Fr. Kocik’s suggestions for the ongoing “reform”

Over at our friends of the NLM, we find an interesting post in which Fr. Thomas Kocik muses about concrete things priests can do to help along the "reform of the reform" in light of the growing success of Summorum Pontificum and Pope Benedict’s own concrete adjustments of the papal liturgies.

Here is his concrete advice, which I share.  My emphases and comments:

A few suggestions for my priestly confreres:

* Priests and deacons who are available to assist with the distribution of Holy Communion should do so, even if they are not concelebrating or assisting at that particular Mass.  [Especially priests, since a deacon’s hands are not consecrated.]
* Sing the orations, Gospel, and Preface, at least at the principal Sunday Mass.
* Incense may be used at any Mass in the Ordinary Form, whereas in the Extraordinary Form its use is restricted to High Mass. Use incense every Sunday, at least at the principal Mass, and not only for "special occasions."
* Use Latin at every Mass, even if only for the Sanctus or Agnus Dei. (It’s a start!)
* Begin catechetical preparation for celebrations ad orientem, then introduce (or re-introduce) the practice gradually. Advent suggests itself as the best time for implementation (or at least preparation): the Church awaits the coming Lord, symbolized by the rising sun. "People Look East!" commands the hymn. Yes, including the priest!  [Amen.]
* Take advantage of all legitimate options to strengthen and amplify continuity with tradition.  [Legitimate options, including use of the Rituale Romanum and 1962 Missale Romanum.]

Regarding that last point, many examples can be given:

* Use a chalice veil and burse. The use of the former, while not required by the most recent General Instruction of the Roman Missal (2002), is deemed "praiseworthy." The latter is not mentioned, but one would have to espouse the papally discredited "hermeneutic of discontinuity" to oppose the use of a burse.
* Wear the cope whenever permitted; e.g., marriages outside of Mass, baptisms, the final commendation at the funeral Mass.
* Wear violet or black vestments for funerals and other Masses for the Dead.  [Yes… that white vestment thing seems to much like a "canonization", as if we don’t need to pray for the deceased.]
* Do not omit Sequences, even when their use is optional.
* Instead of a Responsorial Psalm, use the Gradual. I recommend this especially for funerals, when (understandably) few people are inclined to sing. At most funerals, the Responsorial Psalm is, in fact, a solo performance by the cantor. [Sounds like we need Gregorian chant.]
* In the weeks containing few or no feasts/memorials, celebrate one or two votive Masses, or some of the Masses for Various Needs and Occasions. No need to go the whole week using the prayers of last Sunday’s Mass.
* Have a "preferential option" for Penitential Rite ‘A’ (the Confiteor and Kyrie).
* Have a "preferential option" for the Roman Canon, especially when the saint of the day is mentioned therein or when a special Communicantes can be used.  [And say the names of all the saints!]
* Although, lamentably, the Octave of Pentecost does not exist in the Ordinary Form, there is nothing to prevent the offering of the Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit (and thus the use of red vestments) on the ferial days after Pentecost Sunday. This would give the appearance of observing an octave.  [In the old calendar there is an Octave.  I’m just sayin’ ….]

This list is not exhaustive. I invite liturgically informed readers (clergy or laity) to suggest other legitimate possibilities for realizing the reform of the reform hic et nunc.

 

Perhaps you will have more suggestions.

  • Put dalmatics on deacons.
  • Use birettas.
  • If there are priests available, have confessions during Mass if not always, then occasionally.  It is permitted and laudable.
  • Get that schola cantorum going.
  • Have a Mass wherein everyone sings the Ordinary in chant from a Kyriale.  Yes… it can be done and it doesn’t always have to be Mass VIII!
  • Priests should returning to minding the fingers after the consecration and also where they direct their eyes.
  • Foster teams of altar boys to serve at Mass.
  • Use (or put in) Communion rails.

 

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76 Responses to Fr. Kocik’s suggestions for the ongoing “reform”

  1. Tomás López says:

    How about communion at the rail? Is that so wrong?

  2. Sacristy_rat says:

    I’ll tell ya what… I saw an early sacramentary, still have access to it, that had a rubric…. in RED in the margin saying “it is no longer required that the priest keep his thumb and forefinger togeather from this point”

    Sad…

  3. Kathleen says:

    At Communion say “Corpus Christi” instead of “The Body of Christ” Surely
    everyone can understand that in one quick lesson.

    Next best to a railing is to put cushions down for kneeling. This is done at the
    FSSP TLM I attend on Sundays. The altar boys put the long cushions down before Mass, and
    take them up afterward.

    Also good would be to have confession during the half hour before Mass.

  4. Jeff says:

    So if we are arguing usage of the Biretta Burse based on hermeneutic of continuity, could we say the same for the maniple?

  5. Rosie says:

    How about exiting the sanctuary via the door to the sacristy instead of down the aisle and out the door for the meet’n greet on the front steps? Let the people linger in the house of the Lord. Many do, when they don’t feel they have to choose between Him and him.

  6. Limbo says:

    No comment !

