POLL: Prayers after Mass

There is a poll at the ridiculously liberal blog Pray Tell which some of you readers might want to look at.

The question of the poll:

Should additional prayer texts be recited communally after the dismissal of the Mass?

HERE

While this might have something to do with special petitions for important concerns in a parish or diocese, it seems that this really has to do with the recitation of the traditional “Leonine Prayers” after Mass, or at least part of them, such as the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.

Some bishops asked for the recitation of the St. Michael Prayer in response to the homosexual crisis in the Church which is at the root of abuse of minors and of seminarians, etc.   That has, apparently, upset the curator of Pray Tell.

Right now there are not many results in their poll.  I doubt there would be anyway, since it isn’t widely read.  As I write, the score is NO-10, YES-4.

Because they have a thin readership, you might want to help them out and give them a larger sample in their informal poll.

Meanwhile, this is where you can find their poll, right now.  I added some indications about other items they have going, in red.

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35 Responses to POLL: Prayers after Mass

  1. What a silly complaint!

    If you think there ought not be “prayers after Mass,” what do you want, exactly? No one to pray after Mass? Shall ushers go about the pews, poking people: “Stop that! Where do you think you are?”

    How long counts as “after”? May praying resume after, say, five minutes? Ten?

    Is it that the priest takes part? Or, is it that it happens before the priest returns to the sanctuary? What if the priest and the servers departed, then returned immediately? Would that be OK? What if everyone but the priest prayed?

  2. Vince K says:

    If you’re in the polling mood, you may consider voting on this poll concerning liturgical orientation, with a link to Fr. Z’s recent post on the matter: https://www.facebook.com/vtkline/posts/937466263524

  3. I think that Fr. Z. is right about the implications of the poll. This is not about prayers after Mass, it’s about whether those people who want the Leonine Prayers are wrong (because they are obviously traditionalists). I did’t vote because I don’t like public devotions etc., after Mass period. And voting that way would end up being a vote about traditionalists in the context of this poll.

    I don’t even care for the Last Gospel—it was forced on the Dominican Rite in 1670 by Roman authorities. My reason is that when a public dismissal is made, it makes little sense to then go on to public prayers as if the dismissal never happened. When the Leonine Prayers were said in the old days after Low Mass (they were not done after High Mass), this was not so much an oddity as the people mostly didn’t hear what the priest was saying—my experience until I was in high school and the vernacular came int—and it was in a foreign language.

    However, if I am saying Mass (old or new) and it is the custom to say some public devotion or prayers after Mass, far be it from me to try and make people stop doing it pass judgments on them.

  4. Suudy says:

    From the comments:
    > You would think that the Mass was “enough”.

    I wanted to post the following, but I figure they’d never approve:

    God’s grace is “enough.” Why bother going to mass at all?

  5. Suudy says:

    Huh. They closed the comments over there.

  6. mepoindexter says:

    I call PT “The blog that dare not speak it’s name”.

  7. BrionyB says:

    I can’t think of a single good reason for NOT saying the Leonine prayers or singing the appropriate Marian anthem after Mass. There’s nothing to stop someone leaving immediately after the dismissal if they really have to rush somewhere urgently (indeed it’s not unheard of for the odd person to leave before that, so the comment on the linked article about being ‘free to leave’ is a bit irrelevant; the church is not a prison and we are free to enter or leave it any time we choose).

    (if time is an issue, maybe they could trim a bit off the Bidding Prayers or the Sign of Peace, or skip the heretical verse of Gather Us In??)

  8. majuscule says:

    Looks like many more people found the poll—520 at the time I write!

  9. L. says:

    In my parish, our Priest would not consider saying the Leonine Prayers because one is not to add prayers to the Mass. I did not waste time explaining that prayers said after Mass are, obviously, not added to the Mass.

  10. Eric says:

    It’s 618 yes to 62 no now!

  11. Uxixu says:

    Another case where for the Latin Rite, the changes of 1955 need to be undone and proper Last Gospels restored (along with the fixed commemorations), if not undoing the horrible reduction of all simplex and semi-doubles to commemorations, though it risks quickly turns into something few would trust Rome to manage at this point. Perhaps easiest would be the blanket Missal amnesty. The hippies can use 1970 ICEL (Heaven help them), FSSP and ICRSS could licitly use the 1948 Missal, etc. Few I suspect would remain with 1962.

