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Thursday, 03 December 2020 00:55

Tract 90. Liturgical Peacocks - Look at Moy, Look at Moy

Written by Hannibal the Second


There are some Catholics who say they object to the Roman Missal as reformed after the Second Vatican Council.  There is, of course, a liturgical argument to be had about all of that, but that is not the purpose of this short essay.

This essay is written for Catholics with the base religious knowledge that comes from being (semi) educated (sic) in Catholic Schools (or not).  These generations have either never, or hardly ever, experienced the Roman Missal just as it is.  What they object to and find “boring”, “banal”, and “uninspiring” is the Mass that they attend, or at least used to attend, week in and week out.

Modern and postmodern priests say Mass “my way”.  Creative Masses allow the priest to correct all the errors they have perceived in the Roman Missal.  Which is, no doubt, why so many of the faithful are bored out of their tiny minds and are no longer part of the worshipping community. 

The two voices you will hear in this Tract are the voices of one who mocks and one who informs.  Sometimes they overlap.  Can’t be helped.

The things every right-minded Catholic should know

Should we not be happy that (most?) Catholic priests are not “rigid” and so celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass in a show biz kind-of-a-way?  The texts and the rubrics are not so important as Father being able to put his stamp on the way Mass should be celebrated such that he might garner the applause/approval (as he might think) of the faithful.

“Our priest is Father Freestyle!”  He is a “modern priest”, not stuffy and rule-bound.  Not rigid (sic)!!  He loves old fashioned 1970s and early 1980s tunes and lyrics which better express us as persons, not like that fusty old sacred music.  He isn’t always talking about sex; you know, contraception, fornication, abortion, and all that stuff which is none of his business anyway

After all, human beings need no longer worry so much about sin, as “building community”, building the secular Kingdom of Heaven on earth.  And in any case, such is the mercy of God, we have a reasonable expectation that no one is going to Hell anyway - if it exists - which it maybe probably doesn’t[1].  The worst that can happen to you is extinction!  Pace what is in the Gospels, Judas is OK.

What is the Mass?

It is a time when we Catholics can come together, just as we are so that we can eat bread and drink wine and entertain pleasant thoughts about Jesus who is a super nice man.  I know it sounds bonkers but “I hear voices whispering to me” (auditory delusions?), in “words that I can't understand”.  Since Mass is all about me and the priest, and the others present, I can just invent whatever I want the Lord to be saying to me.  Gold!

And since there is nothing objectively true, as “I gaze into the night, down the future of my years, I’m not sure I want to walk past horizons that I know”.  Now that’s clear, isn’t it?

So, the Mass is really what any genuine modern and postmodern wants it to be. 

Mind your language

Seriously.  But there are always those who either think they know better than the translators or else really don’t agree with the Latin original in the first place, you know, the one written by Liturgical Hannibal the First.  The new translation is “clunky”, “solid, heavy, and old-fashioned”. 

So Father needs to correct the translation of texts.  Why?

  • Because Father always knows what is best for his congregation and his language use is not clunky.
  • Because the Church in the modern world needs to embrace “inclusive language” and not the sexist stuff which abounds in the newest translation of the Missal.
  • Because Father likes his version better.
  • Because Father needs to put his own stamp on “my” Mass.
  • Because he can!

Getting the gathering going

Going to Mass in a French Parish, the priest might be found liturgically dressed only in an alb.  No amice and no cincture mean that the alb looks very much like “robe de nuit de grand-mère[2].  Father is on the move, welcoming everyone (and there are not so many) to Church as the people come in.  The part of the Church to be used for the Sunday Mass is not the Church’s altar in the sanctuary but a spare section of floor, well away from the altar, with something that looks remarkably like a card table but without the cards and chips, and a chair to go with it.  As it comes time for the Mass to begin, Father moves slowly to the chair to put on a stole which has been prepared for him.  No chasuble may be worn because it places too much emphasis on the difference between priest and people.  We will now be told how welcome we all are and then the priest rolls seamlessly into the “Au nom du Père …”.

