Saturday, March 7, 2020


Surely the ad orientem position of the priest at the altar as in the EF Mass prevents him from spreading contagion if he coughs or sneezes since he isn't facing the congregation and causing an thick mist of spray to go forth from his mouth covering the congregation.

And Holy Communion (with confession) once a year and during the Easter Season (Easter Duty) sounds sensible to me! That will cut down on germs spread by touching hands or mouth of communicants by the priest who alone distributes Holy Communion, wearing face mask and hand disinfectant after each person is given Holy Communion. Takes longer, but what the heck! There's nothing wrong with erring on the side of abundant caution!


Anonymous said...

Good grief, good Father! I hope that was a very poor attempt at humor. If not, even poorer.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Yes tongue in cheek, but not for ad orientem.

UK Priest said...

This really is getting rather tiresome. NHS & CDC advice is you need to be within 2 foot of an infected person for 10-15 mins to catch coronavirus. I doubt you could cough 25+ feet to reach the congregation even if you tried, and I’d hope you cover your mouth anyway.

Don’t you realise these constant posts spreading misinformation about coronavirus infection vectors are adding to the hysteria, as well as being highly inappropriate for a priest. Likewise, you should keep your private opinions about liturgical matters as private. Your job is not to disrespect legitimate liturgical options, nor to actively campaign for your preferences. In the past you have accused Pope Francis of causing confusion and scandal among the faithful but, as far as I can see, that’s exactly what your blog does.

Btw - I’d also say that it’s entirely inappropriate for a priest to publicly express party political views in the way you have been doing about Trump. In the UK, I’d quite rightly receive a visit from the VG and my faculties suspended if I acted in the way you have been doing.

Perhaps use Lent as a time to take a break from posting and reflect on the perception your blog is giving?

John Nolan said...

If the common chalice and the sign of peace are suspended for a considerable time, then simply fail to reinstate them, and see if anyone complains.

After all, God moves in mysterious ways, and His sending of this particular plague may be one of them.

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

I went to a funeral Mass in Chicago today at a definitely Novus Ordo church (they have a directly behind the wooden altar, a 5' in diameter baptismal fountain which has two levels, and the water flows out of a spout on the second level down into the first. Our Lord's tabernacle is at a side altar which cannot be seen from the pews due to a huge pillar in the line of sight). The holy water basins were dry (and I forgot my bottle of holy water in the car!) and during the Mass I spied, at a small table on the side where the altar servers (two girls and one boy) retrieved items like the basin and cruet for the washing of the priests fingers, a large pump bottle of green colored Purell.

I didn't watch to see how it was administered. I had my eyes closed from after the consecration until the Ecce Homo, oh, excuse me, the Behold the Lamb of God. But there were no EMC's since the Mass was con-celebrated by 3 priests, so I don't know if they used the hand sanitizer at all.

Lord, help us.

God bless.

The Egyptian said...

We've had the liturgy of the hand sanitizer for the "distributors" for at least 5 years now but not for Fr, now he does it at the altar, the emc's head up into the sanctuary, all 7 of them and process into the sacristy on each side and return rubbing their hands together, The Liturgy of the Hand Wringing

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

UK priest @ 5:11, as one who was trained to be a priest at of one the most progressive and heterodox seminaries in the USA in the late 70’s, I find your comments truly a double standard. As far as the virus hysteria, I mock most of that, except concern about the truly disgusting common chalice. Many of my posts, not all, are tongue in cheek.
And suppressing orthodox concerns or any concerns even from heterodox leads to the kind of silence that exacerbates abuse from liturgical to sexual.

John Nolan said...

UK Priest

I doubt that many of the people who emptied the UK's supermarket shelves of lavatory paper in a hysterical spasm of panic buying were influenced by Fr McDonald's blog. Saturation cover by the media and portentous warnings by government agencies probably had more to do with it.

As for matters liturgical, because options are technically legitimate does not mean that they are in any sense desirable, and most of the critics of them (and the 1960s 'reforms' as a whole) are in fact priests. Perhaps your deanery has a vow of silence concerning what is the priest's primary function; in which case you need to get out more.

Yes, parading the toxicity of US party politics on this blog is wearisome. However, it will not have escaped your notice that a certain clerical commentator has no compunction about wading in on the opposing side.

John Nolan said...


I suspect that 'UK Priest' is neither a priest nor from the UK. No educated Briton over the age of 25 would use the noun 'disrespect' as a transitive verb. It's an American neologism.

Like his liturgical options, it is no doubt legitimate, but is nonetheless barbarous. Could he be yet another sobriquet for our resident troll 'Anonymous'?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"And suppressing orthodox concerns or any concerns even from heterodox leads to the kind of silence that exacerbates abuse from liturgical to sexual."

First, Allan, you have not been suppressed.

Second, many of your concerns about the liturgy have nothing to do with orthodoxy. You express your preferences, not some "orthodox" understanding of the theology of the mass.
There is nothing unorthodox about the things in the Ordinary Form that you say you despise, whether those be lay readers or the Responsorial Psalm or other elements.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Thank you Mike, aka, UK priest.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

You're missing the mark again, Allan. I'm not UK priest.

Fr. David Evans said...

Like so many, Father, UKPriest seems to have had a sense of humour by-pass. It is in these days of pestilence we need ti be able to smile. Likewise, his tentative contact will reality about the efficacy of President Trump, appears to have ignored the replication in the UK after the massive majority for THE Conservative Party - rather than our own (soon to disappear) Magic Grandpa Corbyn. Let us hope this bodes similar for your own Magic Grandpas ( Saunders and Biden)over the pond!!

Proverbs 29:9If a wise man contends with a foolish man, Whether the fool rages or laughs, there is no peace.

John Nolan said...


ByzRC said...

The high altar in the photo looks like a glimpse into heaven. Neither of the altars in the attached inspire me in the same way. I cannot imagine that I'm alone thinking this way.

While the renovation is an improvement over what was in place (the former was assembled with truly awful, train station looking flooring), the finished sanctuary is trying to look like something it will never be. It hints at tradition but, it does not and will not deliver the same aesthetic. Though the latter significantly easier on the eyes than the former, this type of design always leaves me wanting more. Ad orientem with a high altar type arrangement would likely satisfy that wanting.

Anonymous said...

Fr. MJK, I have never heard or read that FRAJM “despises” the OF. I have “known” him for 30 years, as our pastor, then blog host here. To the contrary, many times here he has said he loves celebrating both forms. You and he have squabbled over Liturgy for decades now, earlier in the Southern Cross, and later here. Maybe you need to move on... Most of us here love our Church and her liturgies, tolerating the less-well done and praising the better-done. Giving glory to God is the goal, yes?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Anonymous 10:14 - I have known Fr. McDonald for 40 years. Not long ago Fr. McDonald posted a list of the things he "despises" in the OF, including the Responsorial Psalm and lay readers.

I will not be moving on.

I also love the Church and her liturgies. And I hope we all give glory to God since that is our goal.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Mike that is the problem with your cherry picking, I have always said that readers and acolytes should receive seminary like training and be formally installed in these ministries. I am in favor of women allowed but like deacons we don’t need 10’s or 100’s involved to pat ourselves on the back for enabling lay active participation.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Allan, I didn't cherry pick anything. You posted here that you despised the Responsorial Psalm and lay readers.

If, now, you feel the need to adjust that and say you are perfectly happy with men and women who are formally installed as readers and acolytes, that's your choice.

But, of course you know that, at present, women cannot be formally installed in these ministries, so you can't say that.

Your backtracking now has you opposed to women as acolytes and readers.

And you are still on record as having stated here that you despise the Responsorial Psalm.

Anonymous said...

Well, FRAJM, we may just have to wait for God to move FRMJK on...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Add to my comment at 12:15... "seminary like" training is not needed for lay readers and altar servers in parish churches. Nothing near seminary like training is needed.

We have any number of lectors who, with no seminary training whatsoever, do a marvelous job proclaiming the Word at mass. They are either blessed with natural talent or they have developed their public speaking ability over time.

Altar servers, too, run the gamut from the "expert" to the "easily distracted" level, often, but not always, congruent with their age. One of my most ardent servers is a 10 year old. He LOVES serving and volunteers every time he comes to mass. He does a great job, but still has his moments of distraction. I'll let him grow into the job.

JR said...

My feeling about any particular blog is like a TV channel. If you like what you see, stay tuned in. If you don't, just change the channel. Or in the case of a blog, get your own.

John Nolan said...

Actually, the responsorial psalm (resurrected by Joseph GĂ©lineau) is older than the Gradual, being in use at the time of St Augustine. It should, however be sung, and preferably not in the Italian operatic style favoured in St Peter's these days. Not long ago it was being sung in Latin to a simple Gregorian tone.

A major drawback in the Lectionary texts is the suppression of the equally ancient Lenten Tract and its replacement by a brief 'gospel acclamation' which doesn't really work and ignores the fact that the interlectionary chants are essentially meditative.