Yes, how the liturgy is celebrated DOES matter!!

I am tired of being told that as long as the Mass is valid, that we shouldn’t want or expect anything more. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am tired of being told that as long as the Mass is valid it nourishes people just as well as any other valid Mass. That is a gross oversimplification. I am tired of hearing my pastor does not have time to celebrate the Mass with even a modicum of reverence or to prepare a decent homily. I am tired of hearing how I should be grateful simply for having a Mass to attend on Sundays. These excuses have done damage to a great many peoples’ faith.These excuses have caused a great many people to leave the Church. These excuses need to stop.

Two Sundays ago we had a visiting priest at my parish His entire celebration of the Mass was exquisite. It was beautiful without a hint of the severity, artificial piety or trinketry I have experienced at some parishes. He chanted the Mass, his homily was beautifully crafted (it clearly took hours of prep) and he used the Roman Canon. Most of all he simply took his time and celebrated the Mass with great reverence and dignity – with LOVE. His efforts greatly facilitated my absorption of the grace stemming from the sacrifice. It was awesome. It took about 10-15 minutes longer than a typical Sunday Mass. Well, well worth it.

The very next Sunday was one of the worst Masses I have ever attended. Same church, same pew location, same Mass, but the way in which it was celebrated made all the difference in the world. I’m not going to go into details but it was ugly. The contrast from the week before was like a punch to the head (or more correctly my heart.) I am honestly tired of the excuses. I am tired of being told that the grace is “locked in.” Why does the Pontiff go to such extremes to celebrate such elaborate, costly and solemn Masses if the way and care in which the Mass is celebrated means nothing?

This is one area the Protestants have us beat by a mile. There is competition in their world to perform or die. Spend time preparing a good sermon (and in some cases a good liturgy) or see the fellowship eventually fold. (Please no lectures about the non valid nature of their liturgies, etc. That all goes without saying.) Not only is there little such competition in the Catholic Church (this is not necessarily true in larger cities) we are actually obliged to attend Mass. There really is no incentive to celebrate the Mass with greater care and love on a human level. People are required to attend and there is a “shortage” or priests and that’s the reality. Something needs to change.

Given the awesome miracle that is the Mass you’d think that it would never be celebrated without great care, reverence and dignity. I wonder why I so often experience something different?


And I’m tired of being told that what nourishes someone else is the only thing capable of nourishing me.

What nourishes me is Jesus.

J - E - S - U - S.

Jesus is what nourishes me.

I hope you all have fun arguing about the Mass.


Why don’t you find a new parish?

There are lots of them in the USA.

Re: post from Timothy H:

Thank you. And not to take away from the consternation that the OP is feeling, I sometimes am left to think that a less than (insert proper adjectives) Mass shouldn’t leave me feeling fulfilled with the love of Jesus. That, if I were a proper Catholic, I would not concentrate on the awesome and beautiful sacrifice of the Mass but instead would be noticing the human contributions that were deficient.

So, basically, I’m left sometimes feeling that based on things I read here that I shouldn’t have had what I assumed was spiritual closeness to our Lord during the Mass that is available to me - because it wasn’t exactly perfect.

So, thanks for sharing that perspective. Best not to get started on liturgical music…:wink:

+I’m with Tim+

You ask a very legitimate question. I live in a town with three Catholic parishes. The other Latin Rite parish is worse. Far worse. It’s deeply abusive. There is also a tiny Eastern Catholic parish in town and I do attend it at least monthly but I do have a real love for the Mass.

Your question really hit home when I looked for a Mass in Downtown Los Angeles using There were at least 50 parishes in a 5 mile radius. That would be an entirely different situation. I’m sure I would find a good home in that setting.

There is a real, concrete problem with dismissing the faithfuls’ concerns for generations. Many have left the Church. That is tragic, and the responsibility for their leaving does not rest only with those who have left.

The excuses are institutionalized at this point. The “J E S U S” hyperbole one person offered on this thread differs little from the Protestant: “Who needs religion? Who needs the Church? Who needs the sacraments? I have J E S U S !”

In reality that’s little more than saying “I don’t even want to recognize or admit that there are areas we could and need to improve upon. Rather than remain silent I’ll try the hyperbole route.”

I know a parish with a very reverent mass you could attend.

It’s in Platteville, WI.

I just attended one two weeks ago in my own parish. I was actually stunned at how good it was. One of my first thoughts was “I sure wish I would have videoed that!” When I got home I found the celebrant’s contact information on the web and I emailed him. One of the things he said was “I had no idea what I was setting myself up for when I asked Fr. “John” to celebrate the early Mass.” What he was saying was that he had to deal with some very entrenched individuals.

I’m referring to the parish in the other thread. the one in which you are defending the renegade parishioners.

I guess the question is, once a mass is valid and licit, where does sanctity end and taste begin? There are people here who would like a mass consisting entirely of chant…but personally (and I know I am not alone), I would find such a mass to be terribly dry. Both masses with and without chant valid, so one is not specifically inherent to the other.

I can certainly sympathize with those who have a strong preference for how a mass is conducted - I left a church because I found the priest to be wholly uninspiring and bland.

But that doesn’t mean other people didn’t like it.

“Renegade?” :confused: I didn’t read where any of them impinged on the celebration of the Mass.

I completely agree. And this is why I will continue to be nostalgic for last year’s Mass for many, many reasons.

Anyway, I know that’s not specifically what you’re talking about, but I do understand the impact that changes in language and stylistic differences can have on my spiritual nourishment from the Mass. The most awesome Mass I ever went to was at a youth conference where there were 1500 people all excited to be there (that kind of energy is contagious) and the entrance hymn was a very spirited “Let the Fire Fall.” Joyful noise, indeed!

Why not find out if the visiting priest’s home parish is close to you and switch?

That is a very serious and important question. First it’s a matter of validity not illicitness. People talk a great deal on these forums about things being “illicit” when they really don’t know. And I don’t honestly know if “sanctity” is the right word? I would agree that “taste” is used correctly however. Let me use an individual at my parish as an example of what I think is a real problem and not just one of “taste.”

We have a deacon at our parish. He has trouble reading and his diction makes it terribly difficult for him to be understood. He clearly has a difficult time multitasking and easily becomes discombobulated (in the words of one parish sage.) None of those are subjective or new. He’s only been a deacon for a few years and it’s always been this way. His performance can be readily observed at any Mass he takes part in. Further (and this might be more subjective) he seems so interested in putting himself on display that he misses things that are his responsibility.

As the deacon the Missale ribbon placement is ultimately his responsibility. He flips the pages for the celebrant during Mass. Last Sunday he put on his fake pious face as he “checked” the Missale while setting up the altar. He put on a real show with the Missale once the altar was set and we were waiting for the collection to be further a long. A few minutes later the priest started digging-into the Missal. It stopped the Mass for 2 minutes. I know this priest well and he is careful about checking the ribbons prior to the Missale being taken from the sacristy for the Mass. To make a long story short the deacon didn’t know what he was looking at. He not only didn’t catch the problem, he likely caused it.

OK, now my question. Is it a forgone conclusion that we suffer this man’s impact on the Mass because he is indeed ordained? He has a materially negative impact on the Mass. Is that something we just have to live with? How do we justify the impact?

He is in the Midwest. I am on the West Coast.


Me, too. It is always and everywhere better to worship God that it is to worship worship. One leads to peace, the other to dejection and confusion.

Who’s worshiping worship? The same could be said about some liberal groups worshiping the community.

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