I am back from vacation and boy, I had a rude awakening into how horrible some Novus Ordo Masses can be. I attended Holy Mass at the Basilica of Mary, Queen of the Universe Shrine in Orlando, Florida and it was very beautiful to be at a beautiful basilica again! However, unlike most Novus Ordo Masses that I attend, this Priest had everyone sit down before the Gloria and the Confiteor and had every tell the Church where they were from. Yes, this took place right after the Sign of the Cross. Afterwards, the Priest had the choir director talk about how they are in dire need for a pipe organ and a new music system before continuing on with the Mass. Do not get me wrong. I love sacred music and want it to continue in the Catholic Church and have no problem with financially supporting any parish that is implementing sacred music in their parish. I had a problem with the choir director speaking during the Mass. It would have been much better if the Priest had asked the congregation during the homily to help support the sacred music program during the offertory. Now, for the title of this blog. I have a deep love for the liturgy, but I am seriously put off when a Priest rushes through every single prayer and does Eucharistic Prayer II just to shave two minutes off of the Mass. The Mass is not about time, but it is about being thankful to God and receiving the Eucharist. Once you remove anything that deals with the Eucharist and substituting one Eucharistic Prayer for another that does not have the same meaning, limits the true meaning of why we gather at Mass to commemorate the Lord’s Passion and Death. We, as Catholics must not worry about time constraints when it comes to the Holy Mass. Saint John Vianney, who is probably my Saint said that if we truly understood what the Holy Mass is, we would die from love of Christ that is present in the Eucharist. It is a shame that many priests exploit the Priesthood and say Masses that are 30 to 45 minutes and then go a baseball game. Woe to those priests, who do that. They are not true Priests if all they do is speed up the prayers at the Mass. The Liturgy is not to suit them nor should it suit us! The Liturgy is based on our deposit of faith. It is about sacred tradition and sacred Scripture. If we truly believe that Christ Jesus is at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, let us pray for the full hour! Even Jesus asked his disciples the garden why they could not keep the watch for an hour. Imagine if Jesus asked us why we couldn’t keep watch for an hour during Holy Mass. Liturgy is to be an hour long because we are receiving the greatest gift known to man and that is the Eucharist. It is like going to someone’s home for Christmas and only going for the gifts. How selfish is that? That is the same mindest of those, who shorten the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass and do not have any regard to the Eucharist. My dear Catholic brothers and sisters, this is a golden opporitunity for each of us to help teach our Priests in a way that will help them to understand what the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass really is! We must work with them to understand why we want to restore the sacred at Mass and not just have a drive thru style Mass. We must be prudent in our actions and start a Liturgy Club at our parishes, but only with the permission of the pastor. Ask the Pastor or a Parochial Vicar to help you out in establishing a Liturgy Club that will explore various Papal Encylicals from during the Reformation to now that talks about the Liturgy and how the parish can benefit from an hour long liturgy that is centered on the Eucharist. We can do this without belittleing each other. We must pray, as one body of Christ to restore the sacred and not worry about the timing of the Holy Mass.
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