Screens in liturgy
  • Roch
    Posts: 6
    Hello. I am a new member starting today and I work in French Canada, very much and a close link with goes on in English Canada and elsewhere. I have a question in regards to the use of projection systems during liturgical celebrations. My
    pastor claims that this is the way to go and that the era of hymn books and missals is over and done with. I have questions with this way of thinking. After more than a year of discussion, I’m still convinced that a projection system cannot replace hymn books and missals. I think a screen projection system if not used wisely can affect the fundamental aspect of liturgy this being its response function either at the psalm and acclamation etc. So I would like to know what are you guys ( and girls) out there think about this question: are projection systems an inevitable trend in our way of celebrating liturgy? Are hymnbooks and missals domed as my pastor do wisely proclaims it?
    Thanked by 2cesarfranck Elmar
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,137
    Simple answer: absolutely not. Screens are a big mistake for numerous reasons. Do a search of the forum and you'll find ample evidence to this effect.
  • Roch
    Posts: 6
    Thanks!
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,014
    I would offer some practical considerations to start this.

    The first place is to examine unspoken assumptions about why it's a good idea to adopt this technology in this context and see how plausible they really are. (Getting unspoken assumptions out on the table is often hard work, in case you're wondering, and Catholic clerics are not widely known for their love of having their assumptions probed by non-clerics. Just sayin'.)

    There are newer churches that have been built with projection space in mind. If your church has not been so designed, projection is likely a non-starter in practical terms.

    In our culture, glowing text and images tend to arrest the eyes - and not necessarily in good ways. Celebrants and liturgical ministers should consider if they want the experience of liturgy to be reduced to the feel of being in the presence of a PowerPoint presentation. (Imagine . . . priest and ministers being reduced to liturgical versions of TED Talk presenters.*)

    While many, probably most, people in the developed world are used to screens dominating their work life and home life, it does not necessarily follow that they experience that domination in unequivocally welcome ways, nor that they would welcome the introduction of it into their worship over the longer term after the initial embrace of newness. In the current culture of late consumer capitalism, we're groomed to be predisposed as consumers to embrace newness (BIGGER! BOLDER! FLAVORS!) - but only for a while, because makers of goods/services/experiences in consumer capitalism only make more money if we consumers get bored within a relatively short period of time and seek the stimulation of more newness - which raises the question of whether the liturgy is a good context for this dynamic to become operative. Oh, and one super-bonus feature of inadvertently toggling the on-switch for congregants as consumers is that this also taps into their groomed tendency to become critics of what's on offer - a necessary part of the cycle of getting consumers to replace what they've consumed. See how corrosive this whole dynamic is?

    Another practical thing that people advocating for the use of such screens often neglect is that its not a medium exempt from copyright; that is, digital reproduction, including projection, is subject to copyright restrictions (i.e., license permissions). You pay for reproducing music under copyright; don't expect projection to be a legal or ethical way to reproducing it for free.

    And so forth. So, I don't think there is any inevitability to this, even IF it can be called a trend for now. If anything, I suspect the seeds for its own demise are embedded in it.

    * Necessary viewing for anyone wondering about the deconstruction of the rhetoric of modern presentation culture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZBKX-6Gz6A . Younger Millennials and Zoomers will likely consider adoption of screens to be, to use technical jargon, . . . lame.
    Thanked by 2Elmar Gustavo Zayas
  • Roch
    Posts: 6
    I understand that there are implications for copyright. But what I am wondering here are the implications in the way we celebrate however modern the church may be.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,232
    Singing from paper allows the faithful to look at the page and also look at the liturgical action. A screen can only show a small fragment of the music notation, so it demands continuous attention and does not let the viewer look at the liturgical action. This is not an aid to liturgical participation.

    When people read from paper, they can adjust the position of the paper to make it most convenient depending on their eyesight. This is not possible with a screen.

    Books are a very reliable technology; the bound book has existed about 2000 years. They are a long-established part of our culture, and they do not require the use of software that becomes obsolete in a few years.

    If the pastor wants to introduce some technology, perhaps he can consider installing a teleprompter at the ambo and using it for the Scripture readings and homilies. Perhaps another one at the altar to replace the missal. The very suggestion is laughable, of course: it would cheapen the celebration of the liturgy.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,232
    For a moment, let's imagine what it would be like to have a projection screen displaying hymns and the liturgical music during a wedding or a funeral. Not an attractive idea.

    And who is going to operate the projector during a funeral on a Tuesday morning? The organist is busy already!
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,452
    Bienvenu Roch! Welcome from another Canadian! I despise screens. The Mass is ancient, the screen is just out of place. They eyes of the people are focused on the screens rather than the actions of the priest. With a book, they look up and down. With a screen they are focused on that. They are a huge distraction IMO.

    I'm very pleased to see someone from "French Canada" here. There are a few Canadians here, but most from around the Southern Ontario. God bless.
    Thanked by 1Gustavo Zayas
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 814
    @Roch Projection screens at a service is a very Protestant thing to do.
    Thanked by 1Gustavo Zayas
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,915
    Fixed projection screens! no way, you need Google Glass; Oh Wait ...
  • Chaswjd
    Posts: 124
    The only reason to possibly use screens is to be able to display beautiful pieces of sacred art in a particular space. One could change out the particular image displayed each season or each Sunday.

    The snarky side of me would say that if it’s done right, the celebrant could be conned into thinking that the congregation is looking at him during the homily when they are actually meditating on some beautiful piece of sacred art.
    Thanked by 1Gustavo Zayas
  • PaxMelodious
    Posts: 318
    @Roch Projection screens at a service is a very Protestant thing to do.


    Nope - protestant churches with a liturgical approach have exactly the same concerns that Catholic ones. But you'd be right to say it's a very evangelical thing to do - because the mega churches tend to have done it bigger, better and sooner than everyone else.

    IMHO, the pastor is partially right. Soon enough there will be hymnals published that only come in e-book format, and are read on book-size e-devices. Already there are professional, classical musicians who perform exclusively using such devices, and the trend will only grow.

    Whether large-format screens is the right way to go is primarily a function of your church architecture. There are some churches where it's not an option because of the design. This isn't only old churches: I can think of a couple of modern "in the round" places where they just don't work. In these, a fleet of hand-held screens may be an option (I don't know of anywhere which has adopted this yet, or worked through questions of ownership, security etc - but at least in theory it's an option.) And I've seen one cathedral which put TV screens on every 3rd pillar (they're a lot less tacky now they come in flat screen models with minimal edges).

    If you decide to use screens, as noted you need some specific skills: for each service, someone to prepare the "slideshow", and someone to operate it. If you've designed a solid library-based workflow, then the former is less work than laying out and printing a worship-aid. The latter does need concentration - it's the equivalent of a page-turner for the congregation, and the job cannot be done by a musician who's also playing. But I've found that there are usually people who are happy to learn to serve this way. You also need discipline: last minute hymn changes generally cannot be facilitated. And for those people who really do need to see 4-part music, you will usually need to provide hard-copy music.

    Screens can be used tastefully. Doing so involves dark backgrounds and blank slides (so when nothing is showing the screen looks "off" - and also a sense of minimalism / noble-simplicity, standards, appropriate fonts, graphic design input, etc.

    Screens can be tacky if used badly. But so can books, if poorly designed or poorly used - eg needing to start each hymn with "Please turn to number 123 in your hymnal, today we will sing verses 1, 3 and 7. That's number 123, verses 1, 3 and 7".

    There is not theological argument either way, as far as I know.

    And the copyright thing is a red-herring: the same licensing that allows you to make worship aids allows you to use projection systems.
    Thanked by 3Liam mattebery Elmar
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,014
    Pax

    I didn't mean it as a red-herring - I specifically referred to license permissions. I would not underestimate the capacity of a Catholic pastor to *assume* (consider my first point about unstated assumptions?) he might be getting something for free when he's not allowed (legally or ethically).
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 326
    With all the advances in wireless I'm surprised we dont pick up an iPad instead of a missalet or hymnal. Projection screens are only effective in large outdoor settings like football games or an outdoor papal mass where hundreds or tens of thousands of people are gathered, even in such settings they are not used to project the musical notes or words. Do you want people to follow the bouncing ball or the liturgy?
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,452
    The only reason to possibly use screens is to be able to display beautiful pieces of sacred art in a particular space.


    At a local church, the screen comes down in front of the statue of the Virgin. The image of the statue is projected on to the screen when nothing else is being projected - like before Mass... the priest at this parish loves the screen. He uses it for his power point homily presentations... (I wish I were kidding.)
    Thanked by 2Elmar Gustavo Zayas
  • Even from a practicality point, projector bulbs are very expensive to replace. We’re talking $300-400+ for one little bulb.
  • Roch
    Posts: 6
    Merci. From what witnessed in the last year, continual projection without any guidelines, especially liturgical creates dependency. For short acclamations, it is not necessary. Projection system used continually doesn’t help the assembly to develop its memory and ability to respond at what the choir or cantor is singing.
    Thanked by 1Gustavo Zayas
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,494
    The last time I looked, iPads were a heck of a lot more expensive than hymnals. Where I have seen the large screens, I couldn't get away from the old "sing-a-long" mental image that used to abound in cartoons and films. Follow the bouncing ball...
  • If I walked into a Catholic Church and only saw a screen and no hymnal I’d turn around and walk back out before mass even starts.
  • Roch
    Posts: 6
    This is what people have to start saying to the pastor. Unfortunately, a lot of Catholics, even in 2020, don’t have the courage to criticize what the pastor says or thinks, even if he’s on a slippery slope. People that don’t agree just don’t come back or move on to another parish.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW Elmar
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,014
    Yes, if I chanced into a parish that used screens, there would not be a second visit for Mass unless it were required by circumstance (a funeral, for example). A deal-breaker for me.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW CHGiffen
  • PaxMelodious
    Posts: 318
    As music directors, how many of you are continually saying to your choirs "look at me, not at your books"? If that's what books do to a choir - imagine what they do to a congregation.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,494
    The congregations now look at neither the books or a screen. They kill time messing with their phones.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,014
    Pax

    The congregation need not be *looking* for the music director's direction in the way a choir would.
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,637
    Pax, screens are better in this regard because ???
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,137
    Pax,

    Is this something you really wanna have said?
    250 x 250 - 944K
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,583
    The only screens that belong in churches are rood/quire screens.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,494
    Wish we could screen some of the parishioners before letting them in.
    Thanked by 1irishtenor
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 793
    Screens can be used tastefully.

    How?
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 449
    PIP opinion - screens are ugly. Life is already full of screens and noise and ugliness, and I love it when a church tries to encourage a sense of peace, coziness, reflection etc instead of being hardly different from the mall or airport. If it wouldn't land me in jail I'd shut off the electricity in all the churches, so I no longer have to stare at blazing LED light fixtures while listening to people shout into microphones and play electronic instruments.

    Biased opinion free of charge. :D
  • "Screens can be used tastefully"
    "How?"

    to keep the mosquitoes out of your house :-)
  • Blaise
    Posts: 439
    PIP opinion - screens are ugly.


    Thank you!

    This PIP endorses this portion of the response.

    If it wouldn't land me in jail I'd shut off the electricity in all the churches, so I no longer have to stare at blazing LED light fixtures while listening to people shout into microphones and play electronic instruments.


    Well....some of the organs depend on electricity.
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 271
    Well....some of the organs depend on electricity.


    Our tracker's blower runs on 240V 3-phase; go ahead and cut the conventional 120 lines, we'll be fine.
    Thanked by 1Blaise
  • Where I sang and chanted Midnight Mass a few nights ago, there were no engineered electrons of any kind anywhere. Lots of singing of familiar carols beforehand and familiar Mass VIII chants during.

