Terribly Stripped-Down Masses?

It’s becoming clear to me that one thing that hurts my parish is what I would call the “stripping down” of the Mass. Not liturgical abuses or irrgularites per se, but an absolute minimalist/utilitarian approach to celebrating the Mass. As quick and easy as possible.

In my parish, we now only see incense at Requiem Masses, and sometimes not even then. Our pastor refuses to bring back sanctus bells. The priestly vestments look like cheap bedsheets, even though there are nice vestments ready for use hanging in the sacristy. The “sacred vessels” look like cast-off glassware from Wal*Mart. The leather-bound evangeliary has been replaced by a cheap binder with Xeroxed sheets.

The homilies are short and without content. The music has really been dumbed-down. People now listen rather than sing a long. The last Rite of Sprinkling I recall was over three years ago. Literally every bit of the Mass has been stripped down.

Yet if one mention their concerns to the pastor, he gets horribly defensive – as did the priest he replaced. I left Mass last Sunday morning and even though I was one of the last out of the building, it took only 40 minutes. I felt rather sad. Rather hollow. I thought about saying a few prayers and lighting a votive, but I couldn’t bring myself to flip a switch to light a “votive light” in place of an actual candle (yes we have the permits and insurance for real candles.)

If anyone asks me why the Church is struggling so terribly in the USA, I’ll reflect back not on the homosexual rapes of teens by priests or the pedophilia, but on that hollow feeling I felt last Sunday morning at 8:40 am…

PP,

A question, on the same idea, from Pope Benedict’s Installation Mass yesterday. I know the Kyrie was sung in Greek, followed by something else, but there appeared to be nothing that constituted either a genuine penitential rite or sprinkling rite.

Is the revision of the Missale Romanum in use at Rome providing some kind of other option that I have not seen in American copies? I really didn’t understand why there wasn’t at least a penitential Kyrie of some form… though as I recall, this was shorted at the Mass for the Election of the Roman Pontiff from before the Conclave.

Is this, perhaps, a sign that Benedict wants to take an eastern approach to Penance, having Confessions heard before Mass, and then omitting any penitential rite in the Liturgy, thus ensuring that all will go to confession before Mass?

I am definately puzzled over this.

Rob+

[quote=Pariah Pirana]It’s becoming clear to me that one thing that hurts my parish is what I would call the “stripping down” of the Mass. Not liturgical abuses or irrgularites per se, but an absolute minimalist/utilitarian approach to celebrating the Mass. As quick and easy as possible.
[/quote]

That’s definitely a problem nowadays. The attitude is “if it doesn’t *have *to be done, why bother with it” “If it is optional, by all means- leave it out”. Mass isn’t supposed to be a time to cut all the corners you can cut. The Mass is the greatest event ever, and it should be given the solemnity and reverence due to such an event. Simplicity is nice, but it shouldn’t seem cheap or stripped.

Hmmmm…I thought only priests in the bad old days with the TLM tried to race thru Mass as quickly as possible? You mean it happens with the renewed liturgy as well? Who knew???

I’ve seen those “click on,” “click off” votive lights as well. And they wanted me to pay $2.00 to press a button! HA!

REALLY?
You’re not kidding are you? How tacky can one get.:frowning:

[quote=FrRobSST]PP,

A question, on the same idea, from Pope Benedict’s Installation Mass yesterday. I know the Kyrie was sung in Greek, followed by something else, but there appeared to be nothing that constituted either a genuine penitential rite or sprinkling rite.

IsRob+
[/quote]

i did not watch it but is it possible that morning prayer immediately preceded Mass, in which case I believe the penitential rite is omitted?

[quote=netmilsmom]REALLY?
You’re not kidding are you? How tacky can one get.:frowning:
[/quote]

As I understand it, those coin-op votive lamps (electric) are everwhere at the ‘touristy’ shrines, basilicas, and churches of Europe. A friend of mine who was spending part of a semester in Rome as an archeology student got curious about going to the Churches, and told me that of all the different Churches he attended, he couldn’t find a single genuine, real votive candle in the lot.

He did mention that one of them had some kind of coin-op igniter system that lit some kind of liquid fuel (oil?) and that the sign said for a Euro you could get an hour’s burn.

Rob+

[quote=netmilsmom]REALLY?
You’re not kidding are you? How tacky can one get.:frowning:
[/quote]

Serious as a heart attack.

Really, it kind of made me sad. It was a beautiful old church and I’m sure most of the parishoners are low income and/or elderly. Granted I can be pretty uncharitable, but even I couldn’t get too upset over this one. I’d guess candles are pretty expensive for a parish like that, God bless their souls.

However, I did draw the line at actually paying the $2. I wasn’t sure at the time that it was kosher. But I guess from reading this thread it’s okay.

Now, if I ever see push button votives in one of these modern, affluent suburban parishes with their Frank Lloyd Wrong architecture and their Holy Hot Tubs, I reserve the right to get peeved. :mad:

[quote=Dr. Bombay]Serious as a heart attack.

Really, it kind of made me sad. It was a beautiful old church and I’m sure most of the parishoners are low income and/or elderly. Granted I can be pretty uncharitable, but even I couldn’t get too upset over this one. I’d guess candles are pretty expensive for a parish like that, God bless their souls.

However, I did draw the line at actually paying the $2. I wasn’t sure at the time that it was kosher. But I guess from reading this thread it’s okay.

Now, if I ever see push button votives in one of these modern, affluent suburban parishes with their Frank Lloyd Wrong architecture and their Holy Hot Tubs, I reserve the right to get peeved. :mad:
[/quote]

The small votives at a neighboring parish are only $.50 to light, and burn for 3-4 hours. That intrigued me so I looked up their cost – about $.06/candle. I darned good margin and I’m happy to pay it.

The lights are a different story…

This is the biggest problem I have. I agree that the physical, sacremental materials used in the Mass are important, but I find that the worst thing is an uninspired homily. This is a huge opportunity to inspire the Church community, bring the Gospel to the people in a meaningful way, and give people something to think about and act on as they start the week. I don’t think this problem is necessarily intentional in nature, but something needs to be done about it.

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