Weary With Holding In

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I offered the Sunday Vigil Mass in a suburban parish last Saturday in order to help out a friend and brother priest. Father is very dedicated and I have immense esteem for him. The observations that follow are no reflection on him. He inherited a difficult situation and hasn't yet completed his first year in the parish. But, like the prophet Jeremias, I am "weary with holding in." Disclaimer: the images below are in no way related to the place or persons mentioned in this rant. Any resemblance is purely coincidental.

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Chatter

The first thing that disconcerted me was the idle chatter in church before Mass. It was like being in a theatre waiting for the lights to dim and the curtain to go up. People seated in little groups around the church held exchanged news and joked with absolutely no regard for the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, the sacredness of the place, or the few faithful who were actually trying to pray. I knelt in the back of the church surrounded by prattle on all sides and felt an immense sadness in my heart. The words of the Mass of the Sacred Heart came to mind: "I looked for one that would grieve together with me, but there was none; and for one that would comfort me, and I found none" (Ps 68:21). Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament was alone among his own: ignored and treated with ingratitude and indifference in His own house. The chatter resumed immediately after Mass.

The Place

The unfortunate architecture of this particular church does not easily lend itself to recollection or to a spontaneous focus on the presence of our Lord. In spite of the large crucifix above the tabernacle, there is something about the building that is inimical to prayer. But there is more: the faithful seem to have lost any awareness of the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. There is no "eucharistic amazement." One does not find there the hush ordinarily commanded by an experience of the sacred.

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Reverence

Not that long ago there was still a lively sense of reverence among Catholics. People would sign themselves with Holy Water upon entering the church. They would genuflect before entering the pew, then kneel in adoration for a few moments. It was not uncommon to see people lighting candles before Mass or visiting the side altars and the shrines of their favourite saints. Some folks would pray the rosary quietly. Others would read over the Mass of the day in their missals. All of this has been swept away. When Pope John Paul II proclaimed the "Year of the Eucharist" his stated aim was the recovery of "Eucharistic amazement" — call it reverence, awe, or the spirit of adoration — in the whole Church. Instead of things improving in the average parish, they seem to be getting worse.

A number of factors have contributed to this desolate situation. I will enumerate a few of them:

1) The loss of any notion of sacred space. I think this is directly related to the removal of the Communion Rail or other effective delineation of the sanctuary of the church. Time to rally 'round the rood screen again! The Tractarians were right.

2) Mass "facing the people." This, more than anything else, undermined and continues to undermine the faithful's experience of the Mass as a Sacrifice offered to God in adoration, propitiation, thanksgiving, and supplication. The altar has become the big desk of the clerical CEO behind it: The Presider. It has become a stage prop for the "performing priest," complete with The Microphone.

3) Holy Communion in the hand. I see it every time I offer Mass in a parish church: the casual approach prevails. If one receives the Holy Mysteries like ordinary bread and a sip of ordinary wine, one begins rather sooner than later, will-nilly, to think of them as mere bread and wine.

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4) No bells. Instead of ringing a sacristy bell to announce the beginning of Mass, the organist leaned into His Microphone and said, "Let us stand to greet Father Kirby." Sorry. That is not what the Entrance Procession is about. It is a humble, joyful, and orderly movement into the Holy Place, a crossing-over from chronos (worldly, stressful, clocked time) to kairos (the heavenly, tranquil, timeless moment of God), an entering into the adorable presence of the God who is like a consuming fire, a making-ready for the inbreaking of the Kingdom of Heaven. A bell says it better.

Same thing during the Eucharistic Prayer. People need to be warned of the imminence of the most sacred moment of the Mass, even when the Eucharistic Prayer (Canon) is prayed aloud and in the vernacular. A bell does the job quite nicely. And another thing: saying the whole Eucharistic Prayer aloud and in the vernacular does not automatically guarantee "full, conscious, and actual participation" in the Holy Sacrifice. Silence, on the other hand, at least for certain parts of the Eucharistic Prayer, effectively opens a door onto the Holy Mysteries.

5) Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Alas, they are not extraordinary. They are ubiquitous and, I think, superfluous. Does expediting the distribution of Holy Communion really constitute grave necessity? In the church where I offered Mass last Saturday there were four Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, all of whom were women. Three were wearing casual slacks and one was showing cleavage. They could have been serving lemonade at the parish garden party. It was frightfully inappropriate.

Could there not be properly instituted acolytes for the service of the Holy Mysteries where such are needed? These would be adult men — few in number — suitably vested in amice, alb, and cincture and, most of all, schooled in reverence, attention, and devotion, and carefully trained for the service of the sacred liturgy.

This brings up yet another issue? Where have all the men gone? At last Saturday's Mass, the four Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, the Server, and one Lector were all women. I am not a misogynist. But honestly, this situation does nothing to foster priestly vocations.

6) The Music. Dare I call it that? Oh, the music! Show-tuney, trite, tired, and sickeningly sentimental with the organist/crooner singing into His Microphone. Might we not try singing the Mass itself: the Ordinary and the Propers? More than anything else celebrants must begin taking their sacerdotal obligations seriously by learning to cantillate the dialogical parts of the Mass, the orations, the Preface Dialogue and Preface, and the other elements that belong uniquely to them as priests.

I am not a gloomy person by nature, but last Saturday's Mass left me very sad indeed. "For if in the green wood they do these things, what shall be done in the dry?" (Lk 23:31).

40 Comments

Much of what Fr. Mark describes is seen in our local parishes. I am fortunate to come from a Dominican parish where it is more uncommon for people to talk aloud in the church. We can always identify visitors because they do so very freely - despite persons in prayer right nearby!
We are also fortunate to have the Blessed Sacrament "front and center," to have good music, well trained alcolytes and priests who regularly provide catechesis which reinforces our understanding of the importance of prayer, respect for the Eucharist and other basics of the faith. Having weekly Adoration helps reinforce all of the above. That being said, recently our parish bulletin had an announcement which I had not seen in the 17+ years I've been attending the parish: it cautioned against immodest dress, casual conversation, ringing cell phones, late arrivals and early departures from Mass. Obviously, the clergy noticed concerning trends even in the parish I just described!
A final comment: a few years ago my daughter was confirmed in a large suburban parish which has a huge youth program. Something like 125 teens were confirmed. Yet I was much more impressed that few people genuflected upon entering the church, NO ONE was seen praying on their knees for these about-to-be-confirmed young people and the DIN from the congregation before the Mass was such that anyone wishing to be recollected or prayerful was at a very great disadvantage. Announcements were made by the pastor about when to take photos, how to get to the reception to follow and the like but nothing was said to remind the apparently excited community of worshipers(?!) to be still and silent. It appears that Catholics have been trained to embrace their worship so casually as to have obliterated the idea of holiness and mystery.

I do not want to get into any debate, since this topic can turn into a battle ground. I understand what you are saying and appreciate your suggestions. I just see things differently. I am not debating if your suggestions are correct or not....there are many churches (alas in the minority for sure) that do have very liturgies without communion railings etc and they are very spiritual) so I am not sure if just changing externals will really make a long term effect.
in the present polemics of the church it just wont happen. and we need a practical way to start.

it does not matter what 'soft ware' we use if the hard drive is messed up and I think we have a 'hard drive' mess with the liturgy. the crisis starts with the very priests, if real liturgical life is not rooted in their hard drives nothing will get better in the parish. they are to be the "salt" in the parish for real liturgical life. it is from them that all the other ministers and the laity will learn how to have a deep encounter with God in the word proclaimed and the eucharist that is celebrated. they are the ones to initiate all the other ministers into this liturgical life. if they are 'salt and light' and do not abdicate their responsibility, then they will find the right expressions and forms (maybe more traditional or not) but they will express real presence to God in and through the liturgy.

I cannot explain this well in a short comment. But it is so important. The Holy Father hit it on the head in his Apostolic letter on the liturgy when he states that real liturgical catechesis is the deepest need and from that forms and expression will just fall in place. and when real catechesis is given people are very open to it and it takes this whole issue out of the great debates and polemics and opens a door for everyone to move forward. if priests really lived the simple teachings that Romano Guardini gives in his books SACRED SIGNS and MEDITATIONS BEFORE MASS, and share this with the people in a vital and living way......i think we would be on a practical way to change that could really work.... and I have seen it work where it is done.

EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

EXACTLY my point!

It is the mass of the people and NOT the Sacrifice of the Mass.

Marcos

You are right. May I add another possible cause. The protestantization of the liturgy caused by the Charismatic Renewal. In general the charismatics are pious Christians with strong faith. But their sense of liturgy is pentecostal bible believing protestant not Roman Catholic.

Father Mark,

Thank you for this post.
I agree with everything you have said.

I am sorry you were distressed by the degree of irreverence and casualness which, I regret to say, is commonplace in so many churches.

I live in England, where it is never very far to travel to the next parish, or next town, or even the next diocese.

Yes, there are plenty of modern church buildings in this country which are positively inimical to prayer.

There are church buildings which seem to have been designed without any thought for their purpose :
either as the House of God or as a place of worship.

Indeed, some places are so bad, they are unrecognisable as Catholic churches.

I long ago decided to attend only churches which can be ssen to be unambiguously Catholic, and are conducive to prayer and devotion, and to stay away from these other places.

I wonder what the dear Lord makes of them.

Lack of reverence for the Eucharist is increasing and makes me extremely sad. In the year that I have lived in my current parish here in Northern Virginia there have been two separate announcements concerning the requirement to consume the Host when it is given. Evidently, there are those who walk away with it. I fear the pastor is fighting a losing battle in his efforts to educate this very diverse suburban parish.

A priest friend in Florida says it's not uncommon to find Hosts stuck in the pages of the hymnals!

I try to pray in reparation for these sacrileges but it's is very disheartening.

Believe it or not, this is a comforting post to read. In these days of ubiquitous irreveverence, the existence of those who do not experience this sort of thing as their usual experience means there must be many places where things are being done right, which gives one hope.

I totally agree with your comments!! It seems to me that too much of the focus of the Mass is on the congregation and not enough on God. Too much 'agape' and not enough reverence. I don't go to my local parish(near London)anymore. The priest said a while ago that it was ok to talk in church, as we're the people of God and he wants us to feel comfortable in His house!! So it is full of chatter. I now go to another parish, where the priest often says the Office before the Evening Mass. This sets the right tone. I feel that priests are largely responsible for the atmosphere in churches and need to remind people why they are at Mass - to worship God!!! Thank you, by the way, for your excellent blog. I get a lot out of reading it!!!

Father,

Sadly, what you describe is the rule, rather than the exception, in most parishes. In my view, the Holy Father has given us the remedy for all of this in Summorum Pontificum. I pray that you and other well-formed priests will take andvantage of this blessing beginning Sept. 14.

God bless you,

Oremus

Father
You are a voice crying in the wildness. This is one of the reason our family turned to a Traditional Parish where they have the Mass of the Ages sanctioned by our Bishop. We have none of what you complained about and all of what you thought was right. Even the young children behave incredible well for they to at our Mass sense that this is sacred.

I have signed in anonymous to protect the identity of my parish. Father Mark,
Thank you for comments. It is refreshing to read what so many of us Catholics feel so disheartened about. It is impossible to accept that the reverence for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is so visibly in our midst right in our own parishes, however Father Mark what you described is mild in comparison to what I have painfully witnessed at mine. Although I agree that things like chatter in the church and the reception of the Eucharist in the hand (as well as many of the other things mentioned) lead to a very real threat to the faithful's understanding of the real presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, I have witnessed things which I feel go much deeper. I look around at my fellow brothers and sisters and I see people who are really lost. In conversation I am made aware that people do not even know why they are genuflecting at the tabernacle. I had a conversation with a fellow parishner who is an EMHC and found he did not know what perpetual Eucharistic Adoration was. I thank God He has granted me the knowledge of mind and the faith of heart to undertsand what an awesome gift our Lord has given to us to humbly take on the appearance of bread and wine and make Himself vulnerable in desire to become intimate with us each Mass when we partake in Holy Communion. I do not feel that the answer to this is so cut and dry. We wonder why the faithful does not learn more about their faith as well as why the Shepards by example are no longer tending to their sheep. Only God knows. What I do know is that I have seen things in my parish with people who should know. Things like Sacred Vessels not being purified and being put back in the closet. Jesus is being put back in the closet and I do not mean by EMHC. In response to this I was accused of be scrupulous. SSSO I ask

Father,
Excellent analysis of what I believe is the single greatest threat facing the Catholic Church today. Like you (I imagine) I am at a loss to fully explain:
1. Why this happened, and happened so quickly.
2. What can be done to correct the problem.

Like oremus, I believe that the Holy Father's Summorum Pontificum is an excellent first step. Simply put, I think that many Catholics behave the way that they do because they do not know what they are missing. With the Summorum Pontificum, widely and generously implemented, that will begin to change. Beyond that, though, I have no idea.

This is exactly why, and the unfortunate reality, I cannot ever see myself in a Novus Ordo diocesan structure or in an ordinary expression of the Roman Rite order. It is practically impossible to do things the Catholic way. I have seen it countless times a priest being persecuted and ostracized for wanting even to say the Latin Novus Ordo ad orientem, but low and behold the women of the parish or the liberal pastor have the final say.


It is a harsh reality and one I have been struggling with for years as a young man, but I cannot be the Catholic priest I want to be and celebrate the ordinary expression of the roman rite. There are some good priests who do, but they are extremely rare and often not working in parishes because they are in a small religious order where they will be less persecuted.


I hope Father that you will take this as a grace from God, and reconsider where you are. There are many groups out there fighting to bring back tradition in unity with the Holy Father, I would consider one of them.

Pax Christi,

An anonymous seminarian.

How can the flock find their way when the shepherds are lost themselves? I cry almost every Mass now and not by the gift of tears. I imagine our Lord cries with me because he knows His children are lost and in need of a shepherd who can see them and who leads by example. It is easy for those of us with the knowledge of the beauty of the traditional Mass to get so inebriated in how glorious it is to worship God in the most reverent way ( HE so deserves!!)that we lose our humility? That we forget the whole reason Jesus instituted the Eucharist. Did He not say He greatly desires to share this passover with us? Does He not say that each Mass to us as we prepare to receive His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity? It seems in either extreme whether it be a complete lack of reverence for the Mass and the Eucharist or becoming fixated in the horror of all that is wrong and how it should be we seem to lose the fact that there are people in the church whom God so desperately loves and wants for His own. Souls who are lost.

Sounds/appears to be a description of the "faith communities" located near by...

Father,

I must write thank you - thank you and God bless you for growing weary with holding in. It is wonderful to hear that there are more and more priests doing what they can to restore a sense of reverence and the sacred to Holy Mother Church.

Not to be overly dramatic, but the state of the Church in many places brings many of us to the edge of sorrow at times. I ask friends repeatedly "how did it come to this"? We seem to be the prodigal son - we sold our inheritance, and now find ourselves in the pigsty wishing we could go back to our Father's house. Pray God with the Holy Father's Motu Proprio that those of our older brothers who stayed "home" won't be too frustrated by those of us who humbly return to the beauty and reverence they fought for so long to hold on to.

Yes, this is the common experience of the 'american catholic church'--it is all about us!

Fr. Mark, I don't agree at all with part 4 - except for the line on unsuitable attire. But I do wholeheartedly agree that the atmosphere in a lot of our churches is not conducive to
prayer or worship.

I really don't understand this remark. " It is easy for those of us with the knowledge of the beauty of the traditional Mass to get so inebriated in how glorious it is to worship God in the most reverent way ( HE so deserves!!)that we lose our humility?"
How can one lose one's humility by giving to God all the honor and glory that He deserves? I kneel after Mass in thanks-giving that He has brought me to this Mass where His presence is felt so strongly and where there is the silence to be able to hear Him speaking in your heart during Mass and after. We are in this Mass humbled in His presence by the realization of his great love for us by the knowledge that this is Calvary again (sacrifice of the Mass).

The problem, Father is the Mass. It's the Novus Ordo and its GIRM. It has to be pulled from the ground, tree, root, and branch. Until that happens, the mob will clamor and Christ will lie alone in His tabernacle.

After September 14th, celebrate only the Traditional Mass whenever you have an option, whenever you have the chance. If you're forced to celebrate the Novus Ordo, don't be afraid to hurt feelings - gently, mind you, but don't let the fear of the unpleasant keep you from cutting out the cancer.

You're allowed to celebrate without the little girls and without Extraordinary Ministers. Do it. You're allowed to celebrate ad orientam. Do it. People are allowed to receive Holy Communion on the knees. Tell them they can. Rome has spoken on all these points. Causa finita est, no matter what your bishop says. If he sends all of you to minister to the old folks home, he's going to be a pretty busy guy. As for the music, I know one charming old priest who won't walk out of the sacristy if the music isn't suitable. He stays put with a smile. It will be hard, but it must be done.

Kirby contra mundum.

I'll remember you to St. Athanasius.

Father
I don't normally post three times to anything but looking at the pictures it struck me that there was no young people or children. Our Traditional parish is full of young families with many children. People of all ages but those over 50 are in the vast minority. We also have had many vocations from our parish over the years. I would put our parish against any other mega parish in this diocese in this area. So maybe the New Mass will fade away for lack of priest and parishioners.

I clearly stated in my disclaimer that the photos used were not of the parish in question. I chose that particular photo at random to illustrate folks talking in church.

My apologies, I got carried away.

Father

Well, you've managed to hit all my hot buttons, especially, especially, especially, the word "Presider." It sounds like a club meeting or a PTA. I'm a convert, having been in the Church 12 years or so, I can say I have never, ever, understood why you would call the priest a "presider," it trivalizes the whole proceeding, and probably leads to most, or all, of the other abuses. I just wish I knew what the answer was, except, that is, for encroaching old age of most of the litugists responsible for the mess.

Great post, I'm sure I'll calm down soon enough.

I am part of a rare parish where the Mass is celebrated reverently and the behavior is, for the most part, very proper. One of the most frequent comment we hear from Protestants visitors is that they are blown away by that sense of reverence. Needless to say, we have many converts.

I truly feel for you Father.

All I can say is: Thank heavens for the SSPX and other Traditional Chapels where none of this takes places - where one finds perfect silence before and after Mass; no communion in the hand or Eucharistic ministers; no profane music, but sacred polyphony or Gregorian chant; not heretical or sentimental sermons, but solid orthodox preaching; no effeminate priests, but manly and holy men. Where the priest still faces God; where the words of consecration have not been tampered with. In short, where all is still done as it was before our crisis erupted.

John Paul II often spoke of a new springtime. There is indeed a new springtime, and it is found in Tradtional Chapels where the Traditional Latin Mass - "the Mass of the saints" - is still said.

Interested in seeing this holy Mass, with a narration by Bishop Fulton Sheen? Ready to have your heart lifted to the third heaven? Here's a link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6AOvStZS64

Notice the precision of the priests; the reverence and holy manner in which the sacrifice is offered. This holy Mass is still available today... but it must be sought to be found.

