QUAERITUR: Do I say an “Amen!” in the 1st Eucharistic Prayer? POLL

Novus Ordo: optional

From a reader:

I have not spent too much time observing the four Eucharistic prayers but I recall that, particularly in the Roman Canon / Eucharistic Prayer I, the priest has the option of saying “Through Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Are the people supposed to say the Amen, as is commonly heard, or is it reserved for the priest?

Good question.


Usus Antiquior: quiet and not optional

First, the Roman Canon (1st Eucharistic Prayer) is probably not commonly heard in many parishes.  I suspect that younger priests are bring it back.  It is hard to say how many use the traditional though optional (in the Novus Ordo) “Through Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Second, in the traditional manner of recitation of the Roman Canon, in the older form of the Roman Rite, the text “Through Christ our Lord. Amen.” comes several times and it is not an option.  The priest must say it and no one responds.  The Canon is silent, of course.

In the Novus Ordo version of the Roman Canon, there are no rubrical indications that the congregation is supposed to join the priest in saying “Amen” in that optional conclusion.  I also did not see anything in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal.

I conclude that, no, people are not to say “Amen” with the priest if he opts to use that conclusion in the Novus Ordo.

That said, I can’t see much harm being done by people saying “Amen”.  I, for one, if I have to say Mass in English, use only the Roman Canon and I use that optional conclusion.  Sometimes I hear some people quietly “amening” in the pews.  Fine.

Frankly, we should just go back to a silent Canon and have done with the options.

Do I hear an “Amen!”?

Let’s find out.

Here is a little poll.  Please pick your best answer and, if you are registered to comment, add your explanation, below.

In the Novus Ordo should priests return to a "silent"/"quiet" Canon/Eucharistic Prayer?

View Results

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  1. Legisperitus says:

    One silent Amen here!

  2. jesusthroughmary says:

    I chose “Yes, for all the EPs”, although I still have never heard a satisfactory explanation for the artificial creation and imposition of other Eucharistic prayers.

  3. Ben Trovato says:

    … for the Lord was not in the noise of the people, nor in the chatter of the priest, but in the silence…

  4. iPadre says:

    I have been using the Roman Canon exclusively since the new translation came out over a year ago now. The silent Canon would speak volumes in our noise laden society.

    I have never used the endings in the OF. Just so accustomed to not doing or seeing them done, that I have never done them.

  5. Stephen says:

    I said yes for all the Eucharistic Prayers, but by “all” I really mean, let’s do away with those that aren’t the Roman Canon. Let’s leave the option to shorten the Roman Canon, I can see that daily Mass adding two minutes can make a difference between the people making it to work on time or back to work if Mass is during the lunch hour. But Sunday those omissions should not be an option.
    I’m willing to admit I’m a bit of an armchair liturgist here but it just makes sense and seems to strike a chord with the ideas put forth in SC.

  6. Inigo says:

    I know a priest, who uses the Roman Canon in the NO, but instead of saying it aloud, or silently, he recites it recto tono. It is really beautiful and uplifting.

  7. Frank H says:

    Our terrific young Parochial Vicar uses the Roman Canon exclusively, and he says each “Through Christ Our Lord. Amen”. I don’t recall hearing any “Amens” from the congregation. (He also offers a weekly Extraordinary Form Low Mass.)

    The only problem I see with the silent Eucharistic Prayer is how will the congregation know which option the priest is praying? Does he say the first line audibly?

  8. acardnal says:

    My “young” pastor is in his early 40’s and a member of Legionaries of Christ (he’s in the process of leaving the LC and becoming incardinated as a diocesan priest). He usually prays the Roman Canon/EP 1 in the Novus Ordo especially on Solemnities and uses chant sometimes. He usually uses the “Through Christ Our Lord. Amen” phrase; most of those in the pews say “amen” together with Father.

  9. Phil_NL says:

    Frankly, I see no benefits in a silent canon. It may be personal, but I have never experienced that as being more reverent or inviting to prayer. In fact, it’s likely to make me wonder ‘where would he be?’ or ‘that was fast’ or ‘hurry up already’ – if my thoughts are related to the canon at all. Sensual deprivation is not a guarantee of filling the void with something more appropriate. Far from it.