  7. Braadwijk says:

    What about some maniples? I’m under the impression they were never really abolished, but being no longer required many went in the trash. How about impressing on priests the need to “go big or go home”? Part of the reason we’re in this mess to begin with is because too many people in the day took the opportunity of cutting corners when they were allowed. Impress upon priests and laity that EVERY action of the priest at Mass, even the smallest, has both a practical and a spiritual function and it should behoove them to embrace everything the Church provides them. Too many priests are interested only in convenience when it comes to saying Mass.

  8. Mitch says:

    How about putting back those statues that were so hastily disregarded a few years back..Put Latin in the Church Belletin EVERY WEEK…Something for parents to teach their children..Not too complicated, but a start…Fill the homily with links to the past and traditionI think lay participation in the re-beautifying the Church can be useful…GIve people something else to do beside trying to be the Priest…Black Vestments and solemn prayers need to be used more frequently….All too often funerals are turned into forced joyous occasions.I also like to see the congregation genuflecting together..It looks so reverant and unified.Gregorian Chant, is a must……………….Peace

  9. Luke says:

    I’m confused by what you said about deacons, Fr Z. I’m under the impression that they are Ordinary Ministers. Or am I missing the point? I think that if more deacons were encouraged to assist with regards to Communion (not only at TLMs) it would remove one of the huge arguments against only using Ordinary Ministers only (“There’s only one priest and it takes too long!”)

    -L

  10. Mitch says:

    I must agree with Braadwijk’s comments…Many Priests are too interested in Convenience when saying Mass, and also guilty are lay people who push for that convenience…That must change..It is true that every rubric is looked upon by people….There has been way too much cutting corners.

  11. PMcGrath says:

    * Have a “preferential option” for the Roman Canon, especially when the saint of the day is mentioned therein or when a special Communicantes can be used. [And say the names of all the saints!]

    *Marry an nice Catholic lady in excellent health, and then …

    *Name your daughters Felicity, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cecilia, and Anastasia.

  12. Matt Q says:

    Tomás López wrote:

    “How about communion at the rail? Is that so wrong?”

    )(

    Well, you have priests who think just that–altar rails are WRONG. Further, what if you don’t have altar rails? Many parishes have destroyed their churches into silly prayer halls and other similar places. You know, in acknowledgment of Protestants, even their churches don’t look half of what many Catholic churches look like today either built that way or disfigured as such.

    ======

    Father z, what do you with pastors who won’t do anything regarding Tradition or even looking half way like things should be? Secondly, the Papal Masses being one way doesn’t translate into the average parish. What then?

  13. Luke: I’m confused by what you said about deacons

    What I wrote was pretty clear. I said “especially priests”, which did not exclude deacons. I stated that deacons hands are not consecrated: and they are not.

    Pretty clear.

  14. LCB says:

    “* Priests and deacons who are available to assist with the distribution of Holy Communion should do so, even if they are not concelebrating or assisting at that particular Mass. [Especially priests, since a deacon’s hands are not consecrated.]”

    Ehhem, let’s start with Father distributing Holy Communion at the Mass he is celebrating… then work up from there.

    How about this:
    *Add and subtract nothing to/from the mass. No special greeting, no howdy, just total seriousness from the procession to the dismas.

    and this– a priest I know did it when he arrived at a new Parish that became a social hall as soon as the mass ended. Within two weeks there was quiet, prayerful, silence for many minutes after mass.

    *Lead prayers after mass (perhaps a decade of the rosary), this seems to do wonders for preserving the prayerful atmosphere.

  15. Michael B. says:

    Latiy: get out of the habit of self-pitying complaint (of which I am guilty too). Instead, be part of the solution. If you are musically inclined, join or start a Gregorian Chant schola, even if you don’t have a Mass to serve at yet. Our schola was started in 1995 after years of useless moaning about liturgical abuses. We used the materials available and worked as hard as we could. We found a sympathetic priest who said a OF Latin Mass for us, first on Saturdays, eventually on Sundays. Within a couple of months a young man with a doctorate in music joined us, making it possible for us to become a competent schola.
    Prepare, work hard, God will provide.

  16. Johnny Domer says:

    If you have an instituted acolyte, put him in a tunicle and call him the subdeacon. This can be done in the Novus Ordo. (Fr. Z, I know that in a pinch with the Tridentine Mass you can grab even a layman to serve as a subdeacon…could you do that in the Novus Ordo, or would he strictly have to be an instituted acolyte?).

    Tie on a maniple!

    Make the sign of the cross to begin and end the homily…I think it’s important to make the homily feel like it’s part of the sacred action as much as possible, rather than kinda having it be a funny/interesting/entertaining speech given in the middle of Mass by that oh-so-clever fellow Fr. McSweeneyhan. Just doing this, I think, makes a big difference…it just feels more Catholic somehow.

    Have the priest and servers exchange with each other a true Bassium Pacis (hands on the shoulders of the person to whom you are giving the kiss of peace, sorta bow your head towards their left shoulder, separate, bow to each other). Watch how Pope Benedict does this with the concelebrants at his Masses. Would this be kosher, Fr. Z, for altar boys to do amongst themselves? It certainly would be nicer than just shaking hands. That or just leave the Sign of Peace out.

