Ceremonies Interrupting Mass

There will be a ceremony of a bereavement counseling course during Mass, that will invite the group to come forward to be commissioned. Some of the group aren’t happy that this ceremony should interrupt the order of the Mass, bringing attention to themselves instead of God.

I have tried searching the internet to find an official guideline on the matter, but I haven’t been able to find anything yet.

Should a commissioning of a parish group be carried out during Mass?

Any help is much appreciated,

Thank you.

Ceremonies that interrupt Mass seem to be commonplace. I usually have to sit through a 7-10min baptism during Mass. Such ceremonies within Mass definitely take away from the continuity of the Mass. Since it occurs on a somewhat regular basis, I would think it licit

Commissioning ceremonies typically occur at the Offertory of the Mass. The persons being commissioned are offering themselves in service to God in the Church.
Baptisms typically occur in conjunction with the Creed; thus the congregation, the parents and godparents on behalf of the infant, profess their faith.
These ceremonies do not interrupt the mass so much as they provide a context for the community to reflect on the meaning of the mass.

Reb Levi

There are certainly ‘natural’ interruptions to the Mass.

The Homily, for example, is a pause in the Mass. It was more apparent in the Tridentine Mass, when the priest took off his maniple for the homily. It was a symbolic divestment.

In a wedding Mass, or Confirmation, the Sacrament is offered during this same ‘pause’

Another ‘pause’ in the Mass is the time after Communion. Announcements are often given then, or if a layperson needs to address the faithful, it is done during this pause.

I love watching baptisms. I think it is wonderful that our parish has them during the Weekend Masses. Those babies can be quite entertaining.:stuck_out_tongue:

Um, a baptism does not “interrupt” Mass. It’s proper place is within the Mass.

Baptism interrupts the Mass?

That’s just crazy. Baptism is a natural part of the Mass.

I don’t get this idea of “interrupting.” The Mass is the regular worship of the Christian community. How can anything that initiates people into the community or commissions them for service within it be an “interruption”?


Commissioning Service is allowed to take place during Mass. Here is an example for instruction on the commissioning of catechists from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:

Having been involved in RCIA for some time, I’m accustomed to various things happening during Mass – dismissals of catechumens, scrutinies, various rites, and the sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil. The entire community celebrates these rites and prays for the participants. Sunday Mass is when the community can do these things because we’re gathered together.

Calls to mind the bumper sticker I saw recently: “I’m proud of my humility” :slight_smile:

I remember a time when Baptisms were conducted outside of Mass. Its just my personal preference that it should have remained that way. I’m entitled to my opinion

One of the official liturgical books is “Book of Blessings”. There is a Latin edition of the book. There is also an edition approved for the United States of America, approved for use on 27 January 1989. The USA edition has some blessings that are not in the Latin edition. One of these is “Chapter 60 Order for the Blessing of Those Who Exercise Pastoral Service”. It has in the introduction:

"1808 In the life of a parish there is a diversity of services that are exercised by lay persons. It is fitting that as people publicly begin their service they receive the blessing of God who gives the gifts needed to carry out this work.

1809 This order may be celebrated during Mass or during a celebration of the word of God.

1810 This blessing may be given by a priest or a deacon."

One of the blessings in the Latin book is “Order for the Blessing of Those Appointed as Catechists” (n. 361). This can also be done in a Mass or a “celebration of the word of God”.

So I do not see them as interruptions in the Mass, rather official liturgical books have them as legitimate options in the Mass.

Thank you this source, it was this sort of thing that I was looking for. We are not American though, and they will be involved in counseling and not catechetical work. So far I haven’t been able to find anything similar that has been approved by the Bishops of my country going by the same title.

I don’t think so, they are very pious women.

To give a bit more of a context, the group has already been formally commissioned by the Bishop, and will be serving the Diocese and not just our own parish. Since they all already live in this town, it has been arranged that they will have a second commissioning in the largest Chapel during the busiest Mass.

I would have to agree with them that even if interruptions were allowed during Mass in this Diocese, and even if they were permitted not just for sacraments or even for catechumens but for semi-secular purposes, the motivation behind this ceremony would still seem to indicate that it would be somewhat superficial and might not be legitimate even then.

They want to approach the priest about it but have asked me to look for a guideline to produce when they do so.

Thank you for the replies so far, keep them comming!

They could speak to their pastor about their concerns and ask questions. However, truly pious humble women would not go attacking their pastor with documentation. They would submit to the pastor’s decision.

Zab, I will grant that the internet is tone deaf, but I have never understood exactly why the average internet response will always weigh negatively against anybody who’s motivations are of reverence.

Maybe our way of speaking is a little different, but I don’t understand how my description of these women could have come across to the previous poster that they are prideful, or to you that their intention is to attack.

They are going to approach the priest to talk about this, they merely wanted to know if there were any guidelines on the matter so that their discussion might be more informed.

Going by my instincts I don’t think the priest is the one to blame, he probably isn’t aware that they were already commissioned by the Bishop. I would guess that it could have been arranged by the leader (or perhaps leaders) of the group itself. They want to approach him honestly for the purpose that I mentioned, they don’t want the Mass to be an opportunity to show off. The priest himself wouldn’t want this either.

These are a lot of details to give a full understanding of the situation, too many, you can see why I wouldn’t have included the contents of this post and my last one into my original post, it would have been excessive and I shouldn’t have had to have gone to such lengths to preempt somebody that will conjecture that they are prideful liars. I shouldn’t have to do that. My question was to ask for information and an authoritative source, which I am grateful for the other posters to have taken the time to find for me so far. I didn’t ask for opinions on the sincerity of their intentions.

I apologize for impugning the piety of these ladies and your efforts to assist them :imsorry:

You are right about one thing-the internet is tone deaf. I do not know these women, nor have I judged them. I was speaking in general terms about how pious humble women would approach this situation. You have come on this board asking a question and now you are attacking us for our answers. We have provided information that could help to ease your mind. But you counter that you are not from the United States and that you haven’t been able to find anything approved by the bishops of your country. So I guess there is nothing more that we can say.

No problem at all. Thank you very much for the apology!

Zab, if you hadn’t opened your mouth you would have remained a philosopher.

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