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February 02, 2007

Comments

Slowboy

I scritch my 'ead.

It's a conference. You can lecture, yak, explain, whatever all youwant all day.

Every once in a while I've known a priest to have something relevent to say in a homily.

SDG

Assuming that the correspondent is accurately characterizing the letter, it would be a shame if the individual who drew attention to this abuse chose to do so in a "scathing" manner, "flaunting" the Code rather than taking the opportunity to speak the truth in love in a respectful and courteous manner.

That said, truth is truth however it is spoken, and if the letter writer was flaunting the law, it looks like the Sisters were flouting it, whether inadvertently or otherwise. (Those two words are often confused, BTW. Lots of people say "flaunting" when they mean "flouting.")

Slowboy

...and. Maybe someone smarter than me can elucidate the reasons for the rule. I always hate rules that appear to be there "just because".

I can guess that the idea is that the homily flowing from the Gospel is all tied up in the concept of the priest being Christ for us though this doesn't really explain the deacons being able to preach.

Slowboy

SDG:

Please stop flouting your edumacation.
:)

Shannon

While the cannon says that a priest or deacon should give the homily, it seems to only expressly forbid a lay person from giving the homily. Are sisters considered laity?

Kevin

I believe that technically, anyone who has not received the Sacrament of Holy Orders is a lay person. Therefore sisters and brothers are laity.

SDG

I believe that technically, anyone who has not received the Sacrament of Holy Orders is a lay person. Therefore sisters and brothers are laity.

Correct, Kevin. That was one of the stumpers on Catholic Answers' classic Catholic quiz from hell.

John E

Does any of this apply to Communion Service? Can a reflection be given after the homily by a layman?

Skygor

Sisters are considered laitey, its just that they are of a decicated religious non-ordained vocation. Brothers and monks too are not permitted to speak at the homily. Niether are students of semiaries who in say 6 months are going to be deacons and priests are permitted.

Reasoning is simple if forgotten a bit. The homily is to explain the scripture readings, i.e. the Word, i.e. Jesus i.e. God. It is not for general theological speaches, if the readins are not touched, then the homily has failed. This duty is somewhat on par of the administering the sacraments. We are dealing with Christ here and so those imagio Christi are appropriate for the job, i.e. ordained clergy.

My sugestion is that there is nothing to prevent discourses -after- the Mass. I understand the importance and desire to include Mass in gatherings and celebrations, but Mass -is- Mass. However if the grouping is dedicated they will stay for both parts. I've been to several times Cinceneras. They have Mass, then they go to the party hall, and whatever speaches by whomever at that time.

Skygor

Post Scriptum:
This is why a while back there was a letter stating that it was fine to have a short homily of 15 minutes. Mass is for the celbration of the Word and Eucharist, not how eloquent or desirable preaching is.

Anonymous

We still have lay preaching in the diocese of Rochester. This is the response from the bishop's office when someone inquired about it.
http://www.catholic-church.org/stdominic-shortsville/letter.htm

Father Bartoloma

Isn't there an exception allowed only in the instance of a Mass celebrated for very young children and using the 'Children's Lectionary'? I may be wrong but I thought that this was the only exception when a layperson would be permitted to preach at the time of the homily.

I have never posted on this blog before but I always enjoy reading it and find it very informative. While we are on this subject I would like to bring up the frequent times when in parishes different speakers (often laity) give a talk or pitch for one cause or another during the time of the homily: the missions, pro-life, the financial state of the parish, promotion of a Catholic School, etc.. Also, when videos are shown for, eg. the Bishop's Annual Appeal. Or, when seminarians give "reflections" during the time of the homily. In most of these instances, that I have seen anyway, the priest might say a few words to introduce the speaker, or just for the sake of making some remarks to 'count' as a homily. But was there really a homily?

It is fastenating how Vatican II had such an emphasis on a kind of re-appreciation of the homily (which by the way is obligatory on Sundays and Solemnities), yet it is so frequently de-emphasized in contemporary parish life.

However, the catch-22, is that if the speaker makes the remarks when he/she is liturgically permitted, (after the final prayer and before the blessing) much of the congregation has already bolted out of the church by then! Or, if a second collection is to be taken up immediately after the first collection, logically the guest speaker would raise more awareness (and $) if they speak before it is taken up.

I would be curious to get the take of other blog readers on how to manage these different situations.

A.Williams

Try this loophole on for size, its been used for years in the Neo Catechumenal Way:

Just 2 weeks ago I went to a NCW Mass at one of their retreat houses (I was there to pick up my wife after the said retreat, but attended the Mass with her.)

The Mass lasted about 2 1/2 hours..or longer.

After the readings the celebrating Priest gave about a 7 minute sermon..and I thought this was interesting because usually the congregration normally gives 'testamonies' immediately after the readings. I was starting to ponder (and almost rejoice) that we were not even going to have 'echoes' at this Mass..until I saw an alter server move a microphone towards the congregation. "..oh shucks! This is going to take a while", I thought.

The first few testamonies were about 7 minutes long each...almost as long as the priests homily. I tried to keep count of them but lost track after about the first 6, because after listening to the priest minutes and these also, we were already into over an hour..and it was really only half time.

