Skip to comments.Beat the clock: welcome to the 15-minute mass (Catholic Caucus)
Posted on 02/25/2010 3:47:21 PM PST by NYer
And it's causing a small sensation in Ireland:
You can find more about it at the link.
An Irish cleric's congregation has increased tenfold in a week -- thanks to a quickie Mass.
Despite the controversies which have rocked the church in recent years and the resulting fall-off in attendances at church services, Fr Michael Kenny has been packing them in at his Kilconly parish in Co Galway.
The popular priest started his 15-minute Mass as nothing more than an experiment at the start of Lent, just over a week ago. And he attributes the speed of the service to foregoing a sermon -- and having the help of a Eucharistic minister for communion.
The regular morning Mass at 9am had been drawing an attendance of just three or four up to the start of his no-frills experiment.
Fr Kenny decided to bring the time back to 7.30am and guarantee he would keep parishioners no longer than a quarter of a hour.
Attendances at the small north Galway parish church have now soared to between 30 and 40, with Mass-goers walking out the door by 7.45am.
"The general view among parishioners is that the 9am Mass was totally unsuitable for people going to work.
"Now, more and more people are coming along to the Mass at 7.30am as they know they can be on their way to work or school 15 or 20 minutes later and it is far more suitable," said Fr Kenny.
It takes at least 30 minutes to pray the morning Divine Office. Your thoughts?
“Can you not watch one hour with me?”
I used to go to a Mass at lunchtime on the Air Force base where I worked that would take about 20 minutes. It’s a weekday, and people have jobs ... or at least they used to. Of course he was only getting three old ladies and a disabled duffer at 9:00 a.m.!
Our Saturday vigil has lasted only 37 minutes especially when certain football games are televised and that is with a packed church.
When will the mass drive-thru window be installed?...
“3 eucharists and fries, thanks”
“That’ll be 5 hail marys and 2 our fathers, drive through to the second window”
LOL! I remember getting up early when I was in high school so I could attend Father McMahon’s 8:30 Sunday Mass. Twenty minutes, tops. His 10:00 Mass was way over an hour.
He gets a lot of static from some but his homilies are so good they ought to be on EWTN, as it is, they are posted on youtube.
His daily Masses are a bit shorter (one hour long)
It is like football which only has about three minutes of actual play time.
Wife just commented to me after I told her about this story: “Just goes to show if people have time, they WILL go to Mass.”
If our parish offered something like this in the afternoons I would go most every day in 45+ degree weather—I ride a motorcycle.
We had an older priest in our Parish who used to say Mass in 20 minutes. There was no singing, and his sermons were VERY short. I called him ‘Shotgun Leo’.
This is true of the masses said in my parish which is run by a Maronite Catholic priest. Did you know there is a large community of Maronites in Malta?
This article is referring to a weekday daily mass.
His daily Masses are a bit shorter. Usually running an hour in length.
Mass was said by our retired pastor, a priest of the old school. He kept it under a half hour, usually twenty minutes, simply by not waiting for the responses. It was as if he was saying mass in private.
He used the time he saved to be extremely meticulous in picking up every last particle of the host that fell on the altar cloth.
R.I.P. Msgr. V.
My father asked me about 3 years ago, as a member of the younger generation, why I thought worship attendance was falling off. Although I didn’t want to answer, I did so as honestly as I could. I felt that the younger generation, with all the demands on their schedules, work, school, kids, soccer, ballet, cleaning the house, scouts, mow the lawn, karate, etc. etc. , they were just trying to recoup some of their time. A half day, when you throw in getting ready, getting there and getting back home again is a big chunk of basically your two days off.
Used to be problems with what they called a "hunting Mass" - in other words, get it over with so we can all go hunting.
OK, I’m not Catholic but often allowed on these threads so I will venture to make a comment. If you feel it is inappropriate, feel free to delete.
My response to this:
IS THIS GUY SERIOUS?!?!? That is the MOST offensive thing I have heard in the longest time. Putting a ‘timer’ on any time with God, much less the Mass is an insult to God. God deserves ALL of our time, all of our worship, all of our devotion, not just a ‘quickie’ because some people think they are too busy.
