Homilic trespassing?


#1

I'm a convert and confirmed in 2010 after five years of independent study and witnessing the Faith. Since I've been going to Mass, I've had just this one conflict:
I'm part of a three-parish cluster under the guidance of the one pastoral administrator. The cluster, to some I've talked to in my time, is of a liberal practice. The administrator obviously was not ordained under the Sacrament of Holy Orders. And it is my understanding that only the priest or deacon has the authority to deliver the homily, right?
Every so often, the priest will deliver a truncated sermon and then say, (non verbatim) "we'll now hand it over to (N.) who has some reflections of her own for this Sunday." She will come to the pulpit and do her reflections which rather, after the past few years I've been there, seems like an amalgamum of the same idea or expression of time, treasure and talent. Is it liturgically correct for her to be up there? I've never seen any other parish do this. Believe me, if it is alright, there is no problem. I just always thought the priest or deacon had the valid ability to address the congregation for the homily

God bless,
Kevin


#2

It must be a priest or deacon. There are no exceptions on this one. Any intrusion like this blurs the distinction of the priest's role during the Mass.


#3

I thought so. All the research and questioning of other parishioners affirm that. And I agree with the diminished role of the priest if it persists. I totally admire our two shepherds here and always appreciate their insights.


#4

[quote="smndtupidisaftr, post:2, topic:312469"]
It must be a priest or deacon. There are no exceptions on this one. Any intrusion like this blurs the distinction of the priest's role during the Mass.

[/quote]

At the same time, it is understood that to facility his homily a priest has the option to occasionally allow a person to give personal witness.

That being said, if it is a repeated event by the same person over and over again, that pushes the limit of that stipulation in the extreme. If I were the OP I would contact the administrator and voice this concern... then ask if it was possible that the priest could deliver the stewardship (time, talent, and treasure) message for her. If that's something the parish cluster needs to be hearing about, then by all means the priest should be incorporating how it relates to the readings as part of the homily.


#5

It's something she does roughly once every five to six weeks, typically only Sundays. Never during the weekday Masses. It's usually done in prose and at the end she summarizes how we can be like the characters in the narrative, helping the Kingdom with our gifts.


#6

In my decades of experience (never mind how many), it's extremely rare but does happen that the priest starts the homily and then introduces a lay person. But every 5 or 6 weeks? That doesn't sound right.


#7

If I understand it correctly, others may speak, but only in such a way as it can be clearly distinguished from that which is proper to the priest. If the priest himself is speaking where a homily should be and teaches that which is proper to the homily's purpose then while unusual, I don't think it's completely "against the law". If the priest doesn't speak at all and lets someone else other than another priest or deacon take his place, then that's illicit.

That's my understanding. I could be completely wrong though!


#8

Sorry, but I disagree. I believe it is an abuse. Unless someone can show me the documents that prove it is NOT an abuse, I'll stand by this statement.


#9

From the GIRM, with my own emphasis ;)

  1. The Homily should ordinarily be given by the Priest Celebrant himself or be entrusted by him to a concelebrating Priest, or from time to time and, if appropriate, to the Deacon, but never to a lay person.[64] In particular cases and for a just cause, the Homily may even be given by a Bishop or a Priest who is present at the celebration but cannot concelebrate.

#10

oh the scandal! no she should not be preaching at all. and your priest needs to stop allowing this. how sad.... if i were you i would relocate to a more conservative parish (preferably where latin mass is celebrated. those tend to be good parishes :D) this is the problem; so many parishes in america started to think that Vatican II was permitting them to make their "own" churches and their own liturgy when in reality it was just spiritually renewing the Church. shame, shame.


#11

The GIRM states that a homily should not be given by a lay person. From reading the OP's initial post it looks like the priest is giving a homily and then allowing a lay person to speak afterwards. So the priest is fulfilling his duty within the instructions of the GIRM to that extent. Where there's an issue here is whether the people are confusing what the lay person is saying for a pseudo-homily or not. Lay people are allowed to give 'reflections' but they're not allowed to teach (which is what the homily does). Usually you would only find such reflections in a Service of the Word and Holy Communion (in the absence of a priest) but it's not unheard of for there to be an additional talk by someone other than a priest or deacon.


#12

[quote="corsair, post:8, topic:312469"]
Sorry, but I disagree. I believe it is an abuse. Unless someone can show me the documents that prove it is NOT an abuse, I'll stand by this statement.

[/quote]

The quote Jimmy Akin uses shows that it is allowed, but under special circumstances, and not on a regular basis. It appears to be an "abuse" of an exception

jimmyakin.com/2004/05/laity_
talking_a.html


#13

We sometimes have a layperson speak briefly at Mass (about one of the church societies or events, for example), but it NEVER replaces the homily.


#14

Kevin, of course this practice is an abuse. Be assured that the Vatican has been apprised of all of the many, shall we say charitably, rather "unusual" goings on in the Diocese of Rochester. My husband grew up there, and we still have family in the area, and have been watching this for years. You will have a new bishop soon, and have a good apostolic administrator in Bishop Cunningham of Syracuse. If you want to keep up with some of the orthodox Carholics in the Diocese of Rochester who are faithful to the magisterium, google the website "Cleansing Fire DOR." Relief should be coming to Rochester in the not too distant future.


#15

Marysann-
"Unusual"- I love it!! ;)
The perfect, most charitable word to describe what happens in Rochester!


#16

[quote="agnes_therese, post:13, topic:312469"]
We sometimes have a layperson speak briefly at Mass (about one of the church societies or events, for example), but it NEVER replaces the homily.

[/quote]

Just last week we heard about the Catholic Charities appeal. BUT it was before Mass. Like at your parish, it did not replace the homily.


#17

[quote="maryjk, post:16, topic:312469"]
Just last week we heard about the Catholic Charities appeal. BUT it was before Mass. Like at your parish, it did not replace the homily.

[/quote]

A little off topic, but before Mass or right before the homily seem like a way better time for announcements than right after Communion.


#18

This is how I interpreted the situation also. The priest has given a homily (short) and then has the parish administrator talk on finances, giving, etc. Since the OP is in a 3-parish cluster it seems that contributions are not enough to allow each parish to maintain itself. The administrator is speaking so often - 8 or 9 times a year - signals that they may be in very bad straits financially.

OP, perhaps you can ask the priest why he does this and better understand the situation your parish cluster is in. There may be something more constructive that you and other parishioners can think of to help the financial situation.


#19

Sigh… this weekend is the annual diocesan appeal, and I was assigned to run the projector, and I don’t understand it. We are so liturgically correct and reverent that it blows my mind when we do something wrong. In place of a homily, the parish rep was invited to speak and then we ran the video. That’s right, no homily at all. Just a few minutes of begging. It completely escapes me why we are not doing this in the designated place.


#20

[quote="Elizium23, post:19, topic:312469"]
Sigh... this weekend is the annual diocesan appeal, and I was assigned to run the projector, and I don't understand it. We are so liturgically correct and reverent that it blows my mind when we do something wrong. In place of a homily, the parish rep was invited to speak and then we ran the video. That's right, no homily at all. Just a few minutes of begging. It completely escapes me why we are not doing this in the designated place.

[/quote]

Don't bishops usually require this? It was probably out of the priest's hands.


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