ASK FATHER: What am I supposed to do during Mass?

From a reader…

QUAERITUR:

At the TLM I understand that I, as a layperson, gain the graces simply by being present, but what am I supposed to do during it? I’ve heard that people used to pray the rosary silently. I sometimes follow along in the missal but should I be reading what the priest is saying silently or should I be praying with what the choir is singing? For instance would I meditate on contrition during the Kyrie instead of reading what the priest is saying while the Kyrie is being sung? What are some ideas? What did the common folk of the past do?

How can the laity participate in the Holy Mass? How did they used to? How can they best do so?

Excellent questions. The fact that you are asking these questions is a sign of desire to grow in holiness. The first promptings of the Holy Spirit usually excite in us the desire to pray. Secondly, we get inspired to try and pray with the Church. Thirdly, we get inspired to try and pray well.

There’s no set way prescribed for the laity to participate in the Holy Mass.

The Church is gracious in recognizing that we are all individuals. We have our own temperaments, interests, and devotions. As individuals our moods and abilities will vary dramatically.  Our needs change from day to day, year to year, season of life….

The Roman Rite is not linear. There are different things going on at the same time. For Catholics, this is not confusing cacophony, but rather soothing symphony. When listening to a symphony, you can pay close attention to the oboe one time, the strings the next time, the kettledrum a third time. Or you can let the whole sound wash over and enjoy the harmonies. There’s no “right” way of listening to a symphony.

This applies to Holy Mass.

When Hearing Mass, you can attentively pray along with the choir.  You can, make your responses to the priest’s greetings and promptings to pray, for example, at the congregations Domine, non sum dignus Or you can pray along with the priest… silently, of course, during his own prayers. You can use the rosary to meditate on the Lord’s life, Our Lady’s intercession, and the graces showered upon us. Perhaps meditate on other aspects of our Faith.  You might express your sorrow for sins you’ve committed, pray for the needs of your family and friends, or use the time to simply give thanks to the Blessed Trinity.

Holy Mass is the highest prayer God has given the Church to offer to Him. It stands to reason that the closer your prayers are to the prayers of the Holy Mass, the more efficacious they will be.  There are wonderful old missals and prayerbooks that can help to keep your mind and heart focused on the action of the Mass, on Christ’s action in the Mass. Don’t ever worry that there’s some special “formula” of prayer during Mass that’s absolutely optimal.

Sometimes it’s enough just to “be” at Mass.

Follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. If anything seems off, or difficult, or unusual, consult your confessor next time you go.

And don’t forget a prayer for the priest who is reading Mass.

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35 Responses to ASK FATHER: What am I supposed to do during Mass?

  1. texsain says:

    Thank you for this, Father. When I became Catholic over a decade ago, I, like many people, thought that I must “actively participate” in the Mass by saying and doing all the right things at the right times. In college, I went to daily Mass most days. If I was feeling particularly depressed one day (which was not uncommon) I would sit in the back to just be there. I couldn’t bring myself to do all the stuff I was supposed to do. Because of what I was taught about “active participation” in RCIA, I felt a lot of guilt because of this, which certainly didn’t help my depression. I eventually quit going to daily Mass when I was depressed. Now I know better.

  2. Georgemartyrfan says:

    This is why I love “Ask Father” – a question I’ve been pondering myself, an answer I needed. Thank you, Father.

  3. JBS says:

    Is the 1958 instruction of Sacred Music, which describes lay participation both in the Sung Mass and in the Low Mass, still in effect?

  4. Legisperitus says:

    This infinite variety of ways of assisting at Holy Mass is, to me, the most beautiful, wonderful, pastoral, warm and human thing about the TLM. It expresses the motherly nature of the Church. A mother doesn’t always tell you exactly what to do, but she’s always there to give you what you need.

  5. mamajen says:

    My most recent experience with the TLM (on Dec. 8th) was rather comical…my 6 year old and I arrived just in the nick of time, and the only available seats were in the very front pew, which was empty! This was only my second time recently attending the TLM, and I do not follow it well. Boy, was I nervous! There was much looking out the corner of my eye trying to sense what other people were doing when, and holding the booklet down out of sight of the person behind me so they wouldn’t see that I was on completely the wrong page and furiously thumbing through trying to spot a familiar word.

    I kept telling myself “Remember, there is no rubric for the laity!” Eventually I did calm down, and I must say I really enjoyed it this time. I found that I liked to observe and listen the best. Even though much of it was silent (or at least inaudible to me), watching the priest’s actions helped me to follow along a bit. In addition to the English translation, the booklets our parish uses also have the most beautiful description of what is happening during each part of the mass. My son (who is admittedly one smart cookie) somehow understood which important prayers were being said, and he liked to look them up in our usual missalette. The first time I brought him, he didn’t care for it at all, but this time he behaved beautifully and was content to follow along in his own way. It was a very peaceful experience once my initial fear was out of the way. I think being in the very front actually was a positive thing for us in the end.

  6. Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick says:

    mamajen says:
    22 December 2014 at 4:31 pm

    “…the only available seats were in the very front pew…”

    Don’t you know it’s a mortal sin for a Catholic to sit in the FRONT PEW?

    (Of course, when there is no other seating available, it’s only a venial sin.)

  7. Mike says:

    . . . the only available seats were in the very front pew, which was empty! . . . Boy, was I nervous!
    You’d have got a lot more nervous toward the end if they’d been using the front pew as the Communion rail! 8^) That ingenious solution has made the TLM considerably easier to adopt in “wreckovated” and modern buildings.

    My first TLM experience was anxious as well, but I was consoled to think that the next time there would be few, if any, surprises with regard to externals. Largely, I suspect, due to the rite’s stability and calm solemnity, the graces flowing from daily TLM attendance have strengthened my ability to pray outside of Mass, as well as during Mass, in ways I could scarcely have imagined.

  8. frahobbit says:

    I remember the cue A.C.T.S. – adoration, contrition, thanksgiving and supplication. Not necessarily in that order, but that helps me participate interiorly in the Mass.

  9. Imrahil says:

    What did the people in the past do?

    Well, one of the things some of them did was pray so-called (and by some much-ridiculed) during-Mass-devotions (I made the term up; the German is Meßandacht).

    In fact, one of them has been set to music and enjoys great fame…

    – Entry

    Where is the place to turn to,
    when grief sets me apaart?
    To whom shall I give praises,
    when joyfully jumps my heart?
    To Thee, To Thee, O Father,
    comes I with joy and sorrow,
    for Thou, Thou sendst the pleasures
    and healest every smart.

    But, Lord, may I approach thee,
    with all guilt I am laden,
    who, on the paths of all Earth,
    is pure in Thine own eye?
    With childly trust I’m running,
    into my Father’s arms right,
    am crying out with all my might,
    have mercy, Lord, on my.

    O if I did not have Thee,
    what worth’d be Earth and Heaven,
    a banishment in every
    place; myself in chance’s hand?
    Thee ‘t is, that guardest my ways
    a sure end to me allowest,
    and Earth and Heaven hallowest
    to sweet, sweet native land.

    – Gloria
    “Glory, glory to God in the Highest”
    singeth the Heavenlys’ blessedmost crowd,
    “glory, glory to God in the Highest”
    stambling are we, whom the Earth brought about.
    Astonishéd only I can be and rejoice,
    Father of Worlds, but I join at great voice:
    “Glory to God in the Highest!”

    Glory, glory to God in the Highest!
    announces the starlights’ tremendousmost host.
    Glory, glory to God in the Highest!
    wisper the airs, roars the sea, coast to coast.
    Rejoicing beings’ infinite choir
    will in eternal jubilation admire:
    Glory to God in the Highest!

    – Gospel:
    Yet was creation formless bound
    according to the Word;
    then spake the Lord: “let there be light”,
    He spake and there was light!
    And life is stirring, stirring much,
    and order comes ablaze,
    and anywhere and everywhere
    we’re hearing thanks and praise,
    we’re hearing thanks and praise.

    Man, too, lay still, his wit in night,
    grown stiff in darkest fad,
    the Savior came and there was light!
    And bright day comes ahead!
    And of his teaching holy ray
    wakes life up, far and near,
    and all the hearts bet thank and praise
    for God the Lord to hear;
    for God the Lord to hear.

    – The Offering

    Thou gavest, O Lord, me being, living,
    and gavest thy teachings heavenly light!
    What can, for this, I, dust, be giving?
    No, nothing, Lord, but thank I might;
    no, nothing, Lord, but thank I might.