    Familiar and ancient.
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 449
    I was once singing in a 400 year old church when the power went out. The acoustics were fantastic. You could converse in low voices from the altar to the choir loft. Natural light was sufficient illumination. But no organ! How, I asked, did the organ function in the past? The rather appalling answer: slave boys down below manning the bellows.

    That said you could have pedals or some (paid!) guys on bicycles, problem solved.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • Elmar
    Posts: 226
    ... manning the bellows. That said you could have pedals or some (paid!) guys on bicycles, problem solved.

    We don't have any money to spend ... alternative suggestion: promote the bellow mechanics as a workout machines (plus those bicycles) and have people pay for this 'fitness studio' rather than paying them.

    Special offer during Lent (subscription min. 40 days):
    indulgence doubled to 2days/hour on all machines
    - confession required, at no extra cost -
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 449
    Genius, Elmar.
  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 351
    In our last parish there was a 19th century Bishop organ, with its lever for hand blowing still there though it has been electrified. We tried using the lever once out of interest. Never again. The noise of the cranking drowned out anything but the loudest stops.
    But maybe it just needed greasing or something
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,494
    Widor used to complain about the organ pumpers in the next room. They talked, smoked, and generally were a distraction. I am sure he was glad when electric blowers were invented.
  • Elmar,
    your offer of a free Confession with this promotion will really pack 'em in.
    lol
  • BGP
    Posts: 213
    "The era of candles is over we need to transition to incandescent bulbs."

    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • PaxMelodious
    Posts: 318
    Indeed. Electric lights are ugly, we should never use any of them. Actually air-conditioning also has a lot of ugliness along with an annoying whine, better get rid of that too. Indoor plumbing can sometimes mean that there is a sound of water or a pump which can (just) be heard in the nave, banish it too.

    It saddens me that so many of you have only seen late 20th technology technology used in tacky, tasteless ways. (That story of projecting a photo of a statue over the real thing .. ugly indeed). But it doesn't have to be like that. I've seen it done differently, and done it differently myself.

    If you use hymnals or printed worship aids: A proportion of the PIP won't pick one up, ever. Those who do up will be buried in it, not looking at Father, the artwork or the altar or whatever. Their head will be down, reducing the chance of any sound they make being heard.

    If you use shared screens - tastefully - then the words (and music, if you make the effort) for melody line singers is on display. People can glance at it if they want - without fear of their neighbour seeing them engaging with the hymn. They can sing the first verse from memory and use the screen for the others. Physiologically, their heads are up so they're better able to sing, and also to use peripheral vision to see other things going on in the church. Those who need glasses can use one pair of long-distance specs for seeing both the words and the altar, instead of needing reading glasses as well.


    No technology option is perfect. But none is absolutely out of the question, either.
    Thanked by 3Elmar MarkB Viola
  • Elmar
    Posts: 226
    ... hymnals or printed worship aids ... buried in it, not looking at Father, the artwork or the altar or whatever. Their head will be down, reducing the chance of any sound they make being heard.
    Valid point. And when once in a while the 'worship aid' gives a page turn after the Consecration words, you can hear (even through the altar bells!) what a lot of PIPs are occupied with during elevation.
    [I once suggested to our pastor to replace the printed CONSECRATION WORDS by just a big cross, to no avail...]

    Still the possible distraction by a hymnal or a missalette is (in principle) under everyone's personal control, while 'page turns' on a screen, or scrolling or whatever, are imposed on you at that very moment - so this requires even more care than print layout.

    In addition - might be just personal - looking at something to the side feels more distracting than looking down (and viewing the 'central' action with peripheral vision above the focus) ... this being said by someone who starts to need reading glasses!

    "The era of candles is over we need to transition to incandescent bulbs."
    That's pre-VII techology ... our next switch is from fluorescent bulbs to LEDs!
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,739
    [purple] I have a new invention. It is called MH Glasses. It is a Missal/Hymnal chip that is attached to your eyeglasses and projects a transparent view of the prayers and hymns occuring at any particular second of time on the lenses. It runs from a locally installed 'atomic church service clock' which tracks and delivers the perfectly timed content of the prayers and hymns. You can purchase these MH glasses soon on my website along with the atomic church service clock which I will install at your parish for a modest fee. Of course, copyright fees are passed on to the user via monthly web subscription. No pay, no pray!
  • BGP
    Posts: 213
    My smarmy quote above has a point. We use artificial lights but replacing altar candles with them (should be) obviously undesirable, nothing is more tacky than artificial votive lights. I do not believe it is possible to use projection or large congregational screens tastefully.
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 793
    It saddens me that so many of you have only seen late 20th technology technology used in tacky, tasteless ways.

    Its not the technology per se that I object to - hence there is no issue with AC and central heating. It's the forced nature of it. Yes, people can pick up a hymnal or not - and that's a good thing.

    Pace the dominant paradigm these days, there are as many ways to participate at mass as there are people. The point of the mass is not to ensure everyone is "participating" in lockstep. Would I like everyone to sing everything I give them? Sure, but let's be realistic - most of these people are already in the choir. Some people never respond even when everything is spoken - will a screen finally bring them around? Others may have had an exhausting week, a sick child, a tough couple of days at work or no work at all. Just them go to Mass, even put their head down in prayer, and not worry about fulfilling some expectation that they have to sing here and respond there.

    I imagine a lot of people are relieved to find Mass is one place where a screen isn't reminding them what to do or think or say.
  • Thus, Pope Pius XII:

    7. But while We derive no little satisfaction from the wholesome results of the movement just described, duty obliges Us to give serious attention to this "revival" as it is advocated in some quarters, and to take proper steps to preserve it at the outset from excess or outright perversion.

    8. Indeed, though we are sorely grieved to note, on the one hand, that there are places where the spirit, understanding or practice of the sacred liturgy is defective, or all but inexistent, We observe with considerable anxiety and some misgiving, that elsewhere certain enthusiasts, over-eager in their search for novelty, are straying beyond the path of sound doctrine and prudence. Not seldom, in fact, they interlard their plans and hopes for a revival of the sacred liturgy with principles which compromise this holiest of causes in theory or practice, and sometimes even taint it with errors touching Catholic faith and ascetical doctrine.

    9. Yet the integrity of faith and morals ought to be the special criterion of this sacred science, which must conform exactly to what the Church out of the abundance of her wisdom teaches and prescribes. It is, consequently, Our prerogative to commend and approve whatever is done properly, and to check or censure any aberration from the path of truth and rectitude.



    and again....

    The worship rendered by the Church to God must be, in its entirety, interior as well as exterior. It is exterior because the nature of man as a composite of body and soul requires it to be so. Likewise, because divine Providence has disposed that "while we recognize God visibly, we may be drawn by Him to love of things unseen."[26] Every impulse of the human heart, besides, expresses itself naturally through the senses; and the worship of God, being the concern not merely of individuals but of the whole community of mankind, must therefore be social as well. This obviously it cannot be unless religious activity is also organized and manifested outwardly. Exterior worship, finally, reveals and emphasizes the unity of the mystical Body, feeds new fuel to its holy zeal, fortifies its energy, intensifies its action day by day: "for although the ceremonies themselves can claim no perfection or sanctity in their won right, they are, nevertheless, the outward acts of religion, designed to rouse the heart, like signals of a sort, to veneration of the sacred realities, and to raise the mind to meditation on the supernatural. They serve to foster piety, to kindle the flame of charity, to increase our faith and deepen our devotion. They provide instruction for simple folk, decoration for divine worship, continuity of religious practice. They make it possible to tell genuine Christians from their false or heretical counterparts."[27]

