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Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Catholic Mass

Candy wrote here in one of her famous Q and A's:

Q Have you ever attended a Catholic mass?

A Yes. It was so sad and gut wrenching that it almost brought me to tears. I was the only one attending, that I could see, that brought a Bible, and even bothered looking up scriptures. The Bible ignorance in that crowd was astounding me as well. Most of them don't seem to read their Bible, they just follow what "the church" teaches them. Everyone there looked to me like they were wearing masks with no eyes. :-( I suspect that there might have been more true reverence (as opposed to ritual) in a black mass (however they'd be worshiping the wrong guy, of course). I also found it quite disturbing how everyone was basically handed a "script" as they walked in the door. - Kneel at this time, say this with the congregation at this time, sing this at that time, kneel again at this time, say such and such prayer at that time, repeat this phrase three times, etc. Where is the worship of God in that? No, I'd much prefer to follow the worship manual - The Bible.



I never had the opportunity to comment to this on Candy's blog and that was one of the main reasons I started the boycott of her e-book product(s).

So I'd like to take the opportunity here.

First of all, if you look over on the sidebar you will see a little box that says Catholic Content.com. This site gives all of the readings for the day that will be read at mass all over the world. (I might add also not in just Catholic churches but Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran, Presbyterian etc.) So Catholics know what the readings are going to be at mass before we even attend. My family and I can prepare for mass by reading the readings ahead of time so that we are better prepared when we attend mass. I find that this works particularly well for school aged children so that they have a chance to really concentrate when they get to church.


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Today's readings were from the book of Amos, 1 Timothy and the Gospel of Luke. If one were to carefully read these scriptures, I'm sure the central theme would come out.

Because the church knows years in advance what readings are going to be read, companies pre-print out missalettes for the worshipers to use when reading along with the lector or the priest. Some folks buy mass missals that also have the readings for that day's mass.

So although I suppose someone could bring a bible to church and flip back and forth through the pages to look at the scripture, there is really no need to do so because you can get all of the scripture for that day in one place.

Now, I wonder how Candy could possibly determine who was biblically ignorant and who was not from just being a member of the congregation. I imagine if she sat next to our family she would think we were dreadfully ignorant hicks what with two lanky teenage sons, a squirmy toddler, and three elementary kids in between with various stages of day dreams and thoughtless movement. My husband does not own a suit, so perhaps she would judge him to be uneducated. I try to look nice for church but I have a toddler. Sometimes I end up with food and/or snot smeared on places by a little funny face and chubby hands that I was not aware of. Sometimes I'm so busy trying to make her sit still or shooting glaring glances over to my older boys that it may seem that there's not a rock in my head either. And we're not the only ones. Our Catholic church is filled with all kinds of people who act like - well regular folks.


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She might be surprised then that someone like my husband (I call him Mr. Pete when I'm blogging) has been teaching the Old Testament to sixth graders for six years now at Sunday School. She might be surprised that my kids and I read the readings for the day every morning before we start school, or that I teach them not only their bible stories, but how to look up a chapter and verse on their own, just like I suppose her kids do.

She might also be surprised that our 8th grade Sunday school teacher, who holds a day job as a Federal Prosecutor, starts his syllabus off right after the Resurrection through the Acts of the Apostles. I think she'd be surprised with how many regular daily mass goers in our church could quote scripture back to her. But how could you possibly know that by simply looking at them?

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Everyone there looked to me like they were wearing masks with no eyes.


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Well... if she attended a 6:00 a.m. mass, that could be. Or if it was a teen mass I could see it too. Teens seem to be perpetually missing enough sleep. Other than that I wonder what she means by that statement. In our parish we greet each other before mass, and of course the sign of peace is always a warm part ofthe mass to meet and connect with each other. Did anyone offer her the sign of peace at mass? I think at a usual Sunday mass you see all kinds of people. People who really want to be there, and people just going through the motions. I'll bet its the same at non-Catholic churches too. But other than that I truly do not understand that statement.

The reference to satan worship and black mass was a blatant ad homineum remark that betrays her true hatred for Catholics and the Catholic church and does not deserve comment. It speaks for itself.

As for worship postures, those are described in the GIRM, General Instructions of the Roman Missal.

The idea is that we come together as the body of Christ and when we worship, we worshop as one body. That is why prayers are said in unison and specific postures are given during certain parts of the mass.


Now Candy asks where in the bible is that? I would refer her to Professor Scott Hahn's book The Lamb's Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth

Holy Spirit Interactive: The Explanatory Mass - The Holy Mass explained


Sample Pages from the Mass Explained to Children by Maria Montessori

6 comments:

Annie C said...

Because the church knows years in advance what readings are going to be read, companies pre-print out missalettes for the worshipers to use when reading along with the lector or the priest. Some folks buy mass missals that also have the readings for that day's mass.

So although I suppose someone could bring a bible to church and flip back and forth through the pages to look at the scripture, there is really no need to do so because you can get all of the scripture for that day in one place.


I have finally figured that the missals don't count. It only counts as "worship" if you are holding and actual, physical, approved bible in your hands. It's only worship if you're holding the bible, reading from the bible, following the bible letter by letter...

I'm actually at the point where I figure they are just worshiping the bible itsef. The new golden calf has gilt edges and leather covers. They would walk right past Jesus on the street if he refused to look in one of their bibles.

After all, didn't he say "what you do for the least of these, you do for me?" But that's WORKS, you see, takes away from bible reading time.

I may have that quote wrong, I only read about a chapter a day from my bible, and don't bother memorizing it. I'd rather spent my time making baby layettes for the local Catholic charity maternity ward. All the WORKS we put in there goes a long way towards helping to lower the abortion rate. And yes, I do think God approves. ;)

I would just love to set up a bit of a contest with one of these women. I'll spend a week reading one of your bibles, any parts of it you want, and blog my adventures. Every day, with pictures. I'll even take it to mass and ask my priest to touch it, and take a picture.

In exchange, you spend a week without one. No reading from it, no having someone read it to you, have someone else teach it to the kids, and do not take it to church on Sunday. Spend a week worshiping the Lord, not the book.

If anyone wants to take me up on it, let me know. In the meantime, I'm going to end my rant and go get some badly needed coffee.

Faithful Catholic said...

Doesn't it strike you as odd that Candy was more focused on the other people at Mass than she was on the Lord? Unless she is omniscient, there's no way that she could make an intelligent comment as to whether or not Catholics read or know scripture. And, what kind of a person walks into the worship service of another group of Christians and comes out and posts nothing but inaccuracies and criticism about it on the world wide web? It is the highest form of worship of our Lord, Jesus Christ. I guess it's true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

To assert that Catholics are not Christians or that they don't worship Jesus Christ is ignorant and uncharitable. It is patently obvious that Candy knows nothing about Catholicism except the lies she's been spoon fed by the multitude of Catholic-haters among us who purport to be true Christians. Their behavior toward others belies their profession of faith.

I'm still having difficulty trying to figure out what possible purpose her rants serve. If she's trying to win converts, she might try acting in a more Christian manner.

She might try taking her own words to heart. When she says she'll "follow the worship manual, the Bible" she might want to reread the passage where Jesus says "as I have loved you, love one another. . ."

Faithful Catholic said...

Elena,

By the way, thanks for posting those wonderful photos of your family(?)! Your girls are adorable! And, was that one of your sons being confirmed?

Elena said...

Yes that was my son Sam's confirmation. Note the zombie like appearance on my husband's face as the bishop confirms him! and of course note the red vestments which can only be Satanic... insert eye roll here.

Faithful Catholic said...

I guess there are some who might say the bishop uses his mitre to hide his devil horns!

Milehimama said...

Did she miss the Gospel reading or what?

It's ironic you posted this, as yesterday I taught my CCD class how the Bible works (chapter, verse, etc.) and we spent our time looking up various readings. Their homework? Create an illuminated manuscript using John 1:14

I like Open Wednesdays lesson plans. We do it as part of our school.
http://www.darientel.net/~schoettl/openwed/

I wonder if she's ever stopped to think: If the Catholic Mass is an abomination, blasphemous, and just so wrong, why do Satan worshippers mock it? Wouldn't they just be attending the local Catholic church instead of making a Black Mass?

The Bible doesn't actually tell us how to worship - it's not a liturgical how-to, which is why Protestant churches are all so different. Some have rock bands and a podium, some don't allow musical instruments. Some have one long sermon, some have tongues-sessions.

Perhaps if she had attended a Bible study she would recognize it as her "worship".