ASK FATHER: Priest sings final blessing like a Disney song

From a reader…


A priest sings the Final Blessing at Mass in a Disney-like “chant” as follows: “May the blessing of God be upon you, the blessing of The Father and The Son, and may the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Love be with you all your days.” He has the congregation trained to then respond with the exact same words. Then the Deacon says his part, “The Mass is ended…” Is there any point to complaining to the Pastor, then the Bishop, then Rome?

It depends on what you seek to accomplish.

Silly priests will continue to be silly priests.

If he’s doing this, and he is under the age of 40, there’s a chance that reason, logic, and passion might possibly (only possibly) cause him to change his ways.

If he’s over 40 (and I’d guess he’s more in the 55+ range if he’s doing silly stuff like this), there’s little chance of bringing about change.

Fr. Ridiculous might be cowed into complying by a strong bishop, at least when the bishop is around or when he thinks the bishop is looking. That presumes that the bishop is a strong bishop interested in implementing the proper liturgy of the Church. That’s not always a safe assumption to make, sad to say.

Perhaps the best way to go about it is with a smile and a song of your own.

On the way out of church, you might sing this to the priest, using that famous melody of from the best own song from Pinocchio:

When you wish to get my cash
Don’t be hasty, don’t be rash
Do the red words, say the black
It’s all we seek

Silly songs that twist my gut
Only keep my wallet shut
You sound like an aging hack
We’ll see next weeeeek

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    One of our traditionally minded priests (my parish has 4) sometimes chants a blessing at the end (and we do a chanted “amen” as/where appropriate).

    Is the priest in question just really really bad at chant and nobody’s had the heart to tell him?

  2. Fr. Z, love your lyrics!

  3. Suburbanbanshee says:

    It’s a Carey Landry song, published by OCP. Take a listen at the OCP website.

    Sounds like it’s from the early 1970’s, per the cheesy “Irish” tenor and the cheesy voiceover.

  4. eulogos says:

    I note the writer says that the priest has the congregation sing the blessing back, which means he does not believe it is a priestly blessing; he is engaged in blurring the distinction between the ordained priesthood and the priesthood of the laity.
    Spade, I don’t think chant sounds like a Disney song to anyone.
    I know this seems amusing, but if one had to go to mass week after week and hear that it would be pretty depressing.
    If possible, I would go elsewhere.
    A brave person might address this with the priest as politely as possible, perhaps in writing, but I agree that he is unlikely to get anywhere. He might follow up with the bishop, again as politely as possible, but the bishop probably feels he has more pressing issues. Which I think is a shame, as the liturgy should not be a plaything and the bishop ought to ensure that it is not. Still, it might give one satisfaction that one has tried.
    Then go somewhere else. If this is really the only Catholic church you can get to, offer it up, and pray for a new, younger pastor!
    Susan Peterson

  5. priests wife says:

    I suppose if this is an ‘official’ song it might be common to do this….but I have a feeling I know the priest in question- he is the pastor of my (Roman-rite) parents’ geographical parish (they attend a solid NO parish a bit farther away because that is where the majority of my extended family is).

    PLEASE pray for this priest. The church is beautiful- symmetrical, traditional (no altar rails, though) even though it is not very old. For daily Masses, he brings out a wheeled cafeteria type table to celebrate the Mass so that he can be at the level of the people instead of three steps up on the actual altar (that lay people of the community bought….)

    He also will reprimand you harshly if you call him Father or Father Smith….you must call him Father John (yes- the placard in front of the church and all bulletins use only ‘Father John’ with no last name….)- anyway- please pray for him

  6. ChesterFrank says:

    Not that my opinion matters, but I don’t think there is a problem with the priest “chanting” that blessing, but I might wonder why after the blessing the congregation does not simply make the sign of the cross and say amen. I listened to Suburbanbanshee’s link and agree with eulogos first (two) sentence(s).

  7. One of those TNCs says:

    Ah, yes. Carey Landry, the Man with the Staccato Vibrato.

    Regardless of the musical setting, those words are not part of an approved final blessing, and the GIRM can be invoked, wherein it says, “Therefore, no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything…”

  8. frjim4321 says:


  9. Per Signum Crucis says:

    I’ll be honest: unless it is very obvious that a grave liturgical abuse is occurring, I really don’t like… snitching on or calling a priest in this way.

    That said, there are ways to handle situations such as this before resorting to formality. First, ask the priest for an explanation in a way that doesn’t immediately put him in the dock such as “Father, I’m curious that you sing the blessing at the end of Mass, can you tell me why?”. If there’s a Liturgy Committee or Parish Council, perhaps it could be brought up there. I think the best thing is to try and resolve the matter locally before involving the Ordinary or going higher. And I definitely wouldn’t want to involve Rome while bypassing the Ordinary.

    Congregants do talk about their priests just like anyone or anything else: it’s human nature. We compare the merits and failings of our priests, bishops and popes just like anyone else: it’s human nature. But let’s not be hasty: if we have an issue, politely seek an explanation; think carefully on any explanation that is given before deciding if (and how) the issue really merits being taken further; finally, pray for our clergy and for the grace to discern and accept our own unworthiness as well as that of others.

  10. andia says:

    I think I am more disturbed by the wheeling out of the altar and the refusal of last names, ect. I am not in love with the “chant” but the lack of reverence for the altar bugs me to no end. I call my priests “Father FirstName” because that is what they wish, but I do know ALL of their last names, and they are printed in the bulletin.

    I did attend a church today where all the congregation calls the priest “Steve” – it felt really wrong to hear.

  11. Sword40 says:

    In the last few years I have left several OF churches with priests that try chant “Bing Crosby” style.
    You know, “crooners”. Finally got to an FSSP parish. :)

  12. Cody says:

    What I’m imagining was a common blessing song in the “Aggie Awakening” (Texas A&M Catholic Center) retreat, and I’m guessing is common among most other Awakening (and maybe ACTS, which has a shared history with Awakening) retreats.

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