Vatican says Mass norms must be followed exactly to ensure reverence

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Excerpted from:

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – The norms for celebrating Mass must be followed exactly to ensure reverence for the Eucharist and to preserve the unity of the Catholic Church, said a new Vatican document.

“In some places the perpetration of liturgical abuses has become almost habitual, a fact which obviously cannot be allowed and must cease,” said the document, “Redemptionis Sacramentum” (“The Sacrament of Redemption”), written by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

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*Redemptionis Sacramentum *can be found at:

the document also says that liturgical abuse destroys unity. How often have people in the pews who refused to participate in the abusive action been told that THEY were the ones destroying unity???
Jan Wakelin:
the document also says that liturgical abuse destroys unity. How often have people in the pews who refused to participate in the abusive action been told that THEY were the ones destroying unity???
Jan, if I had a dollar for every time that’s been said, Bill Gates would be coming to me for a loan. 😉
I don’t think that I’ve ever been told that I was being detrimental to the unity of the Church by insisting on liturgical norms being followed. However, I have been told that I’ve been making a big deal out of nothing. Most Catholics whom I know have an aversion to rules and regulations, often seeing them as purely arbitrary. Still others see them as “the ideal” rather than the minimum standard that they are.

Some people just trust whatever their priest tells them. If another priest tells them differently, then they assume that the matter is left to the discretion of the priest. Sadly, this won’t do anymore. When I explained to a group of people the liturgical laws, someone once replied “. . . but they’re not enforced.” Under this logic, laws against child sexual abuse must not be too important because they have not been enforced.

What we have experienced is a loss of the sense of the sacred. We have failed to see the Mass as something greater than ourselves. Therefore, many have decided that the Mass is something that they can alter according to their individual taste. Add to this the fact that solid catechesis on the Mass and its meaning are nearly impossible to find (even more so than sound moral catechesis), and you have the current situation.

I pray for a return to proper worship and reverence for Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist.

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I find it very disheartening that in our parish, the Pastor is loathe to change the nonconforming elements when celebrating the Eucharist- using glass vessels and flagons, for one, and not seeing to it that the extraordinary ministers dress appropriately for another, among several. What can one do to encourage the changes that need be done?
Amen David. That’s one of the things we have lost in most of our parishes today: the sense of the sacred.

I don’t know what we, as lay people, can do to bring about changes since most of the parish priests (at least the one’s that I know of) seem to be hostile to anything tending towards reverent orthodoxy. Just look at the issue of Steve’s board (also see Jimmy’s blog) in a priest making a big deal about Steve genuflecting before receiving Communion. There was also another incident of a priest totally refusing someone Holy Communion because they wanted to kneel.

I don’t know whether it’s the priests wanting to do the right thing or just them having pet peeves of anything traditional that causes this type of hostility. But one thing is for sure; we, as laypeople, are going to make very little progress without the support of our Bishops. Since ultimately it is their authority that needs to be enforced in order to correct these Liturgical abuses and disobedience.

The Redemtionis Sacramentum tells us what to do as lay people-- we are called to write our Bishops- and if no action is taken by the Bishop write the Apostolic Nuncio.

I am in a parish that views this document as an option-- or as guidlines that are unnecessary to follow;with a pastor who seems to sincerely believe that he is at liberty to change, add, or omit- several differnet parts of the Mass. There is a great push to get more people “involved in the Mass” by giving them jobs to do-- all the while the pastor has refused to preach or support Eucharistic Adoration from the pulpit-- because he feels it is antiquated…

My response is to just write letters, and offer this wretchedness back to Jesus’ Sacred Heart in reparation-- knowing that He can fix it all!!

The greatest challenge when you are stuck in an abusive parish- is to not become angry or disheartened-- I have found that to be quite an area of growth for me!!
Hi, ShanMcCatholic, I love your signature.
:tiphat: Howdy ma’am!! Great to see you as always!
I agree with Shannon. Unfortunately, there are those who will refuse to see this important document, not so much as a guideline, but as an order. They will dismiss it as not important, or almost in a schismatic stance, will brush it aside as not relevant to the Church in America. After all, they see it as the American Church, not the Church in America. Nationalism is a plague.

