Monday, December 19, 2011

Keep It Simple, Stupid

I went to mass on Sunday at one of my favorite places and at one point it struck me why I enjoy going to mass there.   Now, I don't profess to be any type of liturgist but you'll excuse me if I give a little bit of advice to all of the liturgist out there (I realize that probably none are reading this but, oh well)   I feel like too often the mass becomes more about the liturgist that the liturgy.   I don't know if they feel like they have to prove their worth but they spend so much time decorating the church or preparing the music that they forget where the focus should be.   They forget that the mass is very beautiful because of what it is and not because of any floral or musical arrangements.   When the mass is focused on Jesus and the Eucharist and we are allowed to recall that He is truly present then the glory of the mass is more likely to shine through.

My humble advice as a person in the pew is K.I.S.S.----just Keep It Simple Stupid (I stole that---I didn't make it up)   Yesterday was the first time in advent that I was some place that had said the new confetior (that prayer that starts off with "I confess, to all mighty God, and to you my brothers and sisters) and the first time that I had said the new Nicene Creed in all of it's consubstantial beauty.   But it just flowed easily.  Although, I was three for five in the "And with your spirit" scoring.

The music was simple and easy to sing.  The Holy Holy Holy and the Lamb of God was in Latin so I was comfortable with it.  There weren't all sorts of Christmas decorations up.  There are a lot of statues but they help you focus on God.  Even though I was not at my own parish nothing was out of the ordinary.  Even. though I had to beat my children like twenty times (they were being well behaved) I was able to focus.  Heck, even my son was singing along to the music.  He did have some choice words and gave me a weird look when the priest said in his homily that Mary was the Mother of God as well as our spiritual mother.  I guess we get to have to have a little theological disussion.  But that's okay.  He heard something in the homily that we can talk about.
taken from

The second piece of advice is "Say the Black, Do the Red."   In the Roman Missal, everything that the priest is supposed to say is in black.  Everything the priest is supposed to do is in red.  If you do everything the way it is supposed to be and don't feel like you have to add anything then you won't get in the way.  True, the focus won't be on you, but you will look like a genius.

Just simple advice---do what you are supposed to do and keep the mass focused on Jesus.   Not that anyone is going to listen to me.  After all---you know the old joke.  Do you know what the difference between a liturgist and a terrorist is?? You can negotiate with a terrorist.


  1. So true. I prefer a Mass where the focus is in Jesus throughout.

    I am getting really good at "and with your spirit" :). I still have to use the card for the Nicene Creed though, LOL.

  2. This makes sense to a point, but what about going to Mass at St. Peter's in Rome. I would probably be distracted somewhat by the incredible sight but I would definitely feel that God was there in all His Glory. Just my 2 cents worth. I do like going to Mass where I am comfortable with the surroundings. It makes it easier to concentrate. When all else fails though, we can always close our eyes, listen to the Liturgy and no one will say a thing to you at a Catholic won't be accussed of sleeping but you might be accussed of being really holy! :)

  3. You have a valid point. I've been to masses with thousands of people that were phenomenal. But in the end we should let the liturgy speak for itself and remember that the mass isn't a show.