Friday, September 2, 2016


The place may be new to you but you are not a guest.
You may be rock star but for an hour it doesn’t matter.
You may have just won an Olympic medal, but you should put it in your pocket.

Finishing the paragraph we started last week in the GIRM (95) it says we should, “consequently avoid any appearance of singularity or division.”  It is a level playing field during the time of the Mass.  All sons and daughters, alike in status before their Heavenly Father, we are united as equals at the Mass.  

Imagine that you are a famous movie star.  It is difficult for you to even leave your house without paparazzi crowding around you and snapping your picture.  Unless you go to some exclusive restaurant trying to hang out with your friends at the local food joint is impossible because even the wait staff wants your autograph.

But it shouldn’t be like that at Mass.  The priest should not say something like, “And guess who we have here with us today!”  Ideally, at the Mass, we are just part of the family.

Once in a blue moon, we do have someone relatively famous show up at Mass at St. Sebastian.  Two times ago it was at a Mass celebrated by Father Pfeiffer.  The altar servers knew there was a famous comedian in the church but Father advised them not to make a fuss.  Even after Mass he instructed them to be calm and respectful and not to harass the poor guy but to just to go up and say hello.

It is also why, outside of ritual Masses, special blessings are forbidden at Mass other than the ones that are prescribed.  The ones that are prescribed such as for significant wedding anniversaries, installations of EMHC, and the like are allowed because these effect the whole community and the whole community is involved in the blessing.

But how far should this go?  There are some who eschew the idea of having “visitors” stand before Mass so that everybody can clap for them because it sets them apart as visitors and not family.  (Again, imagine if you were that famous comedian that just wanted to go quietly to Mass and pray with the local congregation.)  But what about when the Knights of Columbus come for their corporate communion or like the time an east coast high school football team came to have Mass here?  Is it better to recognize them to get everybody’s mind off of them?  (Who is that group of people and why are they here?)  Or does one stick so rigidly to the above rule that you pretend that they are not an unusual group of people, “keeping in mind that they have only one Father in heaven and that hence are all brothers r sisters one to the other”?

No comments: