But really, this is sad for the person and it isn't helping her Faith to grow but hindering it. This reminds me of what the bishops of the USA once said about the Liturgy: Good liturgy builds up the faith; poor celebrations can weaken or destroy the faith (or something like that):
I am really struggling to find a church here (Anywhere, USA, but Macon). The churches are all relatively modern and so they feel very institutional, with cement and tile, lots of gray, not a lot of statues, and they tend to be "in the round." Almost none of them have the tabernacle in the worship space. One of them was just beyond terrible! It had the congregation facing EACH OTHER on opposite sides of the aisle, with the altar sort of jutting out from one end with the chorus behind the altar!! I couldn't believe it. Their tabernacle was in a completely separate part of the church, so they have to carry the host out of the sanctuary and through two rooms.
There are almost no nurseries, so parents pay no attention to Mass, sometimes having loud, unrelated conversations with their children or friends. There is a constant flow of people in and out of Mass with kids. The churches frequently do not have crucifixes (a couple just have crosses, some have nothing but the cross which comes in with the Priest during the procession, some have what I call "Happy Jesus" which is a cross with an ascending Jesus on it), people participating in the Mass wear shorts or jeans, most people do not genuflects, the music is all "modern" and people applaud for it, like we're at a concert, and the altars do not contain the small crucifixes I'm used to. It was my understanding that, post Vatican II, when the priests decided they could face the congregation, they basically abandoned high altars and made the table altars. But I thought that they still had to have some sort of crucifix or something that faced the priest? Oh, and they all do that “raise your hand to pray over someone” thing. Not my style.
I am really struggling to feel like Mass is “real.” I even went to the Cathedral for Mass with the Bishop, but it was no better. They had a “Happy Jesus” and the lector wore jeans. I understand that some of this is education, but I’m just feeling very hopeless. There’s a large Catholic population here and many churches (somewhere around 20 in the area) so I thought it was going to be easy to find ONE that suited us.
I’ve tried reading the Catechism to alleviate my worries, but I can’t find the specific answers I’m looking for. How can a Catholic Church have no crucifix? No visible Mary statue? What about the smaller crucifix on the altar? Sorry to bother, but I truly feel like I am losing my faith out here. I miss St. Fill in the Blank more than I could have ever imagined. People in You Name the State do not understand how blessed they are to have three great churches in You Name the Town alone, and the beauty and pure joy of St. You Name the Saint. You truly feel the presence of God when you walked into those doors and it lifted the entire Mass. Here, I feel like we could be anywhere and it would be the same. That’s not the way a sanctuary should feel.
My final comment: Please pray for this wandering Catholic in the liturgical desert which could be Anywhere, USA and worse yet, Everywhere, USA (except Macon of course!).