In English speaking dioceses, the priest can be just as much dressed down.  In one place the priest might just be sitting in the congregation when a religious sister, brim-full to overflowing of secular political feminist piety, calls him up to authorise him to say Mass for their community and then offers him a stole (but not a chasuble).  More typically the priest walks in, attended if he is lucky by an altar server. 

On the other hand, Father will almost certainly be accompanied by a whole raft of readers, “special ministers” (Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion), and maybe a commentator and someone else to lead the singing.  Choirs seem to be distinctly non-de-rigueur these days, and anyway who needs them when you can play “the music” through the sound system? 

What a grand day!  The Lord be with you, yes, but the secular “good morning everybody” seems to be a more personal welcome, a more relevant greeting.  So, it is added.  If the congregation is too quiet with its reply, “good morning Father”, your friendly celebrant may feel obliged to chasten the people and perform the whole extra liturgical rite again!  He might even want you to say “good morning” to the person alongside you and tell them your Christian name.  “Christian” name?  Not in the secular Christian Church you don’t.  We just have a “first name” these days.  Anyway, with that out of the way, Father (or a commentator) gets right into telling you what today’s Mass is going to be all about.  Then the Penitential Act follows.

You are highly unlikely to get the Confiteor with all its mediaeval breast-beating and references to Mary and the Saints.  In some places, not ever.  Splendid!  That is a perfectly legal choice provided by the rubrics, even though the publishers of the Missal have wrongly privileged the Confiteor by putting it as the first choice.  ‘How dare you!’ as Gretel said to Hansel.  But woke Father is not fooled!  The best and (therefore) the most usually favoured alternative form of the penitential rite allows more opportunity for creativity and social relevance.  “You taught us to take good care of the environment. Lord, have mercy.  We haven’t taken good care of the environment. Christ, have mercy.  To make amends for that we will close down all the coal mines.  Lord, have mercy.”

Using this 3rd form, we do not have to be encumbered by having to say (never sing) the Kyrie eleison/Lord have mercy.

Next is the very traditional Gloria.  Pity.  But we still can make a pig’s breakfast of the whole hymn by converting it into a ditty, soppy music and all.  So why not?

Then, the priest invites us to pray.  He says (hardly ever sings) the Collect.  Although the prayer is addressed to the Triune God, the priest must be very careful to make sure he is saying that prayer to the people, changing the wording as he thinks necessary, and as if he is reading a lesson or Homily.  Father makes sure he maintains eye contact with the people whenever he prays to God on their behalf.  It’s like a spiritual public speaking event.  But Father is being “personal” and “relevant”, so that’s that.

To whom is prayer directed?

Now that is a good question.  The following rules seem to apply:

  • The priest should extend his hands as widely as possible, moving them about so everyone can see that it is him.  Alternatively, Father may choose not to bother extending his hands at all.
  • The priest should read the prayers, like the readings, at or to the people, raising his eyes from the text to look the people in the eye.  Is the priest addressing the god that lies within the people?  It might seem so.  Very strange body language at work here.

Solution?  Say Mass facing the liturgical East.  In that way, no one need be in doubt as to whom prayer is directed.  Simple, but completely to be reprobated.  Facing East/backs to the people shifts the focus away from Father and us.  And that simply cannot be tolerated.

One Archbishop told his flock that saying Mass facing the people was to be preferred because, “there is Father, looking at the people, loving the people, and the people looking at Father, loving Father”.  It’s all about feeling good and being affirmed!

The Liturgy of the Word

What will the anxious observer find in this part of the Mass?  Let the games begin.  Some persons (mainly women) go to the Lectern to read the First and Second Readings.  They will almost certainly not introduce those Readings according to the way prescribed in the Missal and in the Lectionary.  “A reading from …” gives way to something like “The first/second reading comes from N, chapter and verse”.  A note to the wise: must “Cretans”[3] always be pronounced as “cretins”?  The Lector might be lucky and have a Lectionary where the local industrious woke busybody has gone through the Lectionary defacing the liturgical book by writing in corrections to the text to fit in with the cultural Marxist insistence on “inclusive language”.  If not, the hapless reader may feel the compulsion to make the changes as he or she goes along.  A train wreck in slow motion.

