A global-killer asteroid question

In another thread of comments, someone opined:

Fear leads to Conservatism? I can see where fear of the wrath of God might lead someone to the TLM.

A while back I was having a chat with a priest friend, who said:

If a global-killer asteroid was about to strike the earth, which Mass would you rather be at?

We might tone this down to global economy killer scenarios as well.

I’m just askin’

Which? Which Mass would it be?  

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Global Killer Asteroid Questions, I'm just askin'..., The future and our choices. Bookmark the permalink.

82 Responses to A global-killer asteroid question

  1. Greeny says:

    “If a global-killer asteroid was about to strike the earth, which Mass would you rather be at?”

    Neither. I would rather be in the confessional.

  2. Padre Steve says:

    I think I agree with Greeny! But, I think fear leads to clarity… which leads to conservatism!

  3. Or… you could answer the question I actually asked…

  4. Tyler says:

    I like that you made a whole new category for “Global killer asteroid questions”, as if these types of questions are coming in often…

    and to answer the question you asked, as long as its a valid, licit Mass, and Jesus comes in the Eucharist, thats okay with me. Im going to the first church I reach, not the nearest EF.

    Of course, I haven’t time them, but it may also be that your average priest could get to communion time quicker in the OF than the EF(while still doing the red and saying the black), so that could be a check on that side

  5. Quantitative Metathesis says:

    All other things being equal (same priest, same church, same congregation, same music, etc.), I would rather be at an OF Mass.

  6. Quantitative Metathesis says:

    Of course, that’s an absolutely mute point where I am now — we are lucky to find a Mass with out abuses, let alone Latin or the literally unheard-of (except by transplants like myself) OF.

  7. Rose in NE says:

    Definitely TLM.

  8. Brian says:

    TLM missa cantata

  9. Ed says:

    TLM, always, in every scenario, catastrophic or beautific.

  10. Choirmaster says:

    Greeny: HA! But what about after that confession?

    – – –

    Nothing is more sobering than fear.

    My greatest impression of the EF of the Roman Rite (and the theory of an idealized OF) is one of an objective sobriety of form. One must ask one’s self whether (assuming my impression is correct) this sobriety is expressed in not just the Ordinary Form of the Mass, but the ordinary forms of the sacraments, catechisms, etc.

    If this sobriety is absent (which I think it is) a doomsday scenario may necessarily highlight that absence all the more, as well as the underlying issues that have caused it.

    Pope Benedict mused that the financial crisis brings simplicity and focus to Christmas; a catastrophic political or geological crisis might do the same for sobriety in Catholic worship.

    I know for a fact that, when I am content in inebriation, beset by doubt, and have become comfortable with status quo spiritual apathy, something scares the hell out of me and I automatically fall to my knees, offering the most sober prayers to God, begging for undeserved deliverance.

    I don’t see myself doing any of that within the context of the Ordinary Form (cederis paribus).

    For me, it will be the EF.

  11. Mitch says:

    I would be at the closest Mass posible, when I am at my house that means an SSPX chapel at a Carmalite Cloister 5 min from my house. If a astoroid is hitting earth soon I could care less about their cannonical regularity they will be haveing a valid Mass, so it works.
    If I am at college then probably an OF Mass because it will be closer, but an EF if I can make it, the EF Masses around here are in the same church my parents got married in so it has special meaning to me anyways.

  12. Dan says:

    I would choose both They bot have the same result in the end.

  13. Coletta says:

    TLM celebrated by a saintly Priest or Bishop – in the Chapel with my Sisters (to be)

  14. Romulus says:

    Does \”global killer\” mean the extinction of all human life? How are we to relate this hypothesis to Christ\’s promise to come again, as we affirm in the Creed?

    If we are to understand that a human fragment will survive, then certainly I hope they\’ll have access to the TLM. If we are to understand there will be no survivors, it really doesn\’t matter unless one wishes to argue that any manner of TLM, regardless of circumstances, is objectively more pleasing to God than the most reverent and rubrically scrupulous NO Mass (celebrated in Latin, ad orientem, with chant, let us say). I am not able to make that argument, any more than I\’m able to contemplate the notion that a remote and aloof God will permit the annihilation of man in a merely natural catastrophe. Therefore — and only in response to a hypothetical I consider contrary to revelation and reason, literally impossible — I\’d say that a if a global killer asteroid were at the point of obliterating all human life in the absence of the Second Coming, it would mean that God\’s promises were false or imaginary and that it wouldn\’t matter what sort of Mass I was at, if any.

    But just in case I was wrong, I’d want to be at a TLM.