    24. But the chief element of divine worship must be interior. For we must always live in Christ and give ourselves to Him completely, so that in Him, with Him and through Him the heavenly Father may be duly glorified. The sacred liturgy requires, however, that both of these elements be intimately linked with each another. This recommendation the liturgy itself is careful to repeat, as often as it prescribes an exterior act of worship. Thus we are urged, when there is question of fasting, for example, "to give interior effect to our outward observance."[28] Otherwise religion clearly amounts to mere formalism, without meaning and without content. You recall, Venerable Brethren, how the divine Master expels from the sacred temple, as unworthily to worship there, people who pretend to honor God with nothing but neat and wellturned phrases, like actors in a theater, and think themselves perfectly capable of working out their eternal salvation without plucking their inveterate vices from their hearts.[29] It is, therefore, the keen desire of the Church that all of the faithful kneel at the feet of the Redeemer to tell Him how much they venerate and love Him. She wants them present in crowds - like the children whose joyous cries accompanied His entry into Jerusalem - to sing their hymns and chant their song of praise and thanksgiving to Him who is King of Kings and Source of every blessing. She would have them move their lips in prayer, sometimes in petition, sometimes in joy and gratitude, and in this way experience His merciful aid and power like the apostles at the lakeside of Tiberias, or abandon themselves totally, like Peter on Mount Tabor, to mystic union with the eternal God in contemplation.

    25. It is an error, consequently, and a mistake to think of the sacred liturgy as merely the outward or visible part of divine worship or as an ornamental ceremonial. No less erroneous is the notion that it consists solely in a list of laws and prescriptions according to which the ecclesiastical hierarchy orders the sacred rites to be performed.

    26. It should be clear to all, then, that God cannot be honored worthily unless the mind and heart turn to Him in quest of the perfect life, and that the worship rendered to God by the Church in union with her divine Head is the most efficacious means of achieving sanctity.

    27. This efficacy, where there is question of the eucharistic sacrifice and the sacraments, derives first of all and principally from the act itself (ex opere operato). But if one considers the part which the Immaculate Spouse of Jesus Christ takes in the action, embellishing the sacrifice and sacraments with prayer and sacred ceremonies, or if one refers to the "sacramentals" and the other rites instituted by the hierarchy of the Church, then its effectiveness is due rather to the action of the church (ex opere operantis Ecclesiae), inasmuch as she is holy and acts always in closest union with her Head.

    28. In this connection, Venerable Brethren, We desire to direct your attention to certain recent theories touching a so-called "objective" piety. While these theories attempt, it is true, to throw light on the mystery of the Mystical Body, on the effective reality of sanctifying grace, on the action of God in the sacraments and in the Mass, it is nonetheless apparent that they tend to belittle, or pass over in silence, what they call "subjective," or "personal" piety.

    29. It is an unquestionable fact that the work of our redemption is continued, and that its fruits are imparted to us, during the celebration of the liturgy, notable in the august sacrifice of the altar. Christ acts each day to save us, in the sacraments and in His holy sacrifice. By means of them He is constantly atoning for the sins of mankind, constantly consecrating it to God. Sacraments and sacrifice do, then, possess that "objective" power to make us really and personally sharers in the divine life of Jesus Christ. Not from any ability of our own, but by the power of God, are they endowed with the capacity to unite the piety of members with that of the head, and to make this, in a sense, the action of the whole community. From these profund considerations some are led to conclude that all Christian piety must be centered in the mystery of the Mystical Body of Christ, with no regard for what is "personal" or "subjective, as they would have it. As a result they feel that all other religious exercises not directly connected with the sacred liturgy, and performed outside public worship should be omitted.

    30. But though the principles set forth above are excellent, it must be plain to everyone that the conclusions drawn from them respecting two sorts of piety are false, insidious and quite pernicious.


    Thanked by 1petrus_simplex
  • and still further,
    105. Therefore, they are to be praised who, with the idea of getting the Christian people to take part more easily and more fruitfully in the Mass, strive to make them familiar with the "Roman Missal," so that the faithful, united with the priest, may pray together in the very words and sentiments of the Church. They also are to be commended who strive to make the liturgy even in an external way a sacred act in which all who are present may share. This can be done in more than one way, when, for instance, the whole congregation, in accordance with the rules of the liturgy, either answer the priest in an orderly and fitting manner, or sing hymns suitable to the different parts of the Mass, or do both, or finally in high Masses when they answer the prayers of the minister of Jesus Christ and also sing the liturgical chant.

    106. These methods of participation in the Mass are to be approved and recommended when they are in complete agreement with the precepts of the Church and the rubrics of the liturgy. Their chief aim is to foster and promote the people's piety and intimate union with Christ and His visible minister and to arouse those internal sentiments and dispositions which should make our hearts become like to that of the High Priest of the New Testament. However, though they show also in an outward manner that the very nature of the sacrifice, as offered by the Mediator between God and men,[102] must be regarded as the act of the whole Mystical Body of Christ, still they are by no means necessary to constitute it a public act or to give it a social character. And besides, a "dialogue" Mass of this kind cannot replace the high Mass, which, as a matter of fact, though it should be offered with only the sacred ministers present, possesses its own special dignity due to the impressive character of its ritual and the magnificence of its ceremonies. The splendor and grandeur of a high Mass, however, are very much increased if, as the Church desires, the people are present in great numbers and with devotion.

    107. It is to be observed, also, that they have strayed from the path of truth and right reason who, led away by false opinions, make so much of these accidentals as to presume to assert that without them the Mass cannot fulfill its appointed end.

    108. Many of the faithful are unable to use the Roman missal even though it is written in the vernacular; nor are all capable of understanding correctly the liturgical rites and formulas. So varied and diverse are men's talents and characters that it is impossible for all to be moved and attracted to the same extent by community prayers, hymns and liturgical services. Moreover, the needs and inclinations of all are not the same, nor are they always constant in the same individual. Who, then, would say, on account of such a prejudice, that all these Christians cannot participate in the Mass nor share its fruits? On the contrary, they can adopt some other method which proves easier for certain people; for instance, they can lovingly meditate on the mysteries of Jesus Christ or perform other exercises of piety or recite prayers which, though they differ from the sacred rites, are still essentially in harmony with them.

    109. Wherefore We exhort you, Venerable Brethren, that each in his diocese or ecclesiastical jurisdiction supervise and regulate the manner and method in which the people take part in the liturgy, according to the rubrics of the missal and in keeping with the injunctions which the Sacred Congregation of Rites and the Code of canon law have published. Let everything be done with due order and dignity, and let no one, not even a priest, make use of the sacred edifices according to his whim to try out experiments. It is also Our wish that in each diocese an advisory committee to promote the liturgical apostolate should be established, similar to that which cares for sacred music and art, so that with your watchful guidance everything may be carefully carried out in accordance with the prescriptions of the Apostolic See.
    Thanked by 2a_f_hawkins francis
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,739
    On the contrary, they can adopt some other method which proves easier for certain people; for instance, they can lovingly meditate on the mysteries of Jesus Christ or perform other exercises of piety or recite prayers which, though they differ from the sacred rites, are still essentially in harmony with them.
    This is simply beautiful. No one is required to join in an audible form of prayer during the Mass. God may choose to have you be absolutely silent or to meditate in another way that is entirely acceptable (for example, praying the rosary) which is still actively participating.
  • Blaise
    Posts: 439
    There are people who are expert in the physiology of singing, canon law, etc. I am not going to address it.

    However, as a college student, I already stare enough at screens throughout my day (Powerpoints, anyone?). I don't want to see more of them. I think screens belong in a movie theater, not the house of God. They simply look trashy in an exquisite setting.
    Thanked by 3BGP Elmar hilluminar
  • Not seldom, in fact, they interlard their plans and hopes for a revival of the sacred liturgy with principles which compromise this holiest of causes in theory or practice, and sometimes even taint it with errors touching Catholic faith and ascetical doctrine.


    1. He hit the nail on the head.
    2. I love the use of the word "interlard" and shall now use it every chance I get.