What to do about liturgical abuses?

I recently found out that the parish that I go to does quite a bit of liturgical abuse like holding hands during the Our Father and standing for the consecration.I didn’t know that these were against Church law until this weekend because I’m a neophyte and I’ve only gone to mass in two different places, and they both do the same things. Nothing invalidates the mass (from what I’ve observed) but it would be nice if we could follow the rules…

Anyway I doubt that by myself I’ll be able to change how things are done in the parish, but what do you guys suggest I do while I attend Mass there? As of right now switching parishes is not an option really, and I honestly do love the people there but the fact that we’re breaking the rules bothers me.

Any advice?
Thank you!

I would just find a different parish.

To my knowledge holding hands during the Our Father is not a liturgical abuse. I will hold hands if someone reaches out to me but I prefer not to. We stand during the Consecration but we don’t have kneelers. It could be considered a safety issue. You might try to talk to the priest about it. Maybe an early morning Mass will be more reverent. But until you can easily get to a more reverent Mass you need to go with the flow.

I don’t kneel anyway during the Consecration because I don’t want to annoy our priest unnecessarily.:shrug:

This is probably the best advice actually.

I would find a different parish but I’m a broke college student without a car in West Virginia so I’m a bit tied down right now. I plan on moving to another state once I graduate so then I’ll be able to find a better parish but until then…

Would going with the flow be acceptable?

Thank you!

To address your points specifically:

Holding hands at the Our Father is not mentioned at all in the liturgical texts. It is a popular–by which I mean of the people–and is not prescribed or forbidden by the Missal. No one, including a priest, can make you do it. It is not a posture of the Mass, nor does it have any historical basis. On the other hand, if I were you, I would not go around making an issue of it.

Secondly, kneeling for the Consecration is the universal posture in the Ordinary Form (if you don’t know what that is, don’t worry about it). However, in the United States kneeling is prescribed for the Eucharistic Prayer from its beginning until after the Consecration, and actually a in a majority of dioceses it is prescribed for the whole Eucharistic Prayer. Not kneeling for the Eucharistic Prayer, especially for the Consecration, is always an aberration except in out-of-the-ordinary circumstances (old age, illness or injury, pregnancy, parishes which for some ideological reason build a church without the space to kneel, people who bark at you if you kneel, etc). Now, you don’t need a kneeler to kneel. I don’t know if your parish has them. However, as far as I can tell it is generally expected that churches built today will have kneelers in them. They are not historical but they have developed as a basic expectation of Western Catholic (again, if you don’t know what that means, don’t worry about it) churches for convenience’s sake.

Even if there are no kneelers one is still expected to kneel. That is the prescribed posture. However, you might end up making some haters for yourself if you do that and no one else does it, even though it is the prescribed posture.

If I were in your situation I would probably attend the earliest Mass on Sundays and Holy Days to fulfill my obligation. These Masses are usually without music but they are also usually the Masses in which you are least likely to get dirty looks. (Although I’m not saying you will get dirty looks =p.)

Given your circumstances I would suggest going with the flow. You could kneel during the Consecration anyway. People at my parish would do it. If you live in an urban area you have a lot more choices in parishes.

The funny thing is that I do go to the earliest Masses there and we do have kneelers but people usually only use them for prayer before Mass and after receiving Eucharist. And the Newman Center on my campus has none at all! I will go ahead and kneel though now that I know that I have to.

Neither one of these is a litugical abuse. Holding hands during the Lords prayer in many cases has become tradition.
Standing during the Eucharistic prayer at one time in history was the correct posture, standing is also understood as a sign of respect. Even though the GIRM does prescribe kneeling, standing is not a grave issue
No need to worry about this, go instead worship the Lord and be part of the community

Deacon Frank

'We don’t have kneelers" wow…and this is a church that calls itlself Catholic…help me with this…what next…?

Depending on your diocese (and what you exactly mean by the consecration) your parish may be doing it right by standing when they do.

In our diocese we only kneel after the Holy Holy and stand immediately at the memorial acclamation.

Holding hands during the Our father is no biggy. If you don’t want to then don’t.

In my Parish thank God we most certainly don’t hold hands for the Our Father that is Liturgically wrong, how and what we do at Mass is set by the Commission in Rome for Prayer and Worship and the laity have no right to put things in or take things out. Its just called obedience. Last year while at a Charismatic meeting and also Mass they all started to hold hands at the Our Father when the lady next to me grabbed my hand and I gently pulled it away and in a semi loud voice said no we are not meant to hold hands that is put in by some lay person and not by the Commission in Rome for Liturgical Prayer and we should not be doing it, and I left it at that, but that is the only encounter I have had with that, and I just wont have it, imagine the mess we would have if everyone did there own thing and said there own thing at Mass.

We all kneel at the consecration which we are meant to do, but what are you to do if there are no kneelers, this has happened to me a few times, so I kneel on the floor. If I see the Priest I make a point in telling him that kneelers should be there, to let people kneel we are not in a Protestant Church. What did the Holy Father say in Brazil if things are not right, do the right thing and say it to the Priest, I have taken his words to mean just that, providing its within reason.

Where did you get the info that holding hands in Our Father is “liturgical abuse?”
A number of posts on this thread gave accurate advice to you. If you are so concern
why don’t you set an appointment with the priest and speak to him about your concern and be open to listening to him on the reasons why or why not. If you like the people in the parish, then you need to also focus on the bigger picture here and see the parish as a whole not just if there is hand holding in Our Father and whatever info you read that said it is abuse which is inaccurate anyway and this is stealing your peace about the parish you are at.

You should talk to the parish priest first, then he will not correct liturgical abuses, start writing, first to your bishop, and then if this does not solve the problem, then to Rome. Here are some guidelines about writing to them.
While standing during the Eucharistic Prayer is a liturgical abuse, holding hands then is not, unless the priest tells the people to hold hands during the Our Father, which is out-of-line.
However, if you do write, it would be better to speak of other liturgical abuses as well, especially of more serious ones, if there are some.
If you are not sure if something is a liturgical abuse, you could ask on this thread.
Liturgical abuses do not make a mass invalid, but you have a right to be upset over liturgical abuses. The Vatican has said very definitely and more than once that liturgical abuses violate the rights of the people there. It also in fact disturbs the worship of the people there who realize that something wrong is occurring during the mass. The Second Vatican Council insisted that priests have no right to alter the liturgy in such a way
(As another poster mentioned, the Church’s GIRM(General Instruction on the Roman Missal) instructs that the people are to kneel during the Eucharistic prayer. No priest has the right to change this. [Nor in fact can even the local bishop change this, since it is a Church norm and not a diocesan prerogative].)

It would be far better to annoy the priest than offend the Lord. The Priest is human and I am sure has his off days like all of us. That is why we have to keep Priests in our Prayers, to remain Holy and Obedient to the Church.:signofcross::harp:

There is a simple explanation: the space we use for the nave and sanctuary must be used for large social events. The chairs must be stackable and moveable. Hence we don’t have kneelers. I suspect there are other reasons we don’t kneel but it isn’t my decision.

Go to an Eastern Catholic or Tridentine parish?

Or an Eastern Orthodox parish occasionally without receiving communion, to fulfill the quota of beautiful and reverent worship. It reminds me, yesterday I was at a Greek Orthodox parish for the Nativity of the Theotokos (since the feast was originally invented/written/introduced in the Greek East), and the liturgy was mostly in English. I realized that the modern NO Mass is not irreverent because of English (as I have thought myself in the back of my mind, and have heard many Trads more-or-less state as fact), but because of liturgical abuses (mainly), ad populum, altar girls, etc. The icons, gospel book, and church architecture help too. (Pre-Vatican II churches without the whole Liberal Methodist New Age look are good as well. A church building should not distract from the liturgy because it’s so “out there” like many post-1965 buildings are.)

If one was to celebrate a sung EF Mass in English (I do believe such things exist, I’ve just never seen it: note “sung”, as there’s no such thing as a spoken Orthodox liturgy), and it was done well (“smells and bells”), with at least plain song, I daresay it would be as beautiful and reverent, as the Latin Mass, and if the NO Mass was said in Latin with the typical range of abuses, it would be just as bad. Then again priests who bother to say or sing the Mass in Latin are less likely to be tolerant or encouraging of liturgical abuses in my experience.

Remember as is said, “Catholics go to Mass to receive the Body of Christ, not to look at the building or hear chant”, so on and so forth. But a well-sung liturgy in a nice building certainly doesn’t hurt.

Kneelers are simply a convenience. I attended Mass at San Marco in Venice and there were no kneelers. We still knelt.

Catholic churches didn’t use to have pews, let alone kneelers, and for a while in the last couple of decades it was ‘fashionable’ to not have kneelers in new churches based on canon 20 from the Council of Nicea. That canon is followed by our Eastern brothers and sisters but not by Latin Rite Catholics.

While it’s true we receive Communion at Mass, it’s not the reason we go to Mass. We go to Mass to worship and praise God. The Church prescribes how we are to do it but, sadly, some parishes/priests/‘liturgists’ think they know better and ignore the Church’s wishes.

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