Reverential Masses

Reverential Masses

There’s no news concerning the Pope. Despite certain media reports, he is not dead as of this posting.

Meanwhile, I wanted to point out some good news from the Diocese of Charlotte, where Bishop Peter Jugis has implemented the changes to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, in accord with what many of us would say is the most reverential matters.

Among other things he has decreed that any alterations to the sancruary of a church require his approval; the tabernacle should be located in the sanctuary, apart from the main altar and not be made of transparent material; a crucifix should be place prominently near the altar; all churches and chapels are to have kneelers; the words of prayers, responses, and readings should not be altered; no liturgical dance; no music during prayers by the presider; all sacred vessels should be made of precious metal; everyone should kneel during the Eucharistic Prayer; no hand holding during the Our Father; a Communion plate should be used to avoid fragments of the sacred host hitting the floor; and so on.

Taken all together it’s a very impressive list. If he backs it up with disciplining of priests who disobey, the celebration of the Eucharist in Charlotte will be very impressive indeed.

  • Isn’t a faithful and courageous bishop one of the most beautuful sights in this world?

  • It’s sad that it should take courage to enforce the basics.

    So, I give a thumbs up to the good bishop on doing his job. I hope his example spreads to other bishops.

  • So this is new? They have been following these rules here in the Bridgeport Diocese for quite awhile.

  • Dom,

    The Archdiocese of Boston has announced five special Masses for the Pope will be offered this evening around the area (which is also First Friday).  The Archbishop has asked all the people of the Archdiocese to join him in prayer for the Holy Father. 

    More info here.

  • Fantastic rubric news!  And here in Los Angeles, the Cardinal has decreed that only vulcanized rubber noses are to be used during clown masses; only four verses of Marty Haugen’s “Gather Us In” will be permitted; group hugs at the Kiss of Peace are to be strictly limited to three minutes; and, while the little “sqeezipoo” of hands at the end of the Lords Prayer is permitted, the faithful may not levitate their joined hands together at the end.

  • Patrick,

    I’m dieing laughing!  Vulcanized rubber noses?  Hilarious!

    I just wanted to reiterate the NO HOLDING HANDS DURING THE LORD’S PRAYER part.  Did everyone hear that?  Please tell me you heard that and will tell all your ignorant Catholic friends and relatives.  It’s stupid, it’s meaningless, and it makes a lot of people uncomfortable. 

    Did I say how stupid it is?

  • *groan* Pat, that was funny…

    While there are lots that they do very well here at our parish, the hand holding annoys me most of all because everyone keeps holding hands into the next rite!! If you’re gonna insist on holding my hand then let it go when the prayer is over!

    The best story I ever heard was from my secretary who is a germaphobe of the highest order, as is her family.  At one Mass they noticed the man sitting next to them had a terrible cold and kept wiping his nose with his hand…then came-you guessed it! The Lord’s Prayer! Everyone was jockying to not be at that end of the line to hold his hand.

    Oh, and ps, back to the post: Hope we get someone just as great-can’t wait to hear who it is!pleaseopleaseopleaseoplease!

  • “… the tabernacle should be located in the sanctuary, apart from the main altar…”

    Did anyone notice this – the Traditional altar in use for the Traditionial Latin Mass has the tabernacle as part of the main altar this is a direct attack on that I believe.  I don’t believe the diocese of Charlotte has an Indult Mass, though please correct me if I’m wrong. According to these rubrics it may be impermissible to ever have an approved Latin Mass.

  • Come on, Jen, don’t let them hold your hands.  All you have to do is close your eyes and fold your hands in prayer before the hand-holding starts.  Don’t open your eyes.  Just pray.  Most of the time they’ll leave you alone.

    Although one time (before I perfected the closed-eyes method) I had a woman literally pry my hand off the back of the pew.  I couldn’t believe it!  Yes, forgive her her trespasses indeed.

  • Remember, a lot of people think holding hands equals being loving equals fellowship…. 

    God wants us to be loving.
    He doesn’t care if we are loving and show it by holding hands at the Our Father or if we kneel to say the Our Father and show our fellowship in different ways at other times. 

    So whatever is done in my parish and my diocese, I’ll do. And if I go to a different parish or a different diocese, I’ll do what they do there.

    It is the bishop’s job to worry about this stuff. So I’ll let him do it. If I don’t like his decision, it is a chance to practice obedience.

    I have the most difficult time applying this to the horrible music, however.

    Susan Peterson

  • LOL midwest mom!  I’m not a handholder either.  One mass, I sat behind 3 women and I was alone in the my pew.  I always close my eyes and clasp my hands together, even when alone.  The woman at the end of the pew in front of me reached all the way back, actually pried my right hand from my left and held it during the prayer.  She was almost completely contorted in order to hold my hand.  By the time she grabbed it, the prayer had already begun.  I wonder how long she was trying to get me to hold her hand.  I didn’t mean to be rude, but with my eyes closed, I never saw her reach.

  • Susan,

    Of course God wants us to be loving, but what does holding hands at the Our Father have to do with love?  Who started it?  Where is the directive that told everyone in the U.S. to start doing it?  It doesn’t exist.  If we’re going to hold hands during the Our Father, why not during the Creed, too?  The first line is “WE believe in one God…”

    The rubrics are meant to be followed.  If not, why have them at all.  To borrow a line from Fr. Peter Stravinskas, the rubrics tell us what TO do, not what NOT to do.  Like I’ve said before, if the people who know better would just refuse to go along with these abuses perhaps we could end them.

    Dom, or whoever, correct me if I’m wrong, but are we obliged to obey disobedience, even if it’s coming from the bishop?

    I have explained to many people in my parish why I don’t hold hands (“We’re not supposed to.”)  People are not stupid.  They can handle the truth and it usually makes sense to them.

  • No one can command you to do something in violation of the laws of the Church.

    Cathy, if someone is rude enough to wrest control of my hand, I would feel no compunction about wresting it back. Of course, I’m stronger than some and someone would be hard pressed to hold my hand against my will.

  • Dom:  So far as I can tell, that little squeeze is meant to quickly communicate, “I’m with you to the end of Mass; don’t worry, I won’t abandon you; it’s way too awkward to say ‘let’s let go now’ so I’ll just put a symbolic period at the end of our little inter-manual communion moment.”

    Midwestmom:  How dare you make light of an officially sanctioned worship aid?

    Mary A:  I do not believe that the placement of the Tabernacle “apart from” the altar would preclude an Indult Mass, cf the scores of photos of military chaplains reverently offering the Tridentine Mass on the hoods of Army Jeeps and in mess tents.

    JenB:  Don’t worry.  The Holy Spirit knows exactly who He wants for us.  I was just reading how the papal election is likely to be a big shake-up as none of the crop of cardinals is anything quite like Pope John Paul II.  That sounds like a negative, but I don’t mean it that way. I just think the Lord has some surprises up His sleeve.  In the meantime, let’s not bury our Holy Father prematurely.  He’s still with us and still needs our prayers.  Praise the holy name of Jesus.

    Susan P:  As many of us have said many times here, the GIRM also doesn’t forbid going up to holy Communion on a pogo stick, monkeys in the choir loft, nor sitting on a whoopee cushion.  The hand-holding issue has been unambiguiously resolved, and is not permitted—even by His Eminence Mahoney who explicitly said so in his otherwise left-liberal Pastoral Letter a few years back.  If the hand-holding habit had kept itself to between family members, we’d probably never hear fom the bishops on it.  But…for so many Catholics, it’s become the Big, Fat Liturgical Sharing Time (along with an inceasingly treacly Kiss of Peace ritual, ie a distraction from the solemnity and profundity of the Eucharist) that a line had to be drawn.

  • I read Bp. Jugis’ letter yesterday and thought…YES!!! I wish more bishops were as faithful to the GIRM in all its aspects.

    As to the hand holding and Kiss of Peace, two words: Daily Missal. Remember them? Get yourself one of those and hang on to it with both hands on those occasions.

    They’re also useful for swatting away any unwanted manual or brachial intrusions – very charitably, of course…:)

  • The hand-holding and the kiss of peace fiasco are the points in the Mass where the great majority of semi-conscious pew warmers snap out of it, so to speak, to join in the reindeer games. 

  • Midwestmom, and only because you’re not a geriatric nun with a big butt, a peace and justice fetish and a bad attitude.

    The hand-holding thing is getting better here in southwestern Michigan.  Oh, yes, we still have a few people who do it (even with the alarming raising of hands at the end), BUT no longer do you get wrassled to the floor to force your hand to join the chain.  It is understood if you put your hands firmly in your pockets and stare off into space in an unknowing fashion when unwelcome overtures are made.

