In all my years attending Masses, I’ve never seen this before.
Presiding priest hands over preaching duties to random member of community. (That part isn’t new at this parish; it happens 4-6 times/year.)
“Homily” is the worst ever of all the lay preaching, if that’s possible. Lay preacher repeats some small portions of the OT reading for the Mass, then instructs the congregation to “think about what word or phrase is meaningful, and just ‘sit with it,’ and after doing so, make a presentation to your neighbor.” :eek:
I was incredulous. At first I thought it was a joke of a “test,” but she was dead serious. Since I was so distracted during her incredibly bad opening and flat, read, dispirited delivery (all of these lay sermons are read statically in dead-pan form from the pulpit; terrifically hard to stay awake, let alone be inspired), I had nothing to say to my “neighbor.”
Whew! I let my neighbor speak instead, and afterwards I thought that the lay preacher might “do something” with that exercise, but she didn’t. Instead, she duplicated the same “exam”! She then read another part of the same reading, demanded that we privately select a “meaningful word or phrase” and discuss its subjective meaning (mind you) with same neighbor. Again, I had nothing to say.
Lay preacher cut us off more quickly (whew! again) this time. Then she read some quick closing from her written “homily,” and with even more anti-climax, abruptly walked away.
Later, during the back-and-forth responsorial prayers, the presiding priest commented aloud about how clammed up the congregation was, how tepid their responses. Someone yelled from the back of the church, “Weak liturgy!” The priest responded, “Well, it’s two-way; the congregation also has a responsibility to participate” (or something similar to that comment).
I can’t say I blame the “heckler.” It’s just that it took me by surprise because I had never seen that before. It also threw the liturgist, who stood there with a shocked look on his face, assuming the complaint was directed at him (which I don’t think it was). But in any case, there were a lot of musical mistakes after that.
Has anyone been in a Mass where someone has commented publicly on the Mass, within earshot of the rest of the congregation? Has anyone been subject to a homily of any kind which demanded “reporting” to one’s neighbor in the middle of it? It sounded to me as if she was completely unprepared with any original thoughts of her own, and so conveniently was assigning us to do her work. Seriously I felt I was back in school. It was the most token “homily” ever, mostly an excuse not to speak.