Held captive at the end of Mass


For the past few weeks we’ve had guests come up at the end of Mass and make an appeal for donations to their causes. Sometimes the guests speak during the homily.

This has been going on for several weeks now.

All of the causes are worthy, but this doesn’t feel right to me.

I don’t like having the homily be a pitch for giving money.

I don’t like waiting to listen to another boring appeal before the Priests ends the Mass.

I am hesitant to write to the Father at this church as I myself may be too sensitive to these types of things. (I am uncomfortable with the Church asking for more money when I see the extravagant spending going on in terms of remodeling, landscaping, a new organ, etc.)

You thoughts?


Offer it up.

And get involved with your parish finance committee so you are fully informed regarding what it takes to run the parish financially. You seem to view things as frivolous that may not be.


+1 :thumbsup:

Many people do not realize how expensive it is to maintain a parish, especially in the developed west where many building codes MANDATE particular rennovations and remodeling in order for the church to operate. Much of what goes into the basket is concerned with keeping the parish itself running… then you take out peter’s pence and not much remains to give to charity.

That’s why it’s important for a parish to take a balanced approach to charity… my parish repeatedly talks about stewardship (that we are responsible for maintaining our Catholic community through our time, talent, and treasure) and reminds us that what we donate should be HALF to parish funds (aka, the collection basket, although we have online donations as well) and HALF to other charities.

Given that understanding, it’s not necessarily a bad idea for a church to promote certain GOOD charitable causes which are affiliated with a particular Sunday’s homily, allowing parishoners the choice to decide if a particular charitable cause is right for them, or if they want to donate that “other half” to that charity. Otherwise, parishoners are left to determine on their own what charities are out there, and have to go through the tedious financial work to determine if that charity really reflects catholic teaching AND is fiscally responsible with donations… a chore which is time consuming and often causes people to shy away. As a result, many GOOD charities go unfunded, while people either donate ALL of their money to one popular organization (such as the very impressive Catholic Charities USA) or accidently give to very uncatholic causes.

So it’s not a bad thing for a church to allow GOOD charities that are related to the church mission, and particularly to that day’s message, to present themselves and give the opportunity to parishoners to give (and that’s another point: they aren’t demanding money, they’re giving an opportunity for charity to people who might otherwise never know about their cause and NOT donate as a result).


If the causes are worthy, but you don’t want to give money to them, then your offering can be to sit politely while they make their appeal.

If the causes are worthy and you do want to give them money, then I’d think you’d want to listen.

It’s only if the cause isn’t worthy that I’d worry. Well–there are degrees of worthiness. Youth retreats are worthy, but not as worthy as missionaries feeding starving children somewhere. If you’re getting too many talks of the youth retreat kind, maybe you want to ask if they could be spaced out more or something.

If the person asking for money isn’t a priest or deacon and is speaking during the homily, then you definitely want to talk to your priest about it, because I believe that is not allowed.

One thing that may help you is to time these people’s talks, especially if they are at the end of Mass. They probably aren’t as long as they seem. :slight_smile:



I agree with the comments posted thus far, but I do want to make one additional comment… IMO, the does need to be some level of prudence on the parish’s part (whether that’s the priest, parish council, or somebody else) on how often appeals are made. Earlier this year, our priest when on a pilgrimage for several weeks (5 or 6, if memory serves), and we had several visit priests come in to do Sunday Mass, most of which were from some charity and/or involved in missionary work. Invariably, at some point in the Mass (either during the homily or at the end of Mass), they would ask us to donate to their cause. All of them were worthy causes and I gave where I could, but having an appeal every Sunday makes it financially difficult (if not impossible) to give to all.

I did not have the same response as the OP – I felt guilty that I couldn’t help them all rather than annoyed. However, I suppose the end effect is the same: wishing that they didn’t make appeals so often.

God bless,


I don’t have a problem with it unless it is too long or takes the place of the homily. I don’t think that appeals for money should overshadow the rest of the Mass. A quick explanation of what the organization does and a sentence saying something like “I’ll be outside the church if you have any questions or would like to donate” and that’s it.



Also for the charities, sometimes they are in the states/area only periodically and so if the parish wants to include they it needs to happen when the charity spokesperson is available.

The last few weeks - end of summer - are a prime time for visiting priests/religious. Add in the beginning of school and appeals from the parish school or youth group, and you will probably find that you get many at once.

The only thing to be concerned about is if non-clergy is giving the entire homily.


