Have you ever attended one of those Protestant services where there’s a projector screen presenting the lyrics to the songs? Where there is a full Christian band with electric guitars, an electric bass, maybe a keyboard, and a drum set? Now, have you ever wondered why Mass isn’t more like that? It seems to make sense. The Catholic Church is losing its youth. People think Mass is boring. Why can’t we have the appealing rock music of Protestantism? Why can’t we have the vibrant preachers who scream warnings of God’s impending judgment at us from the pulpit?
To put it quite simply, the Catholic Mass is Christocentric. Protestant church services tend to be anthropocentric. In other words, Protestants go to church to hear a man preach from the Bible, sing a few songs, say a few prayers, and fellowship with other Christians. The service itself is centered around the sermon. The Protestant service tends to be centered around man.
The Catholic Mass is fundamentally different. We don’t go to Mass to fellowship. That can be done on our own time. The Mass doesn’t center around a man’s sermon, and his own independent, non-authoritative interpretation of Scripture. The Mass centers around the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. We go to Mass to unite ourselves with the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, and to receive His body, blood, soul, and divinity. The Mass is Christocentric.
Since we go to Mass to receive Jesus, and not to be entertained, it would be inappropriate for us to have any elements in the Mass which might distract us from this. Everything we do in Mass must have the Eucharist in mind. That is why the Church does not allow certain types of instruments and music during Mass.
Read the accounts of the heavenly host singing God’s praises at the birth of Christ in the Gospel According to Luke, and in Revelation. You don’t see depictions of “entertainment”. You read of solemn, yet joyous exaltation of God! Most people, in fact, don’t realize that many of the prayers we sing during Mass actually come from the Bible.
We sing the “Glory to God” sung by the angels during their appearance to the shepherds announcing the birth of Christ. We also sing the “Holy, Holy, Holy” sung by the angels in Revelation! The fact is, the Catholic Mass conforms perfectly with the depiction of angelic worship of God!
So, the next time you find yourself bored at Mass, remember why you’re there. Remind yourself that you are worshiping God in the same way as the angels!
If you are a Catholic who no longer attends Mass because you’re bored, or it seems too monotonous, just remember that God loves monotony! Jesus prayed the same words for three hours in the Garden of Gethsemane. The sun rises in the East and sets in the West everyday. Does God get bored with it? No, because He is delighted with His creation. He sees the wonder in it all. Why should we be any different? Remember Jesus’ words, “Do this in memory of Me.”
Return to Mass, my fellow Catholics. Don’t defy the command of Christ. Come, and worship with the heavenly host!
Peace in Christ,
David J. Pollard
American Catholic Solidarity