    On the other hand, the Roman canon is quite beautiful in terms of its text. I love to hear it, and it does inspire. Now since God would hear a silent canon just as well as one that’s prayer aloud, I prefer the audible version. A reverently prayed text in my ears keeps my mind where it should be far better than anything else, even if I’m not really listening cause I know what’s being said anyway. It does serve as a – sometimes needed – reminder what one should be focussed on, and is therefore an aid I’d rather not dispense with.

    As for the parts that are to be said by the priest or the congregation: it would be interesting to see what the missals / missalettes say on this matter, some do indicate this. In fact, ours does indicate that the last Amen of the Eucharistic prayer should be said by all, including in the Roman canon. (which, in fact, has been making a reappearance in the pasts years, the most common Dutch missalette has it, in the slightly abbreviated ‘1b-form’ for many feasts. Our parish used the full Roman canon anyway on those occasions, in the full form, so no change for us, but elsewhere it definitely had an impact)

  10. Banjo pickin girl says:

    All of our O.P. priests use EP I. Sometimes they use one of the other prayers. They usually leave out the list of saints though which drives me nuts. I have a friend Anastasia. I met her at St. Cecilia’s. So the list of saints always makes me think of her.

  11. danivdp says:

    I don’t regularly go the the Novus Ordo liturgy, but when I do, and the priest uses the 1st EP, I *really* enjoy hearing it aloud. My pastor used the 1st EP every once in a while, and it is the most beautiful, IMO. If there was only one EP, then I could see it being silent, but I always have a hard time trying to figure out what prayers the priest is using when I go to the NO (and I have no problems at the EF)

  12. disco says:

    I voted indifferent only because I almost exclusively attend mass in the usus antiquior.

    I personally wish there was no such thing as EP II, III, or IV.

  13. Steve Cavanaugh says:

    At my Anglican Use parish, the Roman Canon is used at every Mass. The laity do say the Amen at the conclusion of “Through Christ Our Lord.”
    I voted that the Canon be said in an audible voice. However, I would qualify that with saying it should not be said or sung in a “loud” voice. In a properly designed church, a normal voice can be heard, even ad orientem, and is likely to help people become quiet as they make aural space for the priest’s prayer. ( I also abhor microphones in church and think they should be banned. )
    Some might say, well you could just follow a silent canon in your missal or missalette. To that I would remind people that the vast majority of Catholics (i.e., the Third World) do not have access to and cannot afford missals and missalettes. Also, I think that the audibly prayed canon helps people to “pray the Mass” (and not just pray at Mass) which was a central and valuable part of the liturgical movement, from it’s 19th century beginnings.

  14. JonPatrick says:

    I’m torn. I usually go to the EF and the silent canon, but when we are in Lewiston ME if we go to the 10 AM Ordinary Form Mass they always use EP 1 and I do like listening to the beautiful and reverent language especially now with the new translation. If it were silent I guess I’d have to get an OF Missal so I could follow along.

  15. mamajen says:

    The priest I had growing up said it very quietly so it was inaudible, but we could tell he was praying. I was taught that they were his special prayers to say and the congregation didn’t participate in that part. I don’t necessarily dislike hearing them, but I think when the priest does not say them aloud it emphasizes his special role. I guess my preference is what I grew up with.

  16. cwalshb says:

    What does the first option mean? I say do away with the EPs that aren’t the Canon. Why, except for the sake of time, would you not pray the Canon (and if you can do a 30 minute EF Low Mass on the weekday, you can definitely do 30 minute OF Mass with the Canon)?

    And yes to silence, which might have a greater impact on the sense of reverence and mystery than requiring the Canon to be said (though, of course, the point of the liturgy is not to give people “feelings”).

  17. Finarfin says:

    I’m with Phil_NL and Steve Cavanaugh: the Roman Canon said aloud, but not so loud people mistake the prayers as being directed to them, and not to God the Father.

  18. cregduff says:

    I answered ‘yes’ to all Eucharistic Prayers, but have a proviso.
    I think that should only be true if the priest is celebrating ad orientem.
    And the more ad orientem masses celebrated, and with a silent canon, the better.


  19. teomatteo says:

    I like hearing the EP. I’m so radical that i think i’d prefer to mic the priest and then i could hear the E.prayer at the EF mass.

  20. I voted for all the EP’s…but there was an option I think missed. I think the words of Consecration should be said aloud, and the rest of the prayer silent.

