Rorate Caeli

You share: The lynching of the Traditional Mass
Share your liturgical memories of the Novus Ordo

Bishop Robert Lynch, of St. Petersburg, Florida, still thinks he owns the Traditional Mass - he has become known for time and again prohibiting it, or for making it impossible for his priests to implement Summorum Pontificum in the largest city within his jurisdiction: Tampa, in Hillsborough County. Yes, thanks to  Bp. Lynch, the Republican National Convention will take place in a Summorum-Free county, one of the largest Summorum-free counties in America (the Catholic version of Dry Counties). But he feels he is doing a huge favor by "allowing" a priest to celebrate a Sunday TLM in a chapel in his diocesan Cathedral - whose main nave is about to be "renovated"...

He is currently on vacation, but he took no vacation from his hideous pseudo-hip blogging. From the Traditional Mass to the "Benedictine Arrangement" favored by the reform-of-the-reformers, to the firm liturgical vision proposed by Mgr. Andrew Wadsworth, nothing of worth escapes his verbal lynching:

My personal memory of the liturgy prior to Vatican II is an awful one. I remember the daily Requiem Masses screeched by the eighth grade girls of St. Charles Borromeo parish in Peru, Indiana, mandatory prior to the start of every school day, and even with their screeching, the Mass gratefully only lasted about twenty minutes. Communion distributed to the kneeling at the altar rail was more comic than reverent (remember hearing the words “Corpus Domini. . .as the priest started at one end and then eternam” as he reached the thirtieth person kneeling?). Also strong in my memory remain Masses on Holy Days of Obligation when at the beginning of Mass, during the Offertory and at the Pater Noster, the assistant priests would come out and give communion to anyone who needed to “duck out” and get back to work (this was especially true at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York even when the Cardinal was the celebrant). Adult choirs attempting Mozart were only slightly better in most churches than the eighth grade girls at St. Charles. My grandparents and parents taught us to distract ourselves during Mass by following their example and either praying the Rosary continuously throughout Mass or attempting to follow along using a Missal which had Latin on one side of the fold and the English translation on the other. It was mystery, for sure, but not the kind of mystery which is reverentially spoken of now for the past. Monsignor Wadsworth calls in his talk for more attention to be paid by celebrants to the General Instruction to the Roman Missal which guides the liturgical celebration. I agree but he had better be careful for the growing practice of shielding the celebrants from congregants with candles and crosses of such size as to block the vision of many at Mass is explicitly forbidden in the same GIRM.

Since our readers are on average much younger than Bp. Lynch and the dying breed he represents (at least in the American episcopate), we would invite you to share your own personal liturgical memories of the New Mass. Those memories often explain why so many of us do our utmost to seek refuge from the Ordinary Rite of Paul VI. Please, share all your best (worst) experiences with the New Mass.

Bishop Lynch is 71. More about him in this Renew America article by Matt Abott.


  1. For the life of me, I can't understand how a priest cannot love the tlm. Luckily for me, I really haven't seen any real gross abuses, outside of the clapping, announcements during mass, holding hands etc.

  2. I might be able to handle a priest or bishop not preferring the Traditional Mass (much to their loss). But for anyone to harbor so tenaciously such bitter memories of childhood is a bad sign. For a public figure (never mind a high churchman) to avail himself of a public venue for expressing them is a VERY bad sign, one that suggests a personality disorder, or a full-blown pathology.

    Canon law dictates that he offer his resignation to retire in four years. He's ready now.

  3. Worst experience: An elderly priest was feeling lightheaded, turned the page incorrectly and skipped the consecration. There was a deacon who said and did nothing. When the extraordinary ministers' approached the altar, I tried to blend in, told the poor priest what had happened. He was shocked, turned back and did the consecration and after Mass found me to thank me. He has since passed away, God rest his soul and let perpetual light shine upon him.

    Best experience: A friend of mine was being ordained to the priesthood. He was the only seminarian to be ordained that year, so the Bishop decided to do it in his home parish, which was as modern and as ugly as you can imagine. The Bishop pulled out all the stops, beautiful traditional vestments, incense, chalice veils, everything. His sermon was about fidelity to the Church and to Tradition. Sadly for us, but happily for the universal Church, this same Bishop has since been promoted to Archbishop and appointed Apostolic Delegate charged with overseeing the reform of the Leadership Council of Women Religious (i.e. the leading organization of American nuns that everybody's been talking so much about).

  4. Hilariously awful guitar choirs... Pre-Mass rehearsal of hymns and sung responses, with the priest's admonitions to SING, EVERYONE! I STILL CAN'T HEAR YOU... Communicants chewing the Host on their way back to the pew..."We are church"... Clueless Eucharistic ministers (and I was one of them!)...

    Perhaps the status quo inevitably degenerates? If so, then I'm glad that the TLM is "Extraordinary," attended by people who care enough to deliberately choose it.

  5. JTLiuzza11:34 PM

    I can imagine what the many young, orthodox priests of today will say about their youthful experiences with the novus ordo liturgy when they get on into their seventies, some of them becoming bishops. By that time hopefully the novus ordo will be no more.

    As far as my novus ordo memories; I don't want to relive them but am thankful that they are indeed memories. It's a terrible situation that Catholics under bishops like this one are robbed of the TLM, despite it being the will of the Holy Father that they have access to it.

  6. GQ Rep11:38 PM

    My best (worst) memory of the Novus Ordo was when I went to a "youth Mass" for my cousin and her class (3rd grade), and found that the Hosts were cookies, and the Wine was actually grape juice.
    I was in 9th Grade at the time, and even then (15 years ago), thought it was weird.

    That was nothing though, for my own "Teen Youth Mass" when I was a senior in highschool....when the Augustinian priest ad libbed the entire Mass...and the Holy Communion was pizza and beer.

    The Augustinians at nearby Villanova UNiversity of course have ZERO seminarians or novices...and haven't had any for years! Their theological seminary in Washington DC, their novitiate in New York, and their huge seminary at Villanova are all closed!

  7. I just left the following response on Bishop Lynch's blog post:

    Your Excellency,
    I live in Riverview. You confirmed me in 2004.
    Since 2009, my family and I have been driving to Sarasota, FL at least 3 times per week, to the most beautiful Christ the King chapel, dedicated to the Traditional liturgies, offered by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.

    Our faith has grown by leaps and bounds, enjoying the full scale of Traditional liturgies. We have learned volumes about the beauty and history of the Faith.

    I am very sorry you have such awful memories of the Most Beautiful Mass in the world. Unfortunately, I am unable to stomach what goes on in the Masses in my own diocese.

    I am praying for you. And I also pray that you can put your personal discrimination aside and provide adequately for the spiritual needs of your flock in this diocese.

    Please pray for me,

  8. Although I myself am young, 20, and a convert to the faith at 11, I grew up in the novus ordo before discovering the fullness and beauty of the usus antiquior. I'm only going to one of many bad experiences, but recently while on vacation, the "new mass" the church was very modern and the choir was composed of a women that had a very revealing dress and a man with an electric guitar. After the consecrations we sang, "o come emmanuel," then on top of that girl altar servers, and an adult woman helping the priest during mass. Finally, the priest would add in little comments every now and then, and after the mass ended he thanked everyone and we all got up and applauded. It seemed like it was another homily because he was telling us how to go out and evangelize.

  9. Francis11:57 PM

    There are alot of aweful memories in my Novus Ordo days. The guitars, the awful music, the parishoners holding hands during the Our Father, the priest asking everyone to shake hands before Mass with everyone next to you. One priest used to play the tamberine while saying (singing) the Gloria, altar girls, clapping, bizarre chausibles worn by different priests. Communion given out in something that looked like a salad bowl, lay Eucharistic
    "ministers" giving out communion while the priests sit down then allowing the layman to place the sacred vessels inside the tabernacle. Communion in the hand and of course the Cranmer tables. All of this of course was over a twenty to thirty year period starting in the late 1970's until about five years ago, when I started assisting at the TLM and I refuse to go to any novus ordo for whatever reason (Wedding, Funeral, Baptism, confirmation etc) to the consternation of family and friends. Which is too bad for them and very spiritually (and mentally) refreshing for me.

  10. Rampsau12:00 AM

    Best and worst: midnight mass and, surprise, the liturgical dancers come springing down the alley. Very audibly, my aged grandmother, in a bit of shock, exclaims, 'what the hell is that?!".

    We never had dancers again.

  11. Michael BD12:13 AM

    Hmmm. Where to begin?

    A chaplain at my college used to use Pita Bread he would unwrap from aluminum foil during Mass, and encouraged the students to walk up to the altar and self-communicate with the chalice. When I walked out of Mass the young girl helping him kicked open the door to the sacristy and dumped the consecrated contents of the chalice into the plowed snow. That was the moment I became a Traditionalist.

    More recently, I've seen Masses with 16 Extraordinary ministers (for a parish of 200).

    As my wife says, one of the major problems of the Novus Ordo is that it treats people like children. The music is absolutely insipid. The sung responses sound as if they were cribbed from children's television. People stripped of proper liturgical ceremony resort to "prancing" in the Church to express their gratitude to God. There is a a grasping insecurity affecting everything in the Novus Ordo, a constant desire to tell rather than show, and to show rather than believe.

  12. Another thing i'll add, the music is atrocious. Protestant hyms(amazing grace) why in the world would you sing america tge beautiful at mass? At least the priest puts on some gregorian chants(cd) at communion time.

  13. Peterman12:40 AM

    My bad experiences in the diocese of St Pete (call it a vatican 2 moment if you will) was a few years ago on Ash Wednesday. My wife and I were late to mass due to my being delayed at work.

    My wife kindly asked the priest after mass if she could receive ashes since we had missed distribution and the priest angrily snapped at her yelling at her that he had already given her ashes (he was mistaken and apparently confused). Of course this pretty much brought my wife to tears. I have never before or since (thank the Lord) wanted to cold cock a priest as I did at that very moment. I'm 6'3" 200 with a thermonuclear Irish temper (which thankfully with God's grace has mellowed these days), that priest saw the rage in my eyes and wouldn't come out of the sacristy after the mass had ended. Finally the regular parish priest ended the Mexican standoff and brought out the ashes for my wife. Thank the Lord nothing happened. I did confess the anger and admit I was wrong but when someone gets at your spouse for no reason it tends to fire anyone up.

    In the months that followed that incident, that priest who scolded my wife got very ill, then recovered and ever since, he has been very kind and gentle. Praise the Lord who takes care of his priests. In the end I learned not to fret about the priests or Bishops such as Bishop Lynch no matter what happens. Instead, I use my rosary and I pray for these men and I let our Lord handle everything.

  14. Even though there is a lot that needs fix'n at my NO parish, it's WAY better than the 70s.

    Really, there is no comparision. Well. Ok. The 6:00 pm Sunday "Youth Mass", but otherwise....

  15. Four years ago after a way too long hiatus, my wife and I returned to the Church, Novus of course, because we weren't aware there were any other kind. The choir, all three of them, were not audible. The music reminded u of Schroeder's tunes for Lucy Brown. Meanwhile, I had found and begun attending a TLM chapel of SSPX. One night at the Novus Mass, another priest dropped in and was invited to sit on the altar, which he did, vested, while the woman who was also "pastoral Administrator" did the readings, served communion and left the good visiting priest sitting on the altar. Celebrant allowed this, missed the Our Father all together (no holding hands and kisses that night). Now my wife and I are committed TLM Catholics.

  16. Give The Devil His Due1:02 AM

    During our 5 years at the most "conservative" NO in town, we met many very good people trying to keep the faith. The priest at the time had a great faith too. He gave us well-prepared homilies with substance and loved Our Lady dearly. The good priest died in 2006 and never saw the TLM resurrected. I pray for his soul often.

    His successor didn't fill his shoes. I'll end my story there.

  17. Kathleen1:04 AM

    First and most offensive. Virtually no one traipsing about the Sanctuary genuflects to the Tabernacle. Not priests, Altar servers, or extraordinary ministers. Of all the examples I can bring to mind I can think of ONE priest that consistently genuflected.

    Then summer and the N.O. is a horrifying combination. It varies a bit from parish to parish, but it is without fail horrifying. Sloven men and it's best to just say grossly immodest women and leave it at that.

    At least in winter, it's just slovenly.

    Then year round there is the extremely pronounced chewing on the Blessed Sacrament.

    And the talking. The din is unbelievable and non-stop before and after Mass.

    Then there are the "extraordinary" ministers traipsing up to Sanctuary in their slovenly, and often immodest, attire to hand out the Blessed Sacrament as if it were cookies.

    And the Altar girls. In their flip flops.

    And the banal music penned either by 60's rejects or Protestants.

    And never, ever, a sermon that takes on the hard issues that the flock desperately needs if they are to be saved.

    And those are the good sermons. Then you have the sermons that require extraordinary leaps of logic to try to see as orthodox or contain outright heresy.

    The only exception to this that I have experienced is a diocese parish where they have daily TLM and the N.O. is celebrated at the High Altar in Latin. There they have no extraordinary ministers, Altar girls, "sign of peace", banal music, traipsing past the Tabernacle without genuflecting, and communion is kneeling at the Altar rail. Parishioners are made aware of standards for appropriate behavior and dress and actually benefit from sound sermons. But it's under threat of closure!

  18. Peccator2:20 AM

    Perhaps the most sickening NO Mass I have seen occurred in 2009 on a trip to Buffalo, NY. We went to a small chapel on a warm Sunday morning. The grey-haired priest began by introducing a heavy woman in her fifties as the sole altar server / lector / cantor / EMHC. He then spent a moment complaining about the heat as he stripped off virtually all his vestments. Then he managed to zip through a skeleton version of the liturgy in an incredible 15 minutes!! And that included giving out Holy Communion to everyone there except my wife and me - I'd estimate maybe around 125 people

    1. James Ignatius McAuley12:03 PM

      Peccator`s storey is true. Regrettably, this priest is not the only one in the Diocese who does this. However, in all fairness, there are also many good priests in the Diocese of Buffalo who say the mass properly.

  19. Best experience at the NO...too young to know better, great Priest who believed in the Rosary, Sacrifice of the Mass, etc..
    Worst many, as a young man, deeply disturbed at the 'liturgical dancers' in their tights & skimpy outfits...the short 10 minute 'masses' that fulfilled the Sunday obligation...the hissing of the priest in the confessional as I explained my problems with the priest who had faulty moral guidance...the liturgical extraordinary people (all 5 or more) which consisted of 25% of the parish...glad I am rid of this nonsense.

  20. A. M. D. G.2:26 AM

    I for one think someone has a faulty memory, is being disingenuous or maybe even being untruthful. For starters no one can sing a requiem Mass in twenty minutes. Priests giving Communion at odd times, I think not. The whole article is baloney. This clergyman is a loser.

  21. My experiences from growing up in a large NO church and then a year and a half at college before learning and switching to the TLM included much the same as others have been writing, such as Protestant-inspired music, casual/immodest dress, no tabernacle in the main church (it was in the side chapel), holding hands, constant talking, improvising, the LifeTeen Mass (clapping, approaching the altar in a giant hugging group, etc), etc.

    There were (and still are) 2 childrens' Masses held at 3pm and 5pm at the parish I grew up in, which had a play put on by children for the Gospel (which was paraphrased to make kid-friendly). I can't remember if they also had the "Second Reading", but they skipped out on the "First Reading", already somewhat dubious by NO standards. Though it was the children's "Mass", it was frequented by many Catholics coming for their semi-annual Mass.

    The chapel where daily Mass was held at my college NO parish is a tiny room with several benches (i.e. no kneelers), no raised sanctuary, a wooden altar, a small tabernacle to the side, a constantly leaky ceiling, stained floors, a thin wall up against the parish office where staff would choose to ignore Masses and Holy Hour when they were held.

    I could probably go on and on, especially about churches I've simply visited once or more, but I'm sure we've all heard our fair share of horror stories.

    Kyrie, eleison.

  22. Peterman2:41 AM

    "I am the bread of liiiifee..." Sing it folks!

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

  23. Anonymous2:46 AM

    If what he says is true, they are all things that should have been corrected. They don't validate for the kind of liturgical reform we ended up with in the Novus Ordo. Rather the NO as I've experienced it seems like the fullfillment of the craziness the Bp mentions.
    Put plainly - the NO taught me to be a Protestant. Protestant theology on the power of the community vs God. No sacred space. No doctrine. A feel good philosophy that led to sin and death and not feelin so good. I posted a litany at FrZ of abuses, offenses and tambourines and dancers with scarves. None of those things were authentic Catholic worship.

  24. OutsideObserver2:53 AM

    "I remember the daily Requiem Masses screeched by the eighth grade girls of St. Charles Borromeo parish in Peru, Indiana, mandatory prior to the start of every school day, and even with their screeching, the Mass gratefully only lasted about twenty minutes."

    And yet when it comes to the Novus Ordo the same modernists argue against professional scholae, chant and polyphony because they want "ordinary people" to do the singing.

  25. Minimally Catholic2:54 AM

    I was travelling for work a few years back (about 2002ish) in Glen Allen, Virginia area, and since I was staying over the weekend, I needed to find a Mass to fill my Sunday Obligation. I looked in the yellow pages and found a parish nearby named Saint Michael the Archangel. I remember naively thinking that with a name like that, it had to be somewhat orthodox. I showed up to the parish and it was absolutely horrific. The "sanctuary" of the "church" was a theater in the round style with the audience seated in a full circle around the altar. The seats rose up sharply to give the audience a stadium like view of the show. The "altar" was an octagon shaped table in the middle of the circle. The altar was also the lowest part of the Sanctuary so the "audience" was looking down into a pit, bringing to mind a scene out of Dante's' Inferno. The word altar is based on the Latin work altus literally meaning high ... so placing the altar in the bottom of a pit is nonsensical at best. I would not have been surprised to see a witches cauldron on this "altar".

    So the Mass proceeds and I literally feeling sick to my stomach. The priest wonders in shaking hands all around the circle with a microphone in his hand. When the music died, he welcomed everyone, and asked if there were any newcomers in the audience ... and as people raised their hand he would run over to them with his microphone and interview them about where they are from and what they do and such. It reminded me of the Phil Donahue Show from the 1980s ... but waaaay less cool. As the priest would talk to people he would try to make these really lame jokes and the drummer (yes of course they had a drummer) would make that duh-duh-dum roll on the snare drum.

    The "homily" at the mass was this mindless prattle about how terrible it was before Vatican II ... blah blah blah.

  26. Anonymous2:58 AM

    I forgot one of the best goofy shockers. The Our Father ala the Hokey-Pokey ! Seriously. It happened.

  27. OldTrad2:59 AM

    A.M.D.G said,

    "For starters no one can sing a requiem Mass in twenty minutes. Priests giving Communion at odd times, I think not."

    There are records of Sung Masses that lasted only 20-30 minutes and the practice of giving communion before, anytime during, and after, the Mass was so common that old rubrics books actually contain rules for them. Note that what is described here is the "daily" requiem Mass, that was noted for its brevity (therefore its popularity) and did not include the rites at the catafalque.

  28. Matthew Rose3:24 AM

    When I was in RCIA, another woman in the class had her mother visiting. Her mother, she had informed us, is Presbyterian and anti-Catholic. During Mass, at Communion, they both went up and received. The Pastor of the parish, who knew who was in RCIA, gave them both Communion. They both, of course, took Our Lord in the hand. At least one of them did not consume Him immediately, although did so when she returned to her pew. I alerted the catechist that this had happened. I do not know if anything happened after that.

  29. servusMaterDei3:38 AM

    So the Bishop wants to compare horror stories does he?!? how about memories of the spanish Novus Ordo– Priests that invite children up on the Altar during Mass to pass out candy and school supplies, Priests who curse in spanish during their homilies to, i guess , connect with the bros., female lectors who are allowed to dress like prostitutes, emhc’s that look like wes craven’s pinhead, singing on the Altar, dancing on the Altar, huge projection screens up on the Altar for Catholic Appeal week and to give props to all the “great people who make Church possible”kids in the pews playing nintendo, reading harry potter, eating-you name it. mariachi guitars, electric guitars, accordions and maracas an MC type screaming from the choir section “bienveniedos a su casa!” (welcome to your house) right before the mariachi band commences with a; EEEEEEHAAAA!!! YAYAYAiiii!!!
    We now travel to another state for the TLM— Deo Gratias!
    I heard a very holy Priest say, “if everything inside you is creeping and crawling (at the sight of these abuses) there is someone else who is even more offended and that is the Holy Trinity”
    Do Priests and lay folk really believe that the same God who struck Levite Priests dead, in the Old Testament, for just one liturgical abuse has somehow changed? we are told that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Do people actually believe that He has relaxed His standards b/c we are what? more technologically advanced?
    I pray that this Bishop will remember who he is and Who God is, quickly, before he runs out of time.

  30. Anonymous3:41 AM

    If you do some background reading on the good bishop, it is very difficult to keep your temper. In our times, we have had a remarkable combination of heresy AND perversion among so many clergy. In the past, at least the dissolute usually passed on the faith. As the Dutch martyr had it, "Fornicator I always was, heretic I never was." There have been a lot of those over the centuries, but in our times...sheesh!
    Scott W

  31. I ask that all of you on Rorate Caeli, join me in prayer for Bishop Lynch.

    Thank you.

  32. Self-intinction, laywomen preaching the homily every other Sunday, and omission of the Creed every Sunday.

  33. Johannes de Silentio4:39 AM

    Approaching one church I remember seeing that the front entranceway, where there were once doors, had been obstructed by a concrete wall that traced where the doors once were. Those committed to the disorientation clearly wanted their handiwork to outlast them.

    After entering the side of the Church, the only option, one finds that one can sit facing in three different directions, so we can all look at one another, rather than that boring stuff that goes on at the altar. Naturally, there were no kneelers, and it was not without drawing a bizarre look or two that I kneeled anyway. The bread used for consecration was flatbread, and left me wondering whether or not it was leavened. So, I did not receive. I left pondering if it had been a Catholic Mass that I had just attended. Lex orandi, lex credendi.

  34. timbuktu4:39 AM

    Memories of Novus Ordo Mass.
    Memories or Nightmares?

    1. Communion Song at a Christmas Day Mass: "I'm dreaming of a White Christmas"
    2. The recessional was "Feliz Navidad, Feliz Navidad, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart" and some of the congregation bouncing up and down to the beat of the bouncy tune.
    3. Followed by applause and cries of "Feliz Navidad" to each other.
    4. Spending half the Mass wondering if the balloons are going to waft close enough to the candles to "pop"
    5. Priest announcing an invitation to coffee and donuts after Mass and calling it "A continuation of the Mass."
    6. Lecturers at Teeny Boppers Mass processing in with their mini skirts.
    7. My husband remembers (I wasn't there, thanks be to God) communion song was Bob Dylan's "Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, Play a song for me"
    8.Just last week at a funeral Mass, the priest (and concelebrant?) standing at the altar waiting until everybody finished their endless handshakes of peace across the aisles and everyone gathering around the relatives of the deceased: A veritable circus before the Mass continued.
    9. The priest's first words at the altar drives me crazy "Good morning(afternoon)" I'm trying to prepare myself mentally for the sacrifice of the Mass and I get "good morning"
    I'm sure there are more instances but off the top of my head that's all that comes to mind.

  35. Worst - our priest (who was fond of giving peripatetic homilies and telling us at the beginning of Mass what the readings would be, as well as what his sermon would be about), saying that "abortion was not a sin if you were not aware that was a sin".

  36. Gratias6:35 AM

    Bishop Robert Lynch must have had an unhappy childhood. Perhaps he was different from an early age. To learn about Bp. Lynch's the linked article by Matt C. Abott is a must-read, particularly the fourth and last section.

    I had a happy childhood so it was probably similar to that of many other families and not that special. For example, I remember a few things about the Mass before the VC2 deformation:

    - We only took communion from priests, and on the tongue, with no wine.

    - We knelt during and after communion.

    - We did not applaud.

    - No one grabbed your hands forming human chains.

    - There were no drums and no tambourines.

    - Midnight Mass started at Midnight.

    - No one walked out straight off after taking communion.

    - We had sacred organ music, not protestant sing alongs.

    - The sermon came from above us and was about the readings of the day, never about the childhood experiences of the Priest.

    - We dressed in our Sunday best.

    Lest you take me for a grumpy old man, I want to say something positive about VC2: it allowed us to take communion without confession. Before, the priest knew who had confessed and could partake. I have become used to weekly communion and now need it. Problem is the nearest TLM is a 3 hours round trip and we can only manage it twice a month. The other two Sundays are Novus Ordo and leave me angry almost every time. So I disagree with Bishop Lynch, the Extraordinary Mass is better.

  37. His Excellency is, of course, one of the last of the Bernardin crowd. And this is reflected in many aspects of his tenure in St. Petersburg. My first direct run-in was when I came into town to spend the night at a prayer vigil outside Terri Schiavo's hospice. I noticed that there was only one priest from the diocese present out of dozens on site. Why was this? I was told by one of the priests that Lynch had forbidden his to come to the hospice vigils or protests. His Excellency had, as it turns out, testified in court in favor of Terri's husband, suggesting that there was nothing in Church teaching to object to ending Terri's nutrition and hydration.

    But as to the liturgy: His Excellency complains that the traditional masses of his youth featured bad singing, indifferent celebration, a difficult to follow mass, and irreverent communicants. Having been to masses in his diocese, I can say that you can find plenty of all of that on evidence now as well. The mass may be easier to follow now that it's in the vernacular, but how many trouble themselves to do so? How many can recall anything even from the homily, let alone the readings or the collects of the day? What you'll get instead is the usual post-mass cacophony and din discussing anything but spiritual matters.

    In fairness to his Excellency, however, my most distressing experience of the Pauline missal was in a major midwestern diocese, not St. Petersburg. It was, of all things, a Christmas midnight mass. Three rounds - three, not one - of liturgical dancing by women sweeping up and down the aisles. *Two* signs of peace, with the priest moving throughout the church to greet people in a manner reminiscent of a talk show. Much of the mass of the faithful ad libbed, with personal observations interjected at various points. Energetically but badly sung contemporary music, accompanied by a full band. Veritable regiments of EMHC's (virtually all older women) - perhaps three dozen. A homily on the Incarnation in which the good Father opined that christ became flesh because he so enjoyed and loved creation that he just wanted to be part of it - not a word about sin, redemption, or salvation. But the crowning moment was the benediction, which was given by a puppet. At that point I had to walk out, I'm afraid.

    His Excellency is correct that any mass, be it that of Pius V or Paul VI, can be indifferently celebrated or attended. But it must also be said that the old mass was not attended by the kind of bizarre abuses and rank heresy that is too often in evidence in the celebration of the current Roman missal. Unfortunately, its greater anthropocentric orientation and panoply of options seems to encourage such "creativity" and irreverence.

  38. P.S. Bishop Lynch: "I agree but he had better be careful for the growing practice of shielding the celebrants from congregants with candles and crosses of such size as to block the vision of many at Mass is explicitly forbidden in the same GIRM."

    There would be nothing to block, Your Excellency, if you celebrated the mass ad orientem, as is plainly allowed by the rubrics in the GIRM.

    But even if you celebrate facing the people: "*Why* is it necessary that the priest be able to see the congregation without any obstruction, or vice versa? The attention of all - at least during the canon - is supposed to be on Christ present in the Eucharist, not on each other.

  39. Anonymous10:53 AM

    Invalid or doubtful matter. (I have made it myself, maxima mea culpa). The Holy Sacrament reserved in an earthenware pot. Liturgical dance. Substituted readings (I have read/sung them myself). Impossible sung texts. (I recall the stunned realization that in the novus ordo the texts of the songs are _part of the rite_. Lex orandi, indeed!)


  40. George11:30 AM

    What is up with these Bishops ?
    During the mass they pray for Benedict our Pope but then ignore his instructions why ?

  41. Sorry, but I was one of those screeching choir girls, who ended up with a long "career" of singing Gregorian Chant until 2010 for TLM Masses. Also, I know of no abuses, except for Masses that were too fast, in the Pre-Mass of Paul VI days. His list is horrible and shows a lack of holiness. He is not the only bishop, either, who has suppressed the TLM. The bishop of Malta, Cremona, has made it almost impossible for the laity or the priests to have one. They have to ask and get his permission.

    So much for obedience....

    Give me the old days, when we all wore hats, and the priest and altar boys knew their liturgy and where we sang Gregorian Chant daily.