But the ultra-woke will need to wait for the Gospel to be shown how it is really done, how to mutilate the Divine Text with politically inspired corrections.  Still, we are no doubt meant to be feeling “included”, and even a tad self-righteous, as social justice warriors often do.   Those who don’t like it can lump it.  And so, they have … in their thousands!  Who cares?

Onwards but not always upwards to the Homily.  You might get lucky and hear a well-prepared Homily explicating the meaning of the Scripture just read, and /or the doctrine of Holy Church related to it.  More likely what you will get is unprepared, no notes to keep the preacher on track.  You get whatever Father feels he can say in an impromptu kind of a way; thoughts which just come to mind, thoughts which are just like ours.  You might get a simple-minded retelling of the Gospel story you have just heard.  Nothing controversial.  Or you might be lucky enough to have a priest with “right on” political and social/moral views with the intellectual dexterity to be always able to get Jesus’ teaching to agree with his.  Whatever the text says, a way can always be found to connect it to one of the favourite social justice themes of the political left.  Current politically correct partisan views on global warming, “systemic racism”, sexism, refugees, homophobia, Islamophobia, and the like will probably be regulars together with environmentalism and non-judgementalism.  Virtue-signalling social justice warriors of the world unite!!  What’s not to like?

The nice bits that Jesus said should always get a mention, but not the harsh bits he probably didn’t say anyway, or if it should appear that he did, it was probably added by someone else with an axe to grind.  Don’t frighten the horses in the street!  Say nothing about what Jesus seems to have said about hell, divorce and remarriage, and the like.  It’s bad enough that it is there in the unexpurgated Gospel Reading.  Anyway, we don’t do doctrine, so that stuff is better left not being preached about. 

Father will be incredibly careful not to hurt anyone’s feelings by teaching what Jesus taught about controversial (ie sexual) subjects.  In any case, much of Jesus’ moral teaching is pretty much a projection of the prejudices of his own time in a way that we, today’s woke élites, are not prejudiced.  If Jesus were around today, he would be sufficiently humble to recognise that he needs to upgrade his social and moral attitudes.

So, nothing too uplifting, because this is meant to be all about us and not doctrines about God, Who He is, and what He expects of us because those things are the preoccupations of the rigid, the “doctors of the Church”, and the lawmakers.  Who wants to listen to the rigid lot anyway?  Better for people to leave Church “affirmed” and “feeling good about themselves” than to have to face the reality of who they are in their relationship with the God of love and mercy (and justice).  Justice shouldn’t be mentioned too often because the one thing we don’t want is to be treated justly.  What people want is mercy, mercy, and more mercy – but not too much (if any) penance and repentance.  But, of course, it is merciful to treat the “rigid”, “the doctors of the Church”, and “the phobes” unmercifully.  In doing this one gets to signal one’s own virtue by damning those whose liturgical/political/social/moral positions are different from one’s own and, in any case, just plain wrong.  Woke justice is OK justice, full of compassion for everyone - except the “unwoke”!

By now many are paralytic with boredom and take the opportunity to close their eyes, all the better to contemplate their navels.  Who said omphaloskepsis[4] was out of fashion?

The Nicene Creed!

Oh, no you don’t!  A widespread movement led by bishops now sees the Nicene Creed relegated into the never to be used box.  Why was this necessary?  Because people are too stupid to be instructed about how to understand the word “consubstantial”, that’s why!  And there’s another reason.  The translators, faithful to the original text, have given us “For us men and for our salvation”!  Even worse we also have “and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man”!  Such translations, accurate and all as they may be, hurt our ears and offend our woke sense of justice.  We of the élites simply cannot tolerate the use of the words “men” and “man” as inclusive of men and women, which is what they mean, or once did.  Fundamentalist inclusive language freaks either don’t understand or affect not to understand that the words “men” and “man” in the context of the Creed are inclusive.  So, the Nicene Creed must go!  We may only have the Apostles’ Creed, so get over it and get used to it.


The Nicene Creed is privileged in the Missal and is to be said.  The rubric governing the saying of the Creed says this:

Instead of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, especially during Lent and Easter Time, the baptismal Symbol of the Roman Church, known as the Apostles’ Creed, may be used.[5]

What simply cannot be “legally” justified is the effective banning of the Nicene Creed on all the Sundays of the year.  But pastoral reasons (however identified) must always trump (sic) the rigid application of the law.  So who cares about the Nicene Creed anyway?  And no bishop will care to correct an abuse which the bishops, themselves, instigated.

The Universal Prayer

Here I digress to make a few observations.  Where the Universal Prayer (Prayer of the Faithful) is concerned, he or she who gets to draft the petitions is in the box seat but there are certain rules which apply universally (or so it would seem).  We must say “sisters and brothers” not the standard English of “brothers and sisters”.  Why?  God alone knows.  It can’t be a blow for anti-discrimination since no one wants to change “Ladies and Gentlemen” to “Gentlemen and Ladies”.  Just mindless conformity to the equally mindless desires of the ideological élites.  Nor are we permitted to pray for our Sovereign (the Queen), the Governor-General (our Head of State), the Governor of the State, and so on.  Ever.  And don’t pray for the dead or seek the intercession of the Saints.  In short, don’t mention the war!  Well, you can mention just about any other kind of war, but not the war to end all wars inaugurated in the post-Vatican-II era!

And hey!  Has anyone, I mean anyone noted that the Deacon is the one who announces the intentions of the Universal Prayer?[6]  If there is no Deacon, then these intentions are announced by “a cantor, or a reader, or one of the lay faithful.”[7]  But even if there is a Deacon present, he doesn’t get a look in.  And rightly so, it would seem, because it might upset the laity who have come to believe that this is their territory and theirs alone.

And now, onto the Offertory and the rest of the Mass.

The sacred vessels (chalice, paten, ciborium, etc)

Sacred vessels should be made from precious metal.  If they are made from metal that rusts or from a metal less precious than gold, they should be gilded on the inside.[8]

Thank goodness Father has no truck with silver or gold chalices, patens, plates, ciboria, and things.  This is a meal, and who uses mediaeval vessels these days?  Glass is good, even though it chips a bit.  So, let us have the best of ordinary wine glasses and glass plates, with the wine glasses even having a moulded lip to enable the convenient pouring of the “wine” from one chalice to another.  Pouring “the wine” from chalice to chalice, even after consecration, must be OK because the Archbishop does it.  Pottery used to be fashionable once but it’s still OK, isn’t it?


  • Always and only use the minimum you can get away with.  No copes allowed.
  • Don’t use the chasuble unless you have to, and especially if the weather is too hot which it mostly is anyway.
  • It’s OK to use a football scarf instead of a stole on especially sacred occasions, such as your team winning, winning anything!
  • Plain vestments are always best.  No crosses on stoles, no decorations at all.  That prohibition doesn’t include postmodern decorations which are different.  They are always allowed.


For most priests, incense seems to now be reserved only for funerals because the rubrics say that the priest must use it then.  Not that he always does.

The traditional use of incense at Mass, any kind of Mass, is never to occur.  Yes, I know the Missal says that incense can be used in any form of the Mass, but no one takes any notice of that.  You don’t have to.  It deflects attention away from “the community”.  Its use might get people to think about God if its use is correctly explained.  Best not to let them in on the secret.  And anyway, we must protect the “protestant noses” of those who do not want too much mystery going on.  The right places for the use of incense are in the Lodge, in movies, or at home.  Burning “essential oils” or even joss sticks at home is great for dinner parties.

Sometimes a priest feels under pressure from pre-Vatican II types in his congregation to use incense, at least occasionally.  Solution!  Put dry ice in the thurible.  Lots of smoke but no incense.  No one needs to cough or sneeze.  And no one need know.  Perfect!

To get the offering of incense out of the minds of simple people, we could downgrade the description of the three gifts of the wise men to two.  The fellow who brought incense to the baby Jesus was encouraging passive smoking anyway.  Hmm … perhaps we should also get rid of references to the myrrh as well.  Like incense, it offends the need to have a smoke free environment.  But I digress.

Smells and Bells: “where you lead, I will follow”

“Modern” clergy and nuns always get their best ideas from low church protestants.  So, the term “smells and bells” has been borrowed from low church protestants who used it to mock the use of such old-fashioned gimmicks as incense and sanctuary bells.  The term was used by “low church” Anglicans to describe the High Mass favoured by the “high church” Anglo-Catholics.

Now the Anglo-Catholics had a self-deprecating sense of humour, owning the protestant mocking as their own self-mocking.  They would sing this hymn by an unknown author and to the tune of Aurelia (‘The Church’s One Foundation’)

Our church is mighty spikey

with smells and bells and chants,

And Palestrina masses

that vex the Protestants.

O happy ones and holy

who fall upon their knees

For solemn Benediction

And mid-week Rosaries.

Though with a scornful wonder

men see our clergy, dressed

In rich brocaded vestments

as slowly they process;

Yet saints their watch are keeping

lest souls be set alight

Not by the Holy Ghost, but

by incense taking flight.

Now we on earth have union

with Lambeth, not with Rome,

Although the wags and cynics

may question our true home;

But folk masses and bingo

can’t possibly depose

The works of Byrd and Tallis,

or Cranmer’s stately prose.

(Here shall the organist modulate)

So let the organ thunder,

sound fanfares “en chamade;”

Rejoice! For we are treading

where many saints have trod;

Let peals ring from the spire,

sing descants to high C,

Just don’t let your elation

Disrupt the liturgy.

The Sanctuary Bell

Time once was that these bells were always rung at every Mass.  That was the local custom.  The GIRM says that just before the Consecration “if appropriate, a minister rings a small bell as a signal to the faithful.”  And the minister “also rings the small bell at each elevation by the priest, according to local custom”.  Well, “bells”, like “smells”, simply cannot be tolerated because they are mediaeval and promote superstitious beliefs.  So since the bell is never “appropriate” to begin with, and the local custom being now whatever Father says it is, it does not have to be used at the Consecration either, so it isn’t and won’t be.

Who can “take” Communion?

Anybody.  It would be “hurtful” to people to remind them that they need to be in a “state of grace”.  We must show “mercy” and form an “inclusive” community.  You are in mortal sin?  So?  You are living with a man/woman to whom you are not married?”  So is everyone else!  You are practising contraception?  Doesn’t everyone?  Conscience wins out over Catholic teaching because that’s what the Church says anyway.  You are not a Catholic, let alone a Catholic “in good standing”?  So?  Is the non-Catholic presenting for Communion baptised?  Best not to inquire.

Doing the music

“Doing the music” is the term now used to describe the liturgical function of singing at Mass.  And that means the music we know and love, which necessarily excludes anything traditional.  We want soft-rock, folk-rock, something to which we can tap our toes and sing “la la” to!  Nothing Churchy.  Guitars are preferable, if not an electronic organ or electronic piano.  And the music group (especially at a School Mass) appropriately gets applause after they have sung “Lord have mercy”, “Lamb of God”, the “Holy, Holy, Holy”, and the “Lamb of God”.  This is because the Second Vatican Council commanded we use this music and abandon any of those old Latin things.  Right?

Old conservatives (who should be abolished anyway) object and refer to what they think the Second Vatican Council said about the reform of the liturgy, not realising that the woke have carefully and obediently followed those words better than they.[9] 

116. The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services. [Well other things are never equal, are they?]

But other kinds of sacred music, especially polyphony, are by no means excluded from liturgical celebrations, so long as they accord with the spirit of the liturgical action, as laid down in Art. 30. [See.  The Spirit of Vatican II is the measure of what is good and acceptable]

117. The typical edition of the books of Gregorian chant is to be completed; and a more critical edition is to be prepared of those books already published since the restoration by St. Pius X. [This is just to help historians and antiquarians study what we use to do but no longer do.  It doesn’t say we have to use that book.]

It is desirable also that an edition be prepared containing simpler melodies, for use in small churches. [Not sure why that’s there, because the Spirit of Vatican II requires we don’t sing that stuff anymore.  Any road, our Church is a large Church, so there!]

118. Religious singing by the people is to be intelligently fostered so that in devotions and sacred exercises, as also during liturgical services, the voices of the faithful may ring out according to the norms and requirements of the rubrics. [And that is exactly what we are doing, isn’t it?]

So, we are right to:

  • Ensure music for the Mass is not Gregorian or otherwise traditional. 
  • Ensure the music during Mass is what some other people (you know, the “rigid”) unfairly depict as sentimental, trite, and already outdated ecclesiastical folk-pop.  Which it isn’t.  Because I like it, and we sing it, it can’t be outdated.

The Council also said, “The musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art.  The main reason for this pre-eminence is that, as sacred song united to the words, it forms a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy.”  Fantastic!  Our new musical tradition is a major contribution to art, and therefore to the celebration of the liturgy.

No more of “Holy God we praise your name”, or “Jesus my Lord, my God, my All”.  Now we have a new “treasure of inestimable value”, eucharistic songs such as this little gem:

Come to the feast of heaven and earth

Come to the table of plenty

God will provide for all that we need

Here at the table of plenty[10]

Instructions for priests who want to be ‘woke’

For the offertory, choose a song whose meaning may be either banal or curiously opaque.  Something deep and profound, like

Give us a heart so meek and so lowly

Give us the courage to enter the song

Here we will take the wine and the water

Here we will take the bread of new birth

Here you shall call your sons and your daughters.[11]

The offertory prayers should usually get prayed, but the “With humble spirit” prayer may be reduced to a two-second perfunctory bow of the head.  Anyway, it is to be said sotto voce so who will notice?  A Missal stand is not to be used for any reason whatsoever. 

Ad orientem

Every now and then some dinosaur suggests we return to the practice of the priest saying Mass with his back to the people, ad orientem, or ‘facing east’.  Here is the killer argument for continuing to say Mass facing the people, ‘our people’.  The priest is the central figure during Mass, right?  Now everyone knows the altar is a symbol of Jesus Christ.  So, saying Mass facing the people means that we come to the priest through Jesus Christ, right!  Jesus Christ is “our only mediator and advocate” who enables us to get to the priest who stands their loving us so we can also stand, sit, or kneel, loving the priest.

The Missal and barriers!

  • The Missal should lay flat on the altar.  There must be no “barriers” between priest and people.
  • However, other “barriers” are most welcome, in fact, de rigueur.  So, as I have remarked above, to say Mass facing the people means that the altar is a “good” barrier.  None of this ad orientem nonsense.
  • For the really woke, place the Missal on the altar directly in front of you so that you must reach over the book-barrier to get to the bread and wine at the time of the consecration of those elements.  Why?  Who knows?

To be sure, there exist no rubrics directing just where and how the Missal should be placed on the altar.  Backward minds think that the liturgical tradition, and common sense, has long held that the book should be placed to the left of the bread and wine and elevated for ease of reading at least by a cushion or by a missal stand.  But the modern mind must not be trapped in the dark and sinister echelons of tradition and common sense.  The sight of a priest hunched over a book with the elements at arms’ length away from him may be absurd, but it has the advantage of novelty, drawing attention to the celebrant through making him look relevantly clumsy, while at the same time reducing any sense of mystery as bread and wine are transubstantiated into the True Body and Blood of Christ.  If they are.  As you might think.

Choice of Eucharistic Prayer

“The choice between the Eucharistic Prayers found in the Order of the Mass is suitably guided by the following norms.”  So says the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM).  But is there anyone, apart from liturgical nerds, who really knows and understands what the GIRM says?  These contemporary instructions are much better, more in tune with the needs of our generation, and, best of all, generally agreed.  So, follow these instead!

