“Liturgies” compared

In the combox under a different entry, one of the participants here posted a link to a video that wasn’t perfectly relevant to the topic, but… I can’t resist sharing it with a wider audience.

Keep in mind that the Latin Church example is pretty strange.  I don’t the maker of the video had any intention to be “fair”.  But that underscores a problem, doesn’t it?  The Novus Ordo is susceptible to this.

Anyway… it is an interesting video.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Timbot2000 says:

    Father! I just ate……where is the Maalox?

  2. wmeyer says:

    Wisely, they kept the segments from LA brief! Still, it provokes tears.

  3. chantgirl says:

    The music from Moscow was beautiful! Perhaps I truly am what several have accused me of being- ren faire – but sometimes I wonder if I was born in the wrong century! It can be a penance to be a Latin rite Catholic today. Thank God for the EF.

  4. James0235 says:

    I see some obvious similarities between these Liturgies: Both were valid and neither was Catholic.

  5. anj says:

    It is an outrage. What else is there to say? Where are the adults? How can this be allowed?

  6. Ralph says:

    That was a downer.

  7. I couldn’t make it through the whole video!

  8. priests wife says:

    This is comparing apples and oranges- the Roman-rite Mass is from the ‘congress’ outside of the cathedral. Although I prefer my own rite, it is pride that made this video…

  9. anilwang says:

    You don’t have to go as far as Moscow to see the contrast. Any typical NO mass in my area is far more reverent than the LA liturgical abuse mass.

    How these severe liturgical abuses have been allowed to continue in LA, despite having Cardinal Gómez being in charge of LA and the Pope’s clamp down on liturgical abuse is saddening. Why is this still happening? Is it just that bishops are waiting for the biological solution to kick in?

  10. jilly4ski says:

    I agree with priests wife. These are non comparable liturgical events. The Mass from the ending of that terrible conference in LA, versus the Patriarch of Moscow’s good Friday services. Why not compare an actual papal Mass, or even the Easter Sunday Mass or Good Friday service of an bishop/archbishop?

    Sigh, but th

  11. chantgirl: “It can be a penance to be a Latin rite Catholic today. “

    Or white martrydom? At least, for some who have suffered serial liturgical abuse for almost a half century now.

  12. Father, that’s a horrific comparison. Spot on perhaps, but terrible to see.

    There is a shortage of Eastern Rite Catholic Divine Liturgies on YouTube. Orthodox, yes. I have a blog page that lists the more complete Catholic ones that I’ve found (sorry to advertise my blog here but I don’t know of another list). (I have some Orthodox ones listed too because of the shortage of Catholic ones.)


    Missing from the list is this one which is split into 5 parts:

    Ukrainian-Greek Catholic in Cantonese

    There is this Western Rite Orthodox Mass (Tridentine in English, pre-1950s I think, not brilliant quality video:

    I’ve asked a Western Rite Orthodox priest to post a complete one of their Tridentine Mass, aka the Divine Liturgy of Pope St Gregory said in English, hopefully he will.

  13. idelsan says:

    Jaw drop. Literally.

  14. jbas says:

    First Things features a fine article entitled “Tragic Worship” in which Protestant Carl R. Trueman takes a new approach to identifying the essence of our liturgical problem. It’s worth the read.

  15. CatholicintheAgeofAquarius says:

    The “service” at the parish of my youth is much closer now to LA. I wonder what the average byzantine Mass is like? This video is hyperbole, but it gets at a truth. I’ve had to leave the parish I attended all my life so that my children don’t wind up leaving for evangelical protestantism as I did in my 20’s. What was the difference, after all? Jesus was the same everywhere and the music was much better. Like Led Zeppelin vs. an elevator version of Hall and Oates, right!?

    Oh, and did anyone notice that female priest grabbing the bishop’s hat? ; )

  16. MouseTemplar says:

    Whoa. The last time I saw a Deacon dancing I left the Church for some 25 years. I thought we were done with this carnival stuff ? Nevermind, I came back 13 years ago and I intend to stick it out this time. Goin’ for that White Martyr’s Crown.

  17. JabbaPapa says:

    UUURRRGGHHH that LA “mass” is just HORRID.

    I would refuse to participate in such sacrilegious HORROR masquerading as “catholic”.

  18. MouseTemplar says:

    CatholicintheAgeofAquarius–that wasn’t a female priest, that was a Bishop’s Babe. We have them in our diocese. Ours travels with the Bishop and dresses almost like he does, and grabs his hat and his crosier from time to time. There may be other duties, but that is what we’ve observed…..

  19. Robbie says:

    I threw up in my mouth watching that. That was a disgrace to the Catholic Church. I simply can’t believe anyone, Bishops no less, would participate in a hootenanny hoedown like that. Absolutely disgraceful.

  20. Jeannie_C says:

    I am not a hand clapping head bopping kind of worshipper and I would not be comfortable at that Mass. It is obvious, though, that they have an entire congregation who do prefer to worship in that manner. How is this different than any of the cultural variations we see worldwide? Definitely not for me, but I will not join in on the nasty, snarky criticisms of those who prefer their traditional style. It reduces your credibility and does nothing to promote the TLM, rather lends more evidence of your holier-than-thou attitude. Get over yourselves.

  21. NarniaJMN says:

    I feel so sorry for Arbp Jose Gomez. High hope that he can one day change the hearts of the ‘PRODUCERS’ of the LA Rel Ed Congress Closing Mass.
    Here is a link to the entire 2 hour 2013 LAREC closing mass. 15 minutes of liturgical dance with applause before procession which is led by another gp of liturgical dancers.
    The sad part is so many Catholic school teachers, Parish Rel Ed catechists, Youth Ministers are petitioning the parish to send them to the great LA Rel Ed Congress as part of their faith formation program, esp in the Year of Faith.
    If anyone can give me the links of short video depicting LA Rel Ed Congress liturgical abuse, or appearance of dissent catholic speakers. Thank you.

