Our new Parish priest loves to sing…so much that he steps out of the Sanctuary, plays the piano, and sings during the homily. He has done this twice. The first time I was so taken aback, I can’t remember anything except that the congregation applauded. Today he sang the Summons (will you come and follow me?) for his homily. He sat there swaying and singing… He is also rather dramatic in everything he does. He rarely wears his collar. This doesn’t seem right…is it just me??? If he keeps it up, I will leave this parish…:eek:
I probably would too; sounds rather immature. If he likes to sing he should offer a sung Mass.
There are many ways to teach the gospel and to worship God. I think it’s a refreshing change to hear of a priest who is fully engaged in teaching. The priest in my own parish is rather like yours.
As for the collar, does it matter if he wears it all the time? The collar is a symbol and a formal bit of attire for a priest, but it doesn’t define him as priestly. I feel pretty confident that Jesus didn’t always wear a prayer shawl like many practicing Jews did (and still do in Orthodox communities).
Maybe the collar bothers his neck???
There is nothing wrong with an unconventional approach to ministry.
as far as the singing goes… I don’t know for sure that it is or isn’t allowed. did that particular song have anything at all to do with any of the readings? was he discussing vocations, or doing what is right, or allowing god to have control in life? or do you literally mean that his homily was nothing other than his singing? I’d be more concerned about the clapping and distraction it would have caused (for example, people focusing on what they just heard, while saying the creed) and for that reason would think it generally isn’t a good idea.
The Mass is supposed to be about Jesus Christ. This priest seems to be making it about himself. I too would be bothered by this.
I would discuss this with the next person up (Pastor of the parish or someone at the diocese). Just basically repeat your post to them: the priest doing this stuff… is that ok? (Better than going in like a steamroller only to find out that the diocese doesn’t mind).
Too bad he can’t channel all that energy to chant the Mass in traditional plainchant. It is very beautiful and solemn when done well, even in the vernacular.
I’d be out the door. It wouldn’t take me long to realize that the priest would be contributing to anger inside of me… No way I could receive while seething…
That sounds like a judgment. We don’t know what is in his heart If he is a musician that is a way that he likely experiences God through music, If he is sharing that it isn’t anymore “all about him” then a homily. I am sure somewhere there is a priest who is very proud of his speaking skills. We are all human and weak but singing doesn’t mean all about me any more than speaking/
Agreed. It sounds like his heart is in what he’s doing. Who wouldn’t appreciate that? I don’t understand why someone would be offended by this. Also, he may be reaching people who otherwise wouldn’t be listening at all. Let the priest be who he is and do what he feels God is leading him to do.
ok so if he was in the sanctuary dancing too would that be ok?
I agree that too many priests and lay people try to make mass a “show” and try to entertain people. They are trully way off base as to what mass is supposed to be about.
I don’t think its too much to ask for an hour a week to have some sort of normalcy to the mass.
OP, I would hate it. Don’t care what his talents/intentions are…I would hate it! Too much like watching a performance. If he wants to dance to praise the Lord…wonderful. Do it when he doesn’t have a captive audience.
Would be attending a different parish.
Just re-read the original post, and realized it’s his singing during the homily that’s the issue, not dancing!! Just as bad, in my opinion. Not the place to showcase his vocal abilities.
DH and I would be laughing about “Nick Rivers” doing his lounge act all the way home (you have to have watched Bill Murray in the SNL days to know that one).
The liturgy should not be subject to the person who “has their heart in it” That is not that way it works. Obviously it would drive people away from the parish, the Mass and the Eucharist. Why do it? No matter the intentions.
It is a judgement. It is a jusgement about what is supposed to happen at Mass and what is not supposed to happen at Mass, as determined by the Catholic Church, not me. One thing is that the priest is not supposed to leave the sanctuary.
Another is that the Mass is supposed to be about God, not about Man. When a priest deviates from what the Church determines will lead our attention to God, then he is doing the incorrect thing. By taking people’s thoughts away from God and focusing them on himself, he is doing the wrong thing.
