One of the worst Masses I’ve ever attended. The Mass started by the priest telling us to greet a stranger. Then somehow he got sidetracked. The priest proceeded to walk back to the back of the Church where he greeted 3 couples who were to have their babies baptized. After a brief prayer he walked back to the sanctuary and then began the first reading. During the homily a visiting priest from Bangledesh spoke about his country/poverty and fund raising ( it is mission Sunday) but neglected to talk about the gospel. Thereupon, we sat through the 3 baptisms ( which lasted 20 minutes). I know that some will consider me a complainer, but this happens to me a lot when I’m visiting parishes when out of town. I seem to end up at a Mass in which a sense of sanctity is lacking.
I wasn’t at this Mass, so of course I can’t speak for the ‘lack of a sense of sanctity’ that may have been present, but before you conclude it was ‘one of the worst Masses ever’, you might take a second to ask whether what you perceived as a lack of sanctity was, in fact, a Mass according to the rubrics…
The rite of baptism, in the context of Mass, begins with the rite of the reception of the children to be baptized. It is supposed to take place at the doors of the church.
After a brief prayer he walked back to the sanctuary and then began the first reading.
#29 of the Rite of Baptism for Children states that, following the rite of reception, “the greeting and penitential rite are omitted.” Therefore, if by ‘brief prayer’ you mean the collect, then this is proper.
During the homily a visiting priest from Bangledesh spoke about his country/poverty and fund raising ( it is mission Sunday) but neglected to talk about the gospel.
Although an exposition on the readings is typically part of a homily, it is not strictly required, per se: “[the homily] hould be an explanation of some aspect of the readings from Sacred Scripture or of another text from the Ordinary or the Proper of the Mass of the day and should take into account both the mystery being celebrated and the particular needs of the listeners” (GIRM #65). On 'Mission Sunday", then, it’s not too surprising that the homilist talked about fund raising for the missions.
Thereupon, we sat through the 3 baptisms ( which lasted 20 minutes).
You ‘sat through’ them? As in, “oh, what an inconvenience”? The general introduction to the rite of baptism would disagree with you: “In the actual celebration [of baptism], the people of God (represented not only by the parents, godparents, and relatives, but also, as far as possible, by friends, neighbors, and some members of the local church) should take an active part. Thus they will show their common faith and express their joy as the newly baptized are received into the community of the Church.” So, the intent isn’t that you simply “sit through” it, but actively participate (through silent prayer, verbal responses) and express your joy that Christ’s Church has gained new members!
I seem to end up at a Mass in which a sense of sanctity is lacking.
On the contrary: you seem to have ended up at a Mass that was properly celebrated according to the ritual of the Church.
Hey Georgius, thanks for the clarification. I like this forum because you can learn a lot. So maybe I jumped the gun so to speak based on your analysis. Thx again. As a personal preference, im not very partial to Baptisms during Mass. I’m more of traditionalist in that respect. I remember a time when baptism was performed outside the Mass. At any rate, there were a few other aspects I did not mention previously which I particularly dislike during the Mass which occurred today-- hand holding during the Our Father, constant gestures of the orans posture by the laity, constant clapping during various parts of the Mass; finally didn’t like the amphitheatre seating and absense of the tabernacle.
hmmm don’t want to be seen as uncharitable, but in Europe, Baptism of infants same as for adults is ALWAYS performed at mass. It is considered a joyous occurence. All the relatives normally have a big party at which is not uncommon to have the celebrating priest be invited as an honoured guest.
I understand your feelings about part of that mass. Some Sundays, I need to hear a good sermon. The priests and deacons at my church give inspiring and thought provoking sermons. When the topic is about the monetary needs of the parish and or diocese it leaves me wanting. I realize the importance and often urgency of the church’s needs, but I need to hear the good news.
Ummm - well not in our parish. They used to be, but frequently this made the church too crowded (not to mention people complaining about it taking too long).
So now they are after the main Mass of the morning, and have to be scheduled to allow time for the car-park to clear, and the new baptism people to arrive.
As you say, baptisms usually seem to involve a big party afterwards. Some of the attendees look like they’ve come for a wedding.
I feel the same way.
I recognize the importance of financial support, but when it’s a pitch for money (whether for the missions or for the parish or diocese) I feel that I already know that that’s important, and that I’m missing out on a homily that could be pertinent in my life.
First, welcome to CAF!
You do hear the good news…in the Gospel reading.
Sometimes it’s helpful for the people to hear how they can LIVE the Good news.
I can read the bible at home.
I’m more of traditionalist in that respect.
then respect that in yourself, and find in your heart the respect that ALL people are not like you and have other preferences
I remember a time when baptism was performed outside the Mass. At any rate, there were a few other aspects I did not mention previously which I particularly dislike during the Mass which occurred today-- hand holding during the Our Father, constant gestures of the orans posture by the laity, constant clapping during various parts of the Mass; finally didn’t like the amphitheatre seating and absense of the tabernacle.
*Well there is not much yiou can do about the style of seating or the absence of the tabernacle,.Remember that yesterday there were many of people throughout this world did not have the opportunity to worship at Mass, receive communion, and witness the passing on of the faith through baptism to another generation.
All in all, I would say you had a good day!*
It sounds like you were cranky because Mass lasted more than 55 minutes.
I suppose you had more important things to do than celebrate their children’s new lives in Christ.
I’m sure you do. But you can’t receive the Eucharist on your own at home, and Mass is so much more than the homily. You can read good books about the Gospels at home too. The Mass is many faceted. Yes, we are called to care for the needy and to participate in the upkeep of the Church itself, the priest, and the many liturgical items needed.
Everything is balanced. It’s a parish family. Sometimes the Father of the family has to address different aspects of our life in Christ. We all work together for the good of the Church, whether in prayer, in giving, in volunteering. And most especially, in meeting Him at the table.
What a great job you did in your point-by-point clarification/explanation. It is always so frustrating to see complaints about liturgies when such accusations are based on either mere personal preference or ignorance of the rubrics.
As the sacristan of a large parish in France, I can say this is rarely the case with us. Out of the 75 baptisms that have taken place or will take place from the beginning of the year through the end of September, only 11 were or will be in the context of a Mass. Furthermore, I know of at least one other parish where it is never the case and all baptisms take place outside of Mass except those included in the Easter Vigil.
This part, however, does hold true…at least in this neck of the European woods.
Wow, I thought we were free to voice opinions here with other Christians. I am sorry now that I tried to voice mine.