15 Things That Need To Stop Happening During Mass

In this episode of The Catholic Talk Show, the guys talk about all the irritating, distracting, and bad practices and behaviors that need to stop happening during The Holy Mass.

In this episode, you will learn:
• The irritating things that too many Catholics do…
• Should you hold hands during the Our Father?
• The biggest Church design flaws
• What parts of the liturgy do priests need to do better?
• and much more

Show Links & Resources:

Join us on Pilgrimage to Poland and Rome!: jpii.catholictalkshow.com

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46 comments on 15 Things That Need To Stop Happening During Mass

  1. Andrea says:

    Hi guys,
    There are opinionated people who are passionate about their views and then there is Ryan Scheel. You get even more over the top than I do although you reined yourself in a bit during this episode. I have to say that I agree for the most part about what needs to stop happening during Mass. I don’t condone clapping even if done spontaneously.

    As far as the sign of Peace why not do this just before you say go in Peace the Mass has ended, then there is no interruption to the liturgy. There are far too many people who don’t donate because they say the Catholic Church is worth trillions. (I enjoyed watching your podcast twice about the worth of the Church and how it donates $171B annually to charities, shelters, hospitals, education, etc. I have used that figure many a time since and in more than a few arguments.) I have watched some of your podcasts at least twice to be sure I missed nada.

    By the way, I am a liberal and Jesus, who turns away no-one and everyone has access to His Divine Mercy, is the ultimate liberal, Mr. Ryan Scheel. I was always taught to be quiet in Church as I went through 12 years of Catholic school and had devout Catholic parents. However, if you think about Jewish temples they are a place where the community gathers so there is conversation.

    I agree with RS that you give people an inch many take a freaking mile. We are not there for a form of religious entertainment as you pointed out. I don’t drink from the chalice and never did because of the fear of germs such as RD mentioned. Lipstick on the chalice is just tacky.

    In my ignorance, and when I was younger, my favorite part of the Mass was the Homily. The priest expanding on God’s word. I loved to hear it. It is a gift to be able to express your faith in words that reach the people. Just like artists or writers have received special gifts or talents from God. But if you are no preacher preparation and brevity should happen as both Fr. Rich and RS mentioned. Take the words of the Lord and outline how they are relevant today but be brief.

    I agree with all three of you that the less distraction from the sanctity of what is going on during Mass the better the understanding of what is happening with God coming down to His people through the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. When I was younger I would be eager to leave Mass early and go back to enjoying life after doing my weekly duty. I left right after communion many times. I also spent many years just attending Mass during Advent or Lent or when someone got married. I don’t think I gave much thought then to mortal sin. I was lazy and didn’t want to be inconvenienced. If God was everywhere and within me why did I need to go to Mass was my rationalization.

    This was one of your best podcasts and I always enjoy the adventures of Fr. Rich. I also like the glimpses into the lives of both Ryan’s. The number three has not only divine significance but three moderators make a show work.

    Take care and God bless us all.

  2. Friends, I sure enjoy your shows. What caught my ear this time around was your discussion about giving and tithing. I am the Director of Stewardship for the Diocese of Evansville, and I just wrote a column for our diocesan paper regarding tithing. It’s a different perspective than you talked about. It’s here: https://evdiomessage.org/the-right-tithe/ I write a column for the paper about stewardship twice a month.

    I think your short discussion about having a show regarding stewardship/tithing/giving is a great idea. There are many resources available to facilitate your discussion, including an entire network of stewardship and development professionals in arch/dioceses across the country who would be glad to help out.

    1. Jimmy'Z says:

      Y’all forgot about “NO COMMUNION IN THE HANDS!” Liturgical Abuse!

  3. Connie says:

    Horrible practice that you barely touched on. The Oranz position is reserved for the priest. Why when this happens isn’t it addressed from the pulpit? Almost everyone at our church does it and even one of our deacons does it. It is a distraction and I so wish folks would be asked not to do it. Please talk about it.

  4. Rosemary says:

    I am so annoyed by everyone tasing their hands as the priest does, I think it is called the Orens pose!
    It is actually just for the priest to do as he say the consecration, I asked our pastor. I also asked about holding hands to which he replied ‘ it’s not kumbaya and I have no idea why they all do it.
    Can’t the priest reserve certain things for himself after all he is the one Ordained.
    Almost as bad as when my young daughter received her First Communion, and her little Jewish and Protestant friends went up too and received. Have the priests no authority?.

    1. Thomas Gatliffe says:

      I don’t normally follow this program and this episode just reinforced that choice decision. All I could think of was “What a group of self-centered, pompous, judgemental people.” Couldn’t complete the episode. I’m 77 and not particularly receptive to this style of rambling, stream of consciousness back and forth. I’ll pray for you all and go back to reading cogent commentary.

      1. Frank Rotondo says:

        As a Catholic of the Eastern Rite I am amazed at the disrespect at Latin Rite liturgys that most people in attendance do just an observation not judging

      2. Timothée says:

        Ok boomer…

      3. Antony Leone says:

        Ok boomer.
        Exhibit A. The generation that has almost ruined the mass. The youth are rising through a return to tradition.

  5. Christ offered his body and blood after He and all the apostles had eaten.
    Was this offering an hour later or an hour before the meal?
    The Chalice that Christ offered His blood in was not made of precious metal, nor was it lined with gold.
    The apostles did not receive the body and blood of Christ on the tongue. Hello?
    Receiving Communion in both forms is equally important or Christ would not have offered both the bread and wine. Receiving one without the other is not true Communion.
    Of course genuflecting in front of the tabernacle is always preferred. However genuflecting in front of the altar when the tabernacle is not present, but, when there is a large crucifix on the wall, is a sign of reverence and respect for Christ.
    As a child, who attended Catholic school, I was always taught to genuflect before I entered the pew to be seated whether the tabernacle was present on the altar or not So now it’s not okay to do that? C’mon!
    It’s no wonder Catholics nowadays are confused.

    1. Eileen says:

      “Receiving one without the other is not true Communion”??? That is heresy.

  6. Yvonne Balcer says:

    This is the best talk given. Father, bring this up at a meeting with other priests.

  7. JD3 says:

    As a cradle Protestant who converted to Catholicism 4 years ago, I was surprised when the church of my youth sometimes felt more traditionally catholic than when I had finally come “home”. This was the perfect episode for me to stumble across to become a follower of your site. THANK YOU!

  8. Thank you for touching a few of the things that have changed since Vatican Counsel ll. A quick story. My neighbor, a ninety year old Irish lady, wanted to go to Sunday Mass. In spite of being a person who has not practiced Religion in thirty years, I told her I would love to take her. When we entered the church I was amazed by what I saw. I should mention I went to Catholic school and I loved what I learned. But of course things change. The alter was decorated with twigs. I was confused 🤷‍♀️ I looked for the candle reminding us that Christ was always present. I couldn’t find it anywhere. I asked Mrs. Mary where did they put Jesus? She laughed and shushed me. I knew things changed when the guitars came in and strummed something that caused you to look for the bulls and Spanish ladies dancing down the aisle. But for me there were too many changes. I loved going to Mass every day. I wish I could talk with some one who could help me understand the why of it. Mrs. Mary was a great blessing to me. She brought me back some faith. I love Jesus and His Blessed Mother and nothing will change that, but I yearn for the old ways.

    1. Anne Gustke says:

      Had to comment on the 15 things episode Nearly everything you said could be eliminated by going back to the Traditional
      Latin Mass, The reason for the abuses is the throwing away of the Sacred in favor of a feel good Mass.
      I was raised in the pre Vatican 2 era, and suffered through the changes and tried to accept these very things you discussed .
      We now have been back to the Latin Mass nearly 15 years. I feel sad for Catholics who have no idea how Mass
      should be celebrated and attended. Don’t say I’m judgmental , the blame is in Rome But we do incur blame if we don’t change what we can and speak out when it is prudent. You won’t find those 15 things at the Latin Mass,
      The first thing you notice is the silence, the focus is God, not our neighbor, we can have community AFTER Mass.

  9. Catholic Lady says:

    Regarding the comment about Communion under both species not being necessary – as a celiac, I wouldn’t be able to receive the Eucharist if it wasn’t served under both species, separately. I’m not the only Catholic celiac I know!

    1. Alameda Williams says:

      In most parishes I know of, there is an option of receiving a gluten free host. You must tell your priest before hand of course, but even if they do not have gluten free on hand they will get some for you. Just let you priest know.

      They keep the gluten free hosts separate and there is great care given to keep things safe and holy.

  10. Antony Leone says:

    Fantastic episode-agree with the whole list. Only recently came across your podcast and I’m thinking of becoming a patron.
    I’m a young married catholic who had returned to the church through the discovery of the Traditional Latin Mass.
    All that is wrong, irreverent, and scandalous in the new mass was put in place to try and “modernise” the church. It achieved nothing but drive us away.

  11. Yvonne Balcer says:

    Drop the sappy Protestant hymns and bring back some beautiful Catholic hymns.

  12. Ana Lucia says:

    Yes. I’m from COSTA RICA in Central America. I’ve been following the show since March last year. I liked this episode very much. We also suffer many of those things in the Latin America. Some are related to culture. Some, don’t really apply. But I have been in Mass in English and in Italian, and I know some things happen in more places than thought. Father Rich, you’re my hero. That story about the shirtless guy was AWESOME!! Thanks very much for what you did. I’ll pray for that guy’s soul; count on that. I’m glad there was no Inquisition today. I am still trying to overcome “the crickettes’ Inquisition” for the Trappist Beer episode. God bless you guys and your program, too.

    1. KG Dan says:

      Why is Intinction not practiced now during mass (at least Sunday mass) for Jesus said “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. … Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.”

  13. Emily Ortner says:

    I’d just like to ask, does the guy in the middle have any kids??
    I mean, it’s not an excuse to want to have communion lines done in about ten minutes. We can be reverent and still not jeopardize our children’s lives because of how the children generally start behaving around the preparation of the gifts. I have been a proposer or going to separate masses so that the very young children “can’t go” until they reach a certain age, thus it is a privilege and something they look forward to, however my husband does not see any wisdom in that, so we bring a 7,4,2,and 1 year old to mass and struggle the entire time. To what end?? I would love an answer. Many cradle Catholics and many converts would probably agree that as a very young child, who can’t even remember what is going on, it is less beneficial to struggle through a mass every Sunday if you have the means for small child care. I will clarify, that OTHER children do not at all bother me during mass, I just argue that in some situations we are banging our heads with hammers to try to alleviate our headache, instead of being wise and practical. I still would presume that the dude in the middle has no children though 😂

    1. Andrea says:

      I think Ryan Scheel has two children. Ryan Dellacrosse has six.

  14. Emily ortner says:

    Okay, as far as the sign of peace goes, I think that’s one of my favorite parts of mass, and I don’t care where they put it in the liturgy. But the sign of peace, and the exchange of peace, gives me the sense of community which Christ beckons us to live within…without community and communion with the other human beings we’ve been place on earth with, then what are we doing? No man is an island, and Christ is both fully human and fully divine. We need communion and peace with each other in order to receive peace and communion in our hearts with Christ. Otherwise we should be going to confession and not receiving the hold sacrament, if we don’t have peace with one another

    1. Andrea says:

      I had been thinking the sign of peace for everyone be given just before the priest announces that the Mass is ended go in peace. I too think giving the sign of peace to the community and the world is important.

