ASK FATHER: Am I obliged to tell an old priest about his liturgical ad libs? | 8/11/2019 | View all posts by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf →
srqlolosrqlolo (Posted by) Level 3


Thank you very much for everything you do on this blog. I am a seminarian and an avid reader of this blog. My seminary is orthodox, but these are difficult times in the Church and it is a great blessing to have you as a consistent voice of reason and orthodoxy. It is also great to have someone I can trust to answer my question without beating about the bush.

Mass - Experience - Music - Surprise - Thing

I recently attended Mass at a parish outside my diocese. It was a difficult experience. The music (surprise!) was terrible, but the thing that irked me the most was the fact that the elderly priest kept ad libbing. Most unfortunately, he also made up a part of the prayers of consecration of the Precious Blood. Overall, he basically got across the same meaning (except his blatant substitution of “all” for “many”). That is until the Ecce Agnus Dei which he rendered “This is Jesus…ad lib…ad lib…ad lib…” and the closing prayer which he completely made up.

My question is twofold.

Point - Mass - Invalid - Circumstance - Mass

First, at what point is the Mass invalid and what does one do in such a circumstance? I always worry that I should go to Mass a second time elsewhere.

Second, I really wanted to say something to the priest after Mass, but I chose not to. However, am I morally obligated to say something. I’ll be honest. I chickened out. Should I have said something? Again this was not my home parish, and as far as I could tell, this was a visiting priest.

Thank - God - Bless

Thank you very much and God bless!


Factors - Work

There are several factors at work here.

Second question first. Should you have said something?

Situation - Mouth - Shut

Firstly, you were outside of your diocese. There is little you can do to follow up. So, in this situation, it is best to keep your mouth shut.

Second, as a...
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