Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hi, I'm Thorn. I live under a rock.

Are most of the Masses, in most parts of the country a flip-flopping back and forth between languages? And do women always do the readings and cantoring(I have yet to see a male do this in all the Papal events and Masses)? I'm seriously asking. Why are their no men/priests doing these jobs? And do people clap a lot? Like after hymns? I never witness these things under my rock.
Stymied in Covington


Dymphna said...

In big masses, yes, at my local cathedral and the basilica the readings do flip back and forth from English to whatever (never Latin, I notice). And yeah, women have taken over lectoring and cantoring. As for the clapping. Well, the music at the papal mass was so bad that anything that wasn't painful got a clap. I do not approve of clapping in church,nor does the Holy Father but there it is.

a thorn in the pew said...

We have a Spanish parish here and I have not seen this. Everything seemed so orthodox other than that. The woman thing is getting to me. My problem, not theirs. As a woman, I am content arranging flowers, sewing things and partcipating from the pew. I think that is why this is so foriegn to me.

Ma Beck said...


It is an unfortunate truth that men are less religious than women, less apt to be involved. Therefore, in the last 40 years, the job of reading has fallen very often on women.
They read a LOT.
(Not at my parish - not ever, but anyway...)

And yes, at most big Papal Masses, readings shift. (Not at your local Mass, but at Papal Masses.)

Easter Vigil at SPB is a good example of this.
Italian, English, German, etc.
I don't have a problem with this. I think it's a great illustration of universality, believe it or not.
(English is not sacred, and is equal to Spanish or German - therefore, substituting doesn't bother me. When Papa has a Mass, no matter what country it's in, there are many, many nationalities present. For him to have the readings in diff. languages makes sense.)
No one wants to NOT understand every single part of the Mass.
It's not the "American" church - it's the Catholic Church.

And substituting secular for secular never bothers me. It's substituting secular for sacred that bothers me.

Hope that makes sense!
(No, I'm not turning hippie on ya!)


a thorn in the pew said...

No, English is not better, that is just the official language of the US(at least it was last Monday.) I've seen the various languages at Papal events, i think it is the MASS that is more difficult. Makes a great case for keeping it all in latin ;) Continuity.
Choir today is stellar. Seriously.
I miss nuns in habits. I'm just all old-school Catholic, I suppose.

Ma Beck said...


The US does not have an official language.


Furthermore, the official language of Italy IS Italian, yet most Masses at SPB, SJL, etc. include French, English, German, etc.

I agree that I'd rather have it in Latin, but NOT the petitions and NOT the readings, which are the only things that were non-English or Latin today.
Even at my crazy trad parish, the petitions are in English, as is the homily.

Nuns - agreed.

a thorn in the pew said...

Ok, I forgot I was talking to Catholic Grammar Girl. However it is still spoken by 82% of the population at last official count. So it is not official-official.
Did you notice how cool it is when they zoom in on the hands of the Holy Father, priests and bishops? So significant(at least to me).

Ma Beck said...


I hadn't noticed. I do notice that the vestments are beautiful and not dreadful as some worried they would be.

Oh, and concelebrants? I flippin' reallllly don't like that.

Angela said...

Good, I'm glad I'm not the only one with these questions! My husband and I were just having a whole conversation about everything you wrote.

a thorn in the pew said...

Well, I know they need to have different languages(Papal Mass and all) but this didn't seem quite right. It was very flip floppy and odd. The woman theme is very "Helen Reddy" for the Papal events(I am woman, hear me roar, with numbers too big too ignore and I'm lalalalalalalah)

Anonymous said...

the picture and title of this post just cracks me up!!
i hated that i noticed the concelebrants were looking really bored by it all. couldn't they at least pretend they were praying?

Laura The Crazy Mama said...

Why not just keep it simple and do the Mass in English (since most of us speak it here?). It seems to me that if he was saying the Mass in Germany, that he would probably opt to say It in German...? I went to a Mass in Guatemala once. I would have been weirded out if it would have been said in English. I'm just sayin'...

gemoftheocean said...

Remind me how many female servers there were? Right.


deanna said...

Interesting about the language and woman issues. In our parish Easter Vigil and Holy Week Masses are bi-lingual (English/Spanish), our Holy Hour for Life was also. As far as woman serving in the liturgical ministries, we have a good mix. Though one Sunday, for some odd reason, there were only female Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Our pastor noticed and had a little grin when he gave me communion that day! He thought I had planned it. I had not. And our florist is a male parishioner. Go figure.

a thorn in the pew said...

Well really the female reading thing was hardest for me to "get". Why do people feel active participation means "get up on the altar and be seen"? Yeah, I know, the whole Spirit of V2 thing. Tis an odd thing indeed.

gemoftheocean said...

Thorn, if you want to do your thing, fine. For some of us we can make a good contribution as lector. I'm tired of "motives" being questioned simply because I'm a woman.

You are too young to remember when girls and women were told "you obviously don't have the talent to do x,y,z because you're a girl, you're not as good at things as we [men/boys] are." Those of use who are older suffered a lot of that crap. Be grateful you don't live in a time where women were assumed automatically to be incapable and not very bright - only able to cope with diapering and cooking, and under hubby's coaching not to embarrass herself in front of hubby's boss.

Do traddies get upset by women helping to count the money after Mass? No. They should if they are going to be consistent though. Counting the money was traditionally a task of the porter. and of course, in the days of minor orders, porters were all males.

There never was any halcyon time for the church. EVER. The traditional Latin Mass has a lot to be said for it, but that doesn't mean every thing else is garbage.

As far as women "on the altar" I highly disapprove. I also highly disapprove of men "on the altar." They should both have their feet in the sanctuary as opposed to "on the altar."

a thorn in the pew said...

I used to be a die-hard feminist in my college days and I'm not that young. I didn't say anywhere in that post "everything pre-V2" is garbage but in my opinion(it is my blog and I did state it was my opinion) there was an "in-your-face" amount of women lectors during the papal events. I'm not a rad trad and I do still pray the Novus Ordo. I just don't believe active participation means "showtime" for all laity. It does happen in some parishes(maybe it does not in yours). I believe I can actively participate by being present, paying attention and praying. Again, my opinion.