  22. ppb says:

    This video has been around for several years and I’ve seen it before. I would agree with those who have already stated that it’s an unfair comparison: this is taking the best of one tradition and comparing it with the worst in another. That LA religious education conference is one of the worst; it is simply *not* representative of what the vast majority of Catholics want or experience in their parishes. With that said, the video does make a point: why are things as outlandish as that allowed to happen at all in a Catholic liturgy?

  23. joecct77 says:

    What did we expect? 40 years of bad catechesis has led us to this.

    Reason number 3,125,421 for Summorum Pontificum

  24. Pingback: Liturgies – Catholic vs Orthodox | Catholicism and Adventism

  25. wmeyer says:

    I would agree with those who have already stated that it’s an unfair comparison: this is taking the best of one tradition and comparing it with the worst in another.

    Oh, if only this were the worst. Have you forgotten the closing liturgy of the Call to Action 2008 gathering? Or flocking, or swarming… whatever is the right term.

  26. To be fair, I’ve seen at the parish level in ADLA things clean up a bit, even if the REC hasn’t been cleaned up yet. “The Mahony Rite” should definitely not be used as a comparison for Catholic to Orthodox Liturgies.

  27. Robbie says:


    Respectfully, this video demonstrates a perfect example of Liturgical abuse. There’s no reverence in this NO and I’m quite certain Pope Paul VI would have grievous issues with the actions seen there.

    More importantly though, the Catholic Church does not follow the motto, “If it feels good, do it”. Yet, that is what you’re implying when you say, “they have an entire congregation who do prefer to worship in that manner”.

    If members of that parish want to hold a revival, that’s their decision. But they shouldn’t be allowed to turn a Catholic Mass into one. It would certainly be holier than though if we were criticizing a reverent NO to the benefit of the TLM, but that’s not what is taking place here.

  28. I agree with Jeannie_C: how is this different from the cultural variations we see in Africa, the Philippines, etc.? In the LA Mass the Blessed Sacrament was (presumably) licitly confected. This means Jesus was there and every soul who received, obtained the graces they would have obtained on receiving in a TLM High Mass. And this is solid, good catechesis.

    One of the greatest things about our Church is the freedom in all things permissible that she allows us. Thus those of you who prefer, can have a Traditional Latin High Mass and I can have a Tuesday evening Mass in the church meeting room where people sit in a semicircle on ugly orange plastic chairs :) and Fr. does a dialogue-homily. The beautiful thing is that Jesus comes to be with us in both your TLM and my Tuesday evening Mass and neither of us is forced to go to what the other prefers. I think this freedom is a very, very valuable thing that we should cherish. Attempts to obliterate it always sadden me.

  29. frjim4321 says:

    Well, neither are really anything I would be much attracted to.

    Something at Holy Name Cathedral with Joseph Bernadine of happy memory with music by the incomparable Richard Proulx would be just fine for me.

    In other words, a modest compromise between extremes.

  30. chantgirl says:

    Jeannie_C – To be honest the Mass in LA does not look much different than most of the charismatic Lifeteen Masses I attended as a teenager. Although I was unaware of it at the time, those Masses were rife with liturgical abuses. In my 20s when Pope Benedict released the Motu Proprio allowing priests to say the EF freely, I started looking into some of these issues and discovered that my generation had been deprived of something very beautiful. Many of the things at Mass that I had assumed to be stylistic differences were actually abuses. Good liturgy is about proper worship of God and I’ll take a reverent NO or EF wherever I can find them (even though I prefer the EF). Unfortunately, where I live, it is exceedingly difficult to find a reverent NO.

    Lord, have we done our time in the desert yet? The Israelites only spent 40 years in the desert after all.

  31. Father G says:

    There is a sequel to this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHZtbnaXuGk&list=UUga31kq9G49ULhjWJBbVdJg&index=2

    What until you see what happens at 5:40!!!

  32. CatholicintheAgeofAquarius says:

    Jeannie_C and Catholic Coffee — I think we’d all agree that Jesus was there despite our preferences.

    The question is: Did anyone notice?

  33. JohnE says:

    The Orthodox liturgy looks solemn and reverent and like they’ve probably done it that way for hundreds and hundreds of years. The LA liturgy has all the feel of a Disneyland parade, minus the familiar characters, fun rides, entertainment, and happy children. Ok, I guess the LA liturgy did have Goofy and the music was some snazzy.

  34. RobertK says:

    Is a Lifeteen Mass a sub division of the Ordinary Form Mass. Does the rubrics of the OF Form say anything about those type of Masses. Funny how there is no Lifeteen Divine Liturgies. That is a big NO NO in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Lifeteen festivities and carnivals are kept outside of the Liturgy.

  35. Will D. says:

    Hardly a fair comparison. Good Friday, a day of great solemnity vs. a religious “education” conference Mass. I doubt they had a liturgical conga line even at the LA cathedral’s Good Friday liturgy.
    That, of course, does not excuse the asinine liturgies (or the liturgists that inflict them on Catholics) that he used for the videos.

  36. APX says:

    I agree with Jeannie_C: how is this different from the cultural variations we see in Africa

    According to a priest who spent 3 years in Nigeria, this whole African Masses with drums and dancing doesn’t exist. It’s just something they make up when they come here.

  37. ppb says:

    wmeyer and Father G: okay, you’ve convinced me that it gets even worse than the LA religious ed conference. Horrid!

  38. mairead says:

    Fr G that was horrific !

