There is a such a thing as bad prayer (of the faithful)

There is a such a thing as bad prayer (of the faithful)

While we’re griping about bad liturgical music and bad translations, how about bad prayers of the faithful? Kelly Clark relates some hair-raising stories of intercession-related free-for-alls. It can get bad especially when the celebrant asks for extemporaneous contributions from the congregation. Ad-libbing during Mass is almost always a bad idea, but especially when it involves the general public.

My pastor does this sometimes and while I think he’s a great guy and a great priest, this is one area where he and I disagree. From the cringe-worthy prayers for disgusting cat diseases (do I really need to know that?) to mumbled exhortations that no one can hear (what did we all just ask God to do?), this can get ugly. However, I’ve never seen a case as ugly as the one Kelly describes, including the ultimate abuse of the Eucharist later in the Mass.

For my part, when I used to be a lector I had a blanket permission from my pastor to substitute the prayers of the faithful with a selection of those printed in the Magnificat for the day. They were usually so much better than those offered by the book the secretary uses.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli