Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mass chat: Another Mass with a baptism...

[exhale] ... but I'm not complaining.
Baptism was encapsulated within the Mass last evening - just like the Easter vigil. 
I get it. 
The going down to the hot tub near the entrance of the church, with the entire congregation - right after the break homily; the photos, the songs, the kids screaming, the applause, the family memories...  I get it. 
Then back to finish up Mass.
All is well.


  1. The Roman Ritual says that baptism at Sunday Mass “should not be done too often”. The biggest problem in my experience is that they turn it into a circus of sorts & don't properly follow the rubrics.

  2. Anonymous12:52 AM

    I woke up late last week and had to attend an OF Mass. I hadn't been to one in a while and it was a bit of a shock to the system. For a liturgy designed to uplift and engage the populace, most people seemed to stand in a fog, with a slanted posture and an expression of, "Let's get this over with." I could give a detailed critique, but won't bore you. The Mass concluded with 10 minutes to go, so the pastor asked us to be seated and proceeded to read the bulletin to us to fill in the time. The parish softball team was undefeated, so a round of applause for them. The old organist was visiting, so a round of applause for him. A new organist was hired, so a round of applause for those who found him. (Really?) The only thing I could liken it to was a Presbyterian funeral I had attended in April, except that was less depressing.


  3. Al - exactly. I certainly can see it happening in a parish without a priest in residence - perhaps a rural community. But it happens a lot in town - the best thing about it is that Catholics are having babies. Praise God.

    Clark - that happens a lot as well. I think the people stand in a fog that way because the music/hymns are so bad - have you seen Fr.'s list of banned songs on Orthometer blog? LOL!

  4. Well I'll come out and say it. I don't like it when their's a baptism in the middle of Mass. It's a private family zoo and the rest of us are embarrassed bystanders.

  5. Terry: Soon we will be singing "Let Me Entertain you", you know, cuz the Holy Spirit was so moved.

    Clark: You are too young to remember a broadway musical, but there was thing song, Aplause, Aplause. Terry will remember. Maybe they can pipe it in and then no one will have to clap. I was grateful there no tap dancing last night.

    LOL Dymphna!

    "The Mass is no longer the Holy Sacrifice but the Meal at which the priest is the waiter. The bishop, I suppose, is the head waiter." (This is my favorite!)

    Every attendance at Mass leaves me without comfort or edification. I shall never, pray God, apostatize but Church going is now a bitter trial." Again he writes, "I find the new liturgy a temptation against Faith, Hope, and Charity but I shall never, pray God, apostatize."

    All Evelyn Waugh

    Forgive me Father for I have sinned: at Mass yesterday I wondered about the precise definition of banal. Forgive me Father for I have sinned: I wondered why have they traded sacred music for muzak. Oh, this was a first. An woman usher who stood at the end of each pew, like an old Irishman, only she bent down and lifted up my kneeler for me before I was allowed to exit my pew. She collects the cash, too. Oh dear, I will have to save that for next week.

  6. I "get" why they do baptisms during Mass - the whole "welcome to the Catholic Church by the whole congregation" thingy. That doesn't mean I have to like it.

    Clark - just as many people looked like that at Mass pre-Vat II. Trust me - I was there. There's an old book out called "Growing Up Catholic" that lays out the whole thing in an absolutely hilarious fashion. What really makes it funny is how spot on it is.

    That being said, I think most OF Masses are such a trial that I simply won't attend. If I can't go to the FSSP parish, I don't go. I've discussions with priests who have stated that if it has become such a danger to my faith, then I shouldn't attend.

    I'm way past the "offer it up" stage. The very fact that Mass has become such a trial for many people is troubling and sad. That is something that you never heard before Vat II (unless you stumbled into church and discovered six candles on the alter - oy vey!!)