More and more testamonies came, and I think there were about 16 in all, but there might have been a couple less..as I mentioned, I lost count.

Then, after these echo's were finished, I thought, "Wow, this Priest is really pretty humble, because he allowed almost everyone of these people to talk as long as he did!" ...However, I was soon corrected. The priest then gave a second talk, and this time about 20 minutes. Did I mention the reason I think the Mass was 2 1/2 to 3 hrs. long? (Usually it is ONLY 2 hrs.)

Now, you don't want to know all about the prayers of the faithful! I can only say that there were so many, and took so much time, that the priest had to ask for a halt to the prayers after about 20-30 mins.

But it didn't work! It wasn't until about 5-7 mins. after the priest asked, and there were church wide 'groans' from multiple participants, even my wife, that these prayers were finally finished with. And when done, the priest had a smile on his face.

Now, I don't know what happened in that conference center the other Sunday. Were these testamonies? homilies? or, what might be a suspected loophole..."dialogues?".

The problem I have, is, when one or more of the lay congregation 'dialogue', non-stop, for over 5 minutes each..and the totality of the commentaries, time wise, are 2-3 times as long as the combined homilies of the priest celebrant!

But really, I just want to see some Vatican action (ie. enforcement of the Arinze Letter),to clean this whole mess up..since this is only the 'tip of the iceberg', so-to-say, of all the liturgical abuses in the 1 million+ member NCW movement.

On the bright side of things, all the members pray the Liturgy of the Hours, and if converted to standard Church teachings and norms...can be a powerhouse of Catholic evangelization! This is what I think JPII and B16 have tried to accomplish in all their dealings with the NCW. I pray that it works!

John E

This wouldn't happen to be the Congregation of the Sisters of Pointer would it? I'm thinking of that song, "Sisters are doing it for themselves!"

Sorry. Please continue.

John E

However, the catch-22, is that if the speaker makes the remarks when he/she is liturgically permitted, (after the final prayer and before the blessing) much of the congregation has already bolted out of the church by then!

Father Bartoloma, for this reason our parish normally does any videos, announcements, bishop's letters or appeals at the very beginning, even before the processional hymn. It does not appear to have caused people to start showing up late to Mass, or at least any more so than before. These announcements and such occur at the advertised time for the start of Mass, but before Mass actually begins, so I don't think there are any liturgical problems.

We still occasionally have other guests give talks or appeals after the Gospel, after a shorter than normal homily by the priest or deacon.

Elijah

Are the folks who bolt immediately after Communion interested in announcements and special collections?


Elijah

Are the folks who bolt after Communion interested in announcements and special collections?

Esau

Slowboy:

I can guess that the idea is that the homily flowing from the Gospel is all tied up in the concept of the priest being Christ for us though this doesn't really explain the deacons being able to preach.

Phil 1:1 ¶ Paul and Timothy, the servants of Jesus Christ: to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons.

Go to the writings of St. Paul in Scripture, and you'll see there is bibilical support for this clearly demonstrated in Paul's many epistles.

Realist

My sister-in-law is a Sister of St. Joseph. She is also a hospice nurse. Her patients are terminally ill. This living saint has been ordained in the suffering of the dying. And rightly so she has given homolies with the permission of her pastor who apparently could care less about the 5000 pages of Canon law. Common sense and relating goodness to his parish trumps Canon law any day.

David B.

SDG,

I took the quiz, and I scored 16 out of 20! Adult education classes, here I come!

Inocencio

Realist,

Disobedience breeds contempt not goodness.

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

bill912

SDG, I just took the quiz, too. I got them all right, even though, according to CA, I got 2 wrong. Their supposed "correct" answer to #5 is incorrect, because there *are* certain rare circumstances when a Protestant may recieve Holy Communion in a Catholic Church. Their supposed "correct" answer to #14 is incorrect, because there *are* certain rare circumstances when one may recieve Holy Communion after committing a mortal sin without going to confession.

Slowboy

Our parish priest is very careful of protecting the homily. He does not allow any layity on the ambo until just before the final blessing when he will go to the ambo, explain that someone (including semenarians witthout the faculity to preach) has an "announcement".

Esau

He does not allow any layity on the ambo until just before the final blessing when he will go to the ambo, explain that someone (including semenarians witthout the faculity to preach) has an "announcement".

Slowboy,
To whom are you addressing your question here?

SDG

SDG, I just took the quiz, too. I got them all right, even though, according to CA, I got 2 wrong. Their supposed "correct" answer to #5 is incorrect, because there *are* certain rare circumstances when a Protestant may recieve Holy Communion in a Catholic Church.

I'm assuming you chose "None of the above," since any of the remaining answers (excluding the official "right" one) would be obviously incorrect.

You're right about the exceptions, of course. Still, I would argue that their official answer is essentially correct. The answers should be understood as setting forth sufficient conditions to receive communion. If you are a Catholic and in the state of grace, you qualify. If you are a Protestant and in the state of grace, that is not sufficient to qualify you.

