In Praise of Liturgical Fidelity


This past week, I had occasion to reflect on the liturgy at the parish we’ve been attending the past few months. I found myself startled to realize that in that entire time, I had not observed a single liturgical abuse. Not one. Not one deliberately changed word. No shenanigans. At all.

There is nothing perfect this side of heaven. However, while mistakes have been and will certainly be made, I’ve never, ever, been part of a parish that didn’t have at least some level of deliberate variance manifested in their liturgy.

Until now.

This speaks extremely well of the young priest who is pastor there, and it speaks well of the faithfulness of the people of the parish.

It is a glorious thing to be able to pray the Mass with the priest and everybody else without distraction. Again, I’m not talking about the occasional slip-up or babies crying or stumbling over a word. Those things are a natural part of the Mass just so long as people are involved. They are reminders of our humanity reaching for a foretaste of the divine.

I’m just so very grateful that we’ve found a parish where “Say the Black, Do the Red” is the rule rather than the exception.

And they don’t skimp. Where something is optional, the default seems to be to do it rather than skip it. Including the entrance and communion antiphons. Including the actual chanted Greek version of the Kyrie. Including the traditional post-Mass Prayer to Saint Michael.

In just the few months we’ve been here, I’ve heard the Roman Canon here more often than in my entire Catholic life up to now.

I even like the music at the early Mass, which might be a first for me.

There are a few “wouldn’t it be nice if” things that occur to me from time to time, but they really are just a little wistfulness on my part.

It is a glorious thing to be able to pray the Mass without distraction, to immerse yourself in the great prayer of the Church, and the great sacrifice of Calvary.