Liturgical Wisdom from the Mouths of Children

This past Yuletide, my husband and I decided to escape the Minnesota winter by taking our family to South Texas. We had a joyfully green Christmas, with our children running wild on the beach while the Gulf of Mexico lapped at our toes. We didn’t miss the snow. Of course, there are always drawbacks to such ventures, and this was no exception. While Christmas at our home parish is something to savor, our Christmas liturgies this year featured campy banners, schlocky music, and homilies with little discernable connection to the Catholic faith.

The children found this confusing. They’ve spent their lives as parishioners at St. Agnes, a wonderful parish in St. Paul where sacred liturgy is always celebrated beautifully and with great reverence. Consequently, they are totally unfazed by the liturgical use of Latin, but I’m not sure the younger two even recognized the schlocky liturgies we attended as “Mass.” (Coming out of one, our two-year-old said something about “the party” we had just attended. And our eventual return to St. Agnes inspired him to chirp out, cheerily and with something like relief, “Oh! It’s the Jesus place!” In his eyes it had obviously been awhile since we’d been to a “Jesus place.”)

Our five-year-old knows his days of the week, and he understands that Sunday means going to Mass. He knew, in a general sense, why we put on our Mass clothes and filed into the 1970s monstrosity that had to pass for a church. For a time he watched with curious interest, but he became quite nonplussed when, right in the middle of the Roman Canon, the congregation spontaneously started hugging, exchanging pleasantries, and flashing “peace” signs at one another. Exchanging a few obligatory, perfunctory handshakes, I suddenly felt a tug at my sleeve a tug. “Is it over?”

My son didn’t understand why you would interrupt a sacred event with a completely random “social minute.” Frankly, I don’t get it either so I couldn’t really explain. Sure, it’s pleasant to greet your friends, but can’t you wait 20 minutes for the coffee hour? Very few Masses run much longer than an hour, and they already involve a lot of standing and sitting and kneeling and singing. If my five-year-old can make it through without breaking off to chat with his friends, I think most grown-ups should also be able to manage this.

Don’t misunderstand. My children are far from perfect, and I would never put myself forward as a model Catholic parent. As converts, it often feels to me like my husband and I are making most of it up as we go along. Of course, marriage always involves some negotiation of different backgrounds, and raising children in a faith that’s “new” to both of you adds an extra twist. But nobody really starts “from scratch” when it comes to home and family, so I like to think of our parenting style as a kind of interesting “fusion cuisine.”

I’m sure we’ve already made plenty of mistakes. This much we know, however. You should take your kids to Mass someplace where strenuous efforts are not made to bury the sacred mysteries under layers of “accessible” and “plebian” and “nothing much to see here, folks.”

Children aren’t afraid of mystery in the way that adults so often are. They don’t need to have it diluted and downplayed for their ready consumption. To a child, there’s nothing awkward about the straightforward assertion that Christ’s own Body and Blood are literally present in the Mass. If the Word became flesh in Palestine, why not right here?

It seems especially natural to them to talk about this because, in the liturgies they see, the Sacrament is obviously central. At St. Agnes my children sit through the Roman Canon (the older ones know that this is a particularly inexcusable time to misbehave) and then watch people kneeling reverently at the altar rail, waiting to receive (on the tongue, of course) from a priest or deacon. It’s obvious to them that this exchange is special and memorable and unique. It’s not snack time. I don’t mean to suggest that the Blessed Sacrament cannot be received reverently in the hand, but I think it’s pretty clear that young minds and imaginations are not similarly impressed by a line of jean-clad people waiting to be handed a wafer by the lady in the purple dress.

I’ve yet to hear a single compelling argument as to why all this beautiful and decorous ceremony needed to be stripped down. Altar rails make the distribution of Communion more efficient, and they are convenient too in that they enable the communicant to compose himself for a moment before receiving. This (as I know from experience) is particularly appreciated when one has a baby in arms or (and?) a young child by one’s side. At the altar rail I can “settle” my children first, and still enjoy at least a few seconds’ worth of private reflection before my turn comes. Communion lines offer no such luxury.

Practically speaking then, altar rails are serviceable and efficient. Obviously nobody objects to making accommodations for those who are physically unable to kneel, but these are exceptional cases. Why then do so many oppose altar rails and reception on the tongue? The real reason, I believe, is that it simply feels awkward to some to receive in the traditional way. In private conversation, some cradle Catholic friends have effectively admitted this to me. Reception on the tongue feels “weird” to them, or even unseemly, as though they’re participating in a kind of medieval play.

In part, this probably just reflects the difficulty of getting used to something new. But I suspect there’s more to it than that. The traditional posture is one of reverence and trust. It causes shame and embarrassment to those who don’t feel that in the presence of Christ’s Body.

St. Agnes is the sort of parish that makes one forget why a book like Spirit of the Liturgy even needed to be written. It’s still a lovely book, of course, but don’t most Catholics understand these principles more or less implicitly? Isn’t this just our common heritage and the natural rhythm of Catholic life? When parishes like St. Agnes become our regular liturgical home, it starts to seem that way. What we experience there is simply Catholicism, as we and our children and our fellow parishioners know it.

Once in awhile I’m forced to venture into the wilds of masstimes.org and be reminded that in fact, the parish around the corner probably looks nothing like St. Agnes. It’s likely a mess of altar girls, guitar bands, and people who wouldn’t even consider that they should walk 10 feet to the vestibule after Mass before carrying on a normal-voiced conversation. (Because it’s not like the sanctuary is a place of prayer, or anything. I mean, Mass has been over for two minutes! How much prayer time do you need?) It clearly doesn’t even occur to them that Christ is present in the tabernacle, mere steps away from where they stand.

Numerically speaking, St. Agnes is the aberration, and the schlocky parishes are closer to the rule. But I want my children to see it the opposite way. I want them to view mystery and unashamed reverence as “normal Catholic life.” I want them to see the campy banners and “Here I Am, Lord” as the wonky aberration. At some point, inevitably, they will notice that wonky aberrations are almost ubiquitous in the Catholic world, while good liturgy is often hard to find. My hope is that, by that time, they’ll already be accustomed to reverencing Christ’s Body, such that it doesn’t cause them embarrassment or shame. Hopefully they’ll have an appetite for beauty and mystery that no other meal can satisfy. Hopefully they’ll always be able to see Christ’s Sacrifice with the wonder and credulity of little children.

Rachel Lu

By

Rachel Lu, a Catholic convert, teaches philosophy at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota where she lives with her husband and four boys. Dr. Lu earned her Ph.D. in philosophy at Cornell University. Follow her on Twitter at rclu.

  • jacobhalo

    Thank God, I found a Latin mass about 10 years ago. I was raised during the pre-Vatican II days, when the church was vibrant, without cafeteria Catholics. Those were days my friend, I thought that they would never end.

    • Martha

      I think many of us here envy you that experience. Aaaaaalll felt banners for me until a few years ago! I didn’t even know that I was missing what I was missing!!

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour

    As for altar rails, they always strike me as a rather perfunctory substitute for the old rood-screen or jubé, many of which were, alas, destroyed after another reforming council, that of Trent.

    Some beautiful examples survive in France.

    Here is one from a small chapel in Brittany

    http://tinyurl.com/oatpdr6

    and the magnificent one in the Cathedral of Albi

    http://tinyurl.com/lrl7yx9

    • ColdStanding

      Rood screens are great. I do not thing that the altar rail serves the same function. At the local Ukrainian-rite Catholic cathedral the priest distributes the blessed sacrament of the altar well past the iconostasis (rood screen). I do not know if this is a modern practice, but the communicants received while standing.

      One older book I have suggests that the altar rail represents the table of the Last Supper.

      • Michael Paterson-Seymour

        It was a combination of Baroque architecture and the teaching of Trent that eliminated the rood-screen.

        Older churches had long, narrow chancels, with choir-stalls for the clergy along each wall. Baroque churches had a much shorter chancel, often prjecting into the nave in a semi-circle.

        Another feature introduced as a result of Trent’s promotion of Eucharistic adoration, was to place the tabernacle on the high altar. In earlier times, there had often been a separate Sacrament House, often very elaborate

        http://tinyurl.com/o9az77b

        Sometimes, the sacrament was reserved in a pyx, suspended from the ceiling of the chancel, often in the form of a dove.

        Another feature of these churches was a throne for the monstrance, either atop the tabernacle or in a niche in the reredos.

        • ColdStanding

          Ah the glories of the Middle Ages! The beauty! The reverence! No simplified oh-its-good-enough liturgy going on there.

  • Nel

    Please, please insert ‘American’ before ‘Catholic’ when you are talking about schlock and wonkiness. The entire Catholic world should not be gauged by the slovenliness of American culture in general, which slopped over into Catholic liturgy sometime around 1968 (if memory serves – I was there; I was a child; I was heart-broken and appalled before I was old enough to know what had been stolen from me).

    Although it pains me that altar-rails have been taken out of the churches here (though we’re still allowed to kneel if we want – and to try getting up with nothing to hold onto), and it dismays me that they’ve been so STUPID as to follow American suit and admit ‘altar-girls’ (while complaining that male vocations are down – clueless some?), nevertheless, in Poland, where I live, Mass is reverent and clearly Catholic. It is reliably so from parish to parish (though if you arrive and see guitars or speakers the size of small fridges, it’s a ‘Youth Mass’ – otherwise known as a scream-fest: run away, fast).

    It pains me – deep, profound, soul-searing pain – to return to the United States for ONE reason: I have no choice but to go to churches in which the Mass is an irreverent, schlocky mess from beginning to end. I sincerely never want to return to the US because going to Mass is just too horrible an experience.

    • It’s not an American phenomenon. You can find the same thing in Mexico, Canada, Latin America, Western Europe and Asia. The TLM is also much easier to find in America than those other countries.

      • Rachel SZ

        You are absolutely correct. I attend Mass in Nicaragua several times a year (where my husband is from), and the liturgy is painful. My favorite “what. is. happening.” moment occurred when they ended Christmas Eve Mass with a keyboard playing pre-recorded songs about Santa. The TLM is non-existent there, as well. I’ve also studied in Spain and worked in Ireland, and have been very underwhelmed by their liturgies. However, I now live in the Twin Cities, where we are blessed to have numerous parishes (such as St. Agnes, highlighted in the article) that provide reverent, beautiful Masses, and also have several TLM options.

        • Jenny Tomsic Bioche

          Enough said! Field trip to St. Agnes anyone?

    • Jai

      It’s irreverent because you are irreverent, focused so much on what you hate and your rash judgement, ignoring the fact that God is on the altar, blood and flesh, no matter who is there or how crappy the music is that Sunday.

      • Alexia

        Exactly. I have to go to a church that a three people would call ‘schlocky’. There is terrible music, and 90% of the church jean clad, but I still go because its not about the people at the church, it’s about Jesus.

        • Alexia

          Sorry. Typo. I meant ‘these people’, not ‘three people’ 😉

        • WSquared

          Yeah, but precisely because that IS Jesus, what excuse do we have for celebrating Mass in such a schlocky, sloppy manner? That this is about Jesus and not about us or the people at the Church is why the question of beauty in the liturgy matters: what, after all, do we mean by “Jesus”? That other Catholic Christians around the world not only risk their lives to go to Mass, and nowadays might even get killed AT mass, is one of the reasons why we should not bicker overly much about the liturgy. But the fact that that IS Jesus and the fact that other Catholic Christians across time and space suffer and die for Him in ways that we don’t right now is also good reason for beauty in the liturgy– Who is this Jesus Who promises that if we die with Him, we rise with Him? Who is this Jesus Who promises that if He dwells in us, we dwell in Him? Priest holes didn’t exist for the parish barbecue, prayer meetings, or upbeat music, or because Christians were dying to “have fun” at Mass.

          Sure, Catholics know that this is about Jesus, and that we go to Mass for Jesus, but would a non-Catholic even guess that Mass is about Jesus from observing “the usual” at so many parishes? Or are we unfortunately suggesting that Jesus is, well, schlocky? Like “Buddy Christ”? We don’t advocate beauty at Mass to show people what awesome Catholics we are; we advocate beauty at Mass to show people how awesome, beautiful, and magnificent God is. Yes, Jesus is our friend and brother, but how many Catholics are also aware that Jesus is High Priest, Prophet, King… and Judge? Many Eastern Orthodox, given their experience with the mystery in the Divine Liturgy, are scandalized when they see the way Mass is treated in many Latin Rite Catholic parishes. And while we’re on the subject of Who Jesus is, how many Catholics are even aware that Gregorian chant has a sound that is simultaneously Bigger Than You, and yet so very intimate, which is exactly how the Eucharist is meant to work in us– which goes directly to the part in St. John’s Gospel about Christ dwelling in us so that we may dwell in Him, and how intimately God knows us (see Isaiah for that one). Does anyone even imagine that “One Bread, One Body” communicates as much nearly as well?

          By being “casual” about the re-presentation of Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary, we risk being incoherent. Incoherence about what Catholics believe at the very heart of the Source and Summit of the Christian Life is not okay, and people who object to badly celebrated liturgy aren’t all being “judgmental,” whereby they somehow don’t love Jesus enough (that may be true in some cases, and yes, I have encountered such people, but that’s not the case with all of them). The Eucharist is not just a meal, or else (in the words of Scott Hahn) the Crucifixion may as well just be an execution. The Eucharistic meal is also a sacrifice, just as the Passover meal in the Old Testament is. And does it ever occur to anyone that if we treat Jesus too casually, or like some big, puffy, sugary marshmallow, we run the risk of receiving Him in vain?

          I go to a parish like yours, and I’m grateful to be there because of the Real Presence, of course. Our parish also has an adoration chapel, which I frequent. But while I do acknowledge that people are doing their best, it perplexes me that nobody wants to go near the Church’s own musical tradition (probably for being afraid of the unknown), or that it’s the norm in many a parish that people feel they have the right to complain about that tradition without ever asking why we have it and why the Church gives it to us. To say that “God cares only about what’s in my heart” and to acknowledge the Magisterium’s authority in questions of faith and morals, but claim to know better than the same Magisterium about spiritual matters is not only arrogant, but incoherent– and how music affects our souls isn’t just a “religious” question or one of “personal spirituality” or even “taste”; it’s philosophical and theological, also, and how it conveys the Word of God effectively or not isn’t just about the words, but also the structure, since the Word was Made Flesh. That’s the logic of the Incarnation.

          Episcopalians have a far more beautiful service or liturgy than we do– but they don’t have validly ordained priests, and they don’t have a valid Eucharist. So if push came to shove, I’d rather go to a badly celebrated, but still valid Catholic Mass than go to a Episcopalian liturgy. But the fact is that it’s not “beauty” or “the basics of the Mass.” Both go together; it’s a both/and thing. We make do with what we have, and we try to be as charitable as possible– but the fact is that bad music is at best tolerable, but not okay for reasons ranging from spirituality to catechesis.

          I do wonder sometimes if those who accuse people who care about beauty in the liturgy of being “snobby” and “judgmental” almost as a knee-jerk reaction aren’t themselves being snobby and judgmental. I have a series of questions to ask people who make those assumptions: if we are so fond of saying that “actions speak louder than words,” what do we imagine we’re saying if we celebrate Mass carelessly? If, by our actions and attitude toward Mass and our lack of reverence and snobbery toward beauty as “inconsequential” essentially communicates that the things of God and also Heaven are ugly, why would anyone want to go there, and why would anyone wish to desire God above all things? Moreover, if we scoff at beautiful things for God, do we believe that God can act through matter, or don’t we (and if we don’t, isn’t that tantamount to a denial of the Incarnation– and can we call ourselves Catholic if we deny the Incarnation?)? Also, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope St. John Paul II, both of whom were so in love with Jesus Christ (you can’t write the likes of Jesus of Nazareth and not be head over heels in love with Christ and in love with Scripture), were both young kids once. Both grew up with the Latin Mass, and were acutely aware of how Mass is not a mere “obligation,” but it’s where we participate in Christ’s salvation of us, and also that Mass is meant to form disciples. However did they fall in love with Jesus Christ without pop music at Mass?

          • Alexia

            Yes, I agree, but what right have we to judge them? ‘ It’s likely a mess of altar girls, guitar bands, and people who wouldn’t even consider that they should walk 10 feet to the vestibule after Massbefore carrying on a normal-voiced conversation. ‘ this is a quote of rachel Lu’s. this is judging on a baseless charge. Calling them schlocky isnt much better either. And what if they are like what ms. Lu says? We should of course do our best to evangelize and kindly point out some things that they shouldn’t be doing, but we can’t help if they are supporters of Vatican II, (which I am). We should nt say bad things about them, no matter how terrible it is.

            • Alexia

              And, by the way, my three girls are all altar servers. ( and my two boys. )

              • Nora

                My two girls are as well, and as soon as the other two are old enough, they will ;). My 4 boys are still too little.

                • Nora

                  I mean the other girl. I have but three girls. Stupid auto correct 😉

            • WSquared

              I dunno. It seems that the Church’s documents say quite a lot about how not everything is permissible.

              I don’t judge anyone’s souls, whom I know are trying their best: but I think I can legitimately and reasonably question the direction of their efforts: in other words, the tremendous effort that they make can be put to another– arguably better– purposes. I’ve been to parishes that have virtual rock bands playing during Mass– and the fact is that loud music makes it difficult to pray, the sound simply presses down on you, and that secular and sacred music have different composition styles. To assume otherwise is ignorant.

              Since when did sincerity become dogmatically infallible? Somebody can be sincere, but somewhat misguided.

            • WSquared

              We should of course do our best to evangelize and kindly point out some
              things that they shouldn’t be doing, but we can’t help if they are
              supporters of Vatican II, (which I am).

              …and people who see the value of the TLM don’t support Vatican II? I hope that’s not what you’re implying.

              I would actually posit that familiarity with the TLM actually allows for a better reading of Vatican II, because the TLM is more obviously Christocentric, and Vatican II must be read through a Christocentric lens. The Novus Ordo is Christocentrically focused, too, but unfortunately, one often has to look really hard. That’s where the TLM can help– the schlocky stuff detracts from that Christocentric focus because it rather flattens its dimensions and robs it of its color.

              And nobody is “saying bad things” about anyone, merely calling bad arguments on the carpet; we legitimately question people’s assumptions and question a status quo that should not have become the norm, if actual Church documents and the very basics of sacramental theology and what Catholics believe are any indication. It’s not Dr. Lu’s or anyone else’s fault that those who advocate dumbing down the liturgy have no good arguments– all I’ve seen is reference to people’s feelings, and no larger theological or philosophical points, both of which are unavoidable when talking about the Incarnation.

            • “we can’t help if they are supporters of Vatican II”

              Can you elaborate on that? The actual documents of VII say that Gregorian Chant and polyphony be given pride of place and explicitly requires that Latin be retained. It also makes no mention whatsoever of versus populum orientation.

              You seem to be referring to the “council of the media” and not the “council of the fathers.”

  • Beth

    I only dream of this beauty for my children. It is quite telling when they prefer daily mass to Sunday mass. “Mom, we can actually pray when there is no music and a lot of people talking!” My prayer is that my children will have a St. Agnes some day.

  • Elaine Steffek

    Thank you Rachel for an enlightening piece. Most people don’t realize they are in a schlocky parish as they have never seen a real one. Congratulations to
    masstimes.org, a product of Faith Publications in the Diocese of Lansing!
    It is an excellent traveler’s tool although there is no way to know what KIND of Catholic parish you may be attending.
    If you are on the road and find a reverent,
    solid liturgical parish, please support them with a donation or kind word to the pastor.

    • Jai

      Rude! Schlocky parish? You guys are awful. This is not what Jesus wanted for His Holy Church when he gave the keys to Peter. 🙁

      • Alexia

        I totally agree.

      • WSquared

        Yeah, and the Magisterium has said several things about the liturgy and sacred music that so many of us at the parish level routinely ignore.

        I’m not sure that Jesus wanted us to forget Who He is by domesticating Him and reducing Him to a rather flat caricature.

        Isn’t dumbing Jesus down, stripping Him of crucial dimensions of Who He is, and making Him blah rather rude to Jesus?

    • Matthew

      Never seen a “real” parish. . . . Why don’t you just call yourself a Protestant and stop pretending to be Catholic? You’ve already started your own church–with your “real” parishes as opposed to all of the false parishes which do not have your approval.

      • Elaine Steffek

        Do you even know what the article is about?
        “Real” is code for authentically Catholic, doesn’t
        deviate from the GIRM and Church rubrics, with parishioners who actually believe what is happening on the altar rather than a weekly social hour. We call these
        parishes the “Church of Nice”. People who are in them don’t know they are in them. Get a grip.

        • Matthew

          Yes, this article is about “real” Catholics who have the ability to see what is in the hearts of “inferior” Catholics. It’s about “real” Catholics who claim that they hold fast to the GIRM while at the same time stating that the sign of peace and other approved practices is foolish, scandalous, and irreverent. But, mostly, the article is about a lady who went to Texas and thinks that she’s a better Catholic (and mother) than all of the schlocky people who welcomed her and her family into their parish.

          • Elaine Steffek

            Every one of your sentences is inaccurate.
            But I understand how someone in a Church of Nice parish would see it that way.

  • lifeknight

    It is a hard call, Dr. Lu. I prefer the TLM (Traditional Latin Mass) and so does my husband, a convert. We left the church about a block from our house to go to a Latin Mass an hour away–each way. Some of the reverence “took” with the children and some rebelled later on. All are still practicing Catholics with reverence for Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Eucharist. All of them recognized the hokey baloney at some N.O. Masses, but they also chastize us if we say the TLM is a holier ceremony.

    And this after 24 years of homeschooling with the Baltimore Catechism!