    One would also like to see the Religious embrace their own Rites in common as a rule rather than an exception. Not only the Dominicans, but the Norbertines, etc as well.

  12. aroc981 says:

    Fr. Z you’re a savage lol. I just voted, now there’s about 600 something votes for yes and like 4 for no. I really hope you give us some more opportunities to troll these people.

    Might I suggest Fishwrap next? Do they even take polls or comments anymore??

    [Troll? Not at all. I was just trying to be of help.]

  13. Cafea Fruor says:

    I didn’t vote, because I agree with Fr. Augustine and don’t like public devotions after Mass either, but I didn’t want to make it sound like I supported those who are anti-traditional. Public devotions are great at other times, but if I have a right and a duty to make a thanksgiving after receiving the Lord in Communion, I believe have a right to some silence in which to make that thanksgiving. At too many parishes, there are all these devotions after Mass (the Rosary, the Our Lady of Perpetual Help novena, Divine Mercy chaplet, etc., which are wonderful devotions), especially daily Mass, but maybe someone after Mass just wants a little silence for contemplative prayer in the presence of our Lord.

    Problem is, the “custom of the public” is always going to swing in favor of vocal prayer because those who want silence can’t crowd out the noise with silence, whereas those who pray aloud can crowd out the silence with noise. I’m a member of the public, darn it! Why can’t my desire for silence become a custom? Why can’t there just be quiet time before and after Mass? There is not enough silence in this world, and if I can’t find it in church, where am I going to find it? Certainly not at home in my noisy neighborhood, not even in the library anymore, not anywhere, really.

    The best Masses I’ve ever been to were those in the Carthusian monastery where I spent some months discerning. The Carthusian rite does not include the Leonine prayers, and after the closing prayer and dismissal, there was just blessed, serious silence. Blissful.

  14. iamlucky13 says:

    Comments on the site in opposition to communal prayers after Mass seem to be based on the false assumption that such prayers are obligatory for all present. This, of course, is not true.

    The obligation is to participate in the Mass. The option to participate in prayers after Mass is an opportunity.

  15. Gab says:

    We can’t ever say enough prayers for the Church and it’s prelates. What did Our Lord tell us? Something about praying often or was it always.

  16. JGavin says:

    I understand the objections re prayers after Mass. However, when is any prayer a bad thing?As to silence after Mass , one is greeted by the cacophony of socialization which trying to say one’s rosary after Mass is quite distracting. Our diocese has the Prayer of St Michael after Mass. First it is a translation I did not have memorized as a child. Second, if this prayer is to be said , do the whole Leonine prayers not only that particular prayer. In one of the comments at that other site, mention was made of the three Hail Marys said for the conversion of Russia. So what if so. I remember reading that these prayers were instituted for the Church against Secular regimes taking/threatening Her secular power. It would seem wise to rededicate or repurpose these prayers to protect Mother Church from all enemies, natural and supernatural, within and outside, secular and religious. I would reinstitute the entire set of Leonine prayers.

  17. Archlaic says:

    Ah, dear Father, you have yielded to the same temptation which seizes me occasionally: to see what these peculiar folks over at their very strange “weblog” are up to. As a very wise priest of my acquaintance – who has forgotten more than the lot of them will ever know – has advised me, “don’t waste your time!” [Are you kidding? People pour this garbage into my email each and every day!]

    I’ve never met a smug or supercilious Benedictine… other that the one who runs the place … but I’ve encountered plenty of over-educated feminist-litniks, of which they have a prime exemplar on their masthead. And there plenty of other odd ducks in that pond. But unless you have some unsatisfied academic interest in studying those types in their natural habitat, my advice is to just avoid the whole place and stick to Fr. Z, [I am Fr. Z., and this is Fr. Z’s Blog.] Fr. Hunwicke, and your other favorite and *reliably Catholic* blogs if you feel the need to spend any “quality time” online.

  18. Dear Cafea Fruor,

    Thank you. You have said it better than I could have myself. And those others who have commented on the religious order rites: yes, thank you, the hierarchy should just leave us alone and not force Romanisms on us.

  19. Ms. M-S says:

    Just voted. Now there are 953 Yes and 84 No. Can’t be long before this turnaround is blamed over there on a Vast Rightwing Conspiracy.

