“Flashmobs are another ministry we offer here”

Boy, was Robert Heinlein right when he said, “Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.” I was reminded of that adage when I saw this video of a “flashmob” inflicting itself on those attending Mass at a Catholic parish in South Dakota.

From what I can tell by the news report in this video, it was encouraged and orchestrated by the Catholic teachers and allowed to take place by the priest! The saddest part of this spectacle is that whatever reverence for Mass and Our Eucharistic Lord these poor school children may have is being systematically eradicated by this kind of “Let’s-Make-Mass-More-Relevant” foolishness.



  1. Lisa S.

    Wow… I don’t even know what to say with this one. I’m so tired of people having to make the Mass “more interesting.” How could anything be MORE interesting or important than the Mass itself? *sigh* Just something else to tack onto my prayer list.

    1. Eugenia

      “Just something else to tack onto my prayer list.” That made me smile in all its humble truth. 🙂

  2. EReddick

    One of the things I have learned in my life is that what is blatantly obvious to me is quite often not to many people. For me, operating electronic equipment is a matter of reading the booklet and doing what it says, but for many of my friends, the words and diagrams are only so many mysterious markings – they need to be shown, and sometimes several times. Perhaps if more of us who do “get” the importance of the Mass SHOWED it in our behavior and enthusiasm and our interactions with the younger generation, it would be contagious. I mean many people, even among those who claim strong Catholic devotion, show more overt enthusiasm over their favorite sports team or TV show or hobby. The more people who have that enthusiasm and understand how to express it appropriately need to get involved more deeply in our parishes in larger numbers. Whether misguided in execution or not, at least the people that do nutty stuff like this care enough to try to find ways to get young people engaged and excited about their Faith. The thing is that some things that might be appropriate in another setting (like the flash mob that did Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” in a department store) are not appropriate to Mass.

  3. EReddick

    “It’s like how God tells us what to do, then we have to follow it,” St. Mary 6th Grader Emily Olson said.

    Maybe a flash mob is not appropriate for Mass, but if even a tenth of Catholics who show up at Mass were to have the attitude expressed by this little girl and manifest it in their lives, the world would be a very different place, and a much better one. What if someone were to come and pour expensive perfume at the foot of the monstrance during Adoration? Mary Magdalene did this to Jesus, and yes, someone complained about it – Judas.

    1. Patrick Madrid

      Saying, “Maybe a flash mob is not appropriate for Mass, but . . .” is reminiscent of the old line, “But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?”

      The fact is, if it’s not appropriate in the context of Mass, it’s not appropriate. Don’t get me wrong, ERed, I realize you’re not defending what this video shows, but there are those (including some at my Facebook pages) who do defend it because, well, because isn’t it just so wonderful that the kids are excited about their Faith?

      My take on this (as if you all didn’t already know) is that this episode is an example of a liturgical abuse. Even though it was carried out immediately after the final blessing (or so we are led to believe), it still took place within the context of Mass and, far from helping these hapless children become more devout and more reverent at Mass, I believe it can only serve to weaken their sense of the sacred.

      When appearing in the burning bush, God commanded Moses to “put off the shoes from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground” (Exodus 8:5). And yet, it’s okay to have a “flashmob” performance of some show tune at the conclusion of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? Please.

      1. Carol

        100% right Patrick. Exodus 8:5 is excellently putting it. My take is this is the deliberate dumbing down of our children and watering down the faith to this fluff and has been going on for some time. I experienced it in the 80s into the 90s. This junk doesn’t bring converts only loads of people turning away from the faith they don’t know and the Church they have essentially been taught to disrespect. Check out Ungodly Rage by Donna Steichen.

  4. Brian

    When you have no idea what the liturgy is, the mass is, or pretty much anything beyong generalities about your faith this is what you get. If you do not know your faith, you do not know Christ.

    1. Brian

      Let me clarify my statement because after reading it again, it sounds a bit harsh and I did not intend to come off that way. My point is that when a person does not properly understand why this type of thing is inappropriate it reveals a lack of understanding of what the liturgy is and what the mass is. This lack of understanding is a deprivation of proper communion with Christ and His body (the Chruch). Also, the less a person knows about the faith, the less a person knows Christ. How can you have a personal relationship with Christ, if you do not properly understand what His Church teaches?

      Two introductory books on the liturgy every Catholic should read are “The Lambs Supper” and “Letter and Spirit.” Both are written by Dr. Scott Hahn. The more you know, the more rewarding your faith will be.

  5. Joanne

    I truly believe that Eucharistic Indifference is the reason that Holy Mother Church suffers so greatly in her sins and also believe it will remain that way until the proper Liturgy is restored. Where the Priest is asking expiation for our sins and he is offering us united with the Sacrifice of Christ instead of how it is now, where all are involved and somehow feel an entitlement to do so. A good example is how parishes call Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion- Eucharistic Ministers. PRIESTS ALONE are Eucharistic Ministers. If the priests don’t recognize just that, we have a long way and a multitude of prayers and reparation to make! The presence of the evil one is obvious! Lord have mercy on me, a sinner!

  6. Fr. Deacon Daniel

    What…no giant puppets?! It might have gone viral!

    Joanne wrote: “PRIESTS ALONE are Eucharistic Ministers”

    Actually, we Deacons are also ordinary Eucharistic Ministers. That said, I agree that the whole EEM thing is an abuse…

    It would seem that if the whole sanctuary was “turned to the Lord,” if incense was used, if music was chanted, and if deacons (at least two) were present it would have less of a theatrical feel and more of a liturgical one which would help to discourage this kind of display.

    Just a thought…

  7. Dave

    Wow! I felt physically ill when I watched this. It made me think of Christ’s words that for those who lead the children away, that it be better for them to have a millstone tied ’round their necks and be thrown in the sea. Who authorized this? This foolishness has got to stop. If you want to be protestant then be protestant. If you claim to be Catholic then stop “monkeying around” with THE MASS! It belongs to Christ, not to us! Lord God have mercy on us. Please Lord, give us the mercy that we need, not the punishment we deserve!


  8. Brian

    Patrick, would this type of performance, or perhaps a ‘boogie woogie concert’ for Mardis Gras outside of mass be appropriate to have in a church? I would think not, since, as you said in a post above, the church is a sacred space.

  9. JP

    I was once present (heck I was attempting to lead the choir) at an early Christmas Eve Mass where the priest used a game show format for the homily, which resulted in the children becoming wild and noisy (so much so that I couldn’t HEAR the choir!) and then passed out candycanes in the Communion line to the children who were too young to receive Communion.

    He seemed genuinely surprised that I had steam coming out my ears after Mass.

    How can people be SO clueless? But yet they are…and flashmobs and other such lunacy are the result.

    God help us!

  10. Jim

    How about parent’s educating our kid’s at home, on the faith, and encouraging them to delve into it? What is the Mass for? We are there to worship Our Lord, the way He wants us to! This is what set’s us apart, partaking in the True Paschal meal!

    Come on, Catholic’s KNOW YOUR FAITH!!!!!!

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