This is my first letter to you. I am old and grew up with the old Mass. I have tolerated the NO for years and years. But it has grown steadily worse. Today’s Sunday Mass (in England) was like a protestant Sunday school. The priest is from Africa. He is very jolly but lacks the gravitas at Holy Mass. There is a big focus on little children. There is a reading out of parish lottery results there is clapping. The sermon is unintelligible due to his African accent. It is mostly full of platitudes that could be heard in any protestant church. I kneel before I receive Holy Communion , everyone else receives on the hand standing. I feel frustrated and unfulfilled by a lack of reverence. By a lack of liturgical discipline. I wonder if I as a Catholic am in the right church? Is this Really God’s house.? Is His sacrifice truly acknowledged on the altar?. Does Christ really act through the priest? I know that He does but there is no sense in the priest or the people of these realities. Should I stop going to Sunday Mass for the benefit of my Faith? Or should I suffer in silence? I pray to God to bring back the Latin Mass And the preaching that went with it.
Your frustration is palpable. I’m frustrated just reading about it.
This is part of the problem with the Novus Ordo, I’m afraid. There are so many options, too many opportunities for the priest to impose himself on the Mass. At the same time, the priest is in a tough spot because the Novus Ordo pretty much requires him to perform. Add to that the versus populum altar and you have massive potential problems.
Some men do better with that pressure than others.
At the same time, I’ve heard an awful lot of platitudes and cliches come out of priests who say the Traditional Mass.
Let’s put it into perspective. Yes, it is God’s house. I am sure that the Masses are valid, and His Sacrifice is renewed on that altar, though it doesn’t seem as if it is being acknowledged. Yes, Christ really acts through the priest, though the priest may not act like it.
Consider that last point.
What an amazing proof of the love of Christ that He permits Himself to be commanded and manipulated, called and handled, by the crass and the clever, the holy and impious, the negligent and the scrupulous.
Pray for your priest. Ask his and your Guardian Angels to gang up on him and nudge him in the right direction. It is probable that this is what he was taught to do and doesn’t know better.
Don’t stop going to Mass. You don’t have to go there exclusively. You can also go elsewhere.
Suffering in silence is commendable. Offering your pain in reparation for sins against Our Lord and Our Lady is meritorious.
You can also make your concerns known, in charity and with tact.
You can give yourself a break and go somewhere else, too. You can do that.
Finally, many people here in these USA also have problems understanding the priests from other countries. It seems to me that some of these priests are probably really frustrated with themselves! They must know that they are hard to understand. It could be that some of these men would do well to seek some help with “accent reduction / improvement training”. Yes, that it is a real thing. I know what it is like to live in another country and have the pressure of preaching in a language that isn’t my native tongue. I worked on my pronunciation.
I am reminded of how England became Christian in the first place. St. Augustine of Canterbury was born and raised in Rome. So daunting was his mission that on the way to England he turned around and begged Pope Gregory to recall him. No dice. Augustine arrived in Kent and was, probably, pretty hard to understand by the average Kentish denizens. With the highborn, he could probably use Latin, but not so with Hengest the fuller. I’ll bet they were pretty frustrated with each other for a while. Eventually, it worked out.