Is it perssible for a priest to give a running commentary while reading the Gospel?

Is it permissible for a priest to give a t to give a running commentary while reading the Gospel? If you could cite documents would appreciate it

I don’t believe it is, the reading of the gospel and the sermon should be separate. The priest can reference back to the gospel and give commentary during his sermon, but not during the actual reading.

I don’t know the official answer, but my guess is it’s not permissible within the Mass. On the other hand, if he’s lecturing or teaching, then I’d say it’s entirely appropriate.

I don’t see the point if the readings are in vernacular already. Things can get confusing for many.

Enough with the improvising and personalizing the Mass! It’s NOT your Mass. It belongs to the Church and the Church has authority to dictate how it will be celebrated. Any areas where the priest has permission to “go off-script” are spelled out.

How long are the readings anyway? Other than during the Triduum, they aren’t that long. Just read it, and then you have the whole homily to refer back to it, and can even re-read parts of it if you wish.

Tired of all this need for individuality and personal expression. The Mass isn’t about the priest, nor the homily.

The GIRM gives some latitude to the priest both in his own role and if he is assuming the role of commentator. However, by my reading of the GIRM, providing commentary within the readings themselves is probably over the line.


  1. Likewise it is also for the Priest, in the exercise of his office of presiding over the gathered assembly, to offer certain explanations that are foreseen in the rite itself. Where this is laid down by the rubrics, the celebrant is permitted to adapt them somewhat so that they correspond to the capacity for understanding of those participating. However, the Priest should always take care to keep to the sense of the explanatory text given in the Missal and to express it in just a few words. It is also for the presiding Priest to regulate the Word of God and to impart the final blessing. He is permitted, furthermore, in a very few words, to give the faithful an introduction to the Mass of the day (after the initial 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 the Dismissal.
  1. A liturgical function is also exercised by:
    …b) The commentator, who, if appropriate, provides the faithful briefly with
    explanations and exhortations so as to direct their attention to the celebration
    and ensure that they are better disposed for understanding it. The commentator’s
    remarks should be thoroughly prepared and notable for their restraint.

Even if it isn’t “against the rules” it seems corny or in bad taste.

There is nothing wrong whatsoever with tons of commentary during the homily. Why it would be more advantageous from a stylistic, aesthetic or practical perspective, I have no clue. It distorts the shape of the liturgy.

Thank you all for your input everyone. I have strongly agree with YoungTradCath that even it not explicitly against the rules it is demonic to the core. As a result of this irreverence souls are being lost. I wont go into the Sunday Mass going experience of tamborine procession of Gospels, self-intinction of Eucharist, omission of Gloria, etc. It seems the bane of the faithful lay-Catholic over the past 5 decades that the Church in practice and in Her official liturgical documents is AMBIGUITY! So much room for interpretation and willfull dissent from many of these older malformed priests. Unfortunately anf fortunately this issue is being solved by the retirements and deaths of that generation of priests. The new crop in our diocese for the past decade are vehemently against such silliness and are good and holy men.

I don’t think that’s very charitable to the priest, who is presumably trying to educate the congregation to help them more thoroughly absorb the message of the Gospel.

I also won’t presume to speak for YoungTradCath, but I didn’t get from his post that he felt it was demonic, so I’m not sure you are in agreement with him on that point.

No. It is not allowed. The GIRM and other guidelines are mandatory. The only “freestyle” is acceptable OUTSIDE the Holy Mass (within the boundaries of a decency).

I don’t think it’s demonic, no.

Absolutely not!

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