Liturgical variations and distractions

A well-observed account of how liturgy can appear in a foreign country and culture. Christopher Howse’s article Sacred Mysteries: Spanish practices that trip up innocent visitors is available free for the next 30 days.


  1. These liturgical variations and distractions remind me alot of my family’s holidays meals:
    Someone is always late.
    That (annoying) aunt who wants to smother everyone with bearhugs and slurping kisses.
    The kids who just won’t be quiet and sit still and eat.
    Mom, who keeps fussing over everyone else but won’t herself sit down and eat.
    Uncle Joe who likes to dominate conversations.
    The teen who keeps looking at his watch, wishing he could be with his friends.
    The other teen who is doing perpetual adoration before her iphone.
    The songs sung out of tune.
    The cousin who has to eat and run.
    The in-law who still holds a grudge and didn’t show up again.
    The nephew who likes the wine too much.
    The annoying, irritable, exasperating, wonderful people who are my family. May they live long and prosper.
    I can’t wait till the next holiday meal. I think.

  2. Christopher Howse needs to attend Mass in the Philipines, maybe in the Tondo/Smokey Mountain, or some of the Masses for the various ethnic groups that we celebrate here in Japan.
    I actually glimpsed Mr Howse coming out from the 9:00 Sunday Mass at Westminster Cathedral, last time I was in London. My sources tell me that Mass is favoured by those who prefer a relatively quiet Mass. The 10:30 sees the choir and organist present, pulling out all the stops, and with far more present, and music from start to finish.

  3. Quite frankly, I pretty much worship however I want.rubrics never applied in such a strict way to the laity until very recently.

    My hero is the woman in Thomas Day’s book, the Culture of Catholicism and the Triumph of Bad Taste, who said in response to an offered hand, “I don’t do that shit.”

  4. The thing that struck me most about this minority-interest piece was the fact that it appeared in print in one of our national newspapers. Not the sort of thing you normally expect to see…

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