Tuesday, May 16, 2017


My headline is ironic as it says what I would like to hear but the "NO" refers in a most clever way  to Novus  Ordo General Intercessions.

Most parishes use canned ones. Some parishes write their own. Most are directed to the people in front of the one proclaiming the intercessions or the one proclaiming the intercession is telling God what He should do. In either case General Intercessions are horrid in content, Catholic spirituality and theology of prayer.

Let us have NO more General Intercessions which would save precious time that could be given to praying the Roman Canon which includes all the General Intercessions necessary in any Mass without making them up or making them into sermons or acts of praise for whom the Intercessions are intended.

Here are some recommended Intercessions for vocations from one American diocese that capture my lament and the reason why I advocate NO General Intercessions!

Vocation General Intercessions
First Sunday of Advent 2016 to Feast of Christ the King 2017
Cycle A

Attn: Pastors and Parish Vocation Promoters

First Sunday of Advent  November 272016
That those called to plow the Lord’s vineyard with the sword of His Word and Spirit will respond with generosity in serving Him as a priest, deacon or consecrated religious, we pray to the Lord.

Second Sunday of Advent -- December 42016
For all those especially chosen by Christ to "prepare the way of the Lord" in their hearts and the hearts of His people as priests, deacons, brothers and sisters, we pray to the Lord.

Third Sunday of Advent -- December 112016
For men and women called by the Lord to be priests, deacons and consecrated religious, that the peace of Christ will guard their hearts and minds as they proclaim the good news of salvation to His people, we pray to the Lord.

Fourth Sunday of Advent -- December 182016
For a deeper trust and docility to the Holy Spirit among persons discerning a call to serve Christ as a priest deacon or in the consecrated life, we pray to the Lord.

Christmas -- December 252016
That as Joseph and Mary welcomed the gift of the Child Jesus, all mothers and fathers will prayerfully foster each of their children’s vocations in Christ and especially welcome His call for priests, brothers and sisters, we pray to the Lord.

Feast of the Holy Family  (moved to Friday, December 30, 2016)

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God -- January 12017
That through our Blessed Mother’s intercession, all those being called to holiness as priests, deacons and in the consecrated life, will find joy and faithfulness in their vocations, we pray to the Lord.


Andrew said...

I like this idea. For years now since so few NO Masses have the appropriate silence built into them I usually find myself spacing out and creating my own silence at this time and not really listening or praying along with the general intercessions anyway. I usually notice somewhere in there we are praying for the deceased and pray along with that one, but I really just don't even hear the other ones. After the beginning which often includes an introduction from the priest or something ghastly like name tag Sunday once a month where you have to shake hands or tell something about yourself to your neighbor...then the readings and Gospel...the homily all chop chop chop with maybe the priest sitting down for 2.5 seconds before starting the intercessions I need time to myself at that point to recollect. I especially like your idea of using the time for Roman Canon 1, or the lost canon as you could perhaps call it in this part of the world! Everyone here wants a long homily and short everything else. Short prayers, short line to the Eucharist withe the plethora of extraordinary dispensers... and get out the door. It makes no sense. Maybe if we hadn't dumbed down the Mass and made it so ugly it would still teach and reach people without the priest having to talk so much on his own.

Anonymous said...

I cannot imagine anything more selfish than a desire to tune out the Universal Prayers during Mass.

Prayers I have heard are for those suffering from natural disasters, for those anxiously expecting the birth of a first child, for those engaged in research for the cure of diseases, for those who have given up the practice of the Faith, for those facing chronic illness and pain.

To say that "I really just don't even hear the other ones" - other than prayers for the deceased - is incredible.

ByzRus said...

Not knowing the origin of this particular addition and I could be way off base but, in a way, the General Intercessions seems like an attempt, and a very poor one at that, to replicate the Great Litany of the Byzantine Divine Liturgy. During the Divine Liturgy, the litany, in part, is fluidly repeated several times throughout because "Again and again" we cannot pray well unless we are at peace and reconciled with all around us. The General Intercessions on the other hand, just feels like an awkward, choppy, poorly prepared and executed ad-on (certainly, the introductions described by Andrew, above, reinforce this). It is made even worse when those that are leading it labor over the pronunciation of the names of the sick and newly departed. When attending the NO and acknowledging that my being distracted isn't the ideal, I'll confess to mostly tuning it out focusing instead on the various prayers found within my EF Missal. I'll also do the same during the responsorial psalm, concentrating on my own prayers as I usually have time during the stoppage for the cantor to cross the sanctuary and back.

The EF and the Divine Liturgy are so much more cohesive, stopping only for the homily and, to me, the result of this or, better yet the benefit is they about free from distractions. The NO with its awkward stoppages for the Responsorial Psalm, General Intercessions, Mystery of Faith, Sign of Peace, to me (I don't want to speak for others), creates a challenging prayer environment where concentration and fluidity is constantly being interrupted. For that reason, I too would advocate for its removal in favor of the completeness and superiority of the Roman Canon.

Anonymous said...

According to St Justin Martyr, "this particular addition" dates to the late first​ or early second century.

A river is not a river without fish, molluscs, rocks, algae, caddis fly larvae, a boat or two, and some sand turbidity. A celebration of the Eucharist without Psalm, Genl Int, sign of peace, mystery of faith is a lovely, "fluid," thing, bit rather sterile and unengaging.

Rood Screen said...

The intention of the Bidding Prayers is to pray for the salvation of the four subject groups. The focus, therefore, should be salvation.

Anonymous said...

The GIRM says otherwise.

"The Prayer of the Faithful

69. In the Prayer of the Faithful, the people respond in a certain way to the word of God which they have welcomed in faith and, exercising the office of their baptismal priesthood, offer prayers to God for the salvation of all. It is fitting that such a prayer be included, as a rule, in Masses celebrated with a congregation, so that petitions will be offered for the holy Church, for civil authorities, for those weighed down by various needs, for all men and women, and for the salvation of the whole world.

70. As a rule, the series of intentions is to be

a. For the needs of the Church;
b. For public authorities and the salvation of the whole world;
c. For those burdened by any kind of difficulty;
d. For the local community.

Nevertheless, in a particular celebration, such as Confirmation, Marriage, or a Funeral, the series of intentions may reflect more closely the particular occasion."

Православный физик said...

As the resident easterner, yes, it's a failed attempt to copy the Litany of Peace, and the various intercessions from the Byzantine Liturgy. And as has been mentioned earlier, does flow rather awkwardly....

For what it's worth, I don't think the general intercessions would be bad, if they were consistent....prayers for the Pope, prayers for our Archbishop/Metropolitan, prayers for the bishops, prayers for priests, prayers for our needs....and only if need be an intercession can be added for something that may come up unexpected....

rcg said...

When General Intercessions became a request line I recall some were contributed 'live' from the audience, err, congregation. Most were harmless but they still reminded me of Samuel Clemens' "War Prayer".

John Nolan said...

Having just sung 'et vitam venturi saeculi' we are brought down to earth with a bump by being made to listen to something from last night's television news. I only attend the Novus Ordo where it is in Latin, and find the 'Bidding Prayers' a tedious and unwelcome intrusion. The Church, pope and bishops are prayed for in the Eucharistic Prayer - once again, 'useless repetition' only refers to the Traditional Mass.

In any case, the GIRM does not mandate them, it merely says 'it is fitting that such a prayer be included.' They've been around since 1964 so dropping them might be controversial, but by all means go ahead if you want to.

BTW, that last sentence ends with a preposition but is 100% grammatically correct.

Carol H. said...

Andrew took the words right out of my mouth. I don't hear most of the general intercessions because people try to make them sound elaborate, and the excessive wordiness to convey a simple thought, puts me to sleep. The only intercessions I ever remember are the simple ones (for the unborn, for those who have died, for the priesthood).

Andrew said...

Yes, thank you. I will pray about this being selfish to tune out. I feel you didn't read what I wrote since no where did I say I have a desire to tune out. But maybe I was not clear although the context is pretty clear that I find the pace of the Mass psychologically difficult. I can see how my words appear a bit rough though before I get to that part. I don't choose to tune out, but I've accepted my limits that God has created me with. Sometimes we need to change it is true, but sometimes things others are doing need to change around us, and I think this was the point of Father's post. Perhaps in this regard I've prematurely given up and not allowed him to act in me as he wills, and that is selfish so I will pray about it. I find it incredible though that you would quote me and accuse of me of selfishness and not even put it in the right context of what I am talking about in the rest of my post. Not one drop of credit or assumption of possible good will was credited to me despite the rest of my message being about being being exhausted with the pace of things. Things like chop chop chop and 2.5 seconds of sitting down before we are on to the creed. For that matter I actually usually struggle being able to pray the creed. I hope this isn't selfish. I do believe in the creed and believe we should recite it, but I'm already tired before we get to the intercessions. So, I will assume this is a not so great crime of not reading something well, or more likely my own crime of not being clear enough, and not without any reason judging me unnecessarily although I certainly feel rather judged. Still it is useful to pray under your corrections. Back to the intercessions, I mean it is well and good that they might be praying for so many great and for terrible things going on, I do hear these too, but the priest and often the way we celebrate the NO are demanding what is psychologically impossible of me, because we have abandoned the Church's beautiful understanding of the human person and their need and capacity for how they worship God, for rather bad unscientific psychology at Vatican II and dumb ideas about community. Where is the silence Vatican 2 called for, the rest, the playfulness of the liturgy that would give me the strength to stand up and really hear these prayers and give them my all and join in. It doesn't matter to me if 99.9 percent of people are psychologically able to do the intercessions. I'm usually not. And you know what, maybe they are able to do it because they are doing some other things less well than me. Anyway I'm not upset if people are holier than me or have more stamina, I don't. Instead I'm exhausted mentally, often my energy has gone to getting my children to behave, or worrying about the upcoming Our Father where Father will ask the kids to come stand around the alter which I believe is wrong and against the rubrics but will still get stared at by all the old people wondering why my kids don't go up. Sure I should not worry about it. But you know what, the BS shouldn't be happening at all and it should change, not just me. This is what I love about the NO Mass. When you get through the NO and you feel like you've actually managed to pray you feel like you've accomplished something. Like a tough spiritual workout where you can say HA! despite everything I prayed and worshiped today! Prayer Karate workout. The EF, or an OF celebrated informed by the EF on the other hand makes prayer too effortless, like God accomplishes it instead of you or something. God respects free will, and he isn't going to force me to have the ability to pray in difficult situations unless he wills to give it to me. Is this selfish? I will certainly try hard to be open to the possibility. If I am indeed selfish I would certainly like to have the benefit of learning more so I can improve and convert. Thanks for your concern.