  20. robtbrown says:

    Fr Augustine says,

    I don’t even care for the Last Gospel—it was forced on the Dominican Rite in 1670 by Roman authorities. My reason is that when a public dismissal is made, it makes little sense to then go on to public prayers as if the dismissal never happened.

    That would also eliminate the hymn sung after the dismissal, the “sending forth” song. I’m fine with that elimination.

    I do find it hard to understand, however, how anyone could consider the Last Gospel devotional. It contains the foundation of Christology and especially Christ’s Priesthood, the de facto suppression (or distortion) of which is the key to the funky views on the Eucharist that are all but ubiquitous.

  21. hwriggles4 says:

    My parish does a bilingual Mass every Sunday at 12:30 PM. I do speak some Spanish and I try to attend at least once a month- it helped me learn oraciones en espanol and many priests and seminarians today are learning Spanish (some dioceses require it or strongly recommend it nowadays). I went a few weeks ago, and when the choir completed the final hymn, the entire choir publicly prayed aloud Oraciones por Archangel de San Miguel en espanol (i.e. the St Michael Prayer, defend us in the day of battle…). I was impressed. This Mass has also helped me learn some Latin, since some of the prayers (Padre Nuestro y Pater Nostre) and some responses (y con tu espiritu) and hymns (Sanctus) are similar. El padre Zuhlsdorf would probably have an easy time con la Misa en espanol, estudiar en seminario en Roma.

  22. Cafea Fruor says: I didn’t vote, because I agree with Fr. Augustine and don’t like public devotions after Mass either, but I didn’t want to make it sound like I supported those who are anti-traditional. Public devotions are great at other times, but if I have a right and a duty to make a thanksgiving after receiving the Lord in Communion, I believe have a right to some silence in which to make that thanksgiving. At too many parishes, there are all these devotions after Mass (the Rosary, the Our Lady of Perpetual Help novena, Divine Mercy chaplet, etc., which are wonderful devotions), especially daily Mass, but maybe someone after Mass just wants a little silence for contemplative prayer in the presence of our Lord.

    Where are these “too many parishes” that have post-Mass devotions? I would love to have devotions after Mass, instead of people yapping and socializing inside the Church, as if they were at a cocktail party. Even in the crazy ‘70s, that sort of behavior inside a church was unthinkable. Now it seems to be the norm.

    Come to think of it, maybe the reason these parishes have instituted public devotions after Mass is precisely to combat the crass irreverence that is now so prevalent.

  23. Cafea Fruor says:

    @Anita Moore: a lot of parishes in my diocese on the East Coast, my parents’ parish in the south, and a lot of other parishes I’ve visited all over the country (I’ve traveled a lot, so that includes about 32 states in the U.S.). At least in my diocese, I never witnessed socializing after daily Mass, only Sunday Masses, but almost every daily Mass to which I’ve been has some public devotion afterward, except maybe the early morning Masses. While I understand that some people benefit from praying these devotions with others, for those of us who would like silence, you just can’t get it. In my own parish, you can’t even get to the door after Mass before someone starts up the Divine Mercy chaplet. When I visit my parents’ parish, it’s the Divine Mercy chaplet and umpteen other prayers, and even though about half the daily Mass-goers have asked for at least five minutes of silence after Mass before the chaplet pray-ers start, no such luck. Zilch time for a personal prayer in silence, while those precious moments after Communion are really begging for silent prayer. They’re the par excellence time for sitting with the Lord and listening to Him, since He’s right there in you. In my opinion, that time should be protected for silent, intimate, personal prayer, not one for public devotions. And yes, I do think that pastors need to set the tone there and stop the socializing. At one of my previous parishes, the pastor would walk to each group of talkers and ask them to take the conversation outside to the vestibule or outdoors, telling them that their conversation was keeping people from praying and that inside church was for talking with the Lord, and the vestibule and courtyard for talking with each other. People respected that and took their chats outside. It was AWESOME.

    And the problem is, I can’t get that silent time in church elsewhere, because if I try going to a church near me outside of Mass times, it’s usually locked. If I try going to a perpetual adoration chapel, the chapel is never even really quiet either, because adoration chapels are in general much too small to allow you not to hear every little thing, from the person constantly scribbling in a journal to the person who audibly whispers their prayers to themselves to the person constantly clearing their throat to that one person who “silences” the cell phone only to leave it on a very audible vibrate setting. For the lay person like me who wants silence, it’s getting to be darned near impossible to find, even in church, and I’m quite frankly fed up and starved for real silence.

    While public devotions are great, the world desperately NEEDS more silence. LOTS more silence. Public devotions will only take you so far. Without silence, a deeper, truly personal relationship with the Lord is also darned near impossible because, without silence, contemplation is impossible. And as we’re all called to be contemplative, even if it’s to a smaller degree than contemplative religious are, then we all need silent prayer time.

  24. hwriggles4 says:

    I was impressed that the choir at our Sunday bilingual Mass has started reciting the St. Michael the Archangel prayer in Spanish after the closing song has concluded. It’s only within the last year or two that I have started reciting this prayer after Mass.

  25. I would prefer silence after Mass too, but I’d prefer public devotions to loud and frivolous conversations all around me in the church.

  26. TonyO says:

    I say yes to the leonine prayers. (And to the Last Gospel, too, though with less enthusiasm). But as long as we’re talking about changes: incorporate them into the Mass, in the proper place for them. After the dismissal is not where they belong. I agree with Fr. Augustine above. Let the dismissal be the last thing the priest says. The final recessional hymn (where there is one) can then be the choir / congregation’s “extended response of thanksgiving” to the dismissal. Let “go” mean go – at least with respect to the priest’s involvement.

    There is no reason you can’t incorporate the St. Michael prayer earlier in the Mass. Or even right at the beginning.

    I am also in favor of other prayers after the Mass is concluded – completely concluded, that is. One place I go, usually there is an Angelus said. But let it be both LED and SAID by the people, not by the priest – unless he goes into the sacristy and takes off his chasuble and then returns, and thereby denotes that the Mass is well and truly OVER.

    I have been places where they do the rosary, waiting a mere one minute or so. I would say that the rosary is too long: it makes it so that the people who want to speak their thanksgiving to the Lord in their own words while still in His very house have to wait 20 minutes for the freedom. Or jat least wait a good 5 minutes after Mass before starting the rosary.

  27. jjbulano says:

    3:13 pm MST — 1,301 yes, 102 no

  28. Actually, the Pray Tell blog does come in handy now and then, if you can persevere through the flotsam. The problem with it (other than the obvious) is that the author (who was probably a Jesuit in a previous life, if there is such a thing) doesn’t like being told he’s wrong, even politely, even when you prove it.

    Yes, it’s his little sandbox, and he has the right to erase comments that question his superiority, but some of us know what Chesterton said about the right to do something.

    Don’t we?

  29. Gab says:

    The Leonine prayers are of course said after Mass in the TLM, led by the priest. When I’m at a N.O Mass I says the prayers myself, kneeling and when the recessionary “hymn” is being played, (usually something from either John Denver or Glen Campbell). I am respectful and wait for Father to walk down the back of the church first.

    I don’t care what people think as I’m there to pray.

  30. Greg Hlatky says:

    We say the Leonine prayers after Mass and even my poor knees have no objection.

  31. Fr. Kelly says:

    When I arrived in this parish, the custom was for the priest to return after the recessional hymn was over, kneel down in the middle of the aisle and lead the St. Michael prayer..

    Once Obamacare came in and the HHS Mandate was threatening Religious freedom, (Do you remember when Cardinal Dolan as head of the USCCB told us this was the biggest issue facing us?)
    lots of parishes began composing prayers for religious freedom. We replaced the St. Michael Prayer with the whole set of Leonine prayers, as the Collect asks for pretty much all that we would want in that regard: “the conversion of sinners and the liberty and exaltation of Our Holy Mother, the Church”

    We have kept this up. Now on the rare occasion that I have to leave immediately to cover Mass in the neighboring parish, the people are able to lead it themselves even if I can’t.

  32. I really like the prayer to St. Michael–but a better time to say it, in my opinion, would be at the end of the General Intercessions (I think that’s what they’re called) right before the Offertory. So I didn’t vote. I did notice that one of the commenters opposed to devotions after Mass said something about “sending forth.” What, exactly is that supposed to mean? It’s a favorite of our Sunday cantors, who always announce the recessional hymn as “our song for sending forth.” As though we’re all supposed to stream out of the church and start preaching to passersby on the sidewalk. Same with the hymn at the beginning of Sunday Mass: It’s always “our gathering song.” This sounds equally absurd, because we’ve already “gathered”–we’re inside the church in our pews, for heaven’s sake! Why can’t the cantors just say “entrance hymn”? Where did all this weird “gathering” and “sending forth” lingo come from?