If you are too busy to spend time with God, you are too busy, period; and people who would be drawn to a 15 min mass need to get their priorities straight. Mass is sacred, it is Holy and this guy treats it like a ‘coffee break’.
Wow. Just Wow. Getting off my soapbox now...
Our priest takes a half hour for weekday Masses — sometimes 40 minutes depending on the number of people attending — 30 to 40 usually. Sometimes it drops down to 10 to 20 during the rainy season, but rarely.
People just keep flocking to our parish. I would say now during Lent we are averaging 50 to 60 attendees.
A beautiful and refreshing way to begin or break up the day.
I don’t think it’s the length of the Mass (under 30 minutes) that makes a difference, so much as having it at a time that parishioners can attend. That depends on the parish. When we were at the University of Oklahoma, daily Mass was at 4:30 pm most days, and generally had a good turnout. In a different parish, most people would have been at work at that hour.
Not too many folks are happy about Stations of the Cross at 4:00 PM on Fridays but it is still well-attended.
My parish, which isn’t near anything except the Interstate, has Stations at 4:00 p.m., too. I don’t know who they’re getting except the retirees. Middle schools don’t even let out until 4:00, and nobody can go there quickly from their home or business.
In general, I don't think it's the length of the Mass that matters, it's the reverence; especially for the True Presence.
Midday masses at St Patty’s in NYC during the workweek usually run about 20 minutes or so.
I don’t mind the homily at all, but too many of the padres treat it like their opportunity to live out their stand-up comedian fantasies. It’s a huge turn off to me, and to many others, I am sure.
I think a 25-30 minute mass with a serious tone would draw well.
How tragically sad!
There greatest gift from God Himself, His Real Presence - and this is the response?
Please dear Lord, Have Mercy On Us, for we know not what we do.
Contemplating and participating in the Body of Christ is not a perfunctory practice.
I have traveled extensively for my job during the last 15 years visiting such downtown areas as Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, OKC and Wichita. They all have noon day Mass and confessions 30 minutes before Mass. They all last 25 to 30 minutes. Standardization to the Nth degree.
Awwwww...that’s nothing! Around about 1970, when the Novus Ordo was still a “New Thing,” I remember going to Boston’s South Station (sort of the local equivalent of Grand Central Station), and there was a sign on an easel in front of the small station chapel that said: “Catholic Mass, 12 Minutes or Less...Guaranteed!” My family needed to take them up with this promise once, and, being the little nudgenick that I was, I decided to time it. They made it! With something like a minute to spare!
I didn’t think it was possible for anyone to speak that quickly. I’ll bet the priest was an auctioneer or something before he was ordained.
We used to have a 15 minute lunchtime Mass at the Catholic High School I attended. I appreciated the chance to fit it in. I think it’s fine for those who work during the week. Save the long service for the weekend. When you hear some of the homilies these days, it’s a small loss to cut it out.
Some Masses are getting too long due to the songs. The cantor will do all 3 verses of a song. It gets to be a demonstration of talent rather than a nice addition to the Mass. Our Youth Mass is an hour and 15 minutes at the least because of all the music.
"Ya oughta hear him say Mass!"
It's not because they're hurrying through the Mass though. With a relatively small congregation, no music, no offertory, no frills, and an extremely short homily, 25-30 minutes is about normal. A REAL quickie Mass would be 15 minutes.
You had many priests who rattled off the Latin like a livestock auctioneer, as fast as they could go and under their breath so you couldn't tell if they were leaving anything out. I saw this myself, because even back when I was an Episcopalian we would go to Mass if we were in a Catholic country and no Anglican Mass was available.
I think what's going on here is that the priests who say the EF now are the most reverent, meditative priests going. They take their time and evidence devotion. There are reverent OF priests as well, and they take their time too. Our younger parochial vicar is a good example of that, his Masses always run a bit long but nobody minds because he's a good faithful priest and his homilies are dynamite.
Our Sunday Mass takes a little over an hour, we do have music and on First Sundays we chant the Ordinary in Latin, that takes a little more time (especially the Credo!).
Of course, our rector has to be mindful of keeping the time issues under control, because we have 3 Sunday morning Masses (all jam packed, even the 8 o'clocker) as well as Sunday School, and nothing can run too long because it will run into something else. We have 2,000 families (many with LOTS of kids) in our parish, and the church only holds about 800, so to an extent he has to run a tight ship.
