Friday, July 8, 2016


Ahead of his time, Fr. Allan McDonald, mild mannered southern blogger, celebrates the Ordinary Form of the Mass in an Extraordinary Form way, an act of revolution, some say:

Some say that the "Rockette" style of celebrating Mass facing the congregation has greatly corrupted the spirituality and intent of Catholic prayer as being directed exclusively to God the Father, through the Son by the power of the Holy Spirit. Facing the congregation makes it "appear" that the most solemn prayer of the Church is directed to the Church gathered before the clergy celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in this fashion. Is this way of celebrating Mass to be confined to the dustbin of history--an act of revolution?
 I can't imagine that Cardinal Sarah would request something as dramatic as returning to the traditional posture of the priest at the altar which was recklessly abandoned around 1966 or so without Pope Francis' knowing that he would say this even at a symposium that has now gone viral. Pope Francis must approve of what Cardinal Sarah is recommending!. That posture is call "facing the liturgical east" or ad orientem.

I wonder how many billions of dollars were used to destroy old altars that were works of art and renovate churches to accommodate the Mass with the priest facing the people. It was and is a grave waste of the laity's offerings given in good faith to the Church as an act of charity only to have their contributions destroyed in the name of a weak liturgical ideology foisted on the universal Church by a clique of academic theologians and their clericalism. Keep in mind, that academics be they laity or clergy make priestly clericalism look like child's play.

While not true of all priests, facing the congregation throughout the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass has turned some into performers, actors fulfilling and unfulfilled desires to be on stage and act. It is all about them, their looks, talents, piety, facial expressions, ad libs and on and on.

It is great to know that this concern is known in high places in the Vatican and we have a Pope Francis' appointment calling for a revolution in the Church's post-Vatican II liturgy.

Here are some more explicit words from Robert Cardinal Sarah, Prefect for the Congregation of Divine Worship concerning his so-far non official request that all priests of the world begin to celebrate the Mass ad orientem:

I want to make an appeal to all priests. You may have read my article in L’Osservatore Romano one year ago (12 June 2015) or my interview with the journal Famille Chr├ętienne in May of this year. On both occasions I said that I believe that it is very important that we return as soon as possible to a common orientation, of priests and the faithful turned together in the same direction—Eastwards or at least towards the apse—to the Lord who comes, in those parts of the liturgical rites when we are addressing God.

 This practice is permitted by current liturgical legislation. It is perfectly legitimate in the modern rite. Indeed, I think it is a very important step in ensuring that in our celebrations the Lord is truly at the centre.

And so, dear Fathers, I ask you to implement this practice wherever possible, with prudence and with the necessary catechesis, certainly, but also with a pastor’s confidence that this is something good for the Church, something good for our people.

 Your own pastoral judgement will determine how and when this is possible, but perhaps beginning this on the first Sunday of Advent this year, when we attend ‘the Lord who will come’ and ‘who will not delay’ (see: Introit, Mass of Wednesday of the first week of Advent) may be a very good time to do this. Dear Fathers, we should listen again to the lament of God proclaimed by the prophet Jeremiah: “they have turned their back to me” (2:27). Let us turn again towards the Lord!

[This in my opinion is the most important paragraph. I think it is a signal that the bishops of the world will be receiving official word to do what Cardinal Sarah is requesting unofficially at this point in time:]

I would like to appeal also to my brother bishops: please lead your priests and people towards the Lord in this way, particularly at large celebrations in your dioceses and in your cathedral. Please form your seminarians in the reality that we are not called to the priesthood to be at the centre of liturgical worship ourselves, but to lead Christ’s faithful to him as fellow worshippers. Please facilitate this simple but profound reform in your dioceses, your cathedrals, your parishes and your seminaries.


Michael said...

I would be the first in line rejoicing if something were to really come of this. I know the Lord can do whatever He wishes and soften even the hardest of hearts. I know this would be an answer to many, many, many prayers of mine, and I'll continue to pray for it with all of that in mind.

But if I'm going to be honest, I'm not feeling optimistic that any changes will happen (at least without mandate). High-ranking Cardinals and even Popes have said things needed to change over the last 40 years. Has anything happened, besides the new translation (which was mandated)? Not particularly.

TJM said...

Father McDonald, my pastor turned the altar around in 1964, but in my grandmother's parish it was in 1965. I live in the Midwest and this pernicious practice may have started earlier here than in the South. Clearly, ad populum celebration is among the very worst of the "reforms." I am counting on our young priests to reverse this. I don't want to look at the priest's kisser when the most solemn part of the Mass is being celebrated. Sorry old lefties

Anonymous said...

Sorry, old traddie, if you can't see Christ in the "priest's kisser," then you can't see Him under the forms of bread and wine.

It's all a matter of what you choose.....

Alter Anonymous said...

Requests and encouragement are one thing; mandating is quite another. JPII requested/permitted/encouraged wider celebration of the Tridentine Mass in the 1980s and we all remember how that went. Request and encouragement may be safely filed under the "talk is cheap" department; it's a sop thrown to orthodoxy. If we get a clear mandate that the Mass must be said ad orientem, then that's an entirely different matter.

TJM said...

anonymous, you're just one of millions of religious illiterates formed after Vatican Disaster II. If you read what I wrote, you would realize I was referring to the Eucharistic Prayer. It has been the time immemorial practice for the priest and people to face the liturgical east during this solemn moment in the Mass notwithstanding what some lying liturgists said after the Council. Grow up, learn your Faith and its Liturgy and don't rely on the legions of ignoramuses in the press or Church who would say otherwise.

Mark Thomas said...

The Remnant offered yesterday the following killjoy, not to mention bizarre response (the first half of the article pertained to Nazi Germany...and how Nazi Germany relates to Pope Francis' supposed trick strategy related to Cardinal Sarah's comments...huh?), to Cardinal Sarah's exhortation to priests:

Several times this week via Twitter, Rorate Caeli has insisted that only "deluded" Catholics have expressed hope in Cardinal Sarah's call to offer Mass (Novus Ordo) ad orientem.

From the left-wing perspective, Father Ruff at Pray Tell offered the following:

"I wonder how much confusion this will cause, before it’s clarified that this is only the private opinion of the cardinal prefect? I also wonder what Pope Francis’s practice will be at daily Mass in St. Martha’s chapel, come Advent."

Yes...we must be concerned that Cardinal Sarah's comments may have unleashed "confusion" within the Church. Yeah. Right.

As compared to the Rorate Caeli/The Remnant factions of the Church, I am hopeful that Cardinal Sarah's exhortation is the signal that His Holiness Pope Francis is ready to act upon the following comments that he offered in July 2013 A.D:

"In the Orthodox Churches they have kept that pristine liturgy, so beautiful. We have lost a bit the sense of adoration. They keep, they praise God, they adore God, they sing, time doesn’t count. God is the center, and this is a richness that I would like to say on this occasion in which you ask me this question.

"Once, speaking of the Western Church, of Western Europe, especially the Church that has grown most, they said this phrase to me: “Lux ex oriente, ex occidente luxus.” Consumerism, wellbeing, have done us so much harm. Instead you keep this beauty of God at the center, the reference.

"When one reads Dostoyevsky – I believe that for us all he must be an author to read and reread, because he has wisdom – one perceives what the Russian spirit is, the Eastern spirit. It’s something that will do us so much good.

"We are in need of this renewal, of this fresh air of the East, of this light of the East. John Paul II wrote it in his Letter. But so many times the luxus of the West makes us lose the horizon."

I would add that Pope Francis' Divine Worship Missal is a sign that he is open to the promotion of God-centered worship.

But then, I am "deluded" as I don't march in lockstep with Rorate Caeli and The Remnant.


Mark Thomas

Gene said...

Ah, Luther, we hardly knew ye...

Anonymous said...

"Pope Francis must approve of what Cardinal Sarah is recommending!"

What difference does it make what our current pope thinks about liturgy? (This is a seriously intended question, not a merely rhetorical one.)

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

Fr. McD said, "I wonder how many billions of dollars were used to destroy old altars that were works of art and renovate churches to accommodate the Mass with the priest facing the people. It was and is a grave waste of the laity's offerings given in good faith to the Church as an act of charity only to have their contributions destroyed in the name of a weak liturgical ideology foisted on the universal Church by a clique of academic theologians and their clericalism."

I for one can remember the tragic demeanor and general heartbreak among the adults of my family when this iconoclasm was going in the '60's and '70's --- with priests almost gleeful in the destruction and the laity almost universally sad as they watched the beauty of what they or the previous generation had, just a few years before, contributed such hard earned cash to install or restore, being painted over with tan paint (with regards to paintings and depictions of the saints on walls) or tossed out and replaced (with regards to statues of saints, altars, and holy vessels, not to mention vestments) with "modernistic" pieces. (No one destroy any pictures they have! We'll need proof of just how bad it was.)

The Faith of those in my family was pretty strong, and they would not leave Our Lord, so they withstood the insult and destruction of their sacred place and ritual, and held fast in spite of all taunts and lectures about their believing the "wrong" things (from the clergy and religious!). They held out until the end, and died getting barely a meager spiritual ministration in their last days and hours. Many of them are White Martyrs.

Now the pews are empty, and some (like Archbishop Cupich of Chicago) wring their hands and institute a yet another program to "revitalize" parishes
(from the Archdiocese of Chicago website:
"Renew My Church: Dreaming Big about the Archdiocese of Chicago

Archbishop Cupich invites everyone across the Archdiocese to join together in launching a historic new moment for the Church of Chicago to respond to Christ's call to “Renew My Church.” )

but using the same misguided theology and teachings that veer toward celebrating sin and rejecting virtue, and all but ignoring Jesus Christ. I can already tell you it will be just one more flop, because no one is interested anymore.

It would have been hard if a political force came from outside and destroyed a church you loved, and installed their own agents as priests, but the fact that it came from within made the whole thing all the more galling.

God rest the souls of those who suffered through this and held fast to the end.


Anonymous said...

I read what you wrote: "I don't want to look at the priest's kisser when the most solemn part of the Mass is being celebrated."

And I say again, if you can't see Christ in the "priest's kisser," then you can't see Him under the forms of bread and wine.

That goes for Collect, Prayer Over the Offerings, Eucharistic Prayer, Prayer After Communion, etc.

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

P.S. Fr. McD, FYI I'm praying to St. Anthony about that candlestick.... :-) Let us know when (not if) you find it....


Jenny said...

Bee, I just want to add a still, small voice to your reply-post. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I heard that altars were dumped at the tip and even one was rescued from the harbor by parishioners - unbelievable - but that was done by some of the priests who are now in their late 70s and 80s who can see the fruits of their actions in the huge loss of Catholics to the faith.

Of course there were others who fought to preserve the Latin Mass, once such being Evelyn Waugh. A good article on him in the Catholic Herald: Evelyn Waugh’s forgotten battle to preserve the Latin Mass

Dialogue said...

Michael is right. These were merely private reflections at a private conference, intended only for the participants. The good cardinal was not addressing any priests other than those in attendance. And we all know Pope Francis would not have the slightest interest in this, except in opposition.

At any rate, if Pope Benedict could not effect any change in this direction, then it's silly to think that some African cardinal, without even the blessing of the present pope, is going to make a difference. A decade ago Cardinal Arinze mandated the use of the communion plate, but even papal Masses still omit it. So, what chance does Sarah's private address have of accomplishing a reorientation?

Anonymous said...

"So, what chance does Sarah's private address have of accomplishing a reorientation?"

Brick by brick. Eventually there'll be a critical Mass.

"So, what chance does Sarah's private address have of accomplishing a reorientation?"

His words resonate with the younger generation of priests and seminarians, from whom will come the next generation of pastors and bishops.

"And we all know Pope Francis would not have the slightest interest in this"

Perhaps his evident disinterest in the liturgy is his most benign attribute?

John Nolan said...

Actually the PrayTell combox was equally split on the issue, and Anglicans aren't really bothered about which way the priest faces. With Catholics it's an ideological issue. In a church near me the priest faces the altar for the Liturgy of the Eucharist. He introduced the practice some years ago, explained to the congregation why he was doing it, and no-one took exception. Recently he was on Sabbatical leave and the priest who stood in for him pointedly changed the orientation. His ideological commitment to versus populum was more important than adherence (out of courtesy) to local practice.

Incidentally, those who place the altar in such a way as to make ad apsidem celebration impossible (viz. by removing the footpace on the people's side) are going against GIRM 299:-

Altare extruatur a pariete sejunctum, ut facile circumiri et in eo celebratio versus populum peragi potest, quod expedit ubicumque possibile sit.

Literal translation: 'It is suitable wherever possible that the altar be constructed apart from the wall so that it is walked round easily and celebration can be done at it facing the people'.

It is not clear from this that the reason for separating the altar from the wall is to permit celebration versus populum; a clause of purpose beginning 'ut' requires the main verb to be in the subjunctive, and 'potest' is indicative. Nor does the relative clause beginning 'quod' refer to 'celebratio versus populum'; if it did then the relative pronoun would have to be 'quae'.

This last point was clarified by the CDW shortly after the English translation came out which gave the impression that Mass facing the people was 'desirable wherever possible.'

Paul C said...


"Ah Luther we hardly knew you"

What are you referring to the there?

John and Gene......or any one.

Ever here this joke:

What is a Latinist?

A man who knows too little Greek to be a classicist?

The first session I had with my present lawyer, who told me that joke, he also asked me where I was first taught Latin and the first words in Latin I was taught ......I replied: in a Syd slum, by a Christian Brother classicist, as opposed to a Jesuit Latinist in Sydney's eastern suburbs.

Oh btw, the first Latin words out of my 10 year old mouth were "greetings, teacher!"

Post script.

To keep to the thread here at the end.

So true regarding ideological/theological significance of facing God at mass for Catholics.

TJM said...

John Nolan, you are always a good and informative read. Please keep posting.

I gave up on Pray Tell years ago. Father Ruff routinely suppresses disenting points of view, no matter how respectful. That's what I appreciate about Father McDonald who has enough confidence in his views that he can withstand dissenting views

John Nolan said...

Paul C.

It's a good joke although it does demonstrate a certain snobbery amongst classicists who like to argue that Greek is somehow superior to Latin. Historians like to describe sociology as 'history with the history taken out', so we all have our academic snobberies.

I am neither a classicist nor a Latinist but would argue that a working knowledge of Latin is useful for an English speaker since English borrows extensively (and deliberately) from Latin - the Romance languages simply developed out of vulgar Latin. A practising Catholic will find Latin more useful than Greek since Latin has been the liturgical language of the western Church since the 4th century.

The first Latin words out of my 8-year-old mouth were 'ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam'. I didn't know that 'ad' is a preposition governing the accusative case, that 'laetificat' is the third person singular, present indicative active of a first conjugation verb, or that 'juventus' is a third declension noun. Such knowledge came later.

But I sure as hell knew that it meant 'To God who giveth joy to my youth'. And more than half a century later the joy persists, although the youth is but a memory.

John Nolan said...


The problem with PrayTell is that Ruff and Rita allow different points of view but routinely exclude commentators who make a habit of dissenting from the party line. I was banned five years ago after posting for about six months. I suspect the reason was that I suggested that Rita, a self-styled 'liturgist', was not in the same league as Bux, Reid, Hemming, Lang and Benedict XVI, to name but five.

It's so evidently true that they couldn't possibly allow me to continue.

Dialogue said...


"Perhaps his evident disinterest in the liturgy is his most benign attribute" is a very insightful point. I'm wondering now how we can make the most of it, if this is true.

Anonymous said...

I was raised in the Episcopal Church. Shortly after College and moving to Macon Georgia I joined the Catholic Church. All my life I thought I had a calling to become Catholic. My Children were all raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools. I still believe for that period of my life that was a true call. I must say tho especially after reading many blogs and other materials that I was not taught all that I needed to be taught during the RCIA classes. I also think that cradle catholics have a wonderful benefit when it comes to following the rules and regulations of the church. They have not had another set of practices that interfere with their true Catholic faith. When I go to my Catholic church and question I am told by many members that most people just ignore the rules and go anyway. I am just not like that. I love the Catholic Church and the Pope. Most tho in my church seem to really dislike him. And it just seems to me that Catholics spend too much time worshipping the actual Church Service and fussing and fighting over changes or things that changed that they refuse to accept. Most members now were born well after Vat. ii and still it is constantly discussed about how terrible it was for the church. Most members only know the Church since that time. I think the insight for me tho that really made up my mind was a story on this blog way back about a young man in a cap that came to mass. It was a very moving story. He humbly went to communion. The priest denied him and probably embarrassed the man by asking him if he was a Catholic. Somehow even tho those are the "rules" it hurt me deeply. I realize the priest did nothing wrong but for someone who grew up Protestant it was wrong. Its so hard to get young people into a church today and then when they try this happens. I doubt he ever returned. If I had of been the priest I would never have asked him in front of all those people "are you a Catholic" So I am retiring and soon after 40 years in Macon going back home. I will again join my family beside the other Episcopal church members that never would have told that young man that he was not able to eat at the Lord's Table. I think the reason I wanted to post this was because you never know what one little act will do that hurts people. And for those of you on this blog that are so insulting to others and know all of the answers to everything I say... If you know all the answers and you are the one that is correct then Why aren't you a priest. There are people on this blog that are really mean. They may not think their statements mean anything but one horrible statement to someone from a so called know it all Catholic can greatly influence a persons decisions. I personally believe that one day Jesus will ask them to explain the things they said to people asking for help.

Anonymous said...

Fr. McDonald there is one who posts on this site that is a very Evil person.
I know that you can see and feel this. He does no good for your blog or for
the Catholic Church.

Paul C said...


Thanks for that reply.

My first response to this blog after c.100 hours reading and then a little reflection was, as I shared several days ago, to remember that famous quote from Cyril Connolly, ie: how with some people their personality can shine out from almost everything they write.
The personality that produces your words?.......words like dignified, wise and insightful, come to mind.

BTW I owe my parents so much for making sacrifices to send me to a school, where my boyish brain was soaked in learning by teachers as great as my Latin teacher, a very humble man, who since his death has had classics scholarships to universities named after him, both here and overseas.

Also, does it ever amaze you how dozens and even hundreds of little but important snippits of information can stay lodged in our minds for decades after school years? I am just old enough to have been drilled as a child in the old green or penny catechism, before that way of teaching children their faith was ended in our Vat II era. Thankfully, we can be here a decade behind much of the world in some ways, eg what occurred in USA and UK in 60s really took to 1970s to fully arrive here.

Anonymous 2 said...

Anonymous at 6:17 p.m.:

I don’t know, but I assume, you are the same Anonymous who posted at 5:34 p.m. I certainly understand and share the concerns you express in that earlier post. But if I may suggest, very gently, we must be very careful before we call someone an evil person and perhaps we should not do it at all.

This thought has troubled me since I posted a link to an article a few days ago in which the author referred to ISIS “a small, ugly group of evil, insecure, hyper-masculine men who do not represent the faith.” There was so much else of value in that article that I let it go but it has bothered me. The acts committed by ISIS members and adherents have been unspeakably evil but I don’t think we can judge the state of their souls. Only God can do that.

So, this post is as much a confession of a misstep on my part as it is a comment on what you wrote.

Anonymous said...

The one I speak of told a seeker here "not to be deceived by a priest". He more or less called the priest the Devil.
I doubt that seeker will ever ask a question again. It gave me the creeps. And if I were to go to Mass tomorrow
he would stroll right up to the priest with a smile on his face and take communion... but the boy in the hat
was denied.

Anonymous said...

How would An Evil Person Speak to Those who Seek??? Read these comments to find out

Under: Way Before, Then After, Then After That
July 7 post at 9:45 again at 9:45
July 5 post at 9:41 and ***6:06

Under the Post that is after the above post
June 28 post 1:23 July 2 post at 6:19 June 24 post at 6:31

Under: Thanks for the Memories June 25 post at 12:43 June 26 post at 7:10

Under: A Bumbling Misspoken.....
June 24 post at 6:36 June 23 post at 6:28 June 19 post at 6:40

Just to name a few.......

John Nolan said...

Anonymous @ 5:34

Most Protestants (if male) uncover their heads when entering a church. The Japanese tourists who swarm round the nave of Westminster Abbey don't know any better but even here someone will probably mention it to them.

The priest might well have asked the youth in question whether or not he was a Christian, let alone a Catholic, and if he had never entered a church before he should not have been presenting himself for Holy Communion.

I do remember a boy of about 13 at Mass in Brompton Oratory with his parents. He was wearing a baseball cap and his parents turned a blind eye. A middle-aged gent left his place, marched forward, tapped the youth on the shoulder and told him to remove it. No doubt the boy (not to mention his parents) was temporarily embarrassed, but he needed to be told.

You have to be careful, though - in these days of unisex casual clothing the youth in the cap may well turn out to be a girl!

Anonymous said...

If people can see holy in a "Holy Man" I think people can see Evil in an "Evil Man"
To accept one and refuse to see the other in my opinion is very dangerous.

Jesus could see Evil in humans he once said "Get behind me Satan"

Marc said...

Anonymous at 8:32, Jesus is God. You are not.

John Nolan said...

Paul C

In 1962 I was a gauche 11-year-old just starting at Grammar School. Ten years later I was an Honours graduate from Durham University and an officer in the Territorial Army. What I learned in that short time has stood me in good stead for the rest of my life.

A pity that the same decade saw the collapse of the Church's liturgy which I could not have foreseen as an 11-year-old altar boy.

Anonymous said...

Marc you are correct I am not God.
I did not mean to imply that.
I do tho think that God gives us Wisdom to see what can be
Evil. I should not have said an "Evil Person" because you are
right I am not God and I should not judge. But if God did
not allow people to notice Evil and those that exhibit that behavior
I think we would all be in serious trouble. So many people today
really do not believe in the Devil. I read in a Catholic book once
that this is exactly what the Devil wants us to think. I do not know
Evil people but I see Evil actions and try to run from it.
God Bless You Marc I think you really love God.

Anonymous said...

Dear John Nolen at 5:34
Who sinned the most.... the boy in the church with the hat and his parents that made sure he was in church even tho he wore a hat OR The man who took it upon himself to insult and embarrass a family while in the Lord's House?

We had a male in our church once that would never take off his hat.
He had had Chemo and was embarrassed. Had our priest or someone
in the church insisted that he remove his hat I doubt that the poor man
who later died would have returned to church.

Just my thoughts....

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, July 9, 2016 at 5:34 PM, your comments about people wearing a hat in church and that they shouldn't be told reminded me of a sermon I heard a priest giving about how people should be properly dressed for Mass and not turning up as if they were going to the beach. A man in the seat in front of me was annoyed by the comments the priest was making and gave a few expletives under his breath about the priest and I noticed he was wearing shorts and so obviously disagreed. Not too long after that just before communion, this man who had been bad mouthing the priest suddenly began fitting and was taken away in an ambulance. I always thought that it was a result of the comments that he made.

I think it is not passed on in the RCIA system the important of reverence because we are in the real presence of Our Lord. Quite different from protestants who are attending a service and worshipping together. It is quite true that Catholic men are rarely seen wearing a hat in church and the priest was quite right to question whether the man was a Catholic or not before he gave him communion. There have been many instances of people taking the host for black Masses and the priest would have been remiss if he had not asked.

A friend of mine who became a Catholic through the RCIA program was handed a paper cup and a pair of scissors and told to cut the cup into the shape of the Catholic Church he would like to see. He told me he was brought in by three people: two priests and one woman. One of the priests was imprisoned for abusing altar boys, another priest ran off with a married parishioner and the only woman is now an Anglican priest. So you see there appears to be only very liberal people involved in the RCIA from my experience. I hope the program is better where you are.

Anyone who had every accepted the real presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist would never consider going back to a church that doesn't have that. That is the bottom line. I have been offended by many Catholics in the Church but that would never cause me to give up the practice of the Faith.

You said that you once felt called to be a Catholic, in which case God offered you the gift of Faith. It sounds to me that the fault was on the RCIA program that has never instructed you fully. Maybe in all of this Our Lord is calling you to recognize more fully His presence in the Mass, to read more and to understand more and to love Him more.

If you think about it St Peter cut off the ear of the soldier who came to arrest Our Lord. It was wrong of St Peter to do that but it shows the love that St Peter had for Our Lord in trying to defend Him. If you think about it that way you should be able to see the love of the priest for the Blessed Sacrament and the love of the old man who was incensed that someone should show disrespect for Our Lord by wearing a cap. I mean there are cell phones going on in Mass, kids have been eating chips in the pew behind me, playing loud computer games, etc. That old man may just have reached the end of his tether ... and the fault is really on the parents rather than the old man. Many parents these day let their children treat the church like a playground.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jan, I greatly respect your respect for the Lord. I do agree with you that often with cell phones and children that there are lots of problems inside of the church. My point tho was that in my opinion God would rather have had the boy in church with a hat on than not to have had him in church at all. You really sometimes do not know what is going on. Unfortunately young people dress very differently from us older members. Right or wrong they are just a different generation. There was a person in our church who always sat on the back row even if the church was not full. People thought it was disrespectful and talked about him badly. Several Greeters urged him to "move up front" Later we learned that this man had been in a building with a bomb and he was horrified to not be seated near the door. My point is that I think God knows our hearts and why we are at church. Yes I am a Southern Belle and I agree gentlemen should remove hats but..... I would so much rather see people in the church with a hat on rather than not in the church at all.

