Study Finds That Tripping Over Vestments And Falling On Face During Mass Sucks A Lot

May 19, 2015 by  
Filed under Mass

According to a new study by the USCCB, tripping over your vestments while walking to the altar before falling face first in front of everyone you just passive-aggressively burned during the homily for not donating enough sucks big time.

“Of the priests that we studied, almost all of them showed signs suggesting that gracefully ascending the steps to the altar as planned is much better than getting your feet caught in your vestments, then stumbling for a few feet as you pathetically attempt to regain balance before finally falling face first onto the third step leading to the altar,” said the USCCB’s lead researcher Monsignor William Hess, adding that, on average, it was 77% suckier to trip while attempting to rise from a genuflection before stumbling head first into the altar than it was to simply rise and continue the Mass.

The study also showed that while falling face first during the Mass sucks a whole heck of a lot, that it was close to 99% less sucky to trip and fall during Mass when the priest brings down the altar servers and deacon with him during the entrance procession because it “looks like human dominoes.”

At press time, the USCCB is mandating that every parish have at least one parishioner with a “banana peel slip” sound effect on their phone ready to play should the priest stumble and fall again.

  • samton909

    My favorite is Cardinal Dolan. When he trips over his vestments and falls, he falls on that belly, and he bounces right back up again, just like nothing happened, with a big smile on his face. I believe it is a miracle of some sort.

  • T. Audrey Glamour

    Ooooo…nice epiclesis…!

    • Jim

      Nice, relaxed technique.

  • Jim

    There’s another issue here. Such falls are directly connected to the one-size-fits-all approach to vestments so prevalent among American parishes. If you need to go that route financially, the parish council should at least spring for a supply of bicycle clips, clothespins or chip-bag closers for visiting priests and associates shorter than the pastor for whom the house vestments were originally tailored.

    • T. Audrey Glamour

      And then there is the larger than average priest. If he’s tall he can fit into one of the regular chasubles, even if it might look like a miniskirt…but if he is also large in girth…let’s hope the sacristy closet has more than fiddleback chasubles.

      • Hotrod1962

        The Little Sisters of the Holy Pin Cushion is a Dominican order that makes high quality vestments. They are working on an advent Snuggie chasuble that not only is comfortable (one size fits all…even Dolan size) but will keep Father toasty warm during the 7 AM mass when the heat hasn’t come up yet.

  • Nate

    With respect to Jim and samton909, who both raise important points, I think we all know what the real issue is here: This study is obviously paving the way for more heavy-handed liturgical innovation “in the spirit of Vatican II.”

    Well, what about the letter of Vatican II?

    “…[N]emo omnino…, etiamsi sit sacerdos, quidquam… in Liturgia addat, demat, aut mutet.” SC22. § 3 and

    “Ut sana traditio retineatur… Innovationes, demum, ne fiant…” SC23

    And that’s pretty much right from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

    So, maybe, in certain priests’ opinions, it “sucks,” sure, but they forget that it’s not just the words that are important; liturgical actions have their own meanings, and their own importance too (incidentally, all of this ties together so much more clearly in the TLM, so there’s an easy way to avoid all this trouble…) and it’s not the priest’s job to decide which ones are important, and which are no longer relevant.

    We’ve all seen this kind of stuff creep into the Church before: Fluff homilies, no mention of sin, universalism, biblical revisionism, on and on. Is it surprising the same priests would want to ‘protect’ the faithful from this kind of symbolism too?

    Bottom line: It doesn’t matter if you think it “sucks” – big time or otherwise – because you’re not up there for yourself and your own agenda. Perhaps the GIRM puts it best: “Say The Black – Do The Red.” (Can someone double check that cite? I don’t have a page number.) You don’t get to pick and choose, unless you want to undermine the whole Mass; just follow the rubrics, people, and quit complaining.

    Edit: Also, “Linguae latinae usus, salvo particulari iure, in Ritibus latinis servetur.” SC36. §1.

    • You are my new favorite person of the day XD

    • T. Audrey Glamour

      “Say The Black – Do The Red.” (Can someone double check that cite?

      Here’s a pretty good citation, though it might not be exactly what you requested.

    • Jim

      Why is Nate typing in tongues?

      • Nate

        I wanted to translate it for you, Jim. I really did, but unfortunately SC 36§4 reads, “Conversio textus latini in linguam vernaculam… a competenti auctoritate ecclesiastica… approbari debet.”
        Very sorry about that, but rest assured it had nothing to do with the an attempt to lend undue gravity to my arguments with a specious appeal to linguistic authority, nor with the frequency of my ellipses.

        • Iway oundfay isthay eallyray eatgray Atinlay anslatortray!


          • Jim

            Is the PLM on the horizon?

          • You must speak to the legion about that.

            Although the Spirit of Vatican II might cover it.

        • Jim

          Frequent Ellipses would be a great band name.

      • He was typing in tongues because it was “right from the horse’s mouth, so to speak”.

    • Lee Bacchi

      And this has to do with the subject . . . how?

      • Nate

        Well, since the subject is a study and its findings, and my comment had to do with the likely reason the study was conducted and why it’s being publicised, I’d think the connection would be obvious.
        Obvious, that is, unless your comments were intended to be inflammatory, but that could hardly be condoned, could it? I tend to dismiss that possibility as unworthy.
        Moreover, If that were the case, I’d have to speculate on your motives. Perhaps you see this as groundwork for eventually branching out liturgically. Perhaps there’s one devotion in particular, you feel is just about 20% too long, and you intend to do something about it. Perhaps going so far as to ask apparently innocent questions here and there (mostly here). Perhaps you’ll stop at nothing. But I’m not one to speculate.
        Indeed, if I did, I’d practically be forced to accuse you of allegiance to that shadowy cabal, not formally acknowledged by the Church, known as Undecimists, who are hell-bent on decimating the Stations of the Cross as we know them (twice!), in a nefarious plot to curtail Franciscan influence on church decor, and ultimately perhaps even to undermine the authority of our current Pope in an extremely tangental way! So it’s a good thing I didn’t.
        But I’m sure you’re just having an off day, and missed the connection and have no ulterior motives whatever – hey, we all make mistakes, right? I’m also certain there’s no need for any of us to keep a close eye on you after this, especially around the peripheries of any naves you happen to visit.

    • Marie Van Gompel Alsbergas

      And all along I thought it was the open toed sandals catching on the edge of the carpet!

  • Lee Bacchi

    One of my priest friends is 6′ 7″ tall, and has to have custom-made chasubles made for him. I tried one on (I am 5′ 9″) and found myself swimming in it. Many of the parishes where I do supply work on weekend have these monastic chasubles that I swear are made from 19 yds. of material. Sometime I think I should wear the cincture around the chasuble and not the alb!

    • Martine Martinez

      That would be a bold, “fashion first” statement.

      • Kim Bo

        Know what sucks more? Tripping on a mike cord
        and falling on the piano keyboard.

        Oh and forgetting to turn off your phone ringer which plays the refrain from
        Funky Town and leaving it near a mike during Mass.