Yes, liturgical abuses are still going on

I case you had stopped wondering about why we needed Summorum Pontificum, try this.

For Christmas Mass, we had a different priest by the name of Fr. ___. He started to get all the children to sit in front of the altar, and then during the homily he started singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and his homily was about how the reindeer, and Santa Claus related to Christmas. It didn’t really relate much, but that’s what he preached. I much rather the TLM than the Novus Ordo, and this was a very Conservative Parish ….
What do you have to say about this?

We need to remember that bad things are still happening and then do what we can to fix them.


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  1. mdillon says:

    I was saddened to see that a “conservative” parish in Fair Oaks, CA, that the priest allowed the “extraordinary” ministers to distribute Holy Communion, while he sat down. I can’t understand why he would allow this to happen? What a great honor for he who has Sacred Orders, to be the ORDINARY minister of the Most Blessed Sacrament. I can only assume he doesn’t know any better.

  2. Joshua08 says:

    That gathering around the altar is VERY common…At the midnight Mass I went to, aside from a plethora of standard abuses, we had 1) one priest who slouched at his chair, legs folded and out and arms crossed during the readings 2) The celebrant told people to chat during Mass, and personally conversed and shook hands while distributing communion and the most protestant thing I have ever seen in a Catholic Mass…indeed heresy, the only song in Latin was a piece composed entirely of the 5 protestant solas (Soli Deo Gloria, Solus Christus, Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia)…oh brother

  3. AlexE says:

    mdillon: I know which priest you are speaking of and let me assure you it isn’t because he doesn’t want to distribute Holy Communion OR because he doesn’t know any better.

  4. Mike says:

    I used to be in a parish where one Sunday a month, the kids would gather in front of the altar and the priest would sit on a stool and preach to them. It was, sadly, a ridiculous waste of time, the talking down to the kids was simply outrageous, everyone would beam at how cute the kids were (true enough)…the seed of doctrine would lie fallow on the floor, pushed around by an errant breeze…but we were happy!

  5. mdillon says:

    When I am at a Mass where “altar gathering” is going on, I start saying all the responses loudly in Latin. I figure, if it is a free-for-all, I might as well do what I want to also.

  6. pappy says:

    Our Christmas eve mass was very much the same. But instead of Rudolph,
    the main character was “Mortimer the mouse”.

  7. mpm says:

    I have experienced this “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” sermon myself at a Christmas Mass, but several years ago. The priest was not from the U.S., but spoke English. He actually read the entire “poem” as if there were some great significance to it! I thought I was going nuts.

  8. Allan S. says:

    Please don’t get me started. Everytime I find myself getting annoyed about liturgical silliness I end up chastising myself and force myself to pray the Rosary for priests. Really, we should be grateful even for the bad ones.

    In my (lefty) parish, for example, we often get “Fr. Environment”. It doesn’t matter what the readings are, or what feast day it may be, Fr. can be relied upon to bulldoze some tenous segue to his latest crusade. You know, like “In Christ’s time there were many beautiful trees, but unlike then today we are killing ours” etc. and off we go, never to return to the Gospels or anything else remotely Christian. Last week we had to hear about the “utter failure” of Copenhagen and how our children were now “doomed”. Yes, he said “doomed”.

    Ahh cr@p. Now look what you’ve made me done.

    “In the name of the Father, and….”

  9. ljc says:

    At the end of Mass, but before the final blessing, we had Santa Clause come out and give gifts to all the children… and the Priest. I truly wish I was kidding.

  10. Kevin B. says:

    The silly season is not over yet. My home parish has liturgical dancers every year on Good Friday, fer cryin’ out loud. All I can do now is pray the Rosary for priests, for the continued renewal of the sacred liturgy, and for all the intentions of our Holy Father.

  11. ron.d says:

    I wonder what connections he could have made between our friend Rudy Reindeer and the Mass. The only way I can see it through is if Rudolph is really a symbolic representative of St. Nicholas. Hmmm…

    Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer (St Nicholas)
    had a very shiny nose. (purity?)
    And if you ever saw him, (active participation at mass?)
    you would even say it glows. (purity?, maybe sanctuary lamp?)

