Saturday, March 14, 2020


Liturgical advice in the Coronavirus age (except for Mass cancelation and locking churches) is what we practiced in the pre-Vatican II Church:

1. Priests not interacting with parishioners before or after Mass because they were praying priestly devotions before and after Mass!

2. Laity not interacting with each other before, after or during Mass and if possible spreading themselves all over the church especially for daily Mass (remember priests forcing laity to sit up front in a tighter group and bringing them around the altar for the Liturgy of the Eucharist).

3. No common chalice

4. Less frequent Communion but at least in the pre-Vatican II Church it was because of unrepentant or unforgiven mortal sin, now its about a virus.

Anything else?


John Nolan said...

Less frequent Communion was because of the Eucharistic fast which was literally 'nil by mouth' from midnight. When Pius XII relaxed this to three hours before receiving, one could happily have breakfast and then receive at the 11 o'clock Mass, which in most parishes was the principal sung Mass.

The Egyptian said...

sorry john, not quite true, there was a REAL sense of sin, and the need for confession, what you had was the reason for the early mass, around here 7:30 or earlier, I still can remember going to both early 7:30 and late mass 9:00 and only 8 to 10 out of 50+ attending receiving communion at our our tiny rural parish. many times FR served almost no one, now it's conga line reinforced by ushers getting everyone in line to make it go smoothly.
P.S. one of the better attended masses was the "milk haulers mass" held at a nearby parish at 5:30 am, allowed the milk haulers enough time to sanitize their trucks and get on the road to pick up us dairy farmers milk
Do you remember pew rent, I do, our new (1973) priest Fr Cranky decided to force everyone to move to the front and pack the front pews, so he roped off the last 10 pews, stood in sanctuary and watched with his twisted grin. about 4th couple in were the elderly Cuether family, husband and wife and their mentally disabled daughter, the ALWAYS had the last pew on the Mary side, old Ben pulled out his pocket knife and cut the rope, saying just loud enough " my family has paid for this pew since the time the church was built,I'm damned well sitting in it" after that the other farmers that came in did the same and that was the end of that

John Nolan said...


In the 19th century pew rent was a major source of income in both the Catholic and Anglican Churches. It is my understanding that the practice was forbidden by Pius X (1903-1914) which was before both our lifetimes.

TJM said...

John Nolan,

My parish collected pew rent up until Vatican Disaster II. I recall that it was specifically mentioned in the Sunday Bulletin each week. Our parish was very mainstream, so I am curious about this. This is actually the first time I have heard of this being an issue.

I would agree that once the midnight fast rule went away more people went to Holy Communion on Sunday, and the confessionals were doing a brisk business, a far cry from today !!!

rcg said...

John, not quite. When you cross into western Ohio from Indiana you set you clock ahead an hour and your calendar back 100 years.