New mass a lost cause, but all is not lost. Advice here.

Take matters in your own hands.

Dominus Vobiscum: Notes from a massgoer's underground

A pessimistic view of today’s Catholic liturgy:

The [post-Vatican 2] Pauline rite [Paul VI’s] is so radical a deconstruction and reconstruction of the Roman liturgy that it does not exist in the same tradition of organic development. It is a new departure, a new thing, not a revision of the old thing that had been handed down over the centuries.

As an artificial liturgical entity constructed out of pieces of the Roman heritage combined with modern scholarly inventions, any future reform of it would be no more than a variation on the new theme.

The only way forward is not to tinker any more with this “fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product” (as Ratzinger called it in 1992), but to return steadfastly and stalwartly to the Catholic and Roman liturgical tradition embodied in the preconciliar Missal.

Indeed, only in this way can the deepest aims and aspirations of the Second…

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Making things up.

Dominus Vobiscum: Notes from a massgoer's underground

More on how the mass is reconstituted by free-lancing priest-celebrants.


May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church. . . .

. . . is commonly changed to “our hands” and “God’s name,” which never in my hearing has been explained to the congregation. It’s been simply done, slipped in, over and over until the people do it that way too.

This has been the pattern throughout imposition of the new mass. Words, gestures, stage directions have been all changed without pointing out to people their implications in terms of belief or (hidden or at least hiding) purposes. Better to signal it, over and over, than to (have to) explain it from pulpit or lectern.

Repetition is the mother of study. Or of…

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Praying for peace and other half-minded thoughts (2013)

Praying for what?

Dominus Vobiscum: Notes from a massgoer's underground

Is there room for half-baked ideas, even half-vast ones, in a discussion of worship?

Let’s see.

* Praying for peace at mass is a good idea, but for an “end to violence” or even the specific “end to violence in Chicago”? Really? Who is kidding whom?

Praying for that is praying for the end of the world, which will be a wonderful thing, to be sure, what with Jesus returning in glory. His earliest followers prayed for that. But we might add an Augustinian “not yet.”

How about “less violence”? Or “fewer killings on our mean streets”? Something we can take seriously without calling for an end to life as we know it.

* Among social-justice issues, why do we never hear about vote-stealing? Never stole one myself or saw one stolen, though I was sorely tempted in the class-president election at Loyola U. in 1949. But I read about…

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Meditating at Mass

The R-word

Dominus Vobiscum: Notes from a massgoer's underground

2011 PRAYER AND MEDITATION: No paragon of these am I, even if at 18 I left home to study them full time.

After two years of it (novitiate), I got my SJ degree, which I relinquished many years later but would rather not go into right now.

Even so, much of it has stuck. At Mass, for instance, I often enter the zone of prayer and meditation, which makes me a poor participant in the liturgy.

Doesn’t mean I think of nothing else (distractions, you know) or that I am superior to the fellow or gal next to me who belts out the songs and other responses.

In fact, you could argue I’m not as good because I seem to reject the communal aspect that characterizes today’s liturgy.

So allow me to hang my head in shame at that, asking only for tolerance, OK? I am what I am…

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Changing the words of Mass

Free-lancing at the altar

Dominus Vobiscum: Notes from a massgoer's underground

In 2011 I wrote:

Like the TV detective Monk, I have a gift that is also a curse: I pay very close attention at Mass.

So when the priest veers away from the approved text, I hear it and fume. Used to. Now I go into my free-fly zone. Frequently.

In this zone, I wool-gather, daydream, write columns and imaginary sermons, etc. This means that one minute I’m saying “Lord hear our prayer” with the other faithful, next minute that I know about, I am rising for the Our Father.

Awful, I know. Can only say I’m working on it.

The paying close attention thing is a bigger problem.

The priest subs out “His” for “God’s,” “disciples” for “friends,” “Almighty God” for “Almighty Father,” etc. Two of these reduce masculine references, sparing feminist sensibilities. The other is apparently meant to de-emphasize levels of authority in favor of intimacy.


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