Reasons why more men don’t go to Mass

I have to share this video from You Tube I was sent by email as reason #756 for Summorum Pontificum.

This is:

Easter Vigil Liturgy of St Patrick Catholic Church, Seattle, [NB] 2010. The seven readings from the old testament are presented in Word, Sign, Music and Dance. Here, the third reading from from the book of Exodus is sung and danced.

She gets the tambourine at about 1:00 and then the view pulls back so that you can see the whole thing, the combo with the bongos on the right, the person doing sign language on the left, the girl in the middle jumping around.

No wonder men don’t go to church.

That said, I saw this story at Catholic World Report:

The Case for a Mass Conversion of Men
Research shows that almost 9 out of 10 Catholic men don’t participate in a Catholic activity outside of attending Mass; if men aren’t being reached in the Mass, they aren’t being reached.

Despite the fact the New Evangelization has been an ongoing emphasis by the Catholic Church for over forty years, it has failed to stem the disastrous losses of the faithful in the U.S. Since 2000, 14 million Catholics have left the faith, parish religious education participation of children has dropped by 24%, Catholic school attendance has dropped by 19%, baptisms of infants has dropped by 28%, baptism of adults has dropped by 31% and sacramental Catholic marriages have dropped by 41%. Something is desperately wrong with the Church’s approach to the New Evangelization.

Of Mass and Men

One reason the New Evangelization is faltering is because it is missing men. The New Emangelization Project has documented the serious Catholic “man-crisis” in the United States. 1 in 3 baptized Catholic men have left the faith and of those who remain, 50-60% of them are “Casual Catholics”, men who don’t know and don’t practice the faith. Of those who practice the faith, many are lukewarm, not converted to the point of conviction, a conviction in which they are prepared to make disciples for Christ and His Catholic Church. The New Evangelization has largely ignored men, with no substantial or sustained efforts to directly confront the Catholic “man-crisis”.

The Catholic “man-crisis” matters. The souls of men matter and many are being lost; for example, two thirds of Christian men are looking at porn at least monthly and the numbers are much higher for younger men. The faith of the children matter and huge numbers of young people are leaving the faith because they have followed their fathers out of the Church. Without a New Emangelization in which millions of Catholic men become newly committed to Christ and His Church, there can be no New Evangelization.

While a complex set of forces have driven the Catholic “man-crisis”, including both massive cultural changes outside the Church and serious missteps within the Church, the lack of engagement of men in the Mass is a major contributing factor: men don’t understand the Mass and well-meaning, but misinformed priests in many parishes have de-sacralized the Mass causing many men to simply “drift away.”

Why is the Mass a key driver of the Catholic “man-crisis”? Research shows that almost 9 out of 10 Catholic men don’t participate in a Catholic activity outside of attending Mass; if men aren’t being reached in the Mass, they aren’t being reached. Only about 1/3 of Catholic men are attending Mass on a weekly basis. Only 1 in 50 Catholic men have a monthly practice of Confession, underscoring the fact that many are attending Mass without a proper preparation to receive the Eucharist. 48% of Catholic men are “bored” in the Mass and 55% of Catholic men don’t feel they “get anything out of the Mass.” These statistics confirm what dozens of the New Emangelization Project interviews with top Catholic men’s evangelists know: men don’t understand the Mass. No man can truly understand the Mass and be bored.

[…]

Read the rest there.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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161 Responses to Reasons why more men don’t go to Mass

  1. Supertradmum says:

    Years ago, when I was in Rome, I went to several Papal Masses, one at the Gesu. Despite the fact the now St. John Paul II was saying the Mass, most of the Italian men stood outside, or in the vestibule, smoking cigars and talking business.

    I have a feeling that in some cultures, men have relied on their wives to pull them into heaven. Yes, the situation is worse now with all the liturgical abuses and women out of order, but I think the sin of Adam, not taking authority for being the religious leader in the family, pre-dates liturgical changes..these have added to an already flawed idea which some men have had that religion is for women.

    This is not only true among Italians, btw….

  2. JBS says:

    “…there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them; and care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing.” (SC 23) Anyway, this does make me want to see a performance of Bizet’s “Carmen”, which is available on Amazon Instant Video.

  3. Boniface says:

    A lot of the effeminized religious art of the distant past echoes this, too, Supertradmum. The Lord and male saints made to look “unthreatening.”

    P.S. Am I the only one who wants Supertradmum to publish hee memoirs?

  4. Devo35 says:

    As I was watching the little voice inside my head, which sounds incredibly like Christopher Walken BTW, kept saying, “I need more cow bell.” Or puppets. Definitely more puppets.

  5. Pnkn says:

    Hmm. Are there reasons that women don’t go to Mass ? Are there reasons why the attitudes and actions of “groups” within a particular congregation result in neither men nor women feeling welcome to attend Mass ? (and by this I refer to people who have no impediment to receiving communion) .

  6. When the Missal speaks of chanting the readings, this is not what it has in mind.

  7. Pnkn says:

    I can recall occasions within a congregation whereby both men and women were made to feel not welcome: by the director of RCIA who claimed that ((prior to RCIA “season”) they had all the folks necessary to assist – after posting a notice in the bulletin asking for members of the congregation to participate in RCIA.
    I doubt that there is a men vs women problem – but would suggest that there is a “power” issue whereby people who wish to participate are refused unconditionally.

  8. If you go further into the video, more dancing girls appear!

    As I looked at this, I was thinking, what does this remind me of? Then I realized; it was a film on TV last weekend, The Ten Commandments. There were lots of scenes involving women dancing with tamborines. First in Pharaoh’s throne room, then at Mount Sinai (Edward G. Robinson-as-Dathan: “Where’s your Moses now, eh?”)

    St. Patrick-of-Seattle Dancing Girls: “We’re ready for our closeup, Mr. DeMille!”

  9. govmatt says:

    That article was the truest thing I’ve read all week… maybe all month.

  10. Father, please save this video!

    This is extremely instructive in many ways, and this time, I’m serious.

    For people who are blessed to have beautiful churches and no-nonsense liturgy, they sometimes don’t know what sort of shenigans go on elsewhere. Use number 1.

    Use number 2: if you want to explain all the ways to foul up with the arrangement of things, this is one-stop shopping.

    Baptismal font that’s all wrong? Check.
    Displaced tabernacle (just where did they take the Lord?)? Check.*
    Displaced altar — and barely an altar at that? Check.
    Misplaced choir? Check.
    Fussed-up sanctuary (those banners look like something from Star Trek)? Check.
    *Displaced tabernacle; how about displaced priest? Along with the Lord, he’s been evicted from the sanctuary as well.

  11. andia says:

    as a female, I can tell you the above video not only offends men. And I refused to enter a church for many years because I was *NOT* welcome. Still am *NOT* welcome. I am there because I want to worship and adore God in a way I can at no other time.
    Honestly, I think it’s time we got over the Men and Women thing and realize that if it’s not good liturgy it’s not good for anyone and tell the liturgy planning committees to disband and put the liturgy back in the hands of the priests, where it belongs.
    Sign language is one thing –one does not need to be center “stage” for that and should not be- but the dance and the rest of it need to go.

  12. cdet1997 says:

    So glad they shoved the altar aside so they could give the dancer center stage.

  13. anilwang says:

    Supertradmum says: I have a feeling that in some cultures, men have relied on their wives to pull them into heaven.

    I think it’s a bit more complicated than that.

    Since women traditionally stayed at home with the children, and had little power outside the home, they tended to pray more in Church and have the time to be involved in social activities within the Church. Going to Church outside of our weekly obligations is very different. I go to daily mass and it tends to be quieter (no syrupy songs to distract you from prayer), more intimate….you know the regulars and since the regulars tend to be more devoted, priests can be more direct to them about the faith since they know they’re not dealing with C&E Catholics who will be scared away if too many “hard truths” are thrown at them. Anyone who doesn’t go to daily mass should make the extra effort. It’s worth the inconvenience.

    As a result, the quiet, intimacy, reinforced faith, social activities tend to reinforce the faith of women (who also tended to have to deal with the consequences of uncatechized children more directly than men).

    Note that things are changing. If you look at the stats, in the west, women are tending to follow men in lukewarmness as they too go to work and put their kids in day care and community programs.

    Add to this, because the faith is not actually taught and reinforced in homilies, both men and women see the faith as being more or less irrelevant since it does not appear to have answers to life’s questions, only opinions that change from pastor to pastor. This is a major turn off for teens who tend to look elsewhere for “real answers”.

  14. kevinm says:

    My goodness…and I get annoyed when the Pastor asks for a round of applause for those who ” served and decorated the Church….” I only wish I heard more people getting up to leave.
    St. Pius V prayer for us….
    Kevin

  15. seattle_cdn says:

    There’s no need for anyone to go to St. Patrick when Blessed Sacrament, which offers a solid no-nonsense liturgy is just a few blocks away.

  16. chantgirl says:

    Latin Mass- The Choice of the New Emangelization

  17. Sonshine135 says:

    This is just silly and infantile entertainment. I’ve seen silliness like this in so many churches during the Vigil, and I am sad to say, it makes the faith a joke and a theater show. How can anyone in any way think that this is proper worship?

    I had the distinct pleasure of attending my first EF Holy Week, and there is no comparison. The focus was clearly on Our Lord, the only place it should be, with reflection on His Passion, Death, and Resurrection.

    The only thing this church was missing was popcorn for the audience.

  18. Midwest St. Michael says:

    Please allow me to go off topic a bit here, Fr. Z. :^)

    Yes, Boniface. I would love it if Supertradmum would publish her memoirs. I would be especially interested in reading the accounts of the persecutions you faced in your Catholic jobs.

    God love you, dear.

    MSM

  19. Jason the Gray says:

    I wouldn’t call that sign language interpreting. That was performance art distraction as much as the dancer was.

    I hope our priest readers don’t have that video pop into mind when their deaf parishioners ask for an interpreter at a N.O. mass. There are professional, certified, respectful and well-catechized ASL interpreters out there who work really hard to make the mass accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing without distracting from the solemnity of the sacrifice.

  20. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    ” … the person doing sign language on the left …” Careful here.

    Sign language interpreters are professionally bound to translate (not edit, not comment, not nothing else, but translate) into sign what is being communicated by voice, including reflecting that sometimes voicing is sung. From what I saw, the ASL interpreter here did an excellent job.

  21. Joseph-Mary says:

    I have seen this sort of strange sacristy arrangement in the Midwest in several states with the altar and ambo having equal or the ambo having more distinction that the altar, er table. It is not good!

    Father Z, you have it right: Save the Liturgy; save the world!

  22. APX says:

    No wonder men don’t go to church.
    Please don’t insult women so much. I wouldn’t go to church if that was what I was subjected to.

  23. Latin Mass Type says:

    Fr Martin Fox–thank you for verifying that an approved chant tone was not being used. I had that feeling…

    I viewed just long enough to get to the tambourine. Enough already.

    A gray haired lady who is called upon to do one of the readings at Mass due to lack of interest (or attendance) by men has often pointed out that the Lector’s workbook stresses that readers are not to embellish the readings with gestures and such.

    I guess that doesn’t hold for dancers…

  24. greenlight says:

    I cringed when I saw this because that rendition has been a part of our Easter Vigil most years and is beloved by many parishioners. I’d be curious to hear some dispassionate critiques of the appropriateness of the piece itself (not counting the dance, altar, etc.). Our choir is…well let’s just say they’re committed, faithful, wonderful people. They don’t seem to have any obvious agenda to change the liturgy, they just like what they like, and if you suggested some more traditional pieces they’d point out the ‘obvious’ need to cater to all tastes.

    I have no problem standing against people who obviously want to do away with the past, but persuading the well-meaning, but misguided, is where the real challenge is. When the leadership isn’t coming from your pastor or your bishop, how do you convince them that it shouldn’t be a matter of personal preference.

  25. Athelstan says:

    This is narcissism. Plain and simple.

  26. pberginjr says:

    The vigil Mass I attended (I was out of town visiting relatives) had that same “chorus” for Exodus 14 (minus the tambourine and dancing, but still ridiculous). The most patronizing, Broadway/klezmer sounding thing I’ve ever heard in the liturgy. I was enraged. Two cantors sang the reading, alternating sections. The readings for Gen 1 and 22 were read as a “dialogue” (two people alternating) as well. Do folks really think this is helpful? The parish had 15 or so baptized and about 25 (including the baptized) confirmed. I truly wonder how many keep going to church with all of that silliness.

  27. Athelstan says:

    Fr. Fox,

    Displaced altar — and barely an altar at that? Check.

    It’s perhaps most telling of all that the even the altar has been shifted away from the center. And it has been shifted away from center to make room for…a dancing area.

    All along these past six decades we were told that so many things had to be torn out of the sanctuary, so much art had to be yanked out of the church, to make for more proper focus on the Eucharist. Well, in this parish’s case, it appears that the real focus was meant to be on Certain Super Laypersons.

  28. Marissa says:

    P.S. Am I the only one who wants Supertradmum to publish hee memoirs?

    Yes, can we get Emma Thompson to read the audiobook? :)

    I would prefer to see a focus on getting men back to Mass. On a practical level, men–especially men drawn to something inherently masculine–bring in women, not vice versa (unless it’s a bar). Rarely do you see men trying to “break in” to a social or economic place that’s traditionally exclusively for women.

  29. yatzer says:

    Female here. I couldn’t get past the middle to view the additional dancing girls. Argh.

  30. Geoffrey says:

    Why do parishes with even decent liturgies on the average Sunday feel the need to let their “creative juices” flow for the Triduum?

  31. Lori Pieper says:

    I think the statistics presented in the article aren’t very meaningful because there is no comparison with the percentage of women who fall away and why they fall away. From my experience and all the anecdotal evidence I know of, women fall away for the same reasons — bored, don’t understand the Mass, de-sacralization of the liturgy, etc. as men.

  32. DonL says:

    Looks like a movie I once saw where the villain kept shouting: “More wine!”
    And we once were concerned about the money changers in the courtyards.

  33. Supertradmum says:

    My parish…sigh; altar to one side, never any crucifix or candles on the altar for any Mass; ambo at opposite side, almost same size as the “table” as the priest insists on calling it; priest’s chair in the middle (says it all). Jesus is hidden somewhere behind a screen to the left which looks like a plastic scene from a Dr. Who show; choir insists on singing Proddy hymns and new hymns which could be called “Country-Western Catholic-Lite”. EMonsters stand behind and not to the side of the altar, and some of the EM women dress in leggings even on Sunday, most immodestly. The men are all but two in jeans as EMs.

    As to feminization, the priest is Mr. Showman, and has altar girls who looked like they are bored waiting for a bus.

    Hey, can all this be blamed on females? I think not–Adam pointed to Eve, and Eve pointed to the snake, but the sin fell on Adam, who did not take responsibility for his role.

    The bucks stop in the bishops’ offices, imho.

  34. Athelstan:

    The arrangement of the altar in this video is not new to me. I think the idea they were trying to express is the equation of the “table of the word” with the “table of the Eucharist” or something like that.

  35. Sliwka says:

    Lori, you mentioned “not understanding” which the article used as a cause for boredom and “not getting anything out” of the Mass. While my wife has used that phrase before, it was in reference to the beige parish of her youth in which we currently reside. I find it ironic (though probably not s surprise to most here) that the beige parishes are those that have people bored and not getting anything out of Mass to use that phrasing. Wasn’t the vernacular, folk songs, praise and worship music, versus populum, and Missaloprions supposed to aid in understanding?

    At the Vigil I attended, a speaker continually interrupted the various rites to explain what was happening. Sorry, I have only been a Catholic for 7 years, but I am pretty sure we can get that the readings prior to the Epistle is a recalled Salvation History. Sheesh.

  36. Cantor says:

    This isn’t a “he walks/she walks” situation at all. If — no, WHEN — I walk out for good, it will be for the Church’s failure to treat me as an adult. It’s not just the idiocy shown in this video (for which I lasted all of 15 seconds).

    In my last diocese, I attended the adult education classes at three different parishes. All three were The Gospel According to Scott Hahn. Show the video, discuss it at your table, see you next week. And nobody who would take questions or, more likely, be able to answer any. Never a priest.

    My current parish, extremely small, does the same thing. Yet we have a very well educated priest who gives excellent sermons. When I approached him about a serious adult education class concerning things such as the Roman Synod or Vatican II documents and the like, he laughed and said, “I’m afraid it would be a class of one.”

    Some book somewhere said something about “When I became an adult, I put away the childish things.” It’s a shame that in my experience, the Catholic Church hasn’t read that book.

  37. blessedtolivenow says:

    I stumbled upon You Tube Video’s from this parish awhile back and was shocked that it seemed to be all about dancing (I love to dance myself, but not at church). For years, prior to accepting Christ and ultimately becoming Catholic I practiced Eastern meditation and other practices that emphasized reverence and worship to God. As part of my journey away from that path, I attended a Unity church. It was going okay, until one Sunday we had a play for a sermon. The next week, a ballroom dance. No Bible reading or mention of God. I remember driving home and seeing horses grazing in a pasture and thought, “these creatures seem more with God than those strange ballroom dancing clowns” and never went back. When I went to my first Catholic Mass and got to kneel before our Lord, it was such a relief to worship! I think these sort of displays are and indication of a lack of internal reflection and intelligence. In general we are a society that must be constantly entertained. I feel very lucky to have been exposed to a more traditional, not perfect mind you, Catholic Parish.

  38. APX says:

    Cantor,

    Actually, that’s part of one of the Epistle for Quinquagesima Sunday, St. Paul to the Corinthians. I’m sure they must have read it at every wedding. It’s the cliché “love is patient, love is kind…”

  39. jacobi says:

    None of my male friends would tolerate this shenanigan under the guise of a Mass.

    They and I, were we unfortunate to find ourselves there, would get up and walk out. That would apply apply to non-Catholic friends too. No wonder young men are a rarity at an ordinary Catholic New Mass these days – but not at the occasional Tridentine Mass I get to.

    Now don’t get me wrong. The girl(s) is quite nice. But not during a Mass, surely!

    There is much talk about the Church having become “feminised” over the last fifty years and this could well be an example. However one young woman I discussed this with recently expressed the view that the Church was not so much “feminised” but as she put it, “homosexualised”, and she did not like it. This video could well be an example.

    Yes, there is a “man crisis” in the Church and therefore by definition a “priest crisis” and boy, the severity of it has not even begun to soak in yet to the minds of our bishops!

  40. Robbie says:

    I have but one thing to say. Ugh.

  41. Packrraat says:

    As a woman, I would have walked out on this one within a couple of minutes and found another place to worship even though it would require a long drive. This is ghastly. We women long for the strong men who long for challenges and sacrifice. And we want to see them in church.

  42. greinkebs says:

    If you enjoyed that video, surely you will love “The Call of the Disciples”, by the same parish in Seattle.

  43. mpmaron says:

    This would be “out there” even in Albany.

    I agree with Jacobi. It isn’t the feminine we avoid, it’s the pretenders.

  44. jflare says:

    “Sing a song of six-pence, a pocket full of rye
    four and twenty blackbirds baked–”

    What? Oh! It’s not nursery rhyme time right now? Sorry. I thought I was following the music and got confused! It sounded familiar.

    “Sing a song of freedom… ”

    *groans*

  45. Spade says:

    The lady leading their “Liturgical Dance” ministry is one Betsey Beckman. Her facebook page is heavily linked from St. Patrick’s facebook page (as she’s often the one dancing for “meditations” and psalms and such.

    Amongst her Facebook likes are the “Women’s Ordination Conference” and “womenpriests.org”

    Yeah.

  46. jflare says:

    “All three were The Gospel According to Scott Hahn.”

    Hmm. Can’t say as I’ve ever had a problem with Scott Hahn’s explanation of the Gospels. Quite the opposite. On the other hand, if nobody allowed for a priest to answer questions or discuss Hahn’s ideas, that could be a problem.

    “When I approached him about a serious adult education class concerning things such as the Roman Synod or Vatican II documents and the like, he laughed and said, ‘I’m afraid it would be a class of one.'”

    That would explain why I had no idea that the Council wrote anything until I began investigating such matters myself. ..at age 28 or so.

    It is, indeed, a sad state of affairs, Cantor.

  47. Dialogos says:

    Oh dear! As a Catholic convert who reluctantly resides in the Archdiocese of Seattle, I can only think that we are like Numenor in its last days–please let me be on the last ship to Middle Earth. To be fair, there are some priests (mostly young, of course) who are trying to bring back some reverence, and there is also an active FSSP parish, but by and large it is just silliness here in Microsoft land. As far as the original question about men and Mass: men are being told they do not matter any more, and most masses only confirm that masculine men are not valued or needed., That said, it is certainly true as some commenters have noted that it’s up to men to step up.

  48. iPadre says:

    I must disagree! The altar of sacrifice is in the center against the wall. That square table is to the right side.

    Other than that, I want to vomit. This is NOT Catholic worship. Abuse, aberration, whatever you want to call this crap, it’s not Catholic worship. – man centered foolishness.

  49. Boniface says:

    Nobody has pointed out that it sounds like cheesy, dated show tunes. A bad imitation of Fiddler on the Roof, around 1:20? Anytime clapping is involved at mass, it’s not good. Deacon Kandra had a post about the silly attempt to place this particular church’s altar and ambo on an equal footing in this sanctuary.

  50. Fr. D. says:

    After reading most of the replies I forced myself to watch the video. As was noted, there was no tabernacle, at least in the area that was photographed. I did not see the priest (unless he was the one playing the bongo drums. I could not determine if there was a corpus carved in the cross on the far wall. I did notice the huge receptacle of water on the left. (Many men have told me that the constant dripping of water keeps them away from such churches). This is certainly not worship. It is even bad performance.

  51. SimonDodd says:

    I don’t understand the implication that women want anything to do with this hot mess. The critique that the Church’s problems are about “feminization” strikes me as akin to the left’s idea about “clericalism” being a problem: They say that even though the fault lines on the questions they’re raising don’t actually run between laymen and clergy (to the contrary, many clergy agree with the left, and many laymen disagree), and likewise, there are people who talk about “feminization” even though the questions to which they are alluding don’t actually divide men from women, and to the contrary, many women agree with us and many men agree with them. I know far too many good, orthodox Catholic women who watch crap like this with no less revulsion than my own for the “feminization” meme to leave me anything but cold.

  52. Supertradmum says:

    Fr. Martin Fox, that is exactly what is being proclaimed by that order (disorder) in my parish now.

    Awful.

  53. SimonDodd says:

    Spade says: “The lady leading their Liturgical Dance ministry is one Betsey Beckman. Her facebook page is heavily linked from St. Patrick’s facebook page (as she’s often the one dancing for “meditations” and psalms and such. Amongst her Facebook likes are the “Women’s Ordination Conference” and womenpriests.org Yeah.”

    And their website proclaims: “We, the people of God at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, are a welcoming Christ-centered community committed to keeping alive the vision and hope of Vatican II. Our Sunday liturgy, enhanced by the creative arts, strengthens us for the work of peace and justice in the world and challenges us to live in communion with one another and all of creation.”

    Where is their bishop in all this? How long will we fault the blind for wandering afield while those appointed to hold their hand and lead them timidly stand by, failing to act?

  54. Per Signum Crucis says:

    Maybe it’s more prevalent Stateside but, to me, walking out during a clown Mass only compounds the inherent disrespect. Let the Lord deal with it in His way, not yours.

  55. msc says:

    I see there are some fifty-four comments, so I’m probably a bit late, but I’ll say that, as distasteful as all of this is, I don’t quite see the gender divide implied. There are lots of flaky male Catholics (seen dancing in many videos), and traditional females. My revulsion has nothing, I think, to do with my sex (male).

  56. MarylandBill says:

    Personally, I think liturgy is only part of the problem… I think watered down sermons that tell us all how good we are are a big problem too. Engage men by reminding us that our lives are a struggle to protect ourselves and our families from the forces that would pull us away from God (worldly and infernal). Preach about the courage needed to accept God’s grace and do his will.

    As for the liturgy… what makes so sad is that the Vigil, when done properly, transcends what was done here. I found myself grinning with joy when the Choir sang the Gloria for the first time since the start of Lent (in latin). I was lucky, my parish has a pastor who knows that a good liturgy is so much more fulfilling than a “creative” one.

  57. thehabitofbeing says:

    I quit watching when the tambourines started.

    Not sure how this qualifies as worship of the Lord—looks like He was pushed out of the way to make room for the dancing. I’d have to find a new parish. And I think it’s safe to say my husband wouldn’t go to Mass if this was the norm.

  58. govmatt says:

    If you have a strong stomach, here are photos from this year’s Easter Vigil at that Church (the video was from 2010 so I was hoping things might have changed).

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152737727996048.1073741855.366177571047&type=1

  59. Tantum Ergo says:

    On watching this video, my 20 yr. old son made an astute comment:
    “Why would they let anyone dance like PAGANS on sacred ground?”

  60. Robbie says:

    When such violations of the rubrics of the Mass are taking place, is a Mass like this even valid?

  61. frahobbit says:

    Like having a bad tooth one can’t let alone, I had to go look at the entrance procession of the scriptures at Our Lady of Aparacida (sp?). It’s so awful that I can’t stop watching!

  62. Kathleen10 says:

    A bishop or priest has to say yes to these bizarre Performance Masses. Since we know they are all males, it does not make good sense to put this on women. They (the men) had to approve it, so they are responsible. They are also the ones who have the power to say no thank you, and get the altar and the Mass back to what it should be. This is on them, 100%.
    It has to be that money is at least part of the equation. Are priests and bishops influenced by moneyed individuals “going away” if they don’t get to conduct these weird performances? If so, no wonder things are such a hot mess.

  63. Cincinnati Priest says:

    Fr. Fox is correct when he speaks about the (bankrupt 1970s) theology that has the altar and the ambo mirroring each other, with the priest in the center. The arrangement was popular in certain dioceses (including ours) in the 1970s and 1980s, as a deliberate way to minimize the significance of the sacrifice on the altar and to equate the presence of Christ in the Word with the presence of Christ in the Eucharistic species (even though the Vatican II documents explicilty indicate that the Lord is present *pre-eminently* in the Eucharistic species).

    How do I know this? I came across a document of a parish in the Cincinnati area that explicitly spelled out this rationale for the sanctuary arrangement. It appeared to have been influenced (if not come as straight boilerplate text) by the diocesan Worship Commission under then-ordinary Archbishop Bernardin.

    Regarding some of the women feeling insulted that only men would be turned off by such horrendously bad liturgy as illustrated here, while I see their point, it would be interesting to see if there are empirical data that would support the claim that men are generally *more* turned off by this than women.

    I would be willing to place a small wager that if a survey were done, not of the tradition-minded readers of this blog, but a random sample of Massgoers, that if they were shown this video and asked, would you want this in your parish?, that there would be a statistically significant “gender gap” in the response, and that the percentage of men indicating ‘No’ would be much higher than the women. I can’t prove that, unfortunately, but if such a study could be done, it would certainly be interesting.

    My hunch is that such shenanigans *do* drive away more men than women.

  64. Kerry says:

    Isn’t that the stage from the early Star Trek episode, Amok Time? “Suffering through his first infliction of pon farr, the Vulcan biological mating urge, Spock must return to Vulcan to marry his betrothed or he will die. However, when the Enterprise arrives at Vulcan, complications at the ceremony may endanger Captain Kirk as well.”
    Complications at the ceremony, “Indeed”.

  65. SQ says:

    They sing this in our parish. every. year. Sitting through it is brutal. The most upsetting part is watching the “amused” reactions of the non-Catholic family/friends of those entering the Church. It makes me so sad! If there was ever a perfect time to evangelize through a reverent and beautiful Liturgy it is Easter Vigil!

    (I should mention we do NOT have a half dressed woman whirling about the sanctuary -there is no whirling being done by anyone, half dressed or not)

  66. brushmore says:

    When will people learn, it’s a Mass, not a musical.

  67. Chatto says:

    Dr. Peter’s has beaten me to it. I was going to say that sign language isn’t in the same category of thing as the abuses, because it isn’t an abuse at all. If, in the OF, the laity have the right to a certain standard of ‘proclaimed readings’, surely the deaf faithful have the same rights. I will always remember going to the Easter Vigil at St. Patrick’s in Manchester (UK) which was the home of St. Joseph’s Mission for the Deaf. There’s nothing like seeing “Horse and rider he has thrown into the sea!” being signed whilst being sung.

  68. Charles E Flynn says:

    Was the Liturgy of the Eucharist in this production accompanied by Ravel’s Bolero?

