My how the Church has changed!

I recently came back to the Church after a long absence; say around 15-17 years?

I am truly shocked about some of the things I have seen change in the liturgy even in the relatively short time I have been gone. I’m sure these topics have been discussed here before but some things really concern me.

1: Communion on the hand. This used to be a rarity, now it is almost universal. When, and why, did this become common practice?

2: Tabernacle: When did it become a footnote to the mass? Placed far off to the side, away from the priest. Was there something horribly problematic about keeping it behind the alter? I mean many Churches actually had to go out of their way to make the conscious decision to MOVE it at one point, I’m not just talking about new construction Churches.

3: Eucharistic ministers: Is there some obligation that every church have 4-6 of these? Churches that I went to years ago that perhaps had the priest and a deacon handing out Communion now have Eucharistic ministers seemingly everywhere. I’m not talking about very large churches either. The other thing that bothers me is they are almost always women.

4: “Rock 'n Roll” type hymns: There is a Church near a place I frequently travel to that I have attended two Masses at, a 5pm and 12pm Sunday Mass. The “music” was very, should I say, modernistic? I can’t think of a good way to describe it, but I will sum it up by saying I do not see why a Church (band?) needs a drummer. When people start clapping during the mass I have to draw the line. I could possibly tolerate such music during the processional and recessional hymns, but not singing the Gloria, responsorial psalm, and even parts of the Eucharistic liturgy. It really breaks with the cadence of the mass and I find it tremendously distracting. I suppose they are trying to interest “younger” members but I’m only 32, and there was a younger couple (25?) behind me for the one mass and I heard them mentioning they would never return to that mass, at one point he even snickered at how silly it was. Yes, there was a projector displaying the lyrics, as well as the psalm, and most of the prayers. If the Liturgy cannot stand on its own for a parishioner I don’t think any amount of “modern” music will attract them to Church. Most people in the church appeared to be tolerating it, at best.

The biggest shame is the Pastor has a wonderful understanding of Scripture and the blessing of being a wonderful speaker. He can really convey the Scripture in a clear and engaging manor.

Sorry I know this is a lot and I am, by far, not a Saint in my life. But I have long been opposed to the changes in the Church and after being gone for a while and seeing how dominant they are it is disconcerting.

Welcome home!

Welcome Back! I think you have been gone longer than 15 - 17 years. These changes started in the 1970’s and have been evolving ever since. You should check around and see if there is a Traditional Latin Mass celebrated somewhere in your area. More and more dioceses are starting to have them, and many people prefer it.

Its not like that everywhere, look around.

Indeed, the church authorities since Vatican 2 seem to have fallen under the give-them-an-inch-they’ll-take-a-mile mentality, especially with the issue of sacred music (though that’s been a problem for centuries, even with opera…). “Abuses” I would say is a quite appropriate term, for (imho) they have deteriorated many Catholics’ sense of sobering respect for God and especially the Eucharist. I remember going to a local Mass in a small church and thinking, “oh, this isn’t that different from the non-denominational church I’ve attended!” This mentality exists not only in the treatment of the Eucharist but in almost every aspect of modern day Catholicism. All we can do let our concerns be known and promote a sense of reverence respect once again.

Thanks for the reply.

I left the Church in my mid/late Teen years. Up until that I was an alter server and very involved with the Church. The church I grew up in though was a very small, and old Church so it still had a lot of the traditional feel and layout of the old church. I believe it was built in the 19 teens or so. Tabernacle behind the Priest, etc. No need for EMs, there wasn’t even a need for microphones it was so small. So I guess I had a unique benefit in growing up in what was a very traditional church and liturgy.

Since then, under the same Pastor, they have built a new, larger, modern church about 1/2 mile away. They still use the old building for I believe daily Mass but I have not been inside that building in many, many years.

So the building has changed, but it’s still the same parish, and still the same Pastor. And they still stick to a very traditional liturgy, but have added numerous EMs and everyone receives in the hand.

The “rock 'n roll” church I spoke of I also went to a lot as a child as they had the only 5pm Sunday Mass. Same Pastor as well. Things were very different then but that parish was always the type that quickly adopted whatever modern change was becoming fashionable.

I realized most of what I am seeing started probably before I was born, I am just shocked to see how much more fashionable these things have become in the last 15 years. I never liked these things then and I like them even less now :frowning:

If you want to know how and why the Church has changed, I would suggest talking to all the people in your parish who faithfully attended Mass and stuck with the Catholic Church and lived through the turmoil of the changes and dealt with all the “fresh air” and trusted in their Popes and their bishops and priests and of course, the Lord Jesus Christ, during all the years that you were gone.

What would you say to a child who left home, stayed away from the family for many years, then came to their senses and returned home, only to say, “Dad, Mom, what did you do to my bedroom?!”

Come on, now–you’ve been gone all this time while your brothers and sisters have been sticking it out, struggling to deal with all the changes in the “family.” I personally think you should be grateful to be back in the fold, and that you should hold your tongue about what happened while you were away. The Church didn’t “stop” just because you left, and it didn’t put everything on hold until you decided to come home.

