The Armchair Liturgist: Slowing Prayers

The Benedictine monks at St Martin’s Abbey have a careful pace to the psalms and certain texts, like the Lord’s Prayer. I was caught a few times, but even in a smallish community of twenty-something, it’s easy to get back to the pace.

I did note that at Mass, the Eucharistic Prayers went at the pace I usually hear in my parish. Readings, too. Certainly not too fast. But notably more rapid than the communal parts. If I were a monk in that community, I might make a suggestion to the abbot or somebody.

I remembered a priest who did occasional service at my Kansas City parish those years ago. His big thing was getting people to slow down. It never worked. The Lord’s Prayer was his pet peeve. But his attempts to slow the pace of the words Jesus taught us seemed more like a distraction than a mindfulness. I appreciated the notion, but I wasn’t sure his target was the best. His efforts were largely fruitless.

Sit in the purple chair and draw on your vast experience in worship. Would you strive to get people in the pews to slow down their recitations? If so, how? Are clergy exempt from this effort? Lectors? Musicians?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Rite of Penance, The Armchair Liturgist. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Armchair Liturgist: Slowing Prayers

  1. Liam says:

    Go to suburban Long Island sometime…you will see the sprint competition over completing congregational prayers in record time. It can be breathtaking in certain parishes.

  2. Liam says:

    The unspoken question: should the presiding priest even use his microphone during prayers said with the congregation?

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