Lay Liturgical Elite?

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C

Crusader

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Is your parish inundated with what I term Lay Liturgical Elite (LLE)?

Your know the kind. Those that have turned the sacristy into a social center for the “in crowd” prior to the Mass, and right after the Mass. I could make a mint if I instituted a mini-bar in the sacristy after certain Masses.

How about those that use the sanctuary as a short cut or worse, those that use the sanctuary as a stage to be seen before and/or after Mass?

Those that have to check on “just one more thing” in the sanctuary just prior to Mass so they can been seen? Changing the (clean) altar linens two minutes before Mass is a prime technique in my parish.

How about those female members of the LLE who wear baggy white dresses and huge scarfs. One almost has to do a double-take to see they are not wearing a chasable and stole. This is especially commone when we have LLE readers.

How about those LLEs who feel the need to be: EMHCs (extraordinary ministers of holy communion), readers, ushers, greeters, “captains” (a special uber-LLE EMHC) and altar servers? There are others who would like to get involved. Why are the LLEs allowed to operate a cartel?

How about those LLEs who don’t have a clue about what the Mass actually is, yet they insist on their “right” to be EMHCs? Confused EMHCs at that.

How come the LLE never rotate through the liturgical ministries? They seem to be forever installed as EMHCs, readers, sacristans, etc. When an opening does occur, another potential LLE is quietly recruited and the position is filled.

I must admit that things have improved greatly in my parish with respect to LLE’s (it used to be plain tragic and painful), but they still bring a great deal of noise and irreverence to Heaven on Earth, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
 
I have never heard of this. Sounds like they are quite mis-guided.
 
What you’re describing is just human interaction, why did the same kids sit together at the same table every day for lunch at the same table in school? Why does the same people open up and make the coffee at work or union meetings?

These folks in your church are performing a needed service, and have obligated themselves to make sure the needed work- lectoring, ushering, EMHCing, gets done. The fact that they are interacting amongst themselves is really necessary as they have to coordinate their efforts.

You may have a complaint as to how loud they are, but if they brought in new folks all the time, there would be a problem of constantly have to recruit new and reliable replacements for the work as well as making sure the new folks work together and get everything working smoothly.
 
Fullsizesedan said:
1.) What you’re describing is just human interaction, why did the same kids sit together at the same table every day for lunch at the same table in school? Why does the same people open up and make the coffee at work or union meetings?

2.) These folks in your church are performing a needed service, and have obligated themselves to make sure the needed work- lectoring, ushering, EMHCing, gets done. The fact that they are interacting amongst themselves is really necessary as they have to coordinate their efforts.

3.) You may have a complaint as to how loud they are, but if they brought in new folks all the time, there would be a problem of constantly have to recruit new and reliable replacements for the work as well as making sure the new folks work together and get everything working smoothly.

1a.) Wrong. They are abusing the sanctity of the sacristy and the sanctuary. Thankfully this has improved a great deal due largely to complaints from those in the pews.

2a.) Wrong again. They are placing themselves on display. They are also being rude to those in the pews attempting to pray. I can (and do from time to time) do the entire “set-up” for the Mass. It takes 1 person about 15-20 minutes of silent work.

3.) Wrong again. Most “sanctuary based” ministires are for one year. More specifically the bishop deputs EMHCs and readers for 1-2 years at a shot. It becomes cancerous when the same people hog these ministires. Ministries that in many cases need to be drastically downsized. They can become horribly inbred It’s not difficult to train new ministers – particularly since the existing ones never received any training to begin with.

I am extremely happy to hear that others have no been subject to LLEs. Hopefully in a year or two, that can be said of those who join my parish as well.
 
I am sorry that they are disturbing you. If you would like some honest feedback, you don’t sound very kind or charitable about it. Maybe you would be better off simply praying for the grace to learn to ignore it?
 
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rfk:
I am sorry that they are disturbing you. If you would like some honest feedback, you don’t sound very kind or charitable about it. Maybe you would be better off simply praying for the grace to learn to ignore it?
I was just curious if it is widespread is all. Their actions are certainly not justifiable.
 
