Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
How Not to Say Mass: A Guidebook on Liturgical Principles and the Roman Missal (Revised Edition) Paperback – November 3, 2003
Wiley Summer Savings Event.
Save up to 40% during Wiley's Summer Savings Event. Learn more.
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
Smolarksi's attitude about the Catholic liturgy is characterized by self contradiction and what seems to be a downright phobia for the pre-Vatican II liturgy. In fact, this phobia seems to drive Smolarski to the point of self contradiction.
On the one hand, he admonshes the reader not to make "too much or too little" of the Mass. Yet, he also admonshes those who "can't sing, don't." If a priest does not sing; the Gloria for example, sung by the angels at the birth of Jesus, or the Sanctus, sung by the angels in heaven, isn't this making too little of the Mass?
Then he contradicts himself by stating that the Alleluia before the Gospel must be sung. Must be sung or must be sung by only those who sing well?
Also, in an attack on pre-Vatican II practices, he exhorts the priest to wash the whole hands, not just the fingers. This seems reasonable, and if he wants to encourage priests to attend more to this detail, fine. However, he goes on to back up this exhortation by advising the reader that the Jews and the Shintos include washing of the hands in their rituals. But, while emulating other religions seems to be commendable, "CAUTION SHOULD BE USED (emphasis mine) not to reintroduce pre-Vatican II practices into the post Vatican II liturgy." So by all means, taking your liturgical lead from the Shintos is great, but for GOD'S SAKE don't do anything that Catholics did for over 800 years, that would be awful!
Smolarski obsesses over the Altar, and not in a good way. He says that one should not show excessive reverence to the presence of the Blessed Sacrament in the Tabernacle during Mass,or to the crucifix, that such reverence is misplaced from the altar, which is the true focus during Mass.Read more ›
In brief, two facts are evident: the author's poor understanding of traditional Catholic beliefs, and the heterodoxy of what he proposes as replacement.
The introduction provides a good example. Fr Smolarski writes: "In the "good old days" (although many would debate how good they actually were), we (thought we) knew what the Mass was about--it was the mystery of transubstantiation--it was the sacrament of Communion."
First, please learn how to use dashes correctly. Second, the author certainly doesn't hide his dim view of the first 1,965 years of Catholicism. I guess somehow the Church bumbled through those two millennia without really having much idea what the Mass--the center of its existence--was. Thank goodness folks like Fr Smolarski came around to finally correct the Church's ignorance. Third, the Mass is obviously not the same thing as Communion. Mass can exist without Holy Communion for anyone except the priest; Holy Communion can happen separately from the Mass. The Mass is the sacrifice (thought I fear Fr Smolarski would not like that description), Holy Communion is what unites us to that sacrifice.
Instead of this traditional definition, Fr Smolarski offers the following (quoting fellow Jesuit, Fr Tad Guzie) as a better understanding for our new, enlightened times:
"A sacrament is a festive action in which Christians assemble to celebrate their lived experience and to call to heart their common story."
Please pass the emesis basin.Read more ›
He explained in the introductory "Prenotes" section, "This book is NOT exclusively geared for priests. It is directed to ALL who have an active role in the liturgy of the Church, i.e., bishops, priests, deacons, readers, acolytes, musicians, liturgy committee members, active Christians. However... I decided to address my remarks primarily toward the presiders of the eucharist. Nevertheless, these remarks, in many cases, can also be taken to heart by many others... My major concern is to awaken people... to the authentic celebration of the renewed eucharist in the Roman Rite... Re-writing prayers, re-arranging sections of the liturgy, re-assigning liturgical roles will not, of themselves, lead to a 'better' liturgy, if the ... leaders of the liturgy ignore the basic symbols and fundamental gestures involved in the 2000 year old tradition of Christian worship." (Pg.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
At the time this book was first published in 1986, Jesuit Dennis Smolarski was on the mathematics faculty at the University of Santa Clara in California. Read morePublished on March 7, 2014 by Steven H Propp
Fr. Smolarski has done a wonderful thing. He contiues to aid the Catholic community in praying better. Read morePublished on April 24, 2012 by Briney
While the title of the book would suggest a negative perspective on the subject, Smolarski provides insight into the "why" of the liturgy, exploring how some practices defeat the... Read morePublished on May 6, 2010 by Amazon Customer