    I must say that some of the people at the TLM soured the children on another level….this one more serious than any WE could have imparted–

    We were always condemned because we wear pants……(NOT to Mass, mind you, but playing sports or otherwise.) Also because we participated in some sports that they felt inappropriate, like swimming. I would receive queries from parents about these things…..but the children would endure severe criticisms from their Latin Mass peers.

    At some point they will find their way. They must “own” the Faith and find its practice in their hearts. Believe me, it gets even more “interesting” when they marry!

    “En media stat virtus!” I don’t teach Latin, but this little phrase helps along the way.

    • ‘Also because we participated in some sports that they felt inappropriate, like swimming.”

      WTED (What the Expletive Deleted)? Seriously, you have to provide more detail. Its not fair to leave us in suspense.

      • lifeknight

        I’m serious. Swimming is frowned upon in some TLM circles. Like everywhere, there are some people with interesting ideas–no matter where you attempt to attend Mass.
        BTW: They wore one piece suits, not thongs!
        Like many things taken to an extreme, charity can be lost in the pride shuffle.

        • Jenny Tomsic Bioche

          I feel your pain lifeknight. We have a lovely TLM 20 minutes away and I adore the reverence, we’ve been weaning our family of 6 away from the hippy dippy parish walking distance from our house and it has been hard. There are familes of great faith at the TLM mass, but they live very cloistered lives, if you don’t homeschool (we don’t) then you’re not in their “club”, some even maintain what appears to be a strict Amish dress code, and it’s a turn off for our kids.

          • WSquared

            but they live very cloistered lives, if you don’t homeschool (we don’t) then you’re not in their “club”

            Ugh.

            Just how does that sort of thing do help foster love of the TLM?

            • Jenny Tomsic Bioche

              Well as you’re implying it doesn’t. I know for me I have started to seek out the TLM because of the liturgical abuses/shenanigans of lay people hijacking the liturgy at the NO masses. But it is not because the TLM crowd puts out a welcome mat. Not to criticize them, but they appear to me, as an outsider to be a bit opposed to NO crossovers like me.

              • WSquared

                Not to criticize them, but they appear to me, as an outsider to be a bit opposed to NO crossovers like me.

                I’ve never really noticed that– but that’s only because I’m an introvert.

                A priest friend of mine, however, did notice what he described as a sort of clubby ‘tude when I invited him to come to the EF with me. I go to the Latin Mass for Jesus, and because I want to know both forms of the Mass intimately. So whether some folks thought this, that or the other thing about me as an “OF-crossover” or not, they can think whatever they
                like and I would still show up for the EF while ignoring them
                completely. Like you, I care only to drink deeply from the EF well, because it nourishes my spiritual life and my appreciation for the Latin Rite liturgy: also, being EF-cognizant allows me to tune out an awful lot at the OF and to be focused at all times– I don’t go to the EF only, because I’m the only EF-lover in my family. In so far as that situation has taught me to be patient and charitable, it’s just as well.

                What I really do deplore is when folks who might otherwise discover a love of the EF let other people’s bad attitudes ruin it for them. For my part, I try to let them know that there’s nothing to be afraid of, and that it’s okay not to understand something– none of us understand absolutely EVERYTHING about the Mass, anyway, regardless of whether we can understand “every word.”

        • I believe you, I’m just drying to hear the complaint.

    • WSquared

      Also because we participated in some sports that they felt inappropriate, like swimming.

      …WHAT?!

      Yet another reason why we go to Mass because of Christ, and not because of other people at Mass. That goes for Mass in either form, EF and OF.

      But the thing we seem to be missing whenever we discuss beauty in the liturgy is evangelization. Yes, we go to Mass because of Jesus, but either what we believe is presented clearly, or it isn’t. And I think it hampers our ability to evangelize effectively if the way Mass is celebrated invites incoherence.

    • WSquared

      The key for us Catholics is never to pit EF against the OF, but rather to know BOTH.

      When you know both, it gets easier. It would also mitigate against divisions.

      I think your kids are also recognizing that there’s a difference between the OF and what gets slotted into the OF. The OF can be just as reverent as the EF– one gets that sense from the daily OF and also the low-form EF put side by side. At worst, I would say that hokey baloney slotted into the OF insults the OF: I object to stuff like that, I think with good reason, and not to the OF at all.

      • lifeknight

        I agree. We do attend both forms. “OF” during the week and the EF on Sundays. Unfortunately, the church offers few options for daily Mass. If it is reverent I am pleased to be attending and “participating” in the Mass.

  • jpct50

    Well said!!!

  • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

    “We are in desperate need of one thing: our children on their knees praying.”
    -Kenelm Digby

  • Schlocky in ohio

    Wow. Such a condescending tone. Where we are gathered in His name, He is there. That’s what matters. I can’t help but wonder if you are more reverent than the “schlocky” people or simply enamoured with your own reverence.

    • Bill Guentner

      Certainly we are “gathered in His name”, however, that gathering must recognize that we are gathered before the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings. My wife is not Catholic and she cannot understand some of our Catholic practices. In explaining why the Church requires silence in Church when the Eucharist is present, I asked her “what would you do if you walked into a church and saw Jesus standing at the altar? Her immediate reply “I would prostrate myself before Him”. “Nuf said.

      • Max

        Relax. Let’s clean the inside and outside of our cups before returning to our glass houses.

        Max

        • GG

          When we are unprincipled everyone to us seems to be Pharisee.

          • Max

            …said the unprincipled Pharisee.

            • GG

              Uh huh. Peace , love man. Far out.

              • Max

                I figured you were from Colorado! Right back at ya….man.

                • GG

                  Heavy duty.

        • Wow, that’s really pharasical. Of course, I see it that way because somehow I don’t see you as the type who needs a cup.

          • Max

            Can’t find one that fits. They’re all too snug.

            • Your in the demitasse aisle.

    • Scott W.

      Yes, we are gathered in His name, but our liturgy and disposition are manifest evidence of what we think of Him. When there are jokey homilies in which the priest acts more like variety-show MC than an alter Christus, when the music is trivial, sentimentalist mush; the endless idle chatter before, after, and sometimes during the Mass, a whole platoon of EMHC’s in blue jeans distributing communion–all of this indicates we don’t really think much of Him, and are more focused on our own navels.

      • I am less offended by blue jeans than jackets bearing the image of a leprechaun with a pipe and his dukes up in a pugilistic pose or some other team herald which betrays an imagined affinity.

        • jacobhalo

          The last time I attended a novus ordo missae, which was many years ago, a fellow came into church with a t-shirt that had written on it ” I did it on a flatbed.”

          • Geez..

          • GG

            Well, using the logic of some posters here I suggest you view that in one or more of the following ways:

            1. Be happy he was there.
            2. Assume he just escaped from prison and that is all he had.
            3. Perhaps all his clothes were caught in a fire only leaving that shirt.
            4. Never look at other people. Draw no conclusions even if he wore antlers on his head.
            5. Pretend you are not a composite of body and soul and are just a disembodied spirit. That way you are above such petty things. Be like the self appointed humble ones.

            • Ruth Rocker

              Pretending you are a disembodied spirit is an evil idea given to us by the Enlightenment. The Church used to talk about people using the term “souls”, i.e. how many souls there were in the parish. Today they talk about people like an inventory of stock. There is no way to separate body from soul. They are inextricably intertwined which is why we need to make sure we take care of both of them. To love one and reject the other is impossible.

        • Frederic

          Norte Dame has more national titles than you.

          • GG

            You mean ball games?

          • I’m sure God is as impressed as I am.

      • LarryCicero

        At the local parish last Sunday we enjoyed piano with violins. The priest is young and had a nice homily. After the mass someone from the finance committee gave the annual report, including upcoming expected capital expenses. I commented to the priest on the way out that I hope they can find money in the budget to fix the organ. He was a little puzzled and asked, “What organ?” I replied, “The one they don’t use.” There is hope and I am optimistic because of young priests like this one, who agreed with me, but he is not the pastor and is limited in what he can change. When we go to mass at the local parish I try to go to one where he is presiding and hope that he may become the next pastor.

    • Matthew

      Amen.

    • ColdStanding

      The objection is founded precisely upon the fact that we gather in His name. You wouldn’t put up with the mistreatment Jesus Christ is regularly subject to if it was done to you. Yet this is exactly what is going on. People act as if they are doing God a favor just by showing up and seem to mistreat His Holy Person just to remind Him.

      What you think of God will show in how you worship Him. It matters. So much so, that everything one does in connection with the facts of His nature are to be shaped by it.

      It is true, and everybody knows it, both the one’s that plug their nose and put up with it and those that refuse to do the same: most, by a good majority, parishes that lay claim to the august name of Catholic are irreverent. That is a serious fault.

      • GG

        Right and the logic used by those who do not like the essay is a reductionist logic. It says Jesus wore a tunic and had no fancy Church therefore we should only care about showing up and all else is superfluous. We have become holy archeologists. We think how we believe and act should be based on our erroneous and facile reading of the Gospel only, that is separated from Tradition and all the wise people who came before us.

        It is not a Catholic understanding but a false Protestant understanding that is like Sola Scriptura.

        • Don’t worry, Sola Scriptura will eventually go away. It may be replaced by Sola Korana, but it will go away.

          • Laurence Charles Ringo

            What is Sola Scriptura?

            • Luther’s invention of “scripture alone”. Net result-30,000 plus and growing denominations in wild disagreement while claiming to be adherent to the authority of Scripture, whose canon wasn’t defined until the Council of Nicea.

              • Laurence Charles Ringo

                Hmm…I’m afraid that I am not getting what you mean.When you claim that Luther invented “Scripture alone”,what do you mean by” invented”?It’s been my experience that this wildly fluctuating number is a red herring;in fact, my research shows that there are no more than 18 major Protestant denominations(Presbyterian,Methodist,Baptist,Anglican,et.el.)–What’s more, it has been shown that these supposed”wild disagreements”[ Really? Wild disagreements?] have more to do with church governance and heirarchal structure; there is no difference in the core foundation of meaningful Christian doctrines;they just don’t agree with roman catholic interpretations and authority paradigms,and rightly so . Anyone who has done a thorough,detailed,unbiased study of roman catholicism will come to the same conclusions,as many ex-catholics have realized.The roman catholic religious system as it stands bears little resemblance to the authentic church Our Saviour intended;it is a bogus, contrived, man-centered institution more political than genuinely Spirit-filled;it’s been in that state every since Constantine. Further,the Scriptures read and preached from
                by Jesus,Paul, Peter,and all the other disciples / apostles certainly wasn’t compiled by any”council”,since your church didn’t even exist yet,so that claim is bogus.I could go on,but I think you get my drift.I thank Almighty God for Luther; Almighty God raised him up to break the yoke of bondage and slavery engendered by the pseudo-religious power structure of roman catholicism.I have no doubt that your church would have murdered Luther just like you did the unfortunate Jan Huss had you been able to get your hands on him,so…No.Whatever Luther’s flaws and shortcomings ( and Lord knows there were many!),he got it right.–PEACE.

                • GG

                  Who compiled the bible?

                  • Laurence Charles Ringo

                    Wow,GG…that’s the question? Who compiled the Scriptures Jesus, Paul, Peter,John,the apostles/disciples read,taught,and preached from? When Jesus stood up to read from the Isaiah Scroll in the synagogue in Luke 4:16-22,where did the synagogue leader get the scroll from,and how did he know that he had given the right one? Who did they have to consult? What”council”made sure that they had the correct scroll? When Philip encountered the Ethiopian eunuch reading from Isaiah,why didn’t Philip ask the Ethiopian if he knew whether or not he had the correct edition of the Book of Isaiah? When Paul told young Timothy that…”from childhood you have been aquainted with the Scriptures,which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus”… (2nd Timothy 3 : 15.),what Scriptures was Paul talking about? I could go on,but I think you get my drift,GG.All of the New Testament was derived from the Old, so the idea that the Spirit of God was unable to preserve His Word and bring souls to Christ from the 1st century until the 4th,when He lead select individuals to DISCOVER what He intended to make up Holy Writ is a rank absurdity . Mull and reflect,GG.

                    • “I would burn the book of James if I could.”

                      Martin Luther.

                • Really? Luther got it right, huh? How’s his idea that the state is the proper custodian of marriage working out?
                  The fact that you feign ignorance (or is it authentic) and then launch into error filled tirade, with the salutation “PEACE” means that you are a prideful and brazen deceiver.

        • Matthew

          The objection don’t necessarily arise from reductionism–some of us don’t like the article because of its condescension.

          • GG

            You are sensitive because the truth hurts.

            • Alexia

              What’s with that??? How are you so sure that you know ‘the truth’?

              • Max

                Have you been following his thread? This guy knows it all. Pitiable, but humility is such an annoying inconvenience. Wish him well. It’s all a game of verbal repartee, anyway. Play along.

                • GG

                  Look in the mirror.

              • GG

                I reject relativism and propagsnda. Why is it you fail to see what is true?

              • WSquared

                Because it’s what Christ reveals to us through His Church.

                All talk of sincerity aside, a badly celebrated Mass obscures what Christ reveals to us through His Church– that very same Church built upon Peter, and which also has a Magisterium.

          • Alexia

            Exactly!!!!! Finally someone who agrees with me.

            • Ahhh.. the sweetest sound in the world, the reverberations of the walls of the echo chamber.

              • lifeknight

                LOL as always. Cheers!
                Or not–it IS Lent.

          • “Don’t misunderstand. My children are far from perfect, and I would never put myself forward as a model Catholic parent. As converts, it often feels to me like my husband and I are making most of it up as we go along. ”

            So condescending…

            • Alexia

              He wasnt talking about that particular passage. He was talking about the article in general.

              • Let me get this straight. “General” conclusions are those that are diametrically opposed to what’s actually written.
                I’m not a lawyer, but I’ll be you’d be fun to have on a witness stand.

          • lifeknight

            I don’t understand that comment. Children are very spiritual beings particularly if they are introduced to the mysteries which are sacred. Dr. Lu is simply stating what should be obvious to adults.

            • WSquared

              Children are very spiritual beings, and I think why they see what should be obvious to adults is because they’re so receptive.

              A priest friend told me that nobody prays more spontaneously and better than little kids– and then “unless you become like a little child, you shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven” struck me in a way that it previously hadn’t.

    • GG

      To those who have much more will be given. To those who have little even that will be taken from them.

    • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

      “We’uns jest folks!” This is so tired out and threadbare it nauseates. Down the block from my trad. Catholic oratory is an ugly little Baptist black church. I always see the poor folks coming out of their – women in their best clothes, little boys with their shoes shined. When Sunday services are still going on you can hear them shout and praise from across the street. The anemic honky glad-handing presided over by Father Bob Girlie Man as described above is NOT my idea of a ‘church with a common touch’ – rather a church with a Rotarian touch.

      • Matthew

        Thanks for injecting your racism into the discussion. Which church do you go to? I’d like to avoid it.

        • fredx2

          You mistook his point. He was praising the black church. People there took it seriously, despite their lack of means. Meanwhile, the Catholic church is stuck in glad handing.

          • How many times do I have to tell you not to let facts get in the way of a good rant. Matthew is on the high horse (to borrow a phrase) of reflexive indignity, and he must not be delayed or impeded.

      • We should like you know, like rap about our feelings.

      • LarryCicero

        On the other hand, dressing down in the professionals’ neighborhood is explained as justified because they wear suits all week. Wearing their Sunday sweats and casuals is not something we should judge. ;>(

        • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

          Oh, I get it. They are ‘hanging’ with God, so chill.

    • fredx2

      She’s more reverent. I can say this having seen the schlocky people who treat mass like it’s the state fair.

      • Or the preliminary meeting of the Sunday lunch club, which I believe is causing others to engage in servile labor on the Lord’s day.

    • Max

      Absolutely. Maybe they were just trying their best. I am all for reverence, and for doing things correctly according to the GIRM, but we get what we get because of the human element. I’ve heard the difference between a terrorist and a liturgist is that you can negotiate with a terrorist. Too much divisiveness spread from “apologists” and liturgists like Rachel.

    • Alexia

      I agree. It doesn’t matter which Catholic Church you go to. Jesus sees each Catholic Church as equal, or , the same. Each one is His house.

    • Jenny Tomsic Bioche

      Ohio, there is more reverence at the kick off of the Super Bowl than for the Holy Sacrifice and when you truly revere the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord, then you are enamored with Him.

      • Schlocky in ohio

        luckily I know that your cruelty means nothing, and that Jesus knows if I am enamoured with Him or not. I have a long way to go towards holiness, yes, and perhaps that is why I was so offended at Dr Lu’s obvious disdain. Yet many, many others have written the and thing. So I guess I’d rather be lumped in your insult list than sound like you.

        • Jenny Tomsic Bioche

          Sure Ohio, except me stating that there is a general lack of reverence, ie my super bowl comment above isn’t an insult, it’s a truthful observation of the faithful.

      • Matthew

        Ohio’s point is that Jesus isn’t condescending, and this article is. The author didn’t even seem to notice the miracle that she could receive Christ in the Eucharist a thousand miles from home; instead, she goes on about how much disdain she had for that parish which welcomed her to share with them at our Lord’s table. I don’t know how you can possibly suggest that the Schlocky from Ohio doesn’t revere The Lord or that Schlocky somehow reveres the Super Bowl. Maybe I’m missing your point?

        • Jenny Tomsic Bioche

          Hi Matthew, I wasn’t referring to anything personal related to Ohio. I’m not in a position to. My super bowl comments stands on its own. I’m sorry you’re reading a condescending tone in this article, and I will disagree with you that our Lord wasn’t frustrated at times with the lack of faith of people he encountered. Mark 8: 14-21 is one example.

          • Matthew

            Thanks for the explanation. You’re right about The Lord’s frustration with the lack of faith in others, but He has the right to judge what is in other people’s hearts. Of course you’d agree that we don’t have that right. Why not simply write what is beautiful about the Latin Mass and invite others to experience it, rather than insult Catholics who goto an NO Mass and might be doing their best under the circumstances. I read the article and thought “if that’s how TLM attendees feel about their fellow Catholics, then I’ll go worship with the schlocky sinners”.

    • WSquared

      Or, she could just be communicating her awareness of what the Church actually gives us and why, wondering why on earth we largely can’t be bothered.

  • Matthew

    Dr. Lu should read Luke 18:11.

    • Scott W.

      What’s that supposed to mean? Show your work and your logic on how this passage apples to anything here.

      • Matthew

        11
        The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity—greedy, dishonest, adulterous—or even like this tax collector.
        12
        I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’d
        13
        But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’e
        14
        I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

        I just find the article to be “holier-than-thou” and noticing everything wrong about the Mass, and failing to see Christ’s mercy in healing everything wrong in oneself.

        • Scott W.

          Yes, well what you can find a what you can justifiably substantiate are two different things. Boy, it’s really something when a ostensible Christian can hurl a charge of Pharisee against another Christian without any real evidence other than they personally don’t like what they say.

          • GG

            The charge of Pharisee today is simply a false one. People do not know what a Pharisee was or is.

            • They do if they’ve ever had to deal with a bureaucrat and codex of regulations.

              • GG

                Well, is that a true Pharisee or simply a small minded person?

                • Oh there’s an overlap, for sure.

            • Nora

              I see. Then you obviously don’t (?)

              • GG

                No, I was referring to you and those who throw around that false charge.

        • Objectivetruth

          You quote scripture….but can you show me where you get the authority directly from Christ to interpret it correctly without error?

          Only the Catholic Church has that authority given from Christ Himself to properly and correctly interpret His teachings and word.

          • Matthew

            I agree. And I eagerly await the Magisterium’s pronouncement on whether this passage applies to Dr. Lu’s article.

        • Christ dispensed his mercy on the penitant.

          Am I too believe that the lengthy confession lines that characterized the not-so-long-ago time of my youth have evaporated because this is a time of less sin, or less penance?

          • GG

            There is no need for confession, that is for only people who are ax murderers. What matters is that we show up, loosey goosey, glad hand each other – like a forced friendliness, and thank God we are the wonderful people we are.

            • And here I thought some of us had to confess suspicion and resentment to the holy sacrifice of the tax code.

            • Alexia

              I don’t agree. Certainly matters thst we show up at church, but we should have a sincere desire to welcome Jesus into us and, if we truly want this, we want our souls to be stainless and ready for Him to enter. It doesn’t matter which Catholic Church we are going to, because everyone of them is Christ’s house.

            • Alexia

              Why do you think that there is confession if its only for ‘ax murderers’? It’s one of the precepts of the church to go to confession at least once a year. Read any catechism and it will state that that is the BARE MINIMUM.

              • Catechist Kev

                Miss Alexia,
                Peace in Christ to you. I believe Mr. GG was being a tad sarcastic.
                God love you,
                Catechist Kev

              • Pay attention. GG is using a wry wit.

              • GG

                You gotta be kiddin.

              • Nora

                I think that he was being kinda sarcastic there.

          • Victor

            The word is “penitent.” Your arguments are as solid as your spelling.

            • Yep, you got me. I typed on a device without spell check.

              Of course, I have an argument.

    • fredx2

      Well, I suppose you would insist that Pope Benedict do the same thing, since most of her criticisms are precisely the ones that Benedict made. The simple fact is, the church was horribly distorted into a feel-good hootenanny by some, and much of the reverence was wiped out and “banality” replaced it. All too many church services are conducted as if we were all children and the priest was the clown hired to entertain us at a birthday party. Now, your deep failure of Christian kindness is manifest by your calling Ms. Lu a “Pharrisee” because she has dared to make criticisms of the horrible architecture, the banal, child like services we have been subjected to for the last 40 years. If you have anything of substance to say beyond hurling epithets, by all means do so. But simply calling her names is sad and pathetic.