I’m involved in several things at church, EM, Lector, and council member… I dont do none of it to be seen…I could care less what others think of me. I do it for extra grace, indulgences, etc…to serve and help. But lately, since I am new to this stuff…I am slowly beginning to hear red flag words and phrases…ie… he’s nice, he’s “progressive”…“opus dei” is too strict… etc…HUH??? I aint liking what I am hearing… but so far, I cant p(name removed by moderator)oint any one person specifically… when I ask someone to clarify or be more specific, they clam up… I think its cause they know I am hardcore Pro Pope, and wont tolerate any dissenting discussion on issues of teaching and faith…not even from my priest if find anything out. Stuff that is church opinion, and isnt regarded as being disobediant is open for me to differ on…but that doesnt leave much to be discussed. I think the reason they even asked me to sit on council is cause NOBODY from the parish is stepping forward and they need bodies.
 
Faithful 2 Rome:
I’m involved in several things at church, EM, Lector, and council member… I dont do none of it to be seen…I could care less what others think of me. I do it for extra grace, indulgences, etc…to serve and help. But lately, since I am new to this stuff…I am slowly beginning to hear red flag words and phrases…ie… he’s nice, he’s “progressive”…“opus dei” is too strict… etc…HUH??? I aint liking what I am hearing… but so far, I cant p(name removed by moderator)oint any one person specifically… when I ask someone to clarify or be more specific, they clam up… I think its cause they know I am hardcore Pro Pope, and wont tolerate any dissenting discussion on issues of teaching and faith…not even from my priest if find anything out. Stuff that is church opinion, and isnt regarded as being disobediant is open for me to differ on…but that doesnt leave much to be discussed. I think the reason they even asked me to sit on council is cause NOBODY from the parish is stepping forward and they need bodies.
Being a EMHC, a reader or a parish council member does not impart “extra grace, indulgences, etc.”, although I have long wondered if some people felt if it did…
 
There are a number of things that tend to distract me before, during, and after the celebration of the Eucharist – but then again, I believe I really am far too easily distracted. 😛

When I hear what might appear to be “loaded” phrases, such as the term “Lay Liturgical Elite” itself, or statements such as “…they are abusing the sanctity of the sacristy and the sanctuary…” , “…placing themselves on display…”, or “…being rude to those in the pews attempting to pray…”, I can’t help but wonder how much of your frustration is based on perception. I’m not attempting to judge you here, it’s just that you may wish to spend some quiet time (at home, if Church is too distracting) to reflect on this.

Can they be abusing the sanctity of the sacristy or the sanctuary if they are not aware of doing so? Are they really “placing themselves on display” – or might it appear that way to someone understandably irritated by intrusions (even if they be unintentional intrusions) into his or her personal prayer-space? Do the people in question intend to be rude?

Have you spoken to them directly-but-tactfully concerning these things? You might try broaching the subject gently; for example: “I don’t know if enough people recognize your efforts, but the sanctuary always looks beautiful – thanks. By the way, I’m sure none of you means to create a disturbance but, when I’m praying, little things sometimes prove distracting. I know you’re doing your best, but keeping things to a whisper would be really helpful for folks like me; I’d certainly appreciate it, and thanks again for the good work.” Putting your concerns in such a way (in your own words, of course) avoids the appearance of finger-pointing, and relieves the hearer of the all-too-human “necessity” of being defensive or grudging. Sincerety and a smile, of course, work wonders.

On another point: I was unaware that “…Most “sanctuary based” ministires are for one year. More specifically the bishop deputs EMHCs and readers for 1-2 years at a shot.” As one who has participated in a number of community organizations such as Scouting, I can tell you that 10% of the people seem to do 90% of the work. I became a lector because I was asked to do so a couple of years ago – and though I have no intention to “hog” that particular position, there isn’t exactly a long line of folks wishing to take my place (which I would gladly give up if required to do so). I agree that some do not appear to have received much training – just a simple pre-reading of the day’s texts, for example, would do much to eliminate embarrassing mispronunciations.