    Well me, thou wishest for thy love
    yea nothing more than love again!
    And love, love filled with thanks and praises,
    shall be my joy, in sun and rain,
    shall be my joy, in sun and rain.

    Myself, O Lord, my doing, thinking
    my pain and joy I offer Thee.
    And through thy Son’s sacrifice take
    this heart’s sacrifice, too, from me,
    this heart’s sacrifice, too, from me.

    – the Sanctus

    Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord alone,
    holy, holy, holy, holy else is none!
    He who never began, everywhen was He,
    is eternal and reigning, and he’ll ever be!

    Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord alone,
    holy, holy, holy, holy else is none!
    Might, and wonder, love, life, and we may go on,
    Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord alone!

    – Agnus Dei

    My Master, Lord and Savior,
    thy mouth so full of bliss,
    spake, once, the word of salvation,
    “Peace may be with you, and is” [forced rhyme at the end]
    O Lamb, that sacrificing payedst
    humanity’s gravemost guilt,
    send us also thy peace
    by grace and by Thy blood spilled!

    My Master, Lord and Savior,
    oh speak with mercy too
    to us the word of salvation:
    “may peace be with you!”
    Send us the peace of Heaven
    which Earth may never imbue,
    which is only waved to such hearts
    as love Thee, pure and true.

    I leave out the Communion meditation for the time being. I’m flooding the combox anyway.

    – at the end

    Lord, though heardest all my prayer,
    blissful beats it in my breast,
    into World, out into Life lived,
    follows me now Heaven’s zest!
    There, also, art Thou near to me,
    any time and every place
    every place, lord, is Thy temple,
    where the heart to Thee is raised!
    Bless me, lord, and bless my people,
    bless our paths all our lives long,
    anything we do and achieve,
    may be a devout praising song,
    may be a devout praising song.

  10. Imrahil says:

    Er… credits to Johann Philipp Neumann. Though the name known in that respect is, of course, Franz Schubert.

  11. acardnal says:

    Knowledge leads to understanding. Understanding should lead to deeper prayer and “active” participation of the soul and mind at Mass. Participation is not restricted to vocalization. Remember, one of the traditional definitions of prayer is “raising one’s heart and mind to God.”

    I’d recommend an English-Latin missal. Read the prayers silently as the priest is saying them. They are beautiful and profound and reverent…much more so than those used in the Novus Ordo/OF missal. Second, try to understand what is happening at Mass. I’d recommend two books which were recently published:
    1) “Treasure and Tradition: the Ultimate Guide to the Latin Mass” by Lisa Bergman, St. Augustine Academy Press. This book is actually an English/Latin missal with beautiful photographs and explanations. This is my new favorite book for newcomers to the TLM/EF Mass. It explains everything used and done and history: the ends of the Mass, the altar, vestments, vessels used at Mass, and so on.

    It’s available HERE

    and 2) “The Mass in Slow Motion: by Msgr. Ronald Knox. I ordered a book via http://www.ccwatershed.org/kids/. (I think it was printed on demand.) They are the publishers of the “St. Edmund Campion Missal & Hymnal for the Traditional Latin Mass” which I also recommend. You can also read the pdf at above website.

  12. acardnal says:

    Yes! I like this book for explaining the EF Mass. You can see 14 sample pages of “Treasure and Tradition” here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0eOnJyjkSEvZVlTUTFwUHMyZmc/view

  13. Elizabeth D says:

    You can even pray/sing some of the responses out loud, most of which are exactly or almost exactly like in the Novus Ordo. It is possible you will occasionally encounter some people who do not want you to do that. Maybe they think Annibale Bugnini invented dialogue Mass, which is not true, as evidenced by the fact the Missal of Pope John XXIII of 1962 is the one used for celebrating Mass during Vatican II, and the Council Fathers in the document Sacrosanctum Concilium want the people (us) to be able to say or sing together in Latin the parts of the Mass that pertain to them. Also they may think you do not sing well, in which case you should at least sing less loudly. Tell them to just be happy you are not a Spirit of Vatican II trad, changing the Latin words into de-gendered language in Latin. There are some very fine parishes where the people in the pews sing the ordinary together with the choir. During Low Mass saying it under your breath is generally about the best you could do.