  15. Derik says:

    If there is enough time, I would rather go to en EF Mass, complete with a visit to the confessional. If I get to call the shots, it would be a Requiem High Mass.

  16. If you know the right TLM to go to, they might be hearing Confession during Mass. Wouldn’t that be nice? Two birds, one stone.

    But this is an interesting question. I’d like to tell my family goodbye, which means I’ll have to choose between the round spaceship “Methodist-Rite” Catholic Church or the riverboat casinos. There’s a chance that we’ll never all be together again in heaven, purgatory or hell. It could be my last chance to see them all.

    Hmmm… if that was not a possibility, then I’ll make believe that I could be an altar boy to a Low Mass in an Abbey crypt. Momento mori.

  17. wsg says:

    One where Jesus Christ is present in the Eucharist?

    I can’t see why it would matter what kind of Mass you’d be at. Both forms are valid.

  18. Paul Haley says:

    Through the grace of God we have the TLM within 7 miles of our house so it’s the TLM without question. However, even it it weren’t so close, it would still be the TLM no matter the distance.

  19. crazylikeknoxes says:

    Perhaps mass on Venus?

  20. Clara says:

    Easy choice. Traditional Latin Mass. Of course we all know that the Sacrifice is the same in either. But the Extraordinary Form always makes me feel particularly strongly the presence of the saints and martyrs there with me as I assist. I would want that if the world were ending.

  21. Roland de Chanson says:

    While waiting to be vaporized, I would be at a TLM (Solemn High, six candles, priest, deacon and subdeacon, incense pot, the works) contemplating the Genesis quote “pulvis es et in vaporem reverteris”.

    Ultimum dubium.

  22. Dan says:

    If any thing i would atend a low mass. like i said they both have the same outcome.

  23. David says:

    Is this even a necessary question Father? For me, it would be the highest of the high masses-with His Holy Father either celebrating, or at least in attendence.

  24. Gravitas says:

    Is this even a serious question?

    Hmmm. A Mass where the “presider” is playing a banjo and women hold hands around the harvest table or the Mass that nearly all the canonized saints devoted their lives to and some died for.

    Let’s go with the the Traditional Latin Mass.

  25. Geoffrey says:

    If I were about to meet with death, give me ANY Mass! Sure I have my preferences, but not at that point. The end is no time to be picky.

  26. peregrinator says:

    I’ll be the “proud infidel alone proclaim[ing my] dissent.”

    I would rather be chanting the responses at a Latin OF.

  27. Megan says:

    Most definitely a Missa Cantata – someone mentioned the possibility of a Requiem Mass, and that sounded quite appropriate. Though if I had time before, as in I knew it was coming, confession, then my Missa Cantata. To most directly answer the original question, though: OF v EF is no competition in my eyes – EF any time, but especially with a global-killer asteroid in the picture.

  28. Lirioroja says:

    If there is time to make a choice, I’ll go to the one that hasn’t been mentioned
    yet – Divine Liturgy! If there’s no time, then the nearest Catholic Mass will do.

  29. Gravitas says:

    “The end is no time to be picky.”

    While both may be valid, the TLM is certainly more edifying and pours down more graces from Heaven.

    So yes, I’ll be picky, ESPECIALLY at the end.

    Mozart Requiem High Mass for me!

  30. Manuel says:

    A reverential one.
    I only found the TLM as an adult. Most of the NOs I have attended are free flowing with rubrics (though nothing too radical I think) but I have also attended some that have been very devout and reverential.
    I usually find that priests that offer frequent confession (and properly) tend to be a little more careful with the Mass

  31. rosie says:

    High Mass. Because the High Mass gives greater glory to God in the use of special vestments, music, etc. I’d like my last moments to be as glorious a shout of praise and thanksgiving as possible.

    Cool question, Father.

  32. David Osterloh says:

    TLM, buuuuut with confession on the way if possible, with my history it couldn’t hurt

  33. kat says:

    A TLM with my whole family (making sure all the children are behaving) just after everyone makes it to Confession. (at our parish Confession begins at 7:30am and there are 10 people in line by 7:40)

    I would like it to occur right after the ablutions and I am praying the Litany of the Saints. “Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.”

  34. NorthoftheBorder says:

    Novus Ordo Folk Mass with liturgical dancers….bahahahhaha…Divine Liturgy, but I’m of the Byzantine persuasion.

  35. Dennis says:

    traditional mass hands down but after confession first

  36. agm says:

    I’m with Roland De Chanson; if only because I appreciate his sense of humour in such a “tight” situation !

  37. I don’t try to be doctrinally conservative. I do try to be orthodox. Let’s not confuse the two. It leads to divisiveness along party lines.