  17. Greg Hessel in Arlington Diocese says:

    Say the Roman Canon in Latin at the Novus Ordo daily Mass.

  18. Dr. Bombay says:

    Have the priest read the first and second readings.

  19. MAH says:

    1.) Promote the use of signs of reverence in the NO which are typically ignored e.g. strike your breast during the Confiteor and bow during the ‘Et incarnatus’ section of the Creed. Instruct the congregation to do do likewise.

    2.) Use the proper form for exchanging the sign of peace and abandon the handshake.

    3.) Instruct whoever leads the bidding prayers on how this should be done. There is supposed to be a significant pause between reading the intention and saying ‘Lord hear us’ (or whatever). This is when the assembled faithful are actually supposed to pray. Simply reading the intention is not a substitute for prayer. This is almost never done properly and consequently undermines the whole point of the final element of the Liturgy of the Word

  20. Marilyn says:

    Don’t forget the bells! Include the bells at the Sanctus and the consecration!

  21. Miseno says:

    Does anyone know if there is a book which describes biretta etiqutte? When are the appropriate times for the priest to wear it in the Mass and other sacraments?

  22. Bob says:

    Some ideas:

    Smells and bells! Ring the steeple bells before and after Mass, the sacristy bells to signal the start of Mass, and the altar bells at the proper points in the canon.
    Put the candlesticks ON the altar instead of next to it.
    Use the sprinkling option regularly, and sing the Asperges.
    Get the musicians, baptismal fonts/pools, shrubbery, felt banners, and other clutter out of the sanctuary. Make it clearly evident that the sanctuary is a holy place in which sacrifice is offered, not a storage space, rehearsal/performance space, gathering space, etc.

  23. Michael B.

    Thanks for the most useful comment on this thread. Lay people can support priests who want to do what is right, or make enemies of those who don’t.

    But their most constructive things they can are: form choirs and offer them to the parish, donate decent vestments or money for them, and praise priests who do any of the things people have praised above.

  24. Brian Day says:

    Many good suggestions. The only other thing that I can add is: banish polyester vestments!

  25. PNP, OP says:

    It all sounds great…except for the biretta. No thanks. I might try the zucchetto while I’m in Rome; however, I’m prone to overheating, so I’m not sure if wearing anything on my head is a good idea. Fr. Philip, OP

  26. Rudy B says:

    Six Candlesticks and an altar crucifix!

  27. Rudy B says:

    …making visible the connection of the local parish church with Peter.

  28. Fr. WTC says:

    It seems to me that a very effective strategy for the implementation of the reform is to gather reformed minded priest from a given geographic area on a regular basis at workshops or days of reflection, and decide at these gatherings to implement simultaneously a given set of points from the above list. This would have a number of favorable effects with respect to our end—effective permanent and speedily implementation of the Benedictine reforms.

    1) The priest implementing the reform would not be doing so in isolation, thus over coming the fatal error of being left open to being labeled a NUT by the locals, clergy and laity. We all know of priests, good priests that have been isolated and discredited along with what ever pastoral vision they may legitimately have simply because they were singular. Be a team player—form your own team.

    2) A second favorable effect this strategy would have is to disorientate the Catholic-left. A confident dynamic well organized offensive front in the teeth of what is proving to be institutionalized resistance to the Benedictine reforms will create for the reform a hermeneutic of authenticity from which to work, while at the same time forcing the left to react from the perspective of a hermeneutics of illegitimate intransigence. This is what the left did in the 70’s and 80’s, what we would be doing is simply turning the tables on them.

  29. Ana says:

    Even if you do not have sanctuary bells, at least get rid of the welcome speach often made by the cantor and simply say, “please rise,” before the procession.

    Exit by the sanctuary door, when possible, as previously suggested.

    Support your priest and pray for him often! If you have something constructive to say, say it in loving manner to him in private. If you do not agree with something he does, do not publicly criticize him! Keep quiet if you cannot say something positive.

    Put your male altar servers in cassock and surplice. Get rid of female altar servers, if possible. If not, at least put them in albs that fit properly and proper black shoes — not a cassock and surplice as this is male clothing.

  30. All of these are great ideas…for those dioceses stuck standing after the Agnus Dei, kneel. As I’ve found my oasis from all things liberal at my parish, kneeling, uniformity…the altar boys learning the Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite.

  31. Alessandro says:

    I am a poor Italian priest, and it is hard for me to understand this comment:
    * Wear violet or black vestments for funerals and other Masses for the Dead. [Yes… that white vestment thing seems to much like a “canonization”, as if we don’t need to pray for the deceased.]

    I have never ever seen anything like that, really somewhere (apart form Japan for cultural reason) they use WHITE at a FUNERAL????

  32. Mark S. says:

    Alessandro: Yes, some priests DO use white vestments at funerals, at least in the UK. It’s claimed they do it to symbolise the resurrection to new life. Also there is often no reference to praying for the deceased, so sometimes funerals really look as though the deceased has already entered heaven. I’ve been to a few funerals where the priest’s idea of a homily was to tell several supposedly funny stories about the person who has died, with no reference at all to things of faith, changing the funeral to a commemoration of their life rather than prayer for their soul.