  14. Allan S. says:

    In many hand Missals or prayer books (traditional) there are both Latin-English Mass translation of what the priest says and does, and a parallel ‘meditation’ section showing – for each part of the Mass – how the lay person can pray or meditate contemporaneously with the priest. Blessed Be God is my preferred prayer book for this.

  15. jameeka says:

    Thank you Imrahil!

  16. MariaTeresa says:

    What a great question and answer. Thank you for both. I have always wondered, but never even thought it ask. I just thought I was supposed to try my best to follow along.

  17. Gaz says:

    For me, the way of praying in the pews has changed, many times. Nowadays I claim those parts of the Mass which I may. The collects, the prefaces, the canon etc. pertain to the Priest so I look to the things that I would sing if I were in the choir. So, I pray the responses, the Kyrie, Gloria, creed, Angus dei, the Introit, offertory and communio. Before communion I might borrow the priest’s preparatory prayers for my own (particularly Domine Jesu Chiste, Fili Dei vivi) or St Thomas’ prayer before communion along with its partner afterwards. This pattern works for me with either ordinary or extraordinary. It takes a bit more preparation in the ordinary form. The problem emerges when you’re sense of hearing is filled with anthopocentric trash.

  18. Ivan says:

    Is this for the new Mass too?

  19. oldCatholigirl says:

    Thanks to both Imrahil and Elizabeth D. for beautiful, differing approaches to atTENDing Mass–which I think of as connecting. Personally, since having been introduced to a dialogue Mass through a group of TLM devotees organized by Father James Downey some 20+ years ago, I love that approach, even though I did not grow up with it.

  20. WGS says:

    Ivan,

    Much of the above refers also to the Ordinary Form. However the Ordinary Form of the Mass does have rubrics for the layman. This is a novelty in the western tradition.

    Then, of course, bishops’ conferences and individual bishops and pastors and celebrants interpolate their own rubrics.

  21. Sonshine135 says:

    I have found this tread to be completely fascinating. I would also like to second “Treasure and Tradition: the Ultimate Guide to the Latin Mass”. My parish bought several of them and have them on the tables of the Narthex when you walk in to use before or during Mass.

    I have found after about my 12th TLM, I can pretty well tell where Father is at in the Mass and anticipate where we are at, even if I am lost at a point. Now I find myself following less and less of the text of Mass, but offering prayer and focusing on the actions of the Priest himself. The focal point of a TLM can only be the Sacrifice of the Mass at the point of mediation between the Priest and the Lord himself. I absolutely love it!

    For newbies or even older heads, Baronius Press has a sample page from their Missal on when to sit, stand or kneel. I have posted it here. This way, if you ever end up in the front of the church like mamajen, you can be the pro! Also, don’t worry if you don’t do it right every time. Chances are that few really do, and the ones who do know aren’t looking at you in the first place ;)

  22. “Maybe they think Annibale Bugnini invented dialogue Mass, which is not true, as evidenced by the fact the Missal of Pope John XXIII of 1962 is the one used for celebrating Mass during Vatican II, and the Council Fathers in the document Sacrosanctum Concilium want the people (us) to be able to say or sing together in Latin the parts of the Mass that pertain to them.”

    Actually, for what it’s worth, I understand that Msgr. Bugnini played key roles in (1) the 1958 Instruction on Sacred Music and Sacred Liturgy that codified the participatory practices of the “dialogue Mass”; (2) the revisions for the 1962 Roman Missal, particularly its calendar and Holy Week ceremonies; and (3) the preparatory draft that (with modest revision) became the Vatican II liturgical document Sacrosanctum Concilium.

    It is arguable that all this was constructive liturgical reform, even by those who think the subsequent construction of the Novus Ordo (which Bugnini also led), was not.

  23. When I read the book, “The Incredible Catholic Mass”, by Fr. Martin von Cochem, it helped me to understand how I should be participating at Mass. It was first published in German in 1704, and in English in 1896. An awesome read!
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Incredible-Catholic-Mass-Explanation/dp/0895556081

  24. Mike says:

    The most accessible guide to the Mass I’ve found for all ages is the St. Edmund Campion Children’s Missal, which you can download as a PDF from Corpus Christi Watershed or purchase in hard copy from Fr. Z’s Amazon link.

  25. FXR2 says:

    mamajen,
    I always prefer to arrive a few minutes early to prepare, and also to ensure I get a good seat in the back.