  • PhilLC

    as a Protestant who has many lovely Catholic friends with whom we regularly have ecumenical meetings and services I often have a feeling of sadness when i read things like ‘Catholic faith’ – we are Christians first and whatever else second, but Catholics seems to equate Christianity with Catholicism which inevitably comes across as a holier than thou approach. Reading this statement above totally shocked me ”why we put on our Mass clothes and filed into the 1970s monstrosity that had to pass for a church.”
    I wonder if Jesus cared where worship took place? The out of doors was OK for Him – besides, a Church are the people and not the building.
    I attend an Anglican church and they often break in the middle to greed and share the peace, hug etc. Initially I was taken a little aback by the practice, but over time have come to appreciate it as I’ve noticed that the Church, i.e. the people who attend, really do love and appreciate each other!
    Anyway, I lost my patience with the rest of the writing as I felt that the writer does not know what Christian fellowship and worship is all about.

    • Scott W.

      There is Christ and His Church. While we pray for other Christians in denominations and suffer when they are persecuted, we don’t pretend revealed truths are relative under a well-intentioned but ultimately misguided ecumenicism. Jesus preached outdoors yes, but one of His prime acts of worship was in the well-prepared upper room. Worship CAN take place outside of normal churches when there is a lack of space, but when we have better available, we use it. Frankly, your consternation here is really based on holding false dichotomies.

    • Matthew

      Phil, I’m Catholic and your post makes a lot more sense than Dr. Lu’s opinion and many of the posts on here. I don’t think that your consternation is “based on false dichotomies” but is, instead, rooted in a love for Christ and your neighbor. Reading this article and some of the posts certainly explains why many Protestants hold to a stereotype that Catholics are arrogant.

      • GG

        Did you read the same essay as the rest of us did?

      • Scott W.

        Nobody is questioning anyone’s sincerity here. The false dichotomies are manifest. There is no dichotomy between Christ and His Church that allows for “anything goes”. There is no dichotomy were worship outside=authentic, but worship in a church=meaningless (there IS such a thing as consecrated/sacred space.) And I noticed you breezed over my point that worship can take place outside a church in some circumstances.

        • WSquared

          Agreed.

    • GG

      Talk about a reductionist understanding of faith and worship. I tire of the excuse Jesus does not care. It is a 1970s type of facile reasoning that only views truth through the lens of relativism and cheap grace.

      • Scott W.

        Indeed. The interesting thing is that you can see the fruits of this. Parishes that take an Our-Lord-doesn’t-care are usually the ones where the people don’t care by not showing up. For 30-odd years the Diocese of Rochester under Bishop Clark ran under this who cares approach. The result was a diocese at the bottom of the list in attendance, donations, vocations, and every metric for healthy diocese.

        • GG

          All true.

        • ForChristAlone

          How many priests did they ordain during Matthew’s tenure as “bishop”

          • All41&14all

            Stop making fun. Is this a discussion or a show of sarcasm?

            • ForChristAlone

              Stop judging

              • All41&14all

                You don’t know what that means obviously.

      • Jane

        Um. No. Not ” relativism”. The argument is about judging others. The authour of this article writes with authority that her practices and parish are, indeed, more reverent. Perhaps. But the scathing criticism is not out of love, or understanding. There is a lot wrong in my own parish. Immodest dress and inappropriate behaviour abounds. Yet I would not go on to say that my parish is not a ” Jesus ” parish. I would not look at these brotgers and sisters in Christ in judgement. I would pray for them.

        • GG

          It is relativism when one does not judge by an objective true standard but simply by personal feelings.

          The “scathing” criticism is not out of love? Hmm. Love is not a mere emotion and that goes to the central point of this essay. People are operating on emotion not truth. Love is not some emotion that makes us feel happy because we get to act as we want to act, whether properly formed or not.

          • Matthew

            Agreed. The author of the essay is operating on emotion not truth. Our point exactly. But, to further the point, the operative emotion does not resemble love of one’s neighbor or love of Christ. It appears to be love of self, springing from spiritual pride.

            • “Altar rails make the distribution of Communion more efficient, and they are convenient too in that they enable the communicant to compose himself for a moment before receiving”

              What emotion is this?

              • Alexia

                Matthew said that the essay was operated on emotion. Not that particular passage.

            • GG

              Look in the mirror.

        • M

          I agree. Mass is a rich and absorbing experience. The joy and fellowship of the Mass can crowd out any awareness of the propriety of other peoples’ clothing, mannerisms, and behavior.

          • WSquared

            You know, I can block out an awful lot, lest fixation on everything that might bother me reduce my ability to be charitable. But that’s only because I know the EF as well as the OF.

            I may have to be charitable toward a sloppily celebrated liturgy, which I do gladly. But I cannot reasonably agree– both with regard to the logical implications of what Catholics believe and also for the sake of clear communication that sloppiness is okay and that “Jesus doesn’t mind.”

            I would venture to suggest that promoting incoherence, such that we don’t really know Him as well as we should, is something He would mind quite a bit. Sloppy liturgy rather cheats the faithful of the richness that Mass is that you admit matters a great deal, and it isn’t primarily about “fellowship.”

        • Rick Azevedo

          Hogwash. Evil must be condemned.

          • M

            Evil? What is evil about the Novo Ordo Mass? Leave judgment to God.

            • GG

              Not the mass. The abuses that occur.

        • ForChristAlone

          “I would not look at these brotgers and sisters in Christ in judgement. I would pray for them.”

          That’s because you’re a better Catholic than the rest of us

          • Alexia

            No one is using a better than you attitude except the author. So stop saying stuff like that, or you could develop one too.

    • “I felt that the writer does not know what Christian fellowship and worship is all about.”

      But who are you to judge (or feel)?

      • GG

        You need bell bottoms to get it.

        • Maybe a wide lapel rayon print shirt and a leisure suit too, dude.

        • Stu

          Bell bottoms went out of style long ago. Much like your attempts at logic.

          • GG

            Groovy.

      • Alexia

        Who’s the author to judge?

        • Where did she judge the undertanding of an individual?

          • Alexia

            Quote of Rachel Lu: It’s likely a mess of altar girls, guitar bands, and people who wouldn’t even consider that they should walk 10 feet to the vestibule after Mass before carrying on a normal-voiced conversation.

            • That’s the description of a hypothetical situation or occurrence. without so much as a reference to a hypothetical individual.
              The question was “Where did she judge the understanding of an individual”, not indicate something you dislike?

            • Nora

              How does that answer the question?

    • fredx2

      Is that why your church is failing? Honestly, there are more Catholics in England now than C of E people. Your criticisms don’t hold any water

      • PhilLC

        sad comment; who told you I’m in England? and ‘my’ church is the group with whom I worship which is very vibrant

        • fredx2

          You said Anglican. I took that to be the English church or you would have said Episcopalian. OK, maybe your an Episopalian, in which case you are in even more trouble, and your church is failing faster. You can call it “vibrant” all you want, if it is losing membership hand over fist, it is failling.

          • PhilLC

            there are Anglican churches all over thee world and they are definitely not all failing 🙂 Praise the Lord!

            • Why would I praise the Lord that Henry’s error persists?

              I praise the Lord for the Anglican Ordinariate, which allows Anglicans to have a room in the house they were evicted from by a lecherous, libidinous and murderous tyrant.

              • PhilLC

                Jesus only required two things of us – ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’

                Think and mediate on this for a while.

                If I see this in a Church, regardless of the label on the door, I’m OK with it. In any case, I come from a Greek tradition and might have a view or two about the Catholic Church too – but not here to point fingers, as I feel its totally wrong. Unity is what we need, specially in these challenging times.

                • You don’t want unity, you want blind indifference.

                • WSquared

                  Think and mediate on this for a while.

                  We do, thank you.

                  But consider also that the Catholic Church is a field hospital for sinners, and not a museum for saints.

                  It therefore doesn’t bother me that the Catholic Church is full of horrible sinners, because I know that the Divine Physician dispenses strong medicine, and that it’s that strong medicine that slowly turns sinners into saints, struggle as sinners do against grace as they always do. I don’t assume that Catholics aren’t merciful just because my fellow Catholics in the here and now struggle with the demands of mercy (which, if you stop and think about it, are actually hard), but I do look at those Catholics who were successful– the saints, because they show me what’s possible through the grace of God and the willingness to cooperate with it. I don’t presume to pit the best non-Catholics against the worst Catholics. That’s hardly fair.

                  If I see the ability to turn sinners into saints in a Church, I know I’ve come to the right place. That’s why the Communion of Saints matter: I could care less about how awesome a Christian I think the person sitting next to me is– “not judging” how awful a person is also works in the opposite way. I likewise don’t assume someone is a saint for the very reason that I can’t read that person’s soul. I have met many a nice person who lacks integrity, even though I don’t cynically presume that everyone who is nice has no integrity. I only acknowledge what the Church communicates officially as God’s work in a person, that yes, that person is truly in Heaven, and during Mass, the Eucharistic prayers remind us that the faith of all present is known only to God– and Catholics are indeed to take that seriously.

                  That’s the essence of “you will be holy, because I am holy.” I do not judge the efficacy of the field hospital by those who refuse to take their medicine, or those who struggle with how strong it is. I would think that those considerations and the need for patience are at the heart of loving God and neighbor, too.

                  It may not be merciful for some Catholics to carp and sneer, but it is
                  likewise lacking in charity and mercy of you to not see where they might
                  have a point– it’s just that they could work on their delivery some
                  more. Consider also that a lot of people put up with a lot of “schlock,” but they don’t have to like it or find it acceptable– especially when they know from reading Church documents that none of it should ever have happened, let alone become any sort of “norm” or status quo, and they therefore have very good reason to object.

                  Unity is what we need, specially in these challenging times.

                  Agreed, but it’s difficult to have unity with those whose theology, when taken to their logical conclusions, deny Who Christ is, thereby making communion difficult, if not impossible in some cases. We don’t, as Catholics, demand unity only on our terms, but we do understand that it is only possible on Christ’s terms, and in logical accordance with revelation, which brings us back to that eternal question: “who do you say that I AM?”

              • Jill

                Stop making fun of another church. It’s not nice. Go stand in the corner on one leg and stay until I tell you.

                • 1.) I’m not “making fun”, I’m raising a serious epistemic issue. There is only one Church, so I’m discussing another ecclesial community.
                  2.) I’m interesting in truth, not effete pablum.
                  3.) You do the same, and remain quiet.

                • Nora

                  Your not being that nice either.

    • Alexia

      I totally agree with about everything you said.

      • Nora

        Is that your favorite thing to say?

    • “I wonder if Jesus cared where worship took place? ”

      And he said to them: How is it that you sought me? did you not know, that I must be about my father’s business? (in some translations in my Father’s house).

      In any case, it was not disputed that he went to the Temple.

      So yes, he cared.

    • WSquared

      but Catholics seem to equate Christianity with Catholicism which inevitably comes across as a holier than thou approach.

      Respectfully, I rather get that feeling also with Protestants: when Protestants ask questions like “so are you Catholic or Christian?” they’re also equating Christianity with Protestantism. When they ask Catholics questions about Catholicism, they also presume to have the conversation about Catholicism only on their own terms. Sure, Protestants might complain that Catholics see things only on their own terms, but the fact is that they do the same thing to us all the time, often without even realizing it.

      Catholics and Protestants differ in theology, and I truly respect that. What we can share is our love of Christ, but those differences need attention and respect, because they do come down to Who Christ is, what He did, and what He’s doing. In any ecumenical discussion, you can’t ignore stuff like that, even as you respect the other person’s dignity.

      I wonder if Jesus cared where worship took place? The out of doors was
      OK for Him – besides, a Church are the people and not the building.

      Jesus knew what the worship of the Temple was a all about– it’s about sacrifice, in both Old Testament and New Testament, and He Himself is the High Priest.

      The Church is the Body of Christ, and we as the people of God are no people of God without Christ as He gives Himself to us in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

      If you look at the exterior of a traditional Gothic-style Catholic church it is often in a cruciform shape: being shaped by Christ’s Cross is what makes us Christlike. Moreover, the interior of a beautiful church rather suggests to us that it’s what our own inner dispositions are meant to be like when we are being conformed to Christ through the Sacraments that He Himself provides– vibrant, colorful, and fully alive: Gloria Dei homo vivens.

      Dr. Lu wasn’t being uncharitable when she expounded on why That Seventies Church does not reflect Christ and what we believe about Him at all. Iconoclasm and stripping things down is arguably an affront to the Incarnation.

  • Bewildered Mom

    Why do we all have this same problem?

  • Jane

    The best comment here is by a Protestant. ‘Nuff said. I have a feeling those that judge these ” monstrous” parishes do the same outside of mass. That is the tragedy of our church. There is so little love.

    • GG

      The irony of this comment is too much.

    • Beth

      The Church prays in morning prayer every day the Canticle of Zechariah which includes -this: This was the oath He swore to our father Abraham:

      To set us free from the hands of our enemies,

      Free to worship Him without fear,

      Holy and righteous in His sight

      All the days of our life.

      I am no scripture scholar but for many years I have contemplated -this part of this prayer -to mean specifically -that we are made free to worship Him, not simply made free -to live out our everyday lives doing as we please. But free to worship Him and -to be holy or set apart in doing so. Yes, of course, we worship Him in and outside of -the mass but if the mass is the highest form of worship, why would we attend -to it as we would attend to a meeting at a coffee shop? Why would we not strive to raise our hearts and minds -to our Lord in -the mass where we will be fed with the Word and The Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity which will -then [give us what we need -to properly and fully love our neighbor as ourselves. Let us not fool ourselves into thinking -that we can fluff off worship to God with -the excuse -that we are called -to love our neighbor. I think the the Lord Himself wants our direct and individual attention.

      • Your last sentence is platinum.

      • WSquared

        Yup.

    • Judging falsely, capriciously or without self-awareness is a sin. Not judging that which needs to be judged is a greater sin, a vortex of syncretism, schism, heresy, sloth and sin.

    • Rick Azevedo

      Tough love hurts, lady.

  • Jay

    I’m reminded of what Fr. Z said once in a blog post. If we want to “fix” the Mass, we need to start with ourselves by going to confession. None of this matters if we are in a state of mortal sin and do nothing about it.

  • Dan

    My experience is that some of the “welcoming” parishes are in fact the most unwelcoming. Basically you are “welcome” to accept their liturgical improvisations and “welcome” to laugh at the priest’s corny jokes. You are “welcome” to hold hands during the Our Father and carry on like your team just scored the winning touchdown at the sign of peace.
    Try reverently folding your hands, bowing during the words of the Incarnation in the creed, receive Communion on the tongue, or kneel and pray a prayer of thanksgiving after Mass, (nothing that “extreme”, just following the proscribed norms and a minimal due reverence to God) and you will quickly see how “unwelcoming” such a parish actually is.

    • Jane

      Not true. My fellow parishioners couldn’t care less that I receive communion on my tongue, kneel during the words of the Incarnation or fold my hands during the Our Father. They treat me like everyone else. Who knows, they might even appreciate my behavior.

      • WSquared

        I agree. My parish is like yours.

        But I also see where Dan is coming from– what he describes, however, I’ve seen more at the individual level rather than in the parish as a whole.

  • Lies

    I’m glad I’m not the only one protesting the schlocky practices. It definitely is the American Church. How did it ever come about? Carte Blanche is what they thought they had and this is what we got.

  • Veritas

    Conversations abound inside the church, right up until Mass begins.

    People come in late, but they aren’t necessarily pushing somebody in a wheelchair, or having to deal with a child with Downs Syndrome. They’re just late.

    And then they’re quiet when Mass begins, but they’re tuned out.

    I teach in a public high school. If you want me to tell you about how woeful it’s become, I can only say a few things. Excuses rule the day. Nobody is accountable. There is no higher standard because excuses abound. It used to be, “This is your duty.” Today, it is “It’s not your fault. Do as you please.”

    The masses attending the Mass are also coddled. Is it any surprise that they do not attend Mass with an air of sanctity and humility? Today, it is “How can I get the Mass to become more palatable to Me.” Of course, when any Christian can now choose his or her brand of truth by opting out from Catholicism to hear the Word and fellowship down the street, are any of us surprised.

    The slide in public education and within our own Church nauseates me.

    • jacobhalo

      That was and is the problem of Vatican II’s goal-to bring the church into the modern world. Why would you want to bring the church of Christ into this modern world. You would have thought that Vatican II’s goal would had been to bring the modern world into the church.
      As then, Cardinal Ratzinger had said years ago, It would be better to have a smaller church, with members who believed in the teachings.

    • GG

      Well said.

    • Jenny Tomsic Bioche

      Amen Veritas. I can’t believe the number of people, oddly especially senior citizens, who almost bolt up and start yacking about their hip replacements, Betty’s pulled pork recipe, and any other fodder the moment “the Mass has ended.” My family stays kneeling as we want to thank our Lord for the Holy Sacrifice, and you almost need earrplugs. The younger versions are the parking lot moms squealing over cheerleading competition results, standing two feet from the tabernacle, it makes me weep.

      • Timm

        It makes you weep to hear people happy? After the mass has ended? That says a lot more about you than them.

        • Yet another ex nihilo guest poster, twisting words.
          Now what is that acrid murine odor?

        • ForChristAlone

          why are you judging Jenny? That’s wrong to do.

        • WSquared

          You know, one time I tried to ask a priest at my old parish a question, the Blessed Sacrament was exposed. He very gently told me not to talk so audibly and so much in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I was whispering, by the way.

          I’m glad he told me as such.

          Besides, he was also trying to pray.

        • WSquared

          It’s not like they can’t take it outside: I’m glad that they’re happy, and I respect that.

          But they can likewise respect that other people want to pray.

        • Jenny Tomsic Bioche

          Yes Timm as happiness is a feel good term that doesn’t have a place in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, or the sanctuary.

          • WSquared

            But a sober joy does! 🙂

            …and that sober joy is much deeper and far better rooted than what our culture sees as “happiness”– i.e. the dogmatically enshrined “right” to “have fun.” Pope Francis once cautioned that having fun and joy are not the same thing.

    • Jai

      How dare you assume that simply because someone is late or talks during Holy Mass they do not attend with sanctity and humility?
      That is not for you to decide. And frankly, it’s none of your business.

      This comment section is a joke. A Church that was built on the most powerful commandment: love God and love your neighbor… as long as your neighbor dresses right, arrives on time, has well behaved children, sings the right songs, and doesn’t speak in the sacristy?

      This division is appalling, embarrassing, judgmental, pompous, and blasphemous. I’m embarrassed to call myself Catholic if this is how you speak behind closed doors.

      Shame on you who ridicule and judge. I think your services are beautiful. But guess what? Even in the most revolting Masses I’ve attended, the gifts still became the body and blood of Jesus. Because God is big enough to do that. Shame on all of you for your hypocritical judgment. I’m going to go cry now.

      • GG

        The irony is too much. You judge but claim others cannot. Too funny.

        • WSquared

          …and anyway, didn’t Jesus really talk about BAD judgment, as opposed to no judgment, when He admonished us to take the beam out of our own eye?

          Moreover, a lack of judgment– which also takes into account what we cannot legitimately judge for having little capacity to see as God sees– rather makes the virtue of Prudence rather… irrelevant, doesn’t it?

          Yeah, the way our culture talks about “not judging” makes perfect sense. And really, a lot of people merely ask us to suspend our judgment so they can ram through their own.

        • “Shame on you who ridicule and judge.” Zero self-awareness.

      • Nora

        I agree 100%.

        From a pants-wearing, homeschooling mom of seven.

      • WSquared

        love God and love your neighbor…

        So disrespecting other people’s prayer time with noise with the tabernacle less than ten feet away, whereby it’s clear that we don’t even recognize that God is right there in front of us, is a way of loving God and neighbor, then? Why is somebody’s desire to yack it up necessarily sacrosanct, whereas somebody else’s desire to pray in peace in front of the Blessed Sacrament is “irrelevant,” and necessarily “uncharitable” or “unwelcoming”?

        I frankly don’t mind at all to hear squealing babies at Mass– they’re babies. They don’t bother me a bit, and I don’t even mind that little kids who are about three want to pray their Hail Mary’s out loud during adoration. What’s beyond the pale is children who are over seven and adults, both of whom are old enough to know better, who think that sort of behavior is okay: “let the little children come unto me” is not a justification or an excuse for irreverence at Mass, because irreverence will most certainly not encourage children to even see Jesus in the Mass at all. God speaks loudest in silence, and when we are still. The world and our culture is noisy enough, and we can get away from it for just one hour at Mass, can’t we? I do my best to be charitable and tune out as much as possible, from other people’s chattiness to bad music, instead of constantly complaining, but the fact is that I– and everyone else– shouldn’t have to.

        Visiting with one’s neighbor and chatting is fine, and encouraged. But the best place for it is the narthex or in the parish’s social hall during donut-and-coffee time. Mass– where we are at the foot of the Cross– is neither the time nor the place to be chatty or “have fun.” It’s funny how a lot of Catholics who wax lyrical about being “welcoming” don’t seem to want to welcome reverence or make any effort to be welcoming after Mass: being Catholic is coming to Mass, tuning out, singing songs, putting my envelope in the basket, and then buzzing off as quickly as possible. And everything had better fit into that one hour– or else. Father’s homily better not take too long, how dare Father chant the Gospel or any other part of the Mass, because it “makes Mass longer,” and a lot of complaints about how unwelcoming we Catholics may even tend to boil down to “I want to chat with my neighbor at a time that’s more convenient to ME– I have “no time” to go and have donuts and coffee with my neighbor after Mass. Because I’d rather watch TV, or something.”

        By the way, the traditionalist-leaning priest at a parish I frequented that celebrated both forms of the Mass not only celebrated the Latin Mass, but invited everybody there, stragglers and newcomers too, not just “regulars,” to a pot-luck social in the rectory after Mass about once a month. He always celebrated Mass reverently, and always gave us the good stuff in his no-nonsense homilies. That may be harder to do in bigger, suburban parishes, but the demarcation is still clear: socializing is for outside of Mass and in the narthex or the parish hall, and a welcoming, vibrant social scene might well be had if we actually put some effort into it instead of beadling off almost immediately after Mass is over, only to complain about how “unwelcoming” Catholics are.

        I’m embarrassed to call myself Catholic if this is how you speak behind closed doors.

        Oh, please. Get off your high horse. The only reason why any of us at all should be proud and yes, grateful, to call ourselves Catholic regardless of our sins and the sins of others is because Jesus Christ takes away those sins through His Cross and Resurrection.

        • Atilla The Possum

          AMEN, AMEN and AMEN SOME MORE!

      • Atilla The Possum

        You are the most judgemental and hypocritical protestant person on this website! A piece of work, so you are!
        Go back to the Church of Nice where you undoubtedly belong.
        After all, the Holy Mass is about the Holy Presence of GOD – not you, not hip replacements, not anybody’s feelings.
        How would you like it if someone came into your dad’s house and started ignoring your father – in other words, blanking him and doing things that offend him either by word or action! They start talking about themselves, making themselves too comfortable by putting their mucky feet on the coffee table, conveniently forgetting to use the waste paper basket, snatch the TV controls from your dad’s armchair (which has been put in the hallway and not in a place for his comfort because, after all, he works his butt of and pays the bills for heaven’s sake) and raiding your mother’s fridge, criticising the curtains and the carpets until your father says ‘My house, my rules, show some respect for my property! Who are these people anyway?! What gives you the right to move my armchair into the hallway, instead of where I want it? Show some manners!”
        Your dad wouldn’t stand for it. Why should God and those who wish to enter His House to spend high quality time with Him?
        Grow. Up.

  • John

    All I can say is, you have effectively kept me from going to your parish.

    • ForChristAlone

      All I can say is that I thought “If ever in MN, I am sure to attend Mass at St Agnes.”

    • WSquared

      Wow. I thought that Mass was about Jesus.

      Why does the “we go to Mass for Jesus” thing only apply to a badly celebrated Novus Ordo, but as soon as the Novus Ordo is reverently celebrated or there’s a TLM, then “that effectively keeps me from going to your parish”?

  • Max

    Wow. Lots of criticism. Did you receive the Eucharist? How about an article on what you thought was good about the Mass you so criticized?

    Things are different outside Minnesota.

    • ForChristAlone

      she wrote what the Crisis Editor asked her to write about. If you want to write about something different, make the request.

  • Father Joseph A. Colletti

    Rachel Lu: I want to CONGRATULATE YOU for an outstanding comment of the TRUTH!!!
    For a convert or converts that u both are: I am utterly impressed, and YOU HAVE CAUGHT
    THE MESSAGE. Keep up the good work; spread it everywhere; there are not enough like you to articulate and express themselves either because they are afraid or find it difficult, whatever. As u stated never hearing any compelling argument as to why everything had to be stripped, Rachel, there is NONE! none worth wasting time or ENERGY talking about, reading about or listening about. The Roman Rite has been destroyed literally by liberals, modernists, avant-garde progressivists and Masons; the Masonic influence has contributed largely to the sanctuary design identical to a masonic lodge as well as a heavy Protestant Influence. You are a very intelligent and educated woman and exemplary mother and CATHOLIC. The Catholic Life is what is has been all about until the ecumenical church arrived with its lack of reverence for the Holy Sacrifice, Holy Communion, the importance of reverent posture and religious reverent decorum of the True and Traditional Catholic Church. Try to find and stick to what you experience weekly whenever u go away. There is a list of Traditional Catholic Churches online, the true “Jesus places.” As the psalmist prayed: “out of the mouth of babes, you have perfected praise(truth)….” Amen. God bless you, your devoted husband and darling children to continue what God has begun in you: True, Devoted and Dedicated Catholic Fathifuls.
    Father Joe Colletti

    • Jane

      Exemplary mom and Catholic? Rash judgements are certainly the order of the day. How can we tell from one piece of writing? And Father, the true ” Jesus places” are what you decide, not God? Not likely.

      • lifeknight

        Yours may be the rash judgement as well. Dr. Lu has written several very insightful pieces. Check them out here. Father Colletti says what many of us know from years of witnessing liturgical abuses.

      • ForChristAlone

        you’re wrong; Father’s right.

      • Alexia

        I agree. One peice of writing certainly isn’t enough to prove that she’s the greatest mom and greatest catholic. Only God knows, so why should we even try to decide?

        • ForChristAlone

          this is highly judgmental Jane. You might want to redact.

    • ForChristAlone

      Way to go, Father

    • Just curious, Father–are you the Father Colletti who is with the SSPX?

      • ForChristAlone

        And what if he is. Are you certain that what you are implying isn’t sinful matter?

        • Matthew

          Dr Lu sounds like someone who would fit in well at an SSPX church.

          • GG

            And you sound like you are Call To Action.

            • Matthew

              GC- And you sound like someone from Romper Room.

              • ForChristAlone

                You’re being judgmental again. Listen to what Pope Francis says: “Who am I to judge?” Now emulate the Pope.

              • antigon

                And you sound like someone who is a poo-poo head.

          • Nora

            Just what I was going to say.

          • ForChristAlone

            you’re being frightfully judgmental

          • Phil Ferguson

            I’m not SSPX, but I totally agree with Dr. Lu. I pine for reverential treatment of Our Lord. Eliminate “honky tonky” music, embrace the altar and the chant.
            This, from a 76 young, life-time Catholic with 7 children and 17 grandchildren, oh, and one beautiful “My Queen.”

        • I’m not implying anything. I’m simply curious.

  • Scott W.

    Well I’d say that the evidence that the author hit a home run is in the naysayers unwillingness or inability to engage the content and managing little more than passive-aggressive digs.

    The good news is that there are many signs of improvement. Dr. Peters likes to remind us that was much worse in the ’70s age of burlap and butterflies. There is no mystery why. As mainline Protestant denominations capitulate to Political Correctness there is simply nothing to gain anymore (if there ever was) by pandering to them by obscuring Catholic truths in liturgy.

    • GG

      Yes, but from some responses here we can see that the stalwart 70s children still cling to Cat Stevens and happy clappy. It is not just the mass but the underlying logic that is the problem. As we pray so we believe.

      • Matthew

        Scott and CG,
        Thank goodness that you two and Rachel are here to correct the Bishops on the Liturgy. The content of Rachel’s article is this: she (and you) presume to know what is in the hearts of other worshippers. Rachel even mischaracterizes the Blessed Sacrament as a mere “wafer” if it is being handed to jeans-clad people by a lady wearing a purple dress. If anyone is irreverent to Our Lord, it is those of you holding a prideful attitude that He is yours–and yours alone–merely because others do not seem to show Him respect in the way that you (you! not his Bishop nor his priest) demand. No matter what you believe, He is actually there–Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity– in those “schlocky” Masses which you so despise. I do indeed accuse you of being like the Pharisee who could not see The Lord because he was so consumed with the sins of others.

        • Scott W.

          That you stooped to sarcasm betrays you. Nothing you accuse me of is close to what I believe. It is rash judgment when I have made no personal attacks.

          • Alexia

            You may not have made personal attacks, but it is evident that you are attacking these ‘schlocky’ parishes. It’s not about you you you, it’s about Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. So stop making fun of these parishes. God is in every single one of them, whether you like it or not. By the way, in case you haven’t noticed, you shouldn’t be looking at everyone in the church. You should be thing about Jesus. Not how ‘schlocky’ the parish is. So stop talking about ‘sarcasm’ when every statement that Matthew has said is just about right.

            • Scott W.

              You need to actually read what I said and engage it rather than making caricatures of it.

              • Alexia

                In did read it. So now you have made it perfectly obvious that you HAVE to have the last word and criticize anyone who doesn’t agree with you.

                • Scott W.

                  If you had read me, you would know that I explicitly affirmed that the people practicing in the liturgies in question are indeed gathering in the name of the Lord, so your comment that I think there is some absence of the Lord at these liturgies is flat out wrong. The idea that I think that the liturgy is about me, me, me is equally false because it is precisely my contention that most modern liturgies have assimilated modern secular therapeutic tendencies, and therapy is primarily about the self, and getting people to see it is difficult like getting a fish to be aware of the water he has been swimming in all. I don’t judge the people in these liturgies. How can I when I participate in many of them myself? I don’t think I holier than them either. Anyone who says I do is a liar.

                  • Matthew

                    Alexia’s right because you refuse to affirm that Christ is present in the Eucharist at these Masses of which you do not approve. Yes, you state that the people are gathering in His name, but you do not affirm that He is there in the Eucharist. In fact, you cited with approval some story about no one believing that Christ is present in the Eucharist at a “modern” Mass. You come across “holier-than-thou,” but, worse yet, you think yourself holier-than-Him because you refuse to acknowledge Him in the Eucharist of His holy Church except when you want to. In your mind, you (not He) decide when He is present.

                    • Scott W.

                      Now you are just getting desperate and flailing about. Nowhere do I remotely imply that the Eucharist is invalid at these Masses and even the slightest attempt to read me fairly would lead one to conclude I think they are valid. I do think they are valid and that Our Lord is present. As far as the holier-than-thought nonsense. I just take that as ad hominem used resorted to when one has no case. I did learn one thing valuable however: indignation is the compliment that falsehood pays to Truth.

                    • Matthew

                      I stand corrected. Thank you for affirming that our Lord is present in the Eucharist at schlocky Masses.

        • GG

          You are confused and arguing straw men.

          • Alexia

            You are confused. Matthew is mostly arguing that its not about the people, or the music, or shaking hands or any of that stuff. Mass is about Jesus. When you go to mass, you should be thinking about Jesus. Not ‘wow, I’m so excited to go to this mass so that I can tattle how schlocky it is’!!!

            • GG

              You are confused about the nature of the mass and human nature. We are humans, not robots. We owe God and our neighbor reverence. To tell others to ignore what is wrong is silly at best and dishonest at worst.

              • Alexia

                You missed my point. I’m saying, ‘don’t go to a church then say that all the people are schlocky , on the Internet. ‘Not, ‘ ignore what’s wrong!’ In fact, I’m pointing pointing out the wrong in this article.

                • Nora

                  I think that u are getting kind of confused. Just think about what ur saying before you say it, ok??? Not being negative, I’m with you.

            • WSquared

              And Dr. Lu and others are arguing that robbing and cheating the faithful of the tradition that the Church gives us is not okay.

              When I go to Mass in either form, I AM thinking about Jesus Christ on various levels. Why do you presume to lecture anyone about how Mass is about Jesus, as if by necessity, concern for a well-celebrated and beautiful liturgy is always and everywhere only about fastidiousness and elitist personal taste and never about Jesus or love of Jesus?

              Bad music blasting in my ears, someone belting into the microphone, and loud drumming distracts me from thinking about God, especially when I know from Scripture that God speaks loudest in silence. I do my best to tune it out, lest complaining incessantly rob me of any of the benefits of being at Mass. But that’s not easy when the music is too loud, and even when it’s not and it’s simply uninspired, I can’t help but notice that compared to what the Church actually gives us, “On Eagles’ Wings,” etc. is just flat.

              I am always grateful to be at Mass, no matter what. But I can’t deny that certain forms of music played way too loudly actually obscures what Mass is about. The people playing that music may not intend as such, but that’s what results. It’s not about my personal “tastes,” which range from rock to Gregorian chant to pop, but a standard philosophical and spiritual observation that music has specific forms and functions and not all music is appropriate everywhere and anywhere. Music isn’t just about “the heart,” it engages our minds, too; it also isn’t just about lyrics or sound, but also structure. Music also has the ability to form people interiorly, which is why the Church counsels caution.

              Moreover, I still don’t see why we can’t put aside our personal musical preferences for but an hour a week for the sake of the music that the Church gives us and means us to have, or to make sure that that music is accorded the exposure and respect that it deserves. Yeah, most of the faithful “love” the likes of “Here I am, Lord,” but that’s because it’s all we’ve been permitted to hear! The musical tradition of the Church is music that reflects what we believe about Jesus Christ in words and structure, since the Word was Made Flesh. If the Magisterium is the teaching office of Christ’s Body, why do we presume to talk about how much we “love Jesus” when we can’t be bothered to obey the authority that He instituted? Simple plainchant can be learned through repetition– which is how anyone learned chant at all way back when, and repetition is how anyone learned “Here I am, Lord,” anyway (whether we “like” it or not, or just simply tolerate it, it sunk in because we have to hear it over and over and over again).

        • M

          Yes, let’s focus on God’s presence at the Mass rather than what everyone else is wearing.

          • ForChristAlone

            we can’t because we’re distracted by purple dresses (usually beachwear with sufficient cleavage to make the Swimsuit Edition of SI)

            • M

              So stop checking out women’s cleavage and focus on the cross! Surely it’s not that hard?

              • ForChristAlone

                unless the boobs are directly under your nose and you’re a normal male (remember that thing called temptation and the word ‘modesty’ that you NEVER hear used today?)

              • What would you know about being a man?

        • ForChristAlone

          Repeat after me: “Schlocky Masses” Now write that on the blackboard 100 times and then go back to your seat.

          • Nora

            You go write ‘ I will not be insulting’ 500 times then go to confession.

            • Who are you to judge?

            • ForChristAlone

              You are being judgmental again Nora. Please cease.

            • Alexia

              Ok, now ur getting jus’ a touch judgmental there, I’m afraid.

              Don’t worry Nothing personal

        • Alexia

          You are exactly right. Lets focus on Jesus, not what people are wearing.

          • And if they show up as Darth Vader, it’s all good.

            • Alexia

              So ur comparing a darth vader suit to a purple dress or jeans? Grow up. And even if they did, you shouldnt let it get in your way. Obviously that person has some sort of issue. So worry about yourself and Jesus at mass, not darth vader.

              • It’s your position that attire doesn’t matter, not mine. I just wanted to explore whether there were any limits to your general injunction to focus on Jesus, not what people are wearing.
                By the way, people who write “Exactly!!!!! Finally someone who agrees with me.” shouldn’t be telling anybody to grow up.

                • Alexia

                  ??? I wasn’t replying to you when I said that, you know…

        • Pamela605

          Although I appreciate the observations made, and agree with some of the comments regarding the irreverent attitude by many at N.O. Masses, I agree with Matthew that there is a lot of prideful pharisee-like attitudes which further divide us. I love the Mass. That is where I find Christ and where I receive Him, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. I am saddened by those who dress inappropriately and who seemingly have no reverence for the Eucharist. From my understanding the “Peace” that is offered has roots from the early days of the Church. However, it is misunderstood as to it’s meaning and used as a social moment, which I do find offensive and embarrassing. However, I think the parish priest should be educating ignorant parishioners on the meaning and reverence of the liturgy.

          As someone who is gluten intolerant, I cannot even receive the Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity at a Latin Mass because I am not allowed to take of the Precious Blood. By the way, my family (and others) do take the precious body on the tongue.

          Because I don’t know Latin, I could not follow along and felt very frustrated. I truly wanted to love the Traditional Mass, but I feel more at home with the being able to pray along with the priest in my own language. In other words, I am more present at a N.O. Mass. At the Latin Mass, it felt like I was watching the priest’s own private Mass. I don’t mean this as a criticism. I respect and admire those who chose the Traditional Mass. I just did not feel comfortable there. And that should be fine. We should have the freedom to chose without thinking the other is less or appearing arrogant.

          Finally, I’m not as educated as many of you, so I had to look up what “schlocky” meant. I was shocked that anyone would refer to the Mass as “cheap,” “inferior,” or “trash.”

          God bless all of us as we journey together, however imperfectly, towards truth and love.

          • Jane

            Great comment. I to, am very sad to hear the mass referred to as schlocky, inferior, trashy, the people insulted, the sign of peace called stupid, ect. I’m not sure if the internet creates such callousness or if people truly believe these insults.

      • The feline now follows the “phophet”….

  • I agree about how in some Churches the Our Father and the Sign of Peace are way too schlocky. They do sink to irreverance, However I am not one who wants to do away with the sign of the peace. I think at our church we do it reverently. I can go either way on altar rails but a lot of older people have trouble kneeling. And I have to say i prefer communion in the hand. It’s how I imagine the original Last Supper to have taken place.

    • Bill

      Manny,
      I doubt that Christ poured wine into the hands of the apostles. Be that as it may, I recommend to all the small book by Archbishop Anastasius Schneider, “Dominus Est.”

    • ForChristAlone

      funny how for hundreds of years, no one was terribly bothered by these practices…we’re in the modern era when everyone is into physical fitness but no one can get down on their knees to receive the Lord of the Universe. Amazing.

      • I didn’t say everyone or even most people. I said older people. We’re living longer than we used to. I can tell you my 81 year old mother would have difficulties.

        • ForChristAlone

          and 50 years ago, she wouldn’t have hesitated to attempt kneeling

          • LOL, I guess you feel the compulsion to try to trump anything that remotely disagrees with you. I hope it made you feel better.

            • ForChristAlone

              I do not think with my feelings and ‘feeling better’ is not high on the agenda of many of us here.

              • And yet you again feel the compulsion to have the last word. LOL..

                • ForChristAlone

                  Yep. It’s a Church command to “instruct the ignorant.”

                  • Oh now you’re getting insulting. Buzz off and go to confession.

                    • ForChristAlone

                      I’ll give you that last word.

  • Prolifedem6M

    OK! OK! so you prefer the vernacular Mass of the 7th Century to the vernacular Mass of the 21st Century! That’s OK with me! Why is it not OK with you that I prefer the vernacular Mass of our present century? I can understand every word of it. I was raised with the Tridentine Mass, memorized chunks of it as a kid, sang the Latin in the choir and still didn’t know half of what was bring said without a Missal in my hand.
    The Mass is beautiful in all its forms, Tridentine, Novo Ordo or Chrysostom. After all, it is the means by which Jesus gives us his most precious gift, himself in the Eucharist in whatever language it is offered.
    If the author were not so busy looking down her nose at people who prefer something a bit different from her, she might hear the words of Scripture in the hymns we sing, like “Here I am Lord,” a Bible quote. A handful of our songs are schlock, but others are deeply moving for those of us who let what they are saying sink in. The schlocky songs tend to fade away with time. In our parish, we’re fortunate to have music directors with a good ear for both the spiritual content and the musical values of the songs they choose. It’s refreshing and inspiring to have the whole congregation joining the choir in singing all the words of “Glory to God in the Highest” instead of just the parts assigned to the congregation or simply listening to a choir sing the “Gloria” because the people don’t know the words.
    The sermons we hear explain the day’s Scriptures to us, telling us what the Lord wants us to hear and respond to. Our priests don’t simply teach catechism as priests did before Vatican II. So often, they hit on exactly what I needed to hear to turn my life around.
    We also have the privilege of doing all of this in a magnificently beautiful Church modeled on a 12th Century Gothic German cathedral.
    Greeting and blessing the folks around me before going up for communion reminds me that we are offering this prayer as the body of Christ and that the Mass is not just a “me and God” experience, as it is in the Tridentine Mass. Why doesn’t the author get that? Reading the Old and New Testament selections as Lector enables me to convey the meaning of what is written by the way in which I read them. When I place a host in the reverentially outstretched hands or mouth of a fellow communicant or when I receive the host in my hands, I feel a connection with that fellow member of the Body of Christ. Sticking my tongue out at a priest going down the assembly line as the way to receive the Lord always seemed strange to me, even when I was 8 years old. The idea that we are too impure to touch or eat the host (as I was taught as a child) is clearly a remnant of Jansenism. As are many of the snobbish put-downs of todays vernacular Mass in this article and in the comments I keep reading in the comments section of this publication!
    I am delighted that the author and her family and all those snarky commentators responding to Crisis Magazine have found a liturgy that is meaningful to them. Praise the Lord that the Church is big enough to accommodate all of us!

    • Jay

      I don’t sense that she’s looking down on anyone. She’s probably just tired, like many are, of the “feel good” aspect of the N.O. Mass. That’s not what Mass is supposed to be like. Thankfully, this is primarily an issue only in the U.S. Many parishes have become consumed with the Protestant church’s ideas of holding hands, kumbaya-style Mass. That’s wrong!!!!!

      I’m a convert! When I converted from Protestantism, I wanted a new identity, and not one of which reeks of Protestantism!

      • Prolifedem6M

        Then let her (and you) go to her Latin Mass! That’s fine with me. As a cradle Catholic I find Protestant services lacking because they lack the Eucharist. I find the Mass so inspiring that I go whenever I can. I consider myself lucky that the Mass in any form is available to me. It isn’t for a lot of people in a lot of places. If only the Tridentine Mass were available to me, that’s where I’d be. My concentration at Mass is on my Savior, not on what other people do or say or wear. I’m glad they’re there even in their casual clothing. I think God is too. Maybe with time, they’ll show more respect.
        I live in a resort area. We have a lot of visitors to our parish who are taking time out from their fun weekend to attend Mass. Good for them! My God thinks more highly of them for coming at all than he worries about what they are wearing.
        If people want to hold hands during the Our Father, that’s OK with me. If they don’t, it’s also OK with me. Holding hands is something that came from the people. It has never been required. I’ve never heard any priest say, “now you must hold hands.” I simply experience my neighbor reaching for my hand. Should I reject the offer? Why? Because I am too Catholic to hold hands with my neighbor?
        The author has nothing good to say about today’s form of the Mass, only criticism from a viewpoint of moral superiority. She sees nothing of value in it. (I do agree with her on church architecture.) She implies strongly that the Latin Mass is better and the people who prefer it are more Catholic and holier than those of us who have other preferences. Too much of the commentary comes from the same viewpoint. Such phariseeism makes me cringe.

