What's this about the St. Michael prayer?
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,392
    I have heard various rumors and reports about the St. Michael prayer being
    forbidden in certain places. Anybody know the truth about this?
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,743
    I heard rumblings about this, too.
  • This has been going on for awhile now. Some bishops of an anti-traditionalist leaning ban it from being recited after Mass.
    Thanked by 2CCooze tomjaw
  • MarkB
    Posts: 865
    Being in support of Vatican II's mandate for liturgical reform does not make a bishop an "anti-traditionalist". Agreeing that the unreformed Mass should no longer be celebrated in the postconciliar Church does not make a bishop "anti-traditionalist". Prohibiting the Prayer to St. Michael from public recitation immediately after Mass does not make a bishop "anti-traditionalist".

    The Leonine prayers, of which the Prayer to St. Michael is a component, are very recent. They were never a part of the Mass itself but were made obligatory by Pope Leo XIII in 1859 1884 & 1886 following the celebration of Mass. The obligation to say them after Mass was lifted by Pope Paul VI in 1964.

    Any bishop is fully within his authority to prohibit the public recitation of the Prayer to St. Michael immediately after Masses in his diocese. The faithful may pray it as a private devotion as long as its recitation is disconnected from the celebration of Mass.

    My diocese's bishop ordered the prayer to be said after all Masses starting a few years ago. I disagree with making that extraliturgical addition to the Mass obligatory.

    Let the Mass be the Mass. Don't clutter it with other stuff.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,990
    So it’s ok to have an obligatory mass that’s even more recent than the leonine prayers, but it’s not ok to have obligatory prayers after mass? Lol. Ok.

    Nothing says, “I believe in the reality of the spiritual life” like banning prayers to the prince of angels to protect us from demons.

    It’s one thing if people don’t want to pray them, but it’s another entirely to forbid pastors from leading these prayers after mass. It is yet another deconstruction of piety.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,259
    I can’t agree that bishops are at all within their “rights” to ban people from saying approved prayers after Mass. That’s ridiculous.
    I could see them banning adding announcements before the final blessing, because it is adding unnecessary and irreligious commentary to the Mass, itself.
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,894
    Bishops can't keep people from praying, 'tis true.
    But St. Michael as a community prayer at the end of sung Sunday Mass is definitely an addition to the Mass, even if it follows the Ite. It was only ever mandated for Low Masses, and I'm not sure even that applies to the NO (was it abrogated?)

    If it's done by everyone all together, it's liturgy, and that's part of the Ordinary's competence. And I say that as a great believer in the St. Michael Prayer as needful for our times.
  • Here's an idea: bribe the organist to play a recessional just long enough to clear the altar party, and then bribe Susan of the Parish Council to loudly assert her right to pray when-and where- and how- ever she wants, as part of empowering the laity and abolishing clericalism for all time.... and then just start the prayer, adequately distanced from Mass.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 488
    The SMP was only mandated after Low Mass. From a strictly practical perspective, it is tremendously awkward at any Mass with [music and] a procession. Does the priest stay put after he’s just said “Go, the Mass is ended?” Does the organ play vague nothings for an unspecified amount of time while the priests and servers walk away and PIPs start to leave, and then the prayer starts tentatively and is followed by confused silence? Much better to have the Marian antiphon, if it is to be sung, and then a postlude for the procession out. Anyone who wants to pray the SMP or the Divine Praises or the Anima Christi or whatever else can do so at their own speed, make their thanksgiving, and go.

    For better, for worse, since V2 most Sunday Masses are neither low nor high but medium, with a procession and music. Appending a devotion from Low Mass just makes a further hash of the situation.

    Weekday Masses without music, whatever. Father goes back to the sacristy and finds coffee, the Rosary and other popular prayers start up at breakneck speed, and there is no confusion.
    Thanked by 2MarkB Marc Cerisier
  • tandrews
    Posts: 130
    The bishops should go further and ban leaving church after Communion...

    purple?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,743

    Let the Mass be the Mass. Don't clutter it with other stuff.


    It has seemed to me that since Vatican II, the individual sacraments have lost their identity. They all seem now attached to or incorporated into the mass. The mass has become a catch-all for everything.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,259
    Does the priest stay put after he’s just said “Go, the Mass is ended?”
    … Much better to have the Marian antiphon…

    Well, even then, he is still saying it has ended, and then you’re staying for something. So, what’s the difference?
    At my parish, at our TLM there is “ite missa est… Deo gratins,” followed by the Last Gospel, the St. Michael prayer, sung Marian Antiphon, and then a recessional hymn.
    At our NO there is “go in peace… thanks be to God,” followed by the St. Michael prayer and then a recessional hymn.
    Nobody seems to be confused or lost in awkward posturing.

    Is everything based upon how a visitor will feel about being at Mass at your parish and its particular customs?

    If so, there’s a pretty basic solution: the TLM, where the language remains the same, your personal hand missal is still correct, and the only pressing question is whether it will be sung or recited and if you’re comfortable singing, should it be a sung Mass.

    Personally, I’ve never felt awkward about immediately kneeling after a dismissal in the NO, and trying to block out whatever is going on, at that point. Similarly, I’m fully comfortable kneeling at the sound of the Sanctus bells and upon finishing my “and with your spirit” response, regardless of what music or commotion might be going on.
    When all else fails, pray the Mass, and when Mass is over you are free to pray along with whatever prayers tend to be prayed in that particular church or to leave, whether or not you feel like staying for the recessional - because, even then, the priest could exit to the sacristy, rather than the long version of recessing through the nave, vestibule, hallway, sacristy, etc…
  • Well bust my buttons! My parish started saying the St Michael prayer after all the English Masses because Pope Francis asked for it. According to this 2018 article, Pope Francis asked people to pray it (not necessarily at Mass).

    https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2018/09/29/pope-calls-catholics-pray-protect-church-devil

    At the time one assistant priest said it after Mass, but then the pastor asked for it after all the Masses 'because the Pope asked us to'. After Mass makes sense to me because that's when people are in church.

    I also include it at the end of the Rosary (also requested by Pope Francis and earlier by JPII) and private prayers.
    Thanked by 2CCooze ServiamScores
  • francis
    Posts: 10,079
    hahaha... What has happened to the RCC?

    poiple/ "let's just ban St. Michael... he clutters up the Mass." /end poiple
  • They all seem now attached to or incorporated into the mass.


    Wasn't this an explicit goal of the reform? Strange, if you ask me.

    Our pastor dismisses us, we sing the recessional, and as we finish up the hymn he waits in the narthex and launches into a few devotional prayers over the sound system, after which I start postlude. It is rather awkward logistically, and disrupts the natural flow of people leaving gradually during the hymn, after the hymn, during the postlude, staying to pray thanksgiving, etc. It's an odd practice; it would be much better to pray said prayers before the recessional begins.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,743
    Wasn't this an explicit goal of the reform? Strange, if you ask me.


    When I look back at the reform, it is hard to fathom just what they were thinking.
  • RMSawicki
    Posts: 102
    MarkB:

    I know it is probably a typo, but Leo XIII wasn't pope in 1859.

    ;-)

    Gaudete in Domino Semper!
  • MarkB
    Posts: 865
    Ah, thanks for the correction, RMS. Yes, my mistake. Edited. Pius IX started the practice in Italy that year; later Leo XIII expanded it to the entire world.

    My point of view is that publicly celebrated devotions immediately before or after Mass detract from the liturgy as the source and summit of the Christian life. Publicly appending them to the Mass, even informally, immediately before or after its celebration, is to communicate that the liturgy is not the source and summit of the Christian life: it implies that you need all these extra devotions appended to the Mass if you're to be a "real" or a "serious" Catholic.

