Please sit during Christmas gospel for our show

The deacon asked us to sit during the gospel, to which I verbally responded “SIT?” to those nearest me(luckily I had no seat and was standing) so that children could act out the gospel. The deacon narrated and speaking parts were done by the children.
It was beautiful…but, is this allowed to be done?
I will not make a big deal about this I’m thinking and I’m sure they only want to do this once a year during one mass and I could easily choose another BUT I feel any acting of of the Christmas story should be done during a nativity play for parishioners outside of the mass(which they already do), so what do you think?

The Gospel should never be acted out during Mass but proclaimed. There is a provision when using the Lectionary for Masses with Children for the reading to be divided among 2 or 4 readers (such as is done on Good Friday), but that is restricted to masses where the assembly is mostly children with only a few adults. Christmas mass does not count for that. Acting out the Christmas gospel should best be done at a service outside of Mass.

The Gospel should be read aloud and we should stand during it.

I believe that it is possible during a Children’s Liturgy that the children could read the epistles or the prayers of the faithful. . .but I am fairly certain that absolutely the ONLY gospel which is ever done by anyone other than the priest or deacon would be the Palm Sunday and the Holy Thursday/Good Friday readings where the congregation, priest (doing the part of Jesus, usually), narrator and one-two other ‘voices’ do the readings with set parts. NOT the Christmas gospel.

I recommend your deacon consult Father Z on his blog. Let him ask the good Father if such a ‘reading’ is appropriate. Father can then tell him that “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” I’m SURE he had the best intentions to get the children all ‘involved’ and thought how CUTE this would be. :(:eek::shrug:

But it is wrong. And one may not do wrong even if one thinks (wrongly as it turns out) that ‘good’ will result.

The Gospel should NOT be “acted” out. It should be proclaimed by one sacred minister - this should be a deacon or if there is no deacon then by a priest. Lay persons do NOT proclaim the Gospel. We stand during the Gospel. Even on the few occasions when the Gospel (or rather the Passion) is proclaimed it is preferable that the several readers be deacons or priests, although certain parts may be read by lay readers. Even on these occasions there is no “acting” out of the Passion - it is simply read and we still stand.

I believe that it is legitimate for the priest to allow the people to sit during proclamation of the Gospel if the passage is extremely long. I only say this because I have witnessed it happening once or twice in the past. In fact, I know one priest who had heart problems, and in his daily Masses, prevailed upon us to remain seated throughout most of the Mass where we would otherwise be standing. However, I doubt that was legitimate. And of course the rest of the OP’s description is a clear liturgical abuse.

As Fr. Zuhlsdorf would say “Say the black, do the red.” If it ain’t in the “red” don’t do it!!

There is one Gospel that is “acted out” and that is during Passion Sunday where there is a narrator, and the priest reads the parts of Jesus, and the people read the parts of, well, the people.

If the parish wants a Christmas pageant, they should make time for it after Mass.

The Gallican Masses before the XIX Ecumenical Council acted out not only the Christmas Gospels, but many others too. This averted the attention from the sacrifice of Christ, so it was suppressed and never reinstated as licit possibility.

The concept of people Church (laity or the lower clergy can decide what is god and what is not) is heresy.

Or before Mass.

My parish has the first Christmas Eve Mass preceded by the children’s pageant, so there’s pageant, then a short interval, then the Mass. It works well enough (though I prefer the Midnight Mass, which is preceded by a choir concert).

If this was Children’s mass it may have been acceptable, but otherwise not acceptable.

We stand for the Gospel even the lengthy readings of the Passion. This is a mark of respect for the Gospel. Similarly, we stand during the Gospel canticles recited at Lauds, Vespers and Compline.

Obviously, one may sit if they have a disability or illness that prevents them standing. (I have my parish priest’s permission to sit during the Eucharistic Prayer, and at other parts of Mass, because I cannot kneel.)

I suppose we need to define “acted out”. The ideal for reading the Passion is for it to be sung by three deacons. As most parishes do not have three deacons other ways are chosen including the use of lay persons. However, the Passion is still read; it is not acted out as one would in a pageant or play.

Yeah, basically the whole play thing is not cool.

The little reason why is that it has removed sacredness from popular culture and in turn this leads to the big reason why. Namely, it has inserted the secular into our sacredness.

The people are going to get their music, and dance, and food, etc anyway they can. People need culture. We are afterall not pure spirits. I think Thomas would say we are not pure intelligence. Let me say, “Indeed!”

Following the simple formula for a healthy society:
Sleep, Pray, Work, Pray, Work, Relax, Pray, Sleep.

It seems to me a better part of relaxing is having fun with the Lord. (ie. cantigas, plays, etc) Catholics are admonished to say the ‘Pater Noster’ thrice daily at a minimum.

The instruction, at least in my Archdiocese, is for no “people’s part” at the reading of the Passion. This is something put forth by the liberal publishing-houses whose hand-missals are in wide use today.

This instruction is, sadly, often (always?) ignored.

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