Finally: if you have reflected further on this and are certain that your initial assessment of the situation is correct – both you and I know what Christ Himself would ask you to do about it First and Foremost: *pray for those rude people * – even though they are abusing the Holy spaces and placing themselves on display. If it’s true that they are doing these things, they are harming themselves far more deeply than they can harm you or your relationship with God – a relationship that will be all the more strengthened and sanctified with every act of Forgiveness – especially when it is most difficult to forgive – on your part.
 
ecs 220:
There are a number of things that tend to distract me before, during, and after the celebration of the Eucharist – but then again, I believe I really am far too easily distracted. :p.
ecs 220:
When I hear what might appear to be “loaded” phrases, such as the term “Lay Liturgical Elite” itself, or statements such as “…they are abusing the sanctity of the sacristy and the sanctuary…” , “…placing themselves on display…”, or “…being rude to those in the pews attempting to pray…”, I can’t help but wonder how much of your frustration is based on perception. I’m not attempting to judge you here, it’s just that you may wish to spend some quiet time (at home, if Church is too distracting) to reflect on this…
My frustration is based on their actions as compared to yesteryear (post Vatican II) when people did not act in this manner for whatever reason.
ecs 220:
Can they be abusing the sanctity of the sacristy or the sanctuary if they are not aware of doing so? Are they really “placing themselves on display” – or might it appear that way to someone understandably irritated by intrusions (even if they be unintentional intrusions) into his or her personal prayer-space? Do the people in question intend to be rude?.
Based on the fact that this sort of behavior has almost ceased at my parish due to feedback a survey that was taken by a consulting firm at the request of my bishop, I can say that may others held the same opinion of the LLE’s actions.
ecs 220:
Have you spoken to them directly-but-tactfully concerning these things? You might try broaching the subject gently; for example: “I don’t know if enough people recognize your efforts, but the sanctuary always looks beautiful – thanks. By the way, I’m sure none of you means to create a disturbance but, when I’m praying, little things sometimes prove distracting. I know you’re doing your best, but keeping things to a whisper would be really helpful for folks like me; I’d certainly appreciate it, and thanks again for the good work.” Putting your concerns in such a way (in your own words, of course) avoids the appearance of finger-pointing, and relieves the hearer of the all-too-human “necessity” of being defensive or grudging. Sincerety and a smile, of course, work wonders…
Things have improved a great deal, but it took a survey from a consulting firm.
ecs 220:
On another point: I was unaware that “…Most “sanctuary based” ministires are for one year. More specifically the bishop deputs EMHCs and readers for 1-2 years at a shot.” As one who has participated in a number of community organizations such as Scouting, I can tell you that 10% of the people seem to do 90% of the work. I became a lector because I was asked to do so a couple of years ago – and though I have no intention to “hog” that particular position, there isn’t exactly a long line of folks wishing to take my place (which I would gladly give up if required to do so). I agree that some do not appear to have received much training – just a simple pre-reading of the day’s texts, for example, would do much to eliminate embarrassing mispronunciations…
You’re likely a reader. That aside there is NO shortage of people willing to serve in liturgical ministires at my parish. This lists are so long (despite being a closed guild) that they had to hire someone part time as a “coordinator.”
ecs 220:
Finally: if you have reflected further on this and are certain that your initial assessment of the situation is correct – both you and I know what Christ Himself would ask you to do about it First and Foremost: *pray for those rude people *-- even though they are abusing the Holy spaces and placing themselves on display. If it’s true that they are doing these things, they are harming themselves far more deeply than they can harm you or your relationship with God – a relationship that will be all the more strengthened and sanctified with every act of Forgiveness – especially when it is most difficult to forgive – on your part.
Pray and other action…
 
Crusader - I have been attended mass in parishes where this exists and I have attended mass in parishes where it’s hard to get people to fill the roles, which would make it hard to imagine the other if a person had never experienced it. It really does exist, and you do have to pray for the poor priest(s) who have to administer those parishes because they certainly have their hands full. My guess would be that that was why they brought in a consultant, because it allowed an outside voice to de-frock some of the “pharisetical” types rather than the priests risking vitriolic letters to the Bishop from these “fine upstanding citizens” who know what’s best for the church. I am glad it got better and that the parish as a whole spoke up honestly.
 