        • Aloada Milongas

          Cripes! A decal-displaying member of the Church of Nice blasting La Cucaracha from 10 car horns followed by a liturgical dance around the Parish parking lot! Your post reeks of it!
          NEWSFLASH! The Mass isn’t about you, if stuff is OK with you, if people wish to wave their pants in the air during the Gloria it’s OK with you and all that garbage!
          Calling people’s wishes to worship God’s Holy Presence in peace and reverence ‘phariseeism’ is nothing less than DISGRACEFUL!
          Y’see, all I’ve read in your post is ”me, me, me, me, me!” and ”I, I, I, I, I!’
          Are you Beaker from the Muppets or are you Carmen Miranda?

          • GG

            Funny. All that and they are still fighting the drama of their upbringing.

          • Prolifedem6M

            “I thank you, God, that I am not grasping, unjust, adulterous like the rest of mankind, and particularly that I am not like this tax collector here. I fast twice a week. I pay tithes on all I get.” Luke 18: 11-12 Jerusalem Bible) “And I worship God’s holy presence in peace and reverence, not like this decal-displaying member of the Church of Nice blasting La Cucaracha from 10 car horns followed by a liturgical dance around the Parish parking lot!”

        • ForChristAlone

          25 words or less, please

          • Prolifedem6M

            Unless I agree with you?

            • ForChristAlone

              That’ll never happen. Keep it brief and then (maybe) we’ll be inclined to read what you write,

        • jacobhalo

          There isn’t much difference between the Novus ordo missae and a protestant service. Don’t forget, there were 6 protestant ministers who were “observers” on the Liturgical committee during Vatican II.

          • Prolifedem6M

            You call the Eucharist “not much of a difference?” I don’t see all that much difference between the vernacular Mass and the Tridentine Mass I was raised with. A different language, one that the congregation can understand, and a broadening of its use of scripture along with (optional) different hymns and an emphasis in preaching on understanding the scriptures rather than catechizing. All the elements of the Tridentine Mass are in the vernacular Mass. There’s nothing to prevent music directors from using the Latin hymns. “You strain at gnats and swallow camels!”

            • WSquared

              I don’t see all that much difference between the vernacular Mass and the Tridentine Mass I was raised with

              Things look a tad different, though, to anyone who has been raised with “the usual” way of celebrating the Novus Ordo only.

              I didn’t appreciate the Novus Ordo until I started going to it and the TLM back to back. All of the elements of the TLM are there at the Novus Ordo, and the latter is a valid Mass, yes.

              But if that’s Mass, and that’s Jesus’s Sacrifice on Calvary, why are we so casual about it?

              different hymns and an emphasis in preaching on understanding the scriptures rather than catechizing.

              It would seem to me that in today’s Church, what’s needed is both. I’ve seen good priests at both the TLM and the Novus Ordo do both: they use Scripture as their point of entry, relate Scripture to some point of catechesis and why it matters in our culture, and then bring everything back to Scripture.

        • TeaPot562

          @Prolifedem6M:
          May I offer a couple of “positives” about the post V-II Mass?
          1) The three-year cycle of readings on Sunday (and 2-year cycle on weekdays) offers a fuller, richer narrative on the life of Jesus and His teachings than the Tridentine readings; and,
          2) Getting rid of the “Last Gospel” (finishes with “Et Verbo Caro Factum”) as a staple 363 days a year was, IMO a positive improvement. As an altar-boy over 60 years ago, I served with priests (“Presiders” in today’s terms) who would spin through that Latin so rapidly that the congregation could not understand it, even if they knew Latin. I understand that this passage from the beginning of John’s Gospel was stressed to combat the Arian heresy; but what is routine, after a while becomes humdrum and may be ignored.

          • WSquared

            I dunno– I rather miss the Last Gospel, precisely because a sense of the Real Presence as the Word Made Flesh is crucial.

            But what I do is to pray the Angelus frequently, since it also mentions “et Verbum caro factum est, et habitavit in nobis.”

        • WSquared

          Then let her (and you) go to her Latin Mass! That’s fine with me. As a cradle Catholic I find Protestant services lacking because they lack the Eucharist.

          Exactly.

          But consider also that the Protestant convert above who was and is searching for a Catholic identity– and what therefore communicates outwardly our Catholicity– has hit upon how much the TLM and its reverence does make the Eucharist central. It makes what makes us Catholic central. I don’t concentrate on what other people wear, too, but I do know that dress does send signals about where we are and what we’re doing, and it forms our inner disposition also, since body is not divorced from spirit. A lack of modesty is a form of a lack of humility– this has nothing at all to do with how “formal” our dress is.” Neither overly fancy, flashy duds nor something that shows underpants or too much skin are in any way humble. There, we use prudence and common sense, and neither go overboard with the secular culture nor overboard with the “Catholic Amish” way of doing things.

          I would never go to a Protestant service because I do believe in the Real Presence, and I would go to a Catholic Mass that isn’t as beautifully celebrated any day for that reason.

          But it’s precisely because of the Real Presence that it saddens me when Mass is celebrated sloppily, even as I am grateful to be there: because a sloppy Mass amounts to poor communication, and an incoherence of what it’s about. Sloppiness doesn’t convey Who’s there, and why Catholics should be grateful to be there: I want non-Catholic friends whom I invite to Mass see that for themselves– that this is what God looks like poured out for us, this is how our Savior saves, and Who we are therefore to emulate in generosity (and Who also enables us to do so). Moreover, when I explain our faith to non-Catholics, I find that the TLM has more firmly anchored me in the Mass in either form, such that I can draw on the TLM on so many levels to better appreciate the Novus Ordo and explain it to others.

          Besides, aren’t you being a bit snobby yourself when you say or at least imply that “as a cradle Catholic,” I don’t need what this Protestant convert needs? I’m a revert, so I’m acutely aware of what it means to be a cradle Catholic, what it means to be a convert, and also that conversion for any and all Catholics is always ongoing.

          You’re very correct to point out that Mass is not available to many people in many places, which is why we should be grateful, and not gripe. But precisely because persecuted Catholics in other parts of the world can’t get to Mass as easily as we can, why do we not realize that we’re being disrespectful to both them and God when we do so much to obscure what they risk their lives for and die for? Do we think that priest holes existed for “upbeat” music at Mass? Do Christians risk their lives for upbeat music, barbecue, and prayer gatherings? Or do they live and die for the Eucharist? I’ve noticed that you mention the Eucharist, but it’s almost as an abstraction– any cradle Catholic knows that the Eucharist is, well, the Eucharist, the Real Presence. But the TLM and a beautifully celebrated Novus Ordo communicate very effectively how the Eucharist works on every level. I can see where you’re coming from, but that Protestant convert has a
          point.

          Mass also inspires me. But I can also express how Mass, NO and TLM, not only inspires me but enables me– and everyone– to be better disciples on the minutest of levels because of the TLM. I’m seeing that this is what we can all have as Catholics, because it’s what the Church gives us, and that Christocentric focus is clear in the TLM, regardless of how little or much I or anyone else knows. I don’t just go to Mass for Jesus to inspire me. I go to Mass so that Jesus lives in me, and I in Him; so that Jesus Christ conforms me to Him. Which is what He will do if I let Him, because He means to get into every nook and cranny of my life, and of my being– that’s how He makes all things new.

          I also see no indication that Dr. Lu looks down her nose at anyone. I’ve been on sites where traditionalist-leaning Catholics bash the Novus Ordo, and even say some horrible things (I have also, by equal measure, heard all kinds of snobby things that Novus-Ordo-only Catholics say about the TLM, Latin, and the Church’s musical tradition). Dr. Lu doesn’t even come close!

      • ForChristAlone

        I’m with you.

      • jacobhalo

        Catholicism lost its identity during Vatican II.

        • Prolifedem6M

          Again we have the proposition that Christ deserted his Church when Vatican II was called. That makes Jesus to be a liar when he promised that he and the Holy Spirit will be with his church “until the end of the age.”. “When the Son of Man returns, will he find any faith on earth?”

          • WSquared

            But nobody can deny that the “Spirit” of Vatican II misrepresents Vatican II.

            That isn’t at all to say that Christ has abandoned His Church, but rather that some people’s bad ideas are getting in the way and obscuring the fact that He has not abandoned His Church or that the Church is about Him at all.

      • Kumbaya? How about Zumba!!!
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwS9umpEkvs

    • lifeknight

      Prolifedem? That is an oxymoron.

      • Rick Azevedo

        Kind of like Catholic socialist…

      • Prolifedem6M

        There are only 22 million of us, 43% of the Democratic Party and growing! Add to that all the former Democrats, now Independent, who vote for the other Party’s candidates reluctantly. We’re working hard to take back the Democratic Party for the Culture of Life and appreciate all the help we can get. The Culture of Death cannot be defeated by one party alone.

        • You kind of make me laugh with your childlike naivete. The Democrats will invariably do the wrong thing, and the Republicans almost never do the right thing.

    • GG

      Thank goodness you are so humble.

    • ForChristAlone

      Sheer hubris when the combox reply is longer than the article itself (Hint: no one really reads these lengthy diatribes)

      • Prolifedem6M

        You apparently did.

        • ForChristAlone

          Wrong again…immediately skipped over it and responded to the length not the content.

    • WSquared

      The Mass is beautiful in all its forms, Tridentine, Novo Ordo or
      Chrysostom. After all, it is the means by which Jesus gives us his most
      precious gift, himself in the Eucharist in whatever language it is
      offered.

      It is beautiful in all its forms, but what gets slotted into the Novus Ordo often isn’t beautiful.

      It’s not the Novus Ordo that’s the problem– the problem is how the Novus Ordo is often celebrated and what people slot into it (which I would argue is insulting to the Novus Ordo, for the very reason that the Novus Ordo is Mass, and the Sacrifice of Calvary is still made present to us: does anyone presume that they have a right to “have fun” or be casual at the foot of the Cross?). Moreover, the Church has a musical tradition for good reason– why do we presume to junk that tradition and call anyone who wants to foster a love of it “arrogant” and “elitist,” when if that’s the way we think, perhaps we’re the ones being arrogant and elitist. Also, Vatican II meant for Latin and the vernacular to coexist and complement each other at Mass, and not for people to kick Latin out completely. Think about what having both does: it forces us to think on two registers, seeing as how we’re supposed to be “in the world, but not of it.” Also, Latin is the lingua franca of the Latin Church: I don’t have to know the local language to understand what’s going on at Mass if Mass is mostly celebrated in Latin. Not that I object to learning other languages, but hearing Latin in the Mass, regardless of the country reminds me of what unifies us.

      This is not about what Mass is meaningful to “me,” but about what Mass is and therefore means, period.

      If the author were not so busy looking down her nose at
      people who prefer something a bit different from her, she might hear the
      words of Scripture in the hymns we sing, like “Here I am Lord,” a Bible
      quote. A handful of our songs are schlock, but others are deeply moving
      for those of us who let what they are saying sink in.

      But even the Novus Ordo Mass has Propers, and not just the Ordinaries– which are an integral part of the Mass. Those are actually Scripture, which are often chanted– certainly in the Extraordinary Form, but they are also meant to be so in the Ordinary Form (where they can be chanted in English). When we replace the Propers with hymns, we miss out on a whole lot of Scripture. Simply because someone raises an objection to the “usual” and the status quo with regard to how the Novus Ordo is celebrated doesn’t meant that they’re “looking down their nose” at anyone.

      Rather, they’re asking the obvious question: why won’t we do what the Church asks of us?

      When I place a host in the reverentially outstretched hands or mouth of a
      fellow communicant or when I receive the host in my hands, I feel a
      connection with that fellow member of the Body of Christ.

      But we get that with the Sign of Peace– and certainly in the Novus Ordo, we do that bodily. I don’t need to be placing the host in a fellow communicant’s mouth to “feel that connection,” and nor do I need to receive it in my hands. When a priest stands in Persona Christi and feeds me the host, I am reminded that Jesus the High Priest feeds me through His priest.

      Sticking my tongue out at a priest going down the assembly line as the
      way to receive the Lord always seemed strange to me, even when I was 8
      years old. The idea that we are too impure to touch or eat the host (as I
      was taught as a child) is clearly a remnant of Jansenism.

      Actually, it’s not all that strange: rather, it’s reminiscent of “unless you become like little children, you shall never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” Frankly, it’s a very good reminder to an aspiring scholar such as myself, given that the academic world and grad school can come with a ton of temptations to pride and egotism. Kneeling and receiving the host on my tongue is a reminder of how everything I have is from God– my talents, the goods of this world, any employment I might have, and certainly Jesus giving Himself to me as He does to us all. The latter, especially. Being a child of God is what makes us receptive– and it’s why a childlike faith is not at all antithetical to intellectual profundity, as one sees in the likes of Joseph Ratzinger and St. Thomas Aquinas.

    • WSquared

      she might hear the words of Scripture in the hymns we sing, like “Here I am Lord,” a Bible quote. A handful of our songs are schlock, but others are deeply moving for those of us who let what they are saying sink in.

      Scriptural emphasis is a great argument for Gregorian chant, actually.

      Gregorian chant during Mass often consists of a line (usually an antiphon), or a passage of chanted Scripture that actually opens up the words of Scripture. “Here I am, Lord,” while reminding us of the words of Samuel, sound flat in comparison, because modern pop music is metered, whereas Gregorian chant is not. Gregorian chant– and chant, period, even in English (Corpus Christi Watershed is doing a splendid job in that department)– is free to follow the flow and rhythm of Scripture.

      That the tract, gradual, offertory, or communion might take “long” compared to what we’re used to actually shows us how Gregorian chant is a meditation on even a single line of Scripture– a form of Lectio Divina, if you will.

      And nobody is really putting down the vernacular Novus Ordo, or the Novus Ordo, period– the Novus Ordo can be celebrated reverently, and both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have and do, as do priests like Fr. Christopher Smith and many others. But still others don’t.

      I don’t object to the vernacular Novus Ordo at all. What I object to is kicking Latin out of the Novus Ordo entirely, when Vatican II never called for any such thing (and look, it’s not as though the Latin Ordinaries are that hard to understand; you catch on, eventually). I also object to the junking of a musical tradition that we have no right or reason to junk other than our “convenience,” when actually taking the time and care to learn chant and polyphony can tell us a great deal of it means to excel at anything at all from a Catholic point of view, and there are also a lot of parallels with how Catholic spirituality actually works on a minute and concrete level. This music is an art form, it’s ours, and it’s alive; it also belongs to our liturgy, and not to academic intellectuals to be performed in a concert hall. You can have chant and polyphony in the Novus Ordo also, and the Church’s documents on sacred music actually assume that they’ll continue to be cultivated and appreciated, not just as some “distant heritage” only to be had at St. Peter’s Basilica. Moreover, it’s rather ironic that we’ve had the Mass entirely in the vernacular, but way too many Catholics still don’t know what Mass is, anyway, despite the fact that they can “understand every word.”

  • Mollie

    I don’t know where you were in South Texas, but in my neck of South Texas we have several beautiful, reverent Catholic churches that sound like they would be right up your alley. I hope that next time you come here, you will look them up! 🙂

    • ForChristAlone

      ..

  • c6h12

    Look, I get it. Your parish has got things figured out in a way that is beautiful, reverent, and let’s face it, downright helpful.

    But the “attack ad” approach to even our fellow Catholics has to end.

    Do you even offer a glimmer of hope here? The article is littered with the phrase “I “. I’m again not suggesting you even have anything to do, your parish sounds great, but why not encourage others who do not have a parish like yours to work for change?

    Far too often I read of people jumping ship on their community and finding a Mass that is “reverent” enough for them. There are four ways we meet Jesus in the Catholic Mass: In persona Christi, in the community around us, in the Eucharist, and in the Word.

    Tell me, which of the four are you improving for yourself when you leave to drive 20 minutes away to go to Mass?

    As mentioned before, the author’s community is this parish. And no, there isn’t much that could have been done while travelling. But way to slam them instead of taking the time to find someone, anyone, who might listen. You wouldn’t have needed to use the holy crowbar either, just plant a few seeds. Show pictures of your home parish, describe what the increased reverence means for you, anything.

    I would encourage all people “stuck” in a novus ordo lackadaisical Parish to be salt for the earth and light for the world in their own Calcutta. Advocate for the addition or restoration of some beauty. Push for one reverent song, then two. Show your fire for these things, people respond to that. Get an antiphon or two switched into Latin, and find a way to teach it to others. It might take years. Good.

    The concept isn’t too shocking. We try to evangelize non-Christians, often with great fervor. I myself greatly enjoy evangelizing our Christian brothers and sisters also.

    So what should we do when we see Catholics not embracing the fullness, the richness of what the Church has to offer? Dare we evangelize them also?

    Or do we encourage them to jump ship?

    • ForChristAlone

      If the liturgy is anything but reverent, if at all possible, jump ship. And tell the pator why.

  • hombre111

    I have two problems with Communion on the tongue, neither the least bit theological. One: I have severe arthritis in my neck and in my wrists, and can’t feel my fingertips or bend my wrist easily. When I try to put the Host on somebody’s tongue, I almost drop it. Two: If people who hold out their tongues only knew how much spit they get on the priest’s fingers, which goes on to the next host. Also, there are several different styles of receiving Communion by mouth. There is the tongue that won’t hold still, the barely open or very narrow mouth,the snapper who almost takes my fingers with the Host, the wide open gape that allows me a clear view of tonsils and phlegm. The latter grosses me for minutes.

    As for the Communion rail, where a mother can comfortably park her baby, it is a matter of an ecclesiology that was set aside by the Council. And the music? We sing a little Gregorian Chant in this parish, especially during Lent. But even though the choir leader tries to rehearse with the people, they barely get through the Kyrie. Sigh, what a burden Rachel carries, when she has to go from the lofty spiritual heights to have to mix with the smell of ordinary folks. An outrage, I tell you. An outrage.

    • lifeknight

      Hi Father. I had to chuckle about the “snapper” type of communicant. I am sure it must be entertaining and on a human level “gross.” However, you are the alter-Christos and this type of thing shouldn’t be a real issue when you are acting as Christ in the Mass. What about the people receiving the Precious Blood after four hundred sniffling people? No one ever comments about that being yucky. From now on we can all remember to stick our tongues out and not snap!

      • hombre111

        There are people who receive Communion on the tongue in a way that is reverent and not gross.

    • ForChristAlone

      Funny how you get to receive on the tongue but others should not….hhhmmmmm

      • hombre111

        ?????? Did you read my post? I give Communion the way people want to receive it. But sometimes giving someone Communion on the tongue means spit on my fingers and spit on your host if you are next, and other interesting things. I heard of a bishop who had servers stand beside him with water and a towel. Every time he got spit on his fingers, he washed his hand. Actually, why this reluctance to take the host in your hand? Your tongue is worthy but your hand is not? Sounds a bit Manichean to me.

        • ForChristAlone

          No, not Manicheanism but utmost reverence for Christ who is God having given His life for us and who deigns to offer His body and Blood to us.

          And how come in the pre-Vatican II days one NEVER heard such complaints about spittle? More straw men.

          • hombre111

            You never heard complaints about spittle because priests didn’t talk about it, seeing no alternative. Yes, Christ is God, but he is also man. In Christ’s humanity, God has embraced our humanity. But like good Manicheans, we divide our bodies up into the noble and ignoble that is unworthy of God. At least we wash our hands.

            • ForChristAlone

              No, Christ is a Divine Person.

              And, if one never heard complaints about spittle, my guess is that it was because we didn’t have a bunch of sissies among the clergy.

              • hombre111

                Christ is a divine person with a human nature.

                • ForChristAlone

                  Unfortunately, this is what you get with low Christology

                  • hombre111

                    Read the Nicene Creed.

                    • ForChristAlone

                      There is such a thing as a high vs low Christology. Yours is of the latter brand.

                    • hombre111

                      I am confident you have studied the issues deeply.

                    • ForChristAlone

                      Yes. Very astute on your part.

                    • hombre111

                      Augustine? Hugh of St. Victor? St. Thomas Aquinas? Rahner?
                      Balthasar? Kaspar? Johnson? Gelpi? These are some of the authors I have read. And you?

  • Jenny Tomsic Bioche

    Great article. Love the reference to the scholcky parishes, they are indeed the norm and amen to the communion rail!

  • M

    As a parent, I would bear Matthew 18:20 in mind: “For where two or thee are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.” Mass is a communal celebration of the Eucharist, it should be joyful, and it’s a good place to experience both the love of God and of neighbor. I would not wish my children to feel contemptuous or dismissive of other parishioners, even those who might be wearing jeans or a purple dress.

    • Scott W.

      No one is calling for anyone to be contemptuous or dismissive of other parishioners. Rather, this is about trivializing liturgical practices that have an (granted, often unintended) effect of dismissiveness of Our Lord.

      There is an account I remember of a Protestant who was truly horrified at the adoration given the Eucharist because he was convinced it was idolatry. He was somehow convinced to attend a typical modern Mass. He said he was no longer concerned because as he put it: “It was obvious no one believed it.” (That is, that Eucharist is the body and blood of Jesus).

      Then there was a recent account of a priest that refused to use sanctus bells. After parishoners demolished his flimsy objections to them, he blurted out his real reason: “Because nothing special happens at the consecration!” That should send a chill down any Catholic’s spine.

      Now I think most people are sincere and are not deliberately injecting trivial fluff into liturgy in order to obscure doctrine, but without liturgical discipline, that’s exactly what happens.

    • ForChristAlone

      “I would not wish my children to feel contemptuous or dismissive of other parishioners, even those who might be wearing jeans or a purple dress.”

      If a parish wishes a hootenanny evening of communal celebrating, they might choose to do it outside of Mass – perhaps on a Wednesday evening in the parish hall. They can clap, shake hands, hoot and holler to their hearts content – even wear purple dresses or jeans. Mass is meant to be reverently prayed as it is a representation of Calvary and not a hoe-down.

