Worst Liturgical Abuses?

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Okay, I take back what I said in another thread… if you guys are experiencing this stuff… my former parish was pretty liturgically in line… it just didn’t come close to my current parish which is as close to liturgically perfect as it gets. I’m going to shut up and count my liturgical blessings…
 
I have seen grandma and grandpa puppet give the homily, the priest playing his saxaphone after communion, little kids around the altar for the Lord’s prayer, and opera singer/Shakespeare priest turning Holy Mass into his own personal performance including the use of a spotlight, and of course EMs doing all sorts of wacky stuff.

However, I REALLY like our new bishop, and our new pastor is just great.

God bless,
oremus
 
The Paulists at my college parish allowed for some pretty strange things at times. Once there was a Mass celebrating womanhood. They started the Mass with all of the women standing outside, and we were given a speech about how empty the Church would be without women, and how any organization that ignores half of its members is a poor one indeed. Then the women came in, laying things like fruit and loaves of bread at the alter.

One time the priest got a standing ovation for stating in Mass that the Church should recognize gay marriages. He has since left the priesthood.

At my current parish, one of the priests has been regularly omitting the Penitential Rite. (He doesn’t even do one of the shorter versions.) Honestly, based on some of the things he says in his sermons, I’m not certain he believes in mortal sin. It can’t be a time issue – as I mentioned in another thread, this priest adds his own words/singing to the Eucharistic prayer. I’m trying to determine whether the Sacrament is still confected.

At my last parish, there was a “Life Teen” Mass, where the teenagers would sometimes do skits or dance on the altar to Catholic pop songs or in some cases, just plain pop songs. For example, Bob Marley’s “One Love” was commonly featured, even though Marley wasn’t even a Christian. Funny, but I didn’t think getting together and feeling all right was the point to the Mass. Then at Communion, the teens would be not simply invited but urged to stand in a semicircle around the altar. At the dismissal, when the priest would say, “The Mass is ended,” the teens would interject, “Our Mass never ends. It must be lived. So let us go forth to love and serve the Lord and each other. Thanks be to God. Alleluia! Alleluia!”

I really wish people would just stick to the script. I think it’s as hard to find an unedited Novus Ordo Mass as it is to find a Tridentine Mass of any kind these days.
 
My “best worst” story:

Back in the 1970s the parish where I grew up used to have a “Contemporary Mass,” meaning that just about anything was OK. Being a guitarist, I was often tapped to provide the music.

Those “Masses” were SO wrong, and even though I was young, I knew they were wrong so eventually I declined to play for them any longer.

Some of the “groovy” things they did:

Instead of a homily they had “rap sessions”

Everyone surrounded the table (which served as an altar) during the Consecration

Songs such as *Sweet Baby James * and *Suzanne * were sung simply because they mentioned the word “Jesus” (Note: Even though I was the musician, I did not select the music – adults did, and I did as I was told until I backed out.)

During Communion children were given jelly beans so they didn’t feel left out

Eventually priests declined to celebrate the “Contemporary Mass,” so the families running it distributed unconsecrated hosts (!!!)

In nearly 40 years of providing liturgical music in one way or another I have many stories, but the experience of the “Contemporary Mass” at this parish are probably among the worst.

'thann
 
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thann:
My “best worst” story:

Back in the 1970s the parish where I grew up used to have a “Contemporary Mass,” meaning that just about anything was OK. Being a guitarist, I was often tapped to provide the music.

Those “Masses” were SO wrong, and even though I was young, I knew they were wrong so eventually I declined to play for them any longer.

Some of the “groovy” things they did:
  • Instead of a homily they had “rap sessions”
  • Everyone surrounded the table (which served as an altar) during the Consecration
  • Songs such as *Sweet Baby James *and *Suzanne *were sung simply because they mentioned the word “Jesus” (Note: Even though I was the musician, I did not select the music – adults did, and I did as I was told until I backed out.)
  • During Communion children were given jelly beans so they didn’t feel left out
  • Eventually priests declined to celebrate the “Contemporary Mass,” so the families running it distributed unconsecrated hosts (!!!)
In nearly 40 years of providing liturgical music in one way or another I have many stories, but the experience of the “Contemporary Mass” at this parish are probably among the worst.

'thann
Ouch! That’s amazing. No wonder so many parishes are struggling today.

I once read where the priestly celebrant read from Jonathon Livingston Seagull in place of the Gospels. Even in the early 1970’s his attempt to be “modern” was met with quiet bewilderment…
 
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STJOMO:
I guess you need to hear how bad it gets elsewhere. My biggest complaint is singing and changing the words in the Gloria, the Sanctus and the Agnus Dei.
I am feeling very inadequate after reading all these threads, especially this one.

