"Lord, please DON'T hear this prayer"

By Diogenes (articles ) | Oct 31, 2004

Ever been nettled by Prayers of the Faithful at Mass that sound like National Public Radio? George Weigel hits a live nerve in explaining why he can't join in petitioning God to let Himself be instructed by Nina Totenberg:

The subscription services that supply many parishes with their general intercessions often turn the petitions into mini-sermons in which various messages, theological and political, are encoded. I particularly dislike the now-widespread custom of jumping immediately from a pro forma prayer for the universal church or the pope to a second, much lengthier petition for some political desideratum, often accompanied by a protracted secondary clause suggesting, not too subtly, that all social goods are to be secured by government action.

Feel free to post below the most egregious specimens gleaned from your own experience of massgoing.

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  • Posted by: - Nov. 02, 2004 10:31 PM ET USA

    from Living With Christ, Nov. 21, 2004: (publication of Canadian Bishops' Conference) For the Church, called to welcome all God's children with open arms, we pray. . . For world leaders who model Jesus' message of compassion & inclusion, we pray . . . For all victims of war, discrimination and injustice, who experience the justice and equality of the new reign of Jesus in our ministry, we pray . . .

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Nov. 02, 2004 3:47 PM ET USA

    GOR, I'm sure it would be Eve and Adam now, if they were ever mentioned. I know my parish and others in this area translate "Orate fratres..." as "Pray, Sisters and Brothers...."

  • Posted by: - Nov. 02, 2004 9:40 AM ET USA

    Yes, it's hard to come up with examples - but you know them when you hear them. Related to that is not so much what is said but how it is said. The whole 'PC' business. In my parish there is always a prayer for our military. Which is good. They need our prayers - God bless them. But why does it always take the form of "our women and men in uniform"...? Would it strain the bounds of PC-ness to say "men and women"...? I expect "Eve and Adam" will follow shortly...

  • Posted by: - Nov. 02, 2004 8:57 AM ET USA

    I am a retired priest. I always thought the Prayers of the Faithful were a bit of brain-washing. I dislike them and I skip them when I can. I didn't know other people felt that way, too. I am glad to know that.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 01, 2004 1:32 PM ET USA

    On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception a few years ago, this gem went something like this: May women all over the world be given equal rights so they can live their lives with dignity. Let us pray to the Lord. This was in a diocese well-known for dissent. One can assume they meant reproductive "rights," too.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 01, 2004 5:11 AM ET USA

    Vote pro life.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Oct. 31, 2004 6:58 PM ET USA

    Remarkable. I can't come up offhand with verbatim examples, but they are legion. I thought I was the only one who frequently did not ask the Lord to hear a particular prayer. Behold, I'm in good company. I didn't even know that they came from a service. I assumed some jerk at St. Dunstan's was making them up. You mean I am PAYING for these?

  • Posted by: - Oct. 31, 2004 1:25 PM ET USA

    One of many reasons I don't go to the Novus Ordo and would gladly drive 200 miles to avoid it. Once upon a time the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was free from this kind of tripe. "Inculturation" and the "active participation" of the laity constantly interfere with the goals of the Mass: an unbloody re-presentation of Christ's sacrifice on the Cross and perfect worship of Almighty God. Whatever social benefits accrue from "modern" accretions could easily be had over coffee and donuts after Mass.