  33. Mark S. is quite right.
    Here in England, the Mass of the Resurrection, with white vestments, first began to replace the Requiem Mass, with black vestments, in the early 1970s, I think. Over the years, the priest’s homily has become more of a eulogy, and sometimes it is replaced by a layman delivering a eulogy. Together with improvised prayers, poetry readings, and even the singing of the deceased’s favourite song, many funeral Masses have become more like memorial services. I’m not sure whose idea it was to change things, or how these changes are of benefit to the soul of the deceased.

  34. TNCath says:

    Lots of great suggestions above. Here are a few more:

    1. If you still have them, get out the “fiddlebacks” and use them!

    2. Dispense with the “Good Morning!” greeting at the beginning of Mass.

    3. Dispense with the “Please pray for the happy repose of the soul of John Bagodonuts, the husband of Lucy Lou Bagocookies Bagodonuts, formerly of our parish, who died yesterday and will be buried from St. Suzy’s on Monday at 10 A.M. with burial in Mt. Mary Cemetery immediately following. We pray to the Lord.” The General Intercessions are not supposed to be an obituary for someone who has died.

  35. Andrew says:

    I agree with everything accept replacing the responsorial Psalm and the end procession. The biretta is to be used in processions (according to a sadly out of date book known as the “Church Visible”). It can also be carried in, instead of being worn. The biretta must be removed at the foot of the stairs. If possible, remove the biretta in unison. The biretta is put back on the head after reverencing the alter. It is taken off again for incensing the alter and the opening prayer. During the Gospel, the Biretta is placed on the seat. The biretta is worn during the Homily, but not by the prelate presenting the homily (all others with birettas wear it during the homily). The biretta is removed during the offertory. When being incensed, priests must hold the biretta at the breast. The biretta is replaced after the Eucharist is placed in the Tabernacle. At the oration before the final benediction, the biretta is removed from the head. The biretta is replaced after reverencing the alter (if more then one priest, then preferably in unison).

  36. Mark S. says:

    Regarding the “Resurrection Masses”, I’m not sure what the reasoning behind these is either – and I used to be an altar server!. I’m not sure whether there’s an element of lack of faith in traditional church teaching, or a desire to “comfort” the relatives by leaving out the mention of anything that may be unpleasant or upsetting. My present parish priest is also in the habit of reading out the full list of sick, recently died and anniversaries during the General Intercessions, and also the list of departed/anniversaries during the Memento for the Dead in the Canon, at every Sunday Mass. I think this is for the reason just mentioned – a desire to comfort the people concerned. It seems that some of the “oddities” we see now at Mass are a desire to be “relevant” or “meaningful”, a desire to pander to people’s emotional needs rather than perform an act of worship.

  37. Limbo says:

    I just don’t have the energy.
    How about just find yourself a chapel offering the Mass according to the 1962 Missal and get on with it.
    Can’t find one ? Establish a ‘stable group’ and demand one.

  38. Gerald says:

    For the scenario in the Philippines:
    In addition to what was already mentioned in the article,

    1. The priests should were proper vestments, chasuble worn over alb and stole with amice and cincture and not stole over chasu-alb (chasualb is a one piece chasuble over street cloths) which is very very very common and let them pray the prayers before vesting.
    3. Altar boys wearing surplice over cassock. Laced surplice is recommended but not required.
    4. Benedictine altar arrangement. Benedictine altar arrangement. Benedictine altar arrangement.

  39. RJM says:

    The 1998 American edition of the Lectionary contained the following note: “If it is customary or obligatory for the faithful to attend Mass on the Monday or even the Tuesday after Pentecost, the readings from the Mass of Pentecost Sunday may be repeated or the readings of the Ritual Mass of Confirmation may be used in its place.” In 2002, the Third Typical Edition of the Roman Missal contained a further clarification: “Where on the Monday and also the Tuesday after Pentecost the faithful must (attend Mass) or have the custom of attending Mass, the Mass of Pentecost Sunday may be repeated, or one may say the Mass of the Holy Spirit.”

  40. mpm says:

    There are many good ideas mentioned in the article and in the comboxes.
    I think that what will help everbody regardless of what the parish priest
    does concretely, is that he preach, preach, preach about what is being done,
    and why it is being done. Connect the acts of worship and reverence to
    the proper attitudes we should be bringing to the Mass, and fruit will come.
    Remember how Fr. Jay Scott Newman introduced his parish to the idea of the
    ad orientem worship! Give good reasons for each item, connect it to the will
    of Christ and the desires of the Roman Pontiff, and fruit will come of it.

  41. Mark M says:

    Father,

    Why is the chalice veil optional now?

  42. Fr. Michael says:

    It was written: “In the weeks containing few or no feasts/memorials, celebrate one or two votive Masses, or some of the Masses for Various Needs and Occasions. No need to go the whole week using the prayers of last Sunday’s Mass.”

    Interesting. Would this mean that it is also laudable to use the ordinary form lectionary cycle so as not to repeat the same Sunday readings throughout the week? If one is not repeating the Sunday prayers, why repeat the Sunday readings?

  43. Tina in Ashburn says:

    SKIP the options that don’t resemble the prayers of the EF.

    Skip the kiss of peace [isn’t that really just for those that know each other? wasn’t it originally for those in communities and monasteries? maybe it makes sense to ask forgiveness of our family members standing next to us or within choirs or even among close friends… but why am I asking forgiveness/wishing peace to some grubby little kid in front of me that I have never seen before? talk about a distraction!]

    Skip the intercessory/bidding prayers. If the Mass is properly said and prayed, the prayers of the Mass cover our intentions and that of the Church.

    Skip the bringing up of the Gifts. This also can protect the bread and wine from any contamination, intended or unintended. This can prevent the frequent distraction of the parade of the badly dressed and irreverent. And clueless…

    Skip the option for the cup at communion. This can be achieved using intinction, if there’s no other way.

    DO the options that most closely resemble the EF.

    Do the “I confess” and Kyrie, Eucharistic Prayer I, without omissions, seconding the already posted suggestion.
    [Since EP I makes less mention of the Holy Spirit than the other options, can the priest intend silently the Epiklesis, directly invoking the Holy Spirit to come down and bless the offerings?]

    Do the ‘we have the courage to say’ prayer before the Our Father.

    Do the ‘Mass is ended, go in peace’ option.

    Promote the norm of receiving on the tongue [now that the Pope is making this the norm at his Masses, this might be easier to achieve]. One method is to use intinction [by the priest only, duh] and informing the congregation beforehand that this won’t allow for handling the host.

    Promote kneeling for communion. If no rails, prie-dieus are best for this as it gives folks something to hold onto as they go up n down. Those who choose to ignore it can stand, while others will find it an encouragement.

    Encourage any female that shows up with a head-covering. At a nearby daily Mass once, the priest during his sermon mentioned how happy he was to see some veils and explained their significance.

    Reduce usage of Extraordinary Ministers, if you have to have help, replace them with deacons and seminarians. Then again, what’s so bad about a longer line while the priest alone distributes? Allows more time for thanksgiving.

    Keep the women out of the sanctuary. If they have to cantor they can do it outside the sanctuary or from the back of the Church. If there are no men to do the readings, the priest can read. Even better, the priest should do it, period.

    Should I mention children’s Masses? Now there’s a wormhole… around here its used as an excuse to get the parents to Mass while they hear their little darlings read something. At another parish, they are the choir only, now THAT’s angelic!

    Teach the young and they will convert their parents. Priests, teach catechism yourself, at a minimum, visit every class throughout the year. You may be shocked at behavior, ignorance and parental influence that us Religious Ed teachers have to put up with regularly.

    Admittedly much of this can take lengthy preparation and catechesis. Could one could start small with one of the Sunday Masses? – this gives an option for those less inclined to altar girls and such, to have one Mass where they can enjoy less distraction.

    Above all, teach the people what the Mass is and how to behave. Some call it “Mass Etiquette”. I have found that those who understand the Mass best, are most receptive to the OF. Promote the proper rubrics: striking the breast, genuflecting, bowing at the Consecration, averting the eyes after Communion [how many just sit and watch the parade instead of making a thanksgiving], reverent silence before and after Mass. One priest broke the chatty habit with loud recorded Gregorian immediately after Mass, til people figured it out. Explain the Kyrie and the Gloria and the Creed. A nominal Catholic has no idea why these are said, what they mean or why they are important. How can these under-catechized ever appreciate the OF then?

    Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the wills and hearts of your people. Always, always address the Guardian Angels of those who’s hearts need changing. This method is miraclous when trying to communicate with difficult people. Sometimes these Guardian Angels will inspire YOU on approaches and words. Miraculous and effective. [oh and this works on crying babies too – address their Guardian Angels… you’ll see!]

  44. paul says:

    How about this- get rid of altar girls and altar boys- I don’t understand why children belong in the sanctuary. I think only priests and deacons belong there. Have the children involved in giving out coffee and donuts after Mass.

  45. Tobias says:

    “3. Dispense with the “Please pray for the happy repose of the soul of John Bagodonuts, the husband of Lucy Lou Bagocookies Bagodonuts, formerly of our parish, who died yesterday and will be buried from St. Suzy’s on Monday at 10 A.M. with burial in Mt. Mary Cemetery immediately following. We pray to the Lord.” The General Intercessions are not supposed to be an obituary for someone who has died.”

    Uhh, this is not an “obituary,” this is informing the faithful of a soul for whom
    they ought to pray. What is the least bit inappropriate about this? All the
    information you listed — the name, relevance to the parish, time of burial, etc.
    — is relevant information. Sheesh.

  46. Tobias says:

    “some grubby little kid”

    I think that people who are contemptuous of people who happen to be sitting in
    their vicinity are precisely the people who deserve to have the Sign of Peace
    imposed upon them as a duty. The problem with the Sign of Peace is most certainly
    not the “grubbiness” of other people.