That depends on the circumstances… a priest may allow a layperson to speak during PART of his homily when appropriate, provided it does not REPLACE his homily. Example: A priest is giving a homily on avoiding contraception and invites a young married couple up to explain their experience in giving up artificial birth control and how it has impacted their lives for the better, the priest then concludes his homily by offering more exposition on the subject.


I too don’t think the homily should be used as a solicitation for money, though teaching on stewardship is appropriate.


The proper time for announcements is before or after Mass, If it is particularly urgent it is allowable prior to the final blessing. Certainly not during or after the Homily. After the homily comes a period of silence (GIRM 66) and then Creed (GIRM 67). A deviation from that is an abuse of disrupting the order of the Mass.

“If the need arises for the gathered faithful to be given instruction or testimony by a layperson in a Church concerning the Christian life, it is altogether preferable that this be done outside Mass. Nevertheless, for serious reasons it is permissible that this type of instruction or testimony be given after the Priest has proclaimed the Prayer after Communion. This should not become a regular practice, however. Furthermore, these instructions and testimony should not be of such a nature that they could be confused with the homily, nor is it permissible to dispense with the homily on their account [RS 74].”


It is not supposed to happen during the homily. The priest can allow this sort of thing right before the end of Mass though. Keep in mind these smaller causes have nothing to do with general collections and some of those missions really do need the money in order to function.


It shouldn’t be during the Homily, but it is right that it should be there at the end of Mass and it should be right that everyone stay. It is part of our responsibility to everyone else. If you read Acts, you will see that the Church in Antioch pooled their resources and gave to the Church in Jerusalem when Famine hit Jerusalem. This is part of our Christian duty to help one another but in spiritual needs and temporal needs.


In our parish, a direct appeal is rarely made during the homily. When the yearly budget is made, a line item is assigned for special appeals made during the year.

When an appeal is made to the parish, an announcement is made at the end of Mass about the appeal. It is announced that the parish will send a donation to the organization/group from our appeal fund and if individuals want to make additional contributions envelopes are provided.

Simple, clear, does not intrude on the Mass, and people don’t feel they are being “hit up” every week


Tell me about it! Our insurance is requiring that we have emergency lighting (i.e. exit signs that have emerency lights on battery back up). There are about 50 people at Mass and one door in our little country church.

Makes no sense. But whatever. It is required. Among other crazy things.

And our parish is 150 years old, so there is always something that needs renovating.


Us humans are not naturally generous and need to be reminded to give to charity. Christ was all about us giving charity and as such I think is appropriate at the end of a Mass. I’m not the most generous giver but I really fear that part of the judgement scene where we will be asked by Christ how we fed, clothed, sheltered etc., the least of our brothers.

It seems those are charities asking for help to help disadvantaged people?, not to build expensive organs?


I have never heard this, and it is contrary to my understanding. Can you cite a source to support your claim?

[quote=WingsOfEagles]It is not supposed to happen during the homily.

[quote=ConstantineTG]It shouldn’t be during the Homily

Are these just your opinions, or is this a rule? I’m not aware of anything that prevents a cleric from including appeals for money as part of his homily.



“Concluding Rites
Brief announcements may then be made (90a, 166, 184). No announcements should be made prior to this time, e.g., in the period of silence after Holy Communion.”

Proper form is for announcements to be in the Concluding Rites.



Just grin and bear it if it’s happening after Mass. Pray about whether perhaps you are uncomfortable because God is calling you to give to these ministries.

But no, it should not be taking the place of the homily! A couple weeks ago, a sister came and gave an appeal for her order’s work in place of the homily. That should not have happened. I was very surprised as our parish is usually pretty good about following the rubrics without any major deviations.


I agree. However, that wasn’t the complaint the OP made about the homily. Here’s what he said about the homily:

[quote=adv1sor]For the past few weeks we’ve had guests come up at the end of Mass and make an appeal for donations to their causes. Sometimes the guests speak during the homily…

I don’t like having the homily be a pitch for giving money.

To which you appear to have replied,

[quote=WingsOfEagles]It’s not supposed to happen during the homily.

I am not aware of any rule preventing an appeal for donations as part of the homily. It is not my favorite thing to hear during mass, but clerics have latitude to speak about a lot of different topics during the homily, including donations for whatever cause.


The problem is that

a) a layperson is not allowed to give the homily

b) nothing is to be added to the Mass that isn’t in the rubrics

So we could look at this two different ways. Either a) a layperson is giving the homily, or b) this “appeal” is being added to the Mass when the rubrics don’t call for it.

Either way it is not appropriate.

Hey, if ya’ll had joined me at Mass last night, you would have been treated to the lay finance manager projecting an end of fiscal year state of the parish slideshow on the wall during Mass. woohoo!

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