Expert Answer Forum
Changes in the Mass QUESTION from Carole K April 24, 2000 I am not a Catholic, but I have been to several Catholic masses with friends and relatives who are Catholic.
I recently attended my niece's First Holy Communion at the Easter Vigil of our local Catholic Church. I have to say that I was a bit surprised at what I saw. When people entered the sanctuary they bowed toward the altar, but no one genuflected. The music was loud - piano, keyboards, electric guitar and bass in addition to the choir. Several people were raising their arms up during the responsive singing. The pews were actually padded chairs, there were no kneelers and no point during the worship service where any one knelt (sp?). I saw very few people making the sign of the cross. There were female altar servers and women reading the gospel. And the baptism was done by immersion.
Do all Catholic Churches do these things now? I can remember growing up that the only church in town more formal in their worship than my Lutheran congregation was the Catholic Church. What happened?
ANSWER by Mr. John Miskell on April 24, 2000 Dear Carole,
While I'm elated that you niece chose to join the Catholic Church, I'm saddened that she has evidently fallen into the hands of a Modernist parish which unfortunately is a somewhat common occurrence in several areas of the United States and Canada.
Bowing to the altar is the custom. If the Tabernacle is in the vicinity of the altar, a genuflection toward it is also expected. Sacred music has many flavors but Polka Masses are ridiculous. The arm swinging has been introduced by some of the charismatics who have been deeply influenced by the Pentecostals. Some liberals have taken the kneelers out and some have even gone so far as to crowd the seats close together to prevent kneeling. Kneeling at several parts of the Mass is REQUIRED by Church law but it is sadly disregarded by this element. Female servers and lectors have been approved by Rome. Baptism by immersion is certainly valid and is a growing trend in new buildings, especially among those who consider themselves to be the most progressive. All in all, it seems that what you witnessed is nothing short of scandalous.
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