Sisters and Brothers


Hello everyone!

I have a question about how my priest words a few parts in the mass. For example whenever he begins the penitential rite or before we say “May The Lord accept…” Instead of saying brethren or brothers and sisters, he says my Sisters and Brothers. Isn’t this wrong? The USCCB has the order of mass on their site and it shows the exact opposition of what our priest says. Liturgical abuse? What are you thoughts?:confused:


In a most legalistic sense, yes he is wrong. If he is specifically disobeying pre-established instructions of legitimate authority for the sake of being “politically correct” he’s especially wrong. However, if it’s a subconscious thing it doesn’t really matter - I’m sure God isn’t interested in an accidental switch of the two symmetrical words. I would be incline to just assume the last option and just not think any more of it.


Thank you for your response. It happens every mass not just one in a while though.


Personally I would write a note to the Priest telling him this, and if it continues I would write to the Bishop. That is why we have a Liturgical Body to make it uniform, imagine if every priest did there own thing, what would we have, mayhem.


Personally I would pick my battles and this is one battle I wouldn’t even step into. I mean, come on. He’s reversing the order of two words in a way that doesn’t change the meaning at all. Don’t we have better things to do than bother the bishop on such a matter? If he is making other changes, committing other abuses, then fine, bundle them all up in a complaint, but first make sure it is worthy of being heard at some level other than this priest’s own ears.


Wow. I feel blessed to have our priest…so I don’t mind it when he uses “sisters and brothers”. He has a wonderful heart and is a good shepherd at our parish. Same with our deacon. Following the Order of Mass verbatim just isn’t a priority for our family.


I would say that the failure to follow the Missal casts doubt on two key qualities for clergy: obedience and truthfulness. When a priest changes the words of the liturgy, he cheats the faithful out of their right to a properly celebrated sacrament. He is selling us short and setting himself up as authority over something which he does not have the power to change. I would question whether such a priest is fit for ministry, even if he seems to have a “wonderful heart” and is a “good shepherd”. If he can’t obey in small matters, how can he be trusted to obey in the large ones? If he cheats the faithful of one right, what other rights will he cheat us on? Paranoid, yes. But I have seen it too many times to be trusting of priests who are unwilling to say the black and do the red.

Now of course the above that I just wrote only pertains to grave abuses of a substantial nature and not at all to the trifle which the OP mentions. So perhaps it is off-topic, but it still needed to be said in light of the previous post.




I didn’t post this to start an argument. I understand if he was wearing a party hat it would be a different story. But I will go back to what elizium23 said, it is minor but still it shouldn’t be done. I am not going to bother my bishop, I was only seeking an opinion of others because I was unaware if this is okay. Does that sound fair.:shrug:


Sacredheart, I assume both your priest and you care about being obedient and true to the prescribed Order of the Mass. As I said earlier, I have noted our priest use this phrase before, but would never do so to be disobedient or flippant. Just human. Most of the time he gets it right :slight_smile: Perhaps in passing you could mention it to him. My guess is it was merely a slip of the tongue.


I appreciate your response. Thank you! Hopefully it’s passing, it has happened every daily mass and Sunday masses for the last few months. Thanks:)


Since it seems to have become this priest’s standard wording, could it simply be that he’s using the standard English greeting to a mixed gathering – “Ladies and Gentlemen” – as his paradigm?

In any case, yes, the way he’s doing it is technically wrong: if they had wanted it said that way, it would have been printed in the Missal that way. But at the same time, the transposition of two symmetrical nouns seems to me to be so minor that I wouldn’t worry about it.


This is very, very common - almost universal - where I live. It is purely from PC language. I hate it, but have accepted that I am not likely to change even one, much less all of the priests who use it. It has gone on for too long and is now probably ingrained.

I would much rather they say “brethren”. As a woman I detest PC language. “Man” and “mankind” etc., has always been fine for me.


I know that I am included in “man or mankind”. Sometimes I have to think of this as a case where I am stronger in faith and have to be aware of those weaker who might not feel included with just “brethren”

I wonder if they have this issues with other languages. I remember learning about the plural third person pronouns in French. They don’t have a neutral “they” so if they are all female or all a feminine noun they use the female “they” but if they have as my Seventh grade french teacher said “One thousands girls and half a boy” they used the male “they”.
SO is this an issue with women there feeling 'left out"?
It has been MANY decades since that French class.


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