The possibility of, e.g., administering communion to a Protestant on his deathbed if he believes in the Real Presence doesn't make it incorrect to say that the Eucharist can be received by Catholics in the state of grace, but not by Protestants even if they are in the state of grace. (It doesn't say "Protestants may never receive communion no matter what.")

Having said that, since you evidently understand the point at issue, I agree that you shouldn't be marked "wrong." That's the trouble with a multiple-choice test -- and why I would rather answer essay questions!

Their supposed "correct" answer to #14 is incorrect, because there *are* certain rare circumstances when one may recieve Holy Communion after committing a mortal sin without going to confession.

Here too I would argue that their answer is correct. The duty to confess mortal sins before receiving communion exists, in spite of the fact that it might be suspended or dispensed with in certain extreme cases. It's still true to say that those in mortal sin must go to confession before receiving communion, even if the dying, among others, might be excused from this duty.

A.Williams

Some reasons why the Church to insists on liturgical uniformity, and also how it views those who don't care to follow the Magesteriums laws and 'norms' can be found in the Preamble of "Redemptionis Sacramentum".

One short teaching, says on this matter:

[11.] The Mystery of the Eucharist “is too great for anyone to permit himself to treat it according to his own whim, so that its sacredness and its universal ordering would be obscured”.[27] On the contrary, anyone who acts thus by giving free reign to his own inclinations, even if he is a Priest, injures the substantial unity of the Roman Rite, which ought to be vigorously preserved,[28] and becomes responsible for actions that are in no way consistent with the hunger and thirst for the living God that is experienced by the people today. Nor do such actions serve authentic pastoral care or proper liturgical renewal; instead, they deprive Christ’s faithful of their patrimony and their heritage. For arbitrary actions are not conducive to true renewal,[29] but are detrimental to the right of Christ’s faithful to a liturgical celebration that is an expression of the Church’s life in accordance with her tradition and discipline. In the end, they introduce elements of distortion and disharmony into the very celebration of the Eucharist, which is oriented in its own lofty way and by its very nature to signifying and wondrously bringing about the communion of divine life and the unity of the People of God.[30] The result is uncertainty in matters of doctrine, perplexity and scandal on the part of the People of God, and, almost as a necessary consequence, vigorous opposition, all of which greatly confuse and sadden many of Christ’s faithful in this age of ours when Christian life is often particularly difficult on account of the inroads of “secularization” as well.[31]

bill912

SDG, you're right, of course. I should not have called CA's answers "incorrect"; I should have called their questions "deficient".

SDG

SDG, you're right, of course. I should not have called CA's answers "incorrect"; I should have called their questions "deficient".

And that's why multple-choice tests always say "Choose the best answer." :-) You can't always be exhaustively complete within the confines of the brevity required by multiple-choice answers.

John (idm)

Skygor, you wrote: "Sisters are considered laitey, its just that they are of a dedicated religious non-ordained vocation. Brothers and monks too are not permitted to speak at the homily."

You were right about sisters and brothers, but you should have left the word, "monks," out of it. Why? Because some monks are priests! In Benedictine abbeys, for example, the monks are typically a mixture of priests, transitional deacons, and brothers. There can even be retired bishops living as monks.

Not all monks are laymen. Some are ordained clergymen.

FYI

John (idm) is hereby disinvited from participating in the blog due to Rule 1 violations.

Posted by: Jimmy Akin | Feb 1, 2007 11:41:29 AM

John (idm)

Fr. Bartoloma, you wrote:
"However, the catch-22, is that if the speaker makes the remarks when he/she is liturgically permitted, (after the final prayer and before the blessing) much of the congregation has already bolted out of the church by then!"

And, Slowboy, you wrote:
"Our parish priest ... does not allow any layity on the ambo until just before the final blessing when he will go to the ambo, explain that someone (including semenarians without the faculty to preach) has an 'announcement.'"

Through the years, I had read (more than once) that the proper time for a non-ordained person to make comments of some kind is just before the final blessing. However, I tried to read very carefully all the texts that Mr. Akin quoted, above, looking for this very point -- and I could not see it! Can anyone provide a quotation from an official document stating that the non-ordained must speak ONLY after the post-Communion prayer?

In reading what Mr. Akin provided, I got the distinct impression that a non-ordained person could potentially give his comments immediately after the homily, provided that it was clear that he was not giving a second homily. In other words, the non-ordained must not be doing the kind of explication (of scripture or liturgical texts) that is typically heard in homilies. Can someone quote from a Holy See text that forbids the non-ordained to speak after the homily? If not, then Fr. Batoloma ought not to be troubled.

By the way, my opinion is that no homily should EVER be shortened because a non-ordained person is going to speak later (either immediately or before the final blessing) or because the readings were longer than average or for any other bogus reason. We all need LONGER Masses, not shorter ones. Let's have 15-to-20-minute homilies. Let's sing ALL the verses of the hymns, etc.. Let us all (especially priests) stop being so damned lukewarm! Let us be ever more fervent and self-sacrificing, so that Jesus does not vomit us out of his mouth (Rev. 3:16).

