Can someone tell me if this is an abuse?

A few weeks ago, in a parish we had been attending for about a year, shortly after Communion, before the priest gave his final blessing, and concluded mass…a gentleman (lay person) came up…walked up the steps to the altar…stood where the priest stands at the altar, and proceeded to ‘sell’ us on the charity he represents. Then, baskets went around. The charity part isn’t the problem…but, is a lay person permitted to stand up at the altar, after Communion, to market something? :confused:

The answer us that it all depends. If the “pitch” was for a legitimate charity that the Church would support, then yes, that is the time to do it (after the prayer after communion). So, no, it’s not an abuse.

Deacon Ed

I don’t have a problem with the pitch…it was where it was done…on the altar, where the priest stands…the altar is such at this church, that you can walk around it, and often times, the priest will do that during his homily. But can a lay person walk around it, when pitching a charity? That is really my question, not when, but where it was conducted.

The lay person was speaking from the altar if you will…as if the altar was a podium, if that better helps to visualize what I mean.

It IS an abuse, I found it. It came from the Council of Trullo. No lay person is permitted to go up on the altar, for any reason, unless they are altar servers, or extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist. A priest of that church cannot give permission, it is not permissable…

I sensed it, but needed confirmation.

I agree with you on this. Using the ALTER as a podium is COMPLETELY out of line and is abuse of the alter in and of itself.Unless this person is a person in connection with the church itisn’t in what I have learned in all of MY years of being a Catholic ALLOWED or supported by ANYONE in the church’s teachings.

People who go up to and use the alter are supposed to be preists, deacons or religious members of the church, not lay people selling anything or using it[the alter] as a podium to pitch a product. It IS abuse of the alter.

 Mary:tsktsk:   A big no-no.

Hi Mary;

One of the various reasons we are leaving this parish. This was the final dealbreaker, frankly. The gentleman was pitching a charity, that the Catholic Church supports, but it doesn’t matter…he isn’t a deacon, or priest…or altar server…he should not have been on the altar conducting ‘business’ like that. When nuns would come to talk about various work they were involved with, they would use the podium section…not the altar.

It makes me so angry and sad all at once, that I feel parishes are just doing whatever they please, and perhaps think that us lay parishioners are none the wiser. I dunno. :shrug: Maybe I care about this stuff too much. :frowning:

I’m sorry, I guess I assumed that, by “altar,” you were referring to the sanctuary. Then the answer is no, he is not permitted to do so (although the disciplines of the Council of Trullo no longer apply). This should have been done from the stand where the cantor leads the music, not from the ambo/pulpit and not from the altar itself.

Deacon Ed

While I think the person using the altar instead of the podium is wrong, I would like to know how this area gets cleaned if one is interpreting that statement from the Council so strictly- as in “for any reason”. That just struck me as odd-because I cannot imagine my Pastor up there with a mop and bucket or a vacuum cleaner, or a dust rag, busily polishing the altar and cleaning the floor.

I’ve known a few pastors who hoisted the Hoover and gave a hand to the dedicated ladies.

Those who donate their time to clean the sanctuary do so AMDG and pro bono, with the approval of the pastor. When the sanctuary is not being used for a liturgical rite. Normally, this is done when the church is empty.

As malphono says, I would imagine for cleaning after mass, an exception is imposed. There should have been no exception…during the mass we attended when we saw this gentleman doing this…I love to hear about new charities, that wasn’t it…I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw him walking up the stairs to the altar, and walking around it, like the priest does during his homily.:eek: The Council of Trullo I believe implies ‘during mass,’ or shortly thereafter, for example, kids can’t run up to the altar, before or after mass, while their parents are talking to friends or whatever when mass is over. That’s how I read that to mean.

Have you spoken with the pastor? If that fails, write to the bishop. If the bishop fails, write to the Vatican. It is a Catholic duty to see all abuse leave the Liturgy.

I have my letter all waiting to push ‘send’ to the priest at this parish in question, what stops me? I don’t know…I put it together today, I left it alone…came back to it, and I’m not angry, really, but I don’t want it to come off as I’m legalistic or judgemental. I guess I’m hoping he will listen, and wish to change things. But, either way, we already have registered for this new parish, that we feel is like a little slice of heaven near where we live…really. :o

Be frank and unemotional. Just tell the priest what you saw. Don’t tell the priest how to do his job or remind him of what canon law saws - that’ll just tick him off. Be polite and keep it short, like a paragraph or two at the most. Tell him you’ll pray for him and say God bless: in brief, be charitable.

Well, 105b of the current GIRM states only that the commentator (which would be the function this person could be defined to be fullfilling) does NOT stand at the ambo. It does not mention that the commentator is NOT allowed to stand on the altar.

If I give you the problems we have noticed, can you write the letter?:smiley:

why not?:shrug:

Eucharisted…of course, I’d be charitable…and I didn’t plan to tell him how to do his job, because that part, I don’t know. I actually wrote the letter already, and might need to tweak some spots, because I don’t want my tone to be angry or judging…even though I tried to not imply that.

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