I am an ex-Protestant, BTW, who converted to Catholicism with my husband in 2004, after 47 years of evangelical Protestantism. I consider myself the low person on the totem pole, with no right to criticize anything about this marvelous Church of Christ.

This could have easily been written by millions who have returned. Takes a big adjustment but hang in there.

I am so grateful to have the parish that we have.

You sound like I did a year or so ago when I first returned. I had been away many years longer than you and everything I remembered from my youth was different and foreign. At first I was outraged by what had changed while I was away. I didn’t like communion taken in the hand, the ‘new’ music, the move of the tabernacle to the side, the hiding of the religious statues behind potted palms. It was startling to me. I can understand how you feel. It is still YOUR church. Educate yourself about the changes that have occurred since you last attended regularly. Talk to your pastor, keep asking and learning at this website. Watch EWTN on cable TV and listen to EWTN radio on the internet. You will learn an immense amount about the church today and changes that have and are continuing to take place. You still may not agree with all of them, but at least you’ll understand why they were done. Don’t let these changes send you away. God wants you back. This is still the same wonderful church. It just looks a little different than it used to. It still teaches the same Truth, the same doctrines. You are going to say thank God I’m a Catholic. Thank God I’ve come home. God bless you.

I was gone almost 30 years. But when I returned, it was a very good feeling–like I was back ‘where I belonged.’ So, some stuff changes–what blew me away was how much hadn’t changed.

Have you gone to Mass at another time? In our church, the Saturday vigil and Sunday at 6 pm have more of a band atmosphere, but no where near a protestant church. Not necessarily drums and such, but there is always a guitar and occasionally even a flut. The Sunday @ 6 is called the “children’s Mass” because it is immediately following the 4-5:45 CCE classes.
The Sunday at 8 and 11 has the more traditional organist. What about the old churches that couldn’t afford an organ? Or the ones that didn’t always have a dedicated building? Their music was still lifted up to God.
As to taking the Eucharist in the hand: Fold your hands and open your mouth. After a few tries, I’m sure they’ll figure out what you want. I take it on the tongue, but I would say I’m in the minority at my church. People are afraid of germs. Period.
We have those power point screens for songs and responsorial psalms. Personally, I think it’s a bit tacky. But I can see where it would be helpful for those who can read it more easily than the missal.
BTW, welcome back.

Welcome Home! And to get to your question/comment, the “Rock and Roll hymns” are not supposed to be sung. They are different from Contemporary hymns, though some people attempt to play contemporary hymns in an, unfortunately, rock and roll style.

All Churches need for the hymns is an organ and choir (or congregation) to sing the traditional Hymns. (Plus hymnbooks)

Communion in the hand is not a wise choice, but you can recieve on the tongue, as I and the majority of people. It is allowed, however.

Eucharistic Ministers are only needed when there is a crowd, too much that the Priest can’t handle by himself without taking a long time.

I’m one of those millions. I too, couldn’t believe all the changes. When I returned to my faith 4 years ago, our parish has ribbon dancers at the 5pm Saturday vigil! :eek:Thankfully, that didn’t last long.

Welcome back as others have mentioned. I truly doubt that there is not a parish nearby that offers the Mass with the dignity and respect that it deserves. For example,

Moreover, with regard to the points you listed, you of course can receive the Eucharist during Holy Communion on the tongue while others may receive on the hand. Although the norm of reception during the Liturgy of the Eucharist is to receive on the tongue, except in areas that have been given an allowance of the reception of the Eucharist on the hand. Also, I do concur with you that there has been a clear abuse of the Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist throughout the U.S. and I hope it will be remedied. And lastly, I attend an older parish that experienced the renovation of moving the high altar and Tabernacle to the side of the sanctuary where a side altar once was located. That movement can always be remedied if needed.

Yeah, I know what you mean. It stinks big time.:mad:

Don’t worry, there are traditional parishes out there, and change is coming (or reversion I guess). You’re not the only one sick to the stomach from the disgusting mess that people have made out of the liturgy.

You could always find a Traditional Latin Mass nearby (type in your zipcode over at Latin Mass Network). When they were being brought back, initially the idea was to help out people like you transition, after they had the carpet pulled out from under their feet with regards to the Mass. But now lots of young people, like myself, are planting themselves there with no intention of ever leaving :slight_smile: and we’re the ones who will have lots of traditional children too. So no worries, it will take a veryy long time, a lot of suffering and a lot of prayers, but tradition is back and do not despair that the Church is falling apart, it is/was, but it’s being patched up as we speak (from Rome, from the very top.)

You might enjoy this segment from Cardinal Arinze on dancing and music and other things:

Or try to find a Byzantine Rite church if you cannot attend a TLM. The more people who begin to attend the TLM, or a Byzantine Rite Liturgy the better. But please remember this!. If you attend a Byzantine Liturgy. Keep the Roman Rite practices at home!. Worship as the Byzantines do. It may eventually send a warning signal to Rome to get it’s act together in enforcing traditional practices in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, rather than turning it into a Protestant service.

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