  47. Tobias says:

    “but why am I asking forgiveness/wishing peace to some grubby little kid in front of me that I have never seen before? talk about a distraction”

    Christian charity and peace and well-wishing extend to more than just our
    friends and families. And from the sounds of it, by the time of the Sign of
    Peace you’ve probably already given that kid some dirty looks and ought to wish
    him some peace, too. Your neighbor is your cross.

    I concede the distraction part. I am not in favor of the Sign of Peace, but if
    this is the type of argument used against, I will reconsider it as something
    necessary.

  48. Tobias says:

    “How about this- get rid of altar girls and altar boys- I don’t understand why children belong in the sanctuary.”

    First, there is the *tradition* of altar boys, which was never problematic. Only
    the innovation of altar girls is problematic.

    “I think only priests and deacons belong there. Have the children involved in giving out coffee and donuts after Mass.”

    This will not attract any boys to the vocation of the priesthood, which was one
    of the benefits of having them serve as acolytes.

  49. “Have the priest read the first and second readings.”

    The GIRM gives specific preference to the layman in proclaiming the readings before the Gospel. This should not be interpreted as a defense of incompetent readers. In some places, it would be more suitable to restrict it to males, preferably vested.

  50. Oh, and one more thing. Lose the announcements, especially that inane commentary before Mass. If you have programs and a hymn board, all the more reason to put a lid on the constant explaining throughout the Mass. Since the invention of the printing press… well, you get the idea.

  51. Tobias says:

    I’m curious, Mr. Alexander, when you mention that in some places it would be
    preferable not to have female readers, what do you have in mind? How does the
    preference related to place?

  52. Flabellum says:

    The priest says vesting prayers.

    Reservation in a prominent place.

    When the rubrics don’t indicate otherwise, hands joined with palms together, or if seated hands flat just above knees.

    Custody of the eyes.

    Avoid the ‘alternative’ collects without a proper ending.

  53. Tobias:

    In the reformed liturgy, the use of females within the “presbyterium” (that is, the sanctuary, or place of presiding) is an indulgence, whereas the use of males is normative. That part is fact, not an opinion. What follows, is based on opinion.

    As to how the preference relates to place, I’ll give an example. When I was sacristan/MC for the National Wanderer Forum for several years, the readers at the Masses were always male, and always vested. And it was usually a Latin Mass, even if it used the reformed missal.

  54. LCB says:

    Tobias,

    The intercessions are prayers, not announcements. Save it for the bulletin, at the start of the homily, or after the dismas.

  55. Tobias says:

    Well, Mr. Alexander, it seems that if it is preferable for women not to be in
    the sanctuary, that would be true of any Mass and not just of Masses on special
    occasions. So the preference holds true regardless of place or circumstance.

  56. Well, Mr Tobias, to have a “preference” is to go one way or the other. In this case, I also referred to a distinction between the norm and the indulgence. This would, by definition, underscore how the preference is applied.

  57. Richard Wang says:

    Here are my humble additions.

    1. Ban any use of anything published by the OCP (Oregon Catholic Press). The OCP has wrought enough damages with it’s ugly art, ugly liturgy and ugly music.

    2. Ban all liturgical committees, music committees, pastoral committees, etc. Away with the “Sandalistas”.

    3. Ban EMHO’s. To paraphrase Martin Mosebach, they usually resemble angry old nurses passing out nasty tasting medicine.

    4. Ban altar girls. And put altar boys in proper garb, not some dirty velcro alb and running shoes.

    5. Bring back cassocks, fascia, biretta’s and saturno. Leave the “collar and cardigan” to the Protestants.

  58. joy says:

    A song for the schola… (to the tune of The Drunken Sailor)

    1.What shall we do for the reform of the reform? x3 (Early in the morning)

    refrain Way-hey, the incense rises x3 (Early in the morning)

    2.Say the black and do the red x3 (Early in the morning) refrain
    3.What shall we do with an instituted acolyte? x3 (Early in the morning)
    4.Put him in a tunicle and call him subdeacon x3 (early in the morning) refrain
    5.Smells and bells and fiddleback chasubles x3 (early in the morning)
    6.Banish EMs and bring back intinction x3 (Early in the morning) refrain
    7.God grant B16 100 years x3 (early in the morning)

    ad lib, ad infinitum…

  59. Lee says:

    And the problem with lay readers is what exactly? One result of the so-called vocations crisis is that we have many priests here, good priests, from India and Poland especially, whose English is often barely comprehensible, strangled. One reason that I became a lector is to give the congregation a few moments of comprehensible English. This is bad?

    We happen to have several priests in the parish who are beyond retirement age, so I am not going to drop a note to the pastor asking that the extraordinary ministers be cut back. I am grateful that these priests remain in harness, and in my opinion anything we can do to take the burden off of them we should do in Christian charity, including assisting in the distribution of Holy Communion.

    As for consecrated hands, I take communion on the tongue, but nevertheless, my understanding of Baptism and Confirmation is that they conform us to Christ as priest, prophet and king. True or not true? I understand the difference between this lay priesthood and ministerial priesthood. Chiefly, I cannot hear Confessions, or say Mass. And I can understand and agree with the argument that communion in the hand leads to abuses, but nevertheless the entire person of an ordinary Catholic is consecrated to Christ, including his hands. The hands of a priest may be more specially consecrated, but that does not make the hands of a layman unworthy of handling the Eucharist. Does it?

