From a reader:
After almost four weeks of doing his best to “say the black and do the
red,” our pastor has started to revert to ad libbing at Mass.
At our Christmas Masses, he began by welcoming the congregation before
the Penitential Rite. When using the Roman Canon, he went “off script”
at the parts that commemorate the living and the dead. He also
continues to ad lib the final blessing and dismissal, to say nothing
of the endless and inane General Intercessions he composes impromptu,
which becomes an endless rambling.
Because of my position, leaving the parish is not an option;
respectfully bringing this to the priest would only make matters worse
and result in total war. Writing the bishop would be futile, as our
bishop doesn’t even say “The Lord be with you” correctly. Is there
anything I can do?
You knew it would happen. The priests who ad libbed before the new translation was implemented, would ad lib again after they got comfortable again. That sort of priest needs some correction.
I think there isn’t much you can do about “inane intercessions”. There is a lot flexibility to those intercessions, alas. There is also no law against being scatter-brained or dopey.
However, if the priest is ad libbing parts of the Mass which require specific texts, and you do not think you can obtain any reasonable satisfaction from the priest or the local bishop, you have the right to express your concerns directly to the Congregation for Divine Worship in Rome.
In case you do this, you will need to document precisely what he does. They cannot act on a mere general and hazy complaint. Also, a one time liturgical aberration isn’t going to get much attention, unless it affects validity of the sacraments (which gets the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith involved).
You might review my tips for writing about these matters.
Keep this in mind, however. If you are going to do something about this, put your name to what you write. Don’t do this anonymously. Sign what you send. If you are not willing to sign what you send, then you should just bear it in silence.