Saturday, August 2, 2014

A Short Insight on Improvisation at Mass

For the umpteenth time since my reversion, I found myself getting agitated at Mass to the point where I really had to check myself.  You name it, I saw it and/or heard it.  At the expense of sounding like a broken record, the shenanigans don't happen at the TLM because there is no opportunity for improvisation. 

I'm not going to get upset with myself anymore when it angers me because the priest or a congregant takes liberties. If the Mass hasn't been messed with,  distractions caused by improvisation or other misbehavior would be few and far in between. 

You can have the most orthodox priest possible celebrate the Novus Ordo and someone will still attempt to sabotage the solemnity of the Mass.  Because they simply can. 

I know I sound like a broken record.  I don't care. 

I saw something on an FSSP site recently that succinctly explained why reverence at Mass is a must. To paraphrase, the author reminded us that Christ gave us the Eucharist in order to be close to us, but His desire to have us draw near does not remove the need for the utmost respect. 



  1. I was thinking of these same things this morning. I recalled Jesus saying, Martha, you are worried about many things... etc.

    The FSSP priest is right - we must have reverence. It has taken some time, but because I try to recollect myself through prayer before Mass - even amid organ rehearsal and people talking, I'm able participate spiritually through out Mass - I remain recollected throughout Mass. Even with the applause, the 'hymns' the announcement, the novelties, the kids being kids, and so on. It's not that I don't notice, but I'm focused upon Christ - and reverence and interior worship 'happens' - even if I'm distracted, I can return to that awareness. I don't know how to write about this without coming off holier than thou - and though it is sheer grace, we can acquire it through practice, and often Our Lord bestows it. We prepare ourselves for it through prayer and attentiveness - the practice of recollection - or the presence of God.

    The reverence we have cannot be taken from us - like Jesus said about Mary. If we choose the better part, he will not let us be disturbed. We can do this at the Ordinary Form or the Extraordinary Form.

    After Mass, in my thanksgiving after Communion, the noise of the organ, the people talking - often shouting and laughing, really becomes a wall of white noise that actually facilitates recollection. I can lose myself in Christ.

    I think we need to try harder to be able to pray without traditional supports - to practice recollection throughout the day - at lunch, in traffic, on the street, the train, while the tv is on. I think religious contemplatives such as Mother Teresa's sisters and St. John Paul II were able to do that.

    It is very important to try and practice this prayer of recollection.

  2. Good points Terry and admittedly much of the fault lies with me. You do know I attend and support both forms of the Mass. I was just trying to make the point that it's easier for me at the TLM where there is virtually no opportunity for people and laity to act up. I am a bit of a spiritual mess right now. Thanks for the much-needed nudge to work harder.


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