Good evening! I am a new user, was trying to browse the forums looking for an answer to a frustrating issue I have with our current pastor at our church, and hopefully someone here can clear up my confusion. Attending Saturday evening mass today, our Pastor sometimes likes to completely disregard all subject matter when it comes to his homily. He takes this weekend in particular to honor grandparents and grandchildren. He gets up and posts a mic at the bottom of the altar and invites all grandparents and grandchildren alike to come up and tell stories about each other, and clearly states that if no one comes up to talk, then we will all sit in silence for 15 minutes. Of course, its never silent as people get up and stand in line to come up and tell ‘funny’ stories about their family. Aggravated, as I do every time our pastor pulls this, I get up and leave quietly. Am I wrong to be upset, that I think that that time should be used to enrich mine and everyone else faith in the church? Any insight to this would be greatly appreciated.
It’s completely inappropriate. If you’ve spoken to your pastor about it and he shows no intent of correcting this, you should bring this to your Bishop’s attention immediately.
That kind of thing almost makes me mad…
I am sure that he did so because tomorrow is the feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne, patrons of grandparents. St. Anne is sometimes called the Grandmother of God.
Yeah, that’s good advice. I’d advise as well to avoid that particular mass or that parish on that particular weekend if you know it’s coming.
True, but the OP makes it sound like it is a common thing.
However, it may be that he is doing the exact same thing with other saint’s feast days.
Thank you all for your inputs. Our Pastor here, does indeed do this all year around. In fact, he rarely gives, what I would call, a true homily. He will have others come up to ask for money, charity and other agendas. He is a avid history fan, and will give the parish history lessons rather then mention even one thing about the gospel or the readings. It is quite irritating and find myself leaving mass more then I would care to admit.
Try some of the sermons in the links below, they’ll make up for any lack of vitamins in the regular ones!
Here’s what the GIRM says:
- The homily is part of the Liturgy and is strongly recommended,for it is necessary for the nurturing of the Christian life. It should be an exposition of some aspect of the readings from Sacred Scripture or of another text from the Ordinary or from the Proper of the Mass of the day and should take into account both the mystery being celebrated and the particular needs of the listeners.
- The Homily should ordinarily be given by the priest celebrant himself. He may entrust it to a concelebrating priest or occasionally, according to circumstances, to the deacon, but never to a lay person. 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.
There is to be a homily on Sundays and holy days of obligation at all Masses that are celebrated with the participation of a congregation; it may not be omitted without a serious reason. It is recommended on other days, especially on the weekdays of Advent, Lent, and the Easter Season, as well as on other festive days and occasions when the people come to church in greater numbers.
I’m not a fan of just leaving, so I advise you to talk to your priest about this. You shouldn’t have to go to a different parish because your parish can’t do the right thing.
You can nicely and politely let him know that you, and others, find that kind of homily distracting and much prefer his other homilies.
If that gets you nowhere, you can write to the Bishop.
You could try to attend anoter Mass or parish…
I agree- completely inappropriate. It seems as if your pastor would rather have a public service announcement rather then teach his flock. Don’t feel bad. I was informed the topic of the homily at my parish this weekend was that “God doesn’t get angry with us when we go against Him.” I’m glad I attended Mass elsewhere.
our former pastos was excellent. he breaks down all three readings, explains each reading historically (ie, whats the situation around the time the writing was made or at least the time referred to in the writing. like stating if the Jews were in exile, or post-exilic, or why Luke writes his Gospel a certain way compared to Mark and Matthew, etc.) then he explains other facts, explain why things are done in a cultural perspective, then at the end he says his teachings based on the readings.
he’s one of the best i’ve ever heard say a Homily. too bad he’s been reassigend. now i’m not as excited about the Homily as i have been in the past
However, it’s still not a valid enough reason for the kind of abuse the OP reported. Please note what Redemptionis Sacramentum states:
64.] The homily, which is given in the course of the celebration of Holy Mass and is a part of the Liturgy itself,142 “should ordinarily be given by the Priest celebrant himself. He may entrust it to a concelebrating Priest or occasionally, according to circumstances, to a Deacon, but never to a layperson.143 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”.144
[65.] It should be borne in mind that any previous norm that may have admitted non-ordained faithful to give the homily during the Eucharistic celebration is to be considered abrogated by the norm of canon 767 §1.145 This practice is reprobated, so that it cannot be permitted to attain the force of custom.
[66.] The prohibition of the admission of laypersons to preach within the Mass applies also to seminarians, students of theological disciplines, and those who have assumed the function of those known as “pastoral assistants”; nor is there to be any exception for any other kind of layperson, or group, or community, or association.146
[67.] Particular care is to be taken so that the homily is firmly based upon the mysteries of salvation, expounding the mysteries of the Faith and the norms of Christian life from the biblical readings and liturgical texts throughout the course of the liturgical year and providing commentary on the texts of the Ordinary or the Proper of the Mass, or of some other rite of the Church.147 It is clear that all interpretations of Sacred Scripture are to be referred back to Christ Himself as the one upon whom the entire economy of salvation hinges, though this should be done in light of the specific context of the liturgical celebration. In the homily to be given, care is to be taken so that the light of Christ may shine upon life’s events. Even so, this is to be done so as not to obscure the true and unadulterated word of God: for instance, treating only of politics or profane subjects, or drawing upon notions derived from contemporary pseudo-religious currents as a source.148
[68.] The diocesan Bishop must diligently oversee the preaching of the homily,149 also publishing norms and distributing guidelines and auxiliary tools to the sacred ministers, and promoting meetings and other projects for this purpose so that they may have the opportunity to consider the nature of the homily more precisely and find help in its preparation.
I hope this helps. Were I the OP, I would write a charitable letter to the pastor, quoting RS. If the pastor persists, then a letter to the bishop would be the next step.