    I remember about 20 years ago when I first became Catholic…heh.  One lady actually reached into my pocket to get my hand one time.  I had to physically fight her off and she was MAD AT ME!

  • GOR—“Daily Missal. Remember them? Get yourself one of those and hang on to it with both hands on those occasions.

    Theyay it was.  Never really thought about it one way or another and can’t say it bothered me.  I survived growing up w/o it in the 60s, survived the 70s to 90s with it, and am doing just fine in the parish I’m at now where it isn’t done.

    If I was Bishop Jugis, though, I would have added to a couple of his points (which is why I’ll never be a bishop, eh?):

    8a. (added)  No one has ever been shot for being the first one in the congregation to stand up, kneel, or sit down.  Be honored to render appropriate honors. 

    27.  The Gloria is a hymn of praise; everyone should at least attempt to sing/recite it like they meant it.

    28.  Lectors ought not to sound like a 4th grader sentenced to read Hemingway aloud in front of the class.  Teach them properly, lit meisters.

    32.  No more of this “short form” stuff merely to avoid “hard” sayings.  Hurt feelings or no, nobody is being done any kindness by pretending these words aren’t there.  The sugar-coated Gospel’s gotta go.

    But I guess I ought to be contented with what he’s done thus far.  Maybe the rest will come later. 

  • sorry, it wasn’t Dom earlier who asked where it came from. It was me, using Dom’s computer and forgetting to log in as myself.
    Sorry for the confusion.

  • “28 Lectors ought not to sound like a 4th grader sentenced to read Hemingway aloud in front of the class.  Teach them properly, lit meisters.”

    Neither should they over-emote like hammy Shakespearian actors or flower-child Lit profs.
    It is sacred scripture. It should be read reverently, clearly enunciated, with full stops at periods.  Lectors always read too fast, especially the psalms.

  • Where’s the love?  Not in allowing myself to be mugged in church, no matter what the motivation was.

    Ask the lady (or others like her) where the love was in trying to make me do what she wanted and then getting nasty when I wouldn’t yield to her selfish emotional wishes.

  • Ask the lady (or others like her) where the love is when they disobey the Roman Missal to massage their touchy-feely emotional desires.

    I ask you:  Is that what going to Mass is all about after all??  I think not.

    Most of all, I do not *have* to disobey the Church’s liturgical rubrics to “show my love.”  That’s false and just stupid.  The opposite is more likely to be true.

  • Speaking of liturgical abuses, has anyone been on Fr. Ethan’s blog lately?  Get on there, go to the story about parish customs, click on the ‘comments’, read the one third from the bottom (as of this morning anyway) posted by radicalfeministpoet, and click on the word ‘Here’s’.  In the words of Patrick Coffin, I’m sure that priest has an approved liturgi-dance leotard on under his vestments.

    KMac, what does CWAC mean?

  • michigancatholic,

    I was being sarcastic.  I think you’d be justified to do a karate move on somebody who has their hand in your pocket.


  • DJ’s and Melanie’s comments reminded me of another pet peeve of mind with some readers: quit looking up at the congregation after every two sentences!

    In public speaking you are taught to make frequent eye contact with different parts of the audience, to establish rapport and gauge reactions. That’s fine when it’s your words and your speech.

    The Scripture readings are God’s words not yours and the rapport should be between the congregation and God – not you. Keep your eyes on the text and only look up at the end when proclaiming “The Word of the Lord” – which does require a response.


  • Melanie, Melanie, hast thou been with me so long and still thou dost not know me?  My peace- and justice-loving people began Reaching Out and Touching Someone (during the prayer I taught them) on April 1, 1978, the day Carey Landry’s first album was released, which was also the day Marty Haugen composed “We Are the Church,” and also the day felt ‘n burlap were first utilized together on a hanging banner.

    If I could touch the leper and heal the anawim, could thou—nay, all of thee—not accept your neighbour in the pew in this special way, not even in reparation for all the injustices done to the people of El Salvador?  As my elder brother the Buddha teacheth, love means never having to obey the rubrics.  Because life is bigger than logic.  And bumpers are bigger than stickers.


    The Holy (ie not limited by the human construct of gender) One of Galilee

  • Hey,

    Did you see the thread “Reform of the Reform” on Amy’s blog?  They are discussing the hand-holding, sign of peace, etc.

    Many of you could offer some valuable insight over there.  Especially you, Patrick!