    • Nora

      Amen.

  • Captain America

    As a one-time altar boy, the communion in the hand thing just makes me feel tense and upset, since it’s a great way to drop the host. I still receive in on the tongue. And when I was an altar boy, we held patens under folks’ throats just in case the host somehow fell out. I have twice seen the Eucharist drop to the ground using the new, in-the-hands method.

    So it goes.

  • Captain America

    Rachel, if you’ve got little ones get a copy of the St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism. It’s really a great concise way to teach the faith. I’d heard negative things for years and years about it (I think because some had to memorize portions of it), but take it in your hands and take a look: it’s really very nicely done. I didn’t know this until just a few years ago.

  • Jaime

    Ash Wednesday – let’s focus on that. Time to be done with all this pettiness. Our Mother in Heaven and her Precious Son are wanting us to let this go, turn our thoughts and prayers to them and allow the Holy Spirit to work through each one of us. God Bless each one of you and may Christ richly dwell in each of us sinful people. Repent and turn our hearts towards Christ.

    • ForChristAlone

      But, the article written by Dr Lu was not about Ash Wednesday. If you want to write a piece on that topic, make your appeal to the Crisis Editor.

  • Ruth Rocker

    Good for you!! I, too, am a convert and began my Mass experience in a military chapel. This is not really a sacred space and the churches we attended with each move didn’t seem to get much better. That is until we landed in Dayton, OH. There are 2 lovely parishes here. One, at Holy Family church, serves a traditional Tridentine Mass. The church we currently attend, Emmanuel, is the oldest Catholic church in town. It is beautiful. It actually looks like a church. The altar is obviously a sacred place with the tabernacle in the center of it, instead of hidden away in an ante room somewhere. Communion is received at the altar rail, on the tongue and kneeling. The only complaint I have is they still have the stupid and completely unnecessary “sign of peace” in the middle. I think it’s shameful that, after the priest has consecrated the host, and it is truly the Body and Blood of our Lord on the altar, everyone turns their back to attend the “cocktail party” in church. I have found the easiest way for me to deal with it is to simply remain kneeling and continue my contemplation of the miracle just performed and readying myself to receive this great gift.

    Too bad there aren’t more parents like you. The Church could definitely benefit from it! Have a blessed Lent.

    • Annm

      And while you’re ignoring the ” stupid” sign of peace your arrogance, I’m sure, does not go unnoticed. I can’t believe the language used here. Great attitude for mass.

      • GG

        Back at you.

      • Ruth Rocker

        The sign of peace is a stupid addition stuffed into the sacred liturgy after Vatican II. The mass managed to be celebrated for several centuries before its introduction. It is scandalous to turn the most mystical and sacred part of the liturgy (after the host has been consecrated and the real Body of Jesus is laying on the alter) into a cocktail party!!

        And I’m more worried about my relationship with my God than with the people around me. Showing reverence for the Real Presence is more important than glad-handing everyone around me.

  • anon

    really getting sick of the 1% Super Catholics griping about the 99% Others who don’t measure up… You need to realize that we’re on the same team, people. Do you have any idea how many daily-Mass-attending Catholics and priests you are criticizing here in this article and this thread? Yeah sure, there are a few extremists around – you have them, too – but while you were attending Mass away from home (shudder!) were you only looking around for the most extreme behaviour you could find? I’ve been to countless NO parishes, and i’ve known the people and the priests, and there are so many good people, beaten down with crosses perhaps yet still faithfully attending Mass each week. They know that Jesus is really present in the Eucharist, and they desire to receive Him, plain and simple. I can’t believe how you overlook this, that His presence is 100% what it’s all about, not the human trappings, which you find so specifically ordained, despite the fact that they will NEVER be adequate to properly celebrate these mysteries – not in any posture or language. Lay people are called to be salt & light where they are planted – which is in your nearest parish. I pray that some day you will see your own local parish as comprising of real human beings who are called to be a family. By separating yourselves and driving your toddlers all over tarnation to find the parish that’s Just So Right for you, you are neglecting and abandoning the family you belong in. Pride. Try giving it up for Lent, maybe.

    • ForChristAlone

      I’d suggest that you allow her to raise her children as she sees fit. You then can do the same.

      • In the name of tolerance, we must be intolerant!

      • Deb

        I don’t disagree. But how can she judge the hearts of all those at the “schlocky” Masses? The tone is self-righteous and mocking.

        • ForChristAlone

          Who are you to judge her? Listen to the words of Pope Francis.

          • Nora

            That is you’re fave thing to say, isn’t it?

            • ForChristAlone

              Yes. Listen to the Holy Father and quit judging others. As Archie said to Edith: “stifle”

              • Deb

                Wow. I can’t believe I’m seeing this on a Catholic site, written by someone with the handle For Christ Alone.

                • Interesting. We have a series of “guest” posts, under the names “Deb”, “Nora” and “Alexia” and “Matthew”, et al, most of whom seem to be new- who all speciously took aim at one Crisis best authors, making generally baseless charges that range from insinuating to accusatory, and when their tactics and hypocrisy is exposed, become indignant.

                  Hmmm.. a couple individuals or a flash mob…

                  • GG

                    And I was told I confused two posters. I did not. I just accept it is a composite of trolls.

                  • Nora

                    Ah. So you are suggesting that, are you?? Well, I can put that on MY ‘baseless charge’ list…

                    • Very easy way to reduce the speculation.
                      Get a Disqus ID that establishes your uniqueness, and if you don’t want to be stalked, set the user history to private. .
                      I’m always suspicious when there’s a suddenly flurry of activity from people using new pseudonyms under guest logins, especially when they disappear after one article.

                    • Nora

                      So everyone on here had the right to say,’ these people are saying pretty much the same thing, are using a guest thing, and so I can say that they are the same person.’ Seriously, as I said before this is so ridiculous. I’m just gonna go away. That way I can laugh without thinking up a good argument.

                    • Alexia

                      I agree. I’m not gonna post anymore, I’m just gonna read other posts and tell my sister about them. Good idea!

                    • Nora

                      I’m just going away completely.

                    • I’m going to assume for the sake of charity and argument that all these guest names are authentic individuals, brand new posters who don’t really know that for certain topics, Crisis seems to be spontaneously deluged by posters operating guest ID’s who appear of thin air, attack and provoke other posters and then disappear.

                    • Nora

                      Well, I don’t have time to get a disqus id or anything like that. Most people who are raising 7 children under the age of nine don’t. So by all means, assume what u want. I’m not gonna be bothered by stuff like that.

                    • Deb

                      Let’s leave them to their echo chamber.

                    • Do you know what a flash mob is?

                    • Deb

                      I don’t have the time to prove myself to you DE-173. I am too busy raising up the next generation of Catholics. By all means, call me a liar.

                    • I addressed “Nora” but “Deb” Answered..
                      I also didn’t use the word liar.

              • Nora

                I’m just laughing right now. You have said ‘ stop judging about 30 times on here. I stopped counting after that. Stop ped counting after that

                • Nora

                  Sorry. Keep making typos

          • Deb

            Judge not lest ye be judged means to not judge the state of someone’s soul. I can call out behaviors that are wrong and judge them as such all I want. Redefinition of marriage? Wrong. Contraceptive use? Wrong. Thinking your Catholic Church is better than the “schlocky” one? Wrong.

        • GG

          To say she is judging hearts is wrong and rash.

  • ForChristAlone

    Rachel, there is a parish in Charleston SC that has an Anglican Ordinariate Mass which we attended while on vacation down there to escape the winter doldrums. You can count on the Mass being prayed reverently, in English and ad orientem. There none of the nonsense that has infiltrated the NO Mass in far too many parishes. Try Charleston SC sometime.

    • WSquared

      Our Lady of Czestochowa National Shrine has all of the Masses that are prayed in the lower church celebrated in the vernacular, and all of them are ad orientem.

      • ForChristAlone

        thanks for the info

        • WSquared

          You’re welcome. It’s the Novus Ordo in the low form, in the vernacular, and with all of the Eucharistic prayers celebrated ad orientem. There are carefully chosen hymns, and no chant, but it’s all very reverent– I think ad orientem makes all the difference.

          So yeah: it can be done very simply and with very little money or resources.

  • Objectivetruth

    I’ve attended Masses where the beauty of the “bells and smells” has actually brought me to tears. The high mass at St. Paul’s in Harvard Square with the Boston archdiocese boy’s choir school comes to mind.

    But I remember seeing a black and white picture from World War II of a priest offering mass on the hood of a jeep. From the smoke billowing in the background, it looked as if the battle was still being waged. About a dozen GI’s knelt in about a foot of mud reverentially before the uplifted Host. Wonder and awe.

    I heard Walter Ciszek, SJ used to offer the sacrifice secretly in his Soviet prison cell. A sympathetic Orthodox guard would smuggle him thumb size pieces of hardened bread, and a thimble with a drop of wine in it. Ciszek would lay on his side on the floor facing the wall so he would not be caught, while offering prayers of consecration. The guard would watch with awe as the priest’s right arm would twice elevate slightly, effecting the Body and Blood. Wow.

    Yes, Mass done with all the glory and reverence possible is beautiful. But if I saw a priest unfold a card table on a street corner in some hardened part of the city and start offering mass, I’d drop to my knees with the same humility because I’d know Jesus’ holy Presence was there.

    • Schlocky in ohio

      Amen. Beautifully written.

    • Nora

      Alleluia! I’ve found the best comment on here!!!

    • GG

      But none of that is the issue. The essay is about a parish with plenty of assets and not under guard.

      • WSquared

        Exactly.

        A reasonably well-off parish in the suburbs is not comparable to saying Mass in a Soviet prison camp or on the hood of a jeep during wartime or unfolding a card table in a hardened part of the inner city.

        And by the way, Fr. Czisek treated the accoutrements of his Mass kit with absolute care and reverence– if I recall, somebody even made him a chalice and paten after the KGB took his Mass kit from him. Czisek even used the front of a pocket watch for a paten once, because he had nothing else.

        I don’t see many a suburban parish where the church building is ugly in design in the same position as Czisek or even in the same position of all those immigrants who built modest, but still beautiful churches, on pennies. The issue is what resources are available to any one group of people and how they’ve stewarded those resources. I think this is a stewardship issue: the poorest of churches that are still ornately beautiful– because somebody put love and care into the painting and carving, and the parish priest was made wise choices in what to spend on and when– and St. Peter’s Basilica have that in common.

        Not a few priests (including Fr. Longenecker, if I recall correctly) have pointed to the curious tendency we have in America: we call a beautiful altar “hypocrisy” and a glittering shopping mall “progress.” We complain about how all the Church’s artwork should be “sold and the money given to the poor,” but we would kick and scream if somebody told us to not live in an McMansion or give up one of our cars, or own only one television (and not even a flatscreen) and give the money to the poor– because after all, it’s “our” money. We “earned” it, and we have a right to do whatever we want with it.

        • WSquared

          I think this is a stewardship issue: the poorest of churches that are
          still ornately beautiful– because somebody put love and care into the
          painting and carving, and the parish priest was made wise choices in
          what to spend on and when– and St. Peter’s Basilica have that in
          common.

          And the reason why both churches, regardless of scale and resources, have that in common is because both know what a Catholic church is even for: the church is for temple worship.

          It is not for the people of God together, since the people of God wouldn’t be the people of God were it not for the God they worship.

          This is true in the Old Testament, where God not only gathered, but formed His people according to certain specifics, but it is also true in the New Testament, whereby Jesus Christ is not whoever we want Him to be. Jesus Christ is someone specific, Who entered History at a specific time– He is also alpha and omega, beginning and end, and standing outside of time, so He therefore can’t be just relegated to “the past,” either, whereby “progress” supposedly makes Him “irrelevant.”

        • Objectivetruth

          Boy did you miss the point of my post by a country mile. I’m not even sure what you’re trying to say here.

          • WSquared

            I think I have good reason to criticize a McMansion– most of them have been pastiches of architectural styles, and a lot of the proportions are off. Most modern churches are ugly for similar reasons. Churchill once said that we form our buildings, and then they form us thereafter. That wasn’t a gratuitous potshot or even a cheap shot, it was a legitimate philosophical and theological point: that our McMansion consumer culture lacks a sense of the sacred.

            Moreover, Mass isn’t just a meal among friends. Wherever it is celebrated, it is still temple worship. The temple conforms itself to God– it does not conform itself to the likes and dislikes of the congregation.

            All of those things speak directly to your point about WHY we go to Mass. In a prison cell, one doesn’t have a beautiful church to go to, and one uses what’s available– but saying that Walter Czisek celebrated Mass in a prison cell, so we shouldn’t care about beauty so much when referring to a well-off parish in the ‘burbs is merely an excuse. Perhaps in the stark surroundings of a prison cell or on the hood of a jeep in a war zone, the mysterious nature of the Mass is far more immediately apparent. In a suburb where most of its denizens are comfortable and over-stimulated, that’s not usually the case.

            didn’t Christ say the first mass after His resurection to two discouraged blokes walking down a dirt road to Emmaus?

            I thought he opened Scripture for two discouraged blokes walking down a dirty road to Emmaus.

      • Objectivetruth

        But the issue is WHY do we go to mass. You’re missing the point of my post.

  • Jai

    Though I understand your point, and agree with quite a lot of what you have to say, it is important that you speak with love and not judgment, and that you don’t become a snob in your practice of the faith.
    People in jeans who receive on their hands have the same right, and could carry a holiness, love, and desire for the Blessed Sacrament than you could not even begin to fathom.
    Jesus did not say “come to me in fancy churches with Latin rites and no guitars.” He said come to me, he weary, and I will give you rest.
    He spoke to the poor and the prostitutes (not in Latin, I might add), and never rejected HOW someone served his father.
    You cannot see a heart. Only God can. And that person pounding a 1970s hippie worship song is serving God the only way he knows how.
    People who turn their noses up at those who believe the exact same as they do are what is wrong with the Church. We are divided, and can only be brought together with love.

    Oh, and my kids know when they are supposed to behave during Holy Mass, too. But sometimes they don’t because they’re 4 months, 3, and 5, and they’re still learning. Don’t get on your high horse about your reverent children. Good for you. But instead of bragging, perhaps you could help the mothers who have made the effort to bring their unruly children, and just love them.

    How dare you laugh at the lady in the purple dress handing a wafer to the man in jeans?! He is there! To receive Christ! And she is there to serve Him! My husband owns no slacks, so he is not worthy to receive in your eyes?!

    The God I serve would hate this article, just as I do. It is pompous and riddled with inaccuracies. Just because you don’t THINK that any other Mass than yours is built of “reverence and trust” does not make it so.

    I imagine God shutters at the division of his Church, created by those like you, those who scoff at what you deem irreverent. But you know, I think it is irreverent to believe that God is not big enough to come to our church, where the lady in purple serves the “wafer. ” I think it is blasphemous to believe that you are holier than I because you have a Latin Mass or a prettier building. I think you have no idea what is in the heart of that Jean-clad man.

    God is big enough to look past ill-behaved children of parents who are trying, to make Himself real and present in the Holy Eucharist, whether it is in an ugly building with badly sung guitar music, or in a shanty town to a fly-ridden prostitute with AIDS. My Jesus broke bread with lepers and sought the poor and broken. I think he’d be ashamed of this ridiculous division and bratty “my church is better and holier than yours” attitude.

    With true, agape, Jesus-taught Love,
    Jessica
    (One who is madly in love with the Holy Eucharist, confession, adoration. .. one who knows that some people just don’t know it’s inappropriate to wear leggings to Mass and is glad they at least showed up, one who craves unity in the Church and who believes that the power in the blood of Jesus is enough… one who realizes that I don’t have to earn His love by wearing certain clothes or practicing in a certain way or receiving on my tongue in a Latin Mass. He shows up. And that wafer I take in my hand? It sustains me. It feeds me. Because, regardless of what you believe, it is Jesus. He comes to me even in the Church that you laugh at. And he comes to my children, too. He loves and wants a relationship with me. Even on the days I’m wearing jeans, or stay in His house after Mass and chat and laugh with my friends in His Holy presence. My heart yearns for holiness, just like yours. )

    • WSquared

      But you know, I think it is irreverent to believe that God is not big
      enough to come to our church, where the lady in purple serves the
      “wafer. ” I think it is blasphemous to believe that you are holier than I
      because you have a Latin Mass or a prettier building. I think you have
      no idea what is in the heart of that Jean-clad man.

      And yet, the Church’s Magisterium says that we should not kick Latin out, that Latin and vernacular can coexist at Mass (as it often does when the Pope celebrates), and that we have no business junking our own musical tradition in favor of what’s “convenient.” Those kinds of presumptions that have become the “norm” aren’t exactly reverent, either: they also don’t acknowledge the fullness of Who Jesus is, because they strip Him of His mystery. Vatican II never called for any of that, likely for those reasons.

      My Jesus broke bread with lepers and sought the poor and broken. I
      think he’d be ashamed of this ridiculous division and bratty “my church
      is better and holier than yours” attitude.

      …and Jesus also chastised Judas for ragging on Mary for that costly ointment. Those two things go together– Spiritual Works of Mercy and Corporal Works of Mercy, because man is matter and spirit, not either or. Carefully celebrated liturgy arguably falls under the Spiritual Works of Mercy– in not promoting incoherence re what we believe, it counsels the doubtful, instructs the ignorant, and admonishes the sinner. When we remember what it’s all about, it helps us to bear wrongs patiently. If we don’t realize that, then perhaps it’s we who are poor.

      Those of us who care about beauty, chant, and Latin and all of that don’t presume that those things alone “make” the Mass, let alone make it valid, but we are aware of what they say about Jesus and what Mass is all about. This also isn’t about What Jesus Would Like/Not Like or how holy I am, but about Who Jesus IS.

      I didn’t exactly take to polyphony easily, and it’s still difficult for me to understand. Chant was a little easier, but I don’t claim to understand it with any degree of profundity, either. But that’s okay– understanding will come gradually, and I trust that it will come, even as I am not musically gifted: why do we moderns always presume that understanding must always be instantaneous, when that much isn’t always true with how God works in our lives, and not how the faith works, anyway? When I hear Gregorian chant, I hear the its simultaneous Bigger Than You transcendence and its intimacy– it’s a music that beckons me and bids me welcome, because its mysteriousness suggests God’s bigness, and yet the profundity with which He knows me and any of us. It’s also indicative of how the Eucharist works, by the way. Likewise, with polyphony, I hear the Cross and Resurrection: in the Lamentations of Jeremiah, for example, I can hear abject dejection and despair that’s slowly turned into something glorious– that’s good to remember when I’m suffering. What that music keys right into is what Christ will enable in me if I die with Him and rise with Him: I don’t just hear those things in “the words,” but in the very structure of the music itself. He also reminds me that it’s allowed to be hard, but that I should persevere, and that He gives me the means with which to persevere. If what I’ve described isn’t about Jesus, learning to love Jesus, how much Jesus loves me, and learning how to let Him love me, I don’t know what is.

      My heart yearns for holiness, just like yours.

      Okay, but then why do we assume that we know better than the Church’s Magisterium when it comes to the Church’s own public prayer? I think Dr. Lu’s point is that the “norm” shouldn’t be the norm at all. If we want holiness, shouldn’t we try to understand where the Church is coming from when she gives us what she gives us for the liturgy?

  • Jai

    If this is how one side of the Catholic Church really sees the other. .. ora pro nobis. 🙁

  • Great article, Rachel. From the commentary I’ve seen below you set off a spark or two. No worries. They’ll figure it out someday. As a Pentecostal friend of mine, who became infatuated with the Eucharist, and why I spent so much time in adoration before The Presence, once said to me “if that is truly Jesus, why don’t you enter the church on your knees?” I could not answer his question. Can you?

    • WSquared

      …I dunno, maybe because if we did, we’d be blocking the way of everybody else behind us who wants to get to Jesus, too?

      • I’d have to say because it’s not in the rubrics for parishioners to enter on our knees. Plus we’d need really, really long entrance hymns. 🙂

  • Simon D

    I must be the bearer of bad news: “don’t most Catholics understand these principles more or less implicitly”? No. They don’t. We’re now on at least the second generation that has never experienced anything different, and even of those who consider themselves to be “conservative,” what they mean by that in a liturgical sense is too often a vague desire for greater reverence, a desire that the NO be celebrated “properly” without too much specific content about what that means. They accept that which has been familiar for most of their lives, maybe with a trim around the edges, and they’re leery about further liberalization, but many of them neither know nor care much about the older forms. Only by actively promoting and explaining these things will we make progress.

  • hombre111

    The faith of a child is the faith of a child, trusting, unquestioning, the reflected faith of parents. But it has no personal depth, no real freedom. That cannot come until the child gets older and begins to ask questions, and wonder why be a Catholic in a world with so many different options. If your child’s faith is not tested, it will not be much. As a convert, you experienced that growth in faith, and you will hear your teenagers ask their questions. In a culture where we expect young adults to leave home, they might emphasize their independence from you by making a different faith decision.

    And then, as you get older, your own experience of God, and faith, will go through further growth steps. Unless you are as rigid as some of the people who write, and post, on this site.

  • Susan

    Great job on raising pious children who are actually educated in their faith, but I find a couple things in this article very offensive. I understand that certain liturgical styles don’t jive with your spirituality, I go to the Extraordinary Form Mass myself. I totally get that. But that doesn’t mean that more…modern…liturgical styles aren’t good for someone else. Maybe somebody else has a totally different interior life than you and so long as the modern stuff is done with the utmost reverence and is fitting for Mass, I don’t see anything wrong with guitars or whatever. The pipe organ wasn’t around forever, I bet there were a lot of people who didn’t like adding it to our liturgies but now it’s seen as old fashioned. I think this sort of thing is all about perspective.

