I am back from vacation. When a priest travels he must have a letter of suitability with him if he intends to celebrate a Mass publically outside of his diocese. I didn't get around to getting a card so I thought it would be fun just to attend Mass someplace and see how it is prayed elsewhere.
So on Saturday my sister and I were going to go to this tiny little church in the woods. They only have one Sunday Mass and it was on Saturday. I was very much looking forward to it but the forces that be prevented us from making it on time. So I figured we was meant to go somewhere else and on Sunday.
The one we knew we were not going to go to was the "big" Catholic Church in the nearby town which looked more like a renovated Kmart - and I apologize for insulting Kmart. I am sure they have a wonderful, perfectly valid and licit Mass, but I was on vacation and wanted beauty.
So we drove quite a distance to go to a lovely church - beautiful! We walked in and took a pew and prayed until it was announced that we would not be able to hear their pipe organ as the organist had just called in sick.
Then the celebrant said, "We are a friendly church. So I want everyone to stand up and introduce themselves to the person sitting next to them."
My goal was simply to be there and pray with this community. Once, many years ago, I was speaking with a liturgist after a Mass and he was asked, "What do you think of they way we celebrate mass here." He raised is eyebrows and put his arms out and said, "I came here to pray with you, not to evaluate." I think he was lying or insane.
I tried SO HARD to do this but it was an uphill battle when facing this:
So when I tell people to get over it from now on when they complain about how a priest says Mass, I will try to keep this in mind. My advice won't change though. So . . .
It's the end of Mass. The priest says, "Let us pray." We all dutifully stand. He says the prayer and ends with, "We ask this through Our Lord . . . one God for ever and ever." And we dutifully say, "Amen." Then he sounds as if he is going into the final blessing BUT IT'S A TRICK!
Next year I'm taking my Mass kit.