    All of the other reindeer (communion of saints)
    used to laugh and call him names. (like patron of Russia)
    They never let poor Rudolph (bishop can’t do everything?)
    join in any reindeer games. (no liturgical abuse)

    Then one foggy Christmas Eve Santa came to say: (wait, I thought St. Nick was Santa??)
    “Rudolph with your nose so bright, (purity)
    won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?” (lead the faithful, okay)

    Then all the reindeer loved him (love in communion of saints)
    as they shouted out with glee, (love continues)
    Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, (St. Nicholas)
    you’ll go down in history! (as St. Nicholas)

  12. pelerin says:

    I could not help noticing that the Priest in the church I attended last weekend actually ‘broke the Host’ when saying ‘He broke the bread’ whereas I understood that this is always done later.

    Eucharistic ministers were employed which some say ‘saves time.’ However at the ‘kiss of peace’ the Priest and two servers came all the way up the aisle to shake hands with everyone present which of course added to the time!

    And does anyone know how I can get the ‘Clapping Gloria’ out of my head? I was saddened to see an 84 year old Priest clapping and swaying in time to the music – how I missed the majestic ‘Gloria in excelcis Deo’ of the Missa de Angelis of my own parish.

  13. Henry Edwards says:

    Here is the brief sermon (which was posted in advance) given at my local parish’s Christmas Eve (Novus Ordo) children’s Mass:

    Our Fr. Brent Shelton tries to fit the situation, but celebrates even a children’s Mass with the same precision and reverence one might see at a TLM. You can be sure that no children were invited up around the altar, or any other such foolishness. (What anyone could think of his homily might be another matter; remember that it was written for children.)

  14. La Sandia says:

    I used to see this kind of nonsense all the time when I was growing up in Rochester, NY, but now that I live in Northern VA I feel a kind of liberation in knowing that for the most part I can walk into a typical parish and not have to worry about having to endure a tidal wave of liturgical abuses and heterodox sermons. However, when visiting my family up in Roc, if unable to make it to the TLM I attend an Eastern Rite Melkite Greek Catholic parish. During the Gospel, all the small children gather around the Priest and put their hands on the lectionary (it is a pretty small parish), then they promptly return to their seats before the sermon. Is this permitted for an Eastern Rite liturgy? I haven’t been to enough Eastern rite churches to know if such a practice is typical, but it was kind of strange considering how difficult it is to take liberties with the Byzantine liturgy.

  15. ckdexterhaven says:

    If this parish has the Santa kneeling in front of the baby Jesus, I don’t wanna know about it….

    Ron.d- LOL Way to look at the bright side. :)

  16. Sigh, I hate liturgical abuses…fortunately, none this year for me :)

  17. patrick_f says:

    Nothing beats the “dialogue” mass I sat through 2 years ago

    Priest “Take this all of you and eat, This is My Body”

    Lector (out of no where) “Now the priest has broken the bread, here we are…we are nourished, now let us see the bread “(me me me, blah blah blah)

    We rarely hear the Christmas Proclamation either, and when we do, its usually done poorly by our music director, who doesnt understand, nor is interested in Chant.

    “At the end of Mass, but before the final blessing, we had Santa Clause come out and give gifts to all the children… and the Priest. I truly wish I was kidding.”

    I have seen this before, it was always after the final blessing though. What you have here is so called “committees” and “councils” that dont know their place.

    “I used to be in a parish where one Sunday a month, the kids would gather in front of the altar and the priest would sit on a stool and preach to them. It was, sadly, a ridiculous waste of time, the talking down to the kids was simply outrageous, everyone would beam at how cute the kids were (true enough)…the seed of doctrine would lie fallow on the floor, pushed around by an errant breeze…but we were happy!”

    This reminds me of “Children’s Liturgy of the Word” where we show how united we are by dismissing our children from the mass, so they can learn about the Gospels from some lay person who barely can profess an orthodox faith. This by far is one of the most “Protestant” things our parish does, its sunday school, when you get to it.

    here is an idea folks, Take the time to learn your faith, and pass it on to your children. Then its more special to them and they are less likely to leave the church…

  18. Roland de Chanson says:

    Odi profanum ritum et arceo.

    I repent the metrical blunder. The sentiment I do not.

    Novus Ordo. Just Say NO.

  19. pelerin says:

    I did get one smile at the ‘Midnight’ Mass – we all sang ‘Away in a Manger'(which is a children’s carol in England) and there was not one single child present! It could have been worse – I noticed that ‘Shine Jesus shine’ was in the hymn book!.

    Also the Priest decided to light the Paschal candle although he did actually admit it was liturgically incorrect but he did it all the same.

  20. JosephMary says:

    I went ‘home’ for Christmas. And ‘home’ to our round church. Father gathered the half dozen children at the Mass on Christmas day and read a story about a girl who stole the baby Jesus out of a manger scene. And many were entertained. After the hour and a half of the Fr. J. show we clapped for the musicians and for the banner makers and for this and for that. And Father has said that he knows when Mass is ‘good’ when he has fun. I think he was having fun.

    I have avoided Sunday Mass in this parish for over a year but it was unavoidable. I generally go to the home of an 86 year old priest to have Mass with him in his chapel; I cannot endure the shenanigans at the ‘gathering of the assembly’. Yes, my confessor reassures me that there are still many graces to be had for the Mass is in valuable. But when gets angry and upset over the political agenda promoted or the narcissism or the entertainment show, it seems to me that the graces are reduced because one is fighting the urge to walk out.

  21. Dr. Eric says:

    How about the time in South East Missouri when I witnessed the priest inviting the kids up to the altar to help consecrate?

    Or when in a northern Indianapolis suburb where one couldn’t find the tabernacle a different priest invited the kids up for the consecration and distributed the Precious Blood in plastic cups?

    Or, this one has to be my favorite, in a Chicago suburb with the pop band up front and the middle aged ladies swaying, a person in front of me self-intincted (is that even a word?) at communion.

    Those are the most egregious ones that I have sat through.

    In Terre Haute, IN a layperson or nun led a “communion service.” I walked out of that one.

  22. Dr. Eric says:

    I forgot, the lady was vested.

  23. Agnes says:

    The liturgical dancers wore red velvet with white ermine this year and the incenser smacked of candy canes.


    Not a trip, not a hiccup, not a blemish. Those of us blessed with parishes with no or little abuse need to offer our Masses for those who suffer under it continually.

  24. patrick_f says:

    Dont get me wrong…. I am thankful for my parish… things could be worse… But there are just little things that come out once in a while, that just make you shake your head.

    People dont realize it, because of the Bishops we have been graced with in St Louis, but there is a defiant liberal streak among many parishes here, and I think it somewhat stems back to the original ethnic “clumps” that our city/county and for that much many cities have. People take ownership in their parishes, probably too much so. So they start thinking of it as “Their Parish” and “Their Church” , they bully the pastor into following the whims of their “Parish Councils” or “Liturgical Committees ” (incidently, I never understood liturgy committees, arent ordos printed yearly???? )

    Maybe its just the hyper sensitivity I have to “Anthrocentric” worship rather then Christocentric. But seriously there are things done in the NOvus ordo, especially as its interpretted by certain parishes that just make you wonder why?

    Dont get me wrong, The EF isnt the norm, so people who do the EF tend to take pride in it. I often wonder, what would be the story if the roles were reversed, if there was a church desperate for reform, and the “old ways” possessed the abuses. If I am not mistaken, part of Trent was standardization, and getting the Latin rite under primarily one liturgy rather then one liturgy per church.

  25. edwardo3 says:

    Dr. Eric,

    When in Central and Southern Indiana I would suggest Sts. Cecilia and Philomena in Oak Forrest. Or the EF Mass at St. Elizabeth’s in Carmel. St. Vincent’s in Bedford and St. Paul’s in Tell City would be good places for the NO at this point.

  26. TNCath says:

    Yes, we have a priest in our diocese who, at the Sign of Peace, asks all the children present who have not made their First Communion, to come up to the altar, where Father gives them a holy card or trinket. It’s one of those “oooh, ahhh” syrupy moments that you dare not ever express concern about lest you be labeled a child hater. I’m sure this would be the case with the “Rudolph Sermon.” One thing is for sure: Father _’s sermon will “go down in hiiii-sto-ryyyy!”

  27. pelerin says:

    One more curiosity from last weekends Masses in a strange church – 4 Kyrie Eleisons, 4 Christe Eleisons, 4 Kyries. Not 3 as in the TLM (the most logical with each one directed to one of the Holy Trinity) or 2 as in the NO.

  28. Penguins Fan says:

    I have seen enough of the children being invited to sit on the steps in front of the altar and other shenanigans. I won’t go to a “Children’s Mass.” Therefore, I give a great “Deo Gratias” for the Pittsburgh Latin Mass Community and Father Myers. I posted last week that the Christmas Eve Mass (the PLMC doesn’t get St. Boniface Church for Midnight Mass) I attended there was the most beautiful Mass I have ever attended.

    When I take my family to my mother’s for Christmas, I make it a point to attend Christmas Mass at home because I am tired of the abuses and the lousy music at her home parish.

  29. Central Valley says:

    I have observed almost all of the abuses listed here in the diocese of Fresno, Ca. There is a parish here, where the pastor, a Prelate of Honor, routinely sits at the altar as female civilians distribute communion. Complaints to the diocese of Fresno go unanswered.

  30. bookworm says:

    On Sunday I attended a Mass at a parish I don’t normally attend, because I had missed an earlier Mass at my “home” parish. The church itself is of mid to late 1980s construction, tabernacle off to the side BEHIND A SCREEN, no crucifix to speak of (well, now you know some reasons why I don’t normally go there) :-)

    Now usually I try not to be TOO picky about what goes on at Mass; I can tolerate bad architecture, sappy hymns (heck I actually like SOME of the Marty Haugen and St. Louis Jesuit stuff), congregation holding hands at the Our Father, girl servers, and lots of EMHC’s as long as the actual words of the Mass aren’t obviously tinkered with.

    What I did notice that kind of bugged me were the following things:

    1. When getting ready for the Penintential Rite, the priest said nothing about actually being penitent or “calling to mind our sins,” just some vague invitation to be mindful of God’s love or something like that. Nothing wrong with being mindful of God’s love, of course, but hellooo, this is called the PENITENTIAL rite for a reason.

    2. During the Creed he very obviously skipped the word “men” in “For us men and for our salvation….” I’ll admit I used to do this myself as I thought “For us and for our salvation” was perfectly adequate without sounding sexist. However, I now realize where tinkering with a word here and there leads to, so I don’t do this anymore, and I don’t appreciate priests who take it upon themselves to do this.

    3. The priest used Eucharistic Prayer I (Roman Canon), but when he came to the lines “Grant us your peace in this life, save us from final damnation, and count us among those you have chosen,” he left out “save us from final damnation”! I don’t think that was accidental.

    The parishes I attend most frequently do NOT display any noticeable liturgical abuses and they are also architecturally beautiful with a reverently placed front-and-center tabernacle.

  31. Rachel Pineda says:

    Dancing around the Altar, Christmas skits during Mass, Chinese dragons processing during name it The beautiful historical old church of St. Francis of Assisi has it.
    It’s painful to watch especially since St. Francis is the patron Saint of our family.

    Please stop liturgucal abuse!

  32. Gwen says:

    I attended Christmas Eve Mass in Stockton CA, first time at this church (I was visiting my brother). I’m in RCIA, so I’m so new at this that I’m not sure if what I observed was right or wrong, but it sure felt wrong. I couldn’t find the holy water font, couldn’t find a crucifix, and could not find a tabernacle. No red candle in sight anywhere. I thought that possibly I’d wandered into a Protestant church, but there was a missal in the pew. The priest donned a wobbly, bouncy, green Christmas tree hat for the homily, during which there was an odd skit. He also wandered through the crowd and shook hands and hugged people. This was my first Christmas Mass as a convert to Catholicism, and I was kind of hoping to hear about, well, Christ. The priest changed the creed to the Apostle’s creed, which I think about six of us in the crowd knew, and announced that he was changing the words to “we believe.” The chorus was great, though. No Latin was heard.

  33. Mary Bruno says:


    We use to have an priest who would on occasion sit during Holy Communion because of medical reasons. There might be a reason the priest you observed sat down.

  34. Interesting. Have any of you ever gone to Mass in the parishes you describe with a mini camera with audio and sent a copy of the tape with a letter to the bishop explaining that if he did not correct this immediately, you were sending it to the local paper and/or YOU TUBE? If not, then don’t complain. The Vatican admits it is learning to utilize the Internet. So should we.

  35. Cathomommy says:

    To La Sandia: The practice you mention in the Eastern Rite (Melkite Greek Catholic) church, of the children of the congregation going up near the lectionary during the reading of the Gospel is common, and I don’t think it is an instance of liturgical abuse. In several of the Melkite parishes I have been to, this has been done. It’s just so they can hear/pay attention to the Gospel a bit better. It’s not any watered down reading, it’s the real deal, and the priest often holds up a crucifix for them to kiss before they return to their seats. seems to draw the kids in without being distracting. Also, I recall that they definitely do not go past the iconstasis, which separates the area where the lectionary is from the main part of the sanctuary with the altar.

  36. doublenan says:

    We experienced no abuses in our n.central IA Midnight and Christmas Day NO Masses. Fr. sang the Penitential Rite, intoned the Latin Gloria, and incensed altar, Book of the Gospels, gifts at the appropriate times. The budding Schola led the Agnus Dei, cantor chanted the Communion antiphon, and Schola sang the Ambrosian chant “Venite Omnis Creatura” after Communion.

  37. Salvatore_Giuseppe says:

    Im with Cathomommy.

    While I am not a fan, I do not think children being invited to the front is a big deal. It was done at my parish, with the kids sitting in front of the first pews, but no further up than the steps (read as: not in the actual sanctuary).

    Again, as I said, I don’t like it, but I don’t think any rubric says we must sit in pews. The kids all stood at the gospel, so no problem there, and went back to the pews after the homily.

    To top it all off, they were FAR more quiet than a normal Mass where kids sit in the pews. It was almost silent(as opposed to the near roar of talking that was going on before Mass).

  38. benyanke says:

    I think Henry Edwards took the words out of my mouth. Our Midnight mass was a NO with the precession, orthodoxy and beauty of a TLM.

    Now as for a liturgical abuse, I don’t know if this was written for being used in church, but if it was, whoever wrote it is sick. Listen to the MP3

  39. Frank H says:

    Rachel Pineda – How you must suffer with those shenanigans! It looks like a very lovely old church, but that “stage” with the table altar must really bring out the theatrical impulses of the priest! At least it appears they didn’t rip out the old high altar!

  40. maynardus says:

    Dr. Eric commented: “I forgot, the lady was vested.”

    Uh, doc, that was no lady. The Blessed Mother is a Lady. My wife is a lady. My mother is a lady.

    That was… a wymyn! (hear her roar!)

  41. JimGB says:

    I think that any regularly practicing Catholic has a horror story about liturgical abuses. Mine was a Midnight Mass about a decade ago at a well-known Catholic college campus in New York City (not a Jesuit university lest some be suspicious) in which the bread that was consecrated was a pita-like bread and not a host. After Communion, the remaining consecrated bread was left on the altar after the priest departed, and was passed around by the congregation. One guy came up to my with a large plate and said “would you care for some Eucharist?” as though he was passing around snacks at a cocktail party. That university has since built a new chapel that is large and impressive, but the tabernacle is in a “chapel” just inside the doors from the narthex, and separated from the main worship space by glass doors, giving the impression that the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in a dark closet. The church is a circular building, with the altar in the middle of the circle and the organ and choir space immediately behind it.

  42. CPKS says:

    Recently I witnessed a Mass held in our parish church (a central town parish) for the Portuguese-speaking community, celebrated by a young Brazilian priest. During the Canon of the Mass, the priest paused frequently whilst the congregation recited a response (which I didn’t understand) – it seemed to be the same response every time. None of the congregation had missals or missal diminutives, so perhaps this was a justifiable gambit to get them to concentrate on the Canon (which I did partially understand, and which seemed to be following the regular order of things).