    For example, I do not like it when I arrive 15 minutes early for Mass to pray and I find that a public recitation of the rosary is occurring in the nave that lasts right up until just a few minutes before Mass begins. The rosary, in that case, is appended to the celebration of Mass. Why should that public recitation of the rosary be required of everyone to listen to 15,10,5,3 minutes before Mass begins? When people want to pray their own personal intentions or make their own preparation for Mass while in the nave, having the public recitation of the rosary hinders them from doing so because it is a distraction and an imposition. People are there for Mass, not for the rosary.

    Which is not to say anything against the rosary itself. Just... time and place.

    I also don't like it when the musicians are rehearsing in the nave within 30 minutes of the start of Mass. They should warm up or rehearse in a separate space.

    Let the Mass be the Mass. If the liturgy is the source and summit of the Christian life, then it shouldn't be cluttered with other devotions; it should be given distinction by being something celebrated well itself, without additions. Crowding Mass with other prayers or devotions makes the Mass appear to be just one more devotional act among others instead of the source and summit of Christian life.

    In some cases, such as in the celebration of vigils, evening prayer may immediately precede and lead into vigil Mass, but in those exceptional cases it's a merging of two of the Church's liturgies instead of appending a devotional act to the liturgy.
    Thanked by 2Marc Cerisier Elmar
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,119
    "hard to know what they were thinking"
    1) no two people are thinking the same thing, let alone 30 people plus 60 advisers.
    2) "Don't panic! get something in place pdq to prevent a schism.!" At least that was Bugnini's line, looking at the amazing spread of unauthorised anaphoras across from Lower Saxony to Picardy.
  • Not that I disagree with the un-cluttering of Mass MarkB, (I am firmly anti-clutter), but could that same argument and line of logic not be applied to the singing of processional and recessional hymns? They're not liturgically necessary, they're often devotional in nature, and the recessional most certainly is an unnecessary add-on. Yet, it never fails to irritate me when folks race out during the recessional instead of staying the extra 60 seconds to finish the hymn. I hazard to say that those folks would view the hymns as an unnecessary addition which they don't need to stick around for, but that doesn't seem right. To be clear, I say this as someone who likes hymns, especially a good strong recessional.
  • Mark,

    I'm in favor of uncluttering.
    I don't think the "source and summit" argument holds, though, because another way of saying the same thing is "everything leads up to it, and rich graces flow from it". Letting it be a stand-alone jewel, it seems, is to assert that "one hour on Sunday" is all we should give to God.


    On the musician question, I'm in complete agreement. Musicians need time to prepare for Mass, both practically and spiritual. Rehearsals which end so close to the start of Mass reflect (potentially) bad planning, even if intentional, and a disregard for the value of silence.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 865
    Oh, music can definitely clutter the Mass. There's no good reason for an entrance hymn or antiphon to last much longer than the procession/incensing of the altar.

    There's no good reason for a recessional hymn to go on and on and on either. I've found if the parishioners know the recessional hymns will be rousing and short, most of them will stick around to sing it.

    Music serves the Mass. If music serves itself or the musicians, then there's a big problem.
    Thanked by 1a_f_hawkins
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 611
    @trentonjconn, Once the priest gives the final blessing "go forth the mass has ended" there is no requirement that anyone has to stay and sing the recessional hymn. The Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Eucharist, and the Communion Rite have all ended. So, if I want to leave the church at that time, I can.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw dad29
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,119
    The entrance and exit of the clergy is distinct from the action of the Mass, but psychologically and ritually it is intimately connected. Older Missals prescribe prayers for the clergy before and after Mass, in many non-Roman forms there are prayers to be said, or stations at side altars during the procession.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw Elmar
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 690
    Once the priest gives the final blessing "go forth the mass has ended" there is no requirement that anyone has to stay


    Thus the lengthy thanks yous, announcements and recaps of the homily that precede the 'go forth'. lol
    Thanked by 2tomjaw Don9of11
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,990
    My point of view is that publicly celebrated devotions immediately before or after Mass detract from the liturgy as the source and summit of the Christian life. Publicly appending them to the Mass, even informally, immediately before or after its celebration, is to communicate that the liturgy is not the source and summit of the Christian life: it implies that you need all these extra devotions appended to the Mass if you're to be a "real" or a "serious" Catholic.


    I simply couldn’t disagree with this statement more. The St. Michael prayer doesn’t detract from the mass one single iota. Nor does the rosary. I don’t disagree that silence before mass for private prayer is a good thing (and that the rosary can therefore be frustrating if you’re not into it) but that’s a separate issue entirely. The fact remains: additional devotions that are the bread and butter of the Catholic prayer life do not detract from the mass at all. Especially when they occur before or after mass. If you interrupted the homily to pray a decade, sure. But communal devotions before or after? Heavenly day. You’re over reading things to put it mildly.

    I also don't like it when the musicians are rehearsing in the nave within 30 minutes of the start of Mass. They should warm up or rehearse in a separate space.

    Hopefully you’re the benefactor we need to add on to the church and build the choir room! I’ll rehearse elsewhere with my choir just as soon as I have an “elsewhere” to rehearse.
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 611
    I thought it might be of interest to share this article from CNA. Cardinal Cupich stopped public prayers after Mass
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,743
    Hopefully you’re the benefactor we need to add on to the church and build the choir room! I’ll rehearse elsewhere with my choir just as soon as I have an “elsewhere” to rehearse.


    Understand that. I had a choir room in the basement - or undercroft as the pastor called it. The average age of the choir was near late sixties early seventies. Bringing them up the 3 flights of stairs to the loft took way too much time. By the time they got there, they were too winded to sing. If we had to go over something quickly before mass, the loft was the only option.

    I simply couldn’t disagree with this statement more. The St. Michael prayer doesn’t detract from the mass one single iota. Nor does the rosary.


    Depends on how close to the mass they occur. If the priest and people are preparing for mass and your devotions end 5 minutes beforehand, that's too close to mass times. Everyone else isn't obligated to stop everything and humor your private devotions. The Rosary and St. Michael prayer are good devotions but in no way are they liturgy or even on the same level as liturgy.

    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,990
    Is anyone even claiming that they are “at the same level as the liturgy”? I’ve never heard anyone claim that. Accuse, yes (see above) but I’ve never heard anyone argue that positively.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,743
    Whether or not they are viewed as same level of liturgy might be questioned. We have genuine rosary fanatics here that push that devotion as the cure-all and end-all for any and all issues or problems besetting the world. "But Our Lady of Fatima said..." Keep in mind that with the billions and billions - not a Carl Sagan quote - of rosaries said, the world and the church are not substantially any better for it. More of the same with or without it.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • Elmar
    Posts: 466
    could that same argument and line of logic not be applied to the singing of processional and recessional hymns? They're not liturgically necessary, they're often devotional in nature, and the recessional most certainly is an unnecessary add-on.
    Well, in our parish during choir lock-down they have been replaced by the Introit (in the vernacular) sung by the DM himself - same with Communio btw. - and only postlude after the blessing. Even with chior and congregational singing back (from time to time) this has remained - without explanation, not even to the choir as far as I know.

    How long will it take until poeple realize that this is a removal of unnessacary add-ons?
  • You know what really grinds my gears and detracts from Mass and praying? People breathing. Seriously. Why do people have to breathe so loudly? It’s like nails on a chalkboard. It would be so much easier to pray throughout Mass if people didn’t impose their breath sounds on the rest of us.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,743
    That hiss you are hearing is either a leak in a windchest or a music critic.
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 690
    I've often wished churches would list their Masses like this:
    Sunday 8am (quiet people) 10am (youth band) 12:30 (conservative/chant) 3pm (charismatic) or something like that.
    I've more than once accidentally shown up to a Sunday Youth Mass, complete with rock band. Once it was at 8am, which is usually a pretty safe bet for "only old ladies, generally quiet and brief". But nooooooooo...
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,743
    There was a DM, now retired, who was generally considered something of a nut case. She had a largo mass - probably for us old people. An andante mass - maybe for those neither old nor young. An allegro mass - probably for the hopped up on caffeine crowd. Crazy! That church finally had a sayonara mass when a new pastor bid her goodbye.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,179
    If it's done by everyone all together, it's liturgy


    That's an interesting formulation. Does it also apply to applause for the newlyweds?
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,179
    For better, for worse, since V2 most Sunday Masses are neither low nor high but medium


    Correct, but dangerously close to "neither hot nor cold"..........which is spit out.
    Thanked by 2trentonjconn tomjaw
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,179
    Publicly appending them to the Mass, even informally, immediately before or after its celebration, is to communicate that the liturgy is not the source and summit of the Christian life


    Really? Then according to Leo XIII, the Mass could NOT have been the source/summit back in the day.

    Silly Pope.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,179
    Music serves the Mass. If music serves itself or the musicians, then there's a big problem.


    True!! But very few church musicians understand that. It's connected to the value of silence--into which most organists pour thousands of notes, often piano-bar sounds. Sad at best. Infuriating at worst.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,179
    If the priest and people are preparing for mass and your devotions end 5 minutes beforehand, that's too close to mass times.


    That's your opinion and you're going to stick to it. If you need >5 minutes to mentally prepare for Mass, it's my opinion that you are taking time from my Rosary. And I'm sticking to it.
    Thanked by 2francis tomjaw
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,743
    Good time for a prelude on the chamades.
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,179
    Any idiot can find the circuit-breaker for a noisy organ(ist.)
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,743
    Sounds like the idiot has been playing in the circuit box instead of praying.

    Besides, I had the keys to the circuit breakers.

    It is the pastor's responsibility, or even the office secretary, to keep the church calendar and schedule events. Properly done, they shouldn't collide with or overlap each other.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,079
    That hiss you are hearing is either a leak in a windchest or a music critic.
    or a serpent on the run...
    Thanked by 2CharlesW tomjaw
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,990
    Keep in mind that with the billions and billions - not a Carl Sagan quote - of rosaries said, the world and the church are not substantially any better for it. More of the same with or without it.

    Wow do I think you've misjudged the case here. Frankly, this strikes me as an all out affront on catholic piety. Scandal in the theological sense.

    How do you know that those rosaries are not the only thing holding back brimstone from falling from the sky or a world-wide famine, or a nuclear war? It's very likely they are the only thing keeping the veil from tearing. ("Will you spare them, Lord, but for these few?")
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,743
    You are getting into the world of conjecture where little can be proven. As for "Catholic piety," it wouldn't be the first time it has become near idolatry.
    Thanked by 1MarkB
  • Francis,

    Am I recalling correctly that a "serpent" is a type of woodwind instrument? Did you intend the play on words, or was it accidental?

    Thanked by 2tomjaw francis
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,743
    It is actually considered a brass instrument.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4jQTre1jYs

    I think Francis might have been referring to the reptile kind, or busybody sopranos who hiss continually. LOL
    Thanked by 2tomjaw francis
  • Thank you, Charles.
    Thanked by 3CharlesW tomjaw francis
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 1,063
    It strikes me as rather inconsistent to oppose the association of praise & worship music with the Mass on the grounds that it is devotional in character and not suited for liturgy, but then scream from the rooftops when other items that are devotional in character (but viewed as more "traditionalist") are expunged from the Mass, whether it be the Last Gospel (which I actually favour, for what it is worth), Rosaries within or surrounding the liturgy, or additional prayers added ad libitum. The Mass is addressed to the Trinity, not Mary or St. Michael.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,743
    There definitely needs to be separation between liturgy and devotional practices.
    Thanked by 1MarkB