  7. Growing up Presbyterian we DID have baptisms during the Sunday service..we did the baptism in front of the church so that all could see...this went for babies, children, adults. I myself was baptised at 12 years and that was a most joyful time of my life. It was not a zoo--it was a very somber and emotional ceremony. Afterwards the church had a small reception with punch and cake for the newly baptised, and everyone meeted and greeted. You were truely welcomed as family.

    It was a disappointment to me to learn that the Catholic church--with the exception of the Easter vigil--held baptism as private family a Presbyterian we had always looked forward to welcoming the newly baptised into the family of Christ. Just another way of disconnecting everyone from each other.


  8. Adrienne: They did look like that, lol! But clapping? Heavens no! LOL.
    I think I too am moving on past the "offer it up stage". Fr. Hardon says in " How to Cope w/ Liturgical Absue" that one can attend a Byzantine rite. There are, sadly, no FSSP in the DC area. My next inestigative mission will be Opus Dei. They have a chapel downtown in DC at noon. This will be my next venuture. They don't clap at Opus Dei, do they, lol?

    I may have to join a convent, lol..If only some one would have me. Do you think that priests are really so oblivious now, w/ the internet? They must read blogs. They must know what a bitter trial it has become. I just don't get it.

    Always at the end of my thought process on 'the Mass', I conclude, He has his reasons.

  9. Sara: I understand. We are all different :)

  10. Sara: I wonder, parentheticlly, if perhaps Baptisms have historically been private because parents used to have infants baptized asap after birth, as the CCC recommends. I was curious and so went to the Catheshism and found this--it was a kind of foot note:

    1252 The practice of infant Baptism is an immemorial tradition of the Church. There is explicit testimony to this practice from the second century on, and it is quite possible that, from the beginning of the apostolic preaching, when whole "households" received baptism, infants may also have been baptized.

  11. A Random Friar12:28 PM

    I think baptisms during a Sunday Mass could be done well, as long as they were done with care, reverence, and no self-important fanfare.

    I cringe when I do them, because I know a round of clapping will intrude in the middle of Liturgy.

  12. Friar: It is just simply so garrish, isn't it?

  13. Friar: A private Baptism would lose its entertainment value though, righ? lol.

  14. All our baptisms are done during Sunday Mass as well, but we take baptism very seriously. Our font is in the back of the church and a procession forms in the front after the presentation and examination of candidates, and moves to the font to the singing of the litany of the Saints. The font sits below the great west "Te Deum" window and it is amazing that when we turn around to see the font, many of saints we are invoking in the litany are pictured there above, around Christ seated in majesty. You just can't be happy, clappy with something like that. Not mention that when the baptism is complete, the priest says, "Let us welcome the newly baptized." we respond, "We receive you into the household of God. Confess the faith of Christ crucified, proclaim his resurrection, and share with us in his eternal priesthood." No opportunity to clap! Ace

  15. I spent the 1980's in Colorado, won't say which diocese, but it was pretty wild and crazy. If they had the EF available back then I would have gone in a heartbeat. But since then I have to say things have gotten a lot better, more emphasis on reverence, etc. Sometimes you don't realize how much better, until you look back.
    Adrienne is right about the pre-VII days though, they weren't so great either. There was a lot of disengagement from the liturgy, not that the nuns at school didn't try, with teaching us the dialogue Mass, and telling everyone to bring a missal. But I can remember a lot of whispered discussions, "Mom, he's doing it again!" "She started it!" and "You kids just wait until we get home...!" Come to think of it I heard some of that at Mass this morning. People don't change very much.

  16. Anonymous1:06 PM

    Terry, Yes, I saw that and went through his list last week and listened to some of those songs for the last time before burial. I laughed and sang them one last time. I think I liked, "Blessing Cup" the most (that's not saying much.)

    And yes, it is great to see that even at the OF, Catholics are still having kids. I couldn't believe my eyes, young couples with a whole pew of kids--at the OF Mass. That was inspiring. I don't see the baptism in the middle of Mass thing here in NYC.

    Last night, I read a wonderful article on how the liturgy came into its present form. It is the most intelligent piece I have read in the 20 years I have cared about any of this stuff. No hint of Masons or demonic influence. No holier-than-thou crap, just a straightforward, well-documented piece.

    The Day the Mass Changed, Part I:

    Part II:

    Excerpt: In 1966 Jesuit Father Clement McNaspy wrote:

    It takes humility to accept the fact that we are not at the end of change, but very much in a moment of transition; that many of our current changes can only be tentative and exploratory; that a future generation will look back on our efforts as gauche, or at best naïve though well intentioned. Like Faust we wish to perpetuate the precious moment, freeze it, impose it on the future. If we take this approach, we may end up with a diminished liturgy rather than a renewed one, and this would surely be the furthest thing from the intention of the Council (Our Changing Liturgy, New York: Hawthorn Books, 1966, p. 159-160).


  17. Anonymous2:46 PM


    You must have had some horrible experiences at Mass, but I'm sorry no matter how bad the Mass is celebrated that is not an excuse for skipping out on it- why commit sin yourself in addition to the sin the priest may be committing by his irreverence? When we come before God he is not going to ask us about our neighbor including the priest, but what about what we did to make things better. One of the key points of giving God his just due is keeping holy the Sabbath as Is the prophet said today in the 1st reading. As St. John of the Cross once said- obedience to the Church is better than any self-willed good works. He was put in prison by his own Carmelite brothers and almost starved to death- that's worst than any nonsense we may experience at goofy Masses. Something to think about when we endure the indignities, including crazy baptisms, that sometimes occur at Mass- remember Jesus is still present in the Holy Eurharist and one Holy Communion received with love and faith is greater than any other works of piety.

  18. My second DD was baptized during the Anticipation Mass of the Presentation of the Lord (Saturday evening) for several reasons.

    1) The Godmother was returning to Texas in the AM, and our archdiocese does not permit "By proxy" godparents.

    2) The priest had to attend a wake at the funeral home immediately after mass.

    3) Our daughter was the only child being baptized that weekend.

    Personally I hated it. I prefer it outside of Mass as with the other daughter and son. She was only 6 weeks old, and still nursing. And I could feel the animosity among the congregation because mass being extended by 10- 20 minutes.

  19. Maria-
    Opus Dei has weekday Masses at the Catholic Information Center:
    St. Mary's has a Tridentine:
    As for Byzantine Catholic:
    and Ukrainian:

    Personally, I prefer the OF, and I attend either the 5:30 Vigil or an early Sunday not so much to cut down on distractions but to have a clear line of sight of the altar.
    I find my own monkey mind is my biggest distraction; no fair blaming others.

  20. Thanks SO much, Eve. Too kind. No blame. We are all have different predelictions. You are young. Some of us, like myself, are, ahem, older. I remember going to the Latin Mass as a child, on daily basis, for several years. I was so in love w/ God. We have a memory of a kind of beauty that is now gone...

  21. A Random Friar11:01 PM

    Maria: Not garish, but the way people do it, it sounds more like how people clap at the end of a good game, that at something more important or significant. Just my 2 cents.

    Private baptisms are nice in that it feels more intimate. It is possible to feel intimate in a parish Mass setting, but very difficult, if not improbable.

  22. Where I live, there's no opportunity to get to another parish - and it wouldn't make that much difference, b/c in Quebec it's pretty much the same everywhere - the Mass has become a social thing, w/ lots of chat - you know, the usual stuff. Most weeks I attend, and over the past while it's gotten a bit easier to deal with the stuff that's going on. My faith tells me that Jesus is truly present, but it's getting harder and harder to see that, because so many people are crowding Him out. This past weekend I didn't go because I was feeling crummy, but sometimes I stay home because there's not enough energy to cope with the B.S. So please pray for me, b/c my faith isn't strong enough or my love for Jesus isn't strong enough to go to Mass regardless. If I loved Him enough, it wouldn't matter what was happening, all that would matter is that He is there. But I haven't reached that stage yet -- please be patient with me, God is still working on me!


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