We were surprised by "feel" of SSPX chapel

On Palm Sunday we stopped by the local SSPX chapel to see things there firsthand. We didn’t realize the mass was going to take so long compared to the one we regularly attend (we’re just dumb converts lol) so it started at 8:30 and we thought we’d have enough time to leave from there when it finished which we thought would be 9:30 and make it to the 10am mass we go to usually. Anyway, my point is we had to leave early. They really weren’t planning on getting done until 10:30!

Anyway, all we got to see was the priest enter and give announcments and then they started to chant and have people go to the front to get the palms and walk outside for the procession…we had to leave at this point (the announcents took forever and i think they also started late!). So we didn’t actually get to see the mass, which is what we had gone there for in the first place. This might have been the reason why things seemed so strange. BUT…they definitly seemed strange. Now, I wasn’t expecting that at all. I thought it would have been like the TLM that I’ve attended before. I was expecting to like it. But there is something we can’t quite describe about the chapel - it just felt empty. There was an emptiness to it compared to our usual Church and all the other Catholic Churches we’ve ever been to. I don’t mean that there was no one there. They were full of people. And the TLM at the Catholic Church we’ve gone to is usually empty of people (about 20 ppl) but you don’t feel that “emptiness” while your there. Versus this SSPX Chapel was smaller than the church I’m talking about but probably had 100+ people. And I know that even though it is illicit, that the Eucharist is valid, so I’m not saying that I’m thinking that the Real Presence was not there…i have no idea how to describe it though…it was just not what I expected and quite strange. What was even stranger about it is that it reminded me of my Jehovah’s Witness days. It kinda felt cult-like. To me it felt more like a Kingdom Hall than a Catholic Church. Why on earth would that be??? Has anyone had a similar experience? Honestly, I really expected to like it! Granted, I will give it another try on another day that I don’t have to leave early now that I know that mass there will take longer than i expected…

I’ve never been to an SSPX Mass…

but that is interesting what you are saying… maybe that’s because they are in schism? I’ve visited Protestant churches before and they felt ‘empty’ to me too.

However when I go to a Catholic Church, either Novus Ordo or TLM, it’s very different. :slight_smile:

It was Palm Sunday, and the chapel was doing all of the traditional rites. You could have stayed and fulfilled your obligation, and you would have experienced the Pre-VII Palm Sunday way of doing things, as every parish would have done then.

You went to see, and left before giving it a chance. :shrug:

I really wish people would stop with the fiction that the SSPX is in schism. He certainly disobeyed the Pope, but he continue to accept Pope John Paul II as the legitimate successor to Saint Peter and as the Supreme Pastor of the Catholic Church. The various Protestant ‘reformers’ rejected the Papacy, and therefore went into schism.

I went to our local NO Mass this Sunday(Palm Sunday). Went into the church only to be asked to go over to the hall as there was going to be a procession back to the church. And by the way the Mass took an hour and a 1/2 or a little more. Reading of the Passion by St. Luke etc. all of this takes time. Its not your usual 45 minute to one hour NO Mass.

Will be doing the Triduum at FSSP.

Hi Monica, no they are not in schism. Nor are the bishops excommunicated. Popes don’t lift excommunications on bishops in formal schism. Rome is now in talks with the SSPX on matters of Doctrine. The SSPX priests are currently suspended and have no jurisdiction or recognized ministry, but one may attend Mass at a SSPX chapel if the reason for doing so is for personal preference of the EF only, and not to separate themselves from Rome by rejecting VII for example. The SSPX is an order of Roman Catholic clergy in irregular communion with Rome. Cardinal Hoyos said it’s “an internal matter”. If they were “out of the Church”, it would hardly be considered an internal matter.

I’m looking forward to attending my first traditional Triduum at the FSSP this year :smiley:

Don’t want to sound like a shrink but is it because you didn’t know anyone there? :slight_smile:

I felt that emptiness too when I was at St. Procopius Benedictine Abbey in Chicago. Of course the “emptiness” was probably an internal reflection of the fact that the Abbey chapel was quite literally empty. Just a vast expanse of brick with a wooden “table” in the middle.

To each their own, right?

I got that same feeling yesterday, only I made the grave mistake of going to my local parish. And vowed to myself: never again. It was the same feeling one would get when they realized that they’d been had - like plunking down almost $100 for a meal in a restaurarnt only to find out that you could have cooked a better meal yourself and for a fraction of the price.

A convert:extrahappy: who posts his religion as unsure:bigyikes:?:confused::hmmm: Something just does not seem right about that.