      I am in reading comments to the podcast which I do after each podcast. Some of the comments are informative or just nice to read. Some do a good job critiquing the podcast as well.

      I enjoyed your comments. Thank you for me anyway.

  15. Mary says:

    The content of this talk was very good and hopefully produce many more “why” questions? Number one on my list, however, is to stop the practice of distribution of Communion in the hand. I believe Communion in the hand is the single most abusive practice that has been implemented during Mass and serves to challenge belief in the real presence and therefore in the sacredness of the experience during Mass. I was taught as a child that only the priest was to handle the body and blood of Jesus. Returning to the priest handling the Eucharist and the use of the “communion rail” would serve to return some of the respect and awe for Jesus in the Eucharistic. How can we expect reverence the way Communion is distributed now?

    1. Andrea says:

      I respectfully disagree. The wafer is going to that person and will be consumed by that person so touch is already involved.

    2. Anonymous says:

      I have a question about drinking from the cup if you’re sick. If it is truly the body and blood of Christ (which is what I believe), isn’t anything that comes in contact with the Lord’s blood purified? How can anyone get sick from eating and drinking our Master’s body and blood?

      1. Sharon McLeod says:

        I was told at Church not to worry, as the alcohol level is such that it kills all germs.

      2. Alice Trammer says:

        AMEN! I believe this too! I always have!!

        Luring you in to get your sick is not the way GOD works.
        Jesus I trust in You!

        Besides that, I think that if you get sick from the Precious Blood it would be God’s Will.

  16. M. says:

    Ryan, this is a comment just for you – I couldn’t find any contact information for you in order to send you a private message.

    I personally don’t know you, but I see your zeal for souls! My guess is that you want to win souls for Christ; however, I’m not quite sure if you’ll win/are winning as many as our Lord might be calling you to (however, I have no way of really knowing this – I just some personal observations which I hope you might consider reflecting on or taking to spiritual direction).

    This was my 1st introduction to your show (I think I clicked a link from FaceBook). I’m not sure who your intended/target audience was for this episode. That said, if your intended audience is a fallen-away or uncatechized Catholic, I wonder if your delivery might be more off-putting (anti-evangelistic) toward fallen-away/uncatechized Catholics, even if your demeanor/approach has softened a bit, as you said at the end. With your arms looking folded, your body looking a bit hunched over, & in a seemingly constant state of disapproval/sorrow/rant/attack/combativeness (pick whatever term feels less oppressive), I’m afraid that your delivery might not look as appealing, attractive, or magnanimous (something I personally struggle with striving to be myself) to those whose practices you are trying to bring into greater catechesis – not nearly as many as I’m guessing you’d hope for. This is not meant to be a personal attack on you, but another’s humblingly humble reflection in hopes that you might have an outside glimpse into how others could be viewing our like-minded Catholic brethren (meaning, perhaps the very ‘way’ we tell others that they are not worshiping in the best way possible is exactly why they put up a wall to whatever we’d like to share with them).

    All that said, having lived in a wonderfully beautiful parish over the past 8 years, you gave a lot to think about/remember from my past experiences in other parishes’ liturgies. I pray that during your Masses that you will be able to personally detach from all disturbances so as to be able to enter into your best personal worship to honor our Lord.

    If you’d like, feel free to e-mail me back – God Bless!

    1. Hello! Those are fair assessments and no offense taken. For every St. John XXIII there is a St. Jerome. We were very intentional on how our personalities mix to serve our audience and how we correct each other’s tendencies. Some people relate to the experiential trust and practicality of Ryan DellaCrosse, some people relate to the compassion and heart of Fr. Rich, and others relate to whatever it is Ryan Scheel is doing. LOL.

      I would encourage you to check out other episodes since this was your first time listening as most of our other topics are probably a little less likely to be in this vein of complaint or criticism.

  17. Aaron Nielsen says:

    I enjoyed listening to this episode because I love hearing about pious practice, innovation in the mass (or the blessed lack thereof), and generally what is going on.

    One thing that really struck me though was your discussion of communing in one kind. I know this is a debate that has been raging for… well forever and a day. And I’m a big fan of reception in 2 kinds. It was interesting to me that you seemed to have a few Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc arguments for reception in one kind. the two that stuck out the most were the ones about Germ Theory and Lip stick. These came across as arguments developed after you’d already decided to receive only in 1 kind. The second argument was that “we don’t need both kinds to receive the whole Christ.” And while I agree with you, our blessed savior chose in his wisdom to institute the mass in both kinds. This sounded a lot like how Prots argue that “you don’t need baptism or Eucharist because Jesus already gives you his grace!” to which I’d say “You’re right, but in his wisdom he chose to also give us his grace through these means.”

    I believe the preferred method is to do as our Lord commanded “Take Eat” “Take Drink” two species, two actions.

  18. David says:

    per you guys comment on homiletics, I have heard priests that can say more in 5 to 6 minutes than others, one of the marks of good speaking is knowing when to stop, Priest of my youth,(an real crank) announced that all sermons would last at least 20 minutes, trouble was he ran out of material at 5 to 6 and just repeated himself over and over, we all kind of woke up when we heard ” in conclusion”. Listened to a young priest at a latin low mass preach on “thou shall keep holy the lords day”, had everyone squirming in no more than 4 or 5 minutes, he really made his point. iow, keep it to the point and short

  19. Doc Fig says:

    Speaking as an ex-Lutheran (see JD3 above): Came from a very HIGH and Orthodox Lutheran congregation. And no matter how one might feel about Luther’s theology, he elevated music, particularly hymnody, to and for the church and the people. One of the things that I miss most during service is the fine tradition of the hymns in the LBW. Not certain how, why, and who picked the hymns in the current modern Catholic hymnal, but 75% pale in comparison to those in the LBW. And continuing in the Lutheran tradition, how about singing all the verses of a hymn”? The last verse is often the “punch” line. And singing them all will only take maybe a minute or two more. Well maybe not if you sing all seven verses of “For All the Saints.” But then you should. Similar to using the Athanasian Creed on Trinity Sunday (if you don’t “get it” by the end, you never will ). But that’s only once a year. Why the rush? In a similar vein, there are 12 appointed lessons for Easter Vigil. Let’s read them all. It’s supposed to last until past midnight. After all, it is is the Queen of Liturgies. Sorry for the rant.

  20. Mike says:

    Wow. Is this “new evangelization?” I can’t imagine a less winsome argument for our beautiful Church. I attend Mass to worship the Lord in community. If people hold hands in prayer, wish each other “Peace of the Lord”, say Amen or are moved by the Holy Spirit, then Thanks and Praise be to God! Lay ministers are part of the mission and worship of our church (and Josef ratzinger was at Vatican II). My family drives an hour to worship at John Paul II because it’s focus is Jesus. Not only his presence in the Holy Eucharist, but his word in scripture and in action by how we love each other. Imagine Ryan having this discourse with the Lord.

  21. Gary Ware says:

    Why did it take you five minutes of talking before you got onto the subject

  22. Matthew Paul Meyer says:

    I agree with nearly everything, but I would rather have people going to mass than not. Sometimes we can’t always get what we want, but if we try we get what we need.

  23. Christopher says:

    I think the “second collection” needs to be limited to a few times per year – I would say 6 tops. We have a nearby parish that has it almost every single week! As a matter of fact, their church bulletin actually has “first collection” amount printed out! My wife and I have noticed folks from beyond that church coming to ours, and no wonder why. I could go on-and-on about their money mismanagement, but that doesn’t occur “during mass”.

  24. Rita Mersinger says:

    I am a new to this podcast and have recently listened to two of them. Both brought up the excess use of Extraordinary Ministers of Communion at mass. The impression that I got from the priests( sorry, I don’t know your names) is that they themselves and many people prefer receiving the body of Christ from a priest.
    I guess what I want to know is do you feel that way so strongly that you bring Communion to all of your hospitalized and homebound parishioners?

  25. Eileen says:

    Great podcast! I was nodding my head in agreement with everything you talked about. I would add taking babies into the baby room when they start screaming and obviously not going to settle down. Not sure why folks with small ones sit up front every week. So distracting and disruptive. Also tithing is another thing. My church actually mails an “anticipated giving” form to parishioners every year. I get they want to try and budget for the next year but yikes!! Regarding the Homily – we are blessed with a few Deacons who are wonderful speakers. I’m not a fan of holding hands — people cough, mess with their hair, nose, books, etc. I keep my hands in prayer, eyes closed, head bowed and say the Our Father.

  26. Raquel O Bridges says:

    I liked this podcast, it addresses many of the “common” abuses in the church. As I traveled throughout the years and dropped in to mass on the way to my destination; I noticed many mal- practices exist throughout different states I travelled through. When you addressed inappropriate dress, I wish you’d gone deeper. I think it would be good to address it all, not skim over it. A lot of young teens, and women in general wear see through dresses, extremely low cut dresses and extremely short skirts or dresses- displaying their God-given bodily gifts, even when fulfilling lecture, eucharistic ministry duties. A few things that ya’ll didn’t mention: 1) feeding small children in church. Some moms bring in snacks; usually with loud packaging, dorito chips, cereal, candy, cereal bars, etc. When I’ve suggested taking the young child out of mass and into the lobby-it wasn’t received in charity. 2) Another common abuse I’ve seen in all ages: playing video games in mass 3) Excessive talking during mass 4) de-licing and hair grooming during mass.

  27. Katie Carbajal says:

    Add a 16th—priest leaving as closing hymn begins. Most of the congregation leaves behind him and choir left singing alone, usually not even getting through 2nd verse.

  28. Claudia says:

    I truly dislike stopping to shake hands with someone. It breaks up the prayer and hanse purpose.

  29. Ann L Chorbi says:

    WOW…..1st show and WOW that guy in the middle Ryan Scheel, if he has kids as someone mentioned in the email replies, they must statute him….I think it’s beautiful that young families struggle with bringing children to Mass. Most churches have ‘crying rooms’. Parents can prepare a little sack of books etc. A lot of what was mentioned wouldn’t be a problem if common sense was used. They didn’t even bring up inappropriate attire, esp. for women. These are things priests all over should educate their flock about, just in case there families never told them. Everyone needs guidelines and boundaries….I’m puzzled why priests don’t do more of this kind of teaching WITH compassion….
    As far as homilies, didn’t Jesus talk in parables to the crowds…..I so enjoy our Irish priests that have ‘stories’ to share that definitely have a moral to the story…..I watch EWTN Mass daily and love Fr. Joseph because he’s about the only one that can deliver an excellent homily…. all about the stories…I think Fr. Rich is great and has that sixth sense for people, but that Ryan Scheel he reminds me that laws of the church are more important than compassion for those that show up…..esp. families and young people…..If he has any clout in his church he should teach in a compassionate way what irritates him so much….He’s like a Pharisee. A few times over my 80 + years I had to say “Why am I even going to church, the homilies were terrible or non-existent” So I said to myself….I go to church because of what takes place on the alter…..and Jesus said “Do this in memory of me”…..so I go and pray for those poor in spirit priests….plus I’m a convert.

  30. Virginia Lee says:

    RE: the bells
    I was on a liturgy committee at a previous church and I was heavily campaigning to use the bells. Some thought it would be asking too much from the servers to know when to ring them! Anyway, I lost the battle, but the next Sunday when Father elevated the host, a train passing by blared it’s horn long and hard. The next Sunday, when Father elevated the host, our church bells went off at a time not programmed to go off! Huh.

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