I know the Gloria, but I dont know the Sanctus and the Agnus Dei, as in I would know them, but dont know their proper names.

Is there a book on exactly how a Mass should be performed in Ordinary Time?

At my Parish, the extraordinary ministers all stand around the altar, they dont raise their hands, but they do sometimes place the host back in to the tabernacle as our priest sits down.

Is this wrong ??
 
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kellie:
I am feeling very inadequate after reading all these threads, especially this one.

I know the Gloria, but I dont know the Sanctus and the Agnus Dei, as in I would know them, but dont know their proper names.

Is there a book on exactly how a Mass should be performed in Ordinary Time?

At my Parish, the extraordinary ministers all stand around the altar, they dont raise their hands, but they do sometimes place the host back in to the tabernacle as our priest sits down.

Is this wrong ??
Sanctus Dei = “Holy, Holy, Holy”, but in Latin
Agnus Dei = “Lamb of God”, but in Latin

Mr. Jimmy Akins’ book Mass Confusion and his booklet Mass Appeal are both outstanding.

The EMHCs should not even enter the sanctuary until the celebrant receives communion. They should not be reposing the Most Blessed Sacrament back into the tabernacle either.
 
I forgot to mention that lay Eucharistic ministers reposed the consecrated hosts in the tabernacle. That’s a common occurrence.

And, at another parish in town, the priest would occasionally sing his homily, or use props. The same priest, prior to a longer-than-usual Gospel, would tell people in the pews that, since it’s long, they can sit as he reads.

This same priest also doesn’t live in the church rectory but, instead, chooses to live in the rectory in another church in town.

I should add that, we will not attend this church (outside of an unusual situation) while this man is pastor.
 
I have seen a few recently, thankfully at parishes other than my own. During a daily mass, the assembly remained standing, supposedly in compliance with the new GIRM, during the entire communion rite. This in spite of the fact that the Vatican has clarified that kneeling is acceptable under the new GIRM. At the end of the mass, a female EM purified the vessels, including the priest’s chalice, at the alter while the celebrant sat there with his hands folded.
We also have a local retreat center run by a religous order that recently has built a small chapel entirely seperate from the main church, for the Blessed Sacrament. So far, so good. Problem is, it replaced the tabernacle inside the church. I have never attended Mass there, but it appears that the reserved sacrament is now taken OUTSIDE and placed in this seperate area. All this since the issuance of the new GIRM. It’s just calculated defiance.
 
This will certainly not qualify as the worst abuse, I’m not even sure if it’s abuse at all but it was certainly odd.
I was at a neighboring church and after communion the priest picked up a microphone nodded to the pianist and began to sing a song (Michael W. Smith I think). I thought “What the heck is that about?” :confused:
I asked someone after mass and they said he does that all the time, sometimes before mass and sometimes after communion.
Like I said I’m not sure if it qualifies as an abuse but it sure seemed egotistic.
 
At Easter Vigil, when I became a Catholic, the RCIA acted as Eucharistic Ministers at the insistence of the priest (I had only been a Catholic for about 45 seconds before I participated in an unorthodox mass). Worst thing about that was that I had had no training whatsoever and the RCIA, of course, had been excused during communion for the months before hand so I hadn’t really seen communion in some time (and never from very close). Of course, all of my in-laws and friends stood in the line in front of me (they are all Catholic). My husband said that I was distributing hosts “like a card dealer” (so, so embarrassing)!

A friend of mine got married recently. During the homily, the priest walked down the main aisle of the church and threw Hershey’s kisses at the congregation. I think there might have been some connection about sharing God’s love or something. Not only did he completely alienate the Catholics and non-Catholics alike, but he really put a black spot on my friend’s wedding. The distribution of candy in church about 10 minutes before communion?!?!?! :eek:
 
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Maggie:
Okay, I take back what I said in another thread… if you guys are experiencing this stuff… my former parish was pretty liturgically in line… it just didn’t come close to my current parish which is as close to liturgically perfect as it gets. I’m going to shut up and count my liturgical blessings…
I know exactly what you mean. Everytime I visit another parish I feel obligated to say a prayer after mass thanking God for my parish and my priest and to say I’m sorry for all the times I have complained.
 