Priests, do your Sunday Masses follow each other too closely, preventing them from being longer? Then spread them out (preferably 120 minutes apart), to allow them to be longer! God will reward you. Don't be lazy or gutless (too worried that some people will complain). Explain why you are doing it, and let some go away if they wish. They will be replaced.

bill912

Rude, isn't he?

John (idm)

I wasn't aware of that, FYI. After I post a message, I don't have a chance to return to see what anyone else has written afterwards. I only saw what you wrote because I was in the midst of posting twice. Farewell.

Dan Hunter

Do they wear thier habit?
God bless you.

Rebekah

That was a cool test. I got 16 correct, too. But I stupidly missed the question about sisters, in spite of its having just been answered here.

A.M.

My sister-in-law is a Sister of St. Joseph. She is also a hospice nurse. Her patients are terminally ill. This living saint has been ordained in the suffering of the dying. And rightly so she has given homolies with the permission of her pastor who apparently could care less about the 5000 pages of Canon law. Common sense and relating goodness to his parish trumps Canon law any day.

The Lollard heresy lives on!

bill912

Oh, that was just Realist making an ex cathedra pronouncement and canonization. He has those abilities, y'know--the puny god he believes in doesn't, but he does.

David B.

I would've gotten 17/20 correct if I hadn't read the "which one of these is a dogma" question too quickly. I said that priestly celibacy is a dogma, because I thought it said MALE priesthood.

Esau

I would've gotten 17/20 correct if I hadn't read the "which one of these is a dogma" question too quickly. I said that priestly celibacy is a dogma, because I thought it said MALE priesthood.

David B.:

Regardless of even that wording, priestly celibacy is NOT dogma; it is a discipline of the Latin Rite Church.

bill912

I think David meant that he thought the answer read: "A male priesthood is a dogma".

Esau

Thanks, bill912, for the clarification.

If that's what David B. meant, my bad.

Pat

At times is customary to say in civil law that "the law is an ass." In some cases canon law may be as well. Would I rather listen to a nun with a Ph. D. in scripture or some tired priest who slept through his seminary years?

bill912

Or would I want obedience or disobedience in the Mass?

A. Williams

"In reading what Mr. Akin provided, I got the distinct impression that a non-ordained person could potentially give his comments immediately after the homily, provided that it was clear that he was not giving a second homily. In other words, the non-ordained must not be doing the kind of explication (of scripture or liturgical texts) that is typically heard in homilies. Can someone quote from a Holy See text that forbids the non-ordained to speak after the homily? If not, then Fr. Batoloma ought not to be troubled."

John, here is what "Redemptionis Sacramentum" says about lay commentaries:

[74.] If the need arises for the gathered faithful to be given instruction or testimony by a layperson in a Church concerning the Christian life, it is altogether preferable that this be done outside Mass. Nevertheless, for serious reasons it is permissible that this type of instruction or testimony be given after the Priest has proclaimed the Prayer after Communion. This should not become a regular practice, however. Furthermore, these instructions and testimony should not be of such a nature that they could be confused with the homily,[156] nor is it permissible to dispense with the homily on their account.

John, I would stress "serious reasons" above. Also, "this should not become regular practice."

However, depending on how much you want to get around these 'norms', there might be a way to construct a 'lay testimony' such that it mutates into a 'dialogue' with the priest. For instance, If a priest or group wants to completely overlook the intended meaning here, that, as a normal practice lay commentaries take place outside of the Mass, they might be able to 'obscure' the interpretation by asking a priest to 'ask' the congregation for their thoughts on a subject. This is easy to do, if the priests are trained to conduct the homilies at Mass in such ways.

In these circumstances, it is sad to think that certain Church communities and bishops need even more definition, and instruction from Rome, in the liturgical laws and 'norms', than they already have.

In a lust to have things their own way, and trying to get around the common understanding of such norms, they make necessary overly intricate definitions, which then make the Church seem to be 'pharisaic' to those not familiar with such ecclesial legalities...that is, to new-comers, converts, youth etc..

But it is these 'little foxes', loopholes, and legal indefinitions, that can destroy the Liturgy as intended by the Magisterium.

However, I really wouldn't consider lay testamony a 'little fox', rather, I think this can better be symbolized as an 'alpha male' starving wolf!

And this is because the lay testamonies that I am accustomed to hearing, about 3 Sundays per month, usually have very little to do with the homily, and more to do with promoting the group or community present...by restating over and over again, at every Mass, how happy and joyful they are, and how much good the group (In my case the NCW) has done for them. This really is a form of 'conditioning', I think, and helps reinforce the idea that 'everyone' agrees with the group, and publicly states such during the holy sacrifice of the Mass.

Just think of it. What 'better way', do you think, is there to promote your PARTICULAR 'Catholic' society or group...then to have members at every Mass tell how grateful to God they are for the existance and benefits derived from belonging to such a group?

....And you wonder why such groups might also have such a high opinion of themselves??

JW

A reflection on the readings isn't a homily

A.Williams

Would that such reflexions, or abusive testamonies, after readings were "like" a homily, because this might actually make them somewhat intelligent. But telling the congregation how you 'feel' at a particular Mass, usually will offer nothing to the Biblical inspiration given by the readings.