Fr. Mark,

I forgot to say earlier you must get out more and maybe visit Los Angeles,indeed your eyes will tear...

Father--Thank you for a wonderful post. As a convert over 20 years ago, I was impressed by the reverence of people at Mass. Now, however, our usual Sunday experience is dealing with idle chatter both before, during & after mass--even during the consecration! Adults bring bottled H20 with them as if it is a picnic. The music sounds like a Tahoe lounge act. People even clap at the end of Mass as if we had just been to a concert. Our family tries hard to remain focused on The Real Presence but it so sad to see people receive the Eucharist as if it were just a snack. Fellow parishioners think I am being too critical when I have indicated that we need to return to reverence & awe at Mass. Pray for us, Father.

Oh, bless your heart, dear Father! You have described with fine clarity what countless lay Faithful have been experiencing in their parishes for decades! This sounds as if you have been cloistered for many, many years, which maybe you have. You "feel weary with holding in" after celebrating one such Mass in one such parish. Can you imagine the utter weariness of the devout lay Faithful who have had no other choice but to attend these "celebrations" week, after week, after weary week? It is truly miraculous that more have not succumbed to despair at it all. Thankfully, with God's grace and our new Holy Father, there may be a light at the end of this long dark post vatican II tunnel. We might even hope for that new springtime that the last Holy Father spoke about. Thank you for being a Faithful priest and your service to Christ's sheep. Please continue to pray for the weary little lambs--and for the lost ones as well.

Dear Fr. Mark,

Thank you for this post. I pray that yours and similar writings will along with the efforts of Pope Benedict see an end to such liturgical abuses.

I am fortunate to be within a parish and diocese where there remains reverence for the Sacrifice of the Mass. But I am aware of and written a letter to one Cardinal where the liturgy is grievously abused. In this parish I have observed no Gloria (Sundays and not during Advent or Lent), never any Creed, no Agnus Dei. The inside of the Church had for a long time no crucifix at the altar, fabrics on the walls rather than statues of Mary or the saints.

I have witnessed the result of these abuses in some of my family members who attend this parish. The Eucharist is merely a symbol, there is no Trinity but three equal Gods, no understanding of Papal infallibility, the list goes on.

All we can do is pray that a return to true reverence for the Mass as a Sacrifice will find its way back into many of these parishes and dioceses.

Neil

+Dear Father,

I just found this excellent post,and was impressed with the number of responses you got, as well as your own words spoken with the authority of Christ's faithful priest. It grieves me to know what happens in the parishes, especially knowing so much more about the Holy Sacrifice through your instruction. How I long that others may know and love what we know about the Holy Eucharist! This is a real apostolate necessary for our times more than ever.
"THE GREATEST CATECHISIS ON THE EUCHARIST
IS THE EUCHARIST ITSELF, CELEBRATED WELL."
This is a quote from Holy Father Pope Benedict on the Holy Eucharist: Sacramentum Caritatis". I have received the great grace of having assisted at the Holy Sacrifice celebrated by you most worthily and most reverently. I long that others might know it also. It is a foretaste of heaven.

I wouldn't count on the Summorum Pontificum or anything like that Changing things. All you need is the other side ignoring it in the media and what do you end up with? It's not going to change the regular churchgoer. They're still going to come to church dressed as pagans.

Instead, I look forward to a good and widespread SCHISM. If you have a good Schism, then that's when the church can group and be in a better position to save the Pagans. Even if small, if the Church is true, then it will still be very powerful. Quality is much better than Quantity.

Dear Juan, May I remind you that schism is a sin. Sin can never be a good. To wish widespread schism is to wish widespread sin. Saint Thomas teaches: "Charity has two objects; one is its principal object and is the Divine goodness, the other is its secondary object and is our neighbor's good. Now schism and other sins against our neighbor, are opposed to charity in respect of its secondary good, which is less than the object of faith, for this is God Himself; and so these sins are less grievous than unbelief. On the other hand, hatred of God, which is opposed to charity in respect of its principal object, is not less grievous than unbelief. Nevertheless of all sins committed by man against his neighbor, the sin of schism would seem to be the greatest, because it is opposed to the spiritual good of the multitude."

Hello Fr. Mark,

I would say that that Schism is already here in the heart and based on heresy in the heart.

While many parishes don't reject the Pope outright, they don't view the Pope in anywhere near same way as an orthodox Catholic. "Pope Benedict" is CEO or President. Anything supernatural indicates a Dark Ages mentality. The tabernacle in the center of the Church would make them feel really uncomfortable.

Maybe this is not a schism of the individual since they don't intent to "schism". However, certainly there is a collective schism at the root of it. A schism of minds.

This schism creates scandal to the degree that it surpasses the 'schism of minds' itself. The church is locked into a place where it cannot journey. At some point in time, Relief has to brought to such a situation.

Father: Welcome to my world. I see what you have described nearly every Sunday.

A joint effort between clergy and faithful is what is needed to combat the unfortunate loss of reverence going on.

Revolution starts with one person. Each of us needs to make a real effort to look and act reverent in our parishes (even if we are the only one). Our priests need to speak up about it in the pulpit. We all need to speak up about it outside of Mass (as you've done here).

"This schism creates scandal to the degree that it surpasses the 'schism of minds' itself."

I mean to say the 'schism of minds' happening now creates much more scandal than a formal schism. A formal schism is honest (with a debatable goodness factor I suppose).

I believe that what is needed here is that the faithful, myself included, be educated in the beauty, meaning, and proper practice of ALL the options the Church offers us, which we can legitimately choose. The greatest tragedy is that the very "Sacrament of Unity" often becomes the source of division in the Body of Christ. The Pope affirms in Summorum Pontificum that, whether we prefer the Mass promulgated by Paul VI or the one by John XXIII, they are "two expressions of the Church's "Lex orandi" . . . , in fact two usages of the one Roman rite." Prayerful and careful formation is what is needed.

Father,

What you describe is the case even here in Norway.
We don't have any Sunday TLM's available on a regular basis, but there are a couple of priests who say it during weekdays. (2 in the whole country!)
Thank God we have the SSPX coming in every third month. Lately, a priest from the FSSP has come on private visits (friends) and we have been able to attend his Masses too. Deo Gratias!

Thank you for a great post. I had the misfortune of attending a Mass with kazoos today. Many who love a reverent Novus Ordo Mass but can't find one are going to be driven to the Tridentine Mass. It's already happening.

I live now in England where the Novus Ordo atmosphere at our parish church is much as you describe, despite a pious pastor. I came from the USA where I had the joy and privilege of belonging to one of the Anglican Use parishes, now given by the Pope to the English-speaking word and the Church Universal in the marvelous Apostolic Constitution "Anglicanorum Coetibus". Here is the fulfillment of Newman's prophecied "Second Spring": the Anglican Use liturgy restores the wonder of Holiness, sacred silence, and "the worship of God in the beauty of holiness"

This liturgy inspires crowds of converts and brings back lapsed Catholics; draws large devout families with children who authentically love God and want to learn about him; keeps teens and young adults (boys ) as eager and reverent altar servers, and teaches girls to become skilled sacristans; you will see YOUNG PEOPLE discerning vocations to priesthood and religious life, and the Holy Spirit working in subtle power and beauty to make God loved and his commands understood and lovingly obeyed.

Pray for Anglican Use parishes quickly to be instituted in the UK, for these will mystically re-vitalize "Broken Britain" and its present "culture of death". These parishes will also influence and inspire inspire deeper reverence and respect for Novus Ordo Masses.

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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