A new pastor has come to our church and ordered that the missalettes be removed from the church completely… I’m outraged and the church staff acts as if its no big deal.
The pastor’s rationale is that people should be following along by hearing… not so easy for a person hard of hearing. They offer hearing devices to be checked out at the beginning of mass, which is ridiculous.
What about children who are learning the prayers? This seems like an assault on the Word of God and I’m considering leaving the parish or getting signatures from those who want them returned to the pews.
Does anyone have any input, related stories or official church stances on this?
Many pastors, particularly young enthusiastic pastors, go through this phase at some point. Unfortunately, this pastor is at your parrish when the phase hit him. Get a group of like minded parrishioners to go visit him and talk the matter out. It will pass.
This happened at my old parish, and even though we couldn’t convince the priest to bring ALL the missalettes back, he did agree to leave a stack of a few on a table in the back of church so that hearing impaired people, visitors, and others could have access to them if they absolutely needed them.
And when the new translation comes through, he’ll have to provide them for a while at least, I would think, so maybe people could make a point of saying to him how nice it was to have them back again. I think a non-Catholic would really appreciate them - would that convince him, as surely he would want to encourage converts?
I’ve heard of priests objecting to them on the grounds of litter.
We don’t have them at our church, come to think of it, only weekly bulletins with the readings listed. Don’t all children receive a missal from their parents when they make their First Holy Communion and keep them into adulthood even?
Before Vatican II, each of us brought our own missal to Mass in order to follow along.
Missalettes were not provided.
Sometimes a parish may remove the missalettes for financial as well as environmental reasons.
Generally missalettes do not have the daily Mass readings. I know a number of people who subscribe to The Magnificat. I find The Magnificat a bit expensive. It provides a simplified morning and evening prayer, a daily life of a saint, and meditations along with daily Mass readings. I have clipped the back cover from copies friends have given me. The back cover has the Prayer of Zechariah and The Magnificat as prayed in the LOTH. I glued these to the back of my Christian Prayer. Abide With Me is an annual publication with the daily and Sunday Mass readings for the year.
The Word Among Us has reflections on the daily readings. It is now available with the order of the Mass as well as the actual Mass readings.
Finally, you can purchase and bring your own Missal as was the norm prior to the 1970s.
when I was in RICA 12 years ago, they taught us not to use them ( misseletes) unless you sit way in the back of the church, have a hearing problem. or are elderly. We are suppose to be watching and listening to the lector, ( thats what there job is to read the scripture) its up to us to listen ( even with hearing devices) and keep them in eye contact ( as in seeing them ). Children should be learning prayers out side of masses, like home. they should be in union with the congregation, as in whats going on and listening to the Priest or lector.
I was never taught that. I have no problem doing it, but is there any documentation stating that it’s the correct posture for Mass? Ceteris paribus, I’d rather read my missal along with listening to the lector.
For that matter, I’ve seen missalettes where the readings were absent, but everything else (the Eucharistic prayers, and especially the hymns) were there – I’ve always assumed these were for parishes where the pastor felt strongly that people should “hear” the Word and not read it.
At a time when few people could read, St. John of the Cross wrote that the clergy read books while the layperson “reads” the clergy when they spread the word of God.
For the visual person, seeing the word in print enhances the ability to hear the Scriptures as they are read.
Nevertheless, there is no obligation for any parish to provide missalettes.
How so? Can you not “read along” with reverence (it’s not like I’m reading something else)? Is there some inherent value in looking at someone reading from a book? Or is the purpose to replicate how the early Christian (who couldn’t read) learned?
Edit: I’m not trying to argue here, I’m trying to figure it out since I’ve never been taught this.
I suspect, however, that this will be short-lived, more along the lines of a year or so. I am curious as to what is going to happen to the OP’s pastor when the new translations of the Mass are going to come out and the prayers are completely different from what we are saying today. How is he going to solve that issue?
Since the readings don’t change, it is possible to purchase a missal covering all three years, or get a subscription to something like Magnificat which gives a month at a time. The advantage to that is that you have it at times other than during Mass, so that you can read before Mass, or go back to them after. Magnificat includes daily Mass readings, so that you can read them even if you don’t go to daily Mass.
The disadvantage of not having the books there in the pews for those who do not have their own, or for new Catholics, or those who are visiting and would like to follow the order of the liturgy.
For the OP, you can certainly explain to your priest why you think it is important to have them. It is his decision though, so if he does say no, then I recommend that you buy your own.
This realy comes down to the individual person. For some, hearing alone is the better way to absorb the readings. For others, hearing and reading is the better way. If reading along is a distraction for an individual person, then he shouldn’t be reading. But it’s not possible to make a blanket statement that reading along is somehow a distraction from the Word. (personally, I only “read along” for the Psalm, because I find it distracting not to have the text in front of me because instead of actually listening to the Psalm, I found myself constantly repeating the response in my head).
I certainly find it distracting when readers call attention to themselves by “dramatically” reading the texts as if they were reading to a kindergarten class (you know, the sing-song-fairytale style?)–in that case, I tune-out the reader completely and concentrate on the Word which I read to myself.
It’s an administrative decision of the pastor whether or not to provide the missallettes, but you (and others) can certainly make your concerns known to him in the proper way.
If you don’t want to spend too much, try catholicbookpublishing.com Their paperback missals for 2009 are just under $1 each and list all the readings until Dec. 09.