Rather, it distracts from those very same readings. And furthermore, to claim that your good feelngs are all the result of "The Way", or another group that you belong to...even if you are just saying," I feel happy that the Catholic Church has so effected my life"...still does't have a place before, during or after the homily. Though very true indeed, all of this is ALREADY part of the Mass...so there is no redundancy needed!

Furthermore, the Church says, as quoted above..."FOR SERIOUS REASONS it is permissible that this type of instruction or testimony be given AFTER the Priest has proclaimed the Prayer after Communion. THIS SHOULD NOT BECOME REGULAR PRACTICE, however. (With my emphasis in caps)

The problem with making these testamonies REGULAR, is that it is then that they have the ability to be ABUSED as a sort of psychological 'conditioning' tool, for any reason what-so-ever, during the Mass.

Just for everyones curiosity. Note on the internet.. when any of the members of the Neocatechumenal Way try to defend their practices....they always use the SAME strategy and phraseology. They always tell how happy and grateful they are for "the Way" or 'El Camino", and for how much of a positive experience it has been in their lives. This is highly extraordinary, and isn't found in most other 'normal' catholic comments and posts.

And to make one further comment on the subject. I talked with a NCW priest 2 weeks ago right after his Mass which was celebrated using no less than 14 lay commentaries, and I asked him if he was familiar with the "Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum".

Know what he told me? Yes!....how much good the NCW did in his life! Then I reminded him that Canon laws and church norms were above all, and that the NCW would be truly a potent force, if and when they obey those laws and norms with love, understanding and faithfulness to the magisterium of the Chruch!

Really, I would have liked to talk with him a bit more, but unfortunately we were already late for lunch. So I left it to Divine Providence and for another day.

Praise be to Our God for giving us Canon laws, in black and white...so as to clearly enunciate the holy will of Christ in His Church!

"A reflection on the readings isn't a homily"

All the more why it shouldn't be anywhere near one. ;)

Tim J.

"Would I rather listen to a nun with a Ph. D. in scripture or some tired priest who slept through his seminary years?"

I think it as likely as not that the sleepy priest might do a better job, given the state of some seminaries. The Ph.D is more likely to have had her head filled with modernist nonsense, given the state of Catholic universities.

Scott W

"At times is customary to say in civil law that "the law is an ass." In some cases canon law may be as well. Would I rather listen to a nun with a Ph. D. in scripture or some tired priest who slept through his seminary years?'

Since the primary purpose of mass is worship and not personal intellectual edification, this dichotomy is irrelevant.

David B.

"Regardless of even that wording, priestly celibacy is NOT dogma; it is a discipline of the Latin Rite Church."

I know that. I meant that I mistakenly thought it asked if an exclusively male priesthood is dogma, which it is.

Slowboy

It is my experience that the majority of catholics (this applies doubly to myself) benefit far more from a basic "tired" sermon than from some esoteric flight by a PhD however orthodox the homilist may be.

I can almost recite my pastors sermons by heart but find that my heart is condemned each time he asks basic soulsearching questions. One of his points is how often he has people come to him for spiritual guidence and he finds they: 1. Don't have a regular prayer life. 2. Don't go to confession regularly. He will say from the ambo:DONT come to me until you've started the basics. Then we can discuss your need for a 40 day eucharistic fast.

Eileen R

I'd rather listen to most of my family members' dinner conversation than most homilies I've heard from priests, but that doesn't mean we should substitute dinner conversation for homilies. To everything a place and a time. There's a place for the nun with the PHD in scripture, but it has been determined not to be the homily. That most homilies we hear today fall short of the purpose of the homily is a problem to be solved by better formation of priests.

Darin

OK, I'll admit that I didn't read all the comments on here, I didn't even have the frame of mind right now to read Jimmy's entire post, however I can tell you this.

When I was in college, the Neumann center I attended had a sister assigned there. Our priest would routinely let her 'deliver the reflection' after he gave a 30 second or so homily. I was in the Peoria Diocese and this even happened one Sunday when the bishop was visiting - not sure why he was there, but he was there non-the less. At any rate, he had no issue with it, and for the record that bishop was John Myers, now the Archbishop of Newark. I have to think he knew a bit about cannon law; he does have a JCD anyway.

On another note, my father is going to be ordained into the permanent deaconate in May. Next weekend, he is delivering a 'reflection' as well at mass, so it isn't an isolated thing. The homily does need to happen and it does need to be by the priest or deacon. However, cannon law doesn't say how long it has to be and it doesn't preclude anyone else from speaking - how often have we seen missionaries or something speak after the homily at mass or someone from the stewardship committee?

John Redcorn

Yeah but a 30 second homily might lead and will lead peopl to conclude the following talk is the homily and ergo anyone can say a homily.
As for me, I, due to the fact that homilies are terrible these days and that I try to recieve Communion twice, I really don't want to hear a homily, especially twice, because they are horrible. Only need to give homilies on Sundays according to the rubrics. When the priest is good, ok I listen. I might learn something.
But to hear more trash from the typical "church general". Nope. I respect the Holy Orders. But there isn't much lay people that can teach a person like myself (not bragging trust me.) about any religious subjects. But some of us could certainly pick out the heresies, and not just from the laity!

