Tuesday, September 13, 2011
The Mass is Ended, But Don't Leave Yet
I recently moved from California to Washington DC, where after daily mass, the Prayer to St Michael is recited. How come? It was never done at either parish I attended out west, nor was it done when I formerly attended this same parish in DC back in the 80s and 90s.
Thanks Sister, I really enjoy your blog.
Interesting question. So often I find that parishioners are disgruntled at prayers added to the end of the Mass. I know this for a fact, because... they don't stay for them.
I also know a number of priests who are disgruntled at prayers added to the end of Mass because they are sticklers for the proper way to say Mass, and technically, the Mass is not supposed to have prayers tacked on to the end of it, the rule since 1964.
But then, one might argue (and believe me, I've listened to them argue), that these prayers haven't been added to the end of the Mass. They are said after the Mass has ended, as in, "the Mass is ended, go in peace. And now, the Prayer to St. Michael."
I just....are extra prayers ever a bad thing? I'm so grateful that it's my job to make sure the coffee pot gets emptied or some such busy thing I can busy myself with. I can spend the time banging around in the kitchen saying the prayer to St. Michael 40 some odd times, one for each of the people who ditched the prayer after the Mass.
So, what's the beef?
The Prayer to St. Michael is only one prayer in a group of prayers that were tacked on to the end of the Mass because the Church was in danger from the state, which had taken over the Vatican. I think...something like that...the Church was in danger, that's the main thing to remember. And the Pope asked everyone to add these prayers. They are called the Leonine prayers. (Can you guess which Pope asked for them?) They consist of 3 Hail Mary's, the Hail Holy Queen, a prayer for the liberty and exaltation of the Church, the St. Michael Prayer, and 3 prayers to the Sacred Heart to have mercy on us. And if you want to split hairs, the Leonine Prayers did not originally include the St. Michael Prayer. That was added by Pope Leo XIII.
Wonder how many people fled to the parking lot before that was over with?
Then, at Vatican II, the Church wanted to make sure the Mass was "pure", simple, back to basics. So the Leonine prayers went away.
So it would appear that various parishes across the land feel the need to call on St. Michael's intercession to protect the Church in troubled times once again. I can see where Washington DC would be one of those places.
It's not rocket science.
Is it okay? Yes. It's actually after the Mass. Do you have to do it? No. Is everyone doing it? No. Am I for it? I can't see where extra prayers are ever a bad thing.
But I have to put the coffee on.
The St. Michael Prayer
Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle;
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray:
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.