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By Diogenes (articles ) | Jul 19, 2005

Taking a step back from the liturgy wars, Amy Welborn makes a penetrating observation about the markedly different spiritual quality of the weekday Mass.

The point is that people yearn to go to Mass and not be assaulted by ego and its fruits. Period.

Further, the "it costs so much" argument is derailed by another comment frequently offered here -- that a lot of people keep their liturgically-centered piety alive through attendance at daily Mass. Parish liturgies may be a riot of activity, from intense, artificial efforts to "make" community, to Scouts, catechists and Tupperware salespeople being blessed and honored, to a senseless variety of music to general banality, but you can usually count on a weekday Mass to get you grounded again.

And what do you experience there -- little or no music, a homily that is generally very focused, and yes, community. In general, you get what's more clearly prayer.

Strange, but true. For whatever reason, that "recollectedness" (recueillement) which the Catechism speaks about as necessary to eucharistic worship has managed in large measure to survive in ordinary weekday Masses in ordinary parishes. Let's pray the fact never attracts the attention of the professionals.

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  • Posted by: - Jul. 21, 2005 5:40 PM ET USA

    One of my formative experiences of the grandeur of the Mass, was serving Mass with just the priest and myself - kneeling on the brick floor saying the responses in Latin. All the glory of Christ and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass were there at the small side altar. That very quiet, Latin Mass with no music and no homily contained all the glory I could ever want or need. I am a great lover of sacred music and love good preaching............. but I know where the real glory is. Praise God!

  • Posted by: - Jul. 20, 2005 3:38 PM ET USA

    Recently I've left Mass with a song on my lips. At one mass the musicians performed for us something that sounded so like "Every Breath You Take" that I could actually sing Sting's lyrics right along with the chorus and never miss a beat --but worst--last weekend, the music director had the children on the alter singing "Love Shack" --different words, of course, but again, I could have actually sung right along "The Love Shack is a little place where people get together!"

  • Posted by: - Jul. 20, 2005 10:44 AM ET USA

    I think it's the noble simplicity that serves the mission well in regards to daily Mass. Simplicity in music, preaching, and "blessings" is what's appealing. In this simplicity Jesus is the center, which is what's SUPPOSED to happen. Faithful Religious used to teach us that simplicity, both spiritually and temporally, is a very effective medium of Grace. Maybe daily Mass is teaching us that now.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 20, 2005 8:56 AM ET USA

    Just back from 7 AM Mass at the "Très Saint Sacrement" parish here in Quebec City, I can say once again that Uncle D. is right once again. Sunday Mass at the same parish is often torture (I often leave the church and say my Rosary during the homily), but weekday Masses are often quite OK.

  • Posted by: Fr. William - Jul. 20, 2005 1:21 AM ET USA

    Thanks once again Diogenes. Indeed, Amy is on target with her spiritual insights... As a priest, I experience this as well... & priests need to bring this "recollectedness" more & more to the Sunday Masses that they offer... As for the "professionals"... they can either follow Jesus Christ's Mass as He has given it to the Roman Catholic Church or they go join the protestant group that most closely fits their agenda, for there's sadly nearly 30,000 to choose from... Jesus, have mercy on us.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 19, 2005 8:33 PM ET USA

    Actually daily Mass depends on the parish. I have learned which ones have the "community" mentality and let the laity do everything except the consecration. But I have found some parishes with early daily Mass that do ground. The simplicity Vatican II was looking for is there and you can worship and adore. Oddly, it also forms a sense of community of those or regularly share the daily sanity. I never liked going to Saturday eve Mass but my parish has a classical organist who only plays on Sat.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 19, 2005 6:41 PM ET USA

    I live in a small town that is down to one Sunday Mass, no daily Mass. Although a retired priest lives across the street from the Church, he is not welcome to offer Mass - they instead prefer Communion Services led by lay ministers. These Communion Services were 5 days a week, then 3 days and now only on First Friday. If you can kill off personal prayer at a daily Mass it is so much easier to attend the "show" on the weekend.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 19, 2005 6:01 PM ET USA

    Sadly, the daily Mass is a thing of the past for many parishes in the rural areas of the diocese of Rochester.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 19, 2005 4:00 PM ET USA

    Whoah-the problem is not the music but the quality of the music or more specifically the complete absence of any quality music whatsoever in most Churches. The Catholic Church has plenty of great music to accompany the liturgy but instead the music directors insist on 'performing' with songs that appear to have been lifted from a protestant hymnal. I greatly prefer no music to something like "on eagles wings". I gave up and now attend an indult Mass in Wash. DC "Serenity now!"

  • Posted by: - Jul. 19, 2005 1:51 PM ET USA

    Truer words were never spoken! I just sent this to all my friends who attend daily Mass. We go to pray, to receive Christ in the Eucharist and to give our thanks after Communion. We then have kind words in the parking lot and get on with our day--some of us to work.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 19, 2005 1:45 PM ET USA

    I hardly think "little to no music" encourages "recollectedness", as sacred music, the handmaiden of the liturgy, adds greater efficacy to the sacred text, as per Pope St. Pius X.