A.Williams

Darin,

"Not infrequently, abuses are rooted in a false understanding of liberty. Yet God has not granted us in Christ an illusory liberty by which we may do what we wish, but a liberty by which we may do that which is fitting and right.[18] This is true not only of precepts coming directly from God, but also of laws promulgated by the Church, with appropriate regard for the nature of each norm. For this reason, all should conform to the ordinances set forth by legitimate ecclesiastical authority." - Redemp.Sacr.[7]

Pat

"Since the primary purpose of mass is worship and not personal intellectual edification, this dichotomy is irrelevant."

Then why not skip the homily altogether? No, it is part of the liturgy, albeit too frequently very poorly done.

John Lilburne

Bill912 wrote "Our parish priest is very careful of protecting the homily. He does not allow any layity on the ambo until just before the final blessing ...".

It is commendable that this priest is protecting the homily. But he is failing to protect the dignity of the ambo. From the 2002 General Introduction to the Roman Missal (GIRM) which can be accessed from http://www.romanrite.com/girm.html :

"309. ... From the ambo only the readings, the responsorial Psalm, and the Easter Proclamation (Exsultet) are to be proclaimed; it may be used also for giving the homily and for announcing the intentions of the Prayer of the Faithful. ...".

Any announcement or commentary in Mass by a lay person is not to be made at the ambo, the place where the readings are proclaimed.

bill912

I wrote no such thing.

Jared

John Lilburne: The author's name is posted after the post under the dotted line. Case in point bill912 wrote "I wrote no such thing." The post you quoted was written by Slowboy.

--Jared

John Lilburne

My apologies to bill912 and Slowboy. Thanks for the correction, Jared.

Jared

No prob. It's a bit confusing at first.

JW

"Reflection upon the scripture readings" My parish has two well qualified, (though not Ph. D!) religious sisters who, at services of Word and Holy Communion in the absence of priest/deacon sometimes give a short exposition on the scripture of the day. Not a testimony.


To explain the scripture readings, or some part of them, for the benefit of the congregation is not a homily, which can waltz off on any theme of the homilist without reference to the scripture readings. Our small midweek congregation likes the sisters' words. They are both long experienced in adult education, and, very much to the point, love scripture. This practice is known to the parish priest and allowed by him; he is grateful. It would never happen in the PP's presence.

A.Williams

...Speaking of Ambos...Does anyone know if placing the Ambo directly infront of the celebrant priests chair, in the center of the sanctuary, is a licit placement or positioning? In the churches I regularly attend this is where the ambo is located
and it is very annoying. I also consider this placement highly offensive to the dignity of the Priest. Not only is his view of the congregation 'highly' limited, He also needs to look 'square' at the rear ends to the readers/guitarists in front of him. I have also seen the priest contort his body to view around the ambo during the Mass.

Someone might be also able to help me with a further question. Is it permitted to strum the guitar at the Ambo for the Psalms? Or is it EVER permitted to play the guitar at the Ambo? I know this is a very widespread custom, and has been a practice at practically every parish that I have belonged to.

I also hope the answer is NO to all of these questions as I find them not only annoying(and overly promoting the use of guitars in the Liturgy), but also, often acting against the authority and dignity of the celebrating priests.

Radical Catholic Mom


I love my priests at my parish, but I must say, Father yesterday let a visiting nun give the homily. Grrr. My question, Jimmie, should I ask my priest about it or should I let it go? It is not a frequent occurrence and usually happens when we have some nun visiting from the Lower 48. My priest is old, is in poor health and STILL serving his community. Maybe he enjoys a day off, but in that case, he shouldn't offer Mass.

Also re: guitars at the Ambo, I know when I have had to do it the acoustics in my Church are SO bad, the cantor cannot hear the music from the back of the Church. We have a choir loft where the music is played. The delay is so bad, it sounds like the cantor is completely off. I started bringing my husband up there with me so that I could at least chant on tune and hear it in time. I thought I was the only one who does this, interesting to hear others are doing it, too. I wonder if for the same reasons.

Tim J.

Lower 48? You from Alaska, Radical Catholic Mom?

I grew up there.

slowboy

>>From the 2002 General Introduction to the Roman Missal (GIRM) which can be accessed from http://www.romanrite.com/girm.html <<

Interesting. The man is one of the most careful and conservitive priests I know. I do see him making announcemnts after communion from the ambo. In fact he had to cross the alter to do it. I suspect the lack of a microphone elsewhere might have lead to this. If I ever corner him in a party maybe I'll annoy him with the question.

Mark

John Redcorn said "... I try to recieve Communion twice ..."

Dear John,

May I ask why you try to receive twice in one day? While we are permitted to receive twice in one day for a just reason (provided it is within Mass) it is commonly understood to be an abuse to receive twice merely for the sake of receiving twice.

