ASK FATHER: “Mass” with no Collect, readings, etc., but lots of made up stuff

From a reader…


Today I attended Mass where we had no Collect, no First or Second Reading, No Gospel, we sashed neatly from The Lord have mercy to the bidding prayers!
We had the Consecration, and we received Communion, but no prayers after Communion and no Dismissal! we were subjected at the very start by a long eulogy on the sun shining in the sky and the Son shining in our hearts (there were no children present), lots of padding and made up bits, one of the longest SoP ever -he shook every single persons hand- I feel robbed. I just had to share this with you…I mean, have I attended Mass?

I don’t think so. This was not Mass. The priest, therefore, consecrated both elements outside of the context of Mass and, thereby, committed a grave delict. Furthermore, since this wasn’t Mass, the priest has no right to the stipend.

Can. 927 says:

It is absolutely forbidden (Latin nefas), even in extreme urgent necessity, to consecrate one matter without the other or even both outside the eucharistic celebration.

Latin nefas means, according to your trusty Lewis & Short Dictionary, is “something contrary to divine law, sinful, unlawful, execrable, abominable, criminal; an impious or wicked deed, a sin, a crime”.  Nefas is so monstrous that it is quite simply impossible to imagine that someone would do it.  In Canon Law nefas is reserved for really bad things, like keeping or selling the Eucharist for nefarious, sacrilegious purposes, selling relics, violating the Seal of Confession, and compelling someone to receive Holy Orders.

I think this has to go to the local bishop.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. William says:

    Those attending were victims of pastoral abuse.

  2. Gerard Plourde says:

    Not to sound snarky, but are you certain that the church you attended was a Catholic one in Union with Rome? There are churches out there that are part of the Old Catholic movement which broke away from the Church following the First Vatican Council over the doctrine of papal infallibility that use Catholic liturgical materials (more or less) and which are at the minimum in schism and in some cases are actually heretical. The level of liturgical abuse you describe is extreme. I cannot imagine an incardinated priest anywhere engaging in it.

  3. alexandra88 says:

    This story is…surreal. I echo Gerard Pleurae’s concerns: is this particular place even in communion with Rome? I’ve seen some eye-roll worthy things during mass but this is straight out of The Twilight Zone. And yes, the local bishop should be contacted.

  4. aquinas138 says:

    Gerard Plourde –

    I’m afraid you lack imagination! Though I have not attended a Mass quite that bad, I have attended more than one diocesan Mass where extensive, and frankly stupid, additions were made to virtually every portion of the service. I never came away feeling like I’d been to Mass. I admire the writer’s ability pain tolerance for having stayed through the whole thing!

  5. Wiktor says:

    And I wanted to write about today’s Palm Sunday abuse. Now I’m speechless.

  6. Peg Demetris says:

    Could it be that this was a Communion Service with a Deacon and a Priest was not available to celebrate Holy Mass?

  7. HeatherPA says:

    I hope this was a “Communion Service” though I thought those were not allowed on Sundays.

    Please, whoever wrote to Father Z, go to his guidelines for writing to a Bishop, and write to the Bishop of whatever Diocese it was in if it was, indeed, supposed to be a Holy Mass.

  8. Marc M says:

    I believe a proper Communion service without a priest still contains the readings and Gospel, prayers after Communion and dismissal, etc- and would certainly NOT include the Consecration.. and is still a liturgical action with rubrics to be followed.

  9. Peg Demetris says:

    I have been present for a few VERY confusing “Communion Services” and it sounds just like this. That is why I asked. Plus the post doesn’t state that this took place today, Palm Sunday.

  10. Prayerful says:

    That sadly sounds like an extreme case of Novus Ordo. Old Catholic Masses might be said by a woman or a married man, but compared with what can be witnessed in many Catholic parishes, they are traditional enough. That sounds like a sort of priest who decides now that bad old Pope Benedict has gone, so he can do away with most of what he thinks is the silly old fashioned Mass. If it is a Catholic priest, for his sake and the souls of any hearers, please report him.

  11. Tarcissian Tendency says:

    Wow, that is bad, he should definitely report it to the local bishop, no question. I didn’t think it could get anywhere near as bad as a certain Jesuit Priest 3 years ago in the UK when I was still at High school who decided that a school pupil (i.e. me) ought to proclaim the Gospel, and ordered me to leave the chapel when I politely declined saying that doing so would be against the rubrics. My response was later that year to organise the first EF Mass in that same school chapel since the Second Vatican Council, offered by an FSSP Priest who had been ordained by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. When these two clergy bumped into each afterwards other the contrast was remarkable, and a tad amusing.

  12. gramma10 says:

    I am so glad that I am located in the Diocese of Arlington.
    I do not think that would happen here.
    It may be that many people did not even notice that this was incorrect.
    We really need to teach the truth! And—-speak up and tell the bishops etc. when confusion prevails.
    I sure hope the bishops would step up to the plate!
    Oh my.

  13. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear aquinas138,

    I concur that Masses occur with superfluous additions (I’ve attended some as well). This is entirely different. The questioner describes an occurance that so totally lacks canonical form as to be unrecognizable (I would venture to say that it lacks any liturgical form that even a Protestant would recognize. It bears no resemblance to Anglican or Lutheran services and I’d venture that it wouldn’t be recognized by Methodists or Prebyterians either.

  14. Gerard Plourde says:

    Just a quick follow-up to my earlier comments. One of the reasons I question whether the situation described in a truly Catholic Church is based on the theology behind the Mass of Paul VI, which elevated the status of the Word of God proclaimed in the Mass. Because it is taught that Christ is also present in the proclamation of the Scripture Readings (though obviously to a lesser degree than He is present in the Sacred Species), I cannot conceive that an incardinated Catholic priest would conduct a Mass in this manner or that an established Catholic parish would tolerate it.

  15. iamlucky13 says:

    “That sadly sounds like an extreme case of Novus Ordo.”

    No, it absolutely does not.

    It sounds like an extreme case of NOT Novus Ordo, because the missal provides clear instructions that mandate the elements the original poster identified as missing and leaves no room for imaging there is leeway to eliminate them.

    By all means, I think the questioner write a letter of concern to the bishop. Be clear and concise about detailing what was removed from the Mass, and it’s probably worth explaining that you’re writing him after asking the advice of another priest who you trust, who explained the seriousness of eliminating effectively the entire liturgy of the Word from the Mass.

  16. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear iamlucky13,

    I agree completely. There is no way that this reflcts any kind of celebration of the Mass of Pope Paul VI.

Comments are closed.