Liturgy & Priesthood

This sign confronts everyone entering the Carmelite Monastery Church of St. Joseph. This was the 1st convent started by St. Teresa of Avila.

Don’t you wish it was on every church door in America?   :-)

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Should We Use the Missalette at Mass?

by Steve Ray on November 15, 2019

From Jimmy Akin’s blog:

Richard Becker, who describes himself as a “God-haunted lunatic,” has an entertaining rant against the use of missalettes at Mass. Being a God-haunted lunatic myself, allow me to counter-rant in the same spirit.

In his piece, Becker poses a number of arguments against using missalettes at Mass. Let’s take a look at them:

1) The Argument from Van Morrison

Becker’s first argument compares going to Mass to going to a Van Morrison concert, which Becker indicates would be an incredibly thrilling experience for him.

I don’t know Van Morrison’s music myself, but fair enough.  De gustibus non est disputandum (Latin for: “In matters of taste, there can be no disputes”).

Becker then asks whether, upon going to such a concert, he would Google the lyrics and read along with the stage performance. He says:

Noooo, of course not! I’d soak it all in – a total immersion, listening to and watching a great songwriter give voice to his own compositions, himself, in person! They’re songs I mostly know already by heart anyway, but even if I didn’t, why would I waste that exquisite privilege by reading along?

That’s what I think of when I go to church and see folks with their noses in the missalettes – those little booklets in the pew that contain all the readings and parts of the Mass. Worse still is when their eyes are glued to iPhones or other gadgets as they follow along on apps while the lector drones on pointlessly up front.

Allow me to draw your attention to some of Becker’s key words: “They’re songs I mostly know already by heart anyway.” That’s a relevant difference. Most people at Mass don’t mostly know the scripture readings by heart anyway.

And far from diminishing the experience, for many members of the congregation, reading along enhances their experience of the readings.

That’s. Why. They. Do. It.

That’s also why people, including me, sometimes Google song lyrics. I don’t know if Becker ever does that, but I do. It’s one of the ways that I help avoid mondegreens.

So I don’t have a problem if people use missalettes at Mass—or, for that matter, their electronic equivalent.

On the other hand, if someone prefers not to use one, that’s fine, too.

And, if I may ask, why should Becker be dismayed by looking around at other people at Mass and seeing if and what they’re reading? On his theory, shouldn’t his attention be focused the lector, to drink in every detail of his proclamation of the readings?

At a Van Morrison concert, wouldn’t he be watching the stage performance and not the other members of the audience? ….

The Other Arguments Used Against Using Missalettes — and Jimmy Akin’s Response to Each:

2) Argument from College, 3) Argument from the GIRM, 4) The Alter Christus Argument, 5) the Argument from Protestant Services, 6) the Argument from the Annunciation, 7) A Role for Misselettes? 8) “In matters of taste, there can be no disputes”, 9) Implications for the Lector.

For the whole article, click here.

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20 Things TO DO And NOT DO at Mass. These are not rules that will get you banished from the Church, but things that are mostly common sense — polite conduct to enhance our worship and that of those around us.

1. Fast before Mass. It is required that one fasts for at least 1 hour before receiving Holy Communion. The only exceptions are medicine, water or unless someone is ill and needs to eat sooner.

2. No Food and Drink in Church. The only exceptions would be milk for infants, water for the priest or choir (if discreet) and water for those who are ill. You may sip water just before you enter the church.

3. Men take your hats off. It is impolite to wear a hat into any church for a man. Additionally,  ladies and men, do not use sun glasses inside the church. You are in the presence of our Lord & God.

4. Never chew gum in church! It breaks your fast, it’s rude and it’s distracting!

5. Cross yourself with Holy Water on entering and leaving the church. This is a reminder of our Baptism, which made us members of Christ’s Church.

6. Dress modestly and appropriately. As Catholics we believe that God comes down to meet us at every Mass. Won’t you dress well to meet a king? That said remember that the mass is not a fashion show. And Christmas and Easter masses are not Milan Fashion week. Dress in a way that gives witness to your faith.

7. Show up at least a few minutes early and try coming as close to the altar as possible.  If you can’t be on time, then sit in the back so you don’t disturb others.

8. Cell phones should never be used in Mass for calls or texting. The ONLY exceptions are emergencies (big ones, not everyday ones) and if you are using the phone for readings the lectionary or the said prayers/ responses.

9. Gentlemen offer their seats to any lady who is standing. Some churches get packed. 

10. When we enter and leave Church, genuflect (bow your knee) toward the Tabernacle. Christ is present for our sake. By allowing our right knee to hit the floor, we acknowledge He is our Lord and God. If someone is physically unable to genuflect, then a bow is sufficient. During Mass, if you pass in front of the altar or tabernacle, bow reverently.

11. Sit quietly while in church. If you must talk do so as quietly and briefly as possible. Remember that your conversation might be disturbing someone who is in prayer. Sssshhhhhhhh. Most churches now have gathering spaces in the back for conversation.

12. Take loud children to the back. Every parent knows that sometimes the baby is going to have a bad day. Parents with young kids should sit on the end of a pew, if you can, so that you can take the kid to the back quickly. There is no reason to be embarrassed about having to quiet your child. Take the child to the back of the church immediately. It is worse to allow them to disturb others during Mass.

13. Prepare your offering before Mass. Christ tells us not to let your left hand know what your right hand is doing when you make your offering. Keeping the basket while you get your wallet out can be quite a scene. Digging the basket for change is a big no no. Come to Mass with your offering prepared.

14. It is best not to read the bulletin during the actual Mass. Imagine if you invited a guest to your house and before dinner (or during) they decided to read a magazine instead of talking to you.