  21. Adam Welp says:

    I’m not sure how to vote. I like the silent Cannon, but if it is said aloud you can tell if the priest, of questionable orthodoxy, is actually saying the black.

  22. Justin_Kolodziej says:

    Like the rest of Mass, it should be sung and not merely said.

  23. Amandil says:

    I definitely understand that just because the Canon is silent in the EF doesn’t mean it forces you to think more appropriate thoughts at that point, but – just imagining a spoken-aloud Canon in the EF – I think it would kind of wreck the atmosphere a bit, or at least the atmosphere I’m used to. I might compare it with a bright flood-light that makes things too bright and visible, to the point of looking artificial. That’s not to say that it isn’t appropriate to have a spoken-aloud Canon in the OF, because the two forms aren’t exactly the same thing. I just think that the silent Canon in the EF is pretty good the way it is.

    On the “Amen” question, I don’t know any official rubrical answer but if either responding or not is OK, I would prefer not having the people respond because traditionally, the people wouldn’t even hear the Canon, so they definitely wouldn’t be doing any responding. It’s a good “nod” to the traditional practice to have no responses in the Canon, which is, after all, the priest’s prayer.

  24. Quanah says:

    I voted “no.” Though I must admit I am unfamiliar with the history and reasons that the canon is silent. I am also influenced by the Byzantine practice of the anaphora being prayed aloud. I would rather hear and not see, than see and not hear.

  25. Legisperitus says:

    Just throwing in some kerosene– er, I mean, the Council of Trent, session 22, Canon IX:

    “If any one saith, that the rite of the Roman Church, according to which a part of the canon and the words of consecration are pronounced in a low tone, is to be condemned; or, that the mass ought to be celebrated in the vulgar tongue only; or, that water ought not to be mixed with the wine that is to be offered in the chalice, for that it is contrary to the institution of Christ; let him be anathema.”

  26. Phil_NL says:

    yawn, Legisperitus. read carefully, and you’ll see none of the clauses describe any post or comment made in this thread.

  27. Didacus says:

    I voted No, as I think it is very important for people to follow the Canon: a way to pray along and understand the Lord is coming at that precise moment. As I am only 20 yo, I grew up without getting to see the Roman Canon to use. Gladly, I now know of a Priest who uses it on a daily basis and the first time I heard it tears dropped form my eyes. It is the most beautiful prayer I have ever heard, and I cherish it in my heart ever since. To think “Lord’s holy and lovely hands” are performing the transubstantiation in front of me…

  28. fvhale says:

    Regarding “Rogue Amen”: I find the worst offense from the pews is when a reading from an epistle ends with “Amen” and several members of the congregation, on autopilot, respond “Amen!” while the lector tries to finish the reading (e.g., 2nd reading, 1 Tim 6:11-16, 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year C).

    My own preference for Eucharistic Prayers was not on the survey: Chanted, silent ad orientem, then spoken versus populum (all of them). Chant is best. If you no can chant and are going to face the people, you might as well let them actively participate by listening to the priest recite the prayers aloud.

    From the rubrics of the Missale Romanum editio tertia: the people should be quiet from the end of the Sanctus until the end of the Eucharistic Prayer. It afflicts me to hear, usually from an older person who was probably instructed that way, a voice in the pews reciting the doxology, or the consecration, from the Eucharistic prayer. The people should be moving their hearts to God, not their lips (Sursum corda. Habemus ad Dominum.)
    EP I end with the Priest saying: “per omnia saecula saeculorum.” Then the rubric is “Populus acclamat:” and the text “Amen.” Same for EP II, EP III, EP IV.
    Regarding the optional parts, the rubric at the end of the Sanctus, before the Prefaces, second paragraph, says:
    “In Prece eucharistica prima, seu Canone romano, ea quae inter parentheses includuntur omitti possunt.” So I guess a priest using EPI can omit the parenthetical conclusion (Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.)

  29. St. Epaphras says:

    Let the priest decide whether to say the EP silently, quietly or aloud. My preferences would be: Roman Canon only, said in a low(ish) voice — as if he were actually speaking to God and not to US (imagine that!!) — ad orientem and with absolutely no “playing to the crowd”. (The latter might be less of a problem if the priest is not then facing the people.)

  30. Will D. says:

    My pastor and our regular visiting priest nearly always pray the canon. They include the full list of saints about half the time, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard them include “Through Christ our Lord. Amen.”

  31. acricketchirps says:

    I chose silent Roman Canon only, because it shouldn’t be an option not to use it.

    The worst choice is let it be an option as the priest chooses. NO MORE OPTIONS! Every point in the Mass where an option is allowed tells us subconsciously: “It just isn’t that important”. Next thing you know priests are making up their own mass.

  32. Inigo says:

    How about this: the Canon should be sung at all concelebrated masses, and a bishop should sing it at all times.

  33. fvhale says:

    From Gueranger, The Holy Mass, pp. 96-97, available from Baronius:

    The Preface being finished, the Sanctus is sounded, and the Priest then enters within the cloud. His voice will not be heard again, until the Great Prayer is concluded. …
    the termination will be signalised by the Priest himself, who will utter the concluding words in a loud voice: Per omnia saecula saeculorum; to which the Faithful will add their Amen
    So then, it is to be observed that the Priest says the whole of this Great Prayer, the Canon, in an undertone, not excepting even the various Amen which conclude the separate Prayers of which the Canon is composed….
    In the Seventeenth Century the Jansenist heretics tried to introduce the abuse of reciting the Canon of the Mass aloud….

  34. fvhale says:

    Also from Gueranger, p. 219:

    After these words […Hosana in excelsis!] commences the Canon, that mysterious prayer in the midst of which Heaven bows down to earth, and God descends unto us. The voice of the Priest is no longer heard; yea, even at the Altar, all is silence. It was thus, says the Book of Wisdom, in the quiet of silence, and while the night was in the midst of her course, that the Almighty Word came down from His royal throne.” [Wisd. xviii.14, 15] Let us await Him in a like silence, and respectfully fix our eyes on what the Priest does in the holy place.

    Wisdom 18 is speaking of the Passover experience in Egypt (Exodus 11-13), and it is a most fitting reference point for Eucharist: Eat the Lamb, and go out.

  35. mamajen says:

    Adam Welp:

    It seems to me that most priests who improvise do so because they want to be heard improvising. I think it’s less likely that they would change the words if they didn’t have an audience to hear them.

  36. pmullane says:

    I definitely think it should be an option to pray the Eucharistic Prayers silently. Personally, however, I think most important point is to try to emphasise when the prayer is directed at The Lord and when the priest is talking to the people. A return to ad orientem worship would do this, and in that context a silent canon would make more sense.

  37. PJMurray says:

    An instance when the silent canon would be ideal in the novus ordo is when the choir sings a polyphonic Mass. The Sanctus and Benedictus of most polyphonic Masses are two separate movements and are quite lengthy. (Some priests might argue that they “hold things up”.) This would allow musicians to restore an ancient practice that is oft neglected because of its incompatibility with the novus ordo.

  38. Matt R says:

    I wouldn’t have a problem with a silent Canon. I also think that EP III should be kept, and said silently only on optional memorials and ferial days. The Canon would be used any day, but especially Sundays, solemnities, memorials, and feasts.

  39. WesleyD says:

    I would love to see the OF with a canon spoken ad orientem, non-silently. The priest need not raise his voice loudly (because this is how one would speak if he wanted the congregation to hear every word), nor should he say it silently (because this is how one would speak if he wanted the congregation to not hear any words). Indeed, both of these options indicate that the volume of his voice is being determined by his preoccupation with the congregation. Rather, the priest should speak at a normal volume, indicating that he is speaking to God, and the issue of what percentage of his words can be heard by the congregation is simply not his concern.

    As far as the prayers: I have no objection to the Pope approving additional canons, because to deny them this right is to say that they are less papal than Gregory the Great and Ambrose (who wasn’t even a pope) and the other great Fathers who composed canons that have been used for more than fourteen centuries. However, in my opinion Eucharistic Prayer II is too short, and some of its omissions make it less than ideal for catechesis. The Mass itself is the Church’s first catechesis, and therefore I strongly believe we need either a non-silent canon or to encourage the widespread use of missals in Church. The former of these has the more ancient pedigree, but either is fine with me.

  40. vanrooye says:

    As a priest I love to pray E.P. 1 – and I use it most Sunday Masses. I would prefer to pray the canon silently, or in a much lower tone. But until the people are ready for a nearly silent canon, I tend to chant the canon (not very loudly, using the tone in the Missal) – with hopes that this conveys some of the transcendence and mystery of the silent canon in the Traditional Latin Mass.

  41. Random Friar says:

    I don’t recite the “amens,” for the reason some people stated, that people often go into autopilot.

    I try to keep EPI intact, although I have shortened the saints’ list for daily Masses. It helps when time is tight. I tend to sing the EPI for Sundays and feast days when people are not rushed.

  42. Kathy C says:

    I voted to make it silent. My reasoning may be very wrong, and I wouldn’t mind hearing feedback. I can’t stay focused during the prayers. My mind drifts off to stupid stuff. If the priest’s prayer was silent I would be able to devote that time to private prayer or devotions. As it is I know I’m not supposed to do that, so I’m in a constant struggle to pay attention. Reading along in the missalette isn’t much help.

  43. Robertus Pittsburghensis says:

    There should be only one “eucharistic prayer”.

    Whether I can hear it or not makes no difference to me.

  44. Phil_NL says:

    Kathy C,

    For some people that seems to work – setting aside the desirability to pray something else than the Mass at Mass – for others, myself included, it makes it only worse.

  45. jkm210 says:

    I, and I would think many other Catholics, have a pretty much Pavlovian response of saying “Amen” any time I hear “…through Christ our Lord.” It would take a lot of effort to stop!

  46. AnnAsher says:

    I voted “indifferent”. Because it doesn’t make a difference to me whether the priest says the Eucharistic prayers aloud or in silence. However, if there is going to be added times of silence in the Novus Ordo then I would vote in favor of the priest offering silent prayers. What bothers me is this false, invented, inactive, awkward silences that are practiced in Novus Ordo communities which effectively -ruptures- the prayer of the Mass. It is silence interruptus vs. active interior participative silence which is what happens in Usus Antiquior when the priest is praying silently. Which is kinda ironic since the New Order folks are all about pariticipation. Seriously- at UA my heart prays with the priest beginning to end – at NO when they insert these awkward silences of waiting (after readings; the psalm, after communion) and priest just sits on his rumpus… I experience a spiritual physical rupture in prayer. like hanging on an edge.

  47. AnnAsher says:

    Kathy C- it is absolutely OK for you to participate in Mass by praying other devotions. V2 – the pastoral council of suggestions and not rule- encouraged us to pray the Mass. However, there is no forbidding of private devotions as a means (intention is key) to unite yourself to the priests actions of offering The Sacrifice of Our Redemption. I pray rosaries and DM chaplets at NO masses.

  48. fvhale says:

    Dear AnnAsher, Thank you for your comments about silence in the NO, which I found most interesting, especially the specific examples you provided: “at NO when they insert these awkward silences of waiting (after readings; the psalm, after communion) .”

    Although I do not know the details of your liturgical experience, I would like to suggest that perhaps it is a good effort on the part of the priest (“on his rumpus”) that is, perhaps, not working for you.

    The GIRM actually has something to say about silence “after readings; the psalm,” in n. 56:

    The Liturgy of the Word is to be celebrated in such a way as to favor meditation, and so any kind of haste such as hinders recollection is clearly to be avoided. In the course of it, brief periods of silence are also appropriate, accommodated to the assembled congregation; by means of these, under the action of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God may be grasped by the heart and a response through prayer may be prepared. It may be appropriate to observe such periods of silence, for example, before the Liturgy of the Word itself begins, after the First and Second Reading, and lastly at the conclusion of the Homily.”

    And in regard to after Communion, there is GIRM n. 88:

    When the distribution of Communion is over, if appropriate, the Priest and faithful pray quietly for some time….

    Again, without knowing what you are experiencing, it may be that the silence feels forced or awkward; it may just be a matter of a little needed catechesis, or an invitation to leave behind the business and noise of our world and use the opportunities provided by the Mass for quiet prayer and recollection, both when receiving our Lord through the Word and through the Blessed Sacrament.

    I will pray for you!

  49. fvhale, I would concur strongly with Anne Asher in her perception that at least some of the GIRM-mandated periods of inserted silence in the OF–in particular, those following the sermon and the distribution of communion–are artificial and ineffective for meaningful prayer by many or most people, even those who are most serious and prayerful in their worship, practiced in silent prayer and habitually occupying every available silent moment in the liturgy with conscious mental prayer.

