A sister talking about vocations for 25 minutes instead of a Homily

This weekend, at Vigil Mass at my parish, instead of a Homily, our priest had a sister from a local order stand up and talk about her vocation and how important it is for laypeople to support young men and women who are on that particular path. I understand that there is a vocation crisis in the Church and that an effort is being made to get to the root of the problem and involve as many people as possible. I was a bit taken aback, however, when this was done in place of the Homily (the priest said a few brief words about the reading before introducing the sister) in the middle of Mass.

My question is, how would you react if this happened in your parish? On one hand, I understand what may have driven them to take advantage of a “captive audience” but on the other, it seemed to overshadow the focus of the Mass with something that could have been discussed in a separate meeting or even after the final blessing.

It was vocation Sunday, I am new too; but think this would have been done. After the final blessing :confused:


Oh man I would have not been happy. I would probably share with the priest the following things. If it bothered me too much, I probably would have to go and Confess how it bothered me.

I dislike some of the loose non-traditional and non-liturgical things that are going on in some Masses in some parishes. I am blessed that the parish I go to goes strictly by GIRM and the Liturgical Documents.

From the General Instruction of the Roman Missal

#65 THe homily is part of the Liturgy and is strongly recommended for it is necessary for the nurturing of the Christain life. It should be an exposition of some aspect of the readings from Sacred Scripture or of another text from the Ordinary or from the Proper of the Mass of the day and should take into account both the mystery being celebrated and the particular needs of the listeners.

[This should have been done maybe after the final blessing of the Mass as was stated.]

#66 THe homily should ordinarily be given by the PRIEST celebrant himself. He may entrust it to a concelebrating priest or occasionally, according to circumstances, to the deacon, but never to a lay person * In particular cases and for a just cause , the homily may even be given by a Bishop or a priest who is present at the celebration but cannot concelebrate.

Code of Canon Law

Canon 767 - Pargraph 1 - AMong the forms of preaching the homily is preeminent; it is part of the liturgy and is reserved to a PRIEST or to a DEACON; in the homily the mysteries of faith and the norms of CHristian living are to be expounded from the sacred text throughout the course of the liturgical year.

Paragraph 4 - IT IS THE DUTY of the pastor or the rector of a church to see to it that these prescriptions are conscientiously observed.*

This kind of thing may happen 2-3 times per year in the average parish (at least, around my area anyway). It should NOT replace the homily, and the pastor has discretion about who speaks and how many times per year and when… There should be a homily. Typically, the homily segues into the speaker’s “pitch”. The only other time that may be appropriate for this would be after the post-Communion prayer, but there are those who take the liberty of leaving early, so I usually don’t see that done.

It was vocations week and parishes may have been directed by their bishops to invite someone to speak about vocations. The priest did give his homily, however brief so no problem. Yes that is probably a bit too long for a message during Mass, and perhaps she should have spoken from a different spot than where the readings are proclaimed but perhaps it was not practical in that parish. It was in order, although after communion might have been better, but perhaps the priest thought that timing might diminish the impact of the message. The lady did as she was asked so don’t fault her.


I do not fault her at all. It’s just that I fault the clergy who should know what the forms and liturgical norms of Mass are and should not change them in any way, refer to the Canon I quoted. And I am not sure if any post comes out and says that she is in fault. She obeyed and is to be commended, for one cannot be burned by obedience provided what they are doing is not against the Moral Law.

Practicalities should never over rule the liturgical norms.

Little One0307

We have two speakers a year that our bishop asks that they speak following a short homily…the bishops annual appeal (a speaker sent by the bishop, sometimes a deacon, which is OK but often a lay person), and the vocations talk (sometimes a seminarian but more often a religious) I have insisted they speak from the cantor stand but more often they say the bishop asked them to speak from the ambo. I have to really check that out. This year our vocation speaker was a priest and bishop’s appeal speaker was a deacon so we didn’t have a problem.

The diocese of Boston will go from 400 priests to around 160 in the coming years. There is a crisis for dedicated clergy and if listening to someone who has dedicated their entire life to God for 25 minutes to encourage others is a problem. Well, come on guys. This is the evangelization forum.

Apologize if “I doth complianeth too much” :whistle:

There is a time for that I agree , but it is NOT in the homily which again is reserved to the priest or the deacon, [or a Bishop] and which must deal with what the readings or sacred text of that day.

Little One0307

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