The Top Seven Liturgical Abuses
Now that some dioceses are allowing greater access to the Sacraments—especially, in some places, the source and summit of our Christian life, the Holy Eucharist, in this video, I put together my wish list of seven things that should be dropped from the Mass.
By things, I mean liturgical abuses. Don’t believe me. Believe the relevant official documents of the Church. The answer to liturgical abuse, to borrow from Richard John Neuhaus, is fidelity, fidelity, and fidelity.
Not always easy, but simple.
BONUS ITEM: No more flimsy, throwaway missalettes.
As Peter Kreeft says,: missalettes produce Christianettes.
- Bad music. My bad I mean sappy, saccharine, syrupy, sentimental, and schmaltzy. A pentuple alliteration! (Think lavender-tainted Broadway show ballads.)I hereby call for a moratorium on the music of the St. Louis Jesuits, revolutionaries of bad churchy music. The Church has suffered under such ditties as “Come to the Water,” “Here I Am Lord,” “One Bread One Body” for two generations, and that is enough, my friends. One of the St. Louis Jesuits, Dan Schutte, who bequeathed to us “Table of Plenty,” left the Jesuits and the priesthood and moved in with his boyfriend. Another, Tim Mannion, not only didn’t go through with ordination, he left Christianity for Buddhism. And it’s not just this group that should be banished to LGBT rallies and yoga retreats.No, they have spin-off impersonators, like David Haas, who gifted us with “We Are Called,” and “Now We Remain,” — and the Protestant Marty Haugen, who gave us “Gather Us In” (mega-cringe) and “Shepherd Me, O God.”All of these people do their information from the grandfather revolutionary liberal Catholic music, the late Ray Repp, may he rest in peace.
Mr. Repp practically invented the guitar folk Mass and ended up “marrying” his longtime boyfriend, something the mainstream Catholic media glossed over in their glowing obit notices.
Am I saying that one’s liberal theology will affect one’s musical compositions, and maybe one’s life decisions? Yes, I am.
- Hand-holding during the Our Father. No more. Period. There’s no provision for it in the rubrics and it makes a lot of people who go to Mass, like single women, uncomfortable. Especially awkward squeezie poo that people do at the end after they lift their hands up for the doxology. Blech.
- Introducing yourself to your neighbor in front of you, behind you, to your left, and to your right before Mass begins. I know it seems like a nice and Christian, but there’s no provision for it in the rubrics, and the Church is our mother. She knows best.
- The kiss of peace? I know it’s in the rubrics the Ordinary Form, but my oh my, it’s awfully distracting…moments before reception of the God of the universe we’re back to socializing. In some parishes, the kiss of Peace has become the highest possible good, the most wonderful soul-touching, arm-stretching, high-fiving, aisle-crossing moments of human emotion. And another reason to go to the traditional Latin Mass just once see what’s missing and what’s not missing.
- Clapping during Mass. And this is a request to priests. Not only do we not need to be thanked for coming to Sunday Mass, but we don’t really need to be clapping for the Children’s Choir and the Adult Choir and the wonderful Lectors, and missionary fundraiser, and the banner ministry.
- I know it’s permitted in the Novus Ordo Missae, but can we have a two-year moratorium on Communion in the hand? Over 80% of the fathers of the Second Vatican Council voted down Communion in the hand. The only reason we have it is because after Vatican II, Pope Paul VI responded to disobedience with indulgence rather than discipline. Communion in the hand was a liturgical abuse practiced in Belgium, the Netherlands, Canada, and parts of the United States. The evidence is overwhelming that communion in the hand has led to a diminishment in belief in the real presence.
- Altar girls. In 1994 an ailing Pope John Paul II signed off on altar girls—a prudential decision that has worsened the priestly vocation crisis. Altar girls damaged the minor leagues of the priesthood majors.
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