• So about a month ago, the pastor came up with this brilliant idea to have a "Sports Mass," and quite frankly, no one really knows where to start. Can you see me rolling my eyes? :) But alas, opinions aside, it's happening because after all, a priest is another name for Christ, or something like that... *more eye rolling* So anywho, has anyone ever done one or perhaps have any liturgical ideas as far as liturgy and music in particular music selections? Really need some good input please.
  • *cries*
    Thanked by 1paulthomasmay
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,306
    I honestly have no idea how to do something like this. It's a preposterous idea. I literally don't even know what that means.
  • As soon as I have any idea what a Sports Mass is, I'll volunteer helpful suggestions.

    Is it supposed to be something like the Blue Mass or the Red Mass?
  • sdtalley3sdtalley3
    Posts: 260
    Maybe it’s similar to a “Hunter’s Mass”, said early enough to enjoy the hunt, or in this case catch the game.
    Thanked by 3tomjaw GerardH Chrism
  • At the risk of being accused of being the newbie I am, I submit that nestled deep within the rancid mush of this idea is a grain of theological truth. Sports at their best impart virtue, something that Catholics understand. I would guess that this is what the priest in question would like to promote.

    The whole thing makes the baby Jesus cry and it's only October 20th.
    Thanked by 1MarkS
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,182
    Sad to say, some priests with bad judgment have tried to use sports as a "theme" for the Mass.
    Here's video of a priest and parish in the Netherlands that did it:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9qMziaMDVw

    And God bless the bishop, who suspended him for it:
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-10667313
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,171
    I suppose anyone who disagrees with him and objects is guilty of "roughing the pastor"?
  • MarkB
    Posts: 1,041
    Remember this thread you had started in January?
    https://forum.musicasacra.com/forum/discussion/18658/liturgically-appropriate-nowadays/p1

    Bet you had no idea way back then what was coming...

    The video link still works, in case you want to watch it for ideas.
    Thanked by 1Jeffrey Quick
  • Anna,

    I like your valiant effort to read the "Sports Mass" in the best possible light. We may not have much company, but you're not alone.
    Thanked by 1Anna_Bendiksen
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,956
    Maybe sing "Take me out to the ballgame" at communion? Never heard of a sports mass.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 1,041
    To provide the serious assistance you requested, I thought that perhaps under the Roman Missal's Masses for Various Needs and Occasions, For Holy Church, #10: For the Laity could be used. Seemed to me to be the closest set of Mass texts to the sports "theme" and might salvage the Mass by orienting it towards the laity being evangelizers in the world via sports. Attached.

    For Lectionary readings for that Mass, go here and scroll down to #9 for the specific readings in Lectionary ##862-866:
    https://catholic-resources.org/Lectionary/2002USL-Masses-Various.htm

    But instead of the recommended readings I suggest 1 Corinthians 9:24ff ("every athlete exercises discipline... but we to win an imperishable crown); Psalm 115 ("not to us, O Lord, but to your name give glory); and any of the Gospels suggested in Lectionary #866 would be good and fit with the alternate readings I proposed.

    As for music suggestions, can you provide some guidance about the style of music that you think would fly at this sports Mass? What I can think of right now:

    "We Are Many Parts" (Haugen) -- unity, teamwork
    "Be Thou My Vision" -- God surpasses every earthly delight or reward
    "Lift High the Cross" -- triumph
    "Seek Ye First" -- aiming for the highest things
    "The Servant Song" -- service and teamwork
    "One Bread, One Body" -- unity, teamwork

  • I figure that Mark means it seriously, but if you use
    "We Are Many Parts" (Haugen) -- unity, teamwork
    "Be Thou My Vision" -- God surpasses every earthly delight or reward
    "Lift High the Cross" -- triumph
    "Seek Ye First" -- aiming for the highest things
    "The Servant Song" -- service and teamwork
    "One Bread, One Body" -- unity, teamwork


    you will turn this "Sports Mass" into a parody.
  • I know a priest in my diocese who does "Sports and Adoration." He invites the athletes from the district high schools to come to adoration, and maybe they play a game afterwards. It isn't anything that requires much preparation and it gives the students a chance to have some fun with a priest who is also an accomplished athlete.