  39. pelerin says:

    Fr G – now I’ve seen it all – angels on roller skates! You could not make it up. I wonder who thinks up all these gimmicks?

  40. pfreddys says:

    I just LOVE going to the Good Friday service at the Melkite church. The liturgy is Our Lord’s funeral and it based on the liturgy for the funeral for an emperor .

  41. jasoncpetty says:

    that wasn’t a female priest, that was a Bishop’s Babe.

    Which is extra terrifying in this context because the bishop, Gabino Zavala, literally had a bishop’s babe, who bore him two bishop’s babies. He 401-2’d right on into retirement not long after Gomez took the reigns.

  42. discipulus says:

    I believe the celebrant Auxiliary Bishop in the LA mass resigned in disgrace last year.

  43. Just watched the videos and had several reactions. First came a deep sadness, wondering where my brother priests had gotten lost. Next I remembered attending a Ukrainian Rite Mass in seminary and wish I had followed through with the idea to become bi-ritual. Finally I am grateful that I know the difference and seek to offer the holy sacrifice of Mass with reverence and awe that I am able to approach the altar, and how much I need to pray for myself and my brother priests to remain faithful. Mary pray for us all!

  44. gambletrainman says:


    Speaking of angels on skateboards, did you notice the music? Ringling Brothers! They must have a contract with the circus!

  45. Sandy says:

    southernpriest, that was a beautiful comment! Mother Mary will keep you spiritually safe! I pray that she will do that for Fr.Z and all priests. After all you are her special sons! As for the video, it was sickening. We are NOT uncharitable to criticize it, and yes, Jesus was there, but what happened to reverence?! As someone above said – did anyone notice, or pay attention to Him?!

  46. joecct77 says:

    There are some weddings that are a 3 ring circus.

  47. Dave N. says:

    Sadly, this mess (and several new ones) just continue ad nauseam in LA. I was very disappointed to see that Franciscan University in Steubenville chose Abp. Gomez for an honorary doctorate this year. I don’t think they did their homework.

  48. PAT says:

    Introduction to the Extraordinary Form Mass with Fr. Calvin Goodwin, FSSP.


    There are also links to FSSP training videos for The Mass Explained.

  49. iPadre says:

    Is the second the Baptist Ordinariate? Please forgive me, I didn’t intend to offend the Baptists. If they believed what we believe, they wouldn’t be so disrespectful to Our Lord. May I ask why priests are punished for wearing cassocks an being too “conservative,” excessively tied to the rubrics (rigid), yet nothing is done about this kind of imposition on the Sacred Liturgy.

  50. BLB Oregon says:

    –“What did we expect? 40 years of bad catechesis has led us to this.”–

    While I agree that it is not fair to compare a Good Friday liturgy from one place to a liturgy outside Triduum at another, what is the most scary about the Roman Rite liturgy is that the full and official name of the LA Congress is the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress.

    IOW, this is what the people who are still running adult and children’s education in the US have for a closing liturgy. This is the encapsulation of what they do down there, and of what they are still teaching in parishes across the country. There does not need to be a contrast to anyone else to find that a matter of great concern.

  51. Katylamb says:

    I wouldn’t be very comfortable at either one of those Masses. One is just wacky, and the other one doesn’t even look Catholic to me. I am grateful to God for my ordinary, reverent Sunday Mass.

    [Remember: There are Eastern Catholics who celebrate those Rites!]

  52. Bob B. says:

    Unfortunately, I have been to quite a few of the LA REC’s – they have been mandatory for teachers. I have walked out of a lot of these Masses and lectures because they were just toooooo much (stating the degree and depth of its lack of decorum and Catholicity, when asked by my principal, did nothing to help my career).
    Archbishop Gomez has had two years to clean up this mess, but he’s done nothing. There are also Catholic schools that are having problems being Catholic as well (Verbum Dei HS, with a pro-abortion politician on its board giving a class on social justice and a pro-SSM millionaire from the record industry talking to the students).

  53. skl says:

    I cannot even bear to watch, I think. However, on a similar note and certainly on account of far less grave abuses than seen here, I think I have finally made the decision to “take the plunge” and make the EF, which I have been attending sporadically but with increasing frequency these day, m primary Mass. I bought my first real 1962comedy Missal todayEmber Friday, and ’twas a joy indeed to be able to follow along so much better. Wishme luck &the pray for me ;)

  54. skl says:

    Wow. “Comedy Missal?” Typing on my phone.can produce some very very strange , cringe worthy things. *embarrasses face*

  55. Will D. says:

    “Archbishop Gomez has had two years to clean up this mess, but he’s done nothing. ”
    I’m not in the Archdiocese, but isn’t this like complaining that Hercules hasn’t cleaned out the Augean Stables quickly enough? The impression I’ve gotten is that the Archdiocese was in all kinds of disarray when Cdl. Mahoney retired.

  56. jeff says:

    So having insultingly bad liturgy has ecumenical implications. The orthodox have noticed and they’re not happy

  57. Anchorite says:

    Disgusting. Simply disgusting. I am still amazed that majority of Roman Catholics are attending such lousy cyrcus. There is EF. Demand it!
    Mindbogling …

  58. TraditionalCatholicGirl says:

    I understand that the majority of abuses that common folk see are NOT as extensive as those present in the video, but it does raise a good point. Go back to reverence and Tradition! I am very fortunate to have a EF mass in Pequannock, NJ that I am able to attend weekly. Sure, the drive is long, being 1 1/2 hours each way, but it is well worth the trip!

