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« A Day Of Penance | Main | JP2 Beatification Update »

January 22, 2007


Sifu Jones

My question is, are these valid responses? Meaning, do the bishops have to specifically allow for them, or are the bishops even allowed to do so?

My "favorite" is when the cantor is obviously in charge of responsorials, so that when the request is over she (usually she, anyway) steps up with her little baton and starts waving at the crowd "Lord, we ask you, hear our prayer!"

Obviously the extra "we ask you" is for performance purposes only. I'm sure God is impressed . . .


I'm with you, Jimmy. Particularly on Reason #2.


at my parish we don't usually stray from the standard Lord hear our prayer but occasionally we will say, especially during Lent, Lord give us mercy or something like that. I think the intention and sentiments are in the right place, I mean, who wouldn't want to ask for mercy during Lent? But I too think it doesn't work with some of the petitions for the Church and so forth. That's just my two cents.

Dave Pawlak

I believe the approved responses are:

Lord, hear our prayer

Lord, have mercy/Kyrie eleison

Hear us, O Lord

Lord, we ask you, hear our prayer/Te rogamus, audi nos

Vince C

I'm right there with you, Jimmy. As good a devotional as it otherwise is, I noticed that Magnificant magazine sometimes recommends these alternative responses.

Somewhere I suspect there are the usual Liturgy Committee baby boomers who are looking to shake up the Mass a little bit and make things more "revelant." Like you, I find it forced and contrived. I say, just stick with the familiar. Is that such a crime?

Mike Melendez

I've always been of the impression that the other responses were not so much the work of creative local liturgists but part and parcel of the rubrics, kind of like the variations on stating the mystery of our faith. That said, it has been become pretty clear to me, that the people in pews, myself included, get confused, as Jimmy describes, when responses other than "Lord, hear our prayer." are used. As a practical matter, it seems to me that sticking to that simple response makes more sense for the Mass. And my parish does just that, having given up years ago, on what felt like awkward experimentation.

On the other hand, and there always is another hand, I pray the Magnificat book of hours. In the petitions, aka intercessions, that help bring the morning and evening prayers to completion, the reponses are different everyday though the same for every petition. In that context, the changing response works fine, especially as the petitions are aligned with the response. I don't know but I imagine that Magnificat makes these selections from the longer breviary (it's called something else now isn't it?)

So I think context matters and choosing what helps maintain the focus of the Mass should be the concern the local liturgists under the guidance of their pastor and the local bishop.


There are no "prayers of the faithful" in the traditional Mass. There is no opportunity for creative "ad libbing", either. Therefore, I respectfully advise all who can to attend the traditional Mass.

Anita Moore

The goofball additions and substitutions, alas, do not stop with the Prayer of the Faithful.

Jim Whall

I agree wholeheartedly with you, Jimmy.

The discordance takes me away from trying to focus on the mass.


Michael Sullivan

What I really hate (to change the topic slightly) is when they change the Angus Dei. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, etc. Then the second and third times they change it to "Bread of Life" or "Prince of Peace" or whatever--usually legitimate titles for Our Lord but ones which detract from the sacrificial character of this portion of the mass. And (maybe it's just me) the Agnus Dei seems like a more important part of the mass and it makes me angier when it's tampered with.


This used to really bother me too - and still does when the responses get really outrageous - (My parish likes 'Come Lord Jesus be born in us' during Christmas/Advent. That one really bugs me) but since I have started using the Liturgy of the Hours, I noticed it uses different responses too. I figure if it is used in the LOTH, I should probably be open to it in the Mass.


Certainly standard responses that everyone remembers easily are preferrable, but I wouldn't loose sleep over creative or inventive alternatives so long as the canon and the ordinary of the Mass are done by the book with due reverence. Once that is nailed down, then we can insist on standard responses.

Mary Ann

My parish used "Be born in us, be born in our world" as the response during the Christmas season. It drove me crazy for all the reasons enumerated by Jimmy. The one that bothered me most was #3, though. It is a very odd response when the petition is "For all who are ill, especially A and B," or "For those who have died, especially C and D."

Dan Hunter

To change the discussion slightly, again,
I really dislike it when the priest changes the words of consecration to,"This means my body,this means my blood."I have seen this happen,and now attend the Classical Rite mass where these problems do not exist.
Thank you Mr.Akin and God bless you.

Alfredo Votta

I live in Brazil. We have a publisher which prints a leaflet for the faithful to follow Mass. It has introduced some of those "creative" answers. I quote a few:

"Your kingdom come, Lord"

"Open our ears to receive your word, and our mouth to proclaim it"

"Strengthen us as to commitment with your kingdom"

"You are our strength and salvation"

"Help us, Lord, to be faithful practitioners of your word"

I wholly agree with you, I don't like these answers. Sometimes the priest adds a petition regarding the sick, and any of these answers proves itself inadequate, which they already are to any kind of petition.

Jimi Hahn

If you do the liturgy of the hours there is a different response to the petitions on a daily basis. In fact, only rarely is it "Lord Hear Our Prayer." So, these practices seem to be a natural extension of that practice to me and I don't have an issue with it at all.


Mr. Hunter,
Wow, I've been fortunate to never witness that. Wouldn't changing the wording like that risk making the consecration invalid?

Dan Hunter



I don't get correlation some of you are making between the Liturgy of the Hours and Holy Mass. The LOTH isn't a rubric for mass--it doesn't seem to be the appropriate resource to consult in this matter. IMHO

Ryan C

I have never encountered any of these changes in any of the half dozen parishes I have been too.

And I'm with you Jimmy. The sad thing is, the people making changes to the response probably have the best of intentions. There's many situations like this where it's important to find a way to acknowledge this while still correcting the needless experimentation. If people want to be creative there's other parts of church life they can direct their energies.


I usually mentally translate the typos but "Angus Dei" made me chuckle: yeah, that's too creative, even if it's a Hindu interfaith service.

Henry Karlson


Really? Tradition says there will be no prayer of the faithful during liturgy? Strange, liturgy IS a prayer of the faithful, and it is to called to bring us into prayer to open us up to the reason, communion.

More importantly, petitions of the faithful in liturgy go back before the Tridentine reforms. Let us make it clear: their removal out of the liturgy in the West, while valid, was itself an innovation; if you want tradition, you have some form of them in liturgy and its celebration.


I am with the poster tim above

I guess the mass that lasted for 1900 years and called the "traditional mass" was called such for a good reason

With prayers added only to counter a threat to the church, the canon was left untouched for centuries, with the new mass, never quite know what to expect

Phil M.

Recently the deacon at our parish ad libed, "Jesus, You are special" for the response.

Someone in the congregation let out an exacerbated sigh loud enough for most of us to hear. Then, most of the congregation stuck with the traditional "Lord, hear our prayer" anyway.

BTW, What's with all of the hobby horsing around today? We get it, traditional mass is best...


I've been to a church where they'd have people in the PEWS call out any prayer request that'd come to the top of their head.

I was tempted to call out, "For the end of liturgical abuses like this... we pray to the Lord".


francis 03

I've often been put off by liberties taken with the Mass, but only once have I been totally shocked, and left the church feeling sick. That was in Louisville, Kentucky, where I heard a priest change the words just before the Consecration to "looking to You, his God and Creator. . . " where it was supposed to be "God and FATHER." To hear a priest basically espousing Arianism just to avoid sounding sexist, and at the holiest part of the Mass, made me feel like I wasn't even in a Catholic church anymore.

So for all you "classical" or "traditional mass" goers-- we (at least I) understand why you don't like the new Mass. But it does get tiresome having every complaint about its abuses being turned into an excuse for completely ridicuous assertions (e.g., see above post, claiming that the "traditional mass" lasted 1900 years).

Henry Karlson

To the ones who think the Tridentine Reform was the same liturgy celebrated as what was celebrated in the time of Tertullian, one can argue it was only in connection to the idea of an evolving, changing liturgy; but when you do that, then you recognize the current form of the Roman Rite is still the same liturgy.

Otherwise, one must move beyond this false assumption that what was done in the 1950s was the same liturgy as in the 350s. It wasn't.

francis 03

Crossed posts with JohnD-- the solicitation of petitions from the congregation is something I've seen a lot. And I too am surprised that I've never once heard anyone offer a petition that might be considered offensive, heretical, or inappropriate. I don't like this practice, but are we sure it's an abuse?


I guess the mass that lasted for 1900 years and called the "traditional mass" was called such for a good reason

John, you're not saying that the Tridentine Mass (as in the Council of Trent) is 1900 years old? As Henry K. mentions above, that Mass was a product of liturgical reform, and many older rites for the Mass were abolished at that time. There are older rites, such as the Dominican rite for Mass, that survive the Tridentine reforms to the present.

Dan Hunter

Q:Which would you rather attend,a mass where the priest says whatever he wants,or
a mass where the priest uses the rubrics prescribed by Our Lord.
Read the book,"How Christ said the First Mass",by Father James Meagher D.D.,and see how similiar the first mass was to the Classical Rite.
God bless you.

Fr John R Blaker

Here's nos. 69-71 of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal that is now in effect:

69. In the Prayer of the Faithful, the people respond in a certain way to the word of God which they have welcomed in faith and, exercising the office of their baptismal priesthood, offer prayers to God for the salvation of all. It is fitting that such a prayer be included, as a rule, in Masses celebrated with a congregation, so that petitions will be offered for the holy Church, for civil authorities, for those weighed down by various needs, for all men and women, and for the salvation of the whole world.

70. As a rule, the series of intentions is to be
a. For the needs of the Church;
b. For public authorities and the salvation of the whole world;
c. For those burdened by any kind of difficulty;
d. For the local community.

Nevertheless, in a particular celebration, such as Confirmation, Marriage, or a Funeral, the series of intentions may reflect more closely the particular occasion.

71. It is for the priest celebrant to direct this prayer from the chair. He himself begins it with a brief introduction, by which he invites the faithful to pray, and likewise he concludes it with a prayer. The intentions announced should be sober, be composed freely but prudently, and be succint, and they should express the prayer of the entire community.

The intentions are announced from the ambo or from another suitable place, by the deacon, or by a cantor, a lector, or one of the lay faithful.

The people, however, stand and give expression to their prayer either by an invocation said together after each intention or by praying in silence.


Ryan Herr

I very much agree with Jimmy's excellent 5 reasons why we shouldn't change the "Lord, hear our prayer" response. I think that Jimmy also said it best when he called it a "pet peeve." The thing I am surprised at in these comments are the people who are seeing this as an abomination. I think we need to know the difference between a dumb idea and an abomination, so that we can pick our battles wisely.

Dan Hunter

Mr.Ryan Herr,
Is it an abomination to change the wording of the consecration?
I believe it is just a small step for some priests to do this, once they have comprimised the integrity of the liturgy by altering other parts of the mass.
God bless you


Francis 03,

From General Instruction of the Roman Missal, Nos. 69-71,

"The intentions are announced from the ambo or from another suitable place, by the deacon or by a cantor, a lector, or ONE of the lay faithful."
(emphasis mine)

If the priest isn't at least reviewing the intentions, something's wrong. Review of intentions before mass also prevents the intentions from rambling on for 20 minutes.

John E

We don't do that too often at our parish, but I have noticed it before at others. It is a bit irksome, mostly because I can't get past thinking that it's some liturgist's personal innovation.

What is more annoying to me is sometimes at daily Mass when the celebrant invites the congregation to share their own petitions and 4 or 5 people say "For a personal intention, we pray to the Lord". What if your personal intention is something I don't want to pray for? A similar situation is the person who has a long, barely audible litany of things she wants the congregation to pray for, albeit mumbled very quickly.

Tim J.

Great analogy about the "flow of the dance" there, Jimmy.

I have no major complaints about the liturgy in our parish, but at the Mass we attend, they have begun to ask everyone to stand up just before Mass begins and introduce themselves to those standing closeset to them.

This just feels forced and artificial, as well as being somewhat condescending... like we won't do enough to love our neighbour on our own, so we have to be pushed into it.

It's just awkward. When I am at Mass, I want to focus on the Mass. I can say "Hi" to people on my own, and we have a whole, huge "gathering space" outside the sanctuary just FOR that.

