!!BEWARE THIS IS ME GRUMBLING!!As one get's older one seems to realises more and more how crotchety one gets and how many things really irritate, but the dreadful trouble is that they most probably don't irritate other people. I have always realised that I am a bit odd as a priest and maybe some of my parishioners might agree with me.
That being said one of my big hates, is priests who find it impossible to say Mass according to the Roman Rite. I mean priests who can't read the rubrics. "They come and supply and they are not house trained", complained a friend. Another friend of mine had a priest who was sent to relieve him for a much needed holiday, who made up his own Eucharistic Prayer, his parishioners were horrified, especially as English was not his first language . I had a Indian Bishop here, who expressed surprised that my people didn't respond, I had to tell him that they would if he used the words in the Missal but if he made up his own they were merely left confused. He told me that as a bishop he was able to improvise, I had to remind him we were all of us servants of the Church none of us, not even the Pope, as he has said himself, are its masters and certainly not a bishop who's role is to safeguard the liturgy.
There is a real ignorance of what is supposed to happen in the liturgy, simple little things for example, the Ceremonial of Bishops says quite clearly that the hands of a priest are supposed to be joined palm to palm, thumbs crossed. The "Dominus vobiscum" before the gospel is to be said without extending one's hands, the contrary is invariably done. Deacon's are supposed kneel at the consecration, they generally stand. So many priests seem incapable of raising their hands in prayer according to the rubrics, or even elevating the sacred host as the should. So many have given up genuflecting to the Blessed Sacrament on entering or leaving the sanctuary, not through infirmity, or even disbelief (I hope) but simply not understanding the Church's language of gesture.
They are simply not giving people what they are paid to do, that is to say Mass according to what the Catholic Church expects. Most priests are reasonably intelligent, but I suspect most have never bothered to read the bits in red that tell you what to do. At one time I thought I was just cranky but I am pleased that more and more people like successive Popes, and now Cardinal Arinze, the Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship are rather forcibly stressing that people have a right to receive the Catholic liturgy from priests and bishops according to what is set forth in the liturgical books of the Church.
The American website Curt Jester has an amusing piece on the reason for this blindness to the rubrics.