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The smell of Mass in the Morning

Updated on January 3, 2012

The air I breathe

Nothing like starting off our Sunday with morning mass. Oh, those ancient prayers - the Our Father, the Nicene Creed, and the Confiteor.

Yes, and what about the symbolism of the altar, as the Priest elevates the offerings in sacrifice before our God. The beautiful sounds of bells, signifying the transformation of unleavened bread and wine.

The candles, the vestments, the architecture, and the smells...oh, well, some smells, our senses might better receive than others.

The sweet smell of incense, for instance, heightens our senses to the glorious nectar of heaven. The aromatic flavor of chrism oils are instant transports to the apostolic age. And the funk which permeates from uncle Franks mouth...well, that is a reminder for us all: remain on the narrow path. For this is most certainly, evidence that hell exists.

Bad breath. according to, Qualitydentistry.com, 65% of Americans suffer from it. And judging from the air I breath at Sunday morning mass, about 45% of those Americans must be Catholic.

True, there are matters much more pressing within the Church today. From the "question" of the ordination of women to the debate on priestly celibacy.

Yet, why can't Benedict XVI take time away from...you know...foreign affairs, absolving sin, canonizing JPII and deal with grandma's halitosis of the mouth?

No doubt, this must be a quandary dating back to the time of the Apostles. Think about it: Peter, an old crabby fisherman, no medical insurance, not a dentist in sight, chowing down, day and night on loads and loads of seafood. Oh, and no Colgate or tooth-brush to speak of.

Certainly, as a Christian the first Pope must have been the standard for his day and ours also. However, I don't think I would've wanted to be anywhere near him at the kiss of peace...catch my drift? - only If you dare, cause I'm no bed of roses in the morning myself.

No longer should the beauty of the mass be tainted by this liturgical offense. Aunt Betty's malodorous outlet, should be neutralized with a Tic Tac...or two...or three an hour before she sings the first verse of Salve Regina - Check yourself before you confess yourself, I'm just saying.

In fact, The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, in honor of the Mother of God, should issue an edict making little Johnie's un-brushed pie-hole grounds for excommunication and the little brat should be shunned like the tax collectors.

It is time to deal with the pee-yew fomenting from the pew. For the sake of our guardian angels, present at every mass, don't act like you can't smell it! A celestial entity deserves much better than the scent of Sunday morning orifice-gas.

Indeed, there is nothing like the allure of holy mass - the mystery, the sacrifice, the offering. All to be profaned by the fetor, the bile, the fume of Catholic morning breath.

God bless.

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