Friday, May 27, 2016


As the local attention has turned to FestPac for another week or so, I am going to save my nuclear bombs for later. Meanwhile, I'd like to return to what I consider to be the central issue: the Liturgy.

It is not for naught that this fight with the Neocatechumenal Way began over - and continues still - with the differences in the celebration of the Liturgy (aka Sacred Liturgy, the Mass, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Eucharist...).

The Liturgy is the central act of Faith. It is, as Vatican II describes it, both the Source and the Summit of our Faith. Thus, and rightly so, the Magisterium of the Church reserves its regulation to itself, meaning: no priest or even a bishop can make the slightest change to it without the approval of the Pope himself, albeit usually via the responsible Congregation, the Congregation for Divine Worship (CDW).

This is why Ground Zero for what has escalated into an all out war was what happened on January 9, 2006: Archbishop Apuron publicly declared that he would NOT obey the liturgical directive of the CDW demanding that the NCW abandon its communion rite and return to that which was prescribed in the Liturgical Books. (Audio here. Transcript here.) 

In doing so, Apuron rejected the absolute authority of the pope since not only is it the pope who holds absolute authority over the governance of the liturgy, the CDW directive actually began with the words: "The Holy Father wishes you to know..."

However, one of the reasons we have been so ineffective in waging this war against the errors of the Neocatechumenal Way is because (I believe) our own errors hinder the Holy Spirit from helping us. 

As oft noted in this blog, many of our Masses are littered with liturgical variances which are neither prescribed nor permitted - making us not only no different than the obstinately disobedient Kiko Arguello and bishops like Apuron, but often worse.

I realize that few really care about this like I do and that most can't wait for the next shame and scandal post, but I will press on with what I know MUST be fixed if our efforts are ever to produce anything more than a brief respite between the current crisis and the next one.

While I have addressed several matters previously such as communion in the hand (permitted only as an exception by Memoriale Domini) and the centrality of Sunday MORNING Mass (vs Saturday and Sunday night Masses which were only "permitted" for those who could not attend Sunday Morning), with this post I would like to address the thing that is most obvious and therefore the most disturbing: the role of music in the liturgy.

The very first chord of the very first bolero-like strum on a kiko-guitar is the very first red flag the uninitiated will notice when they get anywhere near a neo-eucharist. The wailing and banging which soon follows quickly leaves one wondering if one has mistakenly stumbled into a Spanish fleamarket or half-time at a bullfight.

However, as shocking as this is to the soul intending on worshiping God in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, it is not often far from the usual fare dished up at any Mass where "the band plays on."

At this point, given my well known proclivities for a Mass filled with solemnity and reverent silence (it's wonderful, by the way), you might expect me to launch into a lecture on a return to Masses with Gregorian Chant (which, by the way, Vatican II required - SC 116). But i shan't.

I simply want to refer ALL, I mean ALL, that is priest and pastor, liturgists, choirs, choir directors, musicians, and normal pew sitters to EXACTLY what the Magisterium of the Catholic Church requires and has required since 1967 as regards music and the Liturgy.

The first document produced at Vatican II (1962-1965) was the Constitution on the Liturgy. And it was FIRST for good reason: the Sacred Liturgy, the Celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, is CENTRAL to everything else. And amongst the arts which contribute to an ever more glorious celebration of the Source and Summit of our faith "sacred song" was said to be PRE-EMINENT, "greater than any other art":
112. The musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art. The main reason for this pre-eminence is that, as sacred song united to the words, it forms a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy.
Like many things addressed at the Council, the details relevant to more generally prescribed norms were left to the various Vatican Congregations, Dicasteries, and Commissions. In the case of "sacred song," a Consilium was established within the Congregation for Divine Worship to work out the more intimate prescriptions. The work of the Consilium was published and promulgated in an Instruction on March 6, 1967, entitled Musicam Sacram (Sacred Music).

And as far as I know, in the 50 years since its promulgation, no one has ever read it. I can say that with confidence because I have never been to a post-conciliar Mass where its norms were evident!

And it is my GREAT HOPE, that, given the Kiko-scourge that has descended on our Church, that we will at last pay attention to (and OBEY) the liturgical prescriptions of the authentic Magisterium of the Catholic Church, especially since the Kiko's so obviously and demonstrably and provably reject that same Magisterium.

