Can a homily be skipped?


Recently, I was at a Saturday vigil mass, and the father read the gospel, and then just went and sat down and proceeded with the rest of the mass… no homily or anything.

Must the homily be given or is it just optional? I know I have been at some masses where the priest said a very brief homily and then a visiting missionary or someone like that spoke for some time, but I don’t think I have ever seen it where the homily was skipped all together.



When I was growing up in Tulsa, OK, St. Francis Hospital had a little chapel where the very old polish priest never said a homily. His 8:00am mass would only last 30 minutes.

Needless to say it was standing room only in that little chapel. LOL :thumbsup:


I have never seen this. I’ll be interested to hear the answers.



I believe the homily can be skipped during a weekday mass, but I thought it was required at a public Sunday Mass (which Saturday evening Masses are).

Might it be possible that you were at a private Mass? Or maybe Father simply forgot he was doing a Sunday Mass??? :confused:


Well, it was not a private mass… was packed like it normally is and was the normal time and everything.

I guess if the good Father forgot the homily or skipped it intentionally, was it a valid mass?


I’ve been to several masses where the priest just sat down for what looked like a quiet mediation instead of the homily.

I never worry about it being “valid.” Who am I to say what’s valid? If the priest isn’t sure or doesn’t know - how can I?


There aren’t many things that make an invalid Mass, and skipping the Homily isn’t one of them. :slight_smile:

All of the things I know of that invalidate the Mass happen at the consecration: not using the correct words of consecration (“This is my body…” “This is… my blood…”), not using the correct matter (fruitcake instead of bread, etc.), not intending to really consecrate the bread and wine, that sort of thing.

If it was the Saturday vigil Mass, he shouldn’t have skipped the homily, but it could have been an accident. I wouldn’t worry about it unless it keeps happening. But it’s perfectly allowed to skip the homily on most weekday Masses, just not the Sunday Masses (which includes the vigil.)



Was it a visiting Priest? Sometimes a priest might be called in last minute to celebrate Mass, and because of that they don’t have a sermon prepared, so rather than “wing” on the spot he chose to skip it?


According to the GIRM, there is to be a homily “on Sundays and Holydays of obligation . . . and it may not be omitted without a grave reason.”

Not doing so certainly doesn’t invalidate the Mass. Perhaps he didn’t feel well, or it was just a mistake. Priests are human, too. :slight_smile:


The very rare and few times where I’ve seen a priest not do a homily is when the priest was ill. I highly doubt that the priest forgot it was Saturday vigil Mass. Without knowing the priest, we can all speculate here as to why or why not. The better thing to do if possible is when you see him next if this is your regular priest, ask him if he was feeling ok since there wasn’t a homily last Saturday. You didn’t state if this was a regular priest or a sub. Did the priest sound like he had a bad cold or conjested? One time on Sunday, the regular priest didn’t have a homily and the reason was due to recent surgery and he was not able to stand for much time so he conserved his energy for the consecration instead.


He didn’t sound ill… if fact, he seemed to be racing through the mass like he had a dinner or something to go to. Mass normally starts at 4:30pm and he kicked it off at 4:24 while many people were still coming in to mass. He also cut the choir off a few times too. Who knows, maybe he had to go visit someone who was sick. I’m not going to worry about it, but it just was very strange. We had our deacon there too who, more often than not, does the gospel reading and homily, but not this night.

Peace all,



I do remember, back in the day before air conditioning (and certainly not all churches have air conditioning today), there would be an occasional Summer homily consisting - in total - of the words “If you think it’s hot today…” I have a feeling others share this memory.


LOL The one time I remember a homily being skipped on a Sunday was when our AC was out. Texas - window in the Church weren’t the kind you can open. So a short Mass, no homily and I am sure it met the “grave reason” threshold. :wink:


He could have been ill. Maybe he wasn’t originally scheduled for that Mass and didn’t have a homily prepared. There could have been some kind of time restraints.


At this church I visited in South Carolina, the priest would only give homilies on Sundays, Vigils, and Holy Days of Obligation. At Daily Mass, he would sit down quietly for a few minutes after the Gospel, and then continue on with the mass. I’m guessing that it’s optional on normal days and required on Sundays and Holy Days, but I’m not completely sure.


There could have been a family emergency and he probably didn’t have a sub at the last minute so he started a few minutes early, rushed it from what you said in order to go. I think that probably would be the most realistic scenerio based on what you shared. Maybe he had a very ill parent or sibling but was unable to find a sub. I think we can all cut our priests some slack.


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