And why, did you fel the apparent need to leave that Mass and make it to your regular one?:confused: I have seen Palm Sunday Masses take around three hours in the past depending on the length of the procession.:eek:

Procession, whats that?

What has been lost and thrown away over the years. It is so terribly terribly sad. It is a tragedy of untold proportions. It really is.

I must admit, I was also taken a bit by surprise by what I found at the local SSPX chapel yesterday.

After forgetting about the early start time and missing the Blessing of the Palms at the beginning of my regular EF High Mass, I headed over to the local SSPX Chapel to pray the Rosary, assist the 10am Mass, pick-up a copy of their Holy Week schedule and visit their well-stocked bookstore.

After the Rosary, the pastor gave a briefing on the readings, distribution of Palms, and announced that - by the way - the celebrant of today’s Palm Sunday Liturgy would be SSPX Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais.

When His Excellency processed into the sanctuary with dozen servers, two priest and two deacons - wearing his traditional bishops mitre - I realized what a landmark occasion this was for me. The last and only time I saw a Catholic Bishop in person was on May 22, 1969, the day I was confirmed. So finally, after 41 years, in another city, at another communion rail, I knelt and received blessed Palms in my hand and later Holy Communion on my tongue from the consecrated hands of Bishop of our Holy Church.

After Mass, he spent an hour or more outdoors, meeting, posing for pictures and conversing with parishioners in French, Spanish and English. Many expressed gratitude for his courage, dedication and service to our Faith. His blessings were spoken in Latin. He was kind enough to sign my Angelus Press 1962 Roman Missal. I never made it to the bookstore.

I wouldn’t have made it to the bookstore either, and - for me - that’s saying a lot.

What a wonderful story; thank you for sharing.


My experience in an SSPX chapel was not one of emptiness. It was entirely a sense of overt anger. The priest, in his homily, called the OF an “abomination” twice. Their whole rational for being seemed to be the TLM vs. the NO (yes, I know there’s more to it). Also, I didn’t find it any more reverent than MOST (not all) OF Masses I’ve attended. Indeed, the choir was still chanting the Sanctus and the priest had sped on and reached the consecration. When the Roman Canon is used in my parish, we get to hear the whole of it.

*]Stay away from that particular SSPX chapel for a while.

*]Pray to the Holy Spirit for the wisdom to recognize the truth when you hear it.

*]Then return, listen and learn.

]Repeat as necessary.

which is why they cannot validly hear confessions unless the penitent is at the point of death.

Having never been to one, I don’t know how SSPX chapels work- if the people who go to them also go to them for confessions (which, again, are invalid- because they could go somewhere else), then chances are many people there have not been receiving valid confessions in a while. Mortal sin removes all sanctifying grace (holiness) from the soul, and only a valid confession or perfect contrition can restore it. I’m sure the absence of that Sacrament has a big effect on things.

You too? I went with my wife and I felt empty there. (It’s actually in Lisle, Il, but it’s interesting. It’s next to the Illinois Benedictine College now.)

Why are you telling me that ? My confessor is at a diocesan parish. :shrug:
I sometimes see a couple local SSPX chapel parishioners there in line. And I have seen diocesan, SSPX, and an independant Chapel’s laity at a Pro-Life function. There were no designated sections or seating for each group. The walls are crumbling. At least around here they are. :slight_smile:

Do you usually attend an OF Mass? It is proper in the OF for the Canon to be said outloud.
In case you didn’t know, in the EF, the Canon is said silently (the priest uses a very low whisper). The only words you might hear are nobis quoque peccatoribus and the per omnia saecula saeculorum just before the Amen. When the priest reaches the end fo the preface, the choir starts singing the Sanctus, and the priest says it before immediately beginning the Canon. If it is a long version of the Santus, the choir needs to stop before the consecration of the host (bread) and finish it after the consecration of the wine.

Just as an additional note of interest, the only time you hear the entire Canon in the EF is at the ordination of priests. The bishop says it aloud so the newly ordained can hear and say it with him. That is as close as you get to concelebration in the EF.

My point is that , although I do not like it, it is appropriate for me to hear the Canon or other Eucharistic Prayer aloud if I attend an OF Mass. It may not be liked, but it is appropriate to not hear the Canon if one is attending an EF Mass.

Diocesan OF or SSPX Chapel, go there expecting to find something wrong and you will. Walk in for the reason you should be, and you’ll walk out a better Catholic. We just have to figure out how best to deal with distractions. Happens to me, and I stop the thoughts cold by closing my eyes and praying for strength not to judge. Works.:slight_smile:

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