The Sunday before last, June 7, I attended Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in midtown Manhattan. It’s the largest Gothic-style Catholic cathedral in the United States and incredible in terms of its architectural stone carving and stained glass. I only wish the priest that celebrated Mass lived up to the building—very old school conservative. I’m rather conservative myself, but he was a little over-the-top.
This priest, like many similar ones I’ve encountered, couldn’t even make eye contact during Communion. I find this rather insulting. Shouldn’t showing some sincerity be a requirement? Has the act of administering the body of Christ become so mundane and ritualistic to this man that he shows his boredom by quickly handing out the Eucharist like a stick of gum? Show some respect to others and God by personalizing this sacred ceremony. This is one of the reasons for attending Mass and he has to treat it this way?
Aside from the boisterous and rude vicar, I was rather put off by the “tourons” who enter this place of worship—while Mass is being held, mind you—and proceed to walk around and take photos. Okay, it’s a beautiful church and one of a kind, but that doesn’t give you the rite to be disrespectful. I wouldn’t enter ANY place of worship and behave in this manner while service is being held. And these people didn’t think twice about it! Show a little restraint and respect! I guess the priests can’t call them out on it and I suppose it would be hard to police such a thing, but really…..
Overall, it was a great experience.