  42. So many things today would be unthinkable if the Traditional Mass were
    the norm. Can you imagine "womynpriests" saying the True Mass? Could
    you imagine the ad libbing, showmanship, and applause at a parish
    where only the Traditional Mass has been said? Hoardes of Eucharistic
    Ministers flowing like locusts into and out of the sanctuary? Altar
    girls? The new mass is a very feminine liturgy, and the results are
    legion. One of my worst experiences of many: My wife's uncle was a
    Vatican official, the head of a prominent department. When he would
    come over he would say "mass" for the family. This goes on today, but
    he is no longer the head of a department, but teaches in a university
    of his Order- the Jesuits. One summer day, we went to the cousins'
    home for "mass". He threw on a stole and the cousins had made
    sourdough bread. He had the loaf in a basket on a round patio table.
    We all pulled up our chairs around the table. He had a box wine
    sitting there next to the bread basket. There were around 15 of us. He
    "consecrated" it then told us to pass the basket around and break off
    our piece. My wife and I were horrified and just passed the basket by.
    Then, while we were all sitting he followed up with passing the wine
    glass around. Mind you, not one of the family members is a practicing
    Catholic. After "mass" I was horrified again to see Father take the
    basket full of crumbs and the large remnants of the loaf into the
    bathroom with him and close the door, assuming he was "purifying" the
    vessels. Could this have happened if the Traditional Mass were the
    normative rite? A few weeks ago, the same priest came to baptize the
    newborn niece. He skipped the exorcism in the new rite, explaining,
    "she didn't need it". He said "mass" in the parish church, then at
    communion said that "we are all one family, so I invite all of you to
    come forward for communion". They all did. Non-Christians, apostates,
    divorced and remarried, etc. One of the aunts is in a wheelchair.
    Father was giving out "communion" maybe ten feet from her. He gave
    another aunt two hosts and said to "give one to her". After he was
    distributing, he walked over to the aunt in the wheelchair and said,
    "did you get one?". I am not making this up. At the reception after,
    one of the young 20 year old cousins said at the table we were sitting
    at, "that's the first time I ever took the cracker". Another cousin
    said, "the Host?" My father-in-law said, "Holy Communion?" This young
    man has never been baptized. He said, "no, it ain't nothin but a
    cracker. First time I ever took it in a church". Again is any of this
    imaginable in a Traditional church, in any church, where the
    Traditional Rites are the norm????? If the Novus Ordo is evil, which
    is an absence of good, it is difficult to disprove. The "worthy
    celebration" of it is at the whim of the celebrant, not in the Rite
    itself. I have many more stories, but it is late! Kyrie Eleison!

  43. Although I live in England, I did spend some time in the United States shortly before the Novus Ordo was introduced. As I travelled around the States, I visited many churches, but have no recollection of encountering a Mass that was anything like the charicature that the bishop describes. Neither did I encounter such Masses during my childhood or youth in England, although there were priests who did say the prayers very fast.

    I conclude that there are two possible explanations for the bishop's incorrecr recollections:

    Either his memory is imperfect and what he writes is the result of an over active imagination, or he is telling lies.

    If the former is correct, perhaps he should visit a psychaietrist. If the latter is correct, he should undoubtedly visit his confessor.

  44. Bishop Lynch is a perfect example of why the SSPX will never accept being placed under the authority of local bishops. Until Rome figures who the good guys and the bad guys are, there is no point in closer collaboration, in my opinion.

  45. I think it is important to remember that priests abusing the rubrics of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is not something that began with the Novus Ordo. The abuse (or at least less than adequate preparation for Holy Mass) cited by +Lynch was not uncommon -- however the poor celebration is no reason to condemn the TLM itself. My father relates that there was one priest in his parish who offered the Mass (this was in the 1950's) in 20 minutes. My father could never finish reading the Canon in his missal before the priest began the Pater Noster!
    Even now, I know of priests who offer the TLM, but have the idea that they can "adjust" the rubrics as necessary.
    Priests (and I am one) need to recall that they are servants of the Holy Mass, whether the TLM or the Novus Ordo.
    I find +Lynch's comments offensive mainly because he portrays an abuse as the way the TLM was supposed to be offered, or at least as the norm.

  46. latin mass guy12:38 PM

    I live in Brunswick Ga in the diocese of Savannah Ga, and here are just some of the horrible liturgical abuses that happen in Brunswick.

    Communion in the hand, while standing, and by a layperson

    Permanent deacons

    layman giving ashes on ash Wednesday

    I could go on and on. Probably one of the most scary experiences at a new order mass was when my throat was blessed by a laywomen for saint blaze, and when on a Sunday a priest did some type of deformed "asperges" ceremony using a beach toy to hold the water. luckily My family now drives 70 miles every Sunday where there is a traditional mass. I have not and will not ever go to a novus ordo again even if it is celebrated ad orientum and in Latin, because there is still a basic sense of modernism which no one will be able to separate from it.

    The diocese of Savannah Ga needs an all Latin mass parish desperately, whether a fraternity of saint peter parish or a society of saint pius x parish. So i make that petition to anyone living in south Ga to pray for a place where we can live the life that the bishop from saint Petersburg detest so much, because what he detest is in realty the catholic faith. Also, i am starting a traditionalist group in Brunswick GA, so if you would like to join contact me at-
    or go to our website:

    St Pius X, Pray For Us!

  47. May I add two or three horrors of the NO?

    One, at a Catholic university, muffins were used for Communion to imitate the Feeding of the Five Thousand. I was there.

    Two, three guitarists playing "Come 0n Baby Light My Fire" as the lighting of the Easter Fire in a southern state I shall not mention.

    Three, a liturgical dancer interpreting the Our Father is less than modest clothing, who, as it turned out, was having an affair with the pastor...

    I want to forget all these things....maybe this is catharsis.

  48. BLACK

    They cancelled all color
    Sanctuaries stripped
    First Communions were duller.

    No crinoline whites
    Pale hues they stressed
    “Only pearled-Pharisees
    Are ever so dressed.”

    Roses, carnations,
    Flowers, all manners
    Left just to wither
    ‘Gainst assertives’ beige banners.

    Pillars of marble
    Corinthian styles
    They decided to paint
    Like pink bathroom tiles.

    Cassocks of red
    Habits blue, white,
    Robes of distinction
    Extinct over night.

    Missals with pages
    Embossed in gloss-gold
    Latin in tint
    English-black often bold.

    Even the ribbons
    To mark scriptural prayers
    Were of green, yellow, silvers
    So to keep us from errors.

    The soft votive flames
    The red opaque glass
    Gave an aura of stillness
    Like time could not pass.

    Yet time it passed,
    Vividness drained
    And populations without color
    Cannot be sustained.

    So those underground
    With red blood in blue veins
    Birthed knowledge, the arts
    Great virtues they gained.

    They did not decay-
    God’s colors kept green
    For the day up above
    Once again to be seen.

    Except for those beige
    Gray fertility fades
    In their black open minds.

  49. Best NO Mass: Will be this next Thursday, when my parish priests offers his first Mass for area homeschoolers. It will include Latin, a schola, and actually reflect what was intended with the liturgical changes of the Second Vatican Council (and not what people, priests included, thought they could get away with due to the ignorance of others).

    Worst: Oh boy, this is a memory I hate drudging up. Billings, MT. No Tabernacle, strange square table serving as the altar. Talking, talking, talking before the service, during the service, after the service (it was not Mass). The music was a solo concert given by an extremely effeminate young man. The priest seem to forget where the altar was (not hard to do since there was no distinction between where the kneeler-less pews were and where the 'altar' was), and the entire "mass" was ad libbed. Then came the most HORRIFYING part. When I approached for Holy Communion (I know, my bad), I received instead something very sweet tasting.

    I left fighting off tears, FURIOUS that I had been talking into attending there, and even more upset that a priest thought he knew better than Holy Mother Church and had the right to destroy the liturgy of Christ.

  50. Bishop Lynch's expressed disdain for the TLM--as for all other aspects of traditional Catholicism (witness his attempt to ban adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament)--is consistent with his well-known role as long-time General Secretary of the USCCB (prior to episcopal consecration in 1996) and member of its executive committee and liturgy committee, in which role he was as much (or more) responsible as anyone else for the disintegration of the liturgy in the U.S.

  51. NIANTIC1:01 PM

    Satan is in an all out war against the Church founded by our Lord. The focus of this destruction is Holy Mass "the source and summit" of our Catholic Faith. For this Satan needs diabolical men, dressed up in clerical garb, to do the work. Recall that especially during the 70's and 80's many (most?) seminaries rejected orthodox traditional men as seminarians but accepted with wide open arms homosexsuals. These perverts are now in positions of power and influence. Because they are not true holy men they can do, and have done, Satan's work in destroying the Liturgy, causing great scandal for all the world to see. Wolves in sheepsclothing. They are still out there and cannot be touched because they are all powerful. Instead of a monarchy we now are "ruled" by these people. Good holy bishops and priests suffer under these cliques and have to remain quiet.Even our Holy Father seems to be powerless to clean the stables of them. Sick ain't it? Lord have mercy

  52. "For the life of me, I can't understand how a priest cannot love the tlm."

    Pope Paul VI and Pope Venerable John Paul II insisted that the Novus Ordo represented a vast improvement over the TLM.

    One Cardinal, bishop and priest after another have followed suit in praise of the New Mass.

    It is important to note that Churchmen who are presented as staunch conservatives/traditionalists are among the most vocal supporters of the reformed Mass.

    Pope Benedict XVI has promoted such Churchmen to important positions within the Church.

    The bottom line is that from Rome on down, countless Churchmen have expressed little interest in the TLM as they have believed in the superiority of the New Mass.

    We have to accept that fact.


  53. Gregorian Mass1:52 PM

    The worst experience would be watching first the people in the pews fall away from the CHurch, then my own family, one by one as more and more changed and people became disillusioned with what was going on. So many small, irritating, and surely illicit things happend that they are too numerous to list. And most of us know them anyway. With all the mystery removed, and being told, sometimes rather cruelly, you will change and do things this way almost destroyed my Faith. What brought me back was the Tridentine Mass about 5 years ago. Enough said.