  59. Bob B. says:

    @Will D. Two years and he hasn’t done anything but go to Rome, receive an honorary doctorate and talk immigration everywhere he goes – that’s his job with the USCCB, etc. The nonsense at the REC has been known for years, there have been other videos, comments on websites, etc – enough in fact that I doubt there are few senior clerics who haven’t heard of it (perhaps he doesn’t mind it?).
    The other problems (Mahoney, LMU, pseudo-Catholic politicians who receive Holy Communion and use Catholic schools for parties and teach social justice classes, etc) have awaited action, all to no avail.
    Two years and nothing.

  60. Although I live in Idaho, I am constantly in the Archdiocese of LA visiting family, and to say that nothing has been done would be wrong. The parishes that are in the area where I am have cleaned up their liturgical abuses (Pouring Jesus after the consecration), What you haven’t seen is a public announcement of the clean-up, which I think is a good thing because the vast majority of the clergy would be in open rebellion if that was the case. The archdiocese will not be re-built in a day…2 years is but a blip in time to the 25 years that Mahony reigned in the Archdiocese of LA. While I would have hoped for more public announcements and firing of everyone, Archbishop Gomez is climbing up a 90 degree hill, it’s a huge archdiocese….pray for him! He constantly tells me to pray for him every time that I’m in contact with him.

  61. CatholicintheAgeofAquarius: I think we’d all agree that Jesus was there despite our preferences.
    Jesus is always there despite our sins, weaknesses and shortcomings in love and service. He is there despite us, despite who we are and no liturgy changes this.

    CatholicintheAgeofAquarius: The question is: Did anyone notice?
    Hopefully those who received, did. You can’t see into anyone’s soul.

    I don’t see what the upheaval is about. By now you all know the churches where liturgy is celebrated the way you like it. Go there. Don’t go where liturgy is not to your liking. If you have to or end up in such a church through holiday etc. circumstances, focus on your intimate encounter with Jesus in Holy Communion and shut out the rest. At the end of the day it’s always down to what happens between you and the Lord in Communion. And please leave space to the notion that different people connect with Jesus best in different settings. Just as you get loads out of TLM, others may equally get a lot out of a Mass celebrated informally (like the Tuesday evening Mass I described in my post above) or indeed from a “worship-style” Mass like in the video. In the video I also found the dancing deacon and the clapping bishop, well… a bit distasteful. But if for some people this is the setting in which they can worship the Lord most deeply, from their heart, who am I to tell them to stop it? Someone has mentioned above pouring Jesus’ Holy Blood – that is a horrendous liturgical abuse. A deacon dancing with the Gospel – is not.

  62. ocleirbj says:

    “…focus on your intimate encounter with Jesus in Holy Communion and shut out the rest. At the end of the day it’s always down to what happens between you and the Lord in Communion.”

    I absolutely agree with this. When I am out of sorts with the bad songs dreadfully played and the movie review that passes for a homily, making an effort to remember that Jesus is coming to me and that I should dispose my soul to meet him is good for me. For many years I yearned after the decent liturgies of my Anglican youth, and met the Lord in the desert, so to speak; but to my surprise I have recently discovered that after years of trying to believe in the Real Presence intellectually, out of obedience, I now believe it in my heart, with no effort at all. The spiritual discipline of focussing on what’s really going on at Mass, and Who is there with me, has at last borne a fruit! And I am even growing less impatient with the bad songs et al., and can freely forgive the organist. God is good!

    “When the cares of my heart are many, thy consolations cheer my soul.”

  63. Some of the preceding comments appear to reflect a view that “different strokes for different folks” is fine in liturgy because “it’s all about me and Jesus” and what I personally get out of it. Do those making such comments really think this liturgical indifference reflects a proper Catholic view of public liturgy?

  64. OrthodoxChick says:

    Here’s a potential remedy. Did anyone else see this article from Fox News about Libertarians joining together to all move to the same state in order to create one state where people with shared values can live?

    Maybe we traditional Catholics ought to consider banding together to do something like this too. Could you imagine an entire state that is pro-life and every Catholic Church offers the TLM?!


  65. JonPatrick says:

    To follow on to what Henry Edwards said, it is not just a matter of taste. We are talking about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, where we re-present Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. A Mass such as this essentially makes a statement about how we view the Mass, lex orandi lex credendi. We may be putting souls in peril by depriving them of essential truths of our Catholic faith.

  66. pinoytraddie says:

    There is a Catholic Byzantine Liturgy in Tagalog

  67. Jim Dorchak says:

    A couple of things:
    Do they make things up as they go in L.A. ?
    It is appropriate that the altar in L.A. looks like a chopping block.
    Do they have women priests in L.A. now?
    Do they teach dance moves at seminary now and is that a requirement for L.A. seminarians?
    What has our Church come too?

  68. janeway529 says:

    Speaking of the LA Religious Ed Congress, the 2013 videos including the 2013 Closing Eucharistic Liturgy, are up on their YouTube Channel.


  69. LarryW2LJ says:

    Hoo boy! I think I would have walked as soon as my eyes caught sight of the dancing deacon. Definitely not my style.

  70. Henry Edwards: Do those making such comments really think this liturgical indifference reflects a proper Catholic view of public liturgy?
    HenryEdwards, I have a problem understanding quite what you are asking here, but since I am one of those your question was aimed at, I’ll try to answer. As stated previously, I cherish how the Church allows us freedom in all things permissible. Yes, I believe that the Church is right in allowing different kinds of liturgy for different kinds of people as long as the essential rules are observed. I do not think that this is liturgical indifference. I am not liturgically indifferent. I have strong preferences as regards liturgy. I also understand that others have different preferences and don’t want to “convert” them to my preferences because Mass is Mass and yes, I do believe that it is about what each soul gets out of it personally. As regards “proper Catholic view of public liturgy” – I think it is to be aligned with what the Church teaches. And our Church says that it is just as OK to have guitar music or Mass in a meeting room as it is to have a TLM.

    Also it seems to me that in some heads reverence towards Christ’s sacrifice on the altar in Mass gets judged by the music and whether a priest wears a biretta. The reverence is in the hearts. And we can’t see into the hearts of people. When I was younger, I loved “worship-type” Masses (although in Eastern Europe they never went as far as dancing deacons) and I got loads out of them. And I did not have less reverence in my heart for what we celebrate in Mass than I did after finishing my undergraduate degree in theology.

    I welcome Summorum Pontificum. Not because I like the TLM. But because it is a sign of freedom in the Church. Your freedom to celebrate the TLM is my freedom to attend Mass in a meeting room sitting on a plastic chair. Please let us not try to obliterate the other.

  71. drea916 says:

    Most people wouldn’t attend either of those. Just give me the Mass-Mass. Say the black, do the red, and go home. I’m there to worship God not to feel good, but let’s not drag it out either. LA is wacky. I’m blessed to have a parish that offers the ordinary form in a manner would be a great example of what Vatican II was aiming for.
    The second video (with the circus music) wasn’t Mass, it was some sort of novena/devotion in Brazil. These folks are comparing apples and oranges.

  72. patrick.lynch says:

    “Your freedom to celebrate the TLM is my freedom to attend Mass in a meeting room sitting on a plastic chair. ”

    How is it a “freedom” to celebrate a Mass in the basement when there’s a sanctuary upstairs?

    If the answer boils down to “it’s a freedom because it lets me do what I want at Church”, then what “you are getting out of Mass personally” bears re-evaluating. Honestly, you sound like you want to be a Catholic on whatever quaint terms seem attractive to you. You’re here putting your preference on equal footing with Catholic tradition, and speak as if the two are equal – as if Catholic liturgical traditions are merely the preferences of people no longer living. This isn’t the case.

    I actually disagree that reverence “is in the heart”, as opposed to the music or the birettas (or whatever) – reverence is alive in what you do and how you do it, not how you feel. We receive Jesus Christ in flesh and blood is not to conduct a tingly feeling or a pitter-patter or a momentary flush of self-awareness – likewise, the liturgy we prepare should prepare us for the reality and mystery of our religion, not point us inward to an “experience”.

    Those of us who want the guitars to get put away and the felt banners to hit the trash only want our liturgists and musicians to try harder.

  73. patrick.lynch: you sound like you want to be a Catholic on whatever quaint terms seem attractive to you Even though I explicitly said the opposite just a few responses above? Where I said the proper Catholic view was that of the Church, who allows us to have Mass in a variety of settings. However, to boil down even more: if the Blessed Sacrament is validly and licitly confected during a Mass and I can receive – I don’t care about the rest.

    patrick.lynch: We receive Jesus Christ in flesh and blood is not to conduct a tingly feeling or a pitter-patter or a momentary flush of self-awareness
    You are assuming that people expect “tingly feelings” from Communion on the basis of the music and dancing seen at the LA Mass. But you do not see into people’s souls.

    patrick.lynch: Those of us who want the guitars to get put away and the felt banners to hit the trash only want our liturgists and musicians to try harder.
    I have no problem with this – as long as you are doing this at your own parish and the majority of people there are in agreement with you. But please don’t try do it to my parish (i.e. worldwide).

    At the parish where I attend the informal Tuesday Masses in the church meeting room where we sit on ugly orange plastic chairs :) there are between 20-30 people there every week, in a very deprived area, at a time when in England everyone else is having their “tea” (=evening meal) and watching C4 News. I drive 20 miles to get there. There is also a strong culture of going to confession at this parish (probably partly because Fr. not only celebrates Mass informally, he also hears confessions in his kitchen and garden…). As opposed to this we have a parish with a parish priest who is very devoted to the TLM. He celebrates the N.O. very reverently, too, and I like going there. But on weekdays Mass attendance is 8-10 people and no one goes to confession, to the extent that he himself has said this in a homily, with these words: “no one”. So… let every congregation mold their own liturgy into what they want it to be, and if it’s the TLM, that’s fine with me. But please let us not change the liturgy at other people’s parishes.

    In other words back to what I’ve said earlier: go to Mass where you like the liturgy. Don’t go to where you don’t like it – but leave them alone. If the TLM is the way to go, people will flock to the churches where it is offered and N.O. churches will become deserted. But I don’t think it would be right to force this process. Pope Benedict definitely did not think so – or he would have banned the N.O.

  74. RoyceReed says:

    I appreciate Fr. Z posting this, especially in light of some of the ignorant comments made by some of these neo-con, traddie readers. Blessed John Paul II said the Church must breathe with both lungs, East and West (Orientale Lumen). Latin Rite Catholics should develop a familiarity with our Eastern Rite brethren and foster unity with the Orthodox.

    [I am trying to imagine a neo-con traddie.]

  75. Jeannie_C says:

    OrthodoxChick it isn’t only the TLM devotees who are pro-life, we of the N.O. are also pro-life, in fact our parish organizes protests in this regard. If you think you can gather enough traditionalists to form you own state, go for it, but don’t assume it is only traddies who uphold the Church’s teachings.

    CatholicCoffee, you express far more eloquently what I have been thinking as I read through this blog post yesterday and today. The more I read the more I have come to believe that while we are happy for those who wish to follow the old rite and have a place to do so, they, in turn have no tolerance for anyone but themselves, hypercritical, overly judgmental, disrespectful to bishops (i.e. the comment on “the Bishop’s babe”) and often the Pope, lovers of their trappings.