    But what really offends me is how irreverent the article’s writer is to the Blessed Sacrament. How can a person condemn the Catholics around them for their irreverence and then call the consecrated Host a “wafer”? I understand that you don’t like how those Catholics celebrate Mass, but it is still Mass and that “wafer” is not actually a wafer but is Jesus Christ, His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. Constructive criticism is one thing but Jesus still deserves honour.

    And who cares if people are wearing jeans to Mass? Maybe they don’t own anything else and can’t afford to buy something new. Maybe all their other clothes were dirty because they were legitimately busy all week and just didn’t have time to prepare. Sure, it is probable that they could find money or time to dress better, but the point is you don’t know that for sure. So perhaps stop looking at the people around you with judgemental eyes and let yourself gaze at those children of God with the eyes of Christ, which are full of mercy and charity.

    • ForChristAlone

      I highly doubt that you attend the EF Mass regularly. Your comments reek of the unadulterated feminized sentimentality that has plagued the Church for almost 60 years now.

      • Nora

        Ugh. You should just go away instead of insulting people.

        • ForChristAlone

          I think you are being judgmental here. That is wrong.

    • “How can a person condemn the Catholics around them for their irreverence and then call the consecrated Host a “wafer”? ”

      That was a rhetorical tool employed in the service of describing a situation of irreverence and misunderstanding -not a personal declaration against the Real Presence. To assert otherwise is malicious calumny.

      • Deb

        To assert that “clearly doesn’t even occur to them that Christ is present in the tabernacle” is pretty close to malicious calumny too.

        • So you’ll just keep repeating yourself, huh?

        • GG

          Not at all. She describes a situation.

    • WSquared

      The pipe organ wasn’t around forever, I bet there were a lot of people
      who didn’t like adding it to our liturgies but now it’s seen as old
      fashioned. I think this sort of thing is all about perspective.

      Not necessarily. The thing about the pipe organ is that it mimics and is complementary to the sound of the human voice. Moreover, the organ at the TLM is only played during the processional and recessional and during all of the Ordinaries of the Mass (Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei). It also isn’t blasting all the way throughout Mass.

      The guitar isn’t necessarily irreverent per se– not if it’s being played lute-like. The problem is that most people who play the guitar at Mass vigorously strum and bang away at it.

  • Deb

    This article is disappointing. I have come to expect more from Crisis and Mrs. Lu. I spent many years in a small town in the south. There was only one parish, that’s it. The Mass you got was the Mass you got. Sometimes it would be “schlocky” as the author would see it, but yet I recieved my Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh and blood. I am grateful for those “schlocky” Masses, without them my family would have been without the Eucharist.
    -From a Baltimore Catechism teaching, pants-wearing, homeschooling mother of many.

    • WSquared

      Agreed, in that we wouldn’t stay home from Mass, just because Mass is celebrated in a very casual way. But I would also put it this way: yes, that’s Jesus. Yes, we go to Mass for Jesus, and yes, He’s truly Present, in even the “schlockiest” Masses.

      But precisely because that IS Jesus, God Incarnate, what business do we have celebrating Mass in a “schlocky” way? Why do we build ugly churches? Those aren’t unimportant questions, and they aren’t ephemeral to our obligation to go to Mass and receive the Eucharist worthily, or else we’d have no life within us, for without Him, we can do nothing.

      Mass is about God, and the relationship He wants to have with Man, and not our liturgical fetishes or tastes, leaning either “progressive” or “traditionalist.” Evangelization is also an issue: if we’re so fond of saying that “actions speak louder than words,” what’s being communicated with a sloppily celebrated Mass? One should never stay home from Mass, just because Mass is celebrated in a schlocky manner– but beauty makes the Baltimore Catechism come alive, because Catholicism is an incarnational faith. It reminds us that beauty is inherent in the Incarnation. It’s not just icing on the cake, or some sort of consumer proclivity, but wholly integral to what makes the cake worth eating at all. Fr. Robert Barron once said that if we lead with Truth and Goodness, others shut down and get defensive– but Beauty can get otherwise defensive people to open up. See, Beauty isn’t whatever we want it to mean. It is logical and coherent– it’s as much about and connected to the Logos as Truth and Goodness are.

      Are we saying that God is not worth our reverence because God is “kind and merciful,” even though a fear of the Lord– not a servile fear– is the beginning of all wisdom? We should not fall into the trap of thinking that the only options are servile fear or complacency.

    • KC

      Dear Deb,

      People have been without the Mass entirely in history and still kept the Faith.

      As women we should not take pride in wearing pants. I urge you to read this on the matter: http://www.ecatholic2000.com/cts/untitled-393.shtml

  • ForChristAlone

    Rachel,
    Listen to your children. My older son was about 7 and had recently made his 1st communion back in the bad old early 80’s. We were attending one of those hootenanny , Kumbaya, ‘let’s all hold hands’ kind of NO churches. We had just returned to our pew after having received the Eucharist. My son looked up at me and asked: “Dad, are we Catholic?” It took us about a nanosecond to decide to enroll in the one other Catholic Church in our town where Mass was prayed reverently. He never needed to ask that question ever again. And, today, in his early 40’s and a father of two, he still practices the faith and sends his children to a Catholic school (where parenthetically, they threw out the Boy Scout troop because of their stance on homosexuality and replaced it with a faith-based boys’ organization where my son is one of the leaders).

  • Kristyn

    I am so grateful to go to a parish that is reverent, uses Latin in the OF, where Jesus is adored in the Tabernacle, and to top it off, we love each other… As far as boy/girl servers go, it is 50/50. Organ vs. Guitar? 50/50. Communion in the hand vs. On the tongue? 50/50. None of these things cause a big fuss. We have traditional devotions, “praise and worship nights” …the same faithful people attend all of them. We have people who kneel on the floor to receive Jesus in the Communion line. We have peace among ourselves (for the most part!) despite our so-called differences. Our pastors are a big reason for that. I guess we are a “both/and” kind of parish…and I’m glad. I would hate to raise a bunch of angry, judgmental kids, nitpicking every priest and Mass, when that is part of the reason I quit being a Baptist.

    • WSquared

      Well, that’s the thing: a lot of us don’t have parishes like yours. So you’re lucky.

      What’s often the norm is the Novus-Ordo-only parish where parishioners think they have the right to complain as soon as they hear a smidgeon of Latin– that doesn’t sound like any sort of “both/and” approach, does it?

      As one poster put it here on Crisis: don’t question the status quo, and everything’s fine. But put one traditional Latin chant in there, and then all of a sudden, God cares, is offended at how “divisive” you’re being, and Catholicism is going to ruin.

      I call shenanigans.

  • Joe

    After attending mass yesterday at the church of our geopraphical parish, I came to a realization. All of these “special interest” masses divide the Church, as opposed to reflecting the universality of the Church. This local parish church that we do not attend usually has about 5 or 600 attendees each weekend, spread out over 5 masses. They have “El Shaddai”, Gospel, “Traditional” (which is misleading), Spanish, and at somepoint maybe other languages. What you get is a small, inner-city parish divided amongst itself by its own diveristy. The liturgy is so consumer-specific that it is a deterrent for those who don’t want to hear drums and electric bass in mass or sing “Lead me, Guide me” every Sunday. It’s unfortunate becuase we’ve always found that congregation to be very welcoming on the occasions we’ve attended.

  • Nora

    Ok. The title of this essay does not fit with the content. You mention children perhaps twice. It is evident on my part that this article is more about how holy and reverent the author is and how terrible every church but hers is. Come on. Jesus is present in any Catholic Church, whether you like it or not. As for clothing, do not criticize these people’s attire. They think that jeans is ‘dressing up’ compared to everything else in the average american’s wardrobe. Every single person you are inside these ‘schlocky’ churches is gods child. They could have a better heart than anyone we know. It is not whats on the outside, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Coming to that, why is the author looking around at all the people to see what they’re wearing and not focusing on God??? Why does the author go to church??? To make fun of ‘schlocky’ people????? I have looked over these comments and they are sick.

    • Nora

      (Continued)

      Another thing. The author is teaching her children to despise church’s that don’t make her feel reverent. Because that’s what happened. The author, besides the parishes ‘ schlockiness’, decided that she didnt like it because she likes church’s that make her feel reverent. Like she’s the best. As well as most of the c People who wrote comments on here. And I know that this whole comment has been useless because people like all of you only like yourselves, and no one else. So have fun going to churches that make you feel good, only to show off. Have fun teaching your kids the same. Just keep in mind that Jesus is in everyone and every parish, no matter how ‘schlocky’. Also keep in mind that I have not written this comment to hurt people or to direct an attack on any one or anything. The purpose of this comment was soley for evangilizational purposes.

      • Seamrog

        You should stop.

        • Nora

          I am.

          • ForChristAlone

            Finished your tantrum? Now apologize.

            • Nora

              It’s not a tantrum. It’s my personal views, and if you don’t like it, then well, stop commenting and ignore it.

              • ForChristAlone

                Just emulate the Holy Father when he says, “Who am I to judge.” Stop judging her; it’s wrong.

                • Nora

                  I’m not judging. I wish the author every happiness. I, as I said before, stating my views. Sorry I’d u don’t like them.

                  • ForChristAlone

                    Whether you wish her happiness or not is irrelevant. That you are judging her is clear from all you’ve written. Stop it.

                    • Nora

                      I’m not judging her. You obviously don’t know what ‘judging’ means. It means to come to a conclusion, good or bad, about someone or something. Where did I say something about the authors character? I am commenting on the article, not the author. I don’t like the article. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like the author.

                    • GG

                      You are judging the author. You called her a Pharisee.

                    • Deb

                      I used the Pharisee term, please get your commenters straight. I said the article sounded Pharisaical. I don’t believe that was the author’s intent, and am not calling the author a Pharisee.

                      But this article is divisive to the Body of Christ. Do you have any idea how many loyal readers of this magazine attend parishes like she described in this article? I’m not talking clowns on the alter, but just bad music, no altar rails, and talking close to the tabernacle? This article is so painfully divisive. I am thinking of my very faithful friends in the south whose only parish has been “schlocky” for years. How dare we judge their souls!

                    • GG

                      The truth divides. That you do not like the truth is another matter.

                    • Deb

                      I love the Truth! How dare you accuse me otherwise? You just judged the state of my soul. I cannot believe how ridiculous you, ForChristAlone, and DE-173 are. You are bullies.

                    • GG

                      I did not judge your soul. Your posts reveal you do not grasp basic moral theology. Please go talk with a priest.

                    • Nora

                      There u go judging again. How about you think about what the term ‘judging’ means.

                    • In other words, we don’t just accept your fiats.

                    • WSquared

                      I’ve attended Mass at a schlocky parish or two. My own parish’s architecture isn’t so great, and the music is at best uninspired. The priest, however, is very by the book and clearly respects the liturgy.

                      I am both grateful to be there at any and all valid Masses in whatever form, even in a “schlocky” parish while also being in agreement with Dr. Lu. I would take exception to someone judging my soul or whether or not I fully subscribe and submit to everything the Magisterium teaches merely for my regularly attending the Novus Ordo: having recently run into such an individual online the other week, I can attest that there is no comparison with what they wrote and Dr. Lu’s article. A lot of us who are “used to” schlock in our parish or in our Catholic upbringing may be used to it, but that doesn’t mean that we like it– we often have to tolerate it, knowing that people are trying their best, and we do our best to be charitable, even though we know full well what the Church gives us and asks of us.

                      Bad architecture is bad enough. But after the church is built, that can’t be helped, unfortunately. What happens thereafter, however, is something else entirely.

                      Felt banners and bad music outwardly suggest that Jesus is schlocky.

                      And while we’re on the subject of “divisiveness”: a schlocky Jesus doesn’t unite anyone, because he can’t– he has no power and is reduced to a domesticated caricature. There may not be clowns at the altar, but that doesn’t mean that we should be turning Jesus into some marshmallow by stripping Him of His mystery: Jesus Christ is in fact strange, and He’s not there for us to domesticate Him. Only the real Jesus can unite, and badly celebrated liturgy, to some extent, is arguably a form of false witness. So those complaining of “divisive” behavior should stop and think about why they call “divisive” anyone who questions a status quo that should never have become the norm in the first place. To strip Jesus of His mysteriousness rather robs Him of a crucial dimension, and therefore does not allow Him to be Himself– that’s one of the best reasons not to be irreverent, not because those who speak of the need for beautiful liturgy necessarily assume themselves holier than everyone else.

                      A well-celebrated Novus Ordo or a TLM in even a church with bad architecture, however, suddenly reminds us not only that we “come to Mass for Jesus,” but Who this Jesus is Whom we come to Mass for at all. Mass isn’t just where we “be with Jesus,” but where Jesus comes to be with us in a highly specific and very intimate way: we don’t just accept Jesus in our hearts; we receive Him in our very bodies, into every fiber of our being, spiritually and materially.

                    • Nora

                      I did not call her a Pharisee. Do you even know what that means?

                    • GG

                      Better than you.

                    • Nora

                      Get your commenters straight. & stop it with the straw men.

                    • Nora

                      You know, this is just so ridiculous that I’m just gonna go away. You are too busy thinking that you are right, everyone else is wrong. You are even saying that I’m judging, when I’m not. You don’t even have good reasons for doing so. Thank goodness that your here in order to correct people and try to dissuade them from their views. Whenever I have a religious question, I’ll be sure to ask you because I know that you will be able to answer it negatively, and completely ignore what I think or say. This whole think has seriously made me laugh so much.

      • Fred

        I don’t agree. At all. The whole article is completely true.

        • Nora

          Well, I’m afraid that I 100% disagree with you.

          From a pants wearing homeschooling mom of seven

          • Deb

            I’m with you, Nora. And I’m a longtime reader and fan of this site. I am so disappointed with this article. It is Pharisaical.

            From your fellow pants-wearing, homeschooling mom of seven

            • GG

              The terms Pharisee and hate ought to be banned from the language. They have become corrupt ideological terms. They no longer convey reality. They are used by propagsndists.

              • Deb

                I don’t disagree that both terms are overused, misused, and used for idealogical reasons. I would argue, though, that I have used Pharisaical properly in this case. The Pharisees believed themselves holier than the average Jew. Is not stating that the clothes of Mass-goers at the “schlocky” church do not inspire children to be reverent believing oneself to be holier than those other Catholics?

                • GG

                  The Pharisees were hypocrites. They taught others to follow the law, yet they themselves did not believe it. They did not believe as they taught.

                  That is not Dr. Lu at all.

            • Nora

              I was disappointed too. I love crisis magazine, but it’s a shame to see it sink this low.

            • ForChristAlone

              “It is Pharisaical”

              Implying that the author is a Pharisee is being highly judgmental. It’s just not the right thing to do.

              • Nora

                She didnt call the author a Pharisee. She was saying that the article is pharisaical. See the difference? If not, you should read some books on logic.

                And I highly recommend to ForChristAlone, GG, Scott W, and Wsqared the children’s book ‘critical thinking’, by Anita Harnadeck. Maybe after reading that your ego will have gone down a notch.

    • ForChristAlone

      This sounds to me like a lot of sentimentalizing. The author is stating her preferences – in liturgy, raising her children, etc. Who are you to judge? Listen to what Pope Francis has said and apply it to your own life.

      • Nora

        I’m not judging. I’m simply stating my personal views. The author was, by the way, judging because she presumes to know what is in the hearts of other people. Saying parishes are ‘schlocky’ when she knows nothing about the people except the church they go to and the way they dress.

        • ForChristAlone

          And you, in turn, are judging her despite what you claim. She cannot judge others but you can. How’s that happen?

          • Nora

            Did I say that the author is a bad person? That she’s ‘schlocky’? No. I don’t think that at all. So stop using the word ‘judging’ cause it’s not the right word.

            • ForChristAlone

              Once again, you’re being highly judgmental. Stop it.

              • Nora

                No, I’m not being judgmental. Did you see my other comment? I repeat, I do not think that she is a bad person and I wish her every happiness. I was stating my views, I say for the millionth time.

                • GG

                  You are judging and calling it not judging.

                  • Deb

                    For the last time: the Biblical ban on judging is for judging the state of another person’s soul. Calling out evil is justice. Redefining marriage? Wrong. Contraceptive use? Wrong. Deciding that parishioners in one parish are holier than another by the way people dress? Wrong.

                    See? I haven’t judged anyone’s soul. I’m calling out sin. By saying one parish is more holy than another is evil. It divides the Body of Christ.

                    • GG

                      You are using a straw man argument. The author is not saying one parish is holier. That is your assertion. You are judging the author’s intentions.

                    • Deb

                      “It’s likely a mess of altar girls, guitar bands, and people who wouldn’t even consider that they should walk 10 feet to the vestibule after Mass before carrying on a normal-voiced conversation. (Because it’s not like the sanctuary is a place of prayer, or anything. I mean, Mass has been over for two minutes! How much prayer time do you need?) It clearly doesn’t even occur to them that Christ is present in the tabernacle, mere steps away from where they stand.”

                      The intention of this paragraph is to say what? That these people are holy too? She’s not comparing a better way of Mass and the holiness of people in this paragraph? This paragraph is dripping with scorn towards those who obviously don’t know how to behave as the parishioners of St. Agnes.

                    • GG

                      She is pointing out lack of reverence and poor formation. Why does that bother you? You think their behavior is consistent with reverence and concern for others ?

                    • WSquared

                      Exactly. How can we even begin to think ourselves holy or capable of holiness with a lack of reverence and poor formation?

                    • Nora

                      Yes, she is saying that by calling the parish schlocky, which means CHEAP, TRASHY, and INFERIOR.

                    • ForChristAlone

                      Scripture warns against judging others.

                    • WSquared

                      Calling out evil is justice.

                      Exactly: Badly celebrated liturgy is wrong. Dumbing down God or making Him look schlocky is a form of injustice to Him by not letting Him be truly Himself, and likewise to the faithful because it cheats them. To love someone– or Someone– is to learn to take them as they are. That’s a form of evil because of the spiritual harm it imparts, even if it seems like “no big deal” compared to contraception and abortion, simply because it is subtle.

                    • WSquared

                      Sorry, I meant dumbing them down is a form of evil because of the spiritual harm it imparts.

                      There are times when I wonder if we like our liturgies made blah and dumbed down, because then, a domesticated Jesus can’t challenge us: I notice not a few admonitions and scolding about “this is about Jesus” that lack any awareness that beautiful liturgy qua good communication and the formation of disciples is precisely about Jesus– about Who Jesus is, what Jesus did, and how Jesus acts: beauty is logical and intelligible because it is about the Logos (that’s Jesus, by the way). I’ve noted a couple of references to how “my” Jesus did this, that, or the other thing, and wouldn’t like this, that, or the other thing.

                      Or do we presume that if Jesus Christ were walking around right here, right now, He would be just like us in having the same cultural presumptions, proclivities, and prejudices that we do?

                • You’ve confused repetition with convincing.

                • ForChristAlone

                  I am sorry that you don’t see how judgmental you have been toward the author.

                  • Nora

                    If u give me good proof, then maybe I will see a hint of truth in your comments. U dont need to repeat yourself 50000 times. I got u the 1st.

          • Deb

            ” young minds and imaginations are not similarly impressed by a line of jean-clad people waiting to be handed a wafer by the lady in the purple dress.” That’s not just stating a preference. That is placing certain dress for Mass as holier and more reverent than another. That is judging the state of someone’s soul, which we are not to do.

            • Nora

              You know, that brings up another point. These ‘jean clad people’ are not being handed a mere wafer, but the Body of Christ. And don’t argue that Christ ‘isn’t there’ in ‘schlocky’ parishes, because He is. (I say that because someone seriously once argued that. Yeah, it’s ridiculous. )

              • Deb

                If the use of the term wafer was to infer that the Mass goers at “schlocky” churches were not receiving Our Lord, then all can say is shame on her.

                • Nora

                  Yeah.

                • WSquared

                  No, that’s not what she’s saying, from what I gather. Rather, what she seems to be saying is that when Mass is treated casually, and everything is so stripped down, people tend to think that the host is just “some wafer.”

                  When there is a sense of reverence– from the gold chalice to the careful way priests handle the Eucharist, then that’s a signal that what looks like just “some wafer” to the naked eye isn’t at all.

                  I don’t really care one way or another if the Eucharistic Minister is wearing purple or red or green to match the liturgical season. But it does rather strike me as a bit cute, were I to notice at all. In other words: in the absence of reverence, or anything magnificent that grabs our attention and suggests to us that God is magnificent, this is… kinda what we come up with in the suburbs, and it’s a bit bland, because our imaginations are impoverished. Poor people who built modest but still beautiful churches by scraping together pennies didn’t do stuff like this: perhaps it’s their poverty that made them and their imaginations so much more receptive to the profundity and yet intimacy of holy things. There’s a loving care there that we need to rediscover.

              • ForChristAlone

                “And don’t argue that Christ ‘isn’t there’ in ‘schlocky’ parishes, because He is”

                But you’d never know it by how they dress.

                • Nora

                  We shouldn’t care how they dress. We shouldn’t be looking around making fun of them in church instead of adoring Our Lord.

                  • GG

                    We ought to care about many things including outward appearance. The Vatican does not allow men to wear shorts. Are they judging hearts?

                    • Deb

                      The Vatican isn’t your local parish. If you want a dress code for your parish then you need to appeal to your bishop. You are not the bishop, this is not your call.

                    • GG

                      That is not the point at all. The point is the dress code does not say: well that is all they can afford, or some such nonsense. The code means decorum matters and silly excuses are just silly excuses.

                    • ForChristAlone

                      Church is church; God is God

                    • ForChristAlone

                      They understand that church is the house of God. Women are not allowed to enter with bare shoulders/ arms – let alone plunging necklines.

                  • ForChristAlone

                    The person himself should care.

                • Deb

                  That last line shows that you are judging the hearts of those Mass attendees whose clothes don’t meet your standard.

