QUAERITUR: Father makes stuff up during Mass.

From a reader:

At my parish, when the priest is done reading the Gospel, he says not only “the Gospel of the Lord” but “the Good News, the Gospel of the Lord“. Also, when Mass is ended, our priest says “May Almighty God bless US, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit“. Regarding the first point, is he “allowed” to say that or is that an example of the typical occurrence wherein the priest adds his own spin on things? And regarding the second point, isn’t he, in persona Christi, blessing the congregation, not simply declaring that he wants God to bless humanity of which we and he are a part (and therefore ought to say “you” rather than “us”)?

This isn’t too high on the Things To Worry About scale.

Nevertheless, it is a Say The Black – Do The Red moment, isn’t it?

Why is this hard?

What Father is doing is wrong.  The Church has prescribed texts for these moments.  At the end of the Gospel the priest or deacon is to say (in English) … why do I even have to write this? …  ”The Gospel of the Lord.” He is to say that. THAT. Not, “This is the Gospel of the Lord.” Not “The Good News, the Gospel of the Lord”. But, “The Gospel of the Lord.”
Why is that hard?

At the end of Mass the priest is required to say: “May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit.” Just that. Nothing else. Bishops have their own text, but that is what priests are to say. They are not to make up their own words. They are not to create new texts. They are not to abuse the congregation by imposing their pet projects.

Is this hard?

If the priest keeps doing this, write to the bishop.  Then it is his problem and he can chose what to do about it as the “chief liturgist” of the diocese and you will have done your part according to Redemptionis Sacramentum 183-184.

 

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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10 Responses to QUAERITUR: Father makes stuff up during Mass.

  1. acardnal says:

    It is really redundant phrasing by the priest which a knowledgeable and well catechized congregation would perceive. Because “gospel” means “good news”, the priest was saying in essence “the good news, the good news of the Lord.”

  2. Geoffrey says:

    My pastor had been continuing to say “for all” during the consecration. I wrote a letter to him back in April, and just last weekend he suddenly began saying “for the many”. Thinking perhaps it was a fluke, I waited for this weekend… he said “for the many” again! Granted there is no “the” in the official text, but I think I can be pleased…

  3. Sorbonnetoga says:

    A priest friend of ours found that one of his brother priests (a man in his 60s) was using a prologue to the Our Father that is no longer in the Missal given the recent revision. He mentioned it casually in conversation, only to find that the older man was genuinely unaware of the change. A gentle reminder was all it took!

  4. Joe in Canada says:

    I used to say “formed by the word of God and taught by divine command, we are emboldened to pray”. That made me an old fuddy. Now if I said it I would be a rebel!
    In Montreal a number of English-speaking priests give the final blessing with the words “May almighty God bless you, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” I tried to explain to one why God doesn’t bless in the name of anyone, He just blesses, just as Queen Elizabeth doesn’t say “I dub thee Knight, in the name of Queen Elizabeth”. It didn’t work. Ah well.

  5. Fr. Frank says:

    A former pastor of mine is still using US, rather than YOU at the final blessing. I think of it as “The Bob Cratchett Blessing.”

    “God bless us every one!” Meh.

    Nice story — cruddy liturgy.

    [Do I hear an "Amen!"?]

  6. Sorbonnetoga says:
    6 August 2012 at 12:01 pm

    A priest friend of ours found that one of his brother priests (a man in his 60s) was using a prologue to the Our Father that is no longer in the Missal given the recent revision. He mentioned it casually in conversation, only to find that the older man was genuinely unaware of the change. A gentle reminder was all it took!

    Worth remembering. I can’t tell you how many little things I was doing wrong (a word here, the order of a rare-used rite there) that I’ve come to correct only because of the kind remark or direction of a fellow Catholic.

    Sometimes (even if not always) a mistake is just a mistake.

  7. cornelius74 says:

    Well, our new priest says during communion: “Happy are those who accepted the call (instead of -are called-) to his supper.” It is not a cardinal problem, I believe, but still. Why not Say the Black Do the Red, right?

    Another thing is that he came, a month ago, and on the second day, he declared the Friday and Saturday Mass cancelled, leaving these two days without a Mass for the first time in decades in our church (Prague, Czech Republic). He also said there will be no October and May Sunday worship (common Rosary), neither will he lead the Calvary during Lent. We have a meeting with him this Wednesday (finally), couple of us from the parish. Any advice, anybody? Father Z? [My advise is to stay on topic. In the meantime, get a group of people together and schedule a meeting with the priest.]

  8. rtjl says:

    I know a priest who does not invoke any kind of blessing at all at the end of Mass. He concludes mass by saying “As we feel the blessing of God well up within us, let us go into the world to love and serve.” Come to think of it – he’s no longer a priest. Ok – just forget it.

  9. irishgirl says:

    Referring to the Gospel as the ‘Good News’, I am reminded of something, half-funny and half-tragic, that happened in the late 1960s in my baptismal parish.
    We had an assistant pastor [as they were called back then] who was kind of a ‘hippie’ type. And he always liked to ‘ad lib’ during Mass. So, when he was ready to read the Gospel, he’d say, ‘A reading from the Good News according to…’
    That annoyed the heck out of my father; and whenever this priest came out to say Mass on Sunday, I would hear my father mutter half-aloud, ‘Oh, here comes the ‘Good News’. ‘ Never forgot that!

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