    Finally, I take it that it’s the opinion of practically everyone responding here that all the liturgical reforms undertaken from the twenties (or whenever) onward were totally mistaken, and the most desirable thing would be to conduct ourselves as if they never happened, or should not have happened. Is it our main business then to roll them back and obliterate them?

    Or, putting it more positively, what exactly are the liturgical reforms undertaken in the last century that are worthy of retention, in your humble opinion?

  60. “The hands of a priest may be more specially consecrated, but that does not make the hands of a layman unworthy of handling the Eucharist. Does it?”

    No one is worthy to handle the Eucharist, but a priest’s hands are consecrated for the purpose of confecting it, therefore also of handling it, regardless of worthiness. The determination of who may or may not handle the Eucharist is answered in our tradition. To wit, there have been instances where a dire emergency required a layman to carry the Eucharist, such as during the Roman persecutions (St Tarcisius, or however his name is spelled, comes to mind), or the Reign of Terror in France (where the privilege was even granted to a nun whose feast is celebrated this week, I forget her name). The average Sunday in a typical suburban parish in North America or Europe, endures less dire straits.

  61. Tobias says:

    “Well, Mr Tobias, to have a “preference” is to go one way or the other. In this case, I also referred to a distinction between the norm and the indulgence. This would, by definition, underscore how the preference is applied.”

    Tobias is my first name; I’m not being tongue-in-cheek when I call you by your
    surname with “Mr.” I still don’t follow your distinction. It seems that you’re saying
    that it is better not to make use of the indulgence. You want not to make use of
    the indulgence on special occasions. But the nature of the indulgence and of the
    norm have nothing to do with whether the Mass is at an extra special occasion,
    as far as I can see. What I’m getting at is, as we’re dealing with our opinions,
    I don’t see how we could come up with a situation (Mass for the Wanderer Forum,
    or the Saturday night anticipated Mass) in which it would not be preferable to
    restrict the role of lector to men, if possible. You wrote:
    “In some places, it would be more suitable to restrict it to males, preferably vested.
    ” On the basis of the facts you relate (that women are permitted in the
    sanctuary only by indulgence), it would be just as safe to say “In *all* places,
    etc.” That was my critique.

  62. “I’m not being tongue-in-cheek when I call you by your surname with “Mr.” I still don’t follow your distinction. It seems that you’re saying that it is better not to make use of the indulgence.”

    No, I was saying that it depends. Look, I was just putting the matter into some perspective. I didn’t expect the Spanish Inquisition:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=JLDVIViWW74

  63. Tobias says:

    “No, I was saying that it depends.”

    Depends on what? I don’t see what a Mass for a Wanderer Forum has that makes the female
    lectors less suitable there than on any given Sunday at the local parish.

    “Look, I was just putting the matter into some perspective.”

    And, in Socratic fashion, I’m analyzing the perspective you volunteered, in an endeavor
    to understand it.

    “I didn’t expect the Spanish Inquisition:”

    This is a Catholic forum! You should always expect the Spanish Inquisition! ;)

  64. RBrown says:

    We happen to have several priests in the parish who are beyond retirement age, so I am not going to drop a note to the pastor asking that the extraordinary ministers be cut back. I am grateful that these priests remain in harness, and in my opinion anything we can do to take the burden off of them we should do in Christian charity, including assisting in the distribution of Holy Communion.
    Comment by Lee

    I think you have it backwards. Because the priesthood is a vocation not job, in Christian Charity these older priests should be used to assist in the distribution of Holy Communion.

  65. RC says:

    Is there any way for lay people to find priests who want to implement these ideas and ideals?

  66. Destroying all glass vessels and flagons.
    Ban OCP

  67. Deusdonat says:

    I know I may sound out of touch here, but the current lack of dress code in churches really bothers me. There is a historic church in San Francisc, CA which I attend from tiem to time since it has an Italian language mass (NO unfortunately) that many friends and family use for special occasions (i.e. baptisms, weddings etc). It really irks me that so many people walk into church off the street between and during mass looking like they just got back from the bech or are on a Hawaiian luau. At times there are ushers, but they are highly ineffective (and no doubt confused on their “orders” on how to deal with this). As if that weren’t enough, I can’t tell you how many churches I have been to where members of all ages (no, not just the teens as one would suspect) dress inappropriately (that is putting it very charitably).

    I guess I’m saying, there should be a standardization on dress code somewhere in between mantilla/dress suit and spaghetti straps/saggers. I don’t think a polite sign put up in front of every church reminding parishoners and visitors on what is respectful dress would be out of line.

  68. paul says:

    I was just thinking- if we just encouraged the extra ordinary form of the Mass- all these corrections would be unnecessary.

  69. paul says:

    I was just thinking- if we just encouraged greater use of the extra ordinary form of the Mass- all these corrections would be unnecessary.

  70. Tina says:

    Perhaps something even more simple. Coming to Mass on time. I went to Mass today and people were coming in an hour after the Mass had actually started. Communion was at about the 55 minute mark, so these people were in time for Communion. A family came in after Communion just for the final prayers. At that point I was like why bother?

    And on the reverse, no leaving early either.

    People who want to keep their jobs don’t show up late and leave early, why should Mass be any different?

    In the Marionite Rite, they have lay people read the readings but they must get a blessing from the priest before they start reading. I couldn’t tell you what was said in the blessing because it was in Syrriac. Perhaps something like that?

    On children in the Mass. The father of my goddaughter and I are currently arguing over whether or not she is old enough to go to Mass. Regardless of the fact she (and he) should have been going all along. He feels she is too young and won’t behave or some such nonsense. I am of the opinion if she never goes, she will never learn how to behave. I went to Mass as a toddler and behaved, back in the days when crying rooms and children’s liturgy didn’t exist. You should be happy that grubby kid in front of you has parents that even bring him to Mass. Many don’t because they find it a hastle. Dirty looks from others don’t help. If you never take the kids to Mass, then they don’t value it and will lose their faith as they get older because apparently it wasn’t that important to begin with.

  71. Flabellum says:

    Joe of St Therese,

    a little bit of clumsiness or a wobbly shelf …..! (And pottery too.)

  72. Flabellum, hahaha, anything to get rid of un-worthy vessels. (I’ve honesty thought about going into the sacristy at my old Church and taking away anything glass. on a one way trip to my physics lab where they’d be burned and used for purposes glass should be used for (making stained glass)

  73. MAH says:

    Tina – you are absolutely right! No child is too young to be at Mass. My daughter attended her first Mass at two days old and has done so every Sunday since. Although getting a toddler through Mass is often a great mortification it is vital that children participtae in the liturgy. Even if a child is asleep it is still ‘actively participating’ in the sacrifice of the Mass. Heaven forbid we should resort to what our seperated brethren do and leave our children in a child care area while adults attend the service. But an appeal to priests. Please bless children who are too young to recieve Holy Communion. All too often priests simply ignore them at the altar rail.

  74. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Tobias, Tina:
    You are misinterpreting my comment in reference to the disruption of the sign of peace and its significance and reason.

    This has nothing to do with children at Mass, or their hygiene. As a parent, I always took my son to Mass, he never went to any nursery. Start em young and teach them how to behave. He eventually was an altar boy at the old Mass at St Mary\’s in Washington DC.

    My point is, this kind of exchange doesn\’t occur at the Old Mass except amongst those acquainted with each other, as in communities. My point is that exchanging this sign of peace, actually its about making peace with those we might have been fussing with, not with complete strangers. You know, \’make peace with your brother before you pray\’ kinda thing? I\’m disturbed by those with whom I am not acquainted at all expecting a handshake, a smile, a wave. The objective is not to socialize and chat. Its an exercise of forgiveness with those we may have offended or who may have offended us, at a solemn moment when we should be preparing ourselves for intimacy with God.

    and MAH:
    I believe that blessing children at communion is now forbidden? At least it is here in the Diocese of Arlington. The objective is not to take away the focus and reverence due to the reception of Holy Communion. When I was little, I was left in the pew at Communion.

    Do these objections illustrate how far we are from understanding what the Mass is and thus the ability to appreciation the Extraordinary Form?

    I guess referencing \”a grubby kid\” is uncharitable, ok, sorry about that. I don\’t like grubby adults either LOL. However this happens frequently in my parish! Its wonderful to have many children at Mass, a testament to a family\’s devotion. I do not know these families or their children. And also how is it that these attendees are far more attentive to the \’kiss of peace\’ or holding hands at the Our Father, but pay no attention whatsoever at the Consecration? Its just a consistent pattern here, hope its different where you are.

    Isn\’t the intent of this thread is to identify ways to prepare a parish for the Extraordinary Form?

  75. MAH says:

    Tina,
    I believe it is forbidden in some parts of the US but promoted by conferences of bishops in parts of Europe. My US archbishop does it. I don’t think the pastoral objections to it are particularly convincing expecially when talking about children too young to receive but also too young to be left alone in the pew. And who could withhold blessing a baby (surely not Cardinal Castrillon!) With other types on non-communicants it might be another matter. And it seems to me that if kneeling at the rail were restored the awkwardness is eliminated and a blessing would not detract from the reception of Communion.

  76. Tina in Ashburn says:

    MAH,
    As far as I know, blessing underage children at Communion was never practiced before the changes of the 60s. So in keeping with the intent of this thread, I’d recommend not indulging in this practice during Communion at the EF, to get a congregation used to EF practices. I don’t believe it is a prescribed “rubric” in the OF either, but that is not the point of this discussion, so I’m leaving it alone.

    However I hope that priests will further the practice of imparting blessings more in general. I can’t remember the last time a priest blessed me as we parted company, or at some gathering. Its beautiful and helpful to be protected by a priestly blessing. I find it very comforting. In my youth, we didn’t ever say to a priest “God bless you”, Priests said it to US as a common practice, preferable to waving and saying parting words typical to the laity. I see this as an overall underestimation by your general priest in their own ordained powers. A priestly blessing is a great gift with many forgotten attributes.