Should I attend or avoid this church?


#1

I consider myself a traditional Catholic. When I was a kid, my dad took me and my sister to a traditional Latin mass on Sundays, and most of my extended family follows the traditional teachings.

Unfortunately, the church that offers a traditional mass is in a different city, and I cannot get there unless my dad drives me, which he no longer is willing to do. However, there are several modern Catholic churches close to my house.

All of these churches are officially modern Catholic. One of them is a Newman community. I was very uncomfortable with this mass; there were folding chairs for people to sit in, and several children were called up to do the readings instead of the priest.

However, another church is different. I only attended once, but it was rather similar to the Newman church, except more formal. There were kneelers, and a great altar, and there weren’t any audience members speaking (although the priest wasn’t the only one speaking, I don’t think). However, the wording of the mass in both churches was the same (the sermons were different - this second church gave a more familiar sermon), and both masses were very different from the Tridentine mass.

Since these churches are my only options (at least, until I get a drivers license), should I attend one? I have heard mixed messages; some people say, stay away altogether and some people say to attend if that’s your only choice. I want to go to the Tridentine mass very much, but since I have no way of doing so, would it be better for me to attend the modern church? Or would I be advised to stay away?

From what I have heard, the main criticism is that a). The wording is changed and b). The validity of the sacraments is questionable. I will be honest and say that I do not know enough about the Catholic faith to make my own judgment on the validity of this mass. I am very confused, and kind of scared of making the wrong decision.


#2

Well, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we are obligated under one of the 5 commandments of the Church to go to weekly mass. It doesn’t say it has to be tridentine. It can be any Catholic Church, modern or old fashioned.

The sacraments of a modern mass are still valid. The Church accepts both modern and old versions.

Staying away from mass is NOT a valid option for a good practicing Catholic.

Go to any Catholic Church you wish, and God bless you! :slight_smile:


#3

Ask a priest at different churches if you could kneel and take communion on the tongue. By their answer you might find an agreeable church. Good luck.


#4

Hi,

**Long version: **It is worth noting that the wording of the more modern mass (often called the Ordinary Form of the Mass, or the OF) is approved by the Holy See and so are fine. (Some people think - perhaps rightly - that it could be improved upon, but that does not matter for this question. And some people think that the wording is so bad that it invalidates the mass, but they’re wrong. They don’t have the authority to make that determination, and the Holy See does. It’s approved. It’s good.) There can be abuses, but such are beyond your control and you are not responsible for them, and what you describe (even children giving readings and folding chairs) are not necessarily such.

Assuming that it is an actual Catholic parish, you may simply assume the validity of the mass and sacraments. Priests are generally priests because they love the Church and wish to provide the sacraments, and we can trust that they are doing so unless and until it is proven not to be the case. And it hasn’t been, so you’re fine. Unless and until you learn what it is that can invalidate a mass or the sacraments and witness such things, assume that the mass and sacraments are valid. And there is no reason to rush to do so - there are other people who have the responsibility of ensuring that such things are being carried out appropriately, and you can trust that they are doing so while you grow in your understanding of the faith.

And if they are not, and if something was invalid, that will be their fault and not yours. But for the most part they know what they are doing, and it is not a good idea to avoid the mass entirely because you cannot personally verify that everyone is doing everything perfectly.

It is absolutely fine to prefer the Latin Mass (also called the extraordinary form, or EF mass), but the OF is also the Mass, and even one who prefers the EF should attend the OF when the EF is not available. It is critical to note that such things like folding chairs are externals, and while we should seek an environment that helps us worship better within the mass, the inability to seek the externals that we personally find most helpful is not sufficient to avoid the mass altogether.

Short version: Go. It may be slightly uncomfortable at first, but it’s still the mass and you can assume that everything is valid.


#5

this is honestly sad, has the divisions in the church over the mass come to this?

the wording has not been changed, the sacramanets are still valid, it’s just presenting itself in different forms. you relaly do need ot learn your faith better.

if you prefer the latin then so be it. but not wanting to go to church because you dont like the mass is not acceptable. the holy spirit is sitll guiding the church, maybe the changes happened for a reason


#6

I’m just reposting what I feel are the most critical parts of Iron Donkey’s EXCELLENT post. Ohokplease, read it (their entire post), reread it, take a break, digest it, pray on it, fight with it, and read it again with an open heart.

I’ll start off with a question for you to consider, Ohok: Would an EF Mass said on the International Space Station be valid? They aren’t sitting in “proper” pews, let alone in a Church, LET ALONE actually present on the surface of Earth (I don’t know why, but the folding chairs part just stuck with me funny :smiley: :wink: ).

But in all seriousness.

I apologize in advance if this seems harsh, but I feel a bit of tough love is in order.

Your dedication to your faith and to doing what is right in the eyes of God is commendable. But IMHO, you have MUCH left to learn – especially humility and submission to the Magisterium (and therefore God).

Don’t get me wrong. There is much that CAN invalidate a Mass, but what you’ve listed amounts to nothing other than personal preferences of how YOU prefer the Mass to be. What you think is correct - that only the EF of the Mass said under certain other constraints (like the correct type of chairs), is a valid Mass - is in fact INCORRECT and is NOT what the Church teaches (by the way: if you continue to post about the OF being invalid, you’ll be banned from CAF). When you receive a doctorate in Canon Law, then maybe will you have the ability to deem when any Mass is and is not valid (I don’t even dare to list some “glaringly obvious” situations because I don’t wish you to continue down this road you’re on). Even still, unless you become a bishop, you have NO authority to say when a Mass is and is not “officially” valid and have your decision affect your soul and the souls of others (to be honest, not sure what authority Canon Law laywers have).

I really do sympathize with your situation. I do. I personally dislike the “way” Mass is held at my home parish (the music and the homilies, in particular) and feel it doesn’t do much to help my own spiritual life now that I’ve grown up and matured in my faith. The parish that I DO enjoy is a 25 minute drive each way. Still, I attend Mass at my parish because Christ IS there. HE is the source, the heart of the Mass – my preferences are not.

A valid Mass is a valid Mass regardless of what we think of it otherwise, and if it’s the only Mass you can get to, then you MUST attend. When you get your driver’s license, you can attend any Mass you wish given how far you are willing to drive. Even then, you MUST understand that you’re choosing to drive to a certain parish ONLY for personal and not because you THINK there is something inherently wrong with the Mass closer to you. The Church in her authority has said what does and does not make a Mass valid. You can choose to obey, even if grudgingly, or you can choose to disobey and risk putting yourself into a schismatic situation. If worse comes to worse and you are in enough doubt as to the validity of a Mass (and are sure it’s not just your own preferences getting in the way), email/write your bishop.

Like I said earlier, “read it (their entire post), reread it, take a break, digest it, pray on it, fight with it, and read it again with an open heart.” I’ll be praying for you.


#7

To the op:

ACarlson has sent you an excellent post to ponder!

I just want to add my two cents worth…

Keep in mind that at the Mass Our Risen Lord Jesus Christ comes to be your sacred food!

Focus on Him in gratitude, and ask our Holy and Blessed Mother for her intercession.

Peace!

Dorothy


#8

Change is always difficult when we are comfortable with something and it is taken from us. . If the opportunity to attend the Church of your first choice is not an option try out the available options with an open heart and mind. You will be surrounded by your fellow Catholics and the differences will lessen in time if you give yourself over without making comparisons.

Memorare

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.


#9

A good example of why separating ourselves into different “brands” of Catholicism is harmful. Look at the damage being done to people trying to learn the faith. Really sad.


#10

As others have pointed out, the OF is a valid Mass.

One of them is a Newman community. I was very uncomfortable with this mass; there were folding chairs for people to sit in, and several children were called up to do the readings instead of the priest.

I’m actually going to defend them. I’m in college and go to Mass at a Newman Center. And yes, we, too, use folding chairs. Why? We’re building a new church, and the temporary building is too small for Sunday Masses. So instead, we go set up folding chairs in the Union Ballroom. The point of this story being “Don’t assume malicious intent”

Two questions:

  1. What do you mean when you say children?
  2. Which readings? If it’s the first two readings, that’s perfectly fine. If it’s the gospel reading, then yeah, the priest (or a deacon) should be doing that.

Since these churches are my only options (at least, until I get a drivers license), should I attend one? I have heard mixed messages; some people say, stay away altogether and some people say to attend if that’s your only choice. I want to go to the Tridentine mass very much, but since I have no way of doing so, would it be better for me to attend the modern church? Or would I be advised to stay away?

Not attending Mass is not a viable option. As a Catholic, you need to fulfill your Sunday obligation. The OF is a valid Mass. And since it’s a lot more common then the EF, I’d actually recommend going to the OF church. If you get used to it, then there will be a LOT more churches you’re comfortable about attending.

From what I have heard, the main criticism is that a). The wording is changed and b). The validity of the sacraments is questionable. I will be honest and say that I do not know enough about the Catholic faith to make my own judgment on the validity of this mass. I am very confused, and kind of scared of making the wrong decision.

I’ll be brief here since I’ve mentioned it before, and other posters have explained it more verbosely.

OF. Vatican-approved. Completely valid. Much more common than the EF. Give it a second chance, and form opinions on the parishes based on local customs and what the homilies are like, NOT on what form of the Mass they use.


#11

Ohokplease,
People have given you great advice :slight_smile: It sounds like there is nothing which would invalidate either of the Masses nearby.

I just want to add, don’t go down the road of suspicion, wondering if the Mass is valid, if the priest is preaching heresy, and all that. I did that… it was very bad for my spiritual life. Now I just pray for the priest instead.

Circumstances occasionally make me go to a Mass where (in contravention to the rules) they tell people not to kneel–I kneel during the consecration and after receiving anyway.

Love God and don’t worry about the form of the Mass!


#12

I agree with your post with the small exception bolded.
For the OP, one of the big challenges in the pursuit of holiness is leaving your opinion at the front door.
Read the saints The forgetfulness of self is a key thing in growing closer to God. .


#13

More specifically, if they say anything other than ‘Yes’, that parish is not being faithful to the Magisterium.

The option for a member of the faithful to receive kneeling and on the tongue is universal and cannot be prohibited by anyone short of the Pope himself.

But, on the other hand, the Church has also stated that it is acceptable for other practices, like the laity offering the Readings (but NOT the Gospel or the Sermon).

So it would follow that a faithful Catholic would accept that this is an allowed disciplinary practice for the Ordinary Form.


#14

^^

Yes, let’s give Catholics struggling with humility one more preference and assertion of rights to think about, rather than simply committing to a parish and moving forward in trust.:rolleyes:


#15

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