Dan Troop:
I have seen a few recently, thankfully at parishes other than my own. During a daily mass, the assembly remained standing, supposedly in compliance with the new GIRM, during the entire communion rite. This in spite of the fact that the Vatican has clarified that kneeling is acceptable under the new GIRM. At the end of the mass, a female EM purified the vessels, including the priest’s chalice, at the alter while the celebrant sat there with his hands folded.
We also have a local retreat center run by a religous order that recently has built a small chapel entirely seperate from the main church, for the Blessed Sacrament. So far, so good. Problem is, it replaced the tabernacle inside the church. I have never attended Mass there, but it appears that the reserved sacrament is now taken OUTSIDE and placed in this seperate area. All this since the issuance of the new GIRM. It’s just calculated defiance.
Dan,

Just so you know the things listed here are not necessarily in contradiction to the GIRM.

The standing after communion was interpreted by some to be the intention of the GIRM. The Congregation for Divine Worship clarified that it was not the intention to forbid the practice of kneeling after communion. That said, it seems as though a pastor could adopt the practice of having the congregation stand after communion until all have received, of course you would still be free to kneel if you so desired.

Purification of the vessals by an EM is allowable in the US by an indult that allows the diocesan bishop to give permission to the priest to do this for serious reason.

A small eucharstic chapel, if connected to the main Church, is permissible under the GIRM.

Hopefully, these changes are being done with good intentions by the priest as they do seem to be in accord with the GIRM.
 
The worst liturgical abuse I’ve seen is where the priest consecrates the bread/wine and then the altar server (an older woman) goes to the back and brings out more wafers to distribute to the faithful present. Waitaminute, those weren’t consecrated, were they? (Hard to tell!)

If they were consecrated, why weren’t they in the tabernacle? If they’re not consecrated, why are they being passed out as if they’re the real Eucharist, when they’re just bread and wine?

(in this case, I only go to the line where the priest is, because the golden bowl he is holding has the Eucharist)
 
Just this Sunday, a lay member of the board for a local seminary gave a “homily” requesting donations. My husband and I have chosen to send our donation to a more orthodox seminary which recognizes the sanctity of the Mass.
 
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Ham1:
Dan,

…Purification of the vessals by an EM is allowable…
Referring to Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion as “Eucharistic Ministers” or “EMs” is very bad form.

The only “Eucharistic Ministers” are Ordinary Ministers of the Eucharist – bishop, priests and deacons.

Take a look at what Redemptoris Sacramentum has to say about this.

I honestly believe that the use of “Eucharistic Minister” or “EM” is not a product or being lazy or informal, but a quiet attempt to make the use of *Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion *normaitve and not extraordinary.
 
The regular use of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion may be one of the most corrosive liturgical abuses within the Church.

I attend the same parish today as I did as a child. Back then (post Vatican II) a single priest distributed Holy Communion – even when communion was through intinction.

Today in the same church with the same number of people, it takes a priest plus eight EMHCs to distribute communion. This does not include the two additional “Mass Captains” (uber-EMHCs) that wander around the sanctuary during Communion, looking confused.

With the advent of communion in both kinds at most Masses, I can understand perhaps 1-2 EMHCs ao assist now and then when our associate pastors cannot help out.

But ten EMHCs? That’s simply horrible…
 
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Crusader:
Referring to Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion as “Eucharistic Ministers” or “EMs” is very bad form.

The only “Eucharistic Ministers” are Ordinary Ministers of the Eucharist – bishop, priests and deacons.

Take a look at what Redemptoris Sacramentum has to say about this.

I honestly believe that the use of “Eucharistic Minister” or “EM” is not a product or being lazy or informal, but a quiet attempt to make the use of *Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion *normaitve and not extraordinary.
It’s not bad form. It’s an abbreviation. I used EM for Extraordinary Minister. I didn’t add the “HC” because, well I thought it was obvious that I was referring to extraordinary ministers of holy communion. Hope that clears it up for you.
 
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lauraannj:
At my former Jesuit parish, lay people will routinely give the Homily on the feast of the Holy Family, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. This has occurred for years. The book is also brought up by the lay person who is the First Reading Lector. On Unity Sunday last year a Lutheran minister who is female gave the homily and sat on the alter with the Pastor (she did not concelebrate the consecration thank God). - LauraAnn
Laura Ann I am sorry you are experiencing this on the east side of the mountains. It is no better on the west side of Washington State either.

We have our fair share of problems in our own parish but 2 weeks ago we were up in Blaine, Washington for the weekend and attended Mass in a little parish up there. As we walked in I told my children there was a problem in this parish. The tabernacle is not in the center of the church behind the altar but on a wood table several feet to the right. However, directly in the center under the crucifix, where the tabernacle should be, is the priests chair. And yes, he too at this Mass didn’t say the Creed.
 
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