Posted by: Joe of St. Thérèse | December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas…and the things that make baby Jesus smile…and cry

Things that make Baby Jesus smile

1. Cassock and Surplices on servers

2. Gold Chalices

3. Tabernacle in the Middle

Things that make Baby Jesus cry

1. Altar girls…in male clerical dress

2. Ab libbing the Mass

3. Changing the Gloria for “Angels, we have heard on high”

4. Pouring of the Precious Blood after the Consecration

5. Not putting the seminarian reflection in the bulletin

6. an off key singer

7. Liturgical Dancing

Tis up to you to figure out which ones I saw during Mass for Christmas. May all of you have a blessed Christmas season 🙂



  1. I went to the 10pm Mass at St Lawrence and guess which half of the list the Mass fell into?

    • I’m guessing baby Jesus shed some tears 😦

  2. Joe, I don’t think that an off-key singer per se is going to make the Baby Jesus cry. The Baby Jesus knows that the all-volunteer choir has been practicing for weeks, has sung for thirty minutes to an hour before Mass even begins in many places, and is now contending with copious amounts of incense as they stand far too close to the altar in those terrible churches (which today’s choir members didn’t build, of course) where there’s no room for the choir in the back where they should be. The Baby Jesus also knows that few parishes make music enough of a priority to pay professional singers; if even one of the regular organists or musicians is paid that’s about the norm.

    And while I’m not terribly keen on altar girls, either, the problem now is that some people have grown up with this practice which is still not forbidden (and pretty much required in some dioceses). Many of the young ladies who do join in the service at the altar are fine young Catholics, deeply pro-life, regular Mass attendees, etc., who honestly don’t realize that once upon a time some wicked feminists manipulated Rome into giving permission for females to serve.

    I’m with you on most of the rest of the list, though. Ad libbing the Mass is wrong, plain and simple; the so-called “Christmas Gloria” needs to disappear; the Precious Blood needs to be treated according to the rubrics; and liturgical dancing is a no-no. But as far as the seminarian reflection making it into the bulletin–mercy, charity, and a knowledge of how things operate in most parish offices would make me suspect the omission was an accidental clerical error unless you know for certain otherwise. 🙂

    • Erin, thanks for commenting :)…glad to see you found my pathetic excuse for a blog :p

      a. Altar girls themselves of course don’t make baby Jesus cry, but them being in cassock and surplice does…(strictly speaking the clothes are male and clerical by their nature). That’s why I was specific with the in male clerical dress part. For conventual Masses for solemnities, girls could serve Mass, but when they served, it was from outside the sanctuary. Never will they be at any of the Masses that God willing I’ll offer, but for now they’re licit option.

      b. For the off key singer, it was one of those you had to be there moments…think Justin Bieber, but with a slightly deeper voice…If I could record the voice I would have.

      c. I hardly think it was accidental. Though they may have put it in an earlier bulletin. I have to look, of course being home and a seminarian doesn’t give me much time to myself to research into it. Though I’ll be in communication with the parish since I’m back in town.

      Is it too much to ask for a Mass by the rubrics for Christmas? apparently….:(

      Have a most blessed Christmas season, and thanks again for commenting 🙂

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