    In contrast with the liturgically natural periods of silence that occur in the EF, where worshipers who are experienced in praying the Mass (in the sense described by Pius X) can utilize virtually every silent moment to unite their own prayer with that of the priest, because they know by experience what prayers the priest is saying at every moment and how long the will take. For instance, one who anticipates how long the silence during the priest’s ablutions following communion will last, he can fashion his own pattern of prayers of thanksgiving to fit the available time.

    Whereas when the priest seats himself after communion for the mandated period of inserted silence, no one present–perhaps not even he himself–knows how long he will remain seated, and thus how long will be available for silent prayer. Therefore it is impossible to plan to use that period for specific prayers. For instance, one who might otherwise pray the Aquinas prayer of thanksgiving at this moment, or the Anima Christi in a particular contemplative manner, has no idea whether sufficient time will be available. If one has a good idea with one priest, it may be entirely different with another. So, I feel pretty sure, most people feel forced precisely NOT to pray during this unpredictable period of time, and instead to vacate their mind or daydream to wait for it to end, so they can start praying again.

  50. Joe in Canada says:

    I voted ‘no’ and my reasons/concerns have been mentioned above. The participation of the congregation is facilitated better, I think, by hearing then by reading. But it should be clear that the Eucharistic Prayer is addressed to God the Father, not to the congregation. In fact that would be my concern with an instruction from the CDW to celebrate ad orientem, that priests will feel the need to be miked.

    I attended an ordination several years ago where one of the ordinandi had a brother studying classical music, so they decided to have classical music. The quartet sang a Sanctus from (if I recall correctly) Haydn’s Missa brevis sancti Iohannis. But just the Sanctus. Then the organ played for at least 5 minutes. Then the quartet sang the Benedictus. I imagine it comes from a Baroque or Classical practice to play while the Priest says the prayer, stop for the little elevations, and then sing the Benedictus while the priest finishes the EP. It was very awkward, us watching the Bishop and the altar party watching us.

    This is usual in the Byzantine Churches, and when the Liturgy of St Basil is offered, which has a significantly longer Anaphora, the judicious choir will sing a slower and longer Sanctus. And no organ.

  51. fvhale says:

    Dear Henry Edwards, you are right, of course.
    Although these periods of silence for prayer are clearly mentioned in the GIRM since 1969, in practice they are often skipped (for the sake of time, to keep people from daydreaming instead of praying, etc.)
    There has been little effort that I can recall to actually help the congregation actively listen to the readings sufficiently for them to be able to spend time silently praying with them after hearing the readings.
    And often on Sundays there are other pressures–musicians wanting to fill the silences, children and adults filling a silence after communion with contemplation of donuts and coffee after Mass, etc.
    I have seen very little good practice of silence in the Ordinary Form, regardless of the calls for it in the GIRM for over 40 years. All the “actively participating” liturgical folks, including many dear priests, seem very uncomfortable with any silence at a Sunday Mass, and so many want to “get the show on the road” on weekday Masses.
    I think it is a sign of a culture that fears silence, and reflection. What if heard that still small voice of God? Distracting modern architectures do not help, either. I think the GIRM is aiming at us having the same attitude of reverence and awe at the Word of God as we do at the Blessed Sacrament, but we are still so short in practice. And after communion, some leave right away, having gotten what they want. Many who stay then want “the next musical number” or a quick conclusion to get on with the day. We are so poorly habituated to sitting silently in prayer and awe before our God, that, in spite of the GIRM, it is indeed awkward and uncomfortable without habits, patterns, and formation in liturgical silence.

  52. I voted “indifferent”. Put the Epiklesis [the direct address to the Holy Spirit to make the Sacrifice acceptable] back into the O.F. Roman Canon and I might care more. oh. wait. Its one of the reasons I prefer the E.F.

    If the O.F. is attended by those who need to hear the Mass and see the priests actions, then maybe its best to say the Canon softly at least. And with all the possible options, its easier to know what exactly the priest is doing. The words of the Mass are actually being directed to God the Father anyway, but this detail is lost on most attendees. And gosh, in these barren churches where there is nothing to look at to keep one’s mind on the mysteries, where most music causes scandal and teaches heresy, maybe the priest’s voice could help the faithful pray.

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