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Maggie:
Crusader - I have been attended mass in parishes where this exists and I have attended mass in parishes where it’s hard to get people to fill the roles, which would make it hard to imagine the other if a person had never experienced it. It really does exist, and you do have to pray for the poor priest(s) who have to administer those parishes because they certainly have their hands full. My guess would be that that was why they brought in a consultant, because it allowed an outside voice to de-frock some of the “pharisetical” types rather than the priests risking vitriolic letters to the Bishop from these “fine upstanding citizens” who know what’s best for the church. I am glad it got better and that the parish as a whole spoke up honestly.
The bishop wanted to know what was going on. Collections were slipping, etc.
 
Thankfully No. Father would pull their ears off if they tried that. 😃
 
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Crusader:
The bishop wanted to know what was going on. Collections were slipping, etc.
Wow.

You mean there were actually people in your congregation who would refuse to financially support the work of the Church through the Parish, merely because they were ticked off at some Lay ministers? Aren’t these people aware that Christianity itself is under attack today – more than ever before – worldwide???

Sounds like the real problems are a lot more widespread than just a few “elite” types in the Sacristy 😦
 
Crusader, I dont wanna split hairs here, but you are wrong when you say that when people serve their church for the simple act of GIVING THEIR TIME…to SERVE and help the parish…that to infer no additional grace is imparted… is totally incorrect… that would mean that YOU (or anyone else) could sit at home and watch Tv while others are donating their time and service to the parish, and the amount of blessings, grace, etc…is no more different for YOu then the people(s) who wish to help the parish and the community. Extra service, just like additional prayers, and saying the Rosary, ALWAYS imparts extra grace… Its very grounded in Mystical theology.
 
Faithful 2 Rome:
Crusader, I dont wanna split hairs here, but you are wrong when you say that when people serve their church for the simple act of GIVING THEIR TIME…to SERVE and help the parish…that to infer no additional grace is imparted… is totally incorrect… that would mean that YOU (or anyone else) could sit at home and watch Tv while others are donating their time and service to the parish, and the amount of blessings, grace, etc…is no more different for YOu then the people(s) who wish to help the parish and the community. Extra service, just like additional prayers, and saying the Rosary, ALWAYS imparts extra grace… Its very grounded in Mystical theology.
These people use the Mass as a means to display themselves and that’s reprehensible. These are the exact same people that would never consider volunteering for any ministry where they would not be seen or “noticed.”

Thankfully a lot of this horrible behavior has ended.
 
Faithful 2 Rome:
Crusader, I dont wanna split hairs here, but you are wrong when you say that when people serve their church for the simple act of GIVING THEIR TIME…to SERVE and help the parish…that to infer no additional grace is imparted… is totally incorrect… that would mean that YOU (or anyone else) could sit at home and watch Tv while others are donating their time and service to the parish, and the amount of blessings, grace, etc…is no more different for YOu then the people(s) who wish to help the parish and the community. Extra service, just like additional prayers, and saying the Rosary, ALWAYS imparts extra grace… Its very grounded in Mystical theology.
Not to mention the grace they must receive enduring the grief and criticism they get from all the others in the pews who just show up but do not volunteer their time nor money. That is worth grace if they keep on serving and keep their eyes on Christ. The nere do wells pursecuted Him too. 😉
 
ecs 220:
Wow. You mean there were actually people in your congregation who would refuse to financially support the work of the Church through the Parish, merely because they were ticked off at some Lay ministers? Aren’t these people aware that Christianity itself is under attack today – more than ever before – worldwide???

Sounds like the real problems are a lot more widespread than just a few “elite” types in the Sacristy 😦
When the Mass becomes an abominable sideshow of people acting in the most crude and arrogant of ways, I had no trouble re-directing my alms-giving to a group more worthy.

You are right however. Turning the Mass into a sideshow was perhaps only 25% of the problem. We have seen improvements in other areas as well.
 
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Marie:
Not to mention the grace they must receive enduring the grief and criticism they get from all the others in the pews who just show up but do not volunteer their time nor money. That is worth grace if they keep on serving and keep their eyes on Christ. The nere do wells pursecuted Him too. 😉
Nothing at all like the grief some of them felt when they were replaced by members in the pews…
 
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