From a catechumen:
My family and I are not yet Catholic, but I will be completing a “Summer” RCIA class and will be brought into the Church sometime in December. I’ve studied and read and prayed about this for nearly 3 years now and feel 100% confident that God is leading me to the Catholic Church out of my current (lifelong) Protestant tradition. [FrZ kudos!]
However, here’s my problem: While the Parish we’ve been attending seems quite traditional and solid, in today’s bulletin it was announced that next week’s Mass will be a Polka Mass. [?!? That old thing? People are still doing that? I thought that had gone the way of tie-died peace t-shirts.] I’m not familiar with this (being non-Catholic), but “my spider-sense” tingled at the use of the word “polka” with “mass”. [As well it should.] So I looked it up and can’t really imagine that this is a great thing. (It may be toe-tapping fun, but I can’t picture it as being reverent and solemn and prayerful.) [You have, therefore, a better Catholic sense of this already than the aging-hippies putting this on.]
I’m curious what your opinion is regarding a Polka Mass and also what you recommend I do. Do I attend the Mass? [NO.] Do I opt for another Parish that weekend? [YES.] In fairness, the Polka will only take place at the Saturday evening Mass, so I could go Sunday. [Well… there it is, then. Sunday Mass is preferable to the Saturday night special anyway.] However I wonder what the fact that there is a Polka Mass says about the parish in general. Is it a warning sign I should heed and take my family elsewhere? Or is it just something that happens and is no big deal–participate or don’t as I feel inclined? [I can’t really answer that, since I have no idea what else in going on there. But… if your “spidey sense” tingled once,…]
My desire is to find a solid, traditional Catholic parish. I want solid, traditional Catholic teaching and a Mass that doesn’t involve Polka or guitars with Peter, Paul and Mary-esque singers (I’ve attended a folk mass at a different parish and don’t need to be a part of that ever again). [Bless you.] But, I don’t want to be overly judgmental or “traditionalist” IF being those things regarding Mass and Church is wrong. [You are not obliged to attend Polka Masses, friend.] Yet, I want to be discerning–for my sake and for the sake of my children. Hence my confusion and my question.
I already added my advice, above, so I won’t repeat it here.
However, I will say – and I’ll bet the readers will agree – that you are on the right track.
Reason #2775 for Summorum Pontificum.