Monday, January 21, 2013

Remedial Training For Behaving At Mass

A few days ago came the announcement that the Vatican will soon publish a manual of sorts to help priests celebrate Mass more appropriately and for the congregation to participate accordingly.  No thinking person doubts that such an effort is necessary; it does reflect poorly on both the training that priests receive in seminary and Catholics receive in their education - actually "don't receive" might be more to the point.  Today's Vortex touches upon this topic.  Below that I'll post a challenge to faithful Catholics, as it is up to us to "raise the bar" on conduct in church, particularly before the Blessed Sacrament.

Now I suggest some immediate actions that can - should be taken by serious Catholics.
  • No chit-chat in the nave of the church, either before or after Mass.  If someone comes up to you and starts talking, politely insist that you move the conversation into the lobby.
  • Dress as though you are going to meet someone vitally important, for that is indeed what you're doing.  That means no jeans, shorts, sneakers, sandals, tee-shirts, polo shirts.  Women should dress modestly: skirt or dress no higher than knee, blouses should have sleeves, nothing see-through, nothing clingy.  Men should be in jacket and tie, dress shirt/shoes/slacks, nothing baggy.  Got the picture?
  • Father, please don't crack jokes in the homily or at the altar.  We came to Mass, not the Jay Leno Comedy Hour.  The words you say during your homily might well be the difference between salvation and damnation for someone in your congregation; that is a matter of the utmost gravity and should be regarded as such.
  • Liturgical committees and other planners, please take the concept of "inculturation" and put it in the trash where it belongs.  Mass is about Christ's Paschal Sacrifice and our worship of Him.  That's it and nothing else.
  • No applause whatsoever.  The Holy Father has made quite plain his displeasure at this unfortunate practice.  There should be no distraction from God in favor of some person - not even "for a minute".
  • Additional suggestions are welcome via the comment box.


  1. I wonder what Mr Voris would say about SJN.

    1. I don't know. I'm sure he's heard of us especially after the way Father Guarnizo was maltreated.

  2. i don't have a problem with some humor up front, such as a funny story. It can be used as a "hook" to get people to think about the main point of the homily or the readings for the day. I would agree that the homily should not be a chance for the priest to get up and do the stand-up routine, as you would find at the local comedy club.

    1. I myself take a dim view of that. When discussing matters of eternal importance, I don't believe jocularity has any place there.

  3. No more protestant hymns, sing the actual texts that the Church has....


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