My encounter with liturgical abuse



Here is the link to a new blog-post describing my close encounter with Liturgical Abuse. Enjoy :slight_smile:

Viva Cristo Rey!!


After hearing “this is how we do it in this diocese” I would think the priest was not freewheeling his way through Mass.
The deeper problem would seem to be the Bishop, after all does the priest not report to him?
I can only offer a prayer that the situation is remedied soon.


It seems like you could have approached the priest a bit more gently - something along the lines of “Excuse me father, do you have a few moments to discuss something of grave importance in private?” Then in the privacy of his office or elsewhere away from the congregation you could have asked him if he was aware he had changed the words of institution and this could have the consequence of invalidating the sacrament.

The approach you describe puts the priest immediately on the defensive and possibly predisposed to ignore the comments from this outsider.

He may have responded in the same way, but you could have been more certain your conversation was heard fraternally born from love instead of as a confrontation.

I understand your reaction, and the motivation that caused you to approach the priest the way you did. After his reaction, I would be inclined to contact the priest again, and if his reaction was the same to contact the chancery about the issue.


Deacon Pat


And the benefit to be gained by posting this is…? :confused:


Deacon Pat’s excellent advice.

“Viva Cristo Rey!!”


I took two things away from the Deacon’s post:

  1. We never know why God puts us where He puts us, but if we truly want to give our lives to Him we need to know that there may be reasons for things that we cannot see.

  2. Even in the face of something truly wrong, we have a responsibility (as the good Deacon did as clergy) to do what we can. I don’t think I would have known how to approach a priest and I am sure the Deacon will be second guessed but he did the best he thought in the situation.


I have been to that same Mass in many a parish…


So far as a Catholic of 6 1/2 years I have not witnessed liturgical abuse that I am aware of. I am not sure what I would do if I did.


The spiritual anguish you were experiencing, I believe, was a co-suffering with Christ over the state of His church and the liturgy today. Many of us have had to partake of this at one time or another, although not at this extreme level. Sometimes subtle, sometimes heart wrenching spiritual discernment has been the burden of many. I know - we left a former parish when the agonizing realization hit that the focus of worship was predominantly for man, not for God. A different experience from yours, but indicative of spiritual warfare. When it happens, I believe we should actually accept the pain and sick feeling - to suffer with it so it can be a sort of atoning penance offered on our inadequate level to a God Who sees all. I once actually suffered a mild physical reaction to liturgical abuse with sweaty palms and nausea which left me after I offered it up to Our Lady since I am consecrated to her. Please Lord, purify your Church.


Since there are couple deacons here on this thread, would you help answer my question?

I was visiting a different diocese for a few weeks and attending daily Mass there. I noticed the part of washing hand was omitted by all the priests saying daily Mass; but the part of washing hand was carried out during Sunday Mass.

The first time I noticed, I thought I was distracted . So in next daily Mass I closely watched - two lay people brought the bread and wine to the altar, then the priest started the consecration. There was no altar server, no washing hands. I don’t know if he silently said the part of “cleanse me with all my iniquities and wash away all my sins”, but there is definitely no action of ‘washing hands’. This happened with different priests at daily Mass except one time the priest walked to the side of the church and used hand sanitizer on his hand. I have attended many daily Masses without altar server in my own diocese, priests always pour water on their own hands and dried with a white towel. Could the part of washing hands be omitted? Is omitting it a liturgical abuse?


Now, I am going to comment on this blind. I have no idea of the rubrics for this situation. But there is liturgical abuse and there is “Geesh man get off my back I am trying as hard as I can here.” I would say that what you witnessed is not abuse. And there is much that can be “bare bones” about daily Mass. Not that we can excuse any behavior we wish, but that to me would be so minor and so nitpicky that I can’t imagine that I would notice or care. And this is the issue. There are serious abuses and they are all too common. And many are indeed intentional. And we lose credibility and power when we focus on the mundane and inconsequential rather than serious problems that plague a liturgy in flux.

But, I will let the good deacons on the thread tell you the particulars… If they even know…


Most of the complaints about “liturgical abuse” come from arm chair liturgy experts that read GIRM and then think that they are now real experts and able to become police over it. Likewsie many of these type of “complaints” are opinions about what is or isn’t suppose to happen at Mass usually wanting the Mass to line up with their feeling and issues. I’m not sure what the point is over the link but the good deacon pointed out that one should approach any priest with their concerns in privacy and humility. A majority of the laity are not privy to directions given to priest by their bishops and to start to make accusations and assumptions is rather embolden.


The daily Mass which ususally and for the most part doesn’t have altar servers will not have the washing of the hands.


The lavabo may not be omitted.



Is omitting it a liturgical abuse?

Yes (if it’s done intentionally).


I seriously doubt the Creator of the universe cares about the details of how humans worship.


the holy catholic church shows us exactly how to worship


Yeah, it is beneath him.:rolleyes: He never wasted any time on worshiping him and directing how it was to be done… Have you read the Old Testament? Or for that matter the New? The Last Supper’s preview of the Mass was conducted by God himself…
And in the old, pages upon pages of detail so specific it talked of how high to have the lampstands. Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi.


Or the good Father…

The lavabo may not be omitted.

Catholic ANWERS forums!


Thank you Father David!
The question has been in my mind for quite a while, it is good to finally know the answer. Thank you so much !!

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