Reason #74 for Summorum Pontificum

This was sent by a priest friend.

“OUCH!” doesn’t quite capture my reaction.

Let me preface your viewing by saying that the older, traditional form of the Roman Rite is not susceptible to this sort of madness.

BTW… the real hurt-locker starts at about 5:30. We’ve seen it before on this blog, alas, but not juxtaposed to solemn Divine Liturgy.

Talk about Liturgy Science Theatre 3000!

After watching this, we might be a bit clearer about why the Orthodox are leery of Rome.

Another example of how Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Benedict XVI, Both Lungs, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Pope of Christian Unity, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. iamlucky13 says:

    Please, PLEASE tell me the music was dubbed in the Catholic portion, and that they didn’t really play “Entry of the Gladiators” in an actual liturgy.

  2. iPadre says:

    How do we who believe Jesus Christ founded the faith treat our worship like THAT? That will not happen here!

  3. JimRB says:

    That was so painful I couldn’t make it past 7 minutes. I now need to listen to Rachmaninoff’s All Night Vigil merely to expunge the terrible circus “liturgy” music from my mind.

  4. PapalCount says:

    When Lord, when.
    Make it stop.

  5. aptak says:

    I cant believe that this is real. Please tell me that this never happened. I fear that either the silly season in the Church is not over yet, or that we are at the cusp of a new and more damaging silly season that will last for many years. I was hoping that the Church would correct herself during my lifetime, but perhaps that may not be so. I do hope for reconciliation with SSPX – if this becomes more commonplace, we may have to find refuge there.

  6. Norah says:

    Are we supposed to be watching a typical Sunday Orthodox Liturgy compared with a typical Sunday Catholic Mass? Or are we watching a big feast Orthodox Liturgy compared with the worst of the worst Sunday Catholic Mass? Context is everything.

  7. spock says:

    I’ve never been to a non-reverent Eastern Catholic liturgy. Almost makes me wish I was born into a different Rite. Could be a solution for Western trads far from a Latin Mass.

  8. Nan says:

    This is Patriarch Alex IIs funeral in Moscow. The proper comparison is with a Papal funeral.

    Spock, I’m told that a lot of people took refuge in the Byzantine Rite during the 70s and 80s. It’s possible to change rites.

  9. jflare says:

    In fairness–or perhaps self defense!–to we Catholics, Norah raises a good point.
    I have seen my (un)fair share of abuses in the Roman liturgy, but only rarely do they reach the flagrancy of the video portrayed here. I think it worth noting that the video of the Orthodox service does appear to me to be a special feast of some sort. I have a strong suspicion that the average Sunday liturgy for the Orthodox is not quite that ornate.
    Of course, I have attended a Divine Liturgy twice, and even with only the one priest, it DID seem considerably more reverent.
    Even so, if one views an older church that has not been wreckovated, one sees remaining subtle hints of the grandeur of the Catholic Mass, especially High Mass. Old cathedrals in Europe that I have visited still have the pulpit almost 1/4 of the way up the nave. Admittedly, I doubt if the clergy use those very often, but Mass has not always been the casual disaster we see here.
    Then too, I would be curious to know how many recognize the tune in the Catholic video? I cannot imagine that as anything besides circus music, but does everyone else recognize it that way? Would it be quite as much a jolt for us if they had played…something more grand instead?

    (Granted, after having watched Fantasia 2000, I am now half inclined to giggle whenever I hear the usual graduation piece by Elgar, but still, the tune itself is mostly recognized for it’s grandeur.)

    Sadly, even taking all this into account, the video does make a point that is well taken.

  10. Michelle F says:

    I stumbled across that eyeful of liturgical abuse a couple of years ago, and, unfortunately, it’s real.

    Yes, they really did play “Entry of the Gladiators” for the entrance procession.

    It happened October 5, 2012 in Brazil.

    It is the 3rd day of a novena (Novena Solene) to Our Lady of Aparecida, and it is a Mass being offered at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida.

    The original video is a 5 minute clip which is available on YouTube:

    Other video clips of the Mass are present on the channel that posted this one, “TV APARECIDA.”

  11. A dear friend of mine died in January, and his funeral was held in the local Episcopal cathedral. In comparing the behavior of the Episcopalian congregation to that of us Catholics in our own churches, I felt ashamed. Here was a church where the August Sacrifice does not take place, and the Real Presence does not reside in the tabernacle; but the people were reverent, silent, and left in an orderly manner when the service was over. At my parish, we have an altar where the Sacrifice of Calvary is re-presented Sunday after Sunday, and a tabernacle where the true Sacrament resides; and we are noisy, do not pray or recollect ourselves, allow our kids to rough-house and run around. Sadly, some of the worst offenders are the very priests and deacons who should be maintaining order. We have the Real Presence but act as though we do not; the Episcopalians at this funeral did not have the Real Presence, but acted as though they did.

    This is one way that people get led out of the True Church, or led not to enter the True Church: because the behavior of Catholics stacks up so poorly against that of those who are not Catholics, especially in the matter of worship.

  12. Gratias says:

    Yes, this is the famous Shrine of Aparecida where Cardenal Bergoglio earned his stripes. We are so lucky to now, with much effort, having the Latin Mass available in these USA. In Latin America the Latin Mass is unknown. The Orthodox seem to have the right idea and we Catholics the wrong VC2.

  13. EeJay says:

    Yes, this was why, when living in London, I started attending a Ukranian Catholic Church mass instead of the local parish mass which insisted on having a folk band play – can’t stand drums at mass but their drummer was particularly BAD! Anyway, I just can’t delve too deep into this whole liturgy circus thing because I get tooooo depressed about it. During my time in London I also had the opportunity to see some Orthodox services, and travelled several times to Eastern Europe visiting the beautiful Orthodox Churches there. Makes me so sad to think of what we have become. Even traddy NO services get no where near the majesty and beauty of the Orthodox services.

  14. Sleepyhead says:

    “… After watching this, we might be a bit clearer about why the Orthodox are leery of Rome” should be “… After watching this, it’s crystal clear why the Orthodox are leery of Rome”

  15. JonPatrick says:

    As has been pointed out above, the video is comparing the best of Eastern Rite liturgy against the worst excess of Roman Rite which might be unfair. But one point to be taken away is that with the relaxed attitude present in so many parishes, it is possible to have a wide spectrum of reverence whereas you don’t see that in the Eastern. That is what makes travelling difficult for a Roman Catholic, you really don’t know what you are going to get when you go to the local parish. Unless of course you are able to find a traditional Mass.

  16. Grumpy Beggar says:

    Finally . . . one they can’t pin on North America.

    . . . Was invited some years ago by a good friend to attend the Divine Liturgy of the Armenian (Catholic) Church. I can’t speak or understand Armenian, but , it would still be very difficult for a person to miss the air of reverence which pervaded the entire celebration.

    But not all the grass is greener on the other side of the communion rail. At that Armenian Catholic celebration, I was the only one kneeling (although there were no kneelers) during the Anaphora (Eucharistic Prayer). It wasn’t a lack of respect for their tradition, but more of a reflex stemming from something engrained in me from a very young age.

    If you’re going to go Eastern Rite, be prepared to accustom yourself to not kneeling during the Consecration or after Communion ; or hardly kneeling at all. That’s one adjustment I don’t think I could personally make on a regular basis . . . the more I know our Blessed Lord and learn bit by bit just how much He loves each one of us , the more I’m inclined to kneel both before His infinite humility when he is among us on the altar, and when I receive Him in Holy Communion. . . and to remain kneeling while He speaks to my heart after I have received Him.

    I firmly believe that it is possible for all rites and forms of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to be celebrated reverently -as long as they remain centered on Who comes to us during the Holy Sacrifice ; on Who we offer our praise and thanksgiving to , and on Who is invoked in the Epiclesis.

  17. JMGriffing says:

    To give an Orthodox perspective… this is as unfair as other posters have pointed out. This is the best of our best versus what I hope is the worst of the worst on the Catholic side. If I remember correctly from having once found the original context of this video, it was a bit of Orthodox triumphalism. I do not feel triumphant watching it. I feel sick. I feel sick to know that what was reverent worship of God in beautiful fashion has been cast aside in many places for… this.

    A better comparison would be the celebration of a solemn Pontifical Mass by Cardinal Burke. Seeing those two side by side would remind us all what the schism between us represents as a loss for all of us.

    Please, do not think the grass is always greener. While the Divine Liturgy presented is a bit out of the norm, being a patriarchal funeral, the particular rites seen are differentiated mostly in where they are and the number of clergy present. However, as much as we often want to think so, the Orthodox Liturgy is not always celebrated with reverence. Often, our own typicon (rubrics) are ignored. The offenses just aren’t as glaringly obvious as in the Mass chosen for this video. Though I did once hear of a priest who would have an acolyte lower a toy dove over the altar during the Epiclesis. Sigh.

    Let us pray rather that East can learn from the strengths of West and West from the strengths of East, while each maintaining the identities the Fathers handed down to us and that we might, someday, be one.

  18. Ages says:

    In reply to Norah and others:

    I don’t think it’s a matter of comparison in the sense that this horrifying “circus mass” is typical.

    The deeper point is that the Orthodox and the Eastern Catholics consider the liturgy to be wholly beyond the right of anyone, even the bishop or patriarch, to change. The liturgy belongs to the church, universal in space and time, not to the celebrant.

    That you have an archbishop, dozens of bishops and priests, and hundreds of laity giving their “amen” to this circus shows that there is a deep spiritual sickness in the heart of everyone present thereat.

    I once heard a story about a village Orthodox Church in Romania or somewhere, wherein the priest decided to try it standing ad populum. The people started shouting at him to turn around, and eventually they rushed the altar and dragged him out of the church. This was only in the last 10-15 years.

    The laity must be the protectors of orthodoxy, just as much as the hierarchy. If nobody will oppose this in bold ways, it will only continue. It will make reconciliation between east and west impossible, because the Orthodox laity will not believe the Catholic laity care about the faith or the integrity of the mass.

  19. spock says:

    @Grumpy Beggar, the Easterns in my experience have the practice of not kneeling starting at Easter (Pascha) for a number of weeks. That is an ancient practice. Never been to an Armenian church though.

  20. Ages says:


    After studying the video, I can conclude that these probably are not special feast days. These liturgical actions are done at any hierarchical service at which a bishop presides.

    Eastern rite services are ornate by nature. I didn’t see anything particular to a feast day.

  21. lairdangusmcangus says:

    Oh, wow. That is really, really, really depressing. I mean, I’m glad you shared it Father Z, but wow…

    I have to confess, this papacy–along with the overall state of the church and of Western culture more broadly–is starting to undermine my commitment to the Roman faith. When I see things like this, I wonder if I am truly in the Church of Jesus Christ. Should I become Orthodox?

    I do not ask this lightly. I am devoted to St. Michael and the Holy Angels. I am consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I love my patron, St. Thomas the Apostle, and all of the other saints and holy ones…

    But increasingly, I believe that the Liturgy IS the Faith. “In the beginning there was the Word…” The Liturgy is what gives form to our Faith. It is what brings us into direct, personal contact with Jesus Christ. It is our fortress against the ways of the world.

    It is as simple as this: in the Orthodox liturgy, it is manifestly obvious that Jesus Christ is present and the worshippers belong to Him. In our new liturgy, I do not believe that this is *necessarily* true.

    When I look at the Orthodox East, it furthermore seems obvious that they are the only remnant of Christendom in which the temporal authority remains even minimally rooted in faith. They have laws preventing blasphemy, public immorality, etc. We have homosexual marriage and transgendered bathrooms.

    And now our Pope is encouraging Catholics to be guided by their consciences rather than Church authority? Consciences which have been (de)formed by the Luciferian ideals that are ascendant in our culture? He is telling Europeans to “breed” with Muslims and comparing the apostles to ISIS?

    I am feeling very despondent about this. I hope someone here can talk me off the ledge, so to speak.

  22. Ages says:

    Grumpy Beggar:

    In the East, it is generally forbidden to kneel or make certain other penitential acts on Sundays. If you attended mid-week, you would probably find them kneeling, or more properly, prostrating.

  23. Grumpy Beggar says:

    @spock and @Ages : Thanks for shedding a little more light on the Eastern Liturgies.

    Just to clarify, when I posted “Finally . . . one they can’t pin on North America”, I wasn’t referring to the Eastern Rites at all – I was referring to that distraction-infested video made available by Aparecida AO VIVO tv in Brazil.

    I shared LMGriffing’s sentiments as I watched it.

    While, as Father Z. notes, the Orthodox may be leery of Rome , in my long-term and palliative care pastoral apostolate , it is common enough for Orthodox patients whom we minister to, to attend the Mass celebrated by our Catholic Chaplain, and to be brought Holy Communion.

    . . . Funny how petty differences and pet peeves disappear when one’s life is threatened by illness there is only one modality of Holy Communion available. We are realizing/achieving what the official Orthodox and Catholic Churches haven’t been able to for almost 1,000 years now. You would think it’s about time.

    God Bless.

  24. greenlight says:

    Forget it Jake. It’s Brazil.

  25. cwillia1 says:

    It is an unfair comparison in certain respects. In other respects it is not. My experience with Eastern churches is that they operate on sound liturgical principles. People may not do the liturgy well but they try to do the right thing as best they can, often with limited resources. The Aparecida travesty is an egregious example of the application of the wrong principles. These wrong principles are commonly applied in parish liturgies. The Extraordinary Form, coexisting with the NO, tends to anchor liturgical practice in tradition.

  26. JARay says:

    I thought that the worst depiction was indeed in Brazil because I understood the Portuguese and I didn’t hear it as Spanish. It is an absolute travesty.
    However, we must also recognise the context as to where this took place. One would never see this in any church where I live in Australia.
    On the other hand the Orthodox liturgy was probably Russian and I cannot see those people acting in the manner of the Brazilians.
    Yes, the Othodox liturgy was far superior to our eyes, but we are not Portuguese!

  27. Father G says:

    There are several of these Catholic-Orthodox comparison videos on Youtube – even the reconciled Transalpine Redemptorists made one:

    There is one video that does a fairer comparision. It compares Mass in the Extraordinary Form with the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox liturgies:

  28. Sacred1 says:

    Similar to what others above have mentioned, this video is not supposed to be a representative comparison of the Catholic and Orthodox liturgies. Rather, it help illustrate how bad the liturgy can be even at one of the world’s largest Catholic basilicas by contrasting it with a reverent Orthodox liturgy at one of the largest Orthodox churches. A similar point could have been made by comparing the Brazil Mass to a traditional Pontifical Mass. However, as Ages above notes, a deeper lesson is conveyed about the divine liturgy belonging to the church rather than individual tastes.

  29. Father G says:

    “A better comparison would be the celebration of a solemn Pontifical Mass by Cardinal Burke. Seeing those two side by side would remind us all what the schism between us represents as a loss for all of us.”


    There is one:

  30. Matt Robare says:

    This a really good one, comparing the OF (except for the first entrance, I believe) with the Divine Liturgy

  31. Royse87 says:

    Not a fair comparison at all, but a point well-taken. Let us pray for the day when the childless innovators finally pass on to their reward, and all that is left is the small but faithful Church to pick up the rubble of our ruined society to start over, as the Church has done so very often in the past.

  32. Henry Edwards says:

    “A better comparison would be the celebration of a solemn Pontifical Mass by Cardinal Burke.”

    This would be comparing best with best. But a more revealing contrast might be worst with worst. The worst Catholic liturgy is very bad indeed, but evidently the worst Orthodox liturgy is still very good indeed.

  33. James in Perth says:

    Quite an appalling comparison, I agree. On the other hand it could be a case of cherry-picking to compare the best of Orthodoxy with the worst of Catholicism. I have never attended a Mass with those sorts of theatrics on display. If I did, I would probably have walked out.

    I regularly attend a small Armenian parish and the dignity and reverence to the presence of God is there just as it is in the much larger Roman Catholic parish nearby.

    I do have to say however that if seeing others stand for the Eucharistic prayers offends you, then you should simply attend another rite. That is their tradition – a tradition which goes back much further than kneeling for this prayer. It appalls me that this desire to impose Roman traditions on other churches of equal dignity still exists.

  34. stuart reiss says:

    my eyes were bleeding when i first saw the apperecida fiasco..
    unfair though to compare Brazilians and Russians..
    dio mio..

  35. iamlucky13 says:

    “I have to confess, this papacy–along with the overall state of the church and of Western culture more broadly–is starting to undermine my commitment to the Roman faith. When I see things like this, I wonder if I am truly in the Church of Jesus Christ. Should I become Orthodox? “

    But from that perspective the question becomes not, “what is the truth?” but rather, “how do people other than myself respond to what they perceive as truth?” From that perspective, Islam and orthodox Judaism would merit at least some measure of consideration also. Obviously, the Orthodox Church comes far, far closer in agreement with beliefs you’ve already accepted as true than those others do. Yet some differences in faith still remain that should be the main consideration, not how well others respond to their beliefs, and especially not based on whether western culture responds to its teachings (nor, by the same measure, whether the culture at large in regions where the Orthodox church is most prominent responds, because often it has not).

    Each of us should first and foremost focus on individually recognizing God’s Truth and acting in accordance with that faith. How others act is not the primary matter.

    Yet, despite the widespread loss of a sense of the divine, or even dread of sin and appreciation of Truth within the Church, it is not truly lost. Millions of Catholics do still recognize the Truth in the Church’s teachings, try to live according to them, and reverently participate in the liturgies and sacraments. Many quietly endure the nonsense, knowing that even clown music and parade floats, mockery that they may be, do not prevent God from offering us grace in the Mass. Others, like Pope Benedict, try to change things for the better, either within the ordinary form or by seeking out or promoting the extraordinary form.

    Still others may be attached to one of the particular Catholic churches other than the Roman Rite. If even the extraordinary form does provide the liturgical value and evidence of faith you seek, or is not available where you are, what about the Byzantine Rite, which initially arose from those Eastern church’s who chose not to join Orthodox in schism?

    As for Pope Francis, at the end of the day, the main thing he seems to be doing aside from not seeming to appreciate the degree to which the liturgy influences the way we understand the Church’s teachings, is making a very limited, perhaps even dismissive interpretation of individual culpability. The pastoral wisdom of this may be very questionable, but that is not nearly enough to defy the doctrinal charism of infallibility, which Pope Francis has never invoked. Pope Francis hasn’t even come close to some of the really dangerous moments in Church history, such as when Arius led the Church through its flirtation with denying Jesus’ divinity.

    As Father Z. has pointed out several times, each papacy is limited in it’s length and effect. Don’t be disheartened if the current one does not match your expectations for the office.

  36. DcnJohnSaturus says:

    Yes, this is an exceptionally ornate Russian service. But go to Divine Liturgy (or Vespers, or Matins) in an ordinary Orthodox parish church, and you’ll almost certainly see the same devotion, the same awareness of the holy, as you see here. THAT part of this video is absolutely typical — trying to do the best we possibly can to honour and glorify the Holy and Life-Giving Trinity.

  37. Augustine says:

    I’d like to challenge those who think that the comparison is not fair to provide an example of a similar degree of abuse at an Eastern Orthodox liturgy. I’m fairly certain that it cannot be found, much less with the smiling approval of a presiding bishop.

    The point of this video is that such abuses do happen in the Latin Church and are even tolerated. Piously ignoring that the evil spirit of VII won the day won’t exercise it.

  38. Dave N. says:

    Sometimes the grass actually IS greener.

  39. Benedict Joseph says:

    The Mystical Body of Christ has been reduced to an amusement park. The inner contradiction of Roman Catholicism is that itself it borders on sacrilege. God forgive us. And they worry about deaconesses. We need worry whether there is any belief to be found under our roof.

  40. tealady24 says:

    That was ghastly!
    Just what was that in the golden egg!
    Coming to a parish near you . . . !

  41. lairdangusmcangus says:

    One of the most depressing things about that spectacle was the (non) reaction from the parishioners.

    If that happened in a church I attended, I am fairly certain that I would not only walk about but do so while making my feelings known to the entire congregation and the priest. I would not sit idly while sacrilege and blasphemy are committed in my presence, ESPECIALLY inside a church!

    But these people–they looked like they were having a grand old time, as if this was what they were expecting to see.

    The Protestanization/Judaization of our liturgy has prepared the way for this. Liturgy helps shape conscience, the very conscience that Pope Francis now elevates to the same level as the authority of the church. Our consciences in the West have been deformed by the destruction of our liturgy and encroachment of secular, materialist ideology into every facet of life. We are no longer even capable of recognizing evil when it is staring us in the face.

  42. YoungLatinMassGuy says:

    I believe we today are living through an era of “musical iconoclasm”.

    Future historians are going to look at videos of Masses performed today throughout the Catholic Church, and wonder what the hell happened…

  43. Absit invidia says:

    It’s as if the faith of the west has waned so much that they now have to resort to novel gimmicks and shock and awe fanfare as if the know that the west is becoming so shallow that they will just do cartwheels to get anybody’s attention – that or they are desperate to try anything to fill their own empty voids. It’s sad that they don’t realize the solution is right in front of their own noses

  44. lairdangusmcangus says:

    And today I read yet another outrage from Pope Francis celebrating the election of a Muslim to the mayorality of London.

    Carried to its logical conclusion, I suppose we should someday expect to hear him extolling the elevation of a Muslim to the cardinalate.

    Although I will say this: if I must choose between the Mohammedans–even in their extremist incarnation–and our own Satanic liberal elites, I side with the Mohammedans. They may be heretics and savages, but at least they honor Jesus and his Mother. There is some common ground there. With the demon-worshippers who lead most of our Western institutions, there can be no peace.

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