What funny things have you heard at Mass? (Updated Title)
  • scholistascholista
    Posts: 109
    Avoid immorality… (said as: im-mor-TAL-ity) Avoid immortality? I think not!

    Thou shalt not covet…(said as: kuh-VETTE) Isn't that a muscle car?

    Bronze brazier…(said as: brah-ZEER) This was not said by a man!

    He denied it vehemently…(said as: ve-HEE-ment-ly) Mispronunciation actually adds emphasis!

    They blindfolded Jesus, struck him and said prophecy (instead of prophesy).

    Isaac…(said as: Eye-ZAY-ick)

    Jesu, Jesu…(said as: GEE-zoo, GEE-zoo)
  • WGS
    Posts: 207
    I'm sorry to say that my favorite was one Good Friday when the deacon read "And they brought Him to anus first, for he was the father-in-law of Caiphas." On that occasion, I was seated in the back of the church behind some teenagers who understandably got caught up in a bad case of giggles.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,975
    You shall not covet your neighbor's ace.
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,306
    Jew-der, for Judah (but that's priests, and this is Boston, where the thrifty Yankee Law of Conservation of Rs obtains - dropped from where they belong and placed at the end of other words).

    The names of the three children in Daniel is always fun to listen to each Lent.

    And it's a shame that the 1998 lectionary revision replaced the treacherous brazier/brassiere option with the incredible but safe "fire pot". Flaming brassieres is something I remember from my childhood news-watching days....

    Thanked by 1PurpleSquirrel
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,975
    Liam, they were hot!
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,736
    Agnes Day
  • Charles in CenCA
    Posts: 2,416
    Lettuce, pray!
  • Spriggo
    Posts: 122
    A reading from the letter of Paul to the Phillipians (pronounced Filipinos).
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,736
    And lead a snot into temptation.
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,190
    "Gee-zoo" for Jesu is a very common in the UK pronunciation of that spelling - someone from the UK correct me if I'm wrong.

    This story is not about a lector, but I think it's worthy of contribution. Many years ago I worked for a parish staffed by Franciscans, and one of the priest-friars was elderly with a stuttering problem, poor man. He was sweet as the day is long, and beloved by all. May his soul rest in peace.

    On Easter Sunday many of the orations make reference to the resurrection. During one of them he stammered, and the word came out "erection." I think I bit my lip clean through to keep from snickering.
    Thanked by 1PurpleSquirrel
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,190
    As for lector pronunciations, I'm particularly fond of teen-aged lectors, ever-so popular in suburban parishes that want to be "inclusive". Unfortunately, many teenagers suffer from a horridly lax sense of clarity in pronunciation.

    Hence, we're told during the proclamation of the Passion Gospel, "What I have wri-hen, I have wri-hen" (with the hyphen representing a glottal stop in place of a proper "t").
    Thanked by 1Mark M.
  • Spriggo
    Posts: 122
    During a living rosary at my parish, a 2nd grader said "Our Father, who aren't in heaven."
    Thanked by 1PurpleSquirrel
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,342
    Geezoo was standard in my Anglican Catholic days, and has a long pedigree (Consider that in the old days, Latin was usually pronounced like the vernacular.). As for children, they really aren't fair game here, since it's such a rich lode. One of my granddaughters, a little behind the others on learning the Hail Mary, said "The Lord is whiskey."
    Thanked by 2IanW PurpleSquirrel
  • A priest, while reading the Gospel story of Dives and Lazarus, said: There is a great Abbess (instead of abyss) fixed between you and us, and no one may pass....

    I thought: Father, hou must know Sister Vincent.
    Thanked by 1Kathy
  • Paul_D
    Posts: 133
    A priest, reading the Gospel of the Annunciation, read the angelic salutation as, "Greetings, flavored one!" The concelebrants clearly heard the slip, and broke out in a sweat trying to keep their composure.
  • Scholista....that is exactly the same pronunciation we had from our lectors. The poor priest looked at me with a look of horror on his face!

    Paul's letter to the Filipino's? Wow, Paul sure got around back then!!!!!
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,736
    I've also heard, "Lettuce spray."