  54. Henry Edwards1:52 PM

    It seems to me that one aspect of Bp. Lynch's alleged memories of the old Mass have not yet been addressed directly. Even if his "recollections" have a germ of truth in such "liturgical abuse" in those days--after all, as far back as 1903 Pope Pius X urged that we pray THE Mass, not merely pray AT Mass--what is the relevance of Bp. Lynch's carefully nourished (and embellished, I suspect) childhood memories today? Why must liberals ignore the present, remaining mired in a distant past when they imagine abuses on which they base their own abuses today?

    I personally never witnessed a 20-minute Mass in daily Mass attendance before Vatican II, what difference does it make now if some actually occurred then? The point is that TLMs today are universally celebrated with a reverence and sanctity that is exceeding rare in parish Novus Ordo celebrations.

  55. Abuses! Where to start? We moved around quite a bit growing up, so I've seen many, Many churches in many dioceses across the country.

    Rector of the major seminary preaching heresy from the pulpit, denying the divinity of Jesus and denying Transubstantiation.
    Father walking on the alter rail to show that it has no significant value
    "In the name of the Mother, the Daughter, and the Wind."
    Equating Our Blessad Mother to a "lady of the night."
    I was too young to really understand at the time, but I remember our parish priest (who had been shuffled around the diocese for his "inappropriate" connection to the boys of the parish), came to the house at 9pm asking if I could go on a walk with him in the dark...
    How about an annual prigrimage to Disney World?
    Easter Bunny and Santa Claus helping to concelebrate Easter and Christmas "Masses"
    Father's entry procession on a motorcycle
    Priest walking hand in hand with people during the Gay Pride Parade
    Tabernacle out of the church in a storage closet.
    Tabernacle out of the church in a separate room. Turned out this was the day care room where they shuffled all the children out of the church during "mass" because it is boring for little kids.
    Statues of saints without faces
    And of course I've seen all of the above posts with the hold holding, happy clappy, the inappropriate dress, the music, Protestant prayers and songs, Eucharistic ministers, etc....

  56. Thank you for offering me this opportunity to share:

    On this very day, 26 July, in 1998, my parish priest, having recently returned from a period of convalescence after surgery to his throat, invited the congregation at Sunday Mass to "help" him by reciting the Eucharistic prayer out loud with him. This was the last straw for me. I would have walked out there and then except that, as it was my son's sixth birthday and we had arranged a birthday party for him, this was my last opportunity to hear Mass that day.

    Need I add that I walked out at the end of Mass, (almost) never to return (vide infra)?

  57. Matthew Rose2:17 PM

    Amy MEV,

    You wrote: "actually reflect what was intended with the liturgical changes of the Second Vatican Council"

    Yeah, right. Keep dreaming. Those same Bishops who approved Sacrosanctum Concilium were the ones who implemented it in their dioceses with enthusiasm. Bugnini and Paul VI never intended for the Novus Ordo to be offered in Latin, either - even Paul VI did not offer it in Latin.

  58. On Trinity Sunday 2000 my son, along with his classmates at the parish primary school, made his First Communion (yes, they were all taught that they must receive Communion in the hand). The following Thursday, Corpus Christi (then still a day of obligation in England), it rained. A lot. The parish priest (vide supra) dispensed the schoolchildren, at least implicitly and I believe without authority, from their obligation to assist at mass on the grounds that they would have had to walk almost half a mile in the rain. All of the children were expecting to assist at a parish mass that morning (arranged, as was usual on holy days, at a time convenient for the school day); their parents were also expecting this. But none of the children were present.

    My wife and I vied with each other in our fury at this bad example, set, I remind readers, on the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ less than a week after our son and his classmates had made their first Holy Communion. My wife won, because:
    (1) She it was who had had to walk our son past the church in the same rain on the way to school.
    (2) She it was who had walked back to the church herself to fulfil her own obligation.
    (3) She it was who had to take our son to Mass elsewhere after school.

    Do I seem bitter? After all these years? Well, perhaps not bitter, but sorrowful, certainly.

  59. Who has not seen a celebrant, having confected the Blessed Sacrament, leave It on the altar and wander down the aisle glad-handing as many of the faithful as he can reach?

  60. How did we all ever stay Catholic or come back to the Church? Grace

  61. A. M. D. G.2:29 PM

    OldTrad said...

    There are records of Sung Masses that lasted only 20-30 minutes and the practice of giving communion before, anytime during, and after, the Mass was so common that old rubrics books actually contain rules for them. Note that what is described here is the "daily" requiem Mass, that was noted for its brevity...

    Recording? Those are only the propers of the Mass. There is the ordinary of the Mass too. No one is disputing the fact that Communion is distributed before or after Mass. Communion I have never seen Communion distributed during the course of a Mass just for the sake of getting people off to work. Receiving Communion does not fulfill your obligation to assist at Mass anyway. Additionally, one can be lawfully excused from hearing Mass due to having to work.

    Your examples and those of the clergyman are full of holes – pure nonsense! I too am an "old trad" old enough to know better!

  62. BAD EF. Experience: some in the congregation treated us as if we were Protestants!

    BAD OF Experience: A priest allowed the songs of Jesus Christ Superstar sung at Mass!

    GOOD EF Experience: The priest preached a very literate sermon like the Anglican clerics of yore did.

    GOOD OF Experience: Bishop Alan Hopes said the OF completely in Latin at Westminster Cathedral and I never felt I was listening to a foreign language!

  63. One point that I think is worth mentioning but which I think has not yet been mentioned in the comments is that those priests that celebrated the traditional Mass badly in the past are those who celebrate the new Mass badly now, or else who have been superseded by like-minded fellows.

  64. Pottery vessels, anyone?

  65. Talking of unworthy vessels, the week before Summorum Pontificum came into force we were stuck and ended up back at our geographical parish for Sunday Mass. What seemed to cause my wife most distress, but which I admit that I didn't notice myself, was that, after Mass, a sacristan came on to the sanctuary to remove the sacred vessels ... using a plastic washing up bowl (red).

    Not exactly a liturgical abuse, I suppose, but it seems apropos.

  66. When a student I assisted at Mass at my university chaplaincy several times. I don't think I ever saw a chasuble.

  67. What I did see - or, rather, hear - at the chaplaincy once was this: One Pentecost several students from various countries (non-anglophone) read from Acts simultaneously in their own language. It was a veritable Babel, and had quite the opposite effect to that intended.

    What was that about the celebrant being the servant of the liturgy?

    At least it never happened again.

  68. What did happen all the time at the chaplaincy was congregational recitation of the doxology of the Eucharistic prayer. I'm afraid we didn't know any better. (But the chaplain should have.)

    I seem to have come almost full circle. The more I think, the more I come up with. What bad memories Bishop Lynch has brought to the surface! But I'll have to stop there - I have to go out, now.

    Oh, but before I do go, I should like to end on a happier note: The same university chaplaincy is now the venue for at least occasional extraordinary form celebrations including (I think for the first time this year) the Sacred Triduum. Deo Gratias!

  69. I had always been traditional-leaning, but the event that made me a Traditionalist with a capital T took place some years ago (thankfully outside of a Mass).

    I was attending, as a teacher, a pre-Confirmation "retreat" for those who would be receiving the sacrament. After all of the talks and activities had been completed, the woman giving the seminar ushered us into the church. A few minutes later she appeared, dressed as a clown, and climbed up into the sanctuary. There, she proceeded to mime and "clown" out the Passion and Resurrection, including stretching out into a cruciform shape, complete with a sad clown face.

    I would have walked out but I was trapped in the middle of the pew.

  70. In our church under the former pastor sported a lay "liturgy director". She was always trying to make the Mass "relevant" (as if receiving the creator of the universe into ourselves is not "relevant enough).

    One great idea she came up with was baking our own altar bread for communion on Holy Thursday. It was served in napkin lined baskets like an Italian restaurant.

    This was fine until they realized that this altar bread was doughy and tasteless, and someone got the bright idea of adding honey which made it illicit.

    There were a number of abuses over the years including self-intinction by congregants (spraying droplets of the living God hither and yon). Leaving the key in the tabernacle lock 24/7 so anyone could come in and steal Jesus any time they wanted. There was also the "bears and balloons" vestments that father wore for the children's Masses.

  71. Some of these complaints would have been almost legitimate if the bishop would have concluded with: "And this is why I am am appointing Father X to conduct weekly traditional Latin Mass and sacraments classes at the cathedral for all the priests of my diocese..."

    He just seems like a bitter old man, which is sad considering his office.

    As an aside, the traditional Latin Mass at his cathedral sounds better on paper than it really is. When I attended there, it was in a sterile chapel that is completely separate from the main cathedral. I thought it was the parish hall at first. Also, it is in the early afternoon, so someone who attends gets out at about 2 p.m. Very convenient. It is certainly not a good measure of the popularlity of the traditional Mass.

  72. I wouldn't gainsay Bishop Lynch's memories. I believe the kinds of things he mentioned happened, in some places and at some times. But I also agree with Simon Platt and Kenneth Wolfe. The Bishop is "calling down fire on his own position" in that the laxity he remembers from pre-V2 has been given free reign because of it, when the right answer was as Mr. Wolfe said: correct the abuses (and teach clearly to the faithful that Mass is not conducted so as to be optimized for their convenience).

  73. Janey3:46 PM

    Thankfully I don't remember the abuses of the NOs before I found the TLM, but all I can do is cry at some of the TLMs at our apostolate. Why, oh why, does the priest have to shout the Latin in a monotone as fast as humanly possible? ... no break between sentences... no change in tone for meaning or emphasis. It is truly amazing how fast the words can actually be said! For the people to pray the words of Holy Mass it is necessary to start 20 minutes ahead of the priest. If the people responded to the prayers after Mass with the same tone of voice as the priest who leads them we would be excoriated from the pulpit for irreverence. It makes me remember when the NO came and the people sighed with relief; "Finally!! The Vatican has heard us!!!" If my own sensibilities are so abused by these TLMs, my heart aches for Our Dear Lord. Mercy!

  74. Msgr. Byrnes said...

    "My father relates that there was one priest in his parish who offered the Mass (this was in the 1950's) in 20 minutes"

    OMG...the b*stard!!

  75. Tom S.3:55 PM

    Wow! I grew up in the church before the reforms, and I don't remember anything like what the Bishop describes.

    On the other hand, I have been to LOTS of Novus Ordo Masses and haven't seen anything like what is described here in decades. I have witness the occasional "non-spec" liturgy, but very minor by comparison to what I read here.

    I suppose I should thank God for my good fortune!

  76. My family was denied Holy Communion at a Novus Ordo by the priest in the Diocese of Camden, NJ 3 yrs. ago, because we wished to receive on the tongue. No happy memory there.

  77. Why, oh why, does the priest have to shout the Latin in a monotone as fast as humanly possible?

    For most of the Mass, he is supposed to be speaking sotto voce -- so you shouldn't know how quickly he is speaking. And he is never supposed to "shout" any of the Mass.

  78. Bishop Lynch, who virtually gave aid and comfort to the murderers of Terri Schiavo, is one of the worst bishops in the U.S. May God have mercy on him. His opinion about these things isn't worth the toilet paper one should write it on, and his retirement can't come soon enough.

    Please, share all your best (worst) experiences with the New Mass.

    Where to begin? Here are just a few items off the top of my head:

    In one parish, the Unnecessary Ministers used to mozy up unbidden into the sanctuary during the Agnus Dei and stand behind the altar until Communion began. Later that practice was altered -- in that parish, the Unnecessary Ministers now have to kneel at the foot of the altar and wait for Father and the deacons to communicate before they are summoned to come up for Communion and to receive the ciboria and chalices. An improvement, but still far, far from the ideal.

    In another state, my wife and I were gently admonished during Communion for genuflecting before receiving the Lord -- but no admonitions were given to those (which was most of those present) who failed to reverence the Sacrament.

    Just last Sunday, the first general intercession at the Mass where we assisted heretically asked that the Catholic Church would accomplish her mission (which, of course, she does not have) of becoming one, holy, and apostolic. In other words, the Catholic Church is not the Church of the Creed -- so why are we members of the Catholic Church at all?

  79. Richard4:37 PM

    The Bishop complains that the Old Rite Mass, in the morning before school, sometimes "only lasted about twenty minutes".

    Well, at my school in the 1980s, the Novus Ordo Mass never took that long, and one priest would do the whole thing in 8 minutes.

  80. I've just reread the bishop's comments, and it seems that the worst things he has to say about the old days is that:

    He didn't like the singing.
    Weekday mass was rather short.
    Communicants knelt.
    Communion was distributed (separately) at strange times (odd, this one).
    Nobody applauded.

    Is that it?

    (Oh, and, apparently, Mgr. Wadsworth should tailor his comments to meet the approval of his American paymasters. Grr!)

  81. Richard4:54 PM

    It is surprisingly elitist of the Bishop to criticise the choirs of his youth for doing their best and struggling with difficult music.

    But is the answer really to choose music that sounds horrible however it is sung?

  82. " The sung responses sound as if they were cribbed from children's television."

    >> Barney the Purple Dinosaur's song "I love you, you love me, we're a happy family" remains just beyond the reach of even the most determined liturgical attempts to reproduce its iconic perfection.

    But they try.

    Oh, they try........

  83. The same Bishop Lynch who refused to speak out for Teri Schiavo, who the state murdered for being disabled. Nice, feeling and compassionate.

    I see another name on the Pope's list of Bishops needing to be sacked. Problem is its so long!

  84. Craig5:22 PM

    South Florida, Saint Ambrose in Deerfield: hippy type guitar-using "cantor"; previous superbowl pastor sang FULL STEELERS FIGHT SONG BEFORE THE DISMISSAL. God deliver us.

  85. The best part of all NO Masses is the end...

  86. It was 1981. We went away on a Vocations weekend and we were told Mass was "on". The priest had just been studying in the USA and was "with it"! It was the new age of modern man! We entered the kitchen of the beach house and asked to sit around the supper table. The priest put on his rainbow carpet stole. He had composed a special Eucharistic prayer.His sweat shirt "land rights for gay whales".We used a white sandwich loaf. There were crumbs everywhere. That priest is now 81 and had been found guilty of homosexual assaults in Confession. He wasn't fussy. Under 18 or over was all the same to him!
    I despised all of this. The spirit of the Missa Bugnini. If Bugnini could make up a Mass why could'nt every priest?

  87. Gaius6:29 PM

    I attended a NO Mass (whatever tempted me back for a visit I'll never know) at Saint Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh PA about two years ago. The priest processed into the sanctuary (thankfully saved from much of the NO-destruction) and began Mass dressed in orange socks, orange athletic shorts, and an orange shirt. Absolutely no vestments at all. I heard later that Father attempted to tie this into his homily and changed into Chasuble for the "Liturgy of the Eucharist," but I wouldn't know. I left after 10 minutes.

    I left NO-land in 2000 after assisting at Mass elsewhere. There I watched a woman-religious-communion-passer distribute from the awful tin cup full of our Lord. She spilled the Precious Blood all over the floor as she received it back from a communicant. The Precious Blood naturally was absorbed by the rose colored carpeting. The priest (immediately to her right) observed what happened but did nothing. Communicant after communicant trampled the Precious Blood underfoot as row after row of parishioners marched to receive our Lord. Not even Sister's purificator was placed over the spot. I, a 23 year old young man at the time, cried.

  88. Gaius6:31 PM

    I agree with Michael above. The best part of the NO is the dismissal. How perfect is the "Mass has ended; go in peace" "THANKS BE TO GOD (I'm getting the hell out of here!)"

  89. Scandalico6:31 PM

    One of my worst Novus Ordo memories is of a woman dancing and prancing around the sanctuary throwing confetti all around.

    Another is of the priest using his sermon to berate traditionalists as being too "vertically oriented."

    On a related NewChurch note, I was shocked when:

    -In Godfather class, the old lady teaching it informed us that the Church no longer holds to the doctrine of original sin.

    -I heard a priest tell my friend and his wife to go ahead and use contraception because Paul VI didn't really mean what he said in Humanae vitae.

  90. Given childhood memories such as these of Abp. Lynch, I'm really surprised he even became a priest in the first place. His attitude towards Catholicism is bitter and hateful. It makes me question the authenticity of his "calling" to become a priest. This is the only conclusion I can gleen from his comments unless I were to assume he is embellishing - which is putting it charitably.
    My best experience with the NO Mass was my aunt's funeral. She had requested the hymns, readings, and that every part of the Mass that could be said in Latin, was.
    My worst experiences with the NO Mass: Every last one of them for the past 27 years. Sure there are a some standouts, but I live in a Summorum-free diocese. I have always been a Traditionalist, but have had to live my entire Catholic life in exile and under cover.

  91. latin mass guy7:44 PM

    In the words of George Baily in that classic Christmas movie, It's A Wonderful Life, The Bishop of Saint Petersburg "is a warped, frustrated, old man.", who is actually attacking his fellow modernist who embraced Vatican 2 10 years later. Modernism was in the Church before Vatican 2!

  92. Worst experience was encountered in Hawaii: parrots on shoulders of attendees, surfing attire, 'no more mortal sin in the world,' mass is like eating at Burger King, big screen TV video of 'holy' pictures while mass is celebrated on the beach, and I could go on... Absolutely horrendous and sacrilegious stuff that went on there.

  93. susan8:34 PM

    Just sent this comment to the 'good' shepherd's blog....


    With your obvious disdain for the beautiful Tradition of the Church, your pseudo hipster feminist lingo, the pictures of you on the web shunning clerical garb (heaven forefend you should publicly look like a priest!), and your animus toward the beautiful, ACCURATE new Mass translation, let me guess at one of the 4 novels you've been reading this summer....."Fifty Shades of Gray"? I think you might even garner some homily fodder from it...ooops, lemme give the homily time to sister dissenta, for her 'comments' on centering prayer in the new labyrinth. Matt 24: 45-51 would be a much better thing for you to read this summer.

    Kyrie Eleison.

  94. I wrote some earlier, but others have come to mind since then.

    A priest who would use a toilet cleaner/brush thing that he used during the "Sprinkling Rite" during the season of Easter.

    Back when I was a small child, there were no pews (just a bunch of chairs), and so there was no kneeling at all during Mass. That horrified me even as an NO Catholic later on when I realized what the church had been doing.

    One priest would never purify the chalice or paten after distributing communion, allowing the altar girl to remove it from the altar like dirty dishes. Same priest frequently didn't even where his "clerical shirt" (i.e. cassock shirt) or collar when saying mass, but just some other dress shirt.

    I'm sure there're loads more, but y'all have probably heard it all by now, unfortunately.

    Also, I've seen daily NO Mass celebrated in ~15 minutes on multiple occasions.

  95. Shawn McL.8:42 PM

    I just met two people who attended a Buddhist wedding at a Catholic mass in New Jersey. Now ain't that ecumenical.

  96. Introibo8:47 PM

    Many bad experiences over the years. The football mass immediately springs to mind which was the principal Sunday Mass celebrated the day after the Parish Priests favourite team had won a major cup. A football and a team strip replaced the normal gifts during the offertory procession and remained on the altar for the rest of the celebration.

  97. Suffering Catholic8:55 PM

    Typical NO Mass at my parish.

    Choir practices before Mass begins.

    Song leader reads introductory notes and asks visitors to stand (applause). Song leader then asks entire congregation to stand and introduce ourselves to our neighbors.

    Mass begins - Song leader sings as if she were on the Broadway stage with all necessary hand and arm gestures.

    During the readings, Lectors read dramatically and so s l o w l y placing emphasis on all the wrong words.

    After Communion, no quiet time for reflection and many people leave after receiving the Sacred Host.

