Mass readings for graduation

Hello, friends…

Is it acceptable to choose the readings for Mass for a graduation, or should/must we use the readings of the day (it will be on a Thursday)?

Thanks and God bless!

I’d ask your priest. He should know.

My guess is that it depends on the day. If it is a Sunday or some other Solemnity, then you would most likely have to go with the readings of the day. If it is some other day, then perhaps there would be some other options to choose from.

This is just my speculation, though. A priest should know the answer with more certainty. :slight_smile:

The other factor that would come into play is the season. Since I imagine the graduation Mass will take place within the Easter season, I believe that the readings of the day take precedence. Had it been Ordinary Time, there is greater leeway since votive Masses could always be celebrated in the place of the Mass of the day.

THANKS, Joe & Benedictgal! :thumbsup:

The readings of the day it shall be (graduation is during the Easter Season)!

God bless!

Contrary to the above, it would be totally acceptable to select special readings for the day. Here is what the GIRM has to say about the choice of readings for the Mass. You’ll notice there is nothing special about weekdays in the Easter season or anything:
358. In the Lectionary for weekdays, readings are provided for each day of every week throughout the entire year; as a result, these readings are for the most part to be used on the days to which they are assigned, unless there occurs a solemnity, feast, or memorial that has its own proper New Testament readings, that is to say, readings in which mention is made of the Saint being celebrated.

If, however, the continuous reading during the week is interrupted by the occurrence of some solemnity or feast, or some particular celebration, then the priest, taking into consideration the entire week’s scheme of readings, is allowed either to combine parts omitted with other readings or to decide which readings are to be preferred over others.

In Masses with special groups, the priest is allowed to choose texts more suited to the particular celebration, provided they are taken from the texts of an approved lectionary.

  1. In addition, the Lectionary has a special selection of texts from Sacred Scripture for Ritual Masses into which certain Sacraments or Sacramentals are incorporated, or for Masses that are celebrated for certain needs.

Selections of readings of this kind have been established in this way, so that through a more apt hearing of the word of God the faithful may be led to a fuller understanding of the mystery in which they are participating and may be brought to a more ardent love of the word of God.

As a result, texts spoken in the celebration are to be chosen keeping in mind both a suitable pastoral reason and the options allowed in this matter.

Now, bear in mind that that during Ordinary Time, there is greater leeway. Let me give you an example. On First Fridays, the celebrant may choose to use the Votive Mass of the Sacred Heart with its own readings and prayers. However, when First Fridays occur during Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter, he uses the readings for that day.

Here is what the General Introduction to the Lectionary states about the readings for the Easter season:

) The Weekdays

  1. As on the Sundays, the first reading is a semicontinuous reading from the Acts of the Apostles. The Gospel readings during the Easter octave are accounts of the Lord’s appearances. After that there is a sernicontinuous reading of the Gospel of John, but with texts that have a paschal character, in order to complete the reading from John during Lent. This paschal reading is made up in large part of the Lord’s discourse and prayer at the end of the Last Supper.

Here is something else that the the GIL states:

  1. The Weekday Readings
  1. The arrangement of weekday readings provides texts for every day of the week throughout the year. In most cases, therefore, these readings are to be used on their assigned days, unless a solemnity, a feast, or else a memorial with proper readings occurs.107

I hope that this helps.

So I guess the long and short of it is, you probably ought to select readings appropriate for the nature of the celebration from an approved lectionary. As the documents reflect, weekday readings are generally supposed to be taken in sequence day after day, so when you have a special event like your graduation on one particular day, it would be relatively pointless to have some out-of-context chunk of the sequence. The GIRM and GIL alike grant very broad latitude in the selection of the texts, and make it pretty clear that “the first consideration,” over and above mindless adoption of whatever the next chunk that happens to show up in the Lectionary might be, “must be the best interest of those taking part” (GIL no. 81). “As a result, texts spoken in the celebration are to be chosen keeping in mind both a suitable pastoral reason and the options allowed in this matter” (GIRM no. 359).

I’m not sure why anyone would be so intent on discouraging you from this, but it would be manifestly against the governing documents to fail to exercise pastoral consideration in choosing texts suitable for the celebration. Pastoral considerations trump all here.

When I graduated from Catholic school (8th grade), it was during the Easter season. We had the readings of the day, as it was on a Saturday morning.

A simple deciding factor may be whether this is a regularly scheduled mass for an existing community such as a parish daily mass etc., or a special celebration with a limited congregation like a Graduation Mass scheduled at a special place and time.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit