Homily before the Readings? Priest sat with the Congregation?

I attended a mass at a different parish over the weekend and the homily was given prior to the readings. Is that common? Also, during the readings, the Priest sat down with the congregation - there weren’t any chairs near the altar - not even for the altar servers.

What gives?

On a side note, as a visitior I felt very welcomed… the people were very friendly and they sang with gusto. It was nice. But different as far as the order of events from what I’m used to. Your thoughts?

Was this a Roman Catholic Church or a catholic church?..big difference between the two.
Shortly after my husbands conversion to the Catholic faith, my husband was out of town on business and attended what he thought was a Roman Catholic Mass. Boy, was he suprised…the whole service was different. I asked him if he went online and checked for Roman Catholic…there was silence on the other end…he was not aware that he needed to do this. I just assumed he knew…so I never warned him.


That’s a good point - I would not have thought of that. I just did a search though and I found the parish listed under Roman Catholic churches for that diocese.

It actually wasn’t that different - just the things I mentioned and no bells. My parish rings the bells. And candles. I don’t recall seeing candles on the alter. It was little things like that. The biggest thing that freaked me was I had trouble finding the church and I was a few minutes late and when I walked into the homily I thought Oh my gosh, I am sooo late… but actually no - the homily was the first thing. And it was based on a Michael Jackson song. That was a bit odd. I am all Michael Jackson’d out.

In between the readings the Priest stood up - from his seat in the congregation and gave a little synopsis of what we were about to hear. He wore a face mic so we could hear him. He also didn’t stand behind the ambo (sp?) … he walked around when he talked.

Now that I think about it, I was rather different from what I’m used to. :blush:

Sounds like a lot of liturgical abuses. But at least you got to Mass :slight_smile:

Sounds really odd. By the way, at least two candles on or near the altar are required by the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), four or six are “recommended” for Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.

Yes, I was happy I found a mass. :thumbsup:

And I’m thankful that my parish is the way it is, and not so much like the one I visited. I suppose we all like what we’re used to best?

last sunday our priest sat in the congregation while the deacon gave the homily.

he sat in the pews even though there were chairs where he was sitting before and after the homily.

that was the first time i had ever seen that happen.

one time we had a medical emergency during the service and the priest (not this one) remained sitting the entire time while the person was on the floor. the service was stopped and the paramedics arrived. the priest never checked on the wellbeing of the parishoner once. fortunately, the person was okay.

It is sad when a priest makes the Mass his own private prayer. Unity is the reason why most of us are Catholic and this extends past the sacramental beliefs and into the rubrics of the Mass. I know the old “you’re lucky to have a Mass” comment but that still does not excuse the abuses that seem so prevalent today…teachccd

You said the homily was first. Do you mean first before any of the opening prayers? Or inbetween them and the readings. If this was before any opening prayers (before Mass officially starts), it’s not a homily and while it sounds weird, was not really abusive.

The priest not having a chair near the altar isn’t really a problem either, but he shouldn’t be sitting among the congregation, but perhaps in pew or seats set aside for the priest and servers.

The real homily should be said from the sanctuary. The priest doesn’t have to stand behind the ambo, but he shouldn’t be down wandering the aisles.

Say a prayer for this priest and parish and then thank God for your own!:wink:

**It’s possible that the priest was observing the deacon’s delivery and style to critique it.

Something similar happened at Divine Liturgy when a parishioner fell over sick. One of the priests is also an MD who looked after her. We simply waited and prayed until the EMTs took her in an ambulance.**

you could be write. i have heard another deacon deliver homilies before, but this one has rarely given one.

I have been researching the GIRM, Code of Canon Law and other sources (articles & forums) for the answer to the same question (may the homily be given before the readings)!

I just wrote it on the CA Ask An Apologist forum, so will have to see if it shows up there. It sometimes takes a while.

I do not think it is ever permissible to change the order of the Mass, like giving the homily before the Gospel. This actually happened this weekend at our parish (and it has happened in the past with a different priest). As we are still recovering from a scandal where a pastoral assoc. was found to be a member of Call to Action, this was not easy to bear. I actually felt ill after that. And the homily was a “feel-good” fluffy one at that.

We are about on the verge of leaving for another nearby diocese/parish anyway. I hate to leave fellow parishioners, some of whom do not even know their liturgy is being abused, but this neighboring parish is really more immersed in Catholic practice and culture. I think my dh, a recent convert, would enjoy it & I think I would, too.

God bless,

The homily was after the opening prayers, but before all three of the readings. It just seemed out of order. The Priest wasn’t wandering the isles (sorry if I gave that impression) he was sort of pacing back and forth in the front. My Priest always stands behind the ambo. And it was odd to me when sat down in the front row sort of off to the side during the readings. I guess I’m not used to them leaving the altar area. I thought to myself… where is he going, we’re not done yet. :blush:

One thing I wanted to say though about my mass experience there: I had been traveling alone through their state and I was stressed out trying to navigate my way to a church I had never been to before and I was missing my own family whom I knew were in mass back home. I arrived late and scooted into the pew, probably looking frazzled and the older woman next to me gave me a big reassuring smile, sort of patted my arm and she handed me her piece of paper that had all the readings and song #s listed on it. It was a small act on her part, I know, but it made all the difference to me. I felt so welcomed… and even though things were out of order and a bit different from my parish, these people were my family too. It’s great to be Catholic, isn’t it?

Yes it is! :smiley:

From this further description, it doesn’t sound like things were just a bit different than what you are used to, but not abusive. Glad you were able to make it to Mass even though you were out of town and lost on the way there. The Real Presence is very comforting!

My moms priest does talk before the first reading, wants to talk about it’s meaning. And how it relates to the gospel coming up. It is more like a teaching homily. He is very nice and gentle about it. Then the reading from a layperson , then he gets up and talks on the next reading never leaves the altar, ah then the next reading and then he reads the gospel and preaches some more never leaving the altar but we have a big one and he wanders. He keeps it all short. so this is for real and be glad it you only have to see it once not three times. Some in her parish complained to the bishop. Well he is kind of a teacher and leads scripture studies and is a great leader of getting young men to join the priest hood and discover if this is their vocation. He did go to Israel so maybe this is where he got his threesome. He wanders into the congregation but not for a homily. I agree it is not abusive. All the children like to come for a blessing because he is so gentle and touches them on head for a blessing, you can almost see the quiet spirit go forth. I think they wander to wake us up ha ha. IMHO

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