Online Edition,Vol. III, No. 7: October 1997
OCTOBER POLL RESULTS
Results of the first Adoremus readers’ poll reveal that the majority of parishes follow the liturgical rubrics by kneeling during the Consecration, but that it is common for the priests and lectors to change the words of Scripture for purposes of "inclusive language".
Nearly half of those who participated in the Adoremus poll do not hear the Scripture readings as they are approved by the Church.
Bishops, priests, and lectors do not have the authority to change the Scriptures according to Canon Law, Vatican II’s Sacrosanctum Concilium, the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, Inaestimabile Donum, and other liturgical documents.
The documents state that the practice is disrespectful of tradition and the authority of the Church, and strikes at the heart of unified worship.
Recently, Archbishop Jerome Hanus of Dubuque, Iowa, chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy, said: "Such alteration of the Word of God and the prayer of the church is neither authorized nor good for the liturgy."
He added that "In the Liturgy we are custodian of the centuries-old texts which scholars and bishops have labored to convey as faithfully as possible…. Those who would change such texts do so without consideration for the wisdom and the competence of scholars, the discernment of their bishops and the directives of the Holy See."
Unfortunately the incidence of this problem may be even more widespread than the Adoremus poll reveals. The poll is exclusive, asking only if changing the words of the texts is "common". Several respondents noted that it was not "common" for lectors or priests at their parishes to change the words of Scripture for inclusive language, but that it was a common practice for some lectors and priests.
While a large majority of respondents stated that it was not common for parishioners to stand for the Consecration, nearly 20% answered that standing was a common practice. Although some liturgists have urged changing the traditional posture, proposals to alter the universal norm of the people kneeling during the Consecration for churches in the United States were not accepted by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. The norm in the United States remains to kneel from the Sanctus (Holy, holy…) through the "Great Amen" before the Communion Rite.
The percentage of parishes that allow or encourage standing for the Consecration may also be understated in the poll. Some respondents to the Adoremus poll said that it was not "common" for "everyone" to stand for the Consecration because some parishioners continue to kneel. Other respondents said that while kneeling was common at most Masses at their parishes, some priests required the people to stand for the Consecration.
The Adoremus poll provides valuable information to Adoremus not only about the common practices at parishes that violate the norms of the Mass, but also about liturgical practices that people find make the Mass more holy and beautiful. The results of the polls will aid in highlighting problems, and will help Adoremus direct its atttention on particular liturgical topics. We sincerely hope you will participate in this effort.
October Poll Data
TOTAL RESPONDENTS: 332
Is it common for everyone in your parish to stand during the Consecration of the Mass?
YES: 64 (19.28%) NO: 268 (80.72%) No Answer: 0 (0%)
Is it common for the lectors or priests in your parish to change words of the Scripture readings for purposes of "inclusive language"?
YES: 162 (48.8%) NO: 169 (50.9%) No Answer: 1 (.3%)