15. Respect the worship. Stand during the gospel reading and other set time during worship. Kneel at the consecration. It is part of worship. The only exceptions are fir the sick, people with knee problems, aged and those with infants. If you can’t kneel occupy a pew that does not obstruct the view of the Lord from those who do kneel.

16. Bow before receiving Holy Communion. Remember that you are before your Lord, show your respect with a profound bow from the hip.

17. Do not receive from the chalice if you are sick. This is an act of charity. Try to receive communion on the tongue. If you receive on the hand, check your hands after receiving the Lord so that no crumbs may fall to the ground.

18. Do not leave early unless there is an urgent issue. We should stay to the end of the recession and the hymn that accompanies it, if there is one. Remember who left the last supper early (Judas). We should show respect for God, for the priest and our fellow worshipers. 

19. Pray after Mass, if you can. It is a good custom, though not required. Offer a prayer of thanksgiving after Mass is over.

20. Leave quietly. We encourage you to visit others especially your pastors as a part of Christian fellowship, but do so once you are outside of the main sanctuary of the church so you won’t disturb others who want to stay and pray.

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What is the Earliest a Mass can Start on the Preceding Day to Fulfill the Obligation for a Sunday or Holy Day Obligation?

October 14, 2019

A question on Mass-start times that warrants attention by Dr. Edward Peters Recalling, in the wake of a some recent discussions of Mass obligations, that I had promised some time ago to set out some materials for use in reasoning through another Mass attendance question, I offer some of that now. This question concerns, What is the […]

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Can you guess what this is? St. Paul would have no idea…

October 3, 2019

Take another look. It has two parts. St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians 2,000 years ago and told them how to properly conduct themselves on Sunday morning. He also told them what they were to do at the heart of their liturgy. If you still can’t figure it out, then visit this site where you […]

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Holding Hands at Mass? Fr. John Riccardo’s 4-Minute Answer

September 22, 2019

I hate holding hands at Mass so this 4-minute video sure resonated with me….

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St. Moses, Sts. Adam & Eve, St. Abraham, St. Moses – Did you know some Old Testament people are Saints?

September 4, 2019

Today is the Feast Day of St. Moses. What? Moses is a saint? Yes, and so are many of the heroes of the Old Testament. Adam and Eve have liturgical feast days, so do Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, King David and many others. The Roman Martyrology (1600) lists saints recognized up to that point including many […]

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Genuflecting a No-No?

May 5, 2019

Several years ago my wife and visited a new parish (new for us). I genuflected before receiving the Blessed Sacrament. Believe it or not, I was reprimanded by the Extraordinary Minister while he handed me the host. After Mass I spoke with the priest about it and he reprimanded me as well. I told them Quite […]

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I Love the Universality of the Catholic Church – Love Being Catholic!

April 18, 2019

We went to Mass a while ago and wanted to share it again. We could not understand a word during Mass since it was all in French. We are celebrating Mass with a church FULL of French-speaking Africans with a white French bishop with an Italian parish priest in a church built by Italians in the […]

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Mass with 2 Protestants and 1 Crucifix

January 5, 2019

A while ago we went to Mass with two Protestants.  As we walked in the door — there it was, as big as life — a CRUCIFIX with the Body of Our Lord hanging over the altar. I knew what the Protestants were thinking — I used to think the same — “CATHOLICS ARE WRONG, JESUS IS […]

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“Call No Man Your Father”

December 29, 2018

“Call No Man Your Father” By Steve Ray I received several questions recently and will post my answers separately over the next few days. Here is the first question which I received and answered. 1.) In Matthew 23:9 Jesus says: ” And call no man your father upon earth: for one is your Father which […]

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Novena for our Bishops who will be on Retreat from January 2-8, 2019

December 19, 2018

NOVENA FOR OUR BISHOPS December 24, 2018–January 1, 2019 THE U.S. HIERARCHY WILL BE IN RETREAT FROM JANUARY 2-8, 2019, AT MUNDELEIN SEMINARY. LET US ACCOMPANY THEM WITH OUR PRAYERS. I personally will be praying for them to act more like shepherds than politicians, more like fathers than like administrators. They need to be evangelists. […]

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Sex Abuse Scandals: Catholic, Protestant and Secular – You May Be Surprised

December 3, 2018

SEX ABUSE SCANDALS CATHOLIC, PROTESTANT AND SECULAR: Article by Dave Armstrong “Scandalous Sexual Misconduct Committed by Protestant Clergy” and it’s original source. I kept hearing about all these scandals going on in the Catholic Church.  I would hear about scandals from the east coast to the west coast and even in Europe.   The secular press was […]

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Holding Hands at Mass

November 28, 2018

My wife Janet and I always cringe at a new parish when it comes time for the Our Father. We quickly bow our heads and close our eyes; I clutch my hands close to my chest (and she does the same) and we start to pray — hoping some aggressive hand-holder doesn’t reach over and insist […]

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INTERVIEW: Cardinal Müller on Homosexuality Practiced and Covered Up within the Clergy and Hierarchy

November 24, 2018

Pope Francis recently fired him from his position as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (and maybe now we know why!) Here is part of the interview: “In this discussion about the abuse crisis, Müller does not shy away from pointing out that the Church needs to address the problem […]

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A Priest Struggles, “Should I Wear My Collar? People May Think I’m One of THEM!”

September 8, 2018

 STEVE’S NOTE: Because these are such tough times for faithful priests, I make a point of stopping any priest anywhere to THANK THEM FOR BEING A PRIEST! “So it might not be surprising that priests showing up in public, even if they are innocent of such charges, would be taking some heat. One priest, Fr. Michael […]

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