Cleansing Fire

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Probably Not the Most Appropriate Setting for Q&A

January 30th, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

Various Gates parishes are advertising an upcoming “Teaching Mass” at St. Jude the Apostle. Here is one such report:

“St. Jude will be hosting the instructional Mass on February 1 at 7:00 pm. Fr. Schramel, along with Sr. Cathy will offer the opportunity for everyone to explore the depths and beauty of our Roman Catholic Mass. This opportunity will be in a comfortable setting where questions and answers will take place throughout the Mass.”

The Holy Mass is not an appropriate setting for Q&A.; They’d be better off showing a video of a Mass and commenting upon the video, rather than offering a Mass and stopping every two seconds to ask for questions.

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4 Responses to “Probably Not the Most Appropriate Setting for Q&A”

  1. avatar Persis says:

    I have never been to a "teaching Mass". However, I am not so sure if I see this as the "bad thing". I also do not know Fr. Schramel, so I cannot comment on his "orthodoxy" or lack thereof.
    But I do know that there has been much talk regarding the lack of catechesis in the DOR, and it seems to me that this ?may? be a step in the right direction.
    I am lucky enough to know a few priests and deacons who are willing to talk with me and explain the different parts of the Mass, and why we do what we do, etc. I am sure that not many people think about making an appointment with their Pastor to ask questions like this, so I see this as an example of ?teaching the multitudes?.
    Done correctly, I believe that this may be a wonderful catechesis tool. I am not saying that I would want a ?teaching Mass? every week, but once a year, as a ?refresher course?, may not be a bad idea.
    And, I know from experience, that the more I actually understood what was really going on during Mass, and the how?s and the why?s of the faith, the stronger my faith became and more I appreciate the fact that some ?reform of the reform? is needed. But the seed has to be planted, and I see this as a good way to get people to want to come to the garden.

  2. avatar Gen says:

    The Mass is not supposed to be interrupted by any kind of interaction, outside of a legitimate dialogue homily. And even these are restricted (in reality) to Masses with children.

    If we believe Our Lord is really present at the Mass, it's best not to interpose ourselves and our theological questions over the Mass. There is no reason someone can't wait until after the Mass. Having questions thrown in at random removes the sense of solemnity which should be at every Mass in every parish. I don't care what it's like wherever other people go. If it's not solemn, it's not correct. The Pope reaffirms this time and time again, in practically every book he writes on the subject, especially in Spirit of the Liturgy. You must read this if you haven't already. The Mass is not about us – it's about Jesus. It is for us, but not about us. If we turn it into a Q&A; session, we turn it into a community-focused event, not a sacrifice-focused event, i.e. "Mass." There is a time and a place for everything, and the Mass is not the time or the place to have discussion. Period.

  3. …the hell? seriously?! OYE! That's it, I'm moving to Lincoln, NE. H.E. Bp. Bruskewitz wouldn't stand for this!

  4. avatar Nerina says:

    I appreciate the intent of the "teaching Mass," but I agree with Dr. K. and Gen. It's simply not the appropriate venue. This situation can quickly turn into a "free for all" even under the best of circumstances. They could do catechesis through bulletin inserts, offer CDs on the Mass or even put MP3s on their website for download. But to pause every few minutes to explain a rubric interrupts the actual "praying of the Mass."


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