    But have you heard, "Let us bray."
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,298
    On Wednesday last, the lector read: "After Paul's escorts had taken him to Athens," but mispronounced Athens, AYE-thins... Through the whole reading I kept thinking, I don't remember this place in the Old Testament, where could he have gone?

    But I must admit, that at times, when I lose my train of thought I have left out a negative while singing a Psalm, so something that should go like this:
    "Cast me not out from your presence" ends up being, "Cast me out from your presence." I always wonder if the proper thing to do would be to sing the line again?

  • JacobFlaherty
    Posts: 223
    2 stories come to mind for me...

    The first was when they used to announce the hymns at my first parish. I was in high school playing a Saturday anticipatory Mass. The lector (we had no cantors - it was just organ and congregation) was in charge of reading the hymn. He said, "The closing hymn is number 561, 'There's a WILD-ness in God's Mercy'. Number 561. The next morning at the 7:45 a different lector introduced the hymn as 'There's a WILDER-ness in God's Mercy.'

    The second was when I was a freshman in college seminary. We had a very southern sounding Kentucky-an reading the first reading for daily Mass; it was from the 3rd chapter (I believe) of Genesis. So with all his great southern drawl, he proclaims the words of God to Adam and Eve: "And who told you that you were NECK-ed?" He said it with this snappy, strongly and quickly emphasized first syllable. The rector, who was concelebrating, couldn't contain the up and down of his shoulders, visibly sweating and scrunching his face just so he wouldn't explode...
  • These are some of my favorite lector mispronunciations:
    "Ten stringed lyre" being pronounced LEE-RAY instead of LIAR.
    Diadem - DEE-a-dem instead of DYE-a-dem.
    "Philippines" or "Filipinos" instead of Philippians,
    This was from a deacon in the cathedral: "Peter, surnamed Caiaphas" (Cephas).
    "We are destined for immorality" (immortality).
    "Fry-GEE-uns" or "Friggins" for Phrygians, MEE-DEES for Medes.
    And from an old Irish priest on Palm Sunday: Eloi, Eloi, lema sabactackany.
    From the same priest in EP 1: "Mel-CHEESE-edek."
  • Paul_D
    Posts: 133
    Here's a great link for Biblical pronunciation: http://netministries.org/Bbasics/bwords.htm
  • MairiMairi
    Posts: 19
    JIF- I alway dread that hymn for the processional. We used it 2 or 3 weeks ago, and at every single mass, we heard 'There's a WILD-ness in God's Mercy'.
    Thanked by 1WiesOrganista
  • Bobby Bolin
    Posts: 332
    A reading from the letter of Paul to the Phillipians (pronounced Filipinos).

    I have heard that one as well
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 661
    I always like flubs with the lists: enemies of the Israelites ("high-tights" for Hitites), and those long genealogies of Jesus in Matthew and Luke.

    "Prophecy!" (instead of "prophesy") from the congregation during the reading of the Passion on Good Friday.

    Not a lector's mistake, but the "Prayer of Condemnation" at funerals.
  • I, too, have heard reference to "Anus" in the Passion narrative. I've also heard a cantor leave out a very important "r" in "prostrate." The lector was my father, the cantor my dear wife. Although I must cut her some slack; she is a physician's assistant, and probably had come to Mass straight from work.

    This post reminds me of a lector from my childhood parish, of whom I am reminded every Easter Vigil. The poor lady had an extremely nasal voice, and unfortunately was scheduled every year for the Vigil, for whatever reason. "hnaroah and his hnariots and hnarioteers" always made me chuckle a little.
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,342
    Geezoo/Yaysoo isn't the only pronunciation where Anglicans vary from Romans. There's "israyel" vs. "Israhel" and "Ah-men" vs. "Ay-men" which to this day I can barely bring myself to say (and fortunately don't have to sing.)
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,306
    Don't forget eye-ZYE-ah.....

    Here in the Boston area, it's Ah-men that dominates in Catholic Masses (though Ay-men is also heard).
  • Steve QSteve Q
    Posts: 91
    Job as "jahb".
  • TCJ
    Posts: 572
    Not the lector, but I remember the cantor singing the psalms one day and mixing up a couple of words. I can't remember exactly how it went, but it was something like "The Lord preserve us in sin."
  • SJBCmusic
    Posts: 36
    rich_enough, I have a colleague who swears he once heard a female lector pronounce Hittites as "high t*tties"!

    Here are some I've heard:
    Raphael="RAH-fah-el"
    Elisha="Alicia"
    Sirach="SEER-ock" or "suh-ROCK"
    Baal="ball"
    Ephraim="EF-rah-eem"
    Nineveh="NINE-uh-vuh" OR "NIN-uh-vay"
    Damascus="DAM-uh-scuss"

    Catholic lectors (and priests, for that matter) seem to have a hard time saying "SIGH-ruck" and "ee-LIE-shuh." I've heard "prophesy" mispronounced a lot too.
  • SkirpRSkirpR
    Posts: 853
    Not the lector, but I remember the cantor singing the psalms one day and mixing up a couple of words. I can't remember exactly how it went, but it was something like "The Lord preserve us in sin."


    I'm not usually one to criticize the new translation because of the many ways I feel it is superior to what we had before... but this made me think of the new translation of the Collect for Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent:

    Pardon the offenses of your peoples, we pray, O Lord,
    and in your goodness set us free
    from the bonds of the sins
    we have committed in our weakness.
    Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son
    ,
    who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
    one God, for ever and ever.
  • SkirpRSkirpR
    Posts: 853
    I also remember as a high school student at a speech and debate tournament (!) being held at a Catholic university they offered Sunday Mass, and one overly-confident student-lector got up and announced: "A reading from the book of the prophet Malachi (mah-LAH-chee)." I think it was the dramatic self-confidence that was most amusing.
  • ScottKChicago
    Posts: 285
    Jesu is pronounced JEE-zyoo in the UK. There's an African hymn in the Episcopal hymnal (1982): Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love / Show us how to serve / the neighbors we have from you. I've always heard Jesu in this hymn pronounced jee-ZOO.

    And everyone knows the Italian prophet Malacci. :)
  • I don't know what is the standard pronunciation for "Barabbas," but it grates on my ears to hear the middle vowel rhyming with "apple" rather than "awful." The same for "hosanna."
  • ScottKChicago
    Posts: 285
    I know what you mean, Thurifer, but if these words are in an English text, I don't mind so much, as there's an English way of saying these and other Hebrew words. Like IZ-rayl for Israel. Opinions differ, I know, but when it comes to Latin and Hebrew, I think an Englished pronunciation isn't necessarily wrong. What I tend to notice is when a lector uses English-style pronunciations of most things but then is suddenly meticulous with EES-rah-ayl. We say Jeremiah rather than Yer-em-ee-yah-hoo; why not Barabbas with a short a? You should hear UK pronunciations for things like Venite, Jubilate, and Benedicite. :)
  • SkirpRSkirpR
    Posts: 853
    but if these words are in an English text, I don't mind so much, as there's an English way of saying these and other Hebrew words...


    Not to stray too much from the topic, but the same thing annoys me as a musician when conductors who are clearly native English speakers are giving instructions to their choir in English, and suddenly develop an Italian accent for words like, "sopranos," "forte," "legato." It just sounds so affected. Of course they're Italian words, but they're now functioning as borrowed words in an English sentence.

    For comparison, I don't know that I've ever heard Europeans switch into an English or American accent to say the word "telephone" in a sentence otherwise in French, German, Spanish, Italian, etc.
  • Jen
    Posts: 24
    A reading from the letter of Paul to the Collegians (Colossians)

    (Read by a high school student in the spring, perhaps thinking about his future...)
  • Not a mispronunciation, but one year at the Easter Vigil, the psalmist sang, "Like a deer, that longs for running sheep . . . ." I almost fell off the organ bench.
  • Gina
    Posts: 7
    Also not a mispronunciation - but one Good Friday, the lector was reading the narrative part of the Passion and said, "One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose peter - (pause) ...whose ear Peter had cut off"
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,490
    From clergy (at a bilingual parish):

    "Through my fault, through my fault, through my my GRACIOUS fault."