    A guitar-accompanied folk group supplied musical accompaniment in the essential 4-hymn-sandwich format, whilst a gifted English organist sat up in the organ gallery twiddling his thumbs before the next 4-hymn-sandwich for the English-speaking congregation.

    I have little doubt that the Portuguese-speaking community would find it much easier than the English to follow a Latin Mass, and that if both linguistic communities followed the same Mass it would foster a still more harmonious parish and enhance the sense of Catholicity of both.

  43. catholicmidwest says:

    When you said, “I have experienced this “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” sermon myself at a Christmas Mass, but several years ago. The priest was not from the U.S., but spoke English. He actually read the entire “poem” as if there were some great significance to it! I thought I was going nuts,” I had to laugh out loud.
    But did you run outside and find the sign to see if you were in the *Catholic* church? I’ve done that. More than once.

  44. Francisco Cojuanco says:

    Lucky in my NO parish, there were no liturgical abuses – and it had happened with every Christmas mass, for some reason, with the same priest. But this year, he actually said the black, and did the red. Sure, he droned on and on in his homily unnecessarily like he always does, but this year was a relative miracle – no abuses, no suspect theology. Hopefully he continues this from now on.

  45. patrick_f says:

    The problem with the “modern stuff” , is there is enough bad to outweigh the good

    Haugen, has written some absolutely beautiful music, Song of St Patrick, Shepherd me O God, and to the credit, the Mass of Creation (when done AS WRITTEN) is actually nice, its just over used ridiculously. Some on the traditional side would equate it to the Missa Angelis (which, again gorgeous, is over used, considering the amount of Chant masses)

    The thing for me, thats important to get to the root, is not whether we are progressing, or honoring a liturgy that is 500 years old, but our intent. Is the intent, the actions, Christo Centric, or Anthro Centric. That to me is the real question that needs to be addressed.

    When a mass is Christo Centric, Abuses do not occur, because we stand in fear and trembling. One can JUST AS easily have abuses in a TLM, especially if the mass is carried out in arrogance, rather then true love of Almighty God

  46. Catherine L. says:

    This year, for the first time in my memory (cradle Catholic, 44yrs. old), I attended Christmas Mass without Santa Clause or a parade or skit or tamborines or dancers or guitars. The Novus Ordo I attended was a beautiful Christmas Mass! We had heard from friends that this priest had done this last year so we prayed that he would again this year and traveled 40 miles to be there. I am so very thankful!

  47. James Locke says:

    In my parish in McLean VA, we have a fully circular church that was built in the 60s but is now one of the most conservative parishes in the already diocese of arlington. I just wish that our cathedral was better.

  48. pascal says:

    It is so sad that all this nonsense is going on in our Churches. I live in Leeds UK and we have the same silly Mass as entertainment for the people and their darling children. I have witnessed it in Rotterdam Holland too.
    What will be the final fruits of all this abuse? I think it is designed to destroy the faith of the next generation of Catholics. In time there will be hardly any Catholics left. Maybe they will all morph into happy clappy Protestants, happily contracepting and aborting and going to Church on Sunday as a kind of cultural habit. Sad Sad . . .

  49. Jack Hughes says:

    For the FSSP Mass I now attend I am truely thankful Lord

  50. The-Monk says:

    The best (or worst) Christmas NO I have ever seen happened in Pekin, IL. At the end of Mass, just prior to the blessing, the celebrant told the congregation he had heard a noise on the roof and he thought it might be Santa Claus. The kids became ecstatic. Suddenly, Santa Claus appeared at the front door of the church, bearing the Christ child. Santa walked up the aisle slowly and reverently, then placed the Christ child in the manger and prayed for a moment. Amidst the ooh’s and ahh’s (and some tears being shed, too), the celebrant told the children this is what the true Christmas is about. The celebrant then blessed the congregation and Santa Claus and both waltzed down the aisle wishing all a “Merry Christmas” to the carol, Joy to the World.

    I wish I could invent this stuff.

