What To Do About Illicit Acts In The Mass?


Hello. :slight_smile: Lately, I’ve been encountering my pastor disregarding the rubrics of the Mass. For example, during the penitential rite, instead of saying “Brother and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins, and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries,” he will say whatever he wants. It’s usually different every week. Yesterday, he said “Let us acknowledge what binds us to sin, and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries,” or something like that. I cannot exactly remember.

Also, he doesn’t kiss the Gospel Book. He doesn’t say certain prayers during the Mass, such as “Wash me Lord, from my iniquities, and cleanse me from my sin” while washing his hands. Also, about two or three weeks ago, he decided to omit the Creed.

Also, he always says “Sisters and brothers” instead of “brothers and sisters.” He changes the Preface a little at the beginning, and doesn’t include the St. Joseph addition.

What should I do about this? It seems that every week, it gets worse. I usually don’t like to complain, but I am being bothered by this liturgical abuse. He has been a priest since the early 70s, so I think he would know the rubrics.

God bless you for answering my question. :blessyou:


The ‘Lord wash me from my iniquities’ doesn’t have to be said aloud at all, if memory serves. there are several of the priest’s prayers that don’t.

In fact in my experience it is more commonly said very softly - so softly that the congregation usually wouldn’t hear it.

As for the rest - well, omitting the Creed is reasonably serious, but bear in mind if there is something like a baptism occurring during the Mass then the Creed is not required, so before jumping to conclusions make sure it was in fact required. And if it was a one-off thing that has since not happened again, chalk it up to human error - priests forget things and make mistakes too.

I would say first bring it up with the priest - but he calm and don’t beat him over the head with the rubrics, because he is surely at least as aware of them as you are.

Remember some of the current rubrics have been in place only for a short time. I know where I live not every member of the congregation has the new prayer and responses down pat, and there are a lot more changes for our poor priests to remember.


I usually don’t like to jump to assumptions, and I usually don’t like to criticize priests, but I don’t believe he was saying the prayer because I didn’t see his lips moving. I can see his lips moving when he says “Blessed are you…,” but I cannot see them moving when he washes his hands.

Like I said, I don’t like to jump to assumptions.


So what if they’re not moving? Does he have to visibly move his lips to be praying? Surely not! By that logic none of the countless Our Fathers or Hail Marys that I have prayed entirely in my head count as prayer.


I didn’t know he could pray it in his head. I have learned something new today. :slight_smile:


Three courses of action are recommended: document, gather, and complain. Write down or record what he is doing wrong. You will need to be accurate and specific when/if you are questioned about this. Gather with other parishioners who feel the same way about the abuses. Complain gently. Observe the principle of subsidiarity. First you will need to bring it to the pastor himself. Phrase it as a question, a confusion and a misunderstanding. You need to assume good faith until you can’t anymore. Then follow the chain of command. To me, this is not particularly grave abuse that needs vigorous, immediate action, but omitting the Creed on Sundays when it is a requirement? That is concerning.

The document Redemptionis Sacramentum should be of generous help to you. It was issued in 2004 when the Curia was serious about reforming abuses. You are in my prayers.


I understand how you can be upset–I have been upset by liturgical abuses myself. You might consider speaking with the priest about this after mass, assuming that he is at the door when people go. These things though don’t seem very important though as far as liturgical abuses go. I know of some horrendous things. But if you remain upset over the next weeks or so, you might consider going to another parish. Being upset over malfeasances of the priest during mass can throw a monkey wrench into the devotion it is good to have during mass.
There is a process to follow over liturgical abuses, which include writing a letter (with evidence) to the bishop, but I don’t see that these things are important enough to do this-- though you could consider speaking with the priest after mass.


These concerns should be brought up with the priest, not with us. You and him are more likely to get an accurate picture of what’s going on.


Could there be something wrong with the Priest’s health? Could he have had a TIA? I am no doctor, but . . . when I see my Priest “forgetting” parts of the Mass – which he has prayed many times . . . I try to bring it up in a loving way as if he were a family member. Just a thought. :thumbsup:


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