    As for my humble opinion on what to do at Mass either TLM or NO. I was taught the most important thing was to be there with our Lord during His sacrifice for our sins. Specifically, I was taught to imitate Our Lady and St. John at the foot of the cross. As for responding, not responding singing along with the choir or sitting quietly and following in the missal I suggest you follow the custom of the place. At one TLM I attend everyone is encouraged to sing with the choir at another I always get the hairy eyeball when I chant the Credo. Mostly I try to remember that Mass is not about me!

    fxr2

  26. norancor says:

    The metaphysical reality is that each time we enter Church for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we step out of time. The center of the Mass is Christ’s re-presentation of His Sacrifice on the Cross some 2000 years ago. He has meted out that Sacrifice continually, upon the altars of the Church, even to this day. So be aware that you are stepping out of time, to be in the presence of the same Eucharist made real at the Last Supper, and to be present at the re-presentation of the Cross.

    The most important interior disposition for any person to have, is to understand this reality, and act according to it.

    A profound sense of contrition is what you should strive for. The word contrition comes from a word in Hebrew which means to crush the soul. When you are contrite, for either Confession or Mass, stir in yourself a soul crushing sorrow for your sins, and meditate on the reality that your sins brought about the need of the Cross, and the Mass you attend before you atoned for those sins. Once you come to Him with a sincere and contrite heart, He will in turn give you great graces, and joy of soul, for being so loving of Him.

    What to do, specifically? Follow the Mass texts. Or meditate on the readings. Or purchase a older prayer book by Father Lasance or another priest that offers prayers you can say that correspond to the Mass texts. Or pray the Rosary or other devotions like those to the Sacred Heart. Or pray the Akathis or Canons of the East if you are in an Eastern Rite. Recollect yourself. Or meditate on the mysteries of His life for the season. Or just bring your prayers to Him – talk to Him about your troubles, or your worries, or your hopes – offer any of the ACTS: adoration, contrition, thanksgiving, or supplication.

    But no matter what you do, have first and foremost in your mind the reality that you have been lifted out of time, to the foot of the Cross, there to join Mary and St. John in the silent adoration of the act which wrought your salvation.

  27. Fr. Thomas Kocik says:

    Ivan: “Is this for the new Mass too?”
    Much of this applies also to the “ordinary form” Mass, but more in theory than in practice, given that (as WGS pointed out) the modern rite is more explicit about what the laity are to do and say/sing. Another reason for this is that the Novus Ordo, unlike the classical Roman Rite, is linear: Do this, then do that, then do that. The multilayered complexity is lost (e.g., schola singing the Introit while the sacred ministers say the prayers at the foot of the altar, or singing a Gregorian or polyphonic Sanctus while the priest prays the Canon silently). As Peter Kwasniewski notes in his just-published Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis (Angelico Press): “As a kind of passive sounding board, I was forcefully struck by how verbal, monotonous, and homogeneous the Novus Ordo can be. The entire thing, from start to finish, was an almost uninterrupted flow of verbiage.”

  28. danidunn says:

    That is the beauty of the Latin Rite Mass. One doesn’t have to do anything. And, truthfully, what can we add to the Mass? Like Fr. Z said in his rant the other day, lay people in the pew have no effect whatsoever on the sacramental, real change of the bread and wine to the Body and Blood of the Lord, transubstantiation. It is only God, acting through his priest, Who provides everything that is Good and Holy from the Mass.

    We, the laity, are giving our assent to the sacrifice that God gave when he gave His only Son and our assent to the graces the Holy Spirit gives to us. By attending Mass, we are once again, as Mary is our model, saying Yes to God in the place of Adam and Eve’s no.

  29. JuliB says:

    I attend the OF almost exclusively and pray the whole thing along with Father even the Consecration. Of course, when I’m not feeling up to par I try to focus in on the readings and the verbal responses of the laity at the minimum.