  51. PreVatII says:

    I, thankfully, have a SSPX chapel down the street. Midnight Mass (High Mass) was beautiful! And the only liturgical abuse was possibly my brave attempt to serve as Acolyte #2, and trying not to trip carrying the altar Missal.

    Semper Fidelis

  52. patrick_f says:

    The-Monk kind of illustrates my point… Christocentricy. However, the red flag would be whether or not this was done during the mass. The final blessing denotes the mass.

    Also technically there was an abuse, because I believe the rubrics call for this to occur as mass begins, though I may be wrong

  53. wanda says:

    Dear Gwen, God bless you and welcome home. Please do not give up after what you witnessed at Christmas Mass. That is not what goes on in the majority of Catholic Churches. (Good grief, a wobbly christmas tree hat? Ugh, nightmares.)

    I know that your faith and perseverance will be rewarded. May the Peace of Christ dwell in you richly.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holy New Year, including prayers that all find the Church with beautiful, holy Priests who celebrate reverent, sacred liturgies.

  54. mpm says:

    Comment by catholicmidwest — 29 December 2009 @ 11:12 pm


    No, because the church was the parish church where I grew up, and I walked there like an old horse going to the barn!

    I also must say that the priest said the Mass properly, it was his “homily” that blew me away. Charitably, I assumed that being a foreigner he thought was doing some great homage to the American spirit of Christmas, but POLEEZE!

  55. Yay! Liturgical horror stories! (Hence, my sarcasm.)

    Well, good thing my parish in NoVa didn’t have that problem — although it was an overflow Mass at a high school, there were no suspicious things, theologically speaking. There were a lot of bad audio problems though, and a guy was texting the whole Mass behind me, but those are two other things.

    Plus, the priests there were (and still are) pretty orthodox, so God bless them for that. Just hope that none of you have suffered anything worse. :-)

  56. ericr says:

    Having had a similar experience, I wonder if anyone knows of a way to avoid this problem.

    Traveling to Florida to visit my Methodist in-laws, I took my family to the Christmas-eve service at an older church in Sarasota. I won’t go into all the gory detail but let’s just say that when “Happy Birthday, Jesus” was sung as the offertory hymn, I had had enough.

    Does anyone know of a website (or some other source) that one can consult before traveling which can point you in the direction of orthodoxy in liturgy and preaching? I have consulted MASSTIMES but all this does is give, as the name would suggest, the times of the Masses. It says nothing about their character. I think such a source would make a great iPhone app.

  57. Dr. Eric says:


    When we lived in Fishers, IN we attended Divine Liturgy at St. Athanasius which is just south of I-70 the Liturgy of the Byzantine Catholic Church is beautiful.

    We also attended St. Jean Vianney when driving the 30 miles to Liturgy was too much for the day. SJV was a small parish in Noblesville and the priest there is dynamically orthodox, he is building a new parish that is going to be beautiful.

  58. edwardo3 says:


    Did they use the “Happy, Happy Birthday Baby” tone or the plain “Happy Birthday” tone we are all so familiar with. I’ve heard both at Christmas Mass, and well, what else can be said.

  59. ericr says:


    I have tried to purge the whole experience from my memory banks so I am not in a position to answer your question. It was dreadful, however–I do remember that. I shouldn’t admit this, but I put the offering envelope back into my pocket. As I strongly support my home parish I feel I still abide by the precepts of the Church.

  60. An American Mother says:

    Oh, dear, I can’t STAND the “Massive Cremation”. It’s not just from incessant repetition, either. Haugen is rather like Rutter, he has a few good works but the rest is pretty forgettable and in something of a typecast form (I almost said ‘rut’ but thought better of it).

    As our music director says, “I knew the first time I heard the Mass of Creation that it was just awful, and that everybody was going to LOVE it.”

    We’re trying to phase it out, but the elderly hippies in the parish just don’t want to let it go. At least we chant the Missa de Angelis every first Sunday (its novelty hasn’t worn off around here yet) and a nice chant-based four-part Mass written by our music director. He has a taste for somewhat cerebral music, and it’s a bit difficult to sing, but it sounds great downstairs.

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