverent and important time because it kills me when people come into Mass late or when they do get there on time they come in and talk and the way they dress, drives me CRAZY!!! But when I start thinking about that, I know 1.that its their problem and 2. I’m sure God wants us all to be there for Mass whether our kids are crying or we have X number of candles lit or if we have incense (and yes I know that all that is done for an important reason and I’m NOT AT ALL down playing that). I’m a young guy that has 3 kids (8,5, and 3) but I still bring my 8 and 5 year old to Mass by myself. I would love to go to a TLM because of the total reverence that is shown to God but I don’t think I would feel comfortable bringing my kids, plus the fact i have no idea what to do…

I attend a TLM every week, and there are several couples there with small children, and trust me, no one ever gets upset when the children make noise. I personally love the fact that the children are there. What would be frowned about would be bringing toys or coloring books or anything like that for the children.

As far as talking, certainly people will acknowledge one another, but there are no long involved conversations while in the church before or after Mass.

Most churches that hold the Latin Mass will have a missal for you to use which will have both the Latin and English, and it is very clearly spelled out. It may be a little confusing at first, but it will come.

If you’re interested in a history of the Tridentine Mass, you can take a look at this:

If you’re interested in attending, look at the sticky at the top of this forum to see if there is a church near you in Kentucky.


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