And... the Protestants really dress up for church. I always disliked Easter Sunday in the Protestant church because it seemed to me more were there to wear "Easter Dresses" than to celebrate Christ. We had an old woman in church then and she never came to church in the winter. Someone asked her if it was too cold for her to get out in the winter. She said "No she was too poor to buy a fancy coat in the winter like the other women wore" I guess my point is God looks at people's heart and for me he just does not really worry if you have a hat on or off, a fancy coat or no coat, or if you sit right on the first row or by yourself in the back. He does not even in my opinion see us the way we see each other.... he looks at the heart. Disrespect is when we don't go to church not what we wear. (Unless of coarse it is vulgar_ Generations are different. Most people would just stare at those that walked in the church dressed like Jesus used to dress robe sandals and many back them were even bare footed. We would say that is totally inappropriate to meet God that way... and yet Jesus never said one word to them about how they were dressed when they came to learn from him. No hard feelings with your post I understand. This is just my opinion.

John Nolan said...

Anonymous @ 9:55

It is the duty of age to inform and correct youth. That someone should be 'insulted' by having his ignorance pointed out shows a lack of deference and humility which is sadly a sign of our times. Would you (if male) attend a synagogue without covering your head? Or attend a mosque or a Sikh temple without removing your shoes?

Perhaps Episcopalians think that 'eating at the Lord's table' is everyone's right, baptized or not. The Anglican Church in my experience was quite strict - you could not receive Communion without first being confirmed.

There is no excuse whatsoever for bad manners.

rcg said...

Maybe i am an insensitive lout: the kid was not acting appropriately. He may not have been a Catholic. The priest should tell him to remove the hat and ask if he is Catholic. If he isn't them bless and thank him for approaching the altar but that only Catholics in good standing should receive and if he is interested to know why then see me after Mass. Hopefully the priest wasn't abrasive about it but what he did seems correct.

Anonymous said...

John the Baptist wore a loin cloth. This was the man that Jesus sought out for his baptism.
Jesus didn't have a dress code he saw the heart. And no a loin cloth was not the average dress of Jesus' day.I guess if John the Baptist walked into a Catholic Church or any Church today for that matter he would be asked to leave.
. Such petty things wearing a hat to mass and not caring
about the very idea that the boy was in Church instead of sleeping late on a Sunday Morning.
In America the way teenagers dress.... a hat is the least of our concern. From what I have seen of England
the same is true there. No disrespect but you judge a person by a hat. We are not talking about vulgar clothing
we are talking about a simple hat. It the problem is such a big deal then it should be posted on the church door/
I know many rural families that are not very educated. I could very easily see them go somewhere and not know
it was inappropriate to wear a hat. How embarrassing to try to find God in a Church and your child is embarrassed.
Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,July 11, 2016 at 8:27 PM, I appreciate what you say about people shouldn't be treating Mass as a fashion runway to show off their clothes and nor should they be attending Mass dressed for the beach.

Yes, God knows and sees into the hearts. We can't. It is quite possible that God saw in the heart of the priest that he was defending the Blessed Sacrament, when someone came up for communion wearing a cap which is not normal at a Catholic Mass. He was right in that instance to question rather than the host be taken for a black Mass. Do you know what was in the heart of the man who approached with the cap? Was he a Catholic? Was he genuine, was he just thumbing his nose at convention or did he have malicious intent? We don't know. But why judge the priest and not the man with the cap? Things are not often as they may appear and there are two sides to every story.

God can also see into the heart of the man who approached the boy wearing the cap. He could perhaps see that the parents were flouting convention or had a don't care attitude to things and were disrespectful. They may bring the boy ever week to Mass with a hat on or inappropriately dressed. The man who approached them may have been fed up with the sloppy attitude at Mass that many have. I mean you see people sitting cross-legged in shorts. The poorer the people the more decently dressed they usually are. It is often those who have money who exhibit the "don't care, I'll do as I please attitude".

We live in a much different society to the one Our Lord lived in but His clothing, for example, was not poor. We know that because the soldiers cast lots for it because it was a seamless garment of the type worn by the High Priests of the temple. When he attended the temple didn't he throw the money changers out of the temple? He didn't say it is better they be there - in any state - rather he threw them out.

I think the vast majority of people know the conventions and the parents should not put their child into such a situation and they should have been teaching him respect - respect when he attends Mass, respect when he sits at a person's table, respect for others that I think is so sadly lacking.

John Nolan said...

'John the Baptist wore a loin cloth'. Actually we are told that he wore a garment of camel hair and a leathern girdle. Are you perhaps confusing him with Mahatma Ghandi?

A barefoot friar in a coarse habit would not look out of place in any Catholic church. I can't speak for Episcopalians.

Anonymous said...

Well John Nolan I am so thankful that the Holy barefoot friar can enter your church.
You better have someone at the door to remind him to remove his hat. You don't want to hurt his feelings.
I can speak for Episcopalians and we would also welcome him and anyone in our church.

Anonymous said...

"Eating at the Lord's table"........ And Jesus said "TAKE AND EAT FOR THIS IS MY BODY......

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 7.34 - it happened in an Episcopalian church:

"Just before the beginning of the Sunday service at a large Episcopal church in New York City, a man wearing a large hat was discovered sitting in the front row. An usher moved to his pew, leaned in, and discreetly asked him to remove his hat. The man replied that he would not. The head usher then was summoned, made the same request, and received the same answer. About that time the president of the women of the parish arrived and was asked to assist. She had the same dismal result. Finally, with only two minutes remaining before the opening hymn, the senior warden of the parish was also asked to intercede. He tiptoed up beside the man and tried to seize the hat, but the man was able to dodge his attempts to grab the hat. By now, there was no time for further confrontation.

… At the conclusion of the service, the four frustrated people waited for the man at the rear of the church. The senior warden approached him and said, "Sir, about the hat: perhaps you don't understand, but in the Episcopal church men do not wear hats at worship". The man replied, "Oh, but I do understand. I've been Episcopalian all my life. As a matter of fact, I've been coming to this church regularly for two years and I've never met a soul. But this morning I've met an usher, the head usher, the president of the church women, and the senior warden."

There are other incidents stating that people have been refused communion for wearing a hat ...

Anonymous said...

Yes Jan you are correct. We do have hateful old grumpy people in the Episcopal Church that would act just like that. They are after all just as grumpy and mean as the Catholic greeters.
I say to all: Catholic Episcopal Methodist etc...... IT IS ONLY A HAT.
When I see that Grumpy old usher at the door I just go to the side entrance.
And.... once he grabbed a hat from a teenager and Oh No ... it was Alice She is the priests daughter.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous July 13, 2016 at 12:11 PM - what would you say if a nudist was sitting in the pews? They are as naked as God made them and they are not offended by nudity. But a nudist could possibly be offended if he or she were removed from a Catholic Church or an Episcopalian Church. It just boils down to if you enter a place of worship you should be prepared to accept the conventions of that church. In life we simply can't do what we like and expect to get away with it. For an ordered society, church or whatever, people need to respect conventions and these days a lot of people don't and everyone gets offended if they're asked to shape up or ship out!

Anonymous said...

Public Nudity is against the law. The police would arrest them before they entered the church.
Now Im tired of talking about a silly hat. And Jan it is very sad but many people in the church
are "shipping out". We have got to be more open and loving and forget about what people wear.
I guess I am just a young catholic. If people are not dressed in a vulgar way they should be accepted.
I wish I had never written about a hat. So silly. What we need to be worried about is that the Catholic
Church from what I gather on this blog can't even agree on Adam and Eve. Now that is a problem.
A hat is not.

Gene said...

Paul C, I have been out of town. That is why the late response re: my Luther comment...much of what is going on in the Church now is what was going on in Luther's day...the abuse of Papal authority, apostate Priests, incorrect doctrine, and worthless Bishops.