  • Never use the Roman Canon or First Eucharistic Prayer.  Ever!  Well hardly ever.  The GIRM states that this Eucharistic Prayer is “especially suited for use on Sundays, unless for pastoral reasons Eucharistic Prayer III is preferred.”  The same GIRM makes it clear that “its use should be preferred on Sundays and festive days.”   But the conscientious priest must not allow himself to be bogged down in legalism which leads to rigidity and stupidity.  In situations where it is being said, and you are one of the principal concelebrants, never say the optional bits in brackets, … never, ever!  All those ancient Roman Saints!  Not relevant!
  • If challenged, and you won’t be, you can always dream up a “pastoral reason” why you never use the Roman Canon.  After all, the people need to be delivered from anything “mediaeval”, anything that might seem to remind people of from what they have necessarily been deprived.
  • Eucharistic Prayer III could be used, but Eucharistic Prayer II is much to be preferred.  Indeed, one should sacrifice the use of Eucharistic Prayer III because there is far too much “sacrifice” in it and not enough “meal”!  So, one must always use Eucharistic Prayer II with appropriate amendments (whatever seems good to you and the Holy Spirit).  Brevity is next to godliness, never mind that every Sunday of the year is a Solemnity!  And never mind that the GIRM says that, “on account of its particular features, [it] is more appropriately used on weekdays or in special circumstances”.  Aren’t Sundays always special?
  • If you are particularly “right on”, never use any of the 4 Eucharistic Prayers.  Only use the “Swiss” ones.  The Missal says that those prayers are to be used in connection with specific themes, and you can always suggest a theme or two.
  • Change the end of the Eucharistic Prayer to “Through Christ, and with Christ, and in Christ”.  Inclusive language demands that we expunge from use the male pronoun.  It is always toxic.

The Communion Rite

  • Always change the introduction to the Lord’s Prayer.  It makes it much more communal and personal, especially if, in addition, we all hold hands while saying this prayer.
  • Always use the kiss of peace (in fact it is optional, so that means we have to use it – go figure) and make sure you race around the Church getting in everyone else’s face.
  • The priest doesn’t need to say the prayer before Communion.  Just do a slight nod of the head (or nothing at all) with no time to say any kind of prayer.
  • When giving Communion look lovingly into each person’s eye and say, “First name, the Body of Christ”.
  • Make sure there are as many Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion as you possibly can muster, ensuring that 90% of them are women.  Best case scenario is achieved when the number of these Ministers either outnumbers the rest of the communicants or else equals them.
  • Priests cannot be expected to remember to say the prayer “What has passed our lips, O Lord,”.  In any case, they need to hurry quickly to the chair so that the laity can do the “cleaning up”.   Father needs to be seen pretending to pray silently
  • Let the lay ministers do the whole of the “cleaning up” after Holy Communion has been distributed.  That’s what the laity are there for.  To do the dishes.

And now the end is near and so I face the final curtain …

After Holy Communion, the rules for the woke priest are simple.  End the rite of the Mass as abruptly as possible but still leave as much time as possible for announcements, or even better, for a promotional talk about something … anything!  Oh and don’t forget to say after the final “Thanks be to God”, “And have a nice day!”, so that the people can again get involved by saying “Same to you, Father!”.  And then the priest can sing with conviction “ And now the end is near and so I face the final curtain … I did it my way! ”  And “my way” is not exactly the Roman Missal – it is much better than that!

Thereafter everyone is to be encouraged to make as much noise as possible so that “community” can continue to be built, and obstacles suitably created to make it difficult for the pious few who might want to pray.

No, this isn’t really the Roman Missal, the Ordinary Form.  But it is heaps better. Isn’t it?  Well, a bit boring when constantly repeated. 

So, a word to the wise: to avoid boredom only go to Mass every now and then.  Not so much now as then.


[1] Pope Francis, “They are not punished, those who repent obtain the forgiveness of God and enter the rank of souls who contemplate him, but those who do not repent and cannot therefore be forgiven disappear. There is no hell, there is the disappearance of sinful souls.”

[2] “Grandma’s nightdress”.

[3] Acts 2:11

[4] Omphaloskepsis, the contemplation of one's navel as an aid to meditation

[5] The Roman Missal: The Order of the Mass, n 19

[6] GIRM, n 94

[7] GIRM, n 71

[8] GIRM, n 328

[9] Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium (1963)

[10] Daniel L Schutte, Table of Plenty

[11] From Marty Haugen, Gather Us In,