Let's see if we can do better.

First, let us read the first three paragraphs of this Instruction so you know by what authority it was issued:

1. Sacred music, in those aspects which concern the liturgical renewal, was carefully considered by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. It explained its role in divine services, issued a number of principles and laws on this subject in the Constitution on the Liturgy, and devoted to it an entire chapter of the same Constitution.

2. The decisions of the Council have already begun to be put into effect in the recently undertaken liturgical renewal. But the new norms concerning the arrangement of the sacred rites and the active participation of the faithful have given rise to several problems regarding sacred music and its ministerial role. These problems appear to be able to be solved by expounding more fully certain relevant principles of the Constitution on the Liturgy.

3. Therefore the Consilium set up to implement the Constitution on the Liturgy, on the instructions of the Holy Father, has carefully considered these questions and prepared the present Instruction. This does not, however, gather together all the legislation on sacred music; it only establishes the principal norms which seem to be more necessary for our own day. It is, as it were, a continuation and complement of the preceding Instruction of this Sacred Congregation, prepared by this same Consilium on 26 September 1964, for the correct implementation of the Liturgy Constitution.

It is clear from the outset that the Congregation for Divine Worship is the highest authority in the Church on this matter and it is issuing the Instruction on Sacred Song subject to the "Constitution on the Liturgy."

Before we proceed (for those who still care) I want to re-emphasize that it is critical for every pastor and person responsible for the use of music in the Liturgy to know and understand the principle norms of this Instruction. And it is just as critical that we all know them so we, the people in the pews, can exercise our responsibility and rights as citizens of the Church in holding those responsible for the right implementation of these norms to account - something we are just learning to do in another area of this war on "abuse."

So, after the "short course" below, come back and read the whole thing here.

5 March, 1967

Now, the short course:

According to the Instruction, there are two kinds of Masses: a Mass which is "read" and a Mass which is "sung." A "read" Mass has NO music. It is simply "read." If music is to be employed at all, it is then a Sung Mass, and it MUST conform to the following norms outlined in the Instruction

Now, don't worry, you are still going to get to do your favorite songs and solos, and no one is going to make you put your guitars away, but the following MUST be followed or we might as well lay down our arms and turn the church over to the Kikos. 

Are you ready? Okay. Jumping right into the meat of this thing, let's go:


27. For the celebration of the Eucharist with the people, especially on Sundays and feast days, a form of sung Mass (Missa in cantu) is to be preferred as much as possible, even several times on the same day.

28. The distinction between solemn, sung and read Mass, sanctioned by the Instruction of 1958 (n. 3), is retained, according to the traditional liturgical laws at present in force. However, for the sung Mass (Missa cantata), different degrees of participation are put forward here for reasons of pastoral usefulness, so that it may become easier to make the celebration of Mass more beautiful by singing, according to the capabilities of each congregation.

These degrees are so arranged that the first may be used even by itself, but the second and third, wholly or partially, may never be used without the first. In this way the faithful will be continually led towards an ever greater participation in the singing. (May I emphasize that? "The second and third, wholly or partially, may never be used without the first.)

29. The following belong to the first degree:

(a) In the entrance rites: the greeting of the priest together with the reply of the people; the prayer.

(b) In the Liturgy of the Word: the acclamations at the Gospel.

(c) In the Eucharistic Liturgy: the prayer over the offerings; the preface with its dialogue and the Sanctus; the final doxology of the Canon, the Lord's prayer with its introduction and embolism; the Pax Domini; the prayer after the Communion; the formulas of dismissal.

(So let us once again note: NOTHING else is to be sung unless these things belonging to the first degree are sung: "The second and third, wholly or partially, may never be used without the first.")

30. The following belong to the second degree:

(a) the Kyrie, Gloria and Agnus Dei;

(b) the Creed;

(c) the prayer of the faithful.

31. The following belong to the third degree:

(a) the songs at the Entrance and Communion processions;

(b) the songs after the Lesson or Epistle;

(c) the Alleluia before the Gospel;

(d) the song at the Offertory;

(e) the readings of Sacred Scripture, unless it seems more suitable to proclaim them without singing.


Now, was that so bad? No. You still get to do all of your favorite tunes, but ONLY when when the THIRD DEGREE is reached. And the only thing necessary to reach the Third Degree is that One and Two have been satisfied. Make sense? Okay.

So do you see how beautiful this Instruction is? Do you see with what great care our Holy Church cares for its Holy Mass? It is the Mass ITSELF which is to be sung. And guess who the primary soloist is: THE CELEBRANT. 

The First Degree requires him to sing:

  • the greeting of the priest together with the reply of the people
  • the prayer.
  • the acclamations at the Gospel.
  • the prayer over the offerings
  • the preface with its dialogue and the Sanctus
  • the final doxology of the Canon
  • the Lord's prayer with its introduction and embolism
  • the Pax Domini
  • the prayer after the Communion
  • the formulas of dismissal

And, do you see it? Almost all of these are interactions with the people so guess what: THE PEOPLE SING TOO! (Example: "The Lord be with you. And with your Spirit.") 

This is what Vatican II meant by "active participation." It did not mean we were supposed to sing the entrance, offertory, communion, or recessional songs. It meant we were to be ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS with the Celebrant himself in the solemn participation of Christ offering himself to his Father through the actions and words of the priest!

We can still sing all that other stuff, but if we are going to sing at all, our Church FIRST requires us to sing...THE MASS...and NOT "the songs!"

Now, as for priests who think they cannot sing, get over it. The bare minimum is a "johnny-one-note." It's already very common in the liturgy. Example: the priest intones on a single note: "The Lord be with you." And the people respond on the same note: "And with your Spirit." 

Done. Easy. And Father, if you still think you cannot do it, then get some help. Practice. The Holy Spirit would not require you to do something He would not give you the power to do. 

It's time to get serious about this folks. And pastors, it's time to stop feeling intimidated by the choir. Sorry choirs, but my liturgical music roots go back to 1977 (I was the part of Bob Hurd's group in Los Angeles and sang the first ever performance of Hear I Am Lord with Dan Schutte from a draft that was still in pencil) and I am very well aware of the authority we think we have when it comes to music at Mass. And you know what: WE ARE WRONG.

But as I hope you can see, the Instruction does NOT tell you which songs to sing or what instruments you can use (though we certainly could use better discernment in that regard), it simply requires in what order things are to be done. 

The reason most of us do not know this is because the man tasked with knowing this Instruction and implementing it in a diocese is the Bishop, the primary guardian of the Liturgy. And just because our own doesn't care about his job doesn't mean we shouldn't care about ours. 

So let's get to it. We cannot accuse the NCW of liturgical aberrations if we participate in them ourselves. Let's get our Sacred Liturgies sacred again. Then maybe we will "get our Church back." (Maybe.)


  1. Thanks, Tim, for this excellent presentation. After the dust settles and if we still have a Catholic Church in Guam, we might need to organise a council on liturgy, music, etc. with the laity and remaining clergy. Something to think about.

  2. Tim, after reading this it is apparent, I did not fully understand the role of the music liturgy was. This is really an eye opener for me. Thank you for this glimpse. I get to know more of the Sacred Mass just by hanging around the Jungle. I agree with Andrew that our archdiocese needs to organize a council on the liturgy in order to get us back on track.

    1. Actually there already is a "council" on the liturgy. It's Sr. Marian Arroyo. Thus the problem. While a real council with a real bishop would be good, there is absolutely nothing stopping from pastors immediately doing what they are supposed to be doing and the musicians as well. If you are a liturgical musician I would recommend meeting with the priests of your parish to go over what the Church prescribes. I believe I remember seeing in the Missal the priest uses, the notation for the parts he is supposed to sing. First thing is to print out the Instruction. It really is terribly simple to implement and would make the "Sung Mass" what it is supposed to be.

    2. You are right, Tim, there must be a council existing but can't convene to explain all this because in doing so they will open themselves up to question why the Neos are doing differently.

    3. Actually the current "council" is what imported most of the abuses because it serves what they like, which is to feature themselves as the stars.

  3. What I don't understand is that if what the NCW is borderline (if not already) heresy, then why would the Pope not disband or forbid this in our church? Has there ever been a group that was a part of the Catholic Church that any pope said they can no longer be a part of the church?