  69. Pingback: Various & Sundry, 4/8/15 | The American Catholic

  70. Mojoron says:

    I went to a larger parishes (35 miles away) Easter Vigil Mass since our Easter service wasn’t until Sunday and we’re partial to the Vigil Mass. Aside from the church being incredibly noisy prior to the service, everything for the most part went fairly well. We did seven Old Testament readings, but only the antiphons, not the psalms. OK. And we go on. The homily was a serenade, a nice one though, by the priest, who has a magnificent voice I might add. The song, I didn’t recognize, was obviously secular, but religious, about a boy who climbed a tree that happened to be the tree of the Crucifixion. The women loved it. The rest of the service went pretty good. No real issues.

    Out here in the hinterlands, men refuse to go to church. CEO’ing is really pushing the envelope. I can’t blame it on the music although it really is bad. I petitioned the diocesan liturgist for help, so far none is offered. Poor musical liturgy has been going on for so long that it is considered normal for people not to sing. Banjo’s are really hard to get to like, don’t you know.

    I wish it was easy to say, “do this” and it will get better. Parish talent has a lot to do with it. The talents of the priests have more to do with it than anything. If they don’t care enough to want to change the liturgy, it can’t change by itself.

  71. chantgirl says:

    I was sorely disappointed that Will Ferrell did not leap onto the stage, er sanctuary floor, with his Jazz flute.

  72. jflare says:

    “From what I saw, the ASL interpreter here did an excellent job.”
    “If, in the OF, the laity have the right to a certain standard of ‘proclaimed readings’, surely the deaf faithful have the same rights.”

    Dr. Peters, Chatto, not so sure I buy that one. I have to think that we’ve had many deaf people in the Catholic Church in the 20 centuries or so since Christ. I find it tough to believe that they couldn’t understand the readings without an interpreter. The readings are listed in the missal(ette), if needed.

    As far as that goes, if a Mass would need an interpreter for readings, I would think the same would be true for everything else, including the homily.
    I would think that would be very distracting to everyone.

  73. steve51b31 says:

    As a young 18 year old altarboy in southern Maryland, the men (only)
    of 6-7 parishes would gather for rosary, prayer, sometimes stations of the cross, adoration, a good homeletic, and benediction. It lasted 60-75 minutes. The hosting parish rotated each month.
    It was a profound, enriching, and rewarding experience. I hunger for it still.

  74. John Grammaticus says:

    And people wonder why Cardinal Burke once said that going to Mass can be an occasion of sin

  75. Giuseppe says:

    I think we overvalue enjoyment. I must admit that I (a man) do not particularly enjoy Mass. If attending Mass every Sunday were not a precept of the church, I could easily see myself not going every week. If I am honest with myself, I know I’d rather spend a free weekend morning and go to the gym.

    Yes, I know I should love going to Mass, although when I speak with friends, hardly anyone admits to enjoying going every week, so I know that I am not alone. And if people were so keen on it, weekly attendance probably wouldn’t’ be a precept of the church.

    So what I do like about the TLM is that I can sit in the back, not have anyone bother me, not talk to anyone, kinda chill out, think about God, reflect on what I’ve not done well and what I should be doing, fade in and out with my attention for the first half hour, and then get my head into the groove for the consecration. I hate singing, so I never have to sing anything in Mass. There’s people up front doing that.

    (I’ll cut and paste this post for my next confession.)

  76. Giuseppe says:

    Oh, and the one service I do enjoy without reservation is Stations of the Cross. Yes, it’s in English, but we never really have to sing, as there are always a few people who belt out the 3 lines of Stabat Mater per station. No homily. And some nights topped with Exposition and Benediction.

    I go to Mass because I, as a Catholic, have to go. I go to Stations because I enjoy it.

    (Again, cutting and pasting this for my next confession.)

  77. Maltese says:

    I don’t know, some men in the 18-36 crowd might go for the tambourine player ;)

  78. greenlight says:

    “If there was ever a perfect time to evangelize through a reverent and beautiful Liturgy it is Easter Vigil! ”

    SQ has it just right. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the Christmas-and-Easter-only crowd roll their eyes at the horrible service and thought to myself “I bet we could stop the hemorrhaging of Catholics right now if we’d just stop singing that awful Gloria”.

  79. Cantor says:

    It’s also worthwhile remembering that every single one of these “events” takes place only with the permission of the male priest/pastor and the acquiescence of his male bishop.

  80. Athelstan says:

    Fr. Fox,

    The arrangement of the altar in this video is not new to me.

    Oh, I know. It’s not new to me, either.

    It’s still striking every time I see it. It gives the lie to the claim (at least for many who claimed it) that the wreckovations we endured were merely about renewing a “focus on the Eucharist.”

  81. Maltese says:

    Google/youtube: “Ludwig van Beethoven – Missa Solemnis – I. Kyrie” That’s how men celebrate mass!

  82. Stephen McMullen says:

    My parish was headed this way BIG time before we got a new pastor. He BANNED liturgical dancing. He remodeled the 70s era sanctuary and threw out the old 70s era tabernacle and got a new gold one and moverad it to the center of the sanctuary. I praise him everyday for it, although some people got mad and said all kinds of bad things about him and went away to torment some other parish.

  83. Gail F says:

    AAAAAAAAA!!!!!! I actually had to leave the Easter Vigil I went to because of its fluffiness. But THIS makes that on look like a Mass at St. Peter’s. The only nice thing I can think of to say is that at least the lady doing interpretive dance can actually dance. You might not like interpretive dance — but she is an actual dancer who knows interpretive dance. How any of those people kept a straight face, I don’t know. But lots of people were singing along so perhaps this is a “thing” in Seattle? I hope it’s never a “thing” around here! Forget about men — I’m a woman and would NEVER go to anything like this.

  84. RJHighland says:

    Hey the good news is that priest is in full communion with Rome and probably a sweet heart of the local bishop. Unless Fr. Z had said this was a Catholic Church I would never have guessed, looks more like a Methodist Church but a Methodist Church would have had more professional music ensemble. I image Pope Francis would love the creativity and lay participation and I can hear Cardinal Dolan’s hearty laughing voice clapping and yelling bravo at the end of the performance, forgive me I mean High Mass. This use to get me mad now I just laugh, who am I to judge, God will judge.

  85. jameeka says:

    I agree with Supertradmum. Strong men need to step up to the plate. Young men look up to and want to imitate other strong men. Moms and sisters and wives can only do so much, mostly pray.

  86. ByzCath08 says:

    The parish facebook page is hideous.

  87. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    “1 in 3 baptized Catholic men have left the faith and of those who remain, 50-60% of them are ‘Casual Catholics’, men who don’t know and don’t practice the faith.” If that is accurate, does that mean that the other 26 to 33% includes all the men who like the kind of thing seen in the video and want more of it, who very deliberately promote and pursue it, and so on? If so, does anyone have an idea what the relative percentages within that 26 to 33% are?

  88. Menagerie says:

    Two points. I would never be able to sit through this mass, and neither would my husband. Second, when do we acknowledge that many men are missing from mass because they are in bed asleep and they are not getting out of bed for any mass.

    The men who appreciate a beautiful and traditional liturgy are going to find a church to meet their needs. Those who are slothful are not going to care, one way or another.

    As at least one other commenter noted, these fiascos are made possible through the acquiescence of male priests and bishops.

  89. Matt Robare says:

    Most parishes I’ve been have had men’s groups. And I was once in a Chesterton Society that was incapable of attracting women.

  90. Suburbanbanshee says:

    I have heard this Exodus setting done well, but it requires an exceptional serious organist, male soloist, and choir.

    The old custom of chanting the readings is a much more accessible and innately holy way to do it. It doesn’t require exceptional skills melded with exceptional piety; you just have the reader chant it.

  91. mburn16 says:

    I must echo Cantor’s sentiments: whether this is a feminized liturgy, or just an absurd one; and whether it is responsible for driving men away, or not……..every valid Bishop in the RCC is a man. Every valid Priest in the RCC is a man. Every valid Deacon in the RCC is a man. So whatever nonsense is taking place, it is taking place with the complicity of men.

    That said, I’m not sold this is what is driving men away. Our parish is very eclectic, and observes traditions that range from having 13 year old girls proclaim the readings at the Vigil mass to adoration and veneration during Holy Week……and the pews seem to contain about equal parts men and women.

  92. gc5341 says:

    The stand behind the dancer that is holding the candles and pushed against the wall made me feel uneasy. I saw a demonic image on that stand. I don’t know if it was just me. Anyone else see that image?

  93. TheDude05 says:

    OK might take some heat here but the song was catchy to me, but as others have pointed out, for a play. This may be Mass in that the sacrifice takes place but it makes me want to cry that instead of worshipping God they seem to be engaged in Pagan revelry, seriously they just need a tree to dance around. Hopefully this will end in my lifetime but it will end someday.

  94. SaintsSQPNcom says:

    A grumpy old man’s curse upon you, Father Z!!! I watched (part of) that video. Not only am I haunted by the mental polaroids it left behind, now my bloody YouTube feed keeps recommending other similar horrors! That church even has its own channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/stpatsseattle) with videos of people celebrating the raising of Saint Lazarus by dancing around with winding clothes, and an oompah-loompah version of Pentecost! The good-intentioned dim-wittery, it burns! It Burns!!

  95. Dienekes says:

    I grew up serving Mass (Latin Mass!) and loved it. Went to a Catholic Boy’s boarding school and sang Gregorian chant.

    Now an old coot, I force myself weekly to attend the New Rite with priestesses, lectoresses, and “My Little Pony” music because that’s all there is out here in Flyover Country. All with gritted teeth.

    The wonder is not that men leave. The wonder is that any stay.

  96. TheDude05 says:

    Checked out their Facebook page 96 pictures from Mass on Easter all of them of the dancing. Shows what is the center or their parish and it isn’t our Lord.

  97. gramma10 says:

    Insanity runs rampant. This was so ridiculous. I think they must be smoking something before mass.
    Probably in a state where marajuana is legal!
    The world has lost it’s marbles. I think we must somehow act outraged! Where is the outrage?
    Good grief!

  98. Susan G says:

    When I heard the first chord, I grimaced. At :34, I stopped the video, reread that it got worse at around 1:00, and forced myself to watch a little more. When it panned out to show the entire spectacle, my only thought was that the next phrase would be “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night Live.” I was looking through a missal earlier and I saw that it started ” The Mass is the giving of a gift to God.” When I read it, I thought about how today we hear so many complaints that Mass isn’t entertaining. Then I watches this. I can’t imagine it being much worse.

  99. Fr_Sotelo says:

    I laughed aloud at the words of Fr. D above:

    “Many men have told me that the constant dripping of water keeps them away from such churches.”

    I agree with Father.

  100. pelerin says:

    Susan G writes that she can’t imagine it being much worse. Each time something like this is pointed out we do tend to think ‘it can’t get worse than that.’ Yesterday I saw pictures of a Mass which took place on Easter Monday in France where the bread and wine were brought up to the altar by two children in a dodgem car. And the celebrant was a Bishop!

    Fr Sotelo’s comment re the dripping of water in church reminded me of a local children’s museum which had a water feature in it. They had to remove the fountain eventually as so many children relieved themselves while watching it.

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  102. Gabriel Syme says:

    The video gives me the creeps.

    Many Bishops and Clergy ought to hang their heads in shame. It was exactly this kind of thing (and various other stuff, such as a lack of worthwhile teaching) behind why I started going to the SSPX – they have been a massive and hugely welcome breath of fresh air.

    Where I live, the novus ordo is extremely puerile and wholly protestant in nature (just as it was designed to be). The emphasis is all on a misguided notion of inclusivity – for example, people dont care that there are very few vocations, because their wholly secular sensibilities make them feel that its good that girls can serve at the altar. People dont care that belief in the real presence has hugely declined, because their secular outlook tells them that its good that lay people (esp lay women) can distribute the hosts along side the priest. They will still be reveling in these erroneous secular notions of fairness and equality, when the last parish church closes its doors.

    The local clergy seem painfully aware that there is no substance to what passes for mass, judging by their many and varied attempts to entertain the congregation (‘audience’?) and I have suffered everything from priest-comedians, through dancing priests, to priests with the demeanour of a childrens entertainer. I’m almost disappointed that I never encountered a juggling priest.

    And its getting worse. I stopped being a lay reader when the clergy started wanting them to prepare in the sacristy and process in/out with the priests. It was as if they were preparing the lay people for when the last aged priest died. The last straw for me was when they were using uniformed school children to distribute communion. Toe-curling. Its a remarkable degeneration, in only a few decades – when I was a child, folk were still kneeling at altar rails in our local parish.

    But with the SSPX – I am in heaven. At the novus ordo, I would never have dreamed of subjecting myself to it more than the absolute bare minimum which was required (ie sundays and holy days). Never in a million years. But with the true mass, I would go every day if I could. Every day. As it happens, I can only manage 2 or 3 times in a typical week.

    Its worth noting that the novus ordo isnt always rank rotten (just mostly). I once attended mass in St Stephens Basillica, in Budapest. It was a novus ordo, but it was said mostly in latin, communion in the hand was not permitted and a server held a communion plate under your chin when you were receiving. It was a million times better than the dross served up in my locale. However, it still couldn’t hold a candle to the mass of all time.

  103. JuliaB says:

    As others have pointed out, this disgusts not only men, but women. Including me. We’re not all fairy-floss-for-brains morons, you know.

    I think that we need to be super careful about bandying about the words “feminine” or “feminisation” when what we mean is that something is heretical or banal or in poor taste or an abuse of the liturgy. Most don’t, after all, claim that rape or violence, for example, are due to a “masculinisation” of the culture — and obviously most of us accept that most men abhor rape and violence (they’ve written laws against them, after all.)

    And come on. Most of the trash that calls itself “liturgical music” was written by men. Not trying to start a Battle of the Sexes here, but this is not simply a case of Women Hijacking the Church (although I am prepared to concede that it might be a case of Middle-Aged Women Hijacking the Church — jokes, jokes.)

    I don’t think the Latin Mass alone will “save the Church”. Latin Mass is great, but the N.O. is fine too if you just DO IT RIGHT.

  104. JuliaB says:

    Go to an Opus Dei parish. They do the N.O. right. Don’t go SSPX.

  105. Michael in NoVA says:

    Well, I have to give St. Pat’s credit. According to their website, they do offer weekly confession.

    On Wednesday afternoons.

    For 15 minutes.

    Must be nice to live in a place with so few sinners.

    As a side note, they have only three Masses per week- 2 on Sunday morning and then one Wednesday evening. The Archdiocese website lists no other assignments for the Pastor. I trust that he fulfills his daily requirement with private Masses, but isn’t it a bit strange to only offer one non-Sunday Mass when you have a full-time pastor?

  106. benedetta says:

    Very community theatre musical that, meticulously planned in its ridiculousness.

    I would just add that whether we would realize it or not, this is also a great insult to the dignity of women.

  107. Georgemartyrfan says:

    I find it important that many women reject the idea that this is effeminized. While the masculine virtue of sacrifice is removed, feminine receptivity is obliterated as well. Both the masculine and the feminine are destroyed!

    As a lay man, I want to “cleanse the temple” of all this mess, yet that proves complicated if the priest/bishop is fine with it. I can abandon the parish or I can stage a revolt. Unfortunately the best revolutionary intentions frequently have unintended consequences. Your little nudge against legitimate authority acting illegitimately, though justified, may be the last bit needed to destabilize what order is left.

  108. crickally says:

    All I can think is that paganism has returned.

  109. SimonDodd says:

    Georgemartyrfan says:
    I find it important that many women reject the idea that this is effeminized.”

    Amen. Above, Julia said that “we need to be super careful about bandying about the words ‘feminine’ or ‘feminisation’ when what we mean is that something is heretical or banal or in poor taste or an abuse of the liturgy.” My only disagreement with that is that it doesn’t go far enough: We shouldn’t use that term. It’s not feminization. That’s false, and it’s insulting to the many good, faithful, fully-feminine Catholic women who loathe this dreck as much as do good, faithful, Catholic men.

    While the masculine virtue of sacrifice is removed, feminine receptivity is obliterated as well.

    Who said that sacrifice was a masculine virtue?

    As a lay man, I want to ‘cleanse the temple’ of all this mess, yet that proves complicated if the priest/bishop is fine with it.

    I’ve said here before, although no one seems to want to face the fact: The reform of the reform is necessarily the clergy’s work. The laity can help facilitate that work, but we can’t make the pastor decide to install an altar rail, any more than we can make him celebrate the extraordinary form or ditch the guitars or what-have-you. My example is the Oxford Movement. The Tractarians did not simply advocate for ideas—many of their leaders were clergymen, in a position to carry out the reforms they proposed. As laymen, we can’t do that.

  110. CrimsonCatholic says:

    Has anyone tried writing the Bishop of Seattle? Certainly there are people in that diocese that read this blog.

  111. ASPM Sem says:

    This also might explain why the Archdiocese of Seattle only has four seminarians. Four. My diocese is smaller by about 100,000 Catholics and has 60.

  112. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    It’s a good thing no one knows who ‘jflare’ is. S/he need not live in total embarrassment for the above post. Those with interest in knowing about such things can see my replies to M. J. Moses here: http://www.canonlaw.info/a_signlanguage2.htm

  113. pelerin says:

    A commenter has mentioned the web site of this particular church. You can tell a lot from a church’s website! I see this one states that ‘Our Sunday liturgy enhanced by the creative arts strengthens us for the work of peace and justice in the world.’ Apologies to whoever wrote this but isn’t this just gobblydegook? And one picture has 6 dancers in front of the altar – I wonder if there is a video of them.

    Sorry folks but for me the only dancing acceptable during Mass is dancing by Africans for whom dancing is a natural way of worship. Their exuberance and joy celebrating the Feast of the Assumption has moved me to tears more than once when in Lourdes.

  114. Some random reactions to the thread:

    > There’s no basis for blaming Pope Francis for this. This nonsense long preceded him. From all accounts, he celebrates the Holy Mass with dignity and reverence.

    > Please, let’s stop with the “true Mass” vs. OF Mass business. That is a very dangerous way to go. I readily grant that there are abuses in the OF. I am very sorry about it. But here’s a thought experiment. Imagine Vatican II played out rather differently. Suppose there had been only modest adjustments in the liturgy, or almost none at all. Meanwhile, everything else in the larger society happens in the ’60s. Do you really think no foolishness would have found it’s way into the liturgy? Really? Because the priests and bishops at the time would have prevented it? Surely not! Because the larger culture wouldn’t have gone crazy? Surely not.

    > With all that’s wrong with this scene, picking on the poor woman who’s helping people who are deaf strikes me as very strange.

  115. raphael says:

    This is wiccanism. Call the seattle diocese and complain. They need to be flooded with calls so they know people are outraged this is going on in front of the blessed sacrement and in the presence of our Lord. It reminds me of what moses saw when he came down from the mount and saw the idolaters worshipping the golden calf. Is this what we have become? Do we have to tolerate this?

  116. thefeds says:

    I’m embarrassed to say that my parish tried this travesty about ten years ago. Thank God that shipped sailed.

  117. mysticalrose says:

    I’m on team “Blame the Bishop.” My husband, being a real man, does not take orders from me. Our leadership needs to demonstrate manly virtue.

    And I agree completely with SimonDodd, particularly:

    “I’ve said here before, although no one seems to want to face the fact: The reform of the reform is necessarily the clergy’s work. The laity can help facilitate that work, but we can’t make the pastor decide to install an altar rail, any more than we can make him celebrate the extraordinary form or ditch the guitars or what-have-you. My example is the Oxford Movement. The Tractarians did not simply advocate for ideas—many of their leaders were clergymen, in a position to carry out the reforms they proposed. As laymen, we can’t do that.”

  118. benedictgal says:

    It is ironic that the “choreographer” seemed to have gotten her moves from the scene in “The 10 Commandments” where the Hebrews are dancing in honor of the Golden Calf. Needless to say, watching this, I would surmise that both Baal and the Golden Calf were pleased. Of course, we all know what happened after that scene. Moses hurled the stone tablets and the offending parties were swallowed up.

    Sadly, Baal seemed to have been pleased whenever nonsense like this happens in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. In one parish down here, the celebrant decided that, in order to give more meaning to the Eucharist, he would have the blessed bread distributed, shared and EATEN AFTER the distribution of the Real Bread of Life. Yes. The blessed bread (which had been uncovered and around the altar during Mass, was distributed by the EMHCs with the admonition to share and eat. This was done right after communion. It was offensive and shocking.

    I understand the part of the blessed bread, but, this was taken it too far.

  119. Cincinnati Priest says:

    Giuseppe:
    I certainly appreciate your comments, and IMHO this is not matter for confession. You are right that the graces of Mass are irrelevant to our emotional state and whether we “enjoy” the experience of Mass or not.

    As a priest for many years, I can say you are certainly typical of a huge number of men who want “no-nonsense” in the liturgy: short, to the point, little or no singing, etc. and who despise being forced to “participate” (as if praying quietly were not participating) at Mass in responorial chants, etc. Not saying that is good or bad, it is just the way it is.

    I have been in a parish where there was a weekly “silent” OF Mass (no hymns, everything recited, etc.)

    In my experience, far more men appreciated this kind of Mass than women. I know because they told me so.

  120. benedictgal says:

    I meant to write “taking” it too far. A friend of mine had met Cardinal Muller and he gave her his business card. She wants to write to him.

  121. sw85 says:

    ” Imagine Vatican II played out rather differently. Suppose there had been only modest adjustments in the liturgy, or almost none at all. Meanwhile, everything else in the larger society happens in the ’60s.”

    It’s not at all clear to me the 60’s would’ve gone the way they did had Vatican II not gone the way it did. By the 1960s, especially but not exclusively in the US, the Catholic Church was the largest and most effective source of resistance to modernity. To borrow a phrase from liberals everywhere, “Vatican II changed all that” (more precisely, Paul VI changed all that, or appointed people to power who changed all that and then never corrected or constrained them, consistently sided with them, and consistently disciplined their opponents even when they acted in good faith and obedience). It was a sort of Comintern of the Right, and by the end of the Council, its ability to act in this capacity had largely been dismantled. Small wonder the left started winning, and almost immediately.

  122. NBW says:

    That is not a Mass. It is totally crappy entertainment. Who was the Bishop at the time? May God have mercy on us!

  123. Mary Jane says:

    Maltese, although, I know what you meant (re: your comment about how men celebrate Mass), I still wanted to mention a bit about the Missa Solemnis. A few years ago, I sang with a choir that performed Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis. It’s extremely challenging; the Et vitam venturi fugue in particular is crazy difficult. The piece requires a full orchestra, a large chorus, and well-trained soloists, not to mention a director that can hold everything and everyone together. There’s definitely a reason it’s not (if ever) heard at Mass. If I may be so bold, I would instead point to Palestrina or Victoria as a better example of good sacred music. :)

    An additional tidbit: if you’ve ever wondered why Beethoven didn’t write a Requiem, well, there is a story that he actually had intended to write one (probably to rival Mozart’s), but after Beethoven finished the Missa Solemnis and heard it, he decided he had achieved the supreme – no composition could ever hope to outdo his Missa Solemnis – so he just didn’t write a Requiem. Heh. :)

  124. Cincinnati Priest says:

    Dr. Peters:

    I think we have to be a little careful about the balancing issues here.

    Even though it is important to include those with handicaps in the Mass to the extent possible, it is a legitimate question how we balance the needs of the many vs. the needs of the handicapped. The reality is that, to many hearing people, having a signer in a very prominent place can in fact be distracting. It does no good simply to condemn people as rude or intolerant who honestly admit that this is a distraction or morally browbeat them.

    I have never faced this situation as pastor, but if I did I think I would have to proceed carefully in determining the balance between where a signer could be placed so as to serve the deaf and at the same time be least distracting to others.

    There are many, many such difficult balancing questions in liturgy, of course (for example, if someone has Tourettes or some other distracting condition, should they separate themselves from others at Mass; if there are many people who are hard of hearing, does one turn the sound system up loud enough to irritate those with normal hearing for their sake, etc.).

    Tricky questions all. Compromises needed.

    I think we live in a culture where people are too quick to condemn and play the moral outrage card, equating legitimate balancing questions with insensitivity to the handicapped.

  125. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Hello “Cincinnati Priest”. Some people are ignoramuses, and when they post ignorant, potentially destructive, comments, like someone did above, they need to be called out. I, too, regret that some people play the moral outrage card on scant provocation. But sometimes, some people DO make outrageous comments, and if it is about something I know anything (let alone A LOT) about, I will respond, and did above. You grant, too, that you have no experience in this issue, so if you do have to work with the issue sometime, feel free to be in touch, as you know who I am. I do not know who you are. Till then, some more reading for people: http://www.canonlaw.info/catholicissues_deaf.htm

  126. Bob Glassmeyer says:

    Say the black, do the red,
    Keep the Faith until you’re dead.
    It will get tough, hard times ahead,
    but Christ is risen, as He said!

    Mass is about God, not about us,
    so time to get off the Magic Bus
    of liturgical dance, whether ballet or tap,
    enough of the Pagan Goddess crap

  127. benedictgal says:

    Why, why do people resort to the banal and the downright stupid, when it comes to Holy Week? Why does Our Lord continue to suffer in His Church at the hands of those who are supposed to know better?

  128. SimonDodd says:

    Dr. Peters, unfortunately, neither of your links appear to work (“hostgator.com website hosting ERROR 504 – GATEWAY TIMEOUT”), so my apologies if you answer this question in your links, but may I ask: Is your disagreement with jflare and Cincinnati Priest (1) that you reject the idea that “having a signer in a very prominent place can … be distracting,” (2) that, while conceding the “potential distraction point,” you think that the benefit to deaf congregants outweighs any such distraction for unimpaired congregants, or (3) something else?

  129. mburn16 says:

    “Why, why do people resort to the banal and the downright stupid, when it comes to Holy Week?”

    This one we might be able to blame on an exaggerated attempt to recreate exodus 15:20

  130. La Sandia says:

    I think a lot of the women on this thread have touched on this, but I would like to echo the contention that faithful Catholic women are just as horrified at this nonsense as men are. And with all due respect to Cardinal Burke (and if there was an official Burke fan club, I would be a card-carrying member!), I think a better word to describe these liturgies is not so much “feminized” as “effeminate.” Effeminacy is a caricature of true femininity, just as brutish machismo is a caricature of true masculinity. It also refers to behaviors and mannerisms commonly associated with homosexual men, which is not surprising given the pervasive “lavender mafia” in the clergy–and I would imagine that the lavender mafia is overrepresented at these types of liturgies.

  131. dixitDOMINUSDOMINOmeo says:

    There is hope for this parish! That altar at the back of the church is just waiting for a TLM to be said on it. :-)

  132. acroat says:

    I wouldn’t go to mass of this was the only option near my home! Fortunately, I attend a parish offering EF Mass, alter rails that are used every Mass, confessions before every mass and ad oriented.

  133. Dialogos says:

    To all the commenters who are urging folks to write the Archbishop here in the Seattle Archdiocese, I’ll share what I know about the possibility of THAT doing any good. A year or two ago I was at St. james Cathedral in Seattle and went into the bookstore…where I found works by Joan Chittister, Richard Rohr, and Garry Wills, among others. These are all writers who regularly publish teachings directly contrary to the Church and, some would say, actually and knowingly heretical. I wrote a letter to the Archbishop and cc’ed a copy to the rector of the cathedral. the response from the Archbishop was basically a “thanks for writing” brief note with absolutely no substance. My pastor requested permission to re-install a small portion of altar rail in the church but the archbishop said no. When the archdiocese was fighting against the imposition of gay marriage, the local Jesuit parish (and some others too) refused to allow information against gay marriage to be disseminated in their church. That same Jesuit parish de facto permits gay couples to receive the sacraments. The archbishop knows about this too. The video from St. Patrick’s in Seattle is just the tip of the iceberg: there are widespread liturgical abuses here but nothing substantive is ever done about them. Please pray for us in this archdiocese. (And p.s.: Our archbishop is the one overseeing the LCWR situation, so don’t hold your breath there will be consequences for the Nuns on the Bus and their shenanigans.)

  134. pannw says:

    Dear Father in Heaven, thank you for my faithful and holy priest. Amen.

