From a reader…
On vacation I attended a mass where the precious blood was offered in a glass goblet, a man in a suit and tie (deacon?) gave the homily and the congregation stood after receiving (that bit shocked me). I’m a just nobody. Should I write to someone anyway? Do you have advice so that if I write it’ll be more likely to be read? BTW I think highly of the Bishop of this diocese.
Clearly there is some liturgical abuse going on here.
Even if the man who preached was a deacon, he should have been appropriately attired (alb, stole, and dalmatic if he was the deacon of the Mass; alb and stole or cassock, surplice, and stole if he was merely the preacher).
In addition, the Precious Blood deserves precious vessels, not glass goblets.
The question is a good one: “As a visitor, what are my responsibilities?”
One indeed has the right to object to serious liturgical abuse, but how to avoid having one’s legitimate complaints merely go into some circular file to be destroyed at some later date without having any effect?
Sometimes complaints against a priest have long-lasting effect. Other times complaints disappear. The cynical among us will probably point out that complaints, however frivolous, against a priest of patently orthodox repute tend to have longer life than complaints against their more heterodox confreres… right?… and attribute this disparity to the tenor of, if not the bishop himself, at least the staff with which he surrounds himself. The cynical are, in many cases, spot on correct.
Yet, this inquirer thinks highly of the bishop of this diocese. Perhaps he will listen. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
In a politely worded letter, simply point out the liturgical abuse as well as the great respect for His Excellency. It might get a fair read.
Remember what Holy Church tells in Redemptionis Sacramentum
6. Complaints Regarding Abuses in Liturgical Matters
[183.] In an altogether particular manner, let everyone do all that is in their power to ensure that the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist will be protected from any and every irreverence or distortion and that all abuses be thoroughly corrected. This is a most serious duty incumbent upon each and every one, and all are bound to carry it out without any favouritism.
[184.] Any Catholic, whether Priest or Deacon or lay member of Christ’s faithful, has the right to lodge a complaint regarding a liturgical abuse to the diocesan Bishop or the competent Ordinary equivalent to him in law, or to the Apostolic See on account of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff. It is fitting, however, insofar as possible, that the report or complaint be submitted first to the diocesan Bishop. This is naturally to be done in truth and charity.