    I saw pictures from an NCW mass at the Cathedral a few Sundays ago. There was a menorah on the alter. The alter was huge. I have never seen this before. But when asked why are they doing things like this, I was told that during the earlier Christian days, this is the way things have been done. As a result, I became somewhat weary and couldn't seem to believe that. I've been to mass at the friars where obviously the capuchin live and I've never seen them officiate mass like that.

    1. Most of us are extremely ill equipped to understand anything that is really going on here. If you are a post-Vatican II Catholic your catechesis was probably watery at best and your church history was nil.

      In fact, because our generation is so ill-equipped, it has paved the way for charlatans like Kiko.

      The pope doesn’t have a police force out monitoring the whole world. Kiko’s movement is just one among hundreds within the church, all of whom are expected to police themselves and stay true to their charters. At most, the bishop is tasked with guiding and guarding, not the pope.

      So when you have a bishop who is compromised as ours is, the normal safeguards are not there. Apuron is not alone. Sadly, the church is rife with compromised bishops - a fact that has steadily come to light as the sex abuse crisis has unraveled. This is why we must arm ourselves with education, prayer, and a deepening of our faith.

      A couple of quick examples though as regards history, Arianism was with us for 300 years before the Church rid itself of it, though it keeps resurfacing and the NCW is its new “wrapper.” The church worked for years with Luther and Henry VIII before they abdicated, and has a long history of patiently trying to reform wayward theologians.

      All of this is why we must take responsibility for our own souls and the souls of our children. This is what Christ taught. In fact, the Sacraments give us all the grace we need to persevere unto heaven.

      Just a note on the “menorah”. It’s not a menorah. A menorah has seven candles, Kiko’s candelabra has nine. It’s another “aping” of the Jewish religion so common for Kiko. Jews should be offended.

      As for the “large altar,” first it’s not an altar, it’s a table. And, as mentioned several times on this blog, we have already converted our altars into tables by moving away from what was once the high altar at the apex of the church to pushing it out into sanctuary or in some cases even into the center of the church.

      The size of the table is not the issue. It’s the fact that it is a table and NOT an altar. Maybe someday we will return to “the altar.” Meanwhile, count how many people actually genuflect when they walk past the tabernacle this Sunday. Our own atrocities abound.

  4. Good job presenting, Tim. I also enjoyed the sound bite from Palestrina...ethereal.

  5. Tim, there was an article that I read and save dated January 26, 2016 reflecting "The following was promulgated by Most Rev'd John F. Doerfler (Bishop of Marquette, Michigan) on January 26, 2016. The Article state the requirement for all Catholic Church Mass and Catholic School must sing from "Roman Missal. What is your e-mail address so I can attach and forward to you.

    1. Yes. It is the responsibility of the BISHOP in each diocese to enforce, guard, implement, and pastor all that the Church requires, especially as regards the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy. But barring that (as in our case) it is still the responsibility of each priest who publicly celebrates Mass, especially pastors of parishes, to see to it that the Sacred Liturgy is rightly celebrated - including the strictures for "sung masses." And barring even that, it is the responsibility of the laity to respectfully engage their priests on these matters. I know of several priests who deeply want to celebrate more reverent and solemn liturgies but actually get bullied by members of their congregations - especially "the choir" when they try. So work with them and back them up.

      By the way, the bishops of each diocese are also responsible for seeing to it that the ecclesial groups in their dioceses (such as the NCW) conform to their charters. This silly "the pope hasn't stopped us," is just that: SILLY. It's the bishop who is supposed to do that. And even in saying "the pope," they show no regard for Apuron. No surprise.

  6. It OK I will e-mail via Jungle Watch e-mail address.

  7. i found this

    I'm GUILTY, I am learning to correct myself, and with much more to LEARN...

    1. It's helpful, but falls short on #10. The singing. He misses everything that Musicam Sacram requires. Probably doesn't even know about it. The other matter is that the louder and bigger and more visible the choir is the less people feel their voice can contribute. So they don't.

    2. Tim is right in this aspect, especially here on Guam. As choirs go, the larger the group, the more the congregation does not participate and would rather be entertained. I've always contended that the singing the choir does, is to facilitate the rest of the congregation TO SING WITH ALL THEIR HEART TO GOD.

    3. The only singing required of the congregation is the singing of the Mass itself, especially where the priest addresses the people (The Lord be with you). The choir is not their to lead the people, the priest is. The choir is free to "perform" at places in the Mass where listening is more appropriate (such as at communion) when the people's focus should be on their reception of the Eucharist and not trying to sing with the host in their mouth. Offertory is another good opportunity for listening. No problem with any of that. The problem is usually the complete omission of the required FIRST DEGREE which is primarily the exchange between priest and people. As per the Instruction of course, NO singing is permitted without it.

  8. I am pleased to say that I have recently attended Mass in exactly the way Tim has summarised the instruction (not: this is not on Guam). We have a recently ordained priest with faithful sentiments who is intent on singing the Mass parts. It is a wonderful experience and reflects, I believe, the intentions of the Church. After Mass a couple of weeks ago, a parishioner approached the priest saying "Now THAT is a real Roman Catholic Mass".

    It is not hard. I am musician myself, and while it certainly takes some leadership (particularly from the priest), the rewards are immense and as Tim says, this is the path to ensuring we worship in the most beautiful way, through the infinite merits of the most Holy and Living Sacrifice!

  9. That's what we need the church to do. We want to hear them sing. It's not about the choir but the Man on the Cross and what He did for us. Whenever I hear the church sing, it's a wonderful and glorious feeling. It's kind of hard to get that feeling with flamenco guitars blaring in the background. May God bless everyone today.

  10. It is correct that it is (normally) the responsibility of the local Bishop to ensure that the mass
    in each and every parish is valid and licit in all the particulars. However if they don't then somebody
    must stand watch.

    Who is that somebody you may ask. It is you and I, it is our watch, we must stay awake and be
    vigilant at all times. If not the scourge of liturgical abuse grows and if it is not identified,
    challenged and corrected early enough you will end up with something like the NCW.

    Maybe this scourge was sent to wake us up so that we to stand up and take action.

    We have been sleeping for too long.......

  11. For this Sunday: Corpus Christi

    Ave, verum corpus
    natum de Maria Virgine,
    Vere passum immolatum
    in Cruce pro homine,
    Cujus latus perforatum
    unda* fluxit (et)* sanguine,
    Esto nobis praegustatum
    in mortis examine.

    Recording on Youtube:

    1. Anyone know why this feast is now on a Sunday instead of Thursday on which it was celebrated since 1264 until very recently.

    2. I was watching the pope on EWTN, celebrate Corpus Christi and wondered why it was celebrated in Rome today and we do it on Sunday....Hhmmmm

    3. We Do Need Holy Days by Joanna Bogle

      Editor’s note: In recent years, several national bishops’ conferences have transferred Holy Days of Obligation -- days in addition to Sundays on which Catholics are required attend Mass -- from the dates on which they have traditionally been celebrated to the nearest Sunday, or have eliminated the requirement altogether. The calendar for the universal Church includes ten of these days (see sidebar). But observance of these days varies widely from country to country. British journalist Joanna Bogle comments on the recent calendar change in the Church in England and Wales.

      This summer, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Archbishop of Westminster and President of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, announced a major change concerning Holy Days of Obligation. The Church allows national bishops’ conferences to arrange about the celebration of these days, with prior approval of the Holy See (see: Holy Days of Obligation or below).

      In England and Wales there are seven of these days on the Church calendar: Epiphany (January 6), Ascension (forty days after Easter), Corpus Christi (the Thursday after Trinity Sunday), Saints Peter and Paul (June 29), the Assumption (August 15), All Saints (November 1) and Christmas Day (December 25).

      Attendance at Mass on some of these days -- Christmas is an exception -- is low. So it was announced that, to deepen people’s “understanding of these mysteries of the life of Christ”, the feasts that directly relate to the life of the Lord -- Epiphany, Corpus Christi, and the Ascension -- will now be moved to the nearest Sunday.

      The thinking behind this is not daft. Many people, by failing to attend Mass on a Holy Day, miss out on the great reality of the feast, and the importance that it holds for us in our lives as Christians. The bishops believe that, rather than allow this to occur, the feast should be observed on a Sunday when more people are likely to be at Mass.

      The announcement came almost without warning -- and a good many Catholics in Britain think it is a deeply regrettable move. Perhaps a number of us assumed that Pope John Paul II had put more backbone into us all, encouraging us to think along larger lines. Certainly, when a Catholic newspaper leaked the plan this summer, encouraging people to make their views known to our bishops, some readers thought that the story couldn’t be true. But it was, and the change in the Church calendar for England and Wales will take effect from the First Sunday of Advent.

      It is a sort of compromise, as it only affects “feasts of the Lord”, which will be moved to Sundays. Other feasts, such as the Assumption of Mary on August 15, will remain as they are. But no one seems happy. “It’s a sort of Anglican solution, isn’t it?” sighed one parish priest, a former Anglican minister. “Not the sort of thing to inspire anyone, and it will only add to the confusion”. Indeed -- how does moving an important Church feast to a Sunday rather than giving it a day of its own make it more important?

      One thing that has emerged from this situation has been a general discussion about Holy Days of Obligation and why they matter in the first place, which is not a bad thing. The debate over observance of Holy Days began with a simple recognition that numbers attending Mass on such days are small -- often between a half and a quarter of those attending on a Sunday. But is the solution simply to abolish the idea of a Holy Day?

      Some have said the phrase “Holy Day of Obligation” stressed necessity and commitment more than joy and feasting -- and there was something dreary about an emphasis on it being a mortal sin to miss Mass on such a day, rather than grasping the full and glorious significance of whatever festival was being commemorated. In recent years, many Catholics have seemed confused about whether missing Mass could ever really be a sin.

    4. So to answer the little quiz about Corpus Christi, the actual Feast is on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday (which is just past). This is why you saw the celebration in Rome on EWTN, this past Thursday, the "real" Feast of Corpus Christi. So why does Guam celebrate it on the following Sunday - along with the rest of the U.S.?

      Because, rather than bucking us up and urging us to be soldiers for Christ, the U.S. Bishops have dissolved the faith to cater to the lowest common denominator, moving it to the following Sunday so we don't have to go to Mass twice in the same week. They did this to Ascension Thursday as well. LOL. Ascension THURSDAY on Sunday. Guam does not belong to the U.S. Conference and even if it did it would not have to follow that calendar. But then when you have a bishop like ours....

  12. Explains the discourse with the music ministry from parish to parish. A lack of guidance from the shepherds.
    My first impression is rarely have I seen the celebrant sing any or all of the MASS except maybe a high mass!
    Mahalo for the clarity Tim. Liturgical music should enhance the reverence and elevate the soul to a higher level of worship. Keep the entertainment for concerts.

  13. There is a staggering amount of beautiful music based on sacred scripture and written for the liturgy.

    Agnus Dei from Requiem by Gabriel Faure

  14. So just to summarize:
    1. The Instruction does not address the type of songs or instruments that can be used.
    2. The Instruction DOES address what must be sung and what CANNOT be sung (if the prescripts of the degrees are not fulfilled.)
    3. The Choir is NOT there to lead the singing.
    4. The Choir is there to add appropriate song and only when the 3rd degree is reached.
    5. The primary singing is BETWEEN Priest and People.
    6. It is the MASS itself which is sung, NOT the "songs."
    7. Singing the Mass does NOT mean singing the "Mass parts."
    8. There is only a "read" Mass in which there is NO singing, and a "Sung" Mass in which singing is to proceed per the prescribed degrees.
    9. NOTHING else is permitted.
    10. Shall we do what the Church prescribes, or like the neo's, do what we feel?

    Make your choice. Where do you stand.

    1. Thanks again, Tim.

      I'm fairly sure that 99.99% of all the masses I've attended did not conform to what is required.

      Would these masses be considered valid but illicit?

  15. Here in Bosnia, Corpus Christi was celebrated on Thursday. The church I attend is small, about the size of Toto Parish. Although it is small, it is always filled to cspacity on Sundays and holy days of obligation. The people are active during the responsorial, there is only a pianist to lead the singing and the congregation is the choir and boy do they sing loud and proud. When entering the church, the people bless themselves and genuflect at the same time. They genuflect before entering or exiting the pew. Immediately after receiving communion they step to the side and genuflect in front of the altar then go back to their pews. After the priest gives the final blessing no one leaves yet, they all kneel, say a prayer together and then all get up genuflect after exiting pew. Then before exiting church they bless themselves and genuflect towards the altar and then leave. All done quietly until they are outdoors then they greet each other. I love going to church here because it is so solemn and uplifting at the same time.