  30. gracie says:

    You have to remember that churches used to be beautiful. Or at least very pretty. Maybe majestic. There was so much to look at and that’s what I remember doing during those parts of the Mass when the priest spoke in a low voice or in the large chunks of Latin that I couldn’t follow that well. My eyes would wander to the stained glass windows or the statues or even the beautiful crosses carved on pews. Everything I looked at got me thinking about the faith. It might be the Resurrection because there was Jesus rising from the tomb in one of the windows. Or maybe the Station of the Cross where Veronica wipes His face and my wondering if the cloth still existed and how I’d like to see it and find out what Jesus *really* looked like! Or being mesmerized by the flames of the votive candles – Real Candles! – not the light bulb variety – that flickered and thinking of all the prayers behind them. It might be looking a few seconds here, a few minutes there, and going back and forth between that and what the priest was doing and saying. All of this came before I could read and then the Missal joined along with everything else I had been doing – but it never took the place of all those other things!

    That’s my memory of what it was like and my one worry of attending the *new* Latin Mass is that there seems to be the conformity of the Novus Ordo being imposed on what we do in the Tridentine. We used to *as individuals* actively engage with the sacramentals, as well as quietly praying, as well as focusing on the priest at the altar. The responses and bells brought us back if needed. I’m quite sure people for centuries did the same thing – the church in its wisdom engaged all the senses – it knew that people don’t normally just listen on and on and on to the words someone is saying and it didn’t demand of people a one size fits all response to what is occurring at Mass.
    Now we’re interested in the Vetus Ordo but sadly are bringing this idea of having to understand every blooming word of Latin to engage properly with the Mass and what do we do if we can’t hear the priest? We’re like fish out of water – we’ve lost the capability of engaging all of our senses in the small streams around us that feed into the Mass – I wouldn’t be surprised if people castigate themselves for looking at the carvings on the baptismal font or the cheerful cherubims staring down at them. Good Lord! we will say – we’ve let our minds wander. Get back to the Mass! Focus! Try harder! This is not good. Some people may even give up going to the Latin Mass if it starts feeling like a Latin class where they think they have to understand every word that’s being said, in order to *fully engage*. Too soon you will hear the ditty of a bygone era as people head for the exits:

    “Latin is a language
    As dead as it can be
    It killed off all the Romans
    And now it’s killing me.”

  31. Suburbanbanshee says:

    There are many, many old books of Mass meditations and prayers, and most of them work perfectly well with the OF Mass as well as the EF. (A pre-Trent book might have some differences.) Google Books is your friend in this, as are many online digitized libraries.

    I don’t think it’s the “uninterrupted verbiage” of the OF that’s the problem. Certainly the EF is uninterrupted verbiage whenever it’s not sung. (Whether or not you can hear the verbiage is beside the point, if verbiage is what you complain of.) If everybody is doing the OF the right way, all that “verbiage” is gentle, prayerful, and soothing. What makes it hard to meditate while praying the Mass at the same time is people who try to “break it up” because they think Mass is boring, and people who think prayerfulness is something you should only do at home immediately before bedtime. Basically, busybodies.

    Mass is supposed to be inward worship as well as outward, whereas some people think it has to keep you busy outwardly and unable to think at all inwardly. It’s like they’re afraid of leaving people any privacy or intimacy, so they don’t like any higher expression of spirituality than a group hug. Group hugs are okay, but that’s not why I go to Mass. I want Christ to remake me and feed me, and I don’t want people in charge who are afraid of letting Him do that.

  32. Athelstan says:

    “Ask Father” is quite often my favorite feature by Fr. Z.

    One point on attending the TLM: Elizabeth is quite right that dialogue Masses long predated Bugnini or the mid-20th century reforms; there is nothing to say you cannot make server responses. Customs do vary from TLM community to community, so I invariably adopt a “when in Rome” attitude when on the road – if others are not making the responses audibly, I’ll refrain as well; if they are, I’ll join in. Just my two cents.

  33. KateD says:

    Coming from a point of total ignorance, I have found Fish Eaters to be a wonderful website for learning about the traditions of our Catholic faith. If links are permitted, here is a link to a page that gives suggestions regarding attendance at a TLM:

    http://www.fisheaters.com/TLMinstructions.html

    It was explained to me when I asked why we don’t respond at the EF like we do at the OF, that the lack of dialogue is owning to our Irish Catholic heritage. Parishioners in continental Europe enjoy a dialogue Mass, but in Ireland, where the faith was suppressed and Mass had to be said in secret, only the altar servers would respond on behalf of the entire church and quietly at that for safety’s sake. The Irish diaspora and missionaries carried the habit of being silent with them to America.

  34. jameeka says:

    semperficatholic: I have been reading this book, and it is really good, thank you so much for the recommendation and God bless!