The ideal mass

Inside baseball for Catholics

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By Jim Bowman


That's one where (a) the priest faces same direction as I, presumably God-ward, (b) he turns the mike off, and (c) the emphasis is primarily on God, secondarily (if at all) on each other.

None of it is impossible in Vatican 2 terms, which allowed, did not mandate (a) facing the people and (b) and (c) mandated or mentioned as taken for granted reverential tones and concept of mass-as-sacrifice.


Later (5:20 pm): The "if at all" referring to emphasis on each other is not to be taken as cold-hearted, not even as cold as Christian charity, as some of used to say in the Jesuits long ago. No indeed. Part of what one picks up at mass is love of neighbor. One could hardly miss it.

So from presumed God-direction to neighbor-direction is natural progression. Handclasp at mass has its place, but not at the cost of distraction from prayerfulness. I'm as sociable as they come on the sidewalk. (Usually) In the pew? Another matter entirely.

Email: Twitter: @BlitheSp

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Jim Bowman from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 11th, 2013 5:24 PM

Yr welcome, Jim Ihrig. Jenna, I'm glad for you too. But I can dream, can't I? Of an ideal mass?

Jenna Brown Russell from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 11th, 2013 2:04 PM

Good for you. You should attend the Tridentine Mass. I prefer the word of God be delivered to me in a language I can understand, at a volume I can hear. You know, like God, through his son, did it in the good old days.

New School Old School from Oak Park  

Posted: December 11th, 2013 1:42 PM

I would love to see a Latin Mass at Ascension or St. Edmund's, but I fear some people would get quite upset about it.

James Ihrig from River Forest, Illinois  

Posted: December 11th, 2013 1:25 PM

I am blessed to be able to attend Mass every day, should I choose. The Eucharistic Liturgy is in the vernacular and engages me as much as any Mass where I have worshiped, no matter which side of the alter the priest has celebrated. Where I need more emphasis I add it myself prayerfully. I attended Pius 10 Mass for a wedding and was disappointed that I couldn't hear the liturgy. Between the two I would choose post Vatican II, although I'm not a cradle Catholic but an Anglican convert...that might make a difference. Thanks for the opportunity to comment Jim.

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