  33. Dear Bob (robtbrown),

    This tread is probably getting stale, but here goes. In fact, the Last Gospel is in origin a private devotion. It seems to have first appeared in the 15th century. Priests would recite it quietly as the returned to the sacristy or in the sacristy when removing their vestments. Eventually this devotion spread to Rome. Other similar devotions existed in various places. For example, in the Dominican Rite, the priest recites the Canticle of the Three Young Men (Daniel 3) quietly while returning to the sacristy. When the Tridentine Missal was promulgated this (now Roman) devotion was imposed and, probably because priests now having to adopt the Roman Rite did not have it memorized, it was to be said at the altar from an altar card. Alien to our Rite, it was imposed on us in the 1670s because not saying it created “admiratio” among the people.

    Nearly all the “private” prayers of the Mass originated in this way. That is why the older the rite, the fewer of these. Just compare the short simple private prayers of the Dominican Offertory and Communion (1254) with the longer Tridentine ones (1570). Even the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar originated in this way. See for example, the Carthusian Rite, where they are recited in the sacristy before Mass rather than at the altar.

    I am not opposed to these private prayers, per se, but the fact is they are in origin private devotions of the priest.

  34. oldCatholigirl says:

    How people react to regular “extra” prayers after Mass seems to partly be affected by their situation. If your parish has happy-clappy Masses in “worship spaces” that transmogrify into social halls immediately after (or even before) the priest leaves the sanctuary, formal communal prayer, especially in traditional forms, is a great antidote–nothing like a heartfelt shout-out to St. Michael to dampen the urge to shout out to your neighbor across the aisle–either in fellowship or censure. In an almost totally silent low TLM, praying out loud in the vernacular afterwards can be a satisfying contrast. Most situations aren’t so black and white, so I think that patience with other people’s preferences should be cultivated. It helps when one knows what to expect. For example, I really have to “offer it up” at a NO where the congregation is encouraged to add petitions to the–are they called bidding prayers? It sometimes happens at the daily noon Mass in our sizeable Cathedral. People are fairly spread out, and, like many a Catholic of my era, I sit towards the back. The petitions I can hear (not many) are fine, certainly heartfelt. Most are inaudible to me and at the time always seem endless. But I am there to pray, and not by myself, right? Same thing for prayers after Mass. I usually want a period of silent prayer then, but am totally acclimated now to the full battery of Leonine prayers (following either Mass form at our parish) because 1) They’re good, sorely needed prayers which help to focus and form my private prayer intentions. 2) Father kneels down and says them too. 3) They’re now customary, and I can fit them into my (unconscious) time frame. 4) Our loud socializing is done outside the closed doors, so those who wish to pray inside, can expect relative silence.
    That said, I don’t find background noise particularly distracting. I figure it goes with the territory. Even the silence in an adoration chapel, while almost palpable, is not absolute if the room is not totally isolated and soundproofed. I suggest that Cafe Fruor, or anyone with sharp enough hearing to be irked by someone else’s vibrating phone, try using earplugs.

  35. TonyO says:

    Without silence, a deeper, truly personal relationship with the Lord is also darned near impossible because, without silence, contemplation is impossible. And as we’re all called to be contemplative, even if it’s to a smaller degree than contemplative religious are, then we all need silent prayer time.

    Cafea Fruor, to my recollection, St Theresa of Avila and St. Therese Lisieux both indicated that the “silence” in a contemplative setting is often (or always) beset with the same sorts of problems you mentioned: the sister who can’t sit still, the loud breathing of Sr. X who has a nasal problem, the kneelers that creak in odd ways, etc. Even an Adoration Chapel has a background level of noise.
    Earplugs might help, as oldCatholic mentions, or probably even better, earplugs together with noise-cancelling headphones. But probably just as important: ask the Lord to help you first offer up the distractions as an offering in place of undistracted prayer, and then ask for help to cultivate getting past the distractions, to learn to tune them out of the prayerful disposition you need. You know, when Christ went out away from the crowds to pray, in the great outdoors it wasn’t silent. When St. Francis asked for natural spaces to be set aside from cultivation to assist in contemplation, he didn’t get purely silent places. True silence is at least a matter of interior setting as much as mere physical lack of noise. (Those with busy imaginations can find silence difficult to achieve even in a perfectly sealed room.)