Thursday, May 21, 2020


There is no humility when at ordinations of bishops, priests and deacons, there is self-congratulatory applause for each other at these liturgies. Let’s recover the sobriety of the Latin Rite Liturgy. Ban not only the pandemic producing common chalice but also applause at any kind at Mass.


Anonymous said...

The ordinands can prevent the applause by stating that they'll open the books on who covered up for sex abuse, who covered up for McCarrick and who destroyed all the files.

TJM said...

Congratulating themselves on 60 years of failure. How special

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

Pardon me, but did this new bishop not have access to a comb and razor?

Applause of any kind in church, in my opinion, is degrading. It makes me very ashamed. It is as if the dignity of the celebration and persons are being lowered by some kind of common cat-calling and hooting. I think they deserve better than that, and deserve true honor, not base responses.

I hope bishops and priests will begin to act with true dignity, not as if they are at a casual sporting event or at the curtain call of a dinner/theater production.

God bless.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Amen! Bee.

TJM said...

Father McDonald,

I second that!

ByzRus said...

"Anonymous TJM said...
Congratulating themselves on 60 years of failure. How special"

What TJM said....Fortunately, this need for positive reinforcement is, generally, not a characteristic of the Eastern Churches.

Anonymous said...

What a schlub.

UK-Priest said...

How have Bishops caused the pandemic? What total nonsense!

It’s a shame you chose to use your blog in this way to foster discontent and confusion causing division within the body of Christ.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Dense UK priest, the sex abuse pandemic.

TJM said...

Father McDonald,


Ps: I still think UK Priest is Anonymous K

ByzRus said...

"Anonymous UK-Priest said...
How have Bishops caused the pandemic? What total nonsense!

It’s a shame you chose to use your blog in this way to foster discontent and confusion causing division within the body of Christ"

To YOU! Not us. Write such that you aren't making statements on our behalf. Last, if it's so bad then, stop reading/commenting.

Anonymous said...

UK-Priest, as the saying goes: “Hard-headed can make you stupid.”

TJM said...


I suspect UK "Priest" is an avid Tablet aka Bitter Pill reader! I wish he would go peddle his tripe over at Father Z. He would receive an epic takedown

Anonymous said...

I completely agree. Our pastor here in Savannah has asked us to "thank" the choir with applause, as if they were performing for us (especially on Christmas and Easter); he's solicited applause for the children during the mass in which they made their First Communion (which to some extent, spoiled the beauty and dignity of the occasion for me); and when we have a visiting priest assisting him at Sunday mass, he begins with the greeting "(i)n the name of the Father, and of the Son....", then follows with "good morning, everybody!," then introduces the priest and solicits applause for him (he always "greets" us with "good morning/afternoon," even though I'm there to worship the Lord, not "greet" the priest during mass - that's for after mass). He seems to completely forget that the Lord is in His tabernacle just a few feet away and we are there to worship him, not participate in activities appropriate to a football game.

TJM said...

Maybe your pastor should applaud the congregation for showing up!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it part of the ordination ceremony that the congregation applaud to show their agreement that the man is a suitable candidate for ordination? Thus happens BEFORE the actual ordination.

Anonymous said...

"The ordinands can prevent the applause by stating that they'll open the books on who covered up for sex abuse, who covered up for McCarrick and who destroyed all the files."

Actually, in that case I would WANT to applaud!!!

rcg said...

The ones to whom the Mass is directed should show their appreciation by what ever means is within their powers, however limited.

From Fr. Khouri said...

I am dense; Father, are you saying giving the Precious Blood to the laity is a cause of spreading the virus?

If so why has there not been major outbreaks of influenza and other highly communicable diseases in the past.

Wouldn't it be better to simply say you feel that the Lord's Blood should be withheld from the laity?

Anonymous said...

“Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment.Such attraction fades quickly – it cannot compete in the market of leisure pursuits, incorporating as it increasingly does various forms of religious titillation.” then-Cardinal Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liturgy(Ignatius Press, 2000)

Charles G said...