    I never knew such a fault existed!
  • As several have noted above. Jesu, when appearing in English texts is universally made English (Anglicised) in Britain. It may be that one shouldn't consider it 'anglicised' at all since it is considered an English word. The same holds for many Episcopalian/Anglicans and Anglican Use Catholics in this country. When appearing in an English text it is an English word, not a Latin one; and pronouncing it otherwise always sounds somewhat silly, precious and pendantic.
    (One should always sing 'Jeezoo joy of man's desiring...', etc.)

    Another peeve of mine is those persons who aggresively say AYmen and pugnaciously assert that AHmen is 'Latin' and AYmen is 'English'. How did such a specious irrationality gain currencey amongst otherwise intelligent persons? Throughout my life I have associated AYmen with Pentecostalists, Baptists, and various other sects, and AHmen with real churches. AYmen is just what it sounds like: ignorant and mean.





















  • MarkThompson
    Posts: 768
    From clergy (at a bilingual parish):

    "Through my fault, through my fault, through my my GRACIOUS fault."

    I never knew such a fault existed!


    Felix culpa!
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,490
    Aha!
  • SJBCmusic
    Posts: 36
    M. Jackson Osborn -

    I wouldn't be so sure about "amen." Here are a couple of relevant quotes from British writers who would be considered authoritative:

    "It is pronounced amen [macron over a in source] after English prayers etc., ahmen after those in Latin." (A Catholic Dictionary, ed. Attwater).

    "Ahmen is probably a comparatively modern innovation of about a hundred years' standing. Roman Catholics, one is glad to note, on the whole retain the English amen [macron over a in source]." (D. M. Low in Essays and Studies, quoted in H. W. Fowler's Modern English Usage, rev. ed.)

    Now, one never sings "aye-men" except in gospel music or the like. That pronunciation is restricted to spoken prayers in the vernacular.
  • marajoymarajoy
    Posts: 776
    dohhhhhhhh-la-sol-dohhhh, miiiiiiiiiii-re-doh-miiiiiiii, sollllllllll-la-sol-fa-mi-re-dohhhhhh....................
  • rollingrj
    Posts: 242
    I just hope I don't add myself to this list this weekend, as I am the reader for one of the Masses. Plenty of opportunities to get one's tang toungled.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,736
    rollingrj .... horrors if you should make a misteak!!
    Thanked by 1PurpleSquirrel
  • Ralph BednarzRalph Bednarz
    Posts: 449
    "......in WON TON luxury. " (wanton)
    and " A reading from the book of the Philistines,"
    Thanked by 1chonak
  • SJCBmusic -
    Thanks for the challenge.
    However, I shall stand by my utterances. It is thinkable that your Attwater is not definitive. It may or may not congrue with the OED. But that's neither here nor there.
    As a young Episcopalian I never heard naught but Ahmen... except when we were around Baptists, Pentecostals, and such who said many strange things in strange accents, one of which was 'Aymen' (actually, more like 'aymin' or 'aymeeun'. Such provenance did not commend this to me as legitimate or literate usage. Imagine my shock and perplexion (and, dismay) when I encountered this same unlearned pronunciation amongst large number of seemingly literate Roman Catholics. Why do they do this when they MUST know better. No, I shall continue to think of Ahmen as literate, standard English, and of everything else as hickey... because it is.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    I know I've been in the Episcopal church too long when, upon visiting a Catholic church, every "Aymen" grates on me a little! (or the odd visiting preacher)

    Just avoid singing it as "uhmen" - seriously heard that one recently in a Latin work sung by a protestant choir!
    Thanked by 1Jeffrey Quick
  • WendiWendi
    Posts: 633
    And now let us look at the Gentiles, read as...

    And now let us look at the genitals.

    The lector in this case was my sister, and the entire congregation almost wet themselves trying not to laugh out loud. The poor girl turned red as a beet. Fortunately the priest was VERY compassionate about it afterwards and encouraged her to laugh about it as well.