  135. truthfinder says:

    Somehow I managed to make it through the whole video. Some thoughts:
    Isn’t there a quote about women being able to have the patience to endure? I think that’s why the Church has had any numbers at all in the past sixty years.
    This performance: it struck me as funny that, as this sort of parish is usually the one to deride Israel, capital punishment, and embrace over-attachment to nature and animals, they seem to have no problem singing in a Jewish inspired tune, with glee “horse and chariot are cast into the sea.”
    As for singing in general, for both men and women, I think there has been an octave shift – everything is way too high for regular singing.
    And for those of you looking for the priest – he’s in the front pew on the right wearing only a stole over an alb.

  136. Elizabeth D says:

    Okay, I finally looked at the video. I have actually seen this same song version of this Exodus reading done at Easter Vigil on repeated occasions at St Paul’s University Catholic Center here in Madison, but without the dancing. I don’t know if they still do it every year since I joined the Cathedral Parish and now go to the Easter Vigil there. While I must say I prefer Bishop Morlino’s Easter Vigil Mass, I wouldn’t say I didn’t enjoy the catchy sung version of the Exodus reading that was done at St Paul’s even if I thought it was odd. But it is a deviation from the text of the reading in the lectionary and it is not the most dignified presentation. The dancing, that is ridiculous during Mass.

  137. FrDulli says:

    This is exactly what my church did for the third reading when I was in college. Minus the liturgical dancer. Partied like 1999.

    I did not know any better. My first experiences of the Easter Vigil were like this. I was impressed then. Keep in mind that many of us didn’t think that we were being liberal. We just didn’t think of it in those words. A lot of people just have never heard, “No one, even if he be a priest, is permitted to add to the liturgy.”

    So as priests continue to have to clean up messes like this, it is important to be a teacher and avoid coming across as vengeful or spiteful. I even think it is important not to scoff or deny the good feelings that people may have had at these services. Hold to the liturgical law, even if it means letting folks now that the most important reason for doing so is that you must.

  138. CAR says:

    This is a mega oy & ugh. Speaking of mega, perhaps for their theatrical production, they must have called a church in South Barrington, IL on where to begin. Will we see extravaganza lighting next?

    I agree with you regarding Supertradmum, Midwest St. Michael, and, boy, the add-on stories I could give on the persecutions I faced, too, in my Catholic job.

    Enough–no more trying to feminize our men!

  139. Coming to this discussion 135 comments late, let me only suggest in addition that there may be a pertinent message in the fact that at almost all TLMs one observes more men than women in attendance. The bias toward more male attendance is particularly noticeable among single young adults, whereas men and women naturally tend to be numerically coordinated among marrieds in certain older age brackets.

    It is true, as Fr. Martin Fox may have suggested earlier this morning, that these silly liturgical aberrations were already beginning to apper in the 1960s before the official introduction of the Novus Ordo, and indeed it is sometimes conjectured that it was the newer form that saved older form and allowed it to retain until now its liturgical “purity” of practice.

    But these aberrations do repel men, wherever they appear. They repelled them before the Novus Ordo, and in the Novus Ordo they have continued to repel men for almost 5 decades, with the cumulative results observed in the pews at so many OF Masses now.

    Admittedly, as Fr. Fox argues, this is not an EF vs. OF issue per se. Indeed, since the vast majority men who are open to evangelization via liturgy are likely available only to OF exposure, this is mainly an OF problem with only an OF solution. But the EF provides a model of faithful and tradition-based liturgy that does appeal to men and should be just as characteristic of OF as of EF liturgy.

    There being no reason for the NO to be so silly and banal as it is in typical parish practice. Except in an apparent attempt to attract (1) women and (2) those who are not serious about the totality of Catholic faith. Not to suggest that these two groups overlap inordinately; silly liturgy is just as abusive of faithful women as of faithful men.

  140. Per Signum Crucis says:

    Cincinnati Priest, certainly on the western side of the pond, the term “handicapped” (which is now regarded in a similar way to racist descriptors) has largely been replaced by “disabled people”. Hope that helps.

  141. jflare says:

    Dr. Peters,
    I will try to keep calm and objective with writing this, but I think it fair to say that I find your comments quite insulting. I followed your links. Your argument, basically, is that ASL should be recognized as a liturgical language all on its own. It ought to be offered in most parishes for the benefit of deaf people. You wish this in particular because your daughter is deaf.
    I think it great that a parent wishes to ensure that a child have access to learning the Mass and Catholic faith. I think it deplorable that you’d take this kind of an approach.

    You make some good arguments on the pages where you linked, but I think there are equally weighty arguments opposed. For starters, if your daughter is completely deaf, many others are not. Many who’re legally deaf can still hear something, sometimes a fair amount. Secondly, even if a person can’t speak English–or another language–verbally, I would assume that this person will still learn to read and write in the dominant language. I think back to “Voyage of the Mimi” that I saw when I was a kid; Ruth was deaf and used (I assume) ASL for verbal needs, but she could still read and write in English. I would assume most others would take similar paths.

    Arguing that we all need to allow for ASL in Mass would require that the parish have someone besides the parent available for providing it. Maybe that would work in an urban area. Where I grew up though, most parishes struggle to have even a priest or choir. Having someone ASL-capable is not a practical option. Even if someone did chance to understand the language, providing such interpretation assumes that the need for such outweighs the obvious distraction. I don’t like liturgical dance in particular because it has pretty much zero meaning; most people in the average parish will not find meaning in ASL either. If you want to argue that ASL is it’s own language, much like Spanish or French, I would think it appropriate to have Mass for precisely that portion of the faithful. We have Mass in Spanish, Vietnamese, and other languages, even here in the ‘States for precisely for the reasons you give.

    Finally, one of your links inquires as to what we expect you to do now with a 5-year-old deaf child. Seems to me that most children under age 8 have the same problem, whether they hear or see normally or not. Most children under 8 don’t quickly and easily understand a Mass aimed at adults and teens. In some cases, a parish might take the children to another room for a child-aimed explanation of the readings, in others they may rely on CCD before or after, in yet more cases, parents may need to explain everything to their kids themselves.

    I understand that you’re not happy that most of us have no need for ASL in Mass. I simply think it unwise to require everyone to tolerate an interpreter when there are other solutions available.

  142. fiat2011 says:

    Oh no! This continues and has spread! My 27 year old daughter and I attended an Easter Vigil this past week in OH while visiting family. There was no liturgical dancer, but when they inserted this refrain into the middle of the reading ….and the whole Church responded loudly like vacation bible school, we were in utter shock!!! We thought they were singing something from The Prince of Egypt! She thought even that might be better! We attended Easter Sunday Mass the next day at a neighboring Church where the lyrics were of 2 Michael W. Smith’s songs. How much we need reform of music in the liturgy and to move the entertainers to choir lofts instead of the front of the Church!!

  143. Elizabeth D says:

    I saw The Voyage of the Mimi also when I was a kid, and I disagree that it means we shouldn’t have sign language interpreters at Mass. It is hard to believe this conversation. I am sure Dr Peters isn’t saying that every Mass has to have sign language interpretation. But of course it is good for this to be available to the deaf. I know a Catholic who benefits when sign language is occasionally available at Mass (she says it takes some practice to be good at glancing back and forth between the priest and the interpreter), she was nearly-deaf from birth and when she was growing up she poorly understood her faith because she couldn’t hear or understand much of Mass and catechesis with the poor hearing aids that were available when she was young. Her disability had a direct impact on her being able to learn her faith adequately. As an adult she’s become passionate about her faith and learned much more about it. But she would definitely say deaf children should have the benefit of sign language interpretation if it’s possible, without which they have a hard time understanding.

  144. MasterofCeremonies says:

    Apparently God cast into the sea, not only horse and chariot, but also fear and ugliness (at 7:54, along with something indistinguishable to my ear). I guess this is from the Book of the Nice Exodus of the Family of Israel. Presumably the ángel de la muerte from previous editions of this book has been replaced with a door to door conversion of Egypt? Minus that scary army, of course. Or was the destruction of the firstborn of Egypt God’s last silly gesture of power before swearing off the whole “fear and ugliness” deal?

    Either way, I feel very spiritual.

  145. oldconvert says:

    Well I went to Mass today, as I do most weekdays. NO mass, reverently done; the inevitable elderly female EMHC clutching the chalice, but at least Father does not permit these ladies to handle the hosts. About 12 women and no men in the pews. It’s the school holidays here, so altar servers: 3 female, 1 male. Reader, as always, a woman.

    Benediction in the afternoon: 5 women, no men. There are never any men at Benediction or Rosary.

    This is the normal pattern of attendance of the sexes during the week in this parish. More men attended during the Stations of the Cross, and appear at weekends, both Saturdays and Sundays, and Holydays, but the proportion is still 2:1 female:male. I might add that there are plenty of retired Catholic men in this parish, but you still don’t see them during the week.

    Can it be that they, unlike the women parishioners, simply don’t want [read: can’t be bothered] to come to church unless something “special” is going on to engagetheir attention?

  146. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Folks, the links work fine here (I tried them from work). I occasionally correct, but I do not debate, people who do not share their identity. I will not try to condense 20+ years’ worth of Deaf pastoral issues experience into a combox. Readers can decide for themselves, from my links, who likely understands these issues, and who is clueless. Best, edp.

  147. Peter B says:

    Unfortunately, this kind of relaxed attitude to Holy Mass spreads over Poland too – all such departures from the liturgical norms under the title of being more friendly, joyful and close to each other. Examples of relaxed attitude towards liturgy can be found in Poland and perhaps more easily found in churches and parishes where Jesuits or Dominicans are in charge of pastoral care. Of course others have also “achievements” in this field. So sad to say but also in Poland liturgical experimentation takes place. Often times it happens or is organized by charismatic renewal groups (with often dominant role of women). Most recent example, Easter Vigil on Saturday April, 4 in Sacred Heart Jesuits church in the center one of the largest city in Poland – Lodz. The main celebrant is Father Remigiusz Reclaw SJ who is a director of Charismatic renewal center and spiritual guide for charismatic renewal groups.
    See the video, especially 1:25-1:28; 2:35-2:38 – dancing during the Mass.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRdCM5JWcpo
    Many of these trends come from US and Western Europe as a sign of adaptation to “more joyful and mature participation “ in liturgy. When you ask somebody who attends such gathering whether this adds dignity to Holy Mass or whether he or she is aware that it is against liturgical norm then the whole aggressive discussion on the rigidity, spirit of Pharisees who follow the law and not the spirt, promoting sadness and not true love, etc.
    Though in many other churches such experiments do not have place. In our church near Warsaw the liturgy in Novus Ordo was celebrated with dignity.
    Recently I visited St. Michael Abbey in Farnborough, a Benedictine monastery in UK where you might experience solid liturgy (Novus Ordo Mass in Latin, ad orientem) and good Gregorian chant.
    A few short films about Abbey reflect a bit the climate of the Holy Mass and liturgy
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJYDeyOl8m4-LRpgvbWhoTg/videos

  148. jflare says:

    “But she would definitely say deaf children should have the benefit of sign language interpretation if it’s possible, without which they have a hard time understanding.”

    I’m sure she does, Elizabeth, but we’re back to the balancing problem. Let’s say, for example, that a parish might have 5% of it’s faithful populace as deaf persons. Should the other 95% be required to tolerate the person at the front who’s making all the signs? Or, we know that people begin to have more trouble hearing as they grow older. Should we now start teaching ASL to people over 65, that they may understand Mass?
    (Oddly, though I was about to say that most people over 65 already understand Mass well enough, given the state of the Church right now, I’m not so sure of that.)

    I should think we could solve many of these difficulties by simply admitting that many varieties of people will have many different needs in the average parish. In some cases ASL in Mass might be helpful. I do not think it so useful for most parishes today.

  149. The Masked Chicken says:

    I went to Mass despite the liturgical dance and the rock music because, in theory, God was there. People do not go to Mass as much, today (be they man or woman), because they no longer have a relationship (or, at most, a weak one) with God. That is one reason why the Church is hemorrhaging members to the Evangelicals, who promise a relationship with Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior (of course, rarely do they say that this implies, that you must be His personal slave and redeemed sinner).

    The reason people do not have a relationship with God is because they have been, in large part, lied to about Who God is and what He wants in a relationship. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” How many people going to Mass on Sunday can even name all Ten Commandments, let alone those who never go? The concept of sin has been written out of Catholicism in the current cultural milieu.

    People tend to rise to challenges. Tell a man that God is a fluffy sheep-dog in the sky, who licks your face and wags his tail whenever you deign to do something, “nice,” and they will yawn. Tell them that God is a your commanding officer and that you face two implacable enemies – yourself and those who would mislead the helpless little ones of simple faith, and they will rally to go on the hunt. We are the Church Militant, not the Church Bored. Priests and Bishops have spent the last 50 years learning how to be social workers instead of officers in a fighting army. Aye, present the Faith like that to a man or woman and they will pick up arms. They will break down your door for knowledge and training. Who wants to fight a war without boot camp? The homily at Mass should be Patton addressing the Third Army (only, without the profanity).

    Young priests, today are enthusiastic and that is good, but they still aren’t being trained to be the, “strong men,” that St. Teresa of Avila wanted, even of her nuns.

    Where are the men? Until Catholicism becomes a matter of do-or-die, it will never attract any but the most academic. We need more Scottys and less Harry Mudds. In other words, no one feels they have to fight for heaven, any more. That, and that, alone is the reason there are fewer men are going to Mass. Why go to watered-down Masses when they are told that Heaven is going to be handed to them on a silver plate, anyways? If I thought my salvation were assured, heck, I could participate in any number of silly activities,

    In the military, one of the foremost things they instill in officers is a sense of THE MISSION. That is what is missing, today – the sense that men (and woman) have a mission to accomplish. Give them that, and they will be demanding Mass and of the highest quality that can be presented.

    People rise to the level of expectation. What does that say about the state of the Church, today. Sigh.

    The Chicken

  150. jflare says:

    As far as identity goes, Dr Peters, what do you want to know?
    I live in Nebraska, am male, am over 30, have heard Mass in about 5 languages, and am well acquainted with the need for pastoral concern.
    I have read your links and have made the case for why I think your concerns are valid, but subordinate to other concerns.
    Beyond that, I don’t know what to tell you.

  151. The Masked Chicken says:

    Oh, about the ASL thing…how about a compromise: have a few Churches have specialized apostolates for the deaf in a diocese and make it widely known who they are. That way, there is a choice. Ideally, (and this is something no one has done, yet, for you developers, out there), interactive Missals should be made available that track the activities of the Mass. Facial recognition software isn’t there yet (no matter what you see on NCIS) to be able to real-time translate the priest’s facial motion into wards on a screen, but it should be possible to have video segments explaining the Mass as one goes along.

    Very soon, bio-engineering will be able to restore at least partial hearing to anyone with an auditory nerve. Once that happens, it will be child’s play to broadcast an FM signal directly to the implant, just like at the old-time drive-in theaters and, by tapping into the microphone feed, one will hear the priest’s message being broadcast directly to one’s ears as if the priest were standing right next to you.

    The Chicken

  152. SimonR says:

    Liturgical Dance & Cardinal Arinze

    “Europe and America should not talk about liturgical dance at all. Dance is not part of worship. They should not forget it and not talk about it all”.

    https://youtu.be/9rJFdmmqj_s

  153. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Someone signing ASL is just transparent to me, except when I can read the signs. At that point, the person signing Mass just becomes Missal #2. Missals aren’t a distraction from Mass.

    OTOH, a parish with deaf Catholics should be coordinating the schedules of the signing with the Catholics who use it. (Unless you’re talking a big busy cathedral, where you might reasonably provide such a service at most Mass times.)

    The place where the interpreter stands should be clearly visible but not up on the altar unless there’s no alternative. Whether or not the interpreter has to be up on the altar, he or she should comport him/herself with prayerful dignity, like a server or a reader, and should be placed somewhere that doesn’t interfere with the rubrics of saying Mass. If the deaf Catholics can glance easily from interpreter to priest, or if the interpreter is in a sort of subtitle position, this would work also.

  154. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Re: “My Little Pony” music — Heh, I know which Mass setting you guys are using.

    That said, William Anderson, who writes the current MLP songs, is a good musician and composer with a masterful understanding of style, appropriateness, and singable lyrics. If he ever set a Mass, it would be prayerful. And probably it would sound medieval. :)

    Also, the newest MLP chapter book for little kids, Princess Celestia and the Summer of Royal Waves, uses Latin as the appropriate way for Princess Celestia to give thanks for the sunrise: “Gratias ad solis ortum.”

  155. Flavius Hesychius says:

    Late comment, I know, but…

    Does this ‘liturgical dance’ remind anyone of the scene in the 1973 version of The Wicker Man, where the children are dancing around the pole?

    I just don’t understand this. Surely the ones who perpetuate this silliness realise it provides evangelicals with ‘proof’ of the Catholic Church’s ‘obvious paganism’? Don’t they realise secularists see this and decide Roman Catholics clearly don’t really believe their own teachings?

    Who, pray tell, gains anything by this?

  156. Chon says:

    Women loathe bad liturgy as much as men do. And this is not only bad liturgy; it is bad theatre. Maybe the public now pays to go to garbage like this (do they?). But I certainly wouldn’t. So, why would I want it in church? The so-called performance looks like a little kid dressed in old curtains and pretending to dance.

  157. ergadia says:

    This is bad. Another video from this Church show the Priest start to proclaim, tell everyone to sit down, sit down himself and then a liturgical dancer dances and proclaims it instead. I am blessed to have never been present at something like that.

  158. NoraLee9 says:

    The singing is reminiscent of Les Miserables. It’s written in the same key as the song song about Cossette by the innkeepers.

  159. jflare says:

    OK, I’ll need for you to refresh my memory on that one, Nora. I have a soundtrack of Les Miserables. I remember one song about the “Master of the House” when we’re introduced to the Thenardiers. Another, the “Thenardier Waltz of Treachery” happens when the the Thenardiers basically extort more money from ValJean. Are you referring to the latter?

  160. Per Signum Crucis says:

    The rhythm is similar to ‘Master of the House’ but that’s the closest it gets music-wise to Les Miserables. As to the performance, what is evident is the huge amount of effort and co-ordination between the performers and, to judge by the audio on the video, a well-rehearsed and active congregation. In any other context, these are not bad things. If they have the space to do it elsewhere in the church or even the hall (if there is one), that would be better – but on the sanctuary? No, I don’t think so.

    By the way, is that a baptismal pool on the left side?

  161. OlderCatholic says:

    @jflare, yes we have always had deaf Catholics, mentally retarded Catholics, blind Catholics and so forth. We have not always done everything we could do to include these Catholics in the liturgy or in the life of the Church. When I was a child you would have thought that by magic we had no handicapped parishioners, no retarded children, no wheelchairs…. since one never or almost never saw them. Where were these people? How can it be a bad thing to include everyone?

    Are you really suggesting that we should NOT bother to have an interpreter for those who cannot hear the word proclaimed? The Kingdom as I understand it is for everyone.

    As for men not attending Mass, back in the day I remember the husbands and fathers smoking on the steps of the church while the women and children attended Mass. This pattern was especially pronounced in Latin cultures. Sometimes it seemed the only men inside the local Hispanic parish were the priests. So I’m not sure how “new” this pattern is.