Homily before readings


I searched this forum and know others have posted about this before but this was new to me. On August 12th and again yesterday Monsignor George Carlson, moderator of the Presbyteral Council in the Archdioceses of Boston gave his homily before the readings directly following the Collect. The first time I witnessed this on August 12th he stated something to the effect … I am going to give my homily before the readings. If anyone has a problem with it I am the moderator of the presbyteral council and I say it is okay…

After the Gospel, we went strait into the liturgy of the Eucharist.

Something about this doesn’t sit well with me. I know it is allowed that the priest can give a brief statement on the readings before they are read…but this was a 10 or so minute homily. His teaching was sound - there was nothing he said that rang heretical or could cause scandal but changing the order of the mass is unsettling to me. Am I over thinking this?


Surely the Homliy is supposed to be about the readings, why would anyone say it before? Sounds odd to me.


I’ve never seen that. Perhaps he thought the readings would be better understood in the light of the homily?


Ask someone in the Bishop’s office.


I have known a priest that would give a “preamble” to give historical perspective or the like. At a Children’s Mass a priest gave a brief homily before the Gospel and then followed it with another, concluding homily.


A priest I know always does the weekday Mass homily at the start of Mass, so if someone is late they miss the homily and not the prayers. It’s not a big deal.


Thank you Tis. I find that in the GIRM (General Instruction of the Romain Missal) paragraph 55 states “As for the Homily, the Profession of Faith, and the Universal Prayer, they develop and conclude it” (The Liturgy of the Word). In this same document under the Individual Parts of the Mass the Homily comes after the Gospel. Again in paragraph 30 of GIRM it states that the priest is “permitted…in a very few words, to give the faithful and introduction to the Mass of the day (after the inital Greeting and before the Penitential Act), to the liturgy of the word (before the readings), and to the Eucharistic Prayer (before the Preface), though never during the Eucharistic Prayer itself; he may also make concluding comments regarding the entire sacred action before Dismissal.”

GIRM Chapter II


He likely considers his homily an introduction, as it is a weekday and therefore his remarks are fairly short. Many other priests don’t give a homily at all on weekdays (I try to go daily and have to attend many different churches due to travel so I see lots of priests).

I’ve seen this same priest say Mass on Sunday and on Holy days of Obligation, and at those times he gives a longer homily in its usual spot after the Gospel.

He is also an extremely holy priest and fairly traditional.


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