One minute homily and speech after?

Is the priest allowed to give a one minute homily and let someone give a speech after?

At my parish on numerous occasions the priest made a one minute homily and let someone else give a speech afterward that was longer than the homily. Recently the pastoral associate gave a speech and she did very well.

so… No one has answered.

Well, has this ever happened at your parish?

Yes, it happens at my parish. Especially when it’s time for someone to make a plug for money.

Another nearby parish regularly features “reflections” by the laity.

It’d make me happy if they both discontinued these practices.

The Code of Canon Law states that only priests and deacons (and Bishops) can give homilies (Canon 767). A lay person can preach in the church, but not during a Mass. They have also stated that this can’t be circumvented by having a short homily and then another person give a “faith talk.” Lay people can give a personal testimony, but it cannot be done in a way that confuses it with a homily. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal explains all of this. Also summarized well in a great book called Mass Confusion by James Akin.

Never happened at my parish…

Thank you.

I am going to read the book “Mass Confusion” over the summer.

I have read the book and it says what Orchanian has said and said it very well.


Here is the section from Redemptionis Sacramentum regarding who can do what:

[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

If someone needs to say something, the appropriate time is after the final blessing, but just before the dismissal. That is when the announcments, if there must be any, should be made. It’s even in the Roman Missal (both the current and the new translation).


In my church, announcements and the like usually come after the distribution of the eucharist but before the final blessing.

So I’d say no.

This sort of thing should be after the eucharist is distributed.


The only time a person who is not a cleric (deacon, priest, bishop) may be speaking a homily is when they are a translator for the cleric who is actually giving the homily.

The Homily begins after the gospel is finished, and before the liturgy goes back to the book… nothing else is allowed in that window.

This translation is done routinely for deaf persons, and in the case of some foreign clerics. In the latter case, it’s usually not simultaneous, but Preacher then translator, repeat. This has been done on some occasions with the Vatican masses; in some cases, HH Benedict has read it in one, then in another, etc; in others, he’s said it in one (German, English, Latin, or Italian), and had translators read copies of it; some of the translators could not be clerics (one was a woman).

To the OP, what you describe is an abuse.

THere is a time allocated for such talks and that is after Communion and before the final blessing. This is a ‘pause’ in the Mass and many parishes use this time for parish announcments etc…

So if a lay person was to speak, Parish Council business, a non-ordained religious etc… taht would be the time allocated for them.

But even then, it should not be of such a nature as to be confused with a homily

The short answer is that it is permissable in some circumstances, but it is preferable to have the speach after the time of communion.
The priest/deacon is always to give a homily based on the readings of the day. There is no regulation as to the leanght. If the pastor feels that it is appropriate to have someone speak at that time, it’s is up to his discression.


Please cite your source for this. This is what the Roman Missal notes regarding announcements and the like:

The Concluding Rites
140. If they are necessary, any brief announcements to the people follow here.

Nowhere in the GIRM nor in RS does it note that a lay person’s speech, reflection or whatever, may follow the homily.

One circumstance where something like the OP’s question seems permissible is contained in the Directory for Masses with Children (see Para 24):

On a separate personal (unfortunate) experience regarding the topic of things that might happen during the homily, our Bishop routinely requires that a video for the Bishop’s Appeal be shown annually during the time of the homily on a designated Sunday during the Appeal (not after communion, of course, because too many people have left by then). I don’t like it, but I’m not going to report him for abuse either.

Well, it just so happened to happen at my parish this weekend :slight_smile:

After Father gave a brief introduction, our Pastoral Associate gave I guess what you might call a speech (?) regarding mother’s day, and moms in general, in a spiritually relevant context.

Do we go to the same parish? :smiley:

As has been stated, it is not allowed. Do you feel comfortable approaching your Priest about this?

On another note - what exactly is a “pastoral associate” and what does she do? I am not familiar with the term.

What my parish does is show the video prior to the start of the Mass. We usually have a full crowd so that is not a problem. Nonetheless, in other parishes, the homily is preached, followed by the bishop’s appeal.

Now, bear in mind that the Directory for Masses with Children (which is in the process of being revised) only kicks in when the majority of the faithful at the particular Mass are children. It should not apply to Sunday Masses.

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