Aug 152013
 

By the power of the Gospel, the Spirit enables the Church keep the freshness of youth.

Lumen Gentium Article 4 Paragraph 1 Topic F

The Mass is Boring

Probably ever parent has heard at one time or another from their children that Mass is boring. As I have told my children from my own experience, Mass is as boring as you want it to be.

In the previous section we talked about how boring the Gospel is. If you believe that, then yes, you will find Mass boring. Almost all of the parts of the Mass are taken directly from Scripture. With the Spirit in the Scriptures and the Scriptures in the Mass, how could anyone say the Mass is boring?

Scripture in the Mass

Here is part of the Liturgy of the Eucharist:

Priest

Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made. (Ecclesiastes 3:13) It will become for us the bread of life. (John 6:35)

People

Blessed be God forever. (Psalms 68:36)

Priest

Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands. It will become our spiritual drink. (Luke 22:17-18)

People

Blessed be God forever. (Psalms 68:36)

Priest

Pray, brethren, that our sacrifice may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father. (Hebrews 12:28)

People

May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of his name, for our sake and the good of all his holy Church. (Psalms 50:23)

Priest

The Lord be with you. (Zephaniah 3:17)

People

And with your spirit. (Colossians 1:27)

Priest

Lift up your hearts. (Psalms 25:1-2)

People

We lift them up to the Lord. (Lamentation 3:41)

Priest

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. (Colossians 3:17)

People

It is right and just. (Colossians 1:3)

This does not even count the three Scripture readings along with the fulfillment of Jesus command to celebrate His last supper.

What Makes Something Boring

When I ask why Mass is boring, the responses I hear most often that it is the music or the preaching or because it’s always the same thing. Somewhere in the discussion I will almost always hear, “I just don’t get anything out of it.”

The research shows that 10% of those growing up Catholic will abandon the Church after leaving their parent’s control for a non-affiliated Protestant denomination because of more “dynamic worship”.

Going up Protestant and being involved with the charismatic renewal, I have been to many “dynamic worship” services and meetings. Interestingly enough, they are the same format each week filled with music and preaching. Sure the music is Nashville quality and the speakers are polished and the children programs are fun for the little ones and the sense of community is wonderful but after years in this, many will say “You know, this is fun but I am kind of bored.”

There are bored multi-millionaires. There are bored CEOs. There are bored priests. There are bored movie stars. And there are many bored Christians.

Life Meets Your Expectations

I have come to the conclusion that life is as amazing as you will allow it. My daughters taught me this lesson. As they began discovering the world, they were amazed at everything. Many gifts sat waiting for them while they explored the box it came in and the wrapping paper. To a child, everything is amazing until that day comes with they become bored with it. Sunsets are always remarkable unless all you see is the sun dropping below the horizon.

If you expect the message of the Scriptures to be out-of-touch and not helpful with any “modern” concerns, that is exactly what you will find. If you come Mass expecting to get nothing from the music, you won’t get anything. If you come expecting to find Christ in the Scripture, you will find Him. If you come expecting another pointless and rambling homily, that is exactly what you will hear. If you come expecting to find Christ in the Eucharist you will find Him. If you come expecting your fellow parishioners are a bunch of hypocrites you will be amazed how right you are. If you come expecting to be touched by God, you will leave a different person. If you come out of obligation rather than opportunity and can’t wait for this hour to pass, you will find fault after fault in the Mass and it will as boring as watching grass grow.

For those that leave the Church for Protestant “dynamic worship” services will also find they meet their expectations.

Practical Tips for Being a Lumen Gentium

As lumen gentiums, we are called to come to any given situation with the expectation that Christ will be glorified. With this attitude, we are able to look at the world as does a child who has been unstained with pessimism, fear, and doubt. Children expect the world to be amazing and it is to them. Is this why Jesus said unless become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven?

Expect that God will amaze you every day. Develop the habit of giving praise and glory to God when you are amazed. And then you will notice that you are glorifying God all day long.