    This is where the youth of the church are. They play sports. You ask them any theological question you get one of two answers "Jesus" or "God". If we are going to be intentional about saving the church for the next generation, we need to find the youth in this journey and bring them along.

    I take 15-20 minutes of every children's choir rehearsal to stop in church and do some formation. This week they got to visit with the deacon who showed them the high altar and tabernacle. He also showed them a monstrance too.

    I asked my children why they enjoy choir. One of the answers was "because it helps me talk and pray about God, which isn't an easy thing to do nowadays." This quote is from a 7th grade boy. He said, "nowadays" which implies at some point in his life, he could speak freely about his faith, but it changed somewhere. I dare say, these attitudes that put down the athlete's Mass could be a contributing factor.

    When someone thinks outside the box at how to be pastoral to the youth, I think we all should take time to look at it spiritually. When we immediately shut these kinds of ideas down, it is exactly what Satan wants from us, to exclude youth, to make no effort to bring youth into the fold, to assume everyone is where we are in our understanding of the faith and if they aren't then we ignore them and move on.

    You can get caught up in the liturgy aspect if you want, but why not just have a regular Sunday Mass, bless the athletes, then after Mass have some spcial time for the youth. Get the priest involved. Remember that saying, Actions speak louder than words. If you want youth in the church minister to them where they are. If playing some games after Mass is how you get to them, do it. Take action to save the youth and their souls. Christ said, Let the children come to me. Never scoff at these ideas, it is exactly what the devil wants us to do.

    Keep in mind. I am making a correction. If the purpose of the "sports Mass" is done for the youth. I support it. If the Sports mass is for self indulgent reasons, to use Bears altar linens, I'm Serviam. I'd strip the altar myself.

    The priest I know would never use memorabilia as Altar linens. He is very orthodox. He just also likes to play sports when he isn't saying Masses.

    Rant over.
  • Ok, correction. I just saw the post about the bears altar linens and such. THAT is a bad idea. I misread what this was all about..
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,177
    When the church has been proliferating the idea of a "Blue Mass", a "Red Mass", a "Children's Mass", a "Youth Mass", etc., "Sports Mass" (or "Sport Mass" for those in the Commonwealth) is just a logical progression, another anthropocentric gimmick to get tuchuses in the pews. If it were me, I'd write "conflict" on every page of my calendar, that way when he says "we're having the Sports Mass on such-and-such a date" I can reply "I'm sorry, I have a conflict in my calendar and I can't cancel; but I will find a substitute."
  • Maybe some selections from the Secular Hymnal?

    https://hymnary.org/hymn/SH2014/92
  • Do this in Saskatchewan on a football game Sunday and women will wear watermelons on their head for their head covering. A priest once asked the children why he wears green vestments. The kids thought it was because it was Riders season.
  • oldhymnsoldhymns
    Posts: 227
    In the ski country of the White Mountains of New Hampshire, I know of two churches where a "ski Mass" was performed on a regular basis. This was pre-Vatican II, and I'm not sure if the practice is still in existence. I have a picture of one of these Masses in North Conway; it shows a well-packed church of skiers, in their ski attire, holding up their skis and poles vertically.
    Thanked by 1mattebery
  • I suggest you program sacred music by Vivaldi and Hasse. It's all about athletics.
  • Sing to CRUCIFER:

    Let's play lacrosse,
    The spoils of virtue claim,
    Till all the world adore
    The only game.

    (Signed, a former worst player on a Division III team)
    Thanked by 2MarkS Jeffrey Quick
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,956
    I would see nothing wrong with having a regular liturgy then having sport-themed activities and events afterwards. However, I remember well the entire church being turned upside down doing music and liturgy "for the youth" and to be relevant and keep the young. The end result is that most of the youth left, anyway and the church was stuck with bad liturgy and even worse music. There has to be an end goal in sight that is clearly articulated and planned.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • Matt,

    I think your original post highlights a misunderstanding, which, it appears, your second post corrected.

    It is said that Fr. Wojtyla used to take groups of young people on hikes, and to celebrate Mass for them beyond the physical boundaries of a church building. I'm not sure that this was a good idea, but since Mass can be celebrated using the front of a Jeep as an altar, I suppose it may have its place.

    Every attempt to make the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass something else -- a graduation ceremony, dressed up, or a pep rally, dressed up, or a diversity and tolerance seminar, dressed up, or anything else, even if the else is (in itself) not wicked, doesn't bring people to a more full participation in the interior life of the Holy Trinity, but distracts them from doing so. This is (among the reasons) why patriotic music has no place at Mass: it's not a celebration of the principles of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.

    So, indeed, we must work to encourage young people to take their faith seriously, a sentiment with which I most heartily agree, but we must do this in a way which doesn't diminish or sugar coat or obfuscate what it is which we encourage them to take so seriously.
  • I remember when I was in the Toledo diocese (and I think they still do this) the bishop celebrates Mass with student-athletes from the diocesan Catholic schools at the Cathedral, but the only thing that one might find "silly" about it is the athletes wearing their game jerseys and perhaps the bishop making athletic allusions in his homily. Otherwise, it was the Mass of the day, with all the requisite dignity of a pontifical Mass. I would hope a "sports Mass" would simply be this and not resorting to desecrating "decorating" the church with team banners and colors and silly cheers (like what I saw in one church that shall remain anonymous when the local pro football team reached the Super Bowl).
  • Chrism
    Posts: 869
    Ending with "I Am A Faithful Catholic" would be a winner, I think:

    I shun the haunts of those who seek
    To ensnare poor Catholic youth;
    No Church I own, no schools I know,
    But those that teach the Truth.

  • WGS
    Posts: 299
    I keep thinking of the Roman Coliseum displaying a banner proclaiming "Christians vs Lions" - for which, of course, the appropriate music would be "The Entry of the Gladiators", the military march composed in 1897 by the Czech composer Julius Fučík.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • Maureen
    Posts: 678
    There always have been things like guild Masses and Masses for professions, as well as Masses associated with upcoming sporting events. In Siena, the Palio horses are brought into their neighborhood churches or chapels to be blessed alongside their jockeys, and that's not new -- it's late medieval.

    (And every time a contrada wins a Palio, they bring back the Blessed Mother's banner into their church and sing the Te Deum.)

    The usual point of a pre-event Mass is giving glory to God, and begging for God's protection from harm for the players.

    I would say -- yes, use the sports-related readings, because that's fair enough.

    But otherwise, I would say that you use the best music you can, because it honors Christ and begs for safety for the athletes.

    You should also include Marian songs, because Mary is usually involved in devotions about protection for athletes, like Our Lady of Ghisallo for bicycle racers.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,709
    Extreme purple/... throws a Hail Mary at the recessional.., /please end the extreme purple
    Thanked by 1sdtalley3
  • Or celebrate the mass each year of the memorial/feast of St. Sebastian. (I can't remember the rank)
  • donr
    Posts: 971
    Mass should be done the normal way with Athletes present. There may be special prayers for them and their season, but a Mass said the proper way. With proper antiphons for the day.
    The only thing that I would suggest is that St. Sebastian is the Patron saint of Athletes so there could be something in honor of him at such a Mass.
  • Or celebrate the mass each year of the memorial/feast of St. Sebastian. (I can't remember the rank)

    He (they actually; poor St. Fabian!) is 3rd Cl. in the EF. Which matters little if he's the titular Saint of your parish. :-)
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,697
    A few years ago I did the Mass for “Catholic participants in the Super Bowl” when the SB was held in Phoenix. The Diocese gave me a budget that was only good for like 2 singers, but when I announced it 2 other professional singers in the area who were football fans agreed to come as volunteers - they wanted to see the football players.

    Not one player attended.

    But I’m sure the stagehands and coaching staff appreciated having polyphony.

    We used the Mass of the day (I believe it was a Friday).
    Thanked by 2irishtenor CHGiffen
  • vansensei
    Posts: 216
    Give eight of your strongest singers the Js Bach Singet dem Herrn. Vocal AND instrumental athletics. Bingo sports Mass
  • Select the readings and hymns for a "Sports Mass" after reading about a 20th-century Saint, Pier-Giorgio Frassati. He grew up in a well-to-do aristocratic family (mother very pious, father almost anti-clerical). He was an athlete but also did volunteer work for the poor. Died very young. Ignatius Press has a biography of him by Siccardi.
    Thanked by 3CharlesW Chrism chonak