Low Mass on Sundays

Does the priest have to repeat the epistle and gospel in the vernacular? Does he have to give a homily?

:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:

Homily, yes.

Vernacular, no.

(don’t quote me on that!)

At My Church…




On the readings, it can also depend on the priest. I have known priests who read both the epistle and gospel in English, and others who read just the gospel.

Or the priest could read both the epistle and gospel in Latin and then give a translation “during” the homily - or at least that is my understanding.


In case it wasn’t clear, the priest has always read the epistle and gospel in Latin at the altar. He does any readings in English at the pulpit before preaching his sermon.

A trend that I have heard which occurs at many TLMs is that the priest will repeat the readings in the vernecular prior to the homily. The Pope has allowed now for the option of reading the epistle and gospel in the vernecular rather than Latin. It is up to the celebrant and the parish now.

To retain the liturgical symbolism, I think it is better to do the readings in Latin at the altar (or in their positions chanted at a High or Solemn High Mass) and then, if deemed appropriate, read at the pulpit before the sermon.

Could you explain what the liturgical symbolism is, please?

Well, technically, it would be a “sermon” rather than a homily which he offers in the EF, no?

No. the “Sermon” is an option when using the 1962 Missal. And the readings of the Epistle and Gospel in the vernacular during the sermon are not mandatory either.

In the USA the priest reading the Epistle and Gospel in English were common during the Sermon and most likely every Sunday, 1962 and previous years there was a sermon every Sunday here in America.

In the Ordinary Rite (Novus Ordo) the “Homily” is mandatory, not optional.


Novus Ordo has different rules-

Novus ordo - homily mandatory and part of the Mass
TLM - Sermon optional - not part of the Mass. (My pastor takes off his maniple and lays it over the open Roman Missal to signify that what he is doing in the pulpit is NOT part of the Mass).


I think Traditionalists would dissagree- that the chanting of the Epistle and Gospel can be done at the altar of Sacrifice in the vulgar tongues. I mean the English versions of the Epistle and Gospel chanted would sound horrible to my ears let alone many people. We think that the MP says that the readings can be done in the Vernacular, not during the Mass but repeated during the sermon by the priest as was customary here in America. The readings in vernacular, during the sermon was not common in other countries as from what I know.

For those who know and love the TLM it seems a disgrace to use the vulgar tongue when the action of what is being done is offered to God- only Latin sung by the priest, only Latin sung by the Deacon. For the Congregation read it to them at the appointed time but give God what is due to him- total perfection- Latin is total perfection of the words spoken.


I can see how in an indirect sort of way the readings (like everything) is offered to God, but is it not also directed to the people? To me, it does not seem as if it exactly posseses a prayer-like character (as opposed to say, a psalm) and plus the priest/sacred minister often makes a small reference to the people, which would seem to indicate (to me, at least) that it is directed to them.

I also can’t really see why the Epistle or Gospel would sound bad in the vernacular (as opposed to a more intricate piece like the Introit or Gradual) since it is usually on a simple reading tone with, please correct me if I’m wrong, a lot sung on a single note.

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