    I live in a large city where only one church offers the TLM. While my interest in that style of worship has grown, the more I hear from traditionalists, the less I am inclined to have anything to do with them. In an attempt to preserve their old rite they seem poised to attack all others. Their hatred and condescension is sufficiently palpable I would not enter a place of worship where they are gathered.

  76. Supertradmum says:

    The lack of objectivity in argumentation on this post reveals that there is at least twenty years of logical training in rational discourse missing. How we feel or react to stimuli, whether it is liturgy or Disneyland has nothing to do with the objective criteria one must use to judge actions, events, or even the Mass in various forms.

    The Latin Mass is objectively, because of the Latin, the silence and the rubrics, as well as the traditional or culture trappings of the people, is more serious and more respectful. Objective criteria, some which have been given, dictate that a level of solemnity and reflection in the liturgy create not only an atmosphere of respect, but specifically are more respectful, such as silence or not talking before or after Mass.

    How we feel about a congregation has nothing to do with the objective standards of a liturgy. The congregation may be full of horrible sinners and yet, objectively, the Mass can be more beautiful and more sublime by design.

    How we pray, so often said here, is how we believe. We are not dualists, or those who do not believe that the mind, soul and body are so separate so as not in create one person, one being, who enters into a liturgy with all three (or two, if you are a medievalist in definitions) parts of our human Be-ing.

    Most Masses in England have zero community life before or after. The vast majority have no coffee mornings or the sort of communal activities one usually expects in an American parish. But, these facts do not impinge upon the objective standard of the Mass, whether it is NO or TLM.

    The Sunday Mass I attend now has no coffee, ever, after Mass. People are cordial, but not close. Yet, I can worship fully at the Mass for I go for that purpose-to worship God, not to experience anything less than the Consecration of the Body and Blood of my God.

    If there was a community, that would be wonderful and helpful, but would not change the essence of the Mass. That the priest gives excellent sermons might be a plus, but poor sermons do not change the essence of even the Liturgy of the Word, which is the proclamation of the readings, including the Gospel.

    We do not have to look at or judge others at all in any situation, either NO or TLM, and if we keep out eyes on Christ, we are doing what we should be doing to build up the Mystical Body, which is adoring God.

    I lived most of my life in one of the worst, most liberal dioceses in America. I am still enduring Masses which are not reverent and even illegal, in that the proper words are not said consistently-the priests sometimes insisting on the old NO translation, for example.

    I am grateful to be able to go to Mass and receive Christ. If I concentrate on Him, nothing else really matters, and I shall be able to love my fellow parishioners much better, as well as give a good example of what one should be doing at Mass-worshiping.

  77. Cincinnati Priest says:

    janeway529: Thanks for posting the L.A. Religious Ed. Conference “liturgy.”

    I am so disappointed that Archbishop Gomez did not further clean up the liturgical abuses there.

    If anything, the Gospel procession was even stranger than the bizarre ones of the past. What’s with carrying the woman on a stretcher to “hand off” the evangeliary to the Deacon for the Gospel procession. It looks like some weird combination of a pagan prayer service and a football game.

    I wouldn’t care so much about another diocese, but unfortunately, this “event” is still hugely influential in shaping expectations of American Catholics about what the liturgy should look like.

  78. patrick.lynch says:

    “I have no problem with this – as long as you are doing this at your own parish and the majority of people there are in agreement with you. But please don’t try do it to my parish (i.e. worldwide).”

    So Catholics shouldn’t expect other Catholics to meet halfway-decent standard for our sacred liturgy around the world – and your justification is that you don’t want it at your parish?

    This is my point exactly, which you haven’t evaded.

    The liturgy is not about “agreement”. I don’t know Latin, and I don’t prefer chant to anything, but these are our inheritance – but I grew up in felt banner-land, so nobody ever told me the backstory behind the kind of “compromise” you support. I just grew up thinking our religion was largely crap.

  79. patrick.lynch says:

    “Their hatred and condescension is sufficiently palpable I would not enter a place of worship where they are gathered.”

    Dude, talk about picking-and-choosing! I don’t know any “trad” people personally (I don’t think?) but I wince when I read stuff like this – do you realize how sanctimonious this sounds? You’re saying you wouldn’t receive your God next to strangers based on how they seem to you on the Internet?

  80. rock concert or Mass?

  81. Katylamb says:

    I understand about the Eastern Catholics and did not mean to try to diminish them in any way. Naturally an Eastern Catholic feels at home in that rite, and of course it is wholly Catholic- but it is not what I’m used to when I think of Catholic Mass. I was only trying to say that I prefer our own rite. Certainly not as carried out in the video but done with reverence, whether TLM or Ordinary form.

  82. JonPatrick says:

    Supertradmum, you said what I was trying to say, only much more eloquently.

  83. maryh says:

    First of all, I also like the Catholic concept of “freedom in all things permissible.” But one thing that is required of the Mass is that it be conducted with reverence. This is not about TLM vs NO; this is about Masses that are reverent vs those that are not.

    (I’ll just stick with the particular point of reverence in this argument – there’s a lot more required of the liturgy than that, of course.)

    There’s some confusion between
    a. a liturgy that is reverent and
    b. whether or not a person who attends a Mass maintains a reverent state of mind.

    The first is an objective standard that may be either met or not met. Not every way of celebrating the Mass is objectively reverent.

    The second is a subjective condition that the individual can only judge for himself or herself. Clearly, a person may manage to be reverent even in an irreverent Mass. But a Mass that is reverent is more likely to inspire reverence in those that attend it.

    I’ve programmed a lot of web sites and worked with a lot of designers. Every single designer was convinced that the “look and feel” of the site had an actual effect on how a visitor to the site would feel about the site and what the visitor would do. Certain colors and fonts and layouts inspire a sense of security, others inspire a sense of fun; some visuals and sounds work primarily with specific groups, others are practically universal.

    In the same way, the “look and feel” and “sound and smell” of the Mass has an actual effect on how reverent we perceive the Mass to be. Many things can inspire reverence, but that doesn’t mean that everything can. Some things are closely bound to specific cultures, some are practically universal. The Orthodox Mass would be recognized by virtually everyone, from most cultures, as reverent, whether they were Catholic or not. The LA Mass, on the other hand, is easily mistaken for a form of entertainment or a Protestant prayer service (except for the presence of the Bishops).

    @CatholicCoffee Your freedom to celebrate the TLM is my freedom to attend Mass in a meeting room sitting on a plastic chair.
    Or my freedom to celebrate the TLM in a meeting room sitting on a plastic chair. You have to work with what you have.

  84. Granny says:

    MY EYES!!! MY EYES!!!!!!!

  85. southIndia says:

    At the drop of a hat I can make a video comparing the opulent and luxurious life style of the clergy in the moscow patriarchate and compare it with the poor, simple living of mother Theresa’s sisters of charity in calcutta. The Lord’s Mandatum Novum: diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos ut et vos diligatis invicem stops my hand. I would prefer a church where charity reigns supreme than such pride and vanity. shame on the orthodox guy who made this video.
    I have multiple times encountered a hate and anti-catholic venom among the orthodox. sometimes their hate and spite equals that of the muslims – only less violently.
    May God protect Our Holy Mother Church.

  86. Mike says:

    “Pope Benedict definitely did not think so – or he would have banned the N.O.”

    With due respect, if you’re going to use Pope Benedict as a defense, please try to be consistent. He was entirely objective about the liturgy and insisted that it’s not a matter of celebration according to personal preference (see The Spirit of the Liturgy).

  87. Ken.Hendrickson says:

    This video is a great example of why, when I converted to Catholicism, I could not possibly consider the Roman Rite. It was the beauty and theology of the Orthodox Liturgy that drew me in. It would be a huge step down, and backwards, and a painful step at that, to suffer through the Novus Ordo. I want a Liturgy that teaches the ancient Faith, not one that destroys one’s faith.

  88. Ken.Hendrickson says:

    > Fr. G wrote:
    > There is a sequel to this video:
    > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHZtbnaXuGk&list=UUga31kq9G49ULhjWJBbVdJg&index=2
    > What until you see what happens at 5:40!!!

    Father!! You’re scaring me.

  89. Mitchell NY says:

    Lord have Mercy on the Catholic Church. This so saddens me. It seems that back in the 60’s when we had the chance we should have moved toward the Orthodox, not the Protestant Faiths.

  90. JuliaSaysPax says:

    I wasn’t at this Mass, but I was at the one a day or two before (for the youth day- it was a confirmation requirement). It was just as bad.
    However, for those criticizing Archbishop Gomez- at least a bunch of parishes are starting to cut down on liturgical dancers nowadays.
    LA is not a pretty place, so it might seem like nothing has been fixed. It’s hard for people that don’t live here to understand just how ugly it was. I mean, I attend one of the most conservative non-TLM parishes in the archdiocese, where we get solid homilies and the actual words of the Mass aren’t messed with, but we still have children pantomiming the Gospel at the foot of the altar as Father reads about once a month. Ahh well, at least we’ve stopped with heretical hymns like “Mary Did You Know” and just play ugly ones now.

  91. Katylamb says:

    “I appreciate Fr. Z posting this, especially in light of some of the ignorant comments made by some of these neo-con, traddie readers. Blessed John Paul II said the Church must breathe with both lungs, East and West (Orientale Lumen). Latin Rite Catholics should develop a familiarity with our Eastern Rite brethren and foster unity with the Orthodox.”

    Whose comments are you calling ignorant and who are you calling a “neo-con, traddie reader?” It’s difficult for me to take your remarks about fostering unity with the Orthodox seriously when you feel free to insult people who prefer the Latin Rite.
    Perhaps you should preach to the Orthodox that comparing their best to our worst is no way to “foster unity.” Although I doubt they’d care.

  92. cwillia1 says:


    You might learn something about what it means to be an Orthodox cleric in Russia by reading a book called Everyday Saints. A good read by the way. The Russian Church is not opulent and luxurious. The clergy you see in the video are the spiritual sons of the martyrs of the gulag.

    Of course, what the video presents is not a fair comparison but whoever put it together can fairly make the case that union with Rome means being in communion with what you see in the video. It is a fact that the clergy in Los Angeles were not tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail. This “stuff” is a barrier to Christian unity and at the psychological level it may be the most serious barrier. It is possible to forgive wrongs committed by both sides in the past. But many Orthodox cannot see in that video anything that remotely resembles apostolic Christianity but rather something profoundly alien to it – a perversion of Christianity at best. I think that most of the Roman Catholic saints of the second millennium would have the same reaction.

  93. Father G says:

    I had not seen the video for the 2013 “Closing Liturgy” at the R.E.C. until now.

    I had thought things were supposed to have improved…I was wrong!


    Skip to 38:30. So ridiculous.

  94. VexillaRegis says:

    Father G: Ridiculous indeed! Where do they get those crazy ideas from? Smoking pot? Sorry. And the singing – off key, guttural and shrill.

  95. av8er says:

    Terrible lack of reverence.

  96. Anabela says:

    You cannot make such comparisons. Its ludicrous. That is not a typical Novus Ordo Mass and to be quite honest what is shown here at that particular Mass in Los Angeles is nothing short of diabolic. To reduce the Holy Eucharist which is so sacred to that travesty comes from the father of lies, who wishes to destroy the Church completely.

  97. CrimsonCatholic says:

    I’m sad to see such a video here, when clearly it isn’t a fair comparison. My question is if the Orthodox mass is so great, why don’t the traditionalist join them? And would they be willing to accept the use of contraceptives as being moral, like the Orthodox? Peace to all of you today.

  98. Tim Capps says:

    No doubt the Orthodox service is beautiful. Orthodox singing is beautiful. Ukrainian women are beautiful. I’m married to my wife and love her. Rome is home. Spent many years in Orthodoxy before I realized that.

  99. Marianna says:

    Beautiful liturgy from Moscow, but the Orthodox are not always quite so dignified in church:

  100. asperges says:

    The reason for the video does not matter. It is a scandal that any such Roman liturgy can be found in the Church, especially as a pontifical celebration, and were it not for the liturgical warfare of the last 50 years, following Vat II, it would have been impossible to conceive of what we see here.

    Liturgy and its reform, hi-jacked or deliberate, has been used as a means of destroying the Church. Its restoration is both symbolically and actually one of the principal means of slamming the brakes on – which is why this is so vehemently opposed and ignored.

    If one wants a single description of this travesty, use the word “wordly” because that is exactly what it is now: of this world, not of the next.

  101. ocds says:

    I have primarily attended, in the 20+ years since entering the Church, two parishes, both of which celebrate the Ordinary Form. I have also attended various other Ordinary Form Masses when travelling. And I am, frankly, getting a little tired of those who try to promote this particular LA Mass as “typical” of the Ordinary Form. It is NOT.

  102. RoyceReed says:


    From your comments I gather that you have no familiarity with Eastern Christianity (Orthodox or Catholic). As Fr. Z pointed out, there are many Catholics who celebrate the same rites as the Orthodox. Generally speaking, there are six main Rites of the Catholic Church: Alexandrian, Antiochean, Armenian, Byzantine, Chaldean, and Roman. However, language and national customs have made subdivision of each of them so that we can now say there are over 25 different “Rites.” The many “Rites” are the most powerful witness the Catholic Church has to show the universality of the Church. In the essentials of our Faith – the Bible and Tradition, there must be unity. In the expression of the Faith – in liturgy and customs, there is liberty.

    I wasn’t insulting those who prefer the Latin Rite. I’m a Latin Rite Catholic, and I love the traditional Latin and Eastern Rites. I currently worship in an Eastern parish. I just find many comments on this blog to be completely risible, like anyone claiming the Orthodox are schismatic. They are not. http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/speeches/1965/documents/hf_p-vi_spe_19651207_common-declaration_en.html

    I have included a link to a video about Eastern Catholics for the edification of those who are curious. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFIzumjrEjc

  103. RJHighland says:

    I think the points in this homily explain my feelings about what is going on in so many parishes around the world and why. The Masonic guidelines are from 1962. Very interesting year wouldn’t you say. Should be a check list when ever you go into a Catholic Parish and see how many apply. Yeah the Mason’s are just a charity men’s club! I don’t agree with the plan but they seem to have done a great job of implamentation.


  104. Granny says:

    Ken.Hendrickson… that was a set up right? Someone put together a spoof video.. right? The circus was just a spoof… this was not a real Roman Catholic Mass honoring Christ’s death on the cross for us. This could not possibly be considered proper at the foot of Calvary, celebrating, dancing, circus music…
    How satan must be laughing…

  105. Supertradmum: Most Masses in England have zero community life before or after. (…) The Sunday Mass I attend now has no coffee, ever, after Mass.
    None of the Masses in Eastern Europe do. They don’t have meeting rooms and public toilets either – the “coffee after Mass” is something I first saw in the UK in 2004. Maybe this comes from Communist times, when you did not want to hang around or talk to anyone before, at or after Mass, I don’t know, but frankly, I don’t much understand the necessity of “coffee after Mass”. I go to Mass to meet the Lord. Where I go depends on where I am, what time I want to go to church, if I am with a friend, if someone special is preaching somewhere, etc. The “community” thing I do with my friends.

    patrick.lynch: So Catholics shouldn’t expect other Catholics to meet halfway-decent standard for our sacred liturgy around the world
    Patrick, no, please, don’t expect other Catholics to do anything – you have no right. Even less so when we are talking about liturgy considered worthy by a number of popes, the last 3 amongst them. I think we should all devote our energies to becoming saints – and leave the liturgy of other people’s parishes alone. (This said: has your parish gone completely TLM?)

    Maryh: Or my freedom to celebrate the TLM in a meeting room sitting on a plastic chair. I don’t quite understand this. Do you mean that instead of the church your priest celebrates the TLM in a meeting room? Why? Since Summorum Pontificum priests can celebrate the TLM freely, if “privately”.

    Mike – Did Pope Benedict ban the Novus Ordo or did he not?

  106. abstubbs says:

    This video literally brought tears to my eyes. I’m so fearful that this is our future as American Catholics. We all need to speak up and speak out. On a related note, the woman that assisted Bishop Zavala was a high school classmate of mine that I haven’t seen in 25 years so that was a little weird.

  107. Patt says:

    Bottom line was: One was reverent, one was not. One was holy adoration of God the other was not. It was an entertainment ritual.

  108. Mike says:

    CatholicCoffee, it doesn’t matter if Pope Benedict banned the Novus Ordo. You’re saying, “Go to Mass where you like the way its celebrated, don’t go where you dislike it” and you’re using Pope Benedict to defend your “the Mass is subjective” view–but Pope Benedict didn’t think like that at all. He insisted that the celebration of Mass, Novus Ordo or TLM, is an objective thing, not dependent on how people like it.

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