We don’t know what is in his heart
Which is why I didn’t say he’s going to go to Hell for doing this. All I can judge are his external actions, and, whatever the reason is for his doing them, they are the wrong actions for the time and place he is doing them. Which is why the Church doesn’t have every priest playing the piano or singing their homilies.
[auote] If he is a musician that is a way that he likely experiences God through music,
The priest is not there to experience God–he is there to act in persona Christi so as to teach and to consecrate.
If he is sharing that it isn’t anymore “all about him” then a homily.
A homily is supposed to be a reflection of a truth the Church teaches; it is not supposed to be an artistic production on the part of the priest…
I am sure somewhere there is a priest who is very proud of his speaking skills.
Even if the priest is proud of his speaking skills–which he should be thanking God for rather than being proud of–the Mass is not the time or the place for the priest to be showing off.
We are all human and weak but singing doesn’t mean all about me any more than speaking/
Speaking can be equally inapproriate at the wrong time. Singing is not a replacement for speaking if speaking is what is called for. And doing something in front of a churchfull of people which is incorrect may not be *intended *to draw their attention away from God but will most certainly do so, which is why priests have *instructions *on what they are supposed to do at Mass.
doing something in front of a churchfull of people which is incorrect may not be *intended *to draw their attention away from God but will most certainly do so, which is why priests have *instructions *on what they are supposed to do at Mass.
Suddenly everyone’s a critic!
Seriously though, aside from leaving the sanctuary, I’m not sure he’s necessarily doing anything wrong - I’m not aware of anything in the GRIM which prohibits the singing of a homily. the problem with making judgments about what is and isn’t supposed to happen at mass is that, within the boundaries of the GIRM, there’s a fair amount of scope and that’s why not all masses are the same - and indeed, never will be, because the people involved aren’t all the same. I lived in a parish once which managed to cater for a variety of liturgical tastes across its Sunday masses - from folkstyle, to family, to high church there was something for almost everyone!
In fairness, I’d prefer my priest didn’t sing his homilies and not just because I’m not sure that they’d go too well with his singing voice! At the same time though, I’m only too aware of the humanness and fallibility of our priests and so would suggest to the OP that they (gently) approach the priest with their concerns, explaining how you feel rather than how you think things should be. After all, an overly enthusiastic priest (and I’ve met a few of those before) doesn’t need to be a cause for complaint but instead a source of energy to be harnessed.
Well, wait. Isn’t the homily supposed to be an explanation of the scripture readings? How does a hymn explain the Mass readings?
I agree with the original post - - this sounds really weird to me.
Well, the GIRM tells the priests what to do, and that is what the priest is supposed to do. The GIRM does not specify was the priest is *not *supposed to do, because that would be a never-ending list, no?
But the priest’s actions are supposed to be in accord with what he is doing, and what he is doing is
One of the best homilies I ever heard was on Holy Thursday
The priest, a friend of mine, who has a beautiful baritone voice, sang “The Servant Song”.
Between each verse, he spoke about his own call to the priesthood, and all of the people who helped him along the way.
To be honest, it still sends chills up my spine when I think about it.
God speaks to us in many different ways, I would hate to think I missed His message because I didn’t like the messenger or thought he was “doing it wrong”.
Yes, it is supposed to be about the readings and, in theory at least, I can see a hymn going some way to fulfilling this although probably not by itself. I had also envisioned the priest singing not just a hymn but also something more than that - basically setting the words of the homily to music.As it happens, a friend of mine once asked if a priest could sing the homily, my response was "why would you?
For what it’s worth, I agree that it’s weird - all I’m saying is that there’s nothing which prevents it (other than things like liturgical good taste, musical (dis)ability, and good old fashioned common sense…). Still, meaning no disrespect to the priest in question, if it was my parish I’d prefer he limited his singing to the shower and other, more suitable (or should that be subtle) occasions."