    During the Recessional (if that's what you want to call it) the obligatory hand clapping begins again, and so we now look forward to next Sunday where it begins all over again.

  98. Daniel9:35 PM

    I have found that by and large, Catholics who grew up with the TLM don't want any part of the TLM as they prefer the Novus Ordo to the TLM.

    I have also found that by and large, Catholics who did not grow up with the TLM form the majority of TLM congregations.

  99. While I respect everyone's right to respond however you wish to the Bishop's insulting, and downright inaccurate post (of the current state of the TLM) in the diocese of St. Petersburg, I would like to issue a personal request that any comments you send to the bishop be totally polite, respectful, humble, and charitable.

    In this diocese, we are praying to not offend the bishop more, only to feed his disdain for Traddies.

    Thank you.

  100. NIANTIC11:12 PM

    I have been reading the comments all day. Most of the incidents I am familiar with from the time I attended the Bugnini "mass". Reading all this again causes me to feel like crying and cursing at the same time. We seem to be totally at the mercy of these renegade bishops and priests AND THERE IS NO END TO IT. It goes on and on. Don't these bishops and priest know, or believe, that they WILL STAND BEFORE OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST and WILL HAVE TO GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF THEIR ACTIONS. They may be giving each other absolution but I firmly believe that JUSTICE WILL BE DONE. These renegades cause people mass confusion and loss of faith. They may be smiling and glad handing and back slapping each other for being soooo "creative and cool". Soooo to be liked and admired by the crowd and their fellow pink palace occupants. Do I sound a little mad? You bet I am. THERE IS NOBODY STOPPING THESE WOLVES, they have free reign. The Vatican is taking a nap and they are riddled with similar ilk. Mercy on these people? NO, NO MERCY. They are the enemies of God and His Church. It is as simple, and disgusting, as that. When will it ever end Lord. When will this ever end.

  101. One of the last times I entered a Novus Ordo parish was about 20 years. I was still Catholic then and traditionalist (small 't') but had distanced myself from the SSPX. I was in the Navy at the time and was TAD in Philly so I went looking for a local parish. I regret that I no longer remember the name of the church, but when I entered it looked Catholic albeit with the usual table altar.

    Some lady comes out in a pants suit and begins the opening greeting. She may have been a nun, you can't tell anymore. The first words out of her mouth were "In the name of the mother daughter and Holy Spirit."

    That was enough for me. I got up, stepped into the center aisle, genuflected and then turned and walked out.

    After that I avoided N/O Catholic churches except for funerals and weddings.

  102. Somewhere in America, at a Catholic university renowned for its orthodoxy... A large box of sand, replete with shovel and pail, was placed before the altar, with potted palm tress placed on either side. Students were encouraged to wear "modest" beach attire to Mass. And a huge beach ball was passed around the crowd during the procession and offertory. Impossible, you say? I wish it were impossible, but hélas!

  103. Peterman4:34 AM

    Exactly Croixmom, the critical attacks don't help us here in the diocese. I have seen the Bishop a few times and I know and go to confession sometimes with his right hand Monsignor in the diocese. If they're not predisposed to the TLM, it is what it is for now. I love them and pray for them all the same because I think the saints of the Church would do this.

  104. Barbara6:42 AM

    Skypilot Jeff said:
    "I have always been a Traditionalist, but have had to live my entire Catholic life in exile and under cover."

    Except for the under cover part this has been my experience too.
    The reason I am in exile is because I am no longer undercover. They don't want me around. They know of my love for the TLM and they would avoid discussing this..(they smile knowingly - of course!)...I left the parish when ballerinas appeared on the sanctuary one Good Friday (after the VIA CRUCIS)- as soon as I heard the taped music - I got out of the church so fast - before you could have said Jack Robinson! I was told afterwards about the ballerinas prancing around the altar....others were also pained about this - but they still attend the parish - instead that was it for me.....

    It is most painful to see the affronts Our Lord is continuously subjected to and our leaders still are continuously deaf to our appeals. I can only conclude that they have lost the faith or they would do something to bring it to a halt.

    I'm sick at heart and I thought the same thing as Niantic:

    "Reading all this again causes me to feel like crying and cursing at the same time. We seem to be totally at the mercy of these renegade bishops and priests AND THERE IS NO END TO IT. It goes on and on. Don't these bishops and priest know, or believe, that they WILL STAND BEFORE OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST and WILL HAVE TO GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF THEIR ACTIONS."-

    I go along with this, not because I think I am better than anyone else (Heaven help me!) or that ia am justified in "judging" a bishop or priest or laypeople - but because I have not yet switched my brain off and my whole Catholic life is centred on Holy Mass.

    The comparison between the New Mass and the Traditional Latin Mass is is like comparing NIGHT to DAY - yes, Our Lord comes down from heaven when the NO is offered correctly - BUT?????? I am just an ordinary lay Catholic who simply wants to attend Mass and not be sitting on the edge of my seat worrying about what might be coming next - this is the problem with the NO - no two are the same....

    May Our Lord intervene soon and restore...and have mercy on the lynching of the Traditional Latin Mass - by Bishop Lynch ...just one of many who would appear not worthy of the office of Bishop - sorry to say it - but it is so! There is no love for Christ or souls in the words of this Bishop - which should be the only reasons for his existence as a priest....

  105. Gratias9:02 AM

    The Extraordinary Mass has strengthened the faith of most of us here in Rorate Caeli. The Ordinary Mass has caused many to lose their Faith.

    I have two suggestions: first, extend the bishops's permission to practice the TLM. Such a franchise would do more for the Year of Faith than all the V2 eulogies put together. Second, appoint exclusively bishops who have offered both forms of the Mass, for only they know the entire Roman Catholic liturgy that exists today. A few bishops that promoted the TLM could transform the rest of the Catholic Church once the improvements to the souls of the faithful works it was through the Church.

    Holy Father, many thanks for Summorum Pontificum. Its impact for now has been blocked by your bishops. We believe the Truth shall make us free, but we will need help from bishops that obey the Pope.

  106. George9:39 AM

    I expect that the next time the Bishop says mass he will pray for the Pope in the Eucharistic Prayer but will then go on and ignore his request for priests to be able to say the Old Rite of mass Why?


  107. Gratias suggested that bishops should be chosen exclusively from those priests "who have offered both forms of the Mass, for only they know the entire Roman Catholic liturgy that exists today." That's rather a good point.

  108. I think that for me the straw that broke the camel's back was a Mass I attended at St. Mary of the Pines in Shreveport. The parish itself vaguely resembles an airplane hanger. There was a crucifix behind the altar. The tabernacle was way off to the side in exile. The priest was a middle aged gentleman. Every time he passed the crucifix he would genuflect reverently, but he ignored the tabernacle completely, walking back and forth in front of it as if it were a piece of furniture. I remember thinking, "What if that were the President standing there in place of the tabernacle?" Would he walk back and forth in front of him as if he were a piece of furniture? Of course not. Either he doesn't believe in the Real Presence, or he has no idea what it means. And I'm about to receive communion from a man who judging by his age has celebrated hundreds of Masses. He went through seminary. He was ordained. He's been a priest for years. And he doesn't even realize that GOD is in the tabernacle. I got up and walked out.

  109. Sidney Jude, Third Order, SSPX5:23 PM

    Worst experience: In San Francisco, where we as Franciscans were expected to assist at mass at the Franciscan parish, which was not only NO, but extremely left-wing. There was a homosexual activist who had made this large protest sign on a stick that said "GOD IS GAY" in big black letters. He insisted on propping the sign right against the altar during mass. I complained, and the pastor gave me a good talking to about my lack of charity and tolerance. I decided I could not go back and support that kind of stuff. I then began assisting at mass at the French National church downtown. Since I am of French heritage, there was nothing the Franciscan parish could do about it--except to continue to say what a bigot I was. This happened more than 15 years ago and I am still disgusted by it all--the radical politics, the NO, all of it.

    1. SidneyJude, you're correct about the Franciscans' outstanding liberalism. In the late 70s my mom, my sister & I were received into the Third Order of St. Francis. The 'mass' was celebrated on a banquet table with tablecloth, on which was placed a large round loaf of leavened sourdough & a cheap jug of rose' wine. I was forced to do a reading (& I was shy & uncomfortable), but the three of us refused to receive 'communion', explaining that we'd received earlier that day. The celebrant tried to make us join in but we refused. After this debacle the tablecloth was removed & shaken, scattering crumbs underfoot.
      A year later our Fraciscan priest advisor married a nun who taught at his school.
      I have a few other painful memories. Thankfully, my mom found a 1962 Latin Mass. The priest resented having to do it but he couldn't pay off the new roof without the Trad group's donations. We were relieved to find the SSPX & bring them to Portland, one of the more tolerant states in the union.
      I haven't returned to the NO outside of weddings & funerals.

  110. Lee Lovelock-Jemmott8:40 PM

    I thought I would add to the misery that such clerics can afflict. Bishop Gerhard Muller has some stern words for the SSPX in this article.

  111. The end of the NO line for me came when I brought my two you young sons to Mass and listened (for a few minutes) to a homily which involved the priest explaining why Jews no longer needed to become Catholics, and that this was now a matter of Church doctrine.

    I informed the priest and the pastor after Mass that if any prelate or priest or theologian or anyone else ever repeated that heretical garbage in the hearing of my sons I would resist them to their face.

    A few years later the heretical doctrine was printed in a US Bishops catechism.

    You won;t find it in subsequent editions, because it was ordered removed in a landslide vote of the US Bishops (wonder why they didn't catch it in the first place? Because no one had been resisting these heretics to their face).

    Once that heresy got printed, Catholics started resisting its retailers to their face.

    We won.

    Go thou and do likewise.