The Church has the authority to bind and loose, not the mirror, so we as Catholics are obligated to follow the rubrics.
I hear a lot about the rubrics of the Mass. Does anybody know where I can read what they are?
I think they are in The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM).
I attended Mass at a Catholic church in Hawaii that had some of the strangest liturgical innovations I have seen:
  • Before Mass began, one of the lay pastoral assistants asked for a volunteer to “preside” at Mass. The woman who volunteered sat in a prominent chair behind the altar, but other than that, did nothing. :confused:
  • The lectors who both wore stoles both went up to the ambo for the readings. One lady blessed the other before the first reading, and vice versa for the second reading.
  • The priest distributed the Eucharist to 2 lines at the same time, 2 by 2.
  • The Blood of Christ extraordinary Eucharistic minister said nothing when I approached to receive the Blood of Christ. I wasn’t sure what to do. What would saying “amen” to silence mean? I thought maybe she was distracted or forgot or I just didn’t hear her, but when I sat down I noticed that her lips remained sealed.
  • The bread used for the Eucharist was quite tasty. I found out in the bulletin that they make it themselves and they’re hoping someone might be able to get them a good deal on honey.
After I returned home, I did some investigation – I was worried I didn’t attend a Catholic Mass. According to their website, the pastor is being forced to retire, even though there is a shortage of priests in the diocese. The website also says that he supports the ordination of women to the priesthood and has been known to distribute the Eucharist to non-Catholics. I guess that explains the Blood of Christ Eucharistic minister: I must’ve been in the non-Catholic line where hearing “The Blood of Christ” may have been offensive or unsettling to non-believers.

I was hoping to participate in a liturgy that infused Hawaiian culture into the Catholic liturgy in a respectful way. Although they used native Hawaiian instruments and used Hawaiian language in parts of the liturgy, I’m still hoping.
PLEASE, PRETTY PLEASE, lets support Rome, and the Majesterium, every chance we get…

Our unity is our strength… together we can get to the other side, i am convinced that alone we are lost…

so AMEN to unified Mass norms…

Latest News – the Vatican releases a document instructing clergy to follow the instructions given in previous documents.

Anyone else here notice a trend? It isn’t that the Vaitcan isn’t providing proper norms for the Mass – it’s that those norms aren’t being followed. I’m all for further admonishons and corrections, but I sincerely hope that they have some teeth and will actually be enforced by our bishops.

Oh, and the person asking about the GIRM – I have archived a series of articles our pastor wrote about the new GIRM on my web site:

I’ve got a copy of the new GIRM myself. It’s really helpful when trying to figure out if what I saw at Mass on my last vacation is or is not improper.

(I just got back from a trip to Gatlinburg this weekend, where we got a truncated two-minute homily followed by a six and a half minute video about parish fund-raising. That was lovely.)

Matt Newsome
The Redemtionis Sacramentum tells us what to do as lay people-- we are called to write our Bishops- and if no action is taken by the Bishop write the Apostolic Nuncio.

Well as an FYI, every letter I’ve ever sent to the Apostolic Nuncio has been turned over to the Bishop who, in turn, gave it to my pastor for handling. This has been happening for years.

I think they just throw my letters away now. 😦
I finally read Goodbye, Good Men this week and was appalled at the atrocities committed in seminaries over the past several decades! (For those not familiar, many seminaries were run like gay bath houses, where women’s ordination and married priests topped the agenda, not to mention total disreguard for the magisterial teachings of the Catholic Church). It scares me that we have to put up with the poison fruits of those years (I’m in the Milwaukee archdiocese) until the changes can be made and we get good men ordained.

There are not enough priests to pastor parishes, let alone good priests. Are there any good ones left who are going to be running the seminaries to produce orthodox priests or will they be pastoring the parishes to prevent more liturgical abuses?

It’s not all gloom and doom, however. I truly believe that we (the Church millitant) must suffer through this time of heresy so that Christ’s Church will thrive again. Be not afraid for the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church Jesus himself established on earth!

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