America Poll: How Good is the Liturgy in Your Parish?

America magazine polled its readers on how they would rate the liturgy in their parishes. Responses were remarkable positive. 56% rated the quality as “very high” or “high.” Perhaps no surprise, preaching was one area that many (23%) said needed improvement. Maybe a bit more surprising, 24% said that “lay engagement” needed improvement. It’s a bit hard to know exactly what this means, but presumably many feel that our liturgical assemblies are not yet to the full, conscious, and active participation that Vatican II called for over half a century ago. Also surprising was that music was not higher on the dissatisfaction list (only 16%), given how much people like to complain about it.


  1. It would be nice to know (perhaps it’s in the print edition):

    1. How was the poll conducted?
    2. How many respondents?

    And understand that America’s readership is not a random sample of American Catholics at large. I suspect this readership might be more inclined than those at large to actively choose a parish (where choices are available) closer to their own liturgical praxis desiderata.

  2. This poll is a bit like saying, “Of the people interviewed coming out of Walgreens, a majority reported being satisfied with the service at Walgreens.” What about all those people across the street at the new CVS?

    1. A poll that does not claim to be scientific–i.e., does not claim to be a more-or-less accurate representative measure of the larger population–should not be dismissed as unscientific and unreliable. No claims made, no aspersions deserved.

  3. America readers probably engage in a bit of parish selection for their own preferences which may account for the high satisfaction rate. But I wouldn’t necessarily expect to see a drop off in liturgy ratings with a random sample either. I suspect that the America readership has higher expectations for the quality of the liturgy than the average pew sitter who may be more generous in their assessments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *