Hey, I was visiting my parents over the weekend and chose to go to a local parish. There were a lot of things that struck me as odd about the mass, and I am trying to decide if I should take any steps. I am going to list out all the things that I thought were weird - they range from not so bad to really bad I think, but taken all together, I think it is bad.
- The tabernacle was not displayed in the church area, but was in a room off to the side. I had to look around a lot for it.
- People were milling about in the church (not the lobby, the “sanctuary”) talking and laughing. Did not seem at all respectful. (Frankly, the whole experience felt like being in a protestant church)
- No kneelers - the people stood during the consecration
- Father came in and paced around in circles telling jokes. I was so confused as to what was going on. He told jokes for a few minutes, and then he started the mass, which generally followed what I was used to. However, when his homily started, it was like Father X’s comedy hour all over again - he just told random non-church related joke.
- Host was leavened bread
- Cantor was drinking coffee during the mass
- This is the big one - the priest kind of used his own words from his homily during the consecration. I know this is a big big big no no. I just wish I had taken some kind of notes about which part exactly it was that he was using them.
Ok - maybe I’m blowing this (except the last thing) out of proportion, but I just didn’t like being there. I’m a former protestant. And if I had walked into that church as the first Catholic mass I had ever gone to, I would never have converted. I would have said, “Well, it looks just like a protestant service. So what?”
But I really do worry about all the kids growing up in that parish. How is their faith being formed?
I feel like this diocese may have some problems, which saddens me. I had already realized that their Catholic presence was not very strong, and it would not be a good place to relocate to, which is sad because it is where my parents live. They have good parishes there, too, and I am just going to go to those from now on.
I have been to parishes all over the country and have never seen anything as blatantly disrepectful of the mass as that. So should I tell the bishop?