I can appreciate both sides of this one. Reverence is a good thing, a very good thing, but in a busy parish one has to consider the time issues as well.
Good points. Our EF generally gets a late start because virtually everyone, to a person, lines up for Confession beforehand.
...demands on their schedules, work, school, kids, soccer, ballet, cleaning the house, scouts, mow the lawn, karate, etc. etc. , they were just trying to recoup some of their time. A half day, when you throw in getting ready, getting there and getting back home again is a big chunk of basically your two days off.
Not seeing anything there that was not in my schedule when I was raising children.
I’m willing to bet the “auctioneer” priests were the ones who just couldn’t wait for the 2nd Vatican Council so they could proceed to abuse the new rite also. Glad we (Tridentine devotees) got rid of them.
I'm sure you're aware that parts of the EF are said in a deliberately low voice or silently, so you definitely won't be able to hear all of it.
My point was simply that any rite can be abused. It's harder to abuse the EF because it's so strictly choreographed and leaves little room for anything but raw speed. The OF in the right (reverent) hands is just fine, but it leaves too much opportunity for the liberal, the lazy, and the self-regarding to ad-lib, grandstand, etc. And that's more harmful in my opinion than just blazing through the Mass at warp speed.
But I haven't any problem with the OF as celebrated at our parish (I wouldn't be at the parish if I did!)
The "theatrical" types who couldn't wait for 'the spirit of VCII' wouldn't speed through the old Mass. They would make it as much of a production as they could. Which thankfully wasn't much.
I asked our rector about adding another time, maybe a weekday evening, and he said that he and the other priests have way too much to do to just sit . . .
Monsignor does insist that ALL the priests and deacons be present in the narthex before and after ALL services, and unless they are out of town, there they all are. So you can always corner a priest before Mass and ask if he can hear your Confession. My daughter tends to blow in from college late on Saturday night, and the priests are happy to hear her Confession if she shows up a little early for Mass. (She hates going at college because the local Jesuit parish is so weird. If she can't get the 90-year-old old-fashioned Jesuit, she feels like she hasn't really been to Confession . . . .)
The numbers do tend to go up in Lent. And the Penance services in Advent and Lent (with a short service and homily beforehand and then individual confessions to a dozen or so priests gathered for the occasion) are always packed to the rafters.
I remember hearing that in Ireland, under persecution, priests used to blitz through the service fast, so the congregation could get home safely. I think that tradition continues among some older Irish priests I have known.
so it's a weekday mass at a convenient time...
When I lived in one town, I could go to 730 mass and get to work by 8 if I left after communion and the priest gave a very short sermon.
Then they said we had to get to work ten minutes early, and so I had to stop going to mass. Sigh.
So if it is a weekday mass for working folks, good.
This is not good. The Church should not be “adapting” itself this way.
Firstly, I never said it was right or wrong (BTW we were at church at the time), I just gave him my opinion why the younger folks weren’t showing up.
Secondly, when I was growing up, us kids were allowed to have ONE extracurricular activity (money was tight) unless it was as church...then we could add in some more. Not long ago we sat down and did an “inventory” and we had fallen into the trap of over-scheduling our child: scouts, chess club, taekwondo, music lessons, swim team, astronomy club...it just starts to drain everyone. We didn’t cut our worship time.
The 8:30 is usually around 40-50 people, mostly older retired folks and mothers with young children because most folks have to be to work by 8:30 or 9:00. The 6:00 p.m. is the after-work crowd, and it's usually quite full -- maybe 100 people.
The parish has a weekly fellowship supper on Wednesday, and that moves to Friday during Lent for the Fish Fry. They conveniently schedule it for right after Mass!
I think this is talking about a 15-minute Mass on weekdays, not on Sundays. If the choice is between a 40 minute weekday Mass that people don’t go to and a 15 minute Mass they do, I’m not so sure I object to the 15 minute Mass.
it’s too bad most parishes don’t do this, i live in a an area where there are about 50 churches within a 5 mile area and I can’t find one with a mass at night. At my church, we don’t even get 100 people at a sunday mass.