Simple Truth – Sunday Mass; a rhyme or a reason?

The simple truth is that the attendance at Sunday mass in the city of Mumbai is greatly diminishing and I dare say that thirty per cent and more do not attend Sunday mass. Look around you during a Sunday mass and you will notice that a large majority of the youth and young adults are simply not in Church.  Sixty five per cent of India is below the age of 35 and most of them are missing in our Church.

But I write not merely to state what has now become the unaccepted obvious but to throw a spanner in the works of those who do attend Sunday mass. I question (with love) the motivation of the ‘attending faithful’. Do they, I ask myself, attend mass for a rhyme or for a reason?

If our motivation for attending mass is a particular homilist, a particular Church setting or a wonderful choir or cantor then it’s a rhyme that draws us to Church on Sunday. The consequences of such a ‘rhyme’ is manifested in the criticism we hear so often; bad homily, terrible singing, dusty Church. Unfortunately this has become the swan song of the growing number of lapsed Catholics and of the Sunday faithful.

Make no mistake, I have never defended an unprepared homilist but to expect every priest to be JFK or a Winston Churchill is asking a bit too much. It is the content that needs to touch our hearts and not the diction or delivery.  You can’t get a lesson unless you are ready to listen and my guess is that most congregants tune off as soon as they see the celebrant.

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