November 14, 2019

New Order for Easter Masses?

The pastor entered the church as he did every Sunday and, after reaching the altar, bowed and walked to the pulpit.

My brothers and sisters in Christ. 

I welcome you to the Easter Mass at our church.

Our church is crowded today as there are many people here that I have not seen in many months.

I suspect that you are all very busy with your daily lives but have taken time from your busy lives to attend the Easter Mass here today.

I am glad to see such a crowded church.

We have made a few changes that will make your attendance here today more enjoyable…

  • First, we will be distributing Holy Communion now so I ask all Extraordinary Ministers of Communion to come forward. We do this so that those of you amongst us that feel the need to leave church after Communion can do so. It will obviously make it more comfortable for the remaining parishioners to sit with at least 33% of the church being vacant after Communion.
  • Collection baskets have been placed at the entrances of the church. We ask that you be generous when you leave. Next to the collection baskets, we have also placed trash barrels where we again ask you to leave your water bottles, magazines, and any other material that you have brought to Mass. Our ushers really appreciate this as it takes at least 20 minutes after Mass to clean the pews of discarded items.
  • We will then take a ten minute break while the standing parishioners seat themselves in the pews vacated by the early departures.

Then, the pastor turned and stepped down from the pulpit, walked over to the altar, and assisted the Extraordinary Ministers of Communion as they prepared the wine and bread for distribution to the congregation.

Would you be shocked if this happened in your parish? I doubt it.

While I am always glad to see Catholics return to the Church on Christmas and Easter, it also disturbs me to see the total irreverence displayed by these same Catholics as they gather their hats and coats for Holy Communion and head for the exits after receiving the Body and Blood of Christ.

Could this order of Mass be the coming thing for your parish?

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Written by
Donald Wittmer

DONALD WITTMER is a retired business executive who held key roles in the automotive and banking sectors. For a time, he also served as a Fiscal Agency Manager for the Detroit branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. He received his undergraduate degree from Cincinnati's Xavier University, an M.A. in business management from Central Michigan University, and earned certification in bank operations from the School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A husband, father, and grandfather, he teaches part-time at the Kent Place School for Girls in Summit, New Jersey.

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1 comment
  • I am so glad that you wrote about this shocking and confusing occurrence! I am a Catechumen (although not for long, as we are approaching the Rite of Election!) and I was appalled to see the amount of people leave the Church after receiving the Eucharist on Christmas Eve; my jaw dropped at how offensive it was to to receive our Savior and then simply leave as if it were nothing more than a piece of literal bread. I also found it to be very mean and rude to our dear Priest, Deacon, and other leaders in our Church who work tirelessly to provide a wonderful safe haven for people in our community.

    Then, naturally, I felt guilty for feeling judgmental toward others; I struggled to mask my shock at the behavior of others on such a beautiful and holy night such as Christmas Eve. Perhaps they were simply going through the motions “to make Grandma happy at Christmastime” or because “I haven’t been to Church in awhile and it’s always nice to go at Christmas.” However, as someone who cannot yet partake in the receiving of the Holy Eucharist, I could not help but feel very perplexed at the actions of receiving and then abandoning the Church as if it were just a box on a to-do list to check-off.

Written by Donald Wittmer
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