                  • ForChristAlone

                    Not my standards but behavior that reflects the presence of God (or not as the case might be)

                • Nora

                  So you don’t think that Christ is there if you see someone wearing a purple dress? Grow up.

            • ForChristAlone

              How much you wanna bet that if you took 100 of those inappropriately dressed people and invited them to a dinner at the White House, they’d all be at the hairdresser or barber, go out to buy new digs and have some professional make-up artist ‘do their face.’ But for the Lord of the Universe who has saved them from eternal damnation, no! He’s not on the same par.

              I am left to conclude that their notion of salvation is non-existent.

              • Nora

                Yes, they probably would. But we don’t know for certain. We don’t know what’s in these people’s hearts. To say that they would would be judging. But even if they went to all these hairdressers ect, they would still wear their ‘church clothes’ as well. We can’t judge them. We can only assume the best because assuming the Deorst is a sin.

                • Nora

                  Sorry. I meant ‘worst’!

                • GG

                  It is not about what is in hearts.

                  • Deb

                    Yes it is. Mrs. Lu is judging holiness and reverence by the *looks* of the people and the building. I am pointing out that doing so is wrong. Big difference. I am sure Mrs. Lu is an incredibly devout woman and I don’t even question her love for Jesus, it’s obvious. But what she wrote was wrong. That is not a judgement on her soul, her holiness, or her reverence.

                    • GG

                      No. Evaluating outward appearance is not judging holiness but it does judge reverence and that is not wrong at all. You are drawing erroneous conclusions that seem to be based in emotion not logic.

                    • Nora

                      I see. And so why do people care what other people in church are wearing and not their own attitude?

                    • GG

                      Because we worship in community. We are not robots or disembodied spirits. I am not even mentioning the obligation we have to one another.

                    • If I came to Mass wearing an SS uniform or dressed as SpongeBob, would you not conclude I might not have the proper interior disposition and I was being disruptive or self aggrandizing?

                    • GG

                      Stop using logic.

                    • Nora

                      Oooh, someone’s using logic and not pure opinion? Where????

                    • Deb

                      You are comparing an SS uniform to a purple dress on a lady? We have jumped the shark.

                    • It’s your premise that we can’t judge by *looks*.

                • ForChristAlone

                  Use some common sense; no one needs a crystal ball here.

        • Nora

          ‘It’s likely a mess of altar girls, guitar bands, and people who wouldn’t even consider that they should walk 10 feet to the vestibule after Mass before carrying on a normal-voiced conversation. ‘. If that isn’t ‘judging’ with absolutely no positive proof, then you can say whatever you want.

          • Funny “Alexia” posted the same thing in support of a similarly confused assertion. We might have a doppelganger.

            • Nora

              Great minds think alike.

              • Especially, if they are really, really close.

            • Nora774

              Here you go. I have made an account to satisfy you, though I have no time. Satisfyed?

              • Nora

                ??

              • Guest is an account? Do you understand how Disqus works?

        • GG

          Rash judgement. She was not judging hearts.

  • Fred

    Beatiful article. So true

  • JohnE_o

    Well, Ma’am, if you don’t like how we do things in Texas, you’re more than welcome to turn right around and go back to wherever it is you came from. Bless your heart and God love ya.

    • ForChristAlone

      You don’t get it. It’s not about Texas. It’s about THAT parish IN Texas.

      Yikes!

      • JohnE_o

        If Mrs Lu’s response to that Parish is to write about how they aren’t Christian enough for her tastes, then she ought to stay home and endure the winter chill rather than having to worship with folks who aren’t up to her quality.

        That way we’ll all be happy.

        • GG

          Straw man.

        • ForChristAlone

          Consider it as her response to remit the temporal punishment due to sin. It’s what many of us do when faced with poorly presented liturgies that flout what the Roman Missal calls for.

          • JohnE_o

            Well, if she stays in Minnesota, she won’t have to deal with that.

    • GG

      Um, it is not Texas. It is about irreverence and poor faith formation.

      • JohnE_o

        Out here in these parts, we’re brought up that there’s no call to talk bad in public about a man’s wife, pickup, or church. I hope that next year, this young lady will write about how blessed she was to worship in her own church instead of running down how other folks were worshiping in their’s.

        You have a blessed day, GG.

        • GG

          Then you were taught wrongly.

          • JohnE_o

            Bless your heart, GG – you just keep on doing things your way, and I’ll keep on doing things the Texas way.

            You have a good day now, you hear?

            • GG

              Not into relativism.

              • JohnE_o

                It isn’t about relativism, GG, it is about good manners and not talking bad about places where folks are just being friendly even if they do things a-might different than how you’re used to.

                That’s the Texas way.

                Now you get along and take care now.

                • GG

                  Good manners do not preclude speaking the truth.

                  The folksy-kitsch does not trump reality.

                  The essay is not ill mannered. The problem is some just cannot take the truth.

                  • Deb

                    How is this article speaking truth with a capital T? I had no idea that women in purple dresses distributing Holy Communion was against the Magisterium.

                    GG, if you want a dress code for all parishes you need to get on the horn to all the bishops asap.

                    • Nora

                      I totally agree.

                    • GG

                      It is addressing the truth in that low standards are too common. The dress code should be internalized.

                    • ForChristAlone

                      You are being judgmental here.

                  • JohnE_o

                    Well now, GG, the truth is that this young lady went to a Catholic Church while she was visiting Texas, attended a valid Mass that didn’t meet up with her standards of How Things are Done in Minnesota.

                    But rather than simply chuckling at how things are different in other places – which is something that we Texans have to do quite often when we travel outside our State – she saw fit to write about how those good folks she visited weren’t Christian Enough for her taste.

                    Which she’s certainly entitled to do – goodness gracious – but if she feels that strongly about how things ought to be done, well maybe she’d be better off if she just stuck to staying where she wouldn’t be offended by other folks doing what they’re used to doing.

                    You have yourself a nice weekend, GG.

                    • GG

                      No. The author revealed some low standard that are not particular to Texas. Too many apparently are offended by the truth. They prefer to rationalize away low standards and poor formation.

                      Y’all come back now.

        • Matthew

          John, You make me want to move to Texas. God bless Texas.

          GG, what state do you live in? I’d like to visit there so I can see where the rude people live. Maybe I’ll bring a felt banner with me when I go to Mass.

  • Ruud Karsten

    Dear Rachel, I am interested to see how Mass is in St.Agnes . Is there a video recording which you could send me, or which I may find on the Internet?

  • Still laughing

    ForChristalone wrote over 25 times. I stopped counting. I was shaking with laughter at your pettiness. Your views are bitter and your criticism is just funny.

    • GG

      How old are you?

    • ForChristAlone

      now 26…I am happy to keep you entertained.

      • Nora

        Ur entertaining me as well. Saying ‘stop judging’ over 30 times.

  • Martha

    Beautiful, Rachel! Amen!

  • vivi

    Please be patient with folks coming in late. I work Sat/Sun graveyard shifts and quite often am required to fill in for other staff. I rush to Mass as soon as I get off and usually that means missing the procession in. I come in quietly and try to find a seat at the back so as to not disturb the others in the pews. I am grateful to be able to attend Mass and love the Mass both N.O. and TLM. Christ is present and that is what I need.

  • FrR

    I completely agree with your comments regarding the altar rail: its benefits are numerous. And as a Priest, I also find it helpful in that I’m not stuck standing in the same position for 10-15-20 minutes. Walking from one person to the other is a great help for my back.

  • KC

    Dear Rachel,

    I am a little disappointed by the way you tackle this issue (namely, Vatican II and its fruits), since you do not do so in a philosophical way. In many instances you justify the Tradition of the Church in terms of utility and rationalize the lack of piety in others in terms of habit (e.g., kneeling before God is “weird”). Moreover, you submit to novelties in the liturgy out of a false sense of charity: are you obligated more towards not hurting someone’s feelings (which are not necessary based in truth) by not shaking their hand than you are towards conforming to the Church’s liturgical action? You are on the right path and have obviously been seeking the Truth since you are a convert. I encourage you to continue seeking because the Conciliar Church, as they themselves have called it, is not giving you everything that God desires to give us.

    I had my own journey through the parishes in my town until I found myself attending a Mass probably very similar to what you have at St. Agnes, which deepened my spiritual life and to which I am still grateful. However, through someone much holier than I taking me to the true Mass (and other practices like the Rosary and True Devotion) when I traveled to where it was available, once I came “home” to the Novus Ordo I knew I could not go again. I am not sure how aware you are, but there was more taken out than just what you mention in the article. Michael Davies in his book series Liturgical Revolution discusses the history of the Mass in detail and compares, for example, the consecration prayers side-by-side. But what I know will move you profoundly is Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s An Open Letter to Confused Catholics, in which he defines true obedience and clarifies true Catholic principles.

    I now drive three and half hours about every other weekend to attend Mass with the Society of St. Pius X. It is tragic to not have the Mass every Sunday, but it has happened to peoples in history who still kept the Faith. This is not a question of personal preference but of honoring God and avoiding that which offends Him. There is no doubt that the Novus Ordo offends God. Of course, most Catholics do not understand this, and therefore they are not at fault. But once we understand this, we are obligated to not attend.

    Pax,

    A young female convert

    • Objectivetruth

      “There is no doubt that the Novus Ordo offends God.”

      I think you need to rethink that comment, KC. So you’re telling me that the Holy Spirit has abandoned the mass I’ve been attending for the last 40 years because He is offended? That at the mass I go to the bread and wine after the consecration stays…….bread and wine?

      Pick up the book “Hidden Manna”, which gives the 2000 year history of the Eucharist and the sacrifice of the mass. You’ll find it beneficial.

      • KC

        Hello,

        Let us not abandon reason. What you have written that I am “telling you” are not what I actually said.

        I do not have the means to answer fully the question of the validity of the Novus Ordo. Those who share my views differ themselves on the subject. Some say, yes, it is valid; others say, dubious. Paul VI is also a complicated issue, and I do not have all the answers. I am simply a young woman whom God has led thus far.

        No one asserts that the words being in Latin make the consecration valid. We are looking at the words themselves. Moreover, the priest’s proper intention in offering the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross is necessary, and the NO and its theology clearly water this down by using Protestant terms like “Supper.” It is obvious by looking at some of these “masses” that they are not valid because they are not done with the intention of the Church Herself. I encourage you to read the books I mentioned above with the promise that they will be more eye-opening, scholarly, and thorough than my comments here. For now, here is a THOMISTIC explanation of the intention necessary for a valid Mass: http://www.traditioninaction.org/HotTopics/f060_Intention.htm

        As for the question about the presence of God, for an individual who desires to be a communicant in the true sense, I am sure God dwells with him, whether or not transubstantiation takes place. If the sacrament is invalid, then the person will have made a spiritual communion with Christ. Apart from that central issue, I do believe that the NO imparts significantly less graces as it contains water-down prayers, less signs of the Cross, the absence of traditional prayers entirely (such as the Asperges me with the sprinkling of holy water which causes the demons to flee), etc.

        Finally, about Mother Teresa, I suspend judgement on her holiness. She performed corporeal works of mercy but apparently failed in regard to spiritual works, as she taught religious indifferentism: “For example, in 1997 she told an AP reporter: ‘Of course I convert. I convert you to be a better Hindu or a better Muslim or a better Protestant. Once you’ve found God, it’s up to you to decide how to worship him’ (“Mother Teresa Touched Other Faiths,” AP, Sept. 7, 1997).” http://www.traditioninaction.org/bkreviews/A_025br_MotherTeresa_Zima.htm

        • Objectivetruth

          I don’t know where to begin.

          “For example, in 1997 she told an AP reporter: ‘Of course I convert. I convert you to be a better Hindu or a better Muslim or a better Protestant. Once you’ve found God, it’s up to you to decide how to worship him’ (“Mother Teresa Touched Other Faiths,” AP, Sept. 7, 1997).” http://www.traditioninaction.o…”

          Please don’t claim to pull out one quote from her life and lay claim to say she taught “religious indifferentialism.” Seriously……you are attacking Mother Teresa’s spirituality? You’re kidding….right? You do realize tens of thousands of Hindu’s converted to Catholicism because of her?

          “I do believe that the NO imparts significantly less graces as it contains watered-down prayers, less signs of the Cross, the absence of traditional prayers entirely”

          Can you show me anywhere in Catholic teaching or doctrine where you came up with this?

          Also, you claim that you only go to mass twice a month? Even when there’s a perfectly good Catholic Church near by? You do realize missing mass on Sunday’s is a mortal sin that needs to be confessed?

          In all sincerity, KC, I think it would be prudent that you pursuit spiritual guidance with a good and holy priest.

          • KC

            The article shows plenty of examples.

            Why would the Conciliar Church come out with doctrines saying that the New Mass imparts less graces? I hope you understand that the point of this is that we are in a crisis. Rome has lost the Faith. The Church is in eclipse. Our Lady prophesied these exact things!

            St. Vincent of Lérins: “What should the Catholic Christian therefore do if some part of the Church arrives at the point of detaching itself from the universal communion and the universal faith? What else can he do but prefer the general body which is healthy to the gangrenous and corrupted limb? And if some new contagion strives to poison, not just a small part of the Church but the whole Church at once, then again his great concern will be to attach himself to Antiquity which obviously cannot any more be seduced by any deceptive novelty.” (http://www.sspxasia.com/Documents/Archbishop-Lefebvre/OpenLetterToConfusedCatholics/Chapter-18.htm)

            Your reply about missing Mass shows a fundamental misunderstanding or rejection of what I and others believe. The true Mass is not available in my area, so I do the best I can. What you call a “perfectly good church” is Protestant-inspired (i.e., heretically inspired) and practices the work of Modernists. The Novus Ordo is an offense against God, and because I have knowledge of this I am obligated to not attend it. Faith supersedes obedience. I obey God and the Tradition of the Church, not the wolves.

            I have indeed had spiritual guidance from good and holy priests of the Society of St. Pius X.

            May God lead you to the truth.

            • Objectivetruth

              You basically are saying that after almost 2000 years, Christ has abandoned His Church, and it is no longer guided by the Holy Spirit. Poof! Christ just up and left, basically because you think it’s wrong for the priest to face the congregation during mass. Makes no sense. Can’t buy it.

              • KC

                Our Lady of La Salette:

                “Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of Antichrist.”

                “The Church will be in eclipse, the world will be in dismay.”

                Read those quotes carefully. Of course God’s Church cannot be utterly destroyed. But God is allowing this crisis. Read about Pope Leo III’s vision of Jesus and Satan. http://www.stjosephschurch.net/leoxiii.htm

                Your comment “basically because…” is a straw man fallacy. A fallacy is a mistake in reasoning. Please, let us use our wonderful, God-given faculty of reason with deliberateness and care! Such errors blinding you from having understanding is enough to make one weep!

                • Objectivetruth

                  “Roma locuta est, causa finite est.”

                  • KC

                    “We adhere with our whole heart, and with our whole soul to Catholic Rome, the Guardian of the Catholic Faith and of those traditions necessary for the maintenance of that Faith, to eternal Rome, Mistress of Wisdom and Truth.

                    Because of this adherence we refuse and have always refused to follow the Rome of neo‑Modernist and neo‑Protestant tendencies, such as were clearly manifested during the Second Vatican Council, and after the Council in all the resulting reforms.

                    All these reforms have, indeed, contributed and still contribute to the demolition of the Church, to the ruin of the priesthood, to the destruction of the Holy Sacrifice and the Sacraments, to the disappearance of religious life, and to naturalistic and Teilhardian teaching in universities, seminaries, and catechetics, a teaching born of Liberalism and Protestantism many times condemned by the solemn magisterium of the Church. No authority, even the very highest in the hierarchy, can constrain us to abandon or to diminish our Catholic Faith, such as it has been clearly expressed and professed by the Church’s magisterium for 19 centuries.

                    ‘But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema’ (Gal. 1:8).”

                    http://www.sspxasia.com/Documents/Archbishop-Lefebvre/Archbishop_Lefebvre_and_the_Vatican/prologue.htm

                    • Objectivetruth

                      John 6:66

                      “As a result of this, many [of] his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.”

                    • KC

                      This again is monstrously horrible reasoning. I do not believe that you are even trying.

                      The Protestant reformers rejected the dogma of the Catholic Church, replacing it with their own. The SSPX preserves the Faith. Its beliefs and actions are literally grounded in papal documents and canon law. No one is interpreting scripture in a new light. The entire argument of the Society is that the Conciliar Church is a Protestant Church, that Rome has willingly protestantized itself.

                      Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre was entirely unoriginal! That is the point.

                      And no one returns “to their former way of life.” You are not saying anything meaningful or rigorous. I am saddened that you will not make an effort to grasp anything I am saying. I will not waste my time anymore.

                    • Objectivetruth

                      Really?? See below from archbishop Foy stating that attending an SSPX is “morally illicit.” By denying the NO mass you have abandoned Rome and the Church:

                      “Bishop of Covington Roger J. Foys addressed a letter to the faithful of his diocese in Friday’s edition of The Messenger, explaining SSPX and the dangers of becoming involved with that community.

                      “It is morally illicit (unlawful) for the Faithful to participate in Masses of the Society of St. Pius X unless they are legitimately impeded from participating in a Mass celebrated by a Catholic priest in good standing in the Church (cf. Code of Canon Law, canon 844.2),” Bishop Foys wrote. “Participation in such Masses and in the administration of the sacraments at the chapels of the Society of St. Pius X can, over a period of time, lead to a schismatic habit of thought and heart as one slowly imbibes a mentality which separates itself from the Magisterium of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.”

                    • KC

                      Those who attend Mass with the SSPX understand that the Modernist “Catholic” Church oppose this. Please stop assuming I am terribly ignorant of the issues surrounding my religion. Heretics do not have legitimate authority!

                      For the last time: Faith is greater than obedience.

                    • Objectivetruth

                      “For the last time: Faith is greater than obedience.”

                      Martin Luther would give you two thumbs up for this.

              • KC

                By the way, in case you are not aware (in sincerity) the priest’s orientation is of beautiful and meaningful symbolism. It is again the wolves that distort the Tradition of Holy Mother Church (what they disparagingly call “the priest with his back to the people”). It is called “ad orientem” meaning “to the east,” so that the priest together with the people face God. Also, Christ faced west while on the cross, so we are facing Him at Mass. So why would the priest turn around? And what exactly does that symbolize? It perfectly sums up what is called the Cult of Man: turning away from God, towards man. Pride.

                So not only does the priest now have his back to Christ in the Eucharist, but most often the Tabernacle is set apart from the altar to be isolated and on a side of the church away from the people’s focus. We must ask “Why?” How could this not offend God, this casting of Him aside? The altar and Tabernacle directly correspond to the Holy Sacrifice, which the New Mass waters down. It is shockingly obvious once one learns of the way things used to be and the reasons why they were so!

    • JohnE_o

      This has got to be parody.

      • KC

        Dear John,

        Based on your other comments I can see that you do not share a truly Catholic spirit or approach to things; neither are you able to reply with reason and substance to anything I have written. It is incredibly saddening to see you attempt to reduce the Faith to a matter of “taste.” Obviously different traditions arise from different cultures and God wills this (to the degree that they are good and edifying), but the revolution of Vatican II was by no means an organic outgrowth and has not at all promoted piety and true spirituality. That is evident from a study of the fall in Mass attendance and vocations, nuns throwing off their habits, priests assuming the clothing of worldly men, women wearing masculine and immodest clothing as well of throwing away their veils, and on and on. These are manifestations of evil to anyone who believes in objective Truth! And it doesn’t even begin to go into the heretical theology that the Council encouraged.

        My dear fellow Texan, if you would please read this wonderful article about what I mean by an authentic Catholic spirit. http://www.traditioninaction.org/Cultural/C009cp.htm

        • JohnE_o

          The linked article seems to suggest that having an authentic Catholic spirit means eschewing blue jeans and wearing fashions from the late 1800’s.

          You have got to be joking.

          In the event you are serious, well you lost me at Lefebvre and SSPX.

          If you choose to be spiritually guided by a handful of schismatics, well Bless your Heart too, Ma’am and may God have mercy on you.

          • KC

            Thankfully, His Excellency was no schismatic (much less a heretic), which he proves through canon law and in the light of Tradition in the work I have mentioned. Unfortunately, you have been thoroughly brainwashed by the wolves about which Our Lord prophesied, and your base emotions and obvious pride (shown by your public condescension to me in your false righteousness) shut you off from Beauty and Truth.

            You submit to the wolves and their novelties; I submit to God through what His Church has always taught.

            • JohnE_o

              Well, good for you, then. Truly, you will have your reward in heaven.

  • Objectivetruth

    I’m a big fan of most of your writings,, Rachel but after reading this one, it comes across as pretty “hoity toity.” It reminds me of the stories of when the rich Anglican’s would never think of attending the same mass with their chamber maids or butlers.

  • Nora

    Look, do any of you even know what ‘schlocky’ means?? It means inferior and trashy. So saying that a parish is schlocky, or, ‘inferior’ compared to your own isn’t judging? Give me a break.

  • Jim

    The new Catholic mass established in the US had been a disaster, culturally. This article, unfortunately, is so poorly worded it does not illustrate this at all.

  • beentheredonethat

    I have not read all 500+ comments so if I repeated anything I apologize.

    The same reverence that the author experiences at the extraordinary form of the Mass can also be obtained in a properly prayed ordinary form. The problem is most parishioners & priests do not know what reverential beauty is.

    That said in the good ole days before Vatican 2 they also had problems with reverential respect during Mass. The author cites Spirit of the Liturgy by Pope Benedict XVI. There’s another book with the same title written by Romano Guardini in 1918? who Benedict admires. In it I believe Guardini shares how one should behave during Mass.

    Human nature doesn’t change.

  • TERRY

    Good piece.

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