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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Why I don't go to Sunday Catholic Mass

Francis Porretto shares my dislike of what passes for music at Mass,
The only deviation was the selection of liturgical music, and, as my voice sounds like a moose farting through a rusty bullhorn, that doesn’t matter much to me anyway.
Then there are the totally creepy puppets:

And even creepier: The Curt Jester has photos, but you can heave at the video, too, which includes a Lord of the Dance number and song(s) from... Jesus Christ Superstar.

It's enough to make The Anchoress say, "Please, make it stop".

Yes, I have gone to Mass - Episcopalian and Catholic - recently. The Episcopalians have good music, and if you go to the 8:15 Catholic Mass on weekdays you are spared the clowning.

Are you, gentle reader, as appalled as I at the current trend of entertainment passing for liturgy in your church?

Ed calls it Sid & Marty Krofft Mass. Welcome, Hot Air readers! Please visit often.


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At 11:57 AM, Blogger Julie D. said...

Our church offers Masses with:
1) Gregorian chant and prayers in Latin
2) Guitar and acapella (sp?) choir
3) Pipe organ, full choir, and very few songs dated after the 1900s.
4) No songs

As there are seven Masses with variations of the above, with nary a clown or ribbon dancer in sight, I can't answer that question from experience. Thank the Lord! :-)

However, I believe it would be a severe test personally and I would have to pray a great deal for the liturgists. As well as getting involved with my parish liturgists and our bishop if need be. Which is what the Catechism says, is it not? If something is wrong it is our duty to help correct it, not to run away.

At 12:00 PM, Blogger newton said...

It's not just at Mass, my dear! It has been happening at Baptist churches all over the land.

I am so sick and tired of singing the same old CCM songs during worship service. There are hymnals at our church, of course, but they just lie under our chairs, catching dust and the occasional kid who thinks it makes an interesting drawing book.

Bring back the old piano special, or the old choir singing those good old hymns, which give such a nicer message than the drums at the altar. Gimme the old time religion! (I'm sick of the new stuff!)

At 12:05 PM, Blogger ElMondoHummus said...

What the...?? Interpretive dance at a mass???

Good grief... I'm sorry, and I don't want to sound like some old fart, but too many congregations have been copying too many superficial elements from evangelistic protestant Christianity. That video is a prime example. I don't go to a Catholic mass to see a Protestant one, I go to see a Catholic one.

Although I do have to breath a sigh of relief. I was getting irritated at this topic long before I saw this video, and this video puts my irritation into perspective. At my own church, whereas we were once schooled to participate in a dignified mass, there are now so many gesticulations on the part of parishoners participating that I wonder if I'm actually watching an old-school Protestant revival meeting instead of a mass. I now see how much further it can go, so comparatively I now know my own church isn't all that bad, considering.

At 12:31 PM, Blogger Anthony (Los Angeles) said...

I'm such a long-lapsed Catholic that I think the altar would crack, were I to show up for Mass. :)

I never did like the folk music that was added in the 70s, however. I much prefer organ or choral work for church services.

At 12:34 PM, Blogger Ken Adams said...

Not seeing such nonsense in our small-town parish.

Get away from the big city, Fausta!

At 1:45 PM, Blogger Patm said...

In fairness, these puppet and clown masses are pretty rare, which is why they engender such curiosity. Trinity Church (episcopal) had a clown mass a few years back that was scary. I don't know any church in my area that does this stupid crap, and I don't think the congregations would stand for it.

At 3:36 PM, Blogger c.a. Marks said...

LOL. Gah, and I thought I got all huffy when the handbells play at my mass! LOL Sheesh, I should be grateful.

At 4:50 PM, Blogger FOD said...

No such liturgical silliness here in Georgia.

We have an interior that doesn't look like a hotel conference room

A 150 year old pipe organ

And a choir (unseen as they sing from the loft behind the congregation) that is just, well, heavenly.

At 5:28 PM, Blogger Francis W. Porretto said...

Out here, the 7:30 Mass is safe from bad music and all other nonsense. It's also low on screaming toddlers, and our most political priest is seldom the celebrant. It's therefore the one I attend.

At 10:22 PM, Blogger Matushka said...

Peek into an Orthodox Church. You might see toddlers (:O) but very few jumping, middle-aged women shaking up the Gospel book as if it were an Etch-a-Sketch.

It is curious the congregation stood up for the priest but not the creepy, black-faced puppet-men.

At 12:50 AM, Blogger Pat Patterson said...

See, that's why the Lutherans will take over the world. We sit in nice orderly rows with our best almost golf clothes on and murmur politely whenever the pastor asks for some promise. While everybody else is either on jihad or fighting off puppets we'll simply be biding our time. And hoping a new Gustavus Adolphus appears to lead us to victory.

At 12:56 AM, Blogger Anthony (Los Angeles) said...

And giving the world great music in the meantime! :)

At 9:01 PM, Blogger John O'Neill said...


While your points on the sad state of Catholic Church music are well-taken, I'd like to point out that the music is not essential to Catholic Mass. We need to focus more on what's going on at the altar and in the scriptural readings each Saturday evening or Sunday. Everything in the liturgy of the Mass directs our attention to the central, Paschal Mystery of the re-enactment of Christ's sacrifice of Himself to the Father in the Holy Spirit on our behalf. This and the great mystery of the transubstantiation of the bread and wine, at the moment the priest speaks the consecratory words of Christ over them, into the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ, the Son of God, are a source of incalculable grace for us, if we can ignore the petty disurbances of poorly performing choirs or poorly chosen liturgical music, and focus entirely on the central mystery we're witnessing and on the real presence of our Lord and our God before us and within us.

Your brother in Christ,

John O'Neill


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