Two very different Masses

Hi, I haven’t posted before. I’m a college student, I was raised in an agnostic household but came to believe in God in high school. I’ve explored different streams of Christianity but am not baptized yet, and feel strongly drawn to the theology and liturgy of the Catholic Church. God is the center of my life, and it is painful to still be seeking a community where I can worship Him fully.

Anyway, for a couple of months I’ve been going to Mass at a small local parish. It’s small, but it’s packed every week and the people there are very reverent. However, they don’t have a RCIA program or daily masses, or confession or anything else. So today I went to the larger parish where all the religious education and activities are. I was surprised when I walked in and instead of the period of silent prayer that precedes Mass at the other parish, the priest was walking around with a microphone asking people where they were from, and making jokes. It had the atmosphere of an entertainment show, or something, did not feel very reverent. Then the Mass started and they began to sing hymn after hymn after hymn - which would have been fine, even wonderful, except that it sounded like pop music. Again, the other parish I’ve been going to does Gregorian chant. I have negative associations with today’s popular music and was very uncomfortable with the whole style of the Mass. I know people are different and I’m sure I overreacted, but … it was a shock, after attending the other parish.

So I guess I’m wondering now, because I’ve been to Mass at two totally different parishes, which one represents the typical Catholic worship? Maybe the parish where I attended my first Mass and where I have been going and which I thought was normal is really unconventional, and I’d be hard pressed to find another like it? What happens if I believe Catholic theology but can’t tolerate the style of mainstream worship? Should I go back to the larger parish and try to not take things so seriously? :confused: But I want a church where God comes first and people take Him seriously.

I feel so confused. I wish I knew where God wants me to be.

You didn’t say where you are. Most masses fall somewhere between the first mass you describe and the second. However, I think the latter is
untypical, and I have been to masses all over the country.

Both masses are completely legit. Whatever makes you happier go there. I would worry a bit about this small parish, from what I have seen they can be very “clickish” and not offer the services maybe you need. What Catholic Church doesn’t offer confession? Get involved with the bigger church and I think you will find the experience very good also. If you want to show up for a great mass and little else the TLM is it. If you want to be involved in your church, RCIA, CHRP, free clinics, helping the poor, food pantry, Pro-Life, sister parishes, etc. Our parish has over 100 ministeries. Example: I have never seen the TLM churches reach out like that. They are two different masses and the people at each mass reflect that differene. Good Luck.


I tried to send you a PM or email but you have that blocked. Which churches are you talking about?

Anyway, for a couple of months I’ve been going to Mass at a small local parish. It’s small, but it’s packed every week and the people there are very reverent. However, they don’t have a RCIA program or daily masses, or confession or anything else.

the Mass itself is the same in my experience; albeit there may be more modern parishes that are more casual and less reverent then a traditional parish. My parish is more traditional offering a Mass that has Latin and chant for the Vigil Mass. But the early morning Mass has less Latin no chant but traditional hymns. The later morning Mass more modern with guitar music and modern hymns. Check to see if your parish is like this as well. It might be that you happened to go to their more modern Mass?
This is really OK with me as long as there is no serious abuses. A priest we used to have used to welcome new folks like that as well; but it was before Mass started and from the pulpit; I didn’t particularly like it either.
By the way welcome. :slight_smile:

Definitely dont go to the second parish, it is sad that act that way. But talk to the priest at the parish you usually attend and inquire about taking classes there or if there is a more reverent parish that you could go to take your classes. I think he is the one who would be able to help you find a way to get true Catholic teachings.

If I were you, I’d stick with the first one. Are you sure the second one was a Catholic Church? :blush:

Thank you for the replies. Leroy, not sure what you mean by “clickish”. It’s a historical church building and it’s small and kind of amazing they’re even having a Mass there, much less anything else; I don’t think they’re just trying to deny people services, but assuming that the need for those services are being fulfilled elsewhere.

I realize pop-style music and loud jovial greetings before the Mass are probably things that I would just put up or get used to with despite personal tastes if I had been raised Catholic … So maybe I just need to deal with it. Or, yes, see if there’s another parish in town that offers RCIA.

What a statement. It is amazing how far the Traditional Mass haters will go to get their point across. Am I then to believe that followers of a more traditional form of Catholicism don’t get involved as do the more enlightened progressive folks at your parish? Ever? At any level whatsoever? That seems to be your assertion.

Oh and by the way, being involved in different social activities in and of itself doesn’t necessarily mean anything at all. Even when they are sponsored by the Church. You can be involved in many different activities and still not be committed to Christ, a point that is often overlooked in the frenzy to be be socially active and relevant as is so often praised by the more progressive among us.

There is more to the faith than being active socially, believe it or not.

My parish uses the Contemporary Christian music with the guitars and drums and things. I didn’t care for it at first (it was too “protestant” for me), but my son loves it and it keeps him going to church. There are many contemporary songs that I love and I find the atmosphere of the parish services generally very spiritual.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a contemporary style of worship per se, but it should not detract from a general feeling of reverence. I know I would have been quite uncomfortable with the priest’s comedy routine. I’m not sure it’s an abuse in the legal sense, but by all means if you’re having trouble finding Christ through the priest’s lounge act then go to another parish that better suits your needs.


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