It interrupts the flow. I want to come in to the sanctuary and prepare myself with prayer and quiet meditation.


I've been at masses where people would say: "For a special intention." And then some people would say: "For a very special intention." I guess that means: "My special intention is more important than your special intention." I have managed to resist the urge to say: "For a very, very special intention."


On the scale of liturgical experimental arts, this is minor in my opinion. But yes, it does cause some discord. During Christmas, we had "Come, let us adore". It was cute, but we were in the middle of intercessory prayer, which is different than adoration. So it was a little disjointed. Anyways, yes, I concur with Jimmy's peeves, but there's so much that needs fixing first.

By the way, for those advocating the Tridentine Mass, any liturgy can be abused.


I've occasionally experienced the same thing, Tim. It bugs me for the same reasons it bugs you. What I usually do is kneel, if I am not already doing so, and shut my eyes. So far, that has dissuaded people from interrupting my prayer.

paul f

At my parish, during weekday masses not attended by the school children, the group is so small that the prayers of the faithful are done in the style described in other comments, where the members of the congregation give petitions.

Most of the petitions come from people who give the same petitions every day ("For an end to abortion," or "For the intentions of our Blessed Mother," etc). It doesn't ever become as chaotic as is being described above. And Father does a good job of recognizing when there are a few seconds of silence and ending it with the Mass intention and any overlooked petitions.

If it's not against the rules, and done by respectful people in a respectful way with a small congregation, I guess I have no problem with it. I can definitely understand arguments against doing it on a Sunday with hundreds of people in attendance.

"By the way, for those advocating the Tridentine Mass, any liturgy can be abused."

Funny how I have never seen the liturgy of the Tridentine Mass abused, but I certainly can point out abuses and pet peeves from practically any Novus Ordo Mass I attend in my diocese.

Now, if you are saying that a complete return to the Tridentine Mass with any old diocesan priest celebrating it might be ripe with liturgical abuses you may be onto something there--hey if they can't get the Novus Ordo right, how can they get the Tridentine Mass right?


That was me, I didn't want to be anonymous!

Another question? Were there liturgical abuses before the 1960s? Does anyone know? Just curious.

Tim J.

Suzanne -

"Were there liturgical abuses before the 1960s?"

Of course there were.

I was not a Catholic, then, but I have heard from plenty of people who remember priests racing through the Latin Mass, mumbling, or otherwise just performing the rite sloppily or without due reverence. This was part of the reason for the liturgical changes of Vatican II!

Whether they have helped is open to debate, but I think the real problem is a lack of reverence for the Mass, and not which language is used.

Chris Molter

"I was tempted to call out, "For the end of liturgical abuses like this... we pray to the Lord"."

If I had been there, and that had happened, you would have gotten a very loud "AMEN!" from me. ;)

thanks for the chuckle!

Dan Hunter

I have been assisting at the Classical Rite for three years and have never witnessed an abuse of the liturgy.
The very nature of this rite demands a greater participation,therefore I pray the mass with much more attention and am able to see if the rubrics are followed since they are written in red in my missal.
God bless you.

Henry Karlson

Since many of those trying to use the Tridentine Rite are outside of the domain of the Church, in schism with the Pope of Rome, and include sermons of questionable orthodoxy, I would indeed say even now there are liturgical abuses by those who use the Tridentine Rite.

However, you must understand that those who tend to use the Tridentine Liturgy currently are those who have almost a Pharisaical devotion to one Liturgical Tradition, and will more likely than not go to the letter in a way which never was followed. Thus the people who follow it think "there is no abuse in this tradition." It's an invalid position, because it is only followed by a single-minded group currently.

But if you go back before Vatican II, there was a wealth of abuses in the rite; indeed, Popes consistently through the years revised the Tridentine rite to deal with various abuses in their times. It was not an unaltered, unchanging tradition; it was as with all lived tradition, lived through experience and mutation, some good, some not. When you turn it into a museum piece, it might not be changed, but it is the greatest abuse of all -- an unlived, and unliving, dead letter.

Dan Hunter

Our present Holy Father offers the sacrifice of Calvary using the"Tridentine Rite".Does Pope Benedict have a pharisaical devotion to one liturgical tradition?
He has and continues to support with the greatest vigor the FSSP,the Institute of Christ the King,The Apostolic organization of St. John Marie Vianney,in Campos Brazil,The Instutute of the Good Shepherd in France.All of these Apostolically appointed instututions have as their core an exclusive devotion to one liturgical tradition.
Our Holy Father loves the Classical Rite.
God bless you.


I guess what I really want is Mass to be celebrated as it is on EWTN with deep reverence and prayerfulness. I am not getting that at my parish at all. But we occasionally drive to Wichita, KS to St. Anthony's where a priest says one Tridentine Mass on Sunday. The remaining masses are Novus Ordo and I believe are said in Vietnamese. I love going there because I can pray and not be distracted by:
terrible songs
questionable liturgical practices
people trying to shake and hold my hand
females as servers, lectors and extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist--wearing the most inappropriate clothing.

I am weary! It's not that I am in love with the Tridentine rite--it's just that I can worship the Lord at that Mass with out sinning (my sin here being very critical of the whole irreverent spectacle).

Am I wrong here?

Dan Hunter

Suzanne, Not at all.You are in my prayers.
God bless you

John Henry

What I really hate (to change the topic slightly) is when they change the Angus Dei.

If my church were praying the Angus Dei, I would be most upset if it were NOT changed. "Steak of God, you take away the sins of the world..." Sounds blasphemous to me!


Mark Johnson

I'm with you, Jimmy, I hate the alternate responses for the exact reasons you gave. My parish has a particularly annoying way of responding to petitions: The cantor sings, "We pray to the Lord" (to a typically insipid modern melody), and the congregation responds also in song. This might not be so bad, but it's done in such a way that the word "Lord" in "we pray to the Lord", and the word "Lord" in "Lord, hear our prayer" are made to overlap, so it comes out, "We pray to the LORD, HEAR OUR PRAYER". It's gimmicky, lame and silly. It comes across all the siller because its creator probably thought it was clever. (I know, I'm a spiritual fruitchucker. I try not to be but it's extremely hard.)


It's getting hard to focus on this topic...there's too many hobby horses trampling around!


Right on Henry K! None of these loudmouths spouting off know anything of the history of the Eucharistic Liturgy (as evidenced most by the person who sadly thinks that the Liturgy was the same for 1900yrs ... I suppose he believes that Jesus celebrated the Last Supper according to the Tridentine Rite). If the only language acceptable to God is Latin and the only Liturgy the Liturgy as it was celebrated in Rome in AD 1570 (flash-frozen for the next 400 years) then where does that leave the millions of Eastern Rite Catholics who worship using various other ancient liturgies?

My favourite of all comments (besides the retarded assertion about 1900 yrs mentioned above) comes from Mr. Hunter: [I]am able to see if the rubrics are followed since they are written in red in my missal. In my naivete I though one went to Mass to worship the living God and be nourished by the Eucharist, NOT "to see if the rubrics are followed." Seems to me a mighty load of hubris in such an attitude.

Mark Johnson

To comment on the Tridentine Mass debate, I know from personal experience that the new Mass can be celebrated beautifully and reverently (witness Sts. Peter & Paul in Wilmington, CA, 9:30 Sunday mass). I don't doubt that abuses could and did occur under the old regime. But was there this constant innovation, this need people seem to feel to insert their own cleverness and creativity into the Mass, this constant trying to make the Mass more "relevant" and "accessible"? Maybe there was. Does anyone know?

To me, it seems clear that the way the revisions to the liturgy were introduced rather invited people to start innovating and personalizing the Mass. In particular trying to incorporate local cultures into it, the epitome of which seems to have been making the language of the Mass local rather than the universal Latin. This just seems to me to embody the notion of personalizing and customizing the Mass to suit local tastes, which in turn probably led to the notion of personalizing it to suit parish tastes, and then to suit the pesonal tastes of a particular priest or liturgy coordinator.

Certainly abuses can always occur no matter what the rubrics say. Still, it seems to me (not having any experience of the Pre-VII Mass) that having the Mass be universally (throughout the Latin Rite) celebrated the same way and in the same language would have discouraged, or at least would not have encouraged, the personalization and customization of the Mass that we have seen over the past few decades.

Mary Kay

Our present Holy Father offers the sacrifice of Calvary using the"Tridentine Rite".

Dan, you got something, anything, to back that up? Every televised Papal Mass that I've seen has used the 1970, not the 1962 (Tridentine), Missal.


"I don't get correlation some of you are making between the Liturgy of the Hours and Holy Mass. The LOTH isn't a rubric for mass--it doesn't seem to be the appropriate resource to consult in this matter. IMHO"

I was not saying that the LOTH is, or should be the rubrics for the mass; I was just pointing out that it would seem that the mass is not the only place where the response is (often) changed. the LOTH is the 'universal prayer' of the church why would we be surprised if the mass similarly had alternate responses to petitions. If we are, then should we not then also be arguing for a change in the responses in the LOTH?

Also, I have a tendency because of my own personality to want to be the 'mass police' (along with some others here on this site it would appear!) And despite how much I loathe true liturgical abuse as much as the next person, I need to be able to separate the things that I 'like' from the true abuses, and not let the former trouble me when I am at mass, nor condemn those people who may like it!


Mr Johnson: The "Lord Have Mercy" chant you mention is not someone's creative "innovation." It happens to be based solidly on Byzantine chant ...


Furthermore, I am not too fond of the 'my mass is better than yours' debate.

Dan Hunter

Agnus is Latin for Lamb,Agnus Dei-Lamb of God.
It is not steak.The bovine is angus

Dan Hunter

Mary Kay,
Why, how doodly doo to you doodly you.
In 1999 Our Good Pilot in fight against stain offered the Mass of the Ages in Weimar Germany.
He continues to offer it daily in his private chapel,according to a Jesuit friend of mine Father Edgar Debaney who had the honor to assist at one in 2006.
God bless you.

Henry Karlson


I agree with you; I do not like the "my older liturgy is better than your newer liturgy" debates. Usually those who try to suggest their version of the liturgy is older also suggests it was the way things were like for ALL time, which is where the argument begins to falter and show an agenda, pretext, and questionable logic. One can prefer one form to another, while recognizing all forms which are permissible can have abuse and can have reverence and respect.

More important to talk about "The Mass of the Ages" as if saying the current Roman Rite is NOT the Mass of the Ages is to have a poor, Protestant understanding of sacramentology and the liturgy. The outward form might differ, but the inner unity of the current liturgical usage versus the older is the same: it is the mystical supper in an incarnate, exterior form. The one mystical supper, the one eucharist, is the same in all its forms -- Greek, Latin, English, Aramaic, Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, Liturgy of St James, Tridentine, et. al. To say the Pope followed the "Mass of the Ages" is just to say he celebrated the daily liturgy, no matter WHAT FORM he used. To suggest that only one form is this is erroneous and I would even say, gnostic.

John E

I've been at masses where people would say: "For a special intention." And then some people would say: "For a very special intention." I guess that means: "My special intention is more important than your special intention." I have managed to resist the urge to say: "For a very, very special intention."

That's a good one. How about "For an intention so special it puts all other intentions to shame...we pray to the Lord."? Seriously though, I suppose someone could be suffering from serious sin and want the help of others' prayers, but doesn't want to mention the sin. But my opinion is that that is what the general prayer at the end of the Prayers for the Faithful is for. Prayers of the Faithful should be for specific intentions. Otherwise these mystery intentions pretty much boil down to: "That the Lord will hear my prayer, we pray to the Lord. R: Lord hear our prayer". It's silly enough with one, but you get 4 or 5 doing it and my skin starts to itch.


My favorite "Lord Hear Our Prayer" moment...an inexperienced lay person came to the penultimate petition, in which we pray for the sick (usually in such a phrase as, "For all the members of our parish family who are sick or in the hospital, etc."). She chose to say, loudly, "For all those sick of the parish...."


Mary Kay

Henry, hats off to you for your wonderfully said post.

Dan, if I've deciphered your post correctly that your friend said he assisted the Pope at a personal Mass, well that's nice. Even giving you the benefit of the doubt of something that I don't have the means to verify, what it means is that on that day, the Pope celebrated according to the 1962 Missal. You can't extrapolate beyond that. OTOH, you can't deny that the official papal Masses are according to the 1970 Missal, which is normative.

One is not better than the other. The indult is for those who have an attachment to the 1962 Missal, which describes you. The problem is when you and others speak disdainfully of the 1970 Missal.


I am not saying its form in 1950 was the same in 350-but its organic development can be traced and found back to the times of Justin Martyr-with prayers ADDED and customs ADDED to ward off such as the reformation and the denial of the real presence etc

One can not say the same for the new mass as prayers were deleted, changed, bungled, jumbled and its development can be traced back to Bugnini and he cant be compared to St Justin Martyr and St Gregory



It's a pet peeve of mine too, Jimmy, principally for reason #2 - I have to memorize the new response on the spur of the moment and it distracts me from what we're supposed to be praying for. So I usually just say ``Lord, hear our prayer'' anyway.

John E

I think the same sort of thing could be said about memorizing the responsorial psalm, when it is said and not sung. Magnificat helps with that problem though.



Kudos on your clarification. I couldn't have said it better myself.


Henry Karlson,

You sound a tad upset. Relax. Go to the novus ordo if you want to. I was suggesting to those fed up with the all-too-common nonsense that the traditional Mass didn't have those problems.

Also, your talk of prayers of the faithful being more "traditional" and that they were removed from the traditional rite is sort-of true, but a little disingenuous. You see, in the past, the Mass didn't get overhauled by committee, it was experienced by the faithful over time as a sort of icon of the sacrifice of calvary. There may, may have been "prayers of the faithful" at an earlier point of time, but they have not existed for at least 500 YEARS, and almost certainly longer.

The traditional Mass is called Tridentine because it was made normative, by and large, following the council of Trent. But the rite itself is at least 1000 years older than that, having sprung from rite used by the Pope and the Roman Church, and is generally believed to have apostolic antecedents.

I am reminded of Martin Mosebach's profound book, The Heresy of Formlessness, in that one of the woes of the current devastation of the Mass is that the faithful attached to the classical rite are forced to become amateur liturgical experts in order to explain themselves to Catholics raised in an environment nearly devoid of catechesis. It is much better to experience the traditional Mass than to explain it.

Anyone who gives it a little time and effort, say, five masses with an open mind?, will be rewarded.


I went to a parish where it was "Lord, hear us" -- steadily, so we didn't have the jolt.

My biggest peeve was the continual petition at one parish: "For those who are sick and listed in the bulletin." Every single time they said that, I thought, And if you aren't listed in the bulletin you can go hang?

"For those who are sick, especially those listed in the bulletin" would have been better. Even "For the sick who are listed in the bulletin." -- it lacks that jolt, even if it means the same thing.


FWIW - the comment on variations to "Lamb of God" - "Redemptionis Sacromentum" explicitly says that the phrase "Lamb of God" has to be repeated 3 times and prohibits any substitutions. From time to time, this abuse is committed at my parish, and it's distracting and unfortunate, especially since it's such a simple thing to avoid. But what makes it worse, is that if the priest is busy distibuting the Blood of Christ into other cups for Communion while the Lamb of God is being sung - another huge abuse - then the choir repeats the Lamb of God phrase until he's finished, and once that was 5 times. I guess the old saying is true - one abuse leads to another.

Oh, and I prefer the "Lord hear our prayer".

Dan Hunter

Mary Kate,The Classical Rite mass is most assuredly better than the Novus Ordo Missae.
Both give spiritual sustainance and offer oblation, but the former does it in an immeasurably more melodious and sacredly dense manner.
God bless you.


All the word changes are ridiculous. They've emasculated even the Christmas carols. It's all feels like dancing with a freaking robot to me. Put the "thous" back in, man, and let us belt it out with some balls, man! Even the Pope said "Screw this crap!" -- well, that's a paraphrase of what he *wanted* to say, I'm sure.

Quo Vadis

Heh, I'm with you on this one Jimmy. I get peeved when they say "Lord hear our prayers" with an "s" instead of singular.


The only thing that I would add is that usually the person changing the script is doing it to "give more to the congregation to do." Sadly, by getting off script and confusing the congregation s/he usually takes away their part and they become reluctant to join back in. Our semi-retired senior associate pastor would be horrified to realize that he manages to trip up even the daily Mass crowd (who could probably recite every Eucharistic prayer from memory).

Mary Kay

Dan, that you have a preference for one Missal does not mean that it is better than another Missal. Even if you don't like hearing that from me, read the posts from several other people above saying the same thing.

Your periodic getting my name wrong is just as immature as your periodic calls to settle your disagreement with fists with the men and spanking with women. All three show an immaturity that you might want to think about growing out of.


"Redemptionis Sacromentum" explicitly says that the phrase "Lamb of God" has to be repeated 3 times and prohibits any substitutions.

I just had a look, and this instruction does not occur in Redemptionis Sacramentum. Does anyone know where it does occur?


From the 2002 General Instruction for the Roman Missal:

83. ....The supplication Agnus Dei, is, as a rule, sung by the choir or cantor with the congregation responding; or it is, at least, recited aloud. This invocation accompanies the fraction and, for this reason, may be repeated as many times as necessary until the rite has reached its conclusion, the last time ending with the words dona nobis pacem (grant us peace).


When I attended the student parish (Holy Spirit parish) in Berkeley in the '90's, the floor was always open for intentions, and they were often idiosyncratic, trivial, or just plain weird. The one that I recall most vividly was an extended and apparently heartfelt plea that the forthcoming Beatles retrospective album would be of superior quality to the previous retrospective album. Everyone dutifully waited out the intention in silence, and intoned "Lord, hear our prayer." I don't know if He did or not, though.


Hey-is not the ICEL working on the what-5th retranslation and now the Bishops are even refusing to say "for many" as it is in their words going to be "to difficult" for the priests to say?

IT is a legit-but flawed bad intentioned form of liturgy (Why would one make the mass shorter and less reverent??) that either will die off in time as other innovation have


Much to do about nothing IMHO. I am more concerned about parishioners who cannot follow simple parking and exit signs. Maybe their minds have become mush from all the repetitive Mass responses.

Dr. Eric

This is how it is done in the East. Maybe the Latin Church could learn a few things from the Eastern Catholic Churches (Byzantine):

PRIEST: In peace, let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: For peace from on high, and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: For peace in the whole world, for the well-being of the holy Churches of God and for the union of all, let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: For this holy church and for all who enter it with faith, reverence and the fear of God, let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: For our holy universal Supreme Pontiff N . . ., the Pope of Rome, for our most Reverend Archbishop and Metropolitan N . . . , for our God-loving Bishop N . . ., for the venerable priesthood, the diaconate in Christ, for all clergy and the people, let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: For our civil authorities and all our armed forces, let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: For this city (or: for this village, or: for this holy monastery), for every city, country, and for all-living therein with faith, let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: For good weather, for an abundance of the fruits of the earth, and for peaceful times, let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: For those who travel by sea, air, and land, for the sick, the suffering, the captive, and for their safety and salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

Special intentions are added at this time.

PRIEST: That we may be delivered from all affliction, wrath, and need, let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: Help, save, have mercy and protect us, O God, by Your grace.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: Remembering our most holy, most pure, most-blessed and glorious Lady, the Mother of God and ever-Virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and one another, and our whole life, to Christ, our God.

PEOPLE: To You, O Lord.

These Litanies are sung (in various 4 different forms, in which there is not enough space to put them all) 4 times throughout the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Meaning that the Eastern Church (Byzantine) prays for the Pope at least twice as much in their Liturgies than the Latin Church!


Recently ,I've been thinking of making a checklist from which could be checked any of the many possible liturgical abuses that frequently occur during the Mass. I was inspired to do this because I often attend a NeoCatechumenal mass with my wife, who is a member of this group.

My problem is that there are sooo many abuses that I can view on any particular Saturday night Mass that it is hard to keep track of them all. Just yesterday I compiled about 20 items from 'Redemptionis Sacromentum' alone, and I know that the Roman Missal is much more detailed. So, I'm a bit worried that such a list will occupy many pages or even a small book!

However, such a list would be very convenient because it would allow parishioners to check off the abuses noted, with their numbered references, and send a signed copy to the pastor to make him more aware of the abused norms. It might be an 'eye opener' for some to see how many abuses there actually are!

And, speaking of the NeoCats--I think not one of the hundreds that I associate with have ever heard of, or read, "Redemptionis Sacromentum", and I also doubt that even 1 has ever read the "Instructions of the Roman Missal". Also, I think that many of them think I'm attacking them with all my references to Church Canon Law and other Vatican documents! I find myself encouraging, over and over again, that there is nothing to be feared from the Catholic Church Laws!

Really, for those who presume to be called 'Neo Catechumenal' and also who are spending incredible numbers of hours teaching the Catholic Catequism to others-- to be both ignorant of and afraid of the published norms and teachings of the Church-- is, I think, both hypocritical and extremely strange! But God bless and help them to change their ways...and also all of the others who continue to ignore and abuse the liturgical laws of the Catholic Church!


5) Some people find the force of habit too strong and end up saying "Lord, hear our prayer" anyway

This one is SOOOO TRUE!!!!

I remember this one instance where they went really creative and instead of "Lord, Hear Our Prayer", for some reason, they went with something unusually long and unique.

When the person finished reading the petition (which that, too, was long; but, really, this, itself, wasn't a big deal since, after all, these are our petitions to God asking His help on certain matters -- some of which were serious and critical), half of the parish ended up saying "Lord, Hear Our Prayer" anyway (this was very understandable since, aside from force of habit, due to the dire nature of the petition, it was a plea that came natural to folks then), while the other half of the parish mumbled bits of what they could remember of that creative and unique response they were supposed to say.

It almost reminded me of folks trying to sing a song they hardly knew the words to and, instead, end up substituting other words for the actual lyrics to the song.

In fact, I think there was a movie that showed someone hilariously doing just that, but, for the life of me, I can't recall the title of the film.


you people are all SICK! a "checklist of abuses"? you have to be kidding me. i have never seen a bigger bunch of pharisees! why don't you try going to mass to worship and be nourished instead of looking for every little thing that you deem to be "wrong"? you pagans would rip apart Jesus Christ if He deigned to appear in your midst! why don't you spend some time reading the Gospel and learn about the LOVE that Jesus came to preach instead of church documents that arent even meant for stupid people like you. it makes my blood boil to see so-called 'Catholics' acting with such a holier-than-thou attitude. who appointed YOU as arbiter of all things liturgical? the church would be well served if ver last one of you idiots ran of to some sedevacantist cult and left us authentic Catholics alone. go an mumble your Latin and preach your hate to like-minded individuals.

For all Latin-lovers out there: in 1248 pope Innocent IV gave Croatians the right to celebrate Mass in the vernacular. And the COuncil of Trent round no dogmatic difficulty with Mass in the vernacular but did not deem it opportune AT THAT TIME to implement such a change.


"...learn about the LOVE that Jesus came to preach..."

Love? You mean like:

"you people are all SICK"?

"i have never seen a bigger buch of pharisees"?

"you pagans would rip apart Jesus Christ if he deigned to appear in your midst"?

"stupid people like you"?

"so-called 'Catholics' acting with such a holier-than-thou attitude"?

"the church would be well served if ver(sic) last one of you idiots ran of(sic) to some sedevacantist cult and left us authentic Catholics alone"?

"go mumble your Latin and preach your hate"?

Yeah, I can feel the love!


too bad we can't post images here because that one of Jesse popping a blood vessel in his head would have been intense.

Dan Hunter

Smoke a bone bro.


Just one comment: "Huh?"

That would've been an awesome picture to post there! That's actually how I pictured him when I read his comments! <=^D

A. Williams


The problem occurs when liberals and modernists, who care nothing for Church History, The Lives and spirituality of the Saints and Church law want to go and invent any sort liturgy for any sort of occasion. Being that they are not guided by anything historical to base their judgements by, most of these liturgical inventors like to only gratify their own ego's to make themselves into the "pharisees" that you seem to be talking about.
Living in San Francisco for 40 yrs. of my life, I had to be patient with these liberal (and suspected homosexual) music/liturgical directors almost my entire life, often entering Mass in a peaceful state of mind, and leaving the same Mass depressed due to the profane things/songs/art/inventions that took place in those very masses. Yes, when I read the lives of great Saints such as St. Francis of Assisi,St. Dominic, St. Philip Neri, St. Louis de Montfort, and St. John Bosco, I can easily comprehend the subtle and very profound devotion they had for all things religious..and particularly the Mass. With such understanding of the holiness of the Mass, you can see how terrible it is when the Mass is conducted in a lighthearted, profane, or ignorant way. It's those who don't know anything about the Mass, and who really don't care about it, that have no problem with all the wacky abuses!.. For them it's just one more amusement to pass the hour, so they can consider themselves 'religious'.


Whine, whine, whine, everyone whines! The Church, although guided by the Holy Spirit, is all too human. It never was perfect and never will be perfect. When we deal with people, we deal with imperfection. There will be councils, there will be reforms, there will be developments, but what will always remain the same is that Jesus Christ becomes present to us in the Eucharist during the celebration of the Sacred Mysteries whether it is the Tridentine Rite, the Novus Ordo, or the many Eastern Rites. If you don't like the Tridentine Mass, then don't go to it. If you don't like the Novus Ordo, then don't go to it. If you don't like the Eastern Rites then don't go to them but for the love of God, stop fighting about which one is the best!

When we listen to God speak to us in Sacred Scripture and then receive Christ in the Eucharist we are called to respond to those gifts by bringing the Kingdom of God to the world. May we start to build up the Kingdom of God and not waste time bickering and tearing it down. The world has enough negativity.

John E

Wow, light a little match and....ka-boom!

Good wrap-up *Sigh". I sure hope we're not really as uptight as we sound. I don't think we'll have a perfect liturgy until we're in Heaven. Let's step back and get a better perspective on this. I think we have bigger battles to worry about.


A William:

I have a great love for Liturgy and certainly don't want to see it abused or turned into 'amusement' ... it is the worship of God. The problem seems to be though that people have very different ideas of what that means. i find it hard to believe that using something other than "lord have mercy" for a response to the Prayers of the Faithful is some awful abomination. As it is different parishes use responses that differ from one another. the parish I attend now responds 'Hear us O Lord" whilst the parish I used to attend responded "Lord Hear our prayer." So even someone visiting from another parish might have to deal with something different even if the parish never varies from their standard response.

Several people here have noted well that there was plenty of abuse prior to the Council. The priests who celebrate the Tridentine Mass today are especially devoted to it so go our of their wa to celebrate reverently (and as someone noted above perhaps obsessively in regards to the rubrics). In the past many a priest mumbled the latin at lightning speed to get it over with as soon as possible. I have heard priests talk about some of the oldtimers and how quickly the could get the Mass "done." I can't imagine the current Mass being celebrated as quickly as some managed to celebrate the Tridentine Mass. Reverence comes from within ... either the celebrant has the desire to be reverent or he doesnt. the outward form of the liturgy isnt going to change that. The only thing one may be able to argue is that in the Tridentine Mass the priest could very easily hide his irreverence, which isnt possible today in the NO.

Perhaps I am sheltered and havent been exposed to all kinds of horrible abuses. They are certainly out there. i cant argue with that. But I see a certain pharisaicalism in the need to make 'checklists of abuses' to take to Mass. And the obsession with ever minute rubric seems to me to be no different that the attitude against which Jesus railed vis-a-vis the religious authorities of his day. It is the HEART that matters; outward conformity means nothing if the heart isn't in the right place. I have seen blatantly active homosexual priests celebrate with perfect adherence to the rubrics (because the homosexually oriented person has a natural love of ritual and pomp) but they certainly weren't "living out" that which they celebrated on the Altar.

Vatican II was an attempt to free the liturgy from a dead rubricism that saw the letter of the law to be far more important than the spirit. It was a desperately needed renewal and a desperately needed "getting back to basics." Has that been abused? Undoubtedly. Fallen human nature being what it is abuse is inevitable. But we cannot turn into people who worship in letter only and not in "spirit and in truth."



About your rant:
I find it hard to believe that using something other than "lord have mercy" for a response to the Prayers of the Faithful is some awful abomination.

It is you who have characterized it as such.

I don't believe that there were actually people here who had actually said that "using something other than 'lord have mercy' (actually, it's "Lord, Hear Our Prayer") for a response to the Prayers of the Faithful is some awful abomination."


Amen to that...Ihate when people takeitupon themself to change any partof th eMass


Old Zhou

Somebody mentioned it above, but in the current GIRM, n. 79, the English and Latin texts on this subject are:

The people, however,
stand and give expression to their prayer
either by an invocation said together after each intention
or by praying in silence.

Populus vero
stans precationem suam exprimit
sive invocatione communi post singulas intentiones prolatas,
sive orando sub silentio.

There is no specified "invocation" such as "Lord, hear our prayer."

This is one of those places where the Church specifies a certain amount of liturgical liberty.

I wish that we could both permit, if not enjoy, the freedom where it is specified, and refrain from variation where it is not invited.

In most sung Latin texts for the modern mass, there are two possible invocations specified:

Ut nos exaudire digneris. (That you deign to hear us.)
Te rogamus, audi nos. (We ask you, hear us.)

Some variants I've heard:

"Lord, hear us."
"Lord, hear our prayer."
"We pray to the Lord."
"Loving God, hear our cry."
"Lord, in your mercy hear our prayer."
"Hear us, O Lord."
"Make us instruments of your peace."
"Fill us with justice through your Spirit, Lord."
"Have mercy on us."
"Lord, have mercy."
"Christ, have mercy."
"Holy One, hear us."
"Send us your Holy Spirit."
"God, in your grace, hear our prayer."
"Graciously bless us, O God."

There is freedom for variety here, according to the needs of the season, the day, the community. Do not try to bind where the Church has loosed.


There is freedom for variety here, according to the needs of the season, the day, the community. Do not try to bind where the Church has loosed.

Old Zhou:
I think there may be some misunderstanding going on here on this thread -- just who of the commenters above are actually trying to bind people, and, above all, the Church to the "Lord, Hear Our Prayer" resposne?

I have yet to discover a hostile expression from one of the commenters here that has gone to the extreme extent that Jesse claims -- that is, that anything other than "Lord, Hear Our Prayer" is an abomination.

Moreover, I don't even believe that this was Jimmy Akin's intention in this post as well.

Folks, I believe this simple matter (more specifically, regarding the petition response) more than anything else revolves around merely a point of preference, at least that is the point in my case.

After all:

De gustibus non est disputandum.



I noted the need to make a list for all the liturgical abuses because it is almost impossible to count them at the current Mass I attend (with my wife who belongs to the NeoCatechumenal Way). But as for patience, think of this. I have attended this mass about 150 times in the last 3 years and not until now have decided to really research all of the abuses! And my motivation for compiling a list is in no way hateful, but on the contrary, for very charitable purposes... which is to teach my wife and all of her NCW community friends, exactly how they stray from Church 'norms' in their celebration of the Eucharist. And I'm not talking about minor aberrations here.

Now, I don't want to make this post into a book, so I'll give you a summary of only last Saturday nights Mass, so you can get an idea. And by the way, in three years, I have never been to a NCW Mass on a 'real' Sunday. If they have them I think they are special events of some kind.

To start, the tabernacle is no where to be seen for about 95% of people in the church. The church has side doors, which are open during Mass and you need to look through these doors, across a small walkway, through another set of doors, into the small chapel to view the Tabernacle. I don't think they even share the same roof.

The Mass was about 2 hours.

The music last week had 7 guitars, 2 tamborines and 1 bongo drum, and about 80% of the congregation clapping loudly for about 50-75% of the songs. Very little sacred silence. Probably not much more than 1-2 minutes in the 2 hour Mass.

There is NO procession of gifts to the alter. The Mass servers bring the gifts from a side table in the sanctuary.

About 50-75 flowers are spread around perimeter and on top of the altar.

Last Sat. was a record. Only 2 lay testamonies before the Deacon gave his homily.(And I think the Pastor orchastrated this for some reason, this week.) These lasted about 8 minutes and only slightly could be considered a commentary on the Gospel reading. Usually there are 6-8 testamonies, which occupies about 20-30 minutes. Taken together these lay testamonies occupy about equal, if not more, the time given the Pastor or Deacon for the sermon, considering that rarely will the priest's or deacon's homily be over an 1/2 hr.

The Priest doesn't consume the Communion at the Altar. He waits until all in the Church have recieved their's, seated in the pews, before partaking, seated in his chair behind the Albo... afterwhich the community follows. I THINK the Mass servers recieve only after distribution to the community (as a means of consuming the left overs?).

The Priest in our Parish never distributes the Communion during the NCW Masses, but does so in his regular Sunday Mass. The deacon, distributes, as do the alter boy/Mass servers. I think there is no INSTITUTED alcolytes or Lectors, or Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, anywhere to be found.

Guitars are strummed at the Albo. If a NCW priest sings the Eucharistic Prayer, a guitar accompanies him. And only 1 Eucharistic prayer is used...all year round.

The Albo is placed right infront of the Celebrants seat, about 10-12 feet away. While there is Guitar music, and during the readings, the Priest is highly obscured. I consider this very insulting to the dignity of the priest! ..and he needs to look squarely at the rear ends of the readers and musicians, and can't view the congregation well. I have seen him contorting his body to view around these readers and musicians in the past.

At the closing hymn, there is dancing around the altar, with about 30-40 of the lay community participating.Although I've been encouraged on countless occasions to join...I politely refrain. Everyone thinks I am too shy to dance!

So, considering that I continue to attend this Mass, and with what I consider to be terrible music.. all for love, consideration and respect for my wife..I think most devout Catholics would classify me in no way as a Pharisee, but rather as an EXTREMELY patient and tolerant Catholic.

However, If the NCW resists changing these abuses after their 2 year grace period is up, according to Vatican instructions...I think my patience will be over with! Then I will go to the Bishop ....

Yes!...with my loooooong and referenced LIST!


A. Williams: What you have described is a long list of disobedience. The Mass is the Church's public prayer, not some priest's or group's private prayer. The Church tells us that we, the faithful, have the right to hear the Mass read as written. If my parish started doing some of what you've described, I'd protest to the pastor: first with my voice, then with my wallet, then with my feet.



The reason why I didn't delve too deeply into all of these abuses in the past was because of all the apparent support they have received from the likes of Pope John Paul II and countless other bishops and priests. Their statutes were approved about 5 years ago, with a trial period, under which the 'specifics' of the organization would be scrutinized.

So, considering all of this 'support' from 'High-ups' in Rome(and you really can't get any higher than JPII), and also, with the NCW members continually reminding others, like myself, of this Vatican support, it was very hard to speak out against the clearly visible liturgical abuses occurring at their Masses. I had no idea what sorts of indults they might have aquired and there is very little internal NCW information available to the public.

So, I was left with the idea that I will be patient. I'll wait for Rome to correct them. And, fortuntely, even as Jimmy posted very well, about a year ago, Rome DID correct them. Or at least they are TRYING to correct them. Cardinal Arinze, I'm sure you are aware, sent them the famous letter to which they have about another 11 months in which to comply (without an extension).

So, as I mentioned, I'm waiting. Once the 11 months is up, I will think of a way to address these abuses. As mentioned, I will probably write or talk with the Cardinal here, or the Papal Nuncio, and present all the evidence against them. Documented liturgical abuses, letters from the Vatican etc...

I'll also continue to teach the many members of this group the official Catholic teachings, especially in "GIRM" and "Redemptionis Sacramentum". In this case I think I can help some of the members of this group, such as my wife, recognize the breadth, depth and FULLNESS of the Catholic Faith as opposed to the limited and distorted faith presented through their devient liturgies, and, I presume, catequisis.

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