To put it a different way, a single communion is sufficient for one's daily bread. There is nothing lacking in a single communion which makes a second communion "better" or spiritually advisable.

JV

"Common sense and relating goodness to his parish trumps Canon law any day."

Realist, do you know the Scripture that says "Obedience is better than sacrifice"?

Relating goodness is a great thing, but why is it *necessary* that the good Sister give the homily and disobey her holy mother the Church?

Mike Petrik

"Common sense and relating goodness to his parish trumps Canon law any day."

Translation: I'm above the law when I disagree with it.

Radical Catholic Mom

Tim J,

Ha ha! Yep from Anchorage. Its the lingo, huh?

John

Father wrote:

"It is fastenating how Vatican II had such an emphasis on a kind of re-appreciation of the homily (which by the way is obligatory on Sundays and Solemnities), yet it is so frequently de-emphasized in contemporary parish life.

However, the catch-22, is that if the speaker makes the remarks when he/she is liturgically permitted, (after the final prayer and before the blessing) much of the congregation has already bolted out of the church by then! Or, if a second collection is to be taken up immediately after the first collection, logically the guest speaker would raise more awareness (and $) if they speak before it is taken up.

I would be curious to get the take of other blog readers on how to manage these different situations."

Father-my recommendation would be to just admit the new mass was a huge mistake and go back to revering God (instead of man), the sacraments (What is the latest recommendation of the month from the ICEL?) along with some contemplation (instead of entertainment)and bring back the Traditional Latin Mass, even in the vernacular instead of what is being sold off as true organic liturgy. The modernist experiment has failed. Lets get back to the salvation of souls, give our children the catechism and unwavering teachings to fend off the temptation of the devil in this secular world of evil and go back to true sermons and let the nuns do what they did very well for centuries. In my parish, you cant even tell who is a nun anymore as they all look like and dress like Aunt Sally. Father Corapi said one night that when he was leaving the seminary, a few orders approached him with joining with the carrot "you can dress in laymens cloths". He rebuked them and said that he is proud to wear clerical garb and the white collar.

So sad

Just my humble opinion

John Redcorn

Mark,
I recieve Holy Communion twice not only because it is permitted ( the cannonist who proposed the law said it has the intention which I will explain now) , but recomended by many saints.

St. Peter Julian Eymard said "the seculars have more necessity of communion then those who live in retreat, because they are continually in the battlefield, so they must fortify themselves...So that is why I would tell men of enterprise, to the magistrates, to the youth so exposed to the turbulence of this world: Recieve Holy Communion every day, and if it were possible, ten times a day!"

That is just a part of a quote.
It has been recomended to me by a very holy priest. And I am in a situation were if not for that and prayer, I would fall to many temptations, due to the occasions of sin that I cannot avoid completely in my current state of life.
It is not because the first is not enough. One Mass has an infinite value. But we are not infinitely open to the graces Our Lord looks to give us. So the more times we can recieve Him the better. Trust me, it really helps the spiritual life. Only recoil is when the priests, music and temple don't help. A double dose of that I would only take to do apostolate and ofcourse, to recieve Our Lord. But I can only do that on weekends. School won't let me on weekdays.
I hope that answers your question.

God Bless You

MB

In the Saginaw (Michigan) diocese, for years nuns routinely gave the homily during Mass. It is said that this was done by design by the late Bishop Ken Untener---he put the nuns in a position to give the homily to get people talking about "how wonderful" it would be if women were allowed to be priests (Untener advocated for ordination of women.) When the new bishop Robert Carlson put an end to this practice, he was generally attacked by many people in the diocese.

A.Williams

John Redcorn,
You have certainly found the treasure everyone should be looking for! Also, preaching and teaching others the benefits, miracles and glories of Eucharist(even as St.Peter Julian Emyard did), and doing this also by your own example, has incalcuable benefits for all. We can never get enough of the Eucharist! Thanks for the inspiration!

A.Williams

Sorry, typo: "...benefits, miracles and glories of THE Eucharist", is how it should have been written.

"Miracles and glories of Eucharist" sounds like a 'progressive' liturgical banner slogan!

les

I've got a radical idea. OK, I stole it from the Evangelical Protestants of yesteryear.

Let's have another meeting on Sunday, say in the early evening. Let's have it in the Church Hall or a school gym, or somewhere like that. Testimonies, guitars, special speakers, lay people speaking, films, missionaries, evangelists, etc., etc. It would be lots of fun with lots of music and teaching and coffee and donuts and whatever.

And its a win-win. We can be greatly enriched with all that the laity and the sisters have to offer, and we can also have the "paint by number" mass, as Fr. Mitch Pacwa calls it, wherein we stay within the lines.

I can hear the objections. "We have trouble enough getting people out once a week never mind twice."

I know. But the idea would be to pump them up so they could hardly wait for the next Sunday. Hey, it worked for the Evangelicals, but then again, they also had another meeting mid-week too, usually a prayer meeting (in the original sense of that term).

Nick

I also live in the Rochester Diocese and our 'sister' gives a 'talk' after the priest gives her a brief intro. The response posted above, Bishop Clark alleges that "such a practice conforms to the interdicasterial Instruction on Certain Questions regarding the Collaboration of the Non-ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priests, issued by the Holy See in 1997 (art. 3, § 3)."