I don't like applause in Church either, but I thought it was permissible in connection with the celebration of sacraments, like when there is applause for the neophytes at the Easter Vigil? Having lived in Asia, I can say that the Filipinos generally clap at the end of each and every mass. It is unfortunately become an entrenched custom.

JR said...

Here's my list of what the bishops and priests should stop doing when Mass opens up again and things get "back to normal" to make the Mass more reverent:
a) stop ad-libbing like an emcee at the beginning of Mass;
b) stop skipping the Penitential Act and going right to the Kyrie;
c) stop only doing one of the three Penitential Act options Sunday after Sunday and also do the Rite of Blessing and Sprinkling Holy Water once in a while and not just at the Easter Vigil. Some variety is nice;
d) stop using the throw-away pew Missals that have too many songs that sound like TV show and movie theme songs, and invest in good hard covered hymnals with mostly traditional and reverent hymns;
e) stop having the people clap for the choir, the new altar servers, the visitors, those having birthdays and/or anniversaries, those returning to the parish, those who received civic awards, etc. etc. NO MORE CLAPPING! EVER! Mass is supposed to be about worshiping GOD...not each other;
f) stop having the people sing the secular "Happy Birthday Song" which the family will sing later at home when they get their cake and presents. How about giving them instead the birthday blessing from the Book of Blessings...same for anniversaries, too.
g) stop Communion from the cup; if people want to receive the Precious Blood, give Communion by intinction;
h) stop telling jokes and personal stories and talking about the favorite sports team winning or losing at the homily and stick to explaining how the Scriptures can have meaning to us.
i) stop only using Eucharistic Prayer II, which is meant for weekdays on Sunday because "it's the shortest" week after week. Variety is the spice of life;
j) stop being willing to do "just the minimum" and not prepare properly for the liturgies, especially Holy Week when the liturgy is very different and people are trying to follow along;
k) stop allowing people to socialize in the body of the church before and after Mass when some people are actually trying to pray and not be distracted by talking and laughter;
l) stop allowing people to chew gum all during Mass (what do they do with the wad when they go up for Communion?) Oh, and checking their cell phones during Mass;
m) stop the "kidney brigade" of youngsters getting up and strolling to the bathroom all during Mass because they're bored. It's distracting;
n) stop the "meet and greet" hand shaking at the beginning of Mass and at the Rite of Peace where some people think they have to shake hands with everyone within 25 feet of them. Also the hand-holding at the Lord's Prayer.
o) stop 'canonizing' people at their funeral. Preach more about sin and the Sacrament of Penance.

I could probably go all the way to z), but that's enough to make a point.

Anonymous said...

JR - Yes, you point is well taken.

That is, the Mass is about you, your personal prayer, your preferences, your predilections, your pet-peves.

You are a shining example of what is wrong, not with the Church, but with our culture at large. "Me Me Me"

TJM said...

Anonymous K,

I think JR is basically saying is: say the black, do the red, in stark contrast to many priests

ByzRus said...


What crap/nonsense. Now it's JR's fault that he wants quality, not a variety show? The people have a right to good liturgy which is markedly different from what's called for and what's being described.

Anonymous said...

Koury (above commenter): "koury means priest for those who do not know that. But if you are a priest you know (as a layman ought to know) that one does not need to receive from the chalice to receive the Precious Blood. We receive the Living Glorified Christ in either specie, bread or wine.

John Nolan said...

Omnes gentes, plaudite manibus; jubilate Deo in voce exsultationis. (O clap your hands, all ye nations; shout unto God with the voice of joy.) Psalm 46.

So I suppose you can get away with it by saying that the applause is not for the bishop, but for God who has seen fit to choose him.

When a concert was given in a church or cathedral (and I'm talking Anglican) it was customary to request no applause. It still happens, but is becoming rarer.

After Sunday Mass the organist, whose role has hitherto been to accompany, has the chance to shine as a soloist, and play some of the most sublime organ music ever written. Most of the congregation are leaving and he ends up playing to an almost empty church. To me this shows disrespect to both performer and composer. I stay until he has finished and yes, I applaud. The poor fellow deserves no less.

Fr. Michael Kavanaugh said...

John - When I was on sabbatical in 2004 I was lucky to find St. Thomas Church adjacent to the campus of the University of Chicago. The first thing I noticed was the stained glass windows. On one side are the Greek, Syriac, and Arab doctors of the Church. On the other side are the Latin doctors. You just don't run into many churches with doctors of the Church in the windows, much less the Easterners!

Then, there was the organist... He was principal organist at the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel at the Univ of Chicago and was utterly brilliant. The Rockefeller chapel organ is an E. M. Skinner with - wait for it - 6,980 pipes in 108 ranks. The organ at St. Thomas organ was not nearly as grand, but his preludes and postludes, which almost everyone was present to hear, were astounding. He always got applause.

1204 said...

Anonymous, I am very familiar with the doctrine of concomitance. Are you familiar with the Dominical command found in the Synoptics, "Take this all of you and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my blood...?" Certainly, the Lord's Body and Blood are fully present in both species, that is not the issue and you confuse the issues.

Concomitance and the Lord's command don't negate each other. The one refers to the fullness of the Lord presence in both species, the other obedience to the Lord's command, not his suggestion or his wish, but his command. The two are not opposites though.

Your snide comment about my priesthood and the foolish expectation that all the laity would know of the doctrine of concomitance betrays in both cases a personal hubris and air of superiority on your part.

If the doctrine were actually taught to the laity they might know it. In most cases only those those priests who want to refuse the Lord's Blood to the faithful teach it. They use the doctrine to falsely deny the Precious Blood to anyone but clergy.

We call this "pick and choose Catholicism." If priests wish to deny the Precious Blood also mention the Lord's command regarding the Chalice and then simply tell the people, "I prefer that you (the laity) not receive the Precious Blood."

Again, personally, I'll take the Dominical words over the General Councils of the Latin Church or other later legislation any day refusing the chalice to the lay faithful any day. If most of Jn 6 is to be taken literally by Catholic and Orthodox Christians then the Dominical words at the Last Supper should be as well.

1204 said...

Beautiful music for the recessional is wonderful, but the "Ite missa est" has been given and the recessional is not part of the Liturgy. It is a recessional to "play" out both clergy/ministers and congregation.

JR said...

Anonymous at 10:06 am: No need to get nasty, or is that your way of being defensive? I'll bet not a single item I mentioned happens at any of Fr. McDonald's Masses. Mass should be about reverently worshiping God and not like attending the monthly meeting of the KofC or the CCW.

John Nolan said...


Actually there is no recessional in the Roman Rite. So it is permissible to sing a vernacular hymn after a Sung Mass in the EF, and in the OF there is no reason to stick around for the final hymn, although it is a long-standing custom not to leave until the ministers have retired to the sacristy. But those who casually stroll out of what is in effect a recital, would not do the same in a concert performance. It's a strange anomaly.

Fr Kavanaugh

I have noticed that in Paris the congregation remain in their places until the organist has finished. The great French organ tradition managed to survive the upheavals of the 1960s, although the widow of the famous blind organist and composer Jean Langlais, organiste titulaire at Ste-Clotilde from 1945 to 1988, recalled bitterly in a BBC interview that he was once told by the church authorities that his music was no longer welcome.

Twenty-odd years ago Naji Hakim, who succeeded Olivier Messiaen at La Trinité, gave a recital in the Royal Albert Hall on the Willis organ which had been played, when newly installed, by Anton Bruckner in 1871. The climax of Hakim's recital was a massive 20-minute improvisation on a theme which he had just been handed in a plain envelope (it was actually a Scottish folk song). Absolutely breathtaking.

Fr. Michael Kavanaugh said...

John - I've known two musicians who could do something like Hakim did. At my first assignment the organist was Howard Simpers, a musical prodigy. At weddings, he could play the organ with two feet and one hand, and the trumpet with two lips and the other hand. Not joking.

We have a National Public Radio called "From the Top" which features young performers. I think I recall hearing a violinist and a flautist, each being 9 years old. Both were drop-dead amazing.