  112. Jack K.1:09 AM

    Worst NO violations appear to be musical in nature:

    Music director, hunch-shouldered, faux-hawked, and (I cannot withhold) with the faintest lisp minces up to the lectern, "I just want you to know that when you all sing like that, you move me very deeply, and everyone around you." Spontaneous rapture of applause.

    Christmas Mass, place is packed concrete-wall-to-concrete-wall, everyone dressed to the 9's (the slovenly at least to the 7 1/2's), the beautiful readings moving, the music modest and traditional, the children's little play mindless but blessedly it's over quickly--then as the homily is beginning, after the priest waxes poetic about the Blessed Virgin Mary, the music director sits at the clavichord. It is silent. Fr. isn't going to... Yes. I'm embarrassed for him as a teenaged girl behind me asks, "He's not going to sing, is he?" He's going to sing his heart out, miss, a little soulful ditty as the clavichord yowls and burps.

    Best NO experience: A young mother--forgivably--assumed it was perfectly all right to sit there doing nothing while her child traipsed up and down the aisles during most of the Mass until finally the priest, deadpan, takes up the child and plops her into mommy's arms. She never returned. Of course, I've since spoken with the priest about what a shame that was, and how exclusive! Why, what if more people (than usual) should fail to oblige their Sunday obligation on account of his exclusivity?

    Sadly, I've never attended a TLM, but upon reading that some of you drive a 3-hour round trip for it, and the one nearest to me is only a 1-hour round trip, I might reconsider.

    God bless you all.

  113. So many many nightmares.
    Like the platinum blonde priest who picked Christmas Eve Mass, in front of the creche, after the reading of St. Luke's gospel narrative, with the church packed with parents and children, to debunk the Christmas story. There were no shepherds, no angel, no wise men; the star was just a random meteor; etc. It was all made up. Thanks, Father. Or the priest who always had to end the Mass with a dopey joke, just to show he wasn't taking it all too seriously. Or the one who regularly delivered a 5 minute review of the new movie he had just seen, right before the Dismissal. Just a regular guy. Or the suburban Seattle priest, at a Holy Thursday service, shouting into the microphone "the Eucharist isn't up there" [pointing at the tabernacle]; "you're the Eucharist!" [pointing at the congregation.]
    The absolute worst, among so many worthy candidates, was probably the Mass at which the pastor inveigled a young female assistant to don an alb and join him at the altar. I was a seminarian, assigned to work at the parish, and was on the altar myself, to distribute Communion. I was horrified but helpless as the young woman, standing next to the priest, bent over with him and kissed the altar; then raised a Host with him, and raised a Chalice with him, at the Consecration. As guilt-wracked as I was to have had a part in this mummery -- to have signified to the congregation by my mute witness that I condoned or endorsed it -- I felt it necessary to inform my bishop of the affair. That happened to be Card. (then Abp.) William Levada, late of the CDF. He was, as always, impersonal, guarded and discreet. He listed carefully, then -- as I fumbled to verbalize how awkward my position was -- snapped out "you know the difference between right and wrong, don't you?" Though I understood him to be saying "this is wrong," I never heard what, if anything, he did about the situation at the parish. I never saw it repeated, so I assumed he had quashed it.
    Epilogue: whether or not the priest retaliated against me I will never know. I was dismissed from the seminary at the end of my second year without any explanation. The priest finished his career at a very liberal (formerly Franciscan) parish. A few months ago, after more than 30 years as a priest, he announced to his parish that he couldn't lead the celibate life, and was leaving the priesthood. He reportedly received a standing ovation from the congregation. Abp. Laveda, of course, went on to ascend to the heights of the Church.
    Oh yes, there are many memories....

  114. Jamey, Perth3:08 PM

    A priest here in Perth brings his dog up to the altar area even hardcore Novusordites are shocked, everywhere this Fransican goes so does his dog. A friend related a story from Cairns Qld where a priest had a python brought in for confirmation Mass, it became agitated turned on its handler attacking him and drawing blood. Another time a priest pulled out a pack of M&M's during his sermon and said this product is symbolic of us, seperate yet connected - he then ate one 10 minutes before consuming the Eucharist.

    I have seen some real howler "Masses" particularly at the "refurbished" Perth Cathedral in which over $30m was recently spent completely destroying it. I pray for a strong pope who will end all this madness and do a big cleanout.

    Jamey, Perth

  115. Forward-Slash_S2:09 AM

    My Worst Novus Ordo Experiences (or Why We Adhere to Traditional Catholicism Now)

    4. An uncle who is a priest using sandwich bread and Reunite at a family Mass on the dining room table of our home when I was a kid.

    3. A parish retreat leader knocking over a candle into the consecrated host amidst his weird appalachian-snake-handling styled gyrations (sans snake).

    2. Sister {name} doin' a Wednesday morning communion service at the Altar (I guess that doesn't count though)

    And number one ... The Parish priest consecrating (?) what amounted to a black friendship loaf at Mass (yes, the kind you scoop the center out of and add dip to for your garden party).

    None of these are funny, and all of them are examples of the grave situation of our Church. The last example was the tipping point for my wife and I to seriously consider whether or not we want to raise our children in these and similar environments. Fortunately, we are blessed to live in a city where traditional communities are available and close. My wife and I have solid ground now upon which to build their foundations in the Catholic Faith without fear of apostasy, sacrilege, heresy or scandal.


  116. Romanitas2:29 AM

    So many candidates for this honor!

    Perhaps I should pick from the usual suspects, such as two Eucharistic "ministers" administering the chalice to half a dozen people at daily Mass, or the innane Taize "chants" used as communion "hymns" at said Mass. Or maybe the Sunday Masses held at my university chapel, which commence with a friendly handshake, and are followed by hymns of dubious orthodoxy like Amazing Grace or Lord of the Dance (what the hell is that?). But all these are too trite for the average Novus Ordo Mass.

    I should pick something a bit more "out there," like the priest who once gave a sermon suggesting Jesus "loved" Lazarus for reasons other than that He was a loving God. Or maybe when the same priest, after giving a sermon on sexual equality, made up his own Canon Missae.

    No, the one that takes the cake was only a few weeks ago. The Mass itself was bad, bt not unusual for a Novus Ordo Mass. The priest, a man of over 400 pounds of weight, nodded his head as a sign of reverence to the altar (genuflecting or bowing were just not plausible); he did not make any reverences to the consecrated Host later in the Mass, though. During his sermon on how Jesus was "manly," he spent a good 5 minutes discussing how his acting career went down the tubes, before changing the subject to loneliness, going as far as to suggest that the "experts" believe Mary and John were not at the Cross and our LORD died alone. I looked at the icon of our Lady of Perpetual Help next to the altar and nearly lost it. He rushed through Eucharistic Prayer II in a monotone, frustrate voice, and proceeded to share the distribuion of Communion—to a congregation of about 50—with some female septugenarian. The priest would not even leave the altar to distribute the Sacrament, making the people walk up to him and receive over the wooden table. He skipped abluting the ciborium and left 30 minutes after the Mass began, heretical sermon inclusive.

    These interesting experiences, almost all with a university chaplain on campus, can be contrasted with the attendance at an SSPX Mass on Easter with a group of Catholic friends. We were amazed at the reverence innate to the congregation, the size of the families, the devotion of the children. We all made Communion and had a happy Easter. Then, later in Easter week, a few members of the school Catholic community accused me and the others of schism. Given the irreverent, quasi-heretical Masses on campus I did not take these claims too seriously, but the contrast stays with me. Every week on campus, I would sit in the back, reading my Tridentine Missal, wondering in the Novus Ordo Mass—strange priest and all—was valid given the way it was said, and almost hoping it was not, so as to avoid the sacriliges committed on the Sacrament there, but merely attending a SSPX Mass makes me less than Catholic....

  117. As a member of the Diocese of St Petersburg I have attended many times the EF at the chapel of the cathedral. I wish the good Bishop could hear for himself the beautiful singing and the dedication of the faithful who minister at this Mass. God bless them and may they one day get their own parish so they can celebrate Holy Week. (yep that's right, no Paschal Triduum for them!)

  118. Big Dawg1:09 AM

    I was born in 1972, after the Novus was well on its way to destroying the sensus fidelium.

    My memories -- my pastor when I was a kid was a good old priest. He still gave communion at the rail until he died in 1984. He was a true believer -- though I mainly remember him chain smoking and laughing with the older men outside of mass. A good man. When he died (RIP), they brought the "choir" -- a folk guitar group -- into the sanctuary. Nothing like a little tambourine to get you praying at mass. The hideous felt banners and Glory and Praise songs took over -- along with female lectors, extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist, etc. What a diaster.

    After that, I think I saw every liturgical abuse there was. Although when I brought up liturgical abuses to various pastors (and a bishop), they laughed and said I was trapped in a "pre-Vatican II mentality." I soon figured out that the conservative Novus Ordo-ites were fighting a losing battle. Most of the clergy and most of the bishops had no desire in protecting the mass. I discovered the Trid 15 years ago and have never looked back. Sometimes I have to go to the Novus to meet my Sunday obligation, especially when travelling. I am always struck by its banality even when a conservative priest offers it.

    God bless Michael Davies. It was his writings that introduced me to the mass of all ages.

  119. My experiences with a NO Mass depended on where I went.

    When I first started going to Catholic church, I attended a NO Mass on Sundays in a church run by the Discalced Carmelites. Those Masses were respectful and as decently reverential as one could get for a NO Mass. We had guitar players singing and playing hymns for us in the choir, but no liturgical dancers or any of that nonsense

    The other Catholic church I frequented during the week (I was in college at the time, and this other church was on the campus) was a different story. The priest at that church, though sincere in his intentions, would crack jokes during his sermons, and occasionally drop a mild curse word or two in his sermons as well.

    Thankfully, God led me to a Latin Mass church several months after I began attending Catholic churches out here in Tucson, AZ. I haven't looked back on returning to NO Masses ever since


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