Here's what that line says, § 3. As an expositional aide and providing it does not delegate the duty of preaching to others, the celebrant minister may make prudent use of "dialogue" in the homily, in accord with the liturgical norms.

Is that his loophole?

LarryD

"In the Saginaw (Michigan) diocese, for years nuns routinely gave the homily during Mass. It is said that this was done by design by the late Bishop Ken Untener---he put the nuns in a position to give the homily to get people talking about "how wonderful" it would be if women were allowed to be priests (Untener advocated for ordination of women.) When the new bishop Robert Carlson put an end to this practice, he was generally attacked by many people in the diocese."

Ever since Bishop Carlson was appointed Bishop of the Saginaw diocese, there has been an explosion of vocations, too, so the Holy Spirit has been blessing the diocese. When he started, there were only 3 seminarians from the diocese. The last Ive heard, the number is at 19. About a year ago I was talking with a priest who relayed to me a conversation he had with Bp Carlson. The Bishop was saying that (at that time) he only had 12 seminarians. My priest friend said to him, "that's ok - I know someone else who started with only 12, too!"

Great things will happen in Saginaw, and I hope and pray it flows south into the Detroit Archdiocese!

A.Williams

les,
At least with "painting by numbers" you eventually end up with a HOLY image of Our Lord Jesus Christ!

With the 'paint as you feel'parties, you're more likely to end up with something more like an image of Homer Simpson, Ned Flanders or Mr. Smithers..depending on how everyone 'feels' on that particular day.

I'd rather let the Vatican Councils and Church documents do the 'liturgical painting'...and that's how the Church sees it too!

A.Williams

Nick,
If they are trying to creat a loophole, we need to closely examine exactly what is the definition of 'dialogue'.

di·a·logue or di·a·log (d-lôg, -lg)
n.
1. A conversation between two or more people.
2.
a. Conversation between characters in a drama or narrative.
b. The lines or passages in a script that are intended to be spoken.

You will note that it is a conversation BETWEEN two of more people. It is not a 'homily' or 'introduction' by one speaker and then a 'testamony' or teaching, by another.

I have read that a priest must always be in control of the 'dialogue' when it does, on occasion, occur at a Mass. From what I understood, the priest should be asking questions of others, and recieving short, concise answers or comments, NOT speeches or testamonies by the laity, wherein the priest loses control of the 'conversation'. A conversation is a very different thing from a speech.

A.Williams

Nick,

You also forgot to include the reference number provided in the "interdicasterial Instruction ..etc." document, in your quote above. It is no.[73], and refers to

(73) Cf. Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship, Directory for Masses with children Pueros Baptizatos (November 1, 1973), n. 48: AAS 66 (1974), p. 44.

And no 48 says:

48. The homily explaining the word of God should be given great prominence in all Masses with children. Sometimes the homily intended for children should become a dialogue with them, unless it is preferred that they should listen in silence.

So you can see here, and with the noted references provided with the teaching, that a 'dialogue' should be a real dialogue, and not something wherein the congregation (or Children) .."it is preferred that they should listen in silence".

I will presume that many will try to find a loophole with these teachings, and using your very same references. However, this is really for those who love to 'stretch' things and contort easily understood meanings and definitions. And who really doesn't understand the use of 'dialogue', especially as used and cited in the context of the Childrens' Mass above? Maybe those who have other 'agendas' on their minds??

John

A Williams said:

"I'd rather let the Vatican Councils and Church documents do the 'liturgical painting'...and that's how the Church sees it too!"

Ahhh if only the Bishops would adhere to the church councils and not think that they can invent and do whatever they desire. Paul VI created this monster with the introduction of the new mass and the synod of Bishops which has emasculated the papacy and Rome

Pray for a return of the likes of Pope St Pius X to restore all things in Christ, including his and his Fathers worship

A.Williams

John,

I'm still in 'rejoicing mode', over the election of our current Pope, Benedict XVI.

So too, rather than look too far back to the 'pre-modern' past, I want to give the Lord grateful thanks for this present 'gift' of papal leadership.

I totally recognize the sanctity of the Church throughout the ages, and am a great devotee of many Saints, such as St. Francis of Assisi, St. Dominic, St. John Bosco, St. Philip Neri, etc.. These all lived in former times, and preached the faith in their own generation.. and for our benefit also.

In our present age we continue to have the same Holy Faith, but the Church has felt it wise to adapt the communication of it somewhat to modern times and expressions. As we need to accept the Church Papal leadership in every generation, I fully accept, and give thanks for, our present pope and Church leadership.

However, yes, I pray with you that the Lord gives us similar great popes, like Benedict XVI and St. Pius X, in the years to come!

But you know the old saying..."Beggers can't be choosers"

...so it is the Lord who will choose His servants, for His church and in His time.

Some Day

The important thing is that there is a Pope.
Who it is? Does not matter.
Divine Providence will choose.
But praying for a saint and for our current one to be a saint is not a bad idea either.

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