Prayer of the Faithful "open to the floor"

Maybe other people have experienced this, but it was new to me!

My parish priest really threw me the other day at a small weekday Mass.

Right now our parish is undergoing major renovations and Mass has to be held elsewhere. Sunday Mass is in the school gymnasium and weekday Masses are held in the parish hall.

On Friday last we had our usual Adoration followed by Mass in the informal, small parish hall. It was here that the priest invited all in attendance to add their particular prayers to the Prayer of the Faithful. After he prayed the P of F he said “I’ll open it up to the floor”. The charismatics in attendance added their petitions.

Has anyone else come across this??

The GIRM 2002, would indicate that what happened was completely unorthodox and incorrect. Here is the excerpt from the GIRM. To answer your question though I have never experienced an occasion when the petitions were open to the floor.

The Prayer of the Faithful
69. In the Prayer of the Faithful, the people respond in a certain way to the word of God
which they have welcomed in faith and, exercising the office of their baptismal priesthood, offer prayers to God for the salvation of all. It is fitting that such a prayer be included, as a rule, in Masses celebrated with a congregation, so that petitions will be offered for the holy Church, for civil authorities, for those weighed down by various needs, for all men and women, and for the salvation of the whole world.67

  1. As a rule, the series of intentions is to be
    a. For the needs of the Church;
    b. For public authorities and the salvation of the whole world;
    c. For those burdened by any kind of difficulty;
    d. For the local community.

Nevertheless, in a particular celebration, such as Confirmation, Marriage, or a Funeral, the series of intentions may reflect more closely the particular occasion.

  1. It is for the priest celebrant to direct this prayer from the chair. He himself begins it with a brief introduction, by which he invites the faithful to pray, and likewise he concludes it with a prayer. The intentions announced should be sober, be composed freely but prudently, and be succinct, and they should express the prayer of the entire community.
    The intentions are announced from the ambo or from another suitable place, by the deacon or by a cantor, a lector, or one of the lay faithful.68

The people, however, stand and give expression to their prayer either by an invocation said
together after each intention or by praying in silence.

This seems to be the norm for daily Mass at most parishes around here. My parish, and, of course, the FSSP/Extraordinary Form chaplaincy do not do it. I never offer an intention aloud, but I’m used to hearing it done.

I’ve witnessed it done and with bad results. Members of the congregation prayed for things that were in defiance of church teaching. And the rest of the congregation went along with it. Not good.

In the parish were I attend masses the priest reads the petitions.

I my territorial parish in the weekday masses participants say their petitions, usually for their living and dead relatives.

I can imagine that this will be the future. Small groups will celebrate the teaching part of the Mass, with this petitions and with the communion, and the Sacrifice (Offertory, Consecration, Communion of the priest) will be separated.

If someone does not like it,

  • single male had to ask himself: is he ready to sacrifice his life to God as priest;
  • female or married male shall ask: is he/she ready to give his son to the service of God as priest?

If the answer is unconditional yes, the person has the right to dislike the reality.

Don: in some places, it’s custom of over 30 years, at least for daily masses.* In the Archdiocese of Anchorage, it was being done by following the rubric, and then before the final prayer, adding, “For what else shall we pray?”

After each person so moved adds one, the usual “Lord, Hear our prayer.” about 20sec of silence, “For all these prayers, and for the prayers in the silence of our hearts, we pray…” and then after the response, the closing petition.

And at daily masses, it still often is done that way.

I’ve encountered that in the dioceses of Juneau and Fairbanks, as well.

I have a hunch why it’s done that way here… Alaska has had circuit priests for years. It’s not uncommon to arrive at the scheduled mass time in a remote parish, and find that the celebrant hasn’t arrived yet due to road issues or airport issues. Mass often starts 5 minutes after the celebrant arrives, be that on time or 45 minutes late. More rubrically strict priests will call ahead and have an intentions list put out, and pick 5-10 of them…

*30 years is the point at which it acquires canonical status as custom rather than abuse and/or innovation, per the 1983 Code of Canon Law.

This was the first concern that I thought of as well.
While on the one hand, the practice in principle does not seem bad, particularly in a small and intimate mass, it does open up the very real possibility of something inappropriate being openly, publically, asked and prayed for.

It makes me wonder how the celebrant would respond if someone requested that joe shmoe drop dead?:shrug:


We’ve been through this. Now we add our petitions in silence.


This is the best way


For weekday Masses, we always allow these contributions. There’s never been a problem. Sometimes I speak up, sometimes not.

I’ve been to weekend Masses where it was ‘opened up’ and the only risk is that it goes on and on. Oh, well.

That’s how we end the General Intercessions at Sunday Mass in our parish:
For our own personal intentions (pause) and for all the intentions entered in our book, we pray to the Lord:

At daily Mass Fr. will name intentions and then ask if anyone has anything to add. If anyone responds at all, it’s usually to ask for prayers for someone who is sick or has died.

The Newman Center I was Confirmed at did this. I heard some real zingers back then. 90% college students you understand.

It’s allowed !
Note “other suitable place” in your post and" or one of the lay faithful"
These are usually done at morning Mass.

I believe that people’s petitions can be included but it should be submitted beforehand and shouldn’t be spontaneous.

This happens at daily Mass at my parish. Most of the intentions are for healing, for the repose of someone’s soul, or other private intentions. Many times someone will mention “For an end to abortion.” This usually happens when we have a guest priest; when the pastor is there, it doesn’t happen. Other churches I’ve visited or on the weekend, the last intention read by the lector/priest is “For all the intentions we hold in our hearts.”

I consider it an abuse, and a fairly blatant one. It’s a sad fact that the faithful cannot be trusted to formulate reasonable petitions. It went on for several years in parishes where I was a member, and people prayed for outlandish things, contradicted Church teaching, used it as a political platform. I, and undoubtedly others, felt forced to assent by saying “Lord, Hear Our Prayer.” After a while, I took to remaining silent during ALL these petitions because I sometimes couldn’t even hear them to determine if they were worthy of assent! The next time I encounter this abuse I will pray “for abolition of open-ended prayer petitions.” :smiley:

I concur! :slight_smile:

Such things used to happen at our OF parish back in the bad old 80’s. But the Bishop finally put a stop to it. Its amazing how quickly some people turn into “protestant wanna-be’s”.

We always refused to participate in such activities.

I’ve seen that before, although usually it was phrased differently. After the planned P of F, the priest or deacon would say, “And for whom and for what else shall we pray?” and the congregation was then welcome to add their petitions to the prayers of the faithful.

From the 2002 General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) approved for the USA, which can be accessed from :
“138. After the recitation of the Creed, the priest, standing at the chair with hands joined, by means of a brief introduction invites the faithful to participate in the Prayer of the Faithful. Then the cantor, the lector, or another person announces the intentions from the ambo or from some other suitable place while facing the people, who take their part by responding in supplication. After the intentions, the priest, with hands extended, concludes the petitions with a prayer.” (My bold text.)

So the instruction is that one person announce the intentions. I have often seen children queue up to announce one intention each, but this is not following the liturgical book. Also that the one person do so facing the people.

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