    As to the question, if I were facing imminent peril I would be satisfied with any valid Mass but I would greatly prefer the TLM under those or any circumstances.

  38. rosie says:

    OOPS. I just realized my choice was between Traditional Mass of the Apostles or the NOvus Ordo, not High or Low Mass. It never occured to me that the NO was in the picture. My world does not have a NO. Not even if it was my last day.

  39. I’m with Greeny, Confession first, then right after I’ll be at the TLM

  40. Flambeaux says:

    TLM, no contest.

  41. Brian Kopp says:

    If there is a Novus Ordo being offered across the street from the TLM, and I have a choice, I’m definitely going to the TLM.

    If I have to go, I want to go in peace. I’ve never left a TLM without a sense of peace, and I can rarely if ever leave a Novus Ordo in a sense of peace, because I rarely find a Novus Ordo offered without some form of abuse or unnecessary EMHCs.

  42. Cortney says:

    TLM, without a doubt, for all the reasons already given. And because at such a moment, I would want to be kneeling in fear and trembling before the Lord.

  43. Alice says:

    I don’t know. I tend to prefer the Extraordinary Form, but as long as it was valid Catholic Mass or Divine Liturgy, I wouldn’t care.

  44. Hugh says:

    In order of preference, from the top:

    At a

    1. ’62 Missal Mass (Ordinary Form of the Extraordinary Form)

    2. Pre Pius XII Reforms Mass (Extraordinary Form of the Extraordinary Form)

    3. Latin Novus Ordo Mass (Extraordinary Form of the Ordinary Form)

    4. Vernacular Novus Ordo Mass (Ordinary Form of the Ordinary Form)

    and if totally desperate ….

    5. A Novus Ordo Coffee table Mass with bean bags and clay chalice. (the VERY Ordinary Form)… which may be the reason for the asteroid in the first place.

  45. peregrinator says:

    Latin Novus Ordo Mass (Extraordinary Form of the Ordinary Form

    I don’t think this is accurate. It may be the de facto case, but the reforms were not intended to make Latin “extraordinary.”

    Anyway, wanted to make an addendum to my answer:

    In a perfect world, I’d be chanting the responses at a Latin OF in the parish of my baptism.

  46. TJB says:

    Unfortunately I have no TLM anywhere near me and have had very little exposure to it, even though through studying I have come to understand that the rubrics of the EF are better and more efficient at conveying the sense of awe propper to the Mass.
    Anyway, in the event of the astroid I have to say I’d rather be at the Mass whose rubrics I am able to follow and pray with rather than TLM, since it is still so foreign to me.

  47. Nicknackpaddywack says:

    The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

  48. Mike says:

    I’d seek a Requiem High Mass. The Dies Irae seems appropriate.

    I would not attend a novus ordo, were that the only choice,
    due to its intrinsically banal, artless, and simple-minded
    character. Instead, I’d play the EWTN DVD of that magnificent
    14 September 2007 Solemn High Mass at OLAM.

  49. Kathleen says:

    Divine Liturgy, but not only because of its reverence. The congregants and celebrants are beloved to me, and vice versa. Our communtiy strengthens our faith. I would be honored to spend my last moments on earth with them.

  50. Charivari Rob says:

    Crazylikeknoxes beat me to it. My personal variation was going to be “on the space station”

    Much would depend on how imminent this doom was. Minutes? Hours? Days?

    More seriously, I wouldn’t quibble much over the form. I would probably be seeking Confession first, then the Mass, if there was enough time left after. Actually, if the killer asteroid were on final approach, it might actually be the type of circumstance the third form is intended for. So, if my local PP wasn’t around, I’d be heading somewhere where there’s a higher density of priests on the ground, to maximize my chances of finding one or both.

    Around here (Boston, MA), that would probably mean the Franciscans at the Arch Street Shrine, the Redemptorists at Mission, Regina Cleri (diocesan priests’ retirement home), the Pastoral Center (Chancery) Bethany Chapel, or maybe the Jesuits at B.C. or B.C.High.

  51. Geoffrey says:

    I didn’t expect to see so much bashing of the Ordinary Form in this post. I am curious if a person, really at “the end”, wouldn’t abandon their misconceptions and anger, and take part in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, no matter its rite or form. I would like to think so.

  52. The other David says:

    I think the question is utterly irrelevant in the hypothetical situation. If the Mass is celebrated by a priest in full communion with the Catholic Church, in obedience to the Church and not in his personal rebellion (whether traditionalist or modernist) I would accept any valid Catholic Mass. I prefer the Ordinary Form, but in such a situation, either would work for me

  53. Hibernus says:

    In the event of a global catastrophe, my preference would be for a Mass in the Extraordinary Form… preceded by Confession. (But then again, even on the most peaceful of days, that would be my preference.) The reality of time and location may dictate otherwise, though.

  54. Brian Wisconsin says:

    EF – Dvorak’s or Mozart’s Requiem being sung as an accompaniement (sp?) if at all possible.

  55. dark_coven says:

    I’d rather be in a Tridentine Mass…

    Since the Traditional Latin Mass best represents the true Sacrifice of Our Lord in Calvary that appeased the just wrath of God. I would rather assist in such a Mass so that His wrath might be averted and spare us from such an early destruction.

    NB: I personally don’t believe in a global “killer” meaning that there would no longer be any survivor, or the possibility for the Catholic Church or human not to continue. However, some may survive (and especially those in the Church, those with apostolic succession cf. Matt. 16) thus the continuance of the Church, the rise of the Anti-Christ, the great tribulation, the (Second) Coming of the true “global-killer-Asteroid” from the east Christ the King, the rapture, the Last Judgment, and the End of the World. This is as Scripture says.

  56. Former Altar Boy says:

    TLM high Mass

  57. Matthias says:

    Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.

  58. Hugh says:

    Peregrinator,

    You’re right of course, but my taxonomy of liturgies above was done with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

    Happy Christmas everybody !!

  59. Gravitas says:

    rosie: My world does not have a NO. Not even if it was my last day.

    If I wasn’t already married, I’d marry you :)

  60. tradone says:

    No contest. The TLM.

  61. Cally says:

    The Novus Ordo, because it is the Mass I grew up with, the Mass engrained in me, and at such a time I would want what I \”know\”. In fact, liturgically \”mushy\” as it might be, I would want to be at my high school, singing Haugen. But obviously any valid Mass would do.

  62. Coletta says:

    My second choice is any valid Mass (and confession). I still hope for my first choice.

  63. GH good boy says:

    EF

  64. marnie says:

    EF first, OF second. If pressed for time, which I suspect would be the case: I’d gather with those around me in His name.

  65. RichR says:

    TLM. You’re about to cross the veil soon – you might as well get your senses prepared for it.

  66. dark_coven says:

    Obviously the Extraordinary of the Roman Rite is my first choice. My second choice would be the Ordinary form of the Byzantine Rite.

  67. Steve says:

    I would have to say whatever licit Mass (NO or EF) or any Catholic Rite Mass or Divine Liturgy that is available at the time. Be sure to be wearing you five fold scapular or at least the Brown Scapular at the time. Also remember to have the name of Jesus on you lips as you breathe your last gasp of air. What would your last plea be for; Justice or Mercy?

  68. Mark Pilon says:

    I loved the first two posts on this topic!

    I’ve gone to a TLM so I can die now. However…since I am indeed still alive, given the above scenario it would be a TLM for sure.

  69. Dr. Eric says:

    I’d like to experience a Pontifical Liturgy, either in the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite (with the Pope presiding) or in the Byzantine Rite (of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church preferably with Patriarch Lyubomyr presiding.)

    I’d make do with any valid and licit Catholic Liturgy.

  70. chironomo says:

    I would rather be at whichever Mass they are holding on the International Space Station…

  71. Melody says:

    Mass? I think I would rather be in the confessional…

  72. Didymus says:

    I’ll be standing in the suddenly very long line for Confession.
    Is it Masses be prevented entirely on the Last Day because Catholics the world over suddenly remember the Sacrament of Reconciliation exists and besiege their priests?

    Anyway, neither OF nor EF, I’ve always wanted to attend a Syro-Malabar liturgy before I die.

  73. David Andrew says:

    I’m of the same opinion as those who say either, as long as it’s valid and licit.

    The Holy Father has repeated, time and again, that we are one Rite (Latin) with two Forms (EF and OF). To be sure there are Masses that are truly distressing because of the lack of reverence or the presence of abuse, but as long as the Mass is celebrated validly and licitly the effects of grace are the same, are they not?

    Asking this question is a bit like chumming for sharks, isn’t it?

  74. David: Asking this question is a bit like chumming for sharks, isn’t it?

    Nope.

  75. Dinsdale says:

    EF, preferably at the Jasna Gora monastery in Poland in the Chapel of Our Lady.

  76. I would be wherever my duty requires me to be at the time. If Mass was on the schedule, then it would be the TLM of course. The ultimate proof of the proper life would be that you would need to change nothing at the coming of the Lord (personal or global), which means that you would already be living God’s Will.

  77. jarhead462 says:

    Gimmie a “T”!, Gimmie an “L”!, Gimmie an “M”!

    Semper Fi!