Sitting for the Gospel reading

Hi, I just experienced this for the first time tonight. When the priest asked everyone to sit, I hesitated for a couple seconds because I felt that it wasn’t right to do. The priest had said he wanted us to be seated to understand the Gospel reading better. I just didn’t feel comfortable being seated.

Then he went on for 25 MINUTES for the homily. It was pretty good for the first 15, which I thought was already way too long to begin with, but then it went on and on and I almost fell asleep.

But anyone know if being seated for the Gospel reading is right?

I don’t think it is, but I can’t cite anything for that right now. I’m sure it’s not permitted though.

Nearly every parish I’ve gone to there have been circumstances where the priest asks everyone to sit for the Gospel. It is usually one for the really long ones. I’m not really a big fan of this practice either but it seems like something that is becoming more and more common.

I ask myself, who is this for? If someone cannot physically stand during the entire Gospel then he/she can sit down. But if you do not have any ailments that prevent you from standing then you can suck it up and stand that extra few minutes. It won’t kill you. I feel like the priest means well, but these little comforts do detract from the solemnity of the Mass.

We got the long form of the Gospel today. Then Father started his homily: “I bet your feet hurt, right? Well, imagine yourself trudging out to fetch water from the community well . . . .”

I personally would have continued standing but everyone else sat down and I’m not exactly one to be a rebel. Especially since I would have stood out like a sore thumb.

I don’t know much about liturgical standards but I am pretty sure that standing during the Gospel is required. That said, I love long homilies! But then again, maybe that is because I used to be a Southern Baptist were a long sermon was common. ;):stuck_out_tongue:

In the good old times we sat when the passion was read. For other times there was no such long Gospel, as this Gospel from John.

I agree that long sermon means unprepared priest. The real good sermon is 5 - 8 minutes: one image, the teaching, and example and a closing sentence; but if someone cannot express himself in 10 minutes than something is wrong, especially if the time for the long sermon is stoles from the Liturgy of Eucharist.

Your kidding, right? If it were a tv show, no one would have any problem with it being 30 minutes.

St. Paul used to give sermons that lasted three hours so I really think 5 -8 minutes is on the short side.

Guess you wouldn’t like my homolies then…by the way, how does a long homily mean the homilist is not prepared? I’m sorry but I can’t make that connection.:shrug:

From the GIRM

Movements and Posture

  1. The gestures and posture of the priest, the deacon, and the ministers, as well as those of the people, ought to contribute to making the entire celebration resplendent with beauty and noble simplicity, so that the true and full meaning of the different parts of the celebration is evident and that the participation of all is fostered.52 Therefore, attention should be paid to what is determined by this General Instruction and the traditional practice of the Roman Rite and to what serves the common spiritual good of the People of God, rather than private inclination or arbitrary choice.

A common posture, to be observed by all participants, is a sign of the unity of the members of the Christian community gathered for the Sacred Liturgy: it both expresses and fosters the intention and spiritual attitude of the participants.

  1. The faithful should stand from the beginning of the Entrance chant, or while the priest approaches the altar, until the end of the Collect; for the Alleluia chant before the Gospel; while the Gospel itself is proclaimed; during the Profession of Faith and the Prayer of the Faithful; from the invitation, Orate, fratres (Pray, brethren), before the prayer over the offerings until the end of Mass, except at the places indicated below.

They should, however, sit while the readings before the Gospel and the responsorial Psalm are proclaimed and for the homily and while the Preparation of the Gifts at the Offertory is taking place; and, as circumstances allow, they may sit or kneel while the period of sacred silence after Communion is observed.

In the dioceses of the United States of America, they should kneel beginning after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer, except when prevented on occasion by reasons of health, lack of space, the large number of people present, or some other good reason. Those who do not kneel ought to make a profound bow when the priest genuflects after the consecration. The faithful kneel after the Agnus Dei unless the Diocesan Bishop determines otherwise.53

With a view to a uniformity in gestures and postures during one and the same celebration, the faithful should follow the directions which the deacon, lay minister, or priest gives according to whatever is indicated in the Missal.

  1. Among gestures included are also actions and processions: of the priest going with the deacon and ministers to the altar; of the deacon carrying the Evangeliary or Book of the Gospels to the ambo before the proclamation of the Gospel; of the faithful presenting the gifts and coming forward to receive Communion. It is appropriate that actions and processions of this sort be carried out with decorum while the chants proper to them occur, in keeping with the norms prescribed for each.

Isn’t the longest gospel reading the one on Palm Sunday? Is that the one with the different parts… ? Crucify him! Crucify him! ?? Our Priest says if anyone cannot stand for that length of time, by all means - sit. With the exception of some elderly and pregnant women, everyone stands.

Most people would think nothing of standing in line for an hour to ride a roller coaster at Six Flags. Just saying…

Regarding homilies… our Priest’s homilies typically last about 20-25 minutes. No complaints here…

The GRIM say to stand, so we should stand - unless we are told to sit. I have been to many Masses such as Palm Sunday where the priest encourages everyone to be seated. I attended a Mass at the end of a long youth retreat. The room was setup with an altar, ambo and a chair for the celebrant. The youth were on an open floor. The priest asked everyone to be seated on the floor when he began the Gospel. He remarked that this is how it would have been done 2000 years ago if our Lord was sharing His Word with us.



  1. In the celebration of Mass the faithful form a holy people, a people whom God has made his own, a royal priesthood, so that they may give thanks to God and offer the spotless Victim not only through the hands of the priest but also together with him, and so that they may learn to offer themselves.[83] They should, moreover, endeavor to make this clear by their deep religious sense and their charity toward brothers and sisters who participate with them in the same celebration.

Thus, they are to shun any appearance of individualism or division, keeping before their eyes that they have only one Father in heaven and accordingly are all brothers and sisters to each other.

I didn’t realize the length of Mass and homilies was regulated. :rolleyes:

I’m assuming you’re going to a NO Mass, so I can understand where you’re coming from. I get impatient with dragged out NO homilies because 9/10 they’re filled with fluff. If they’re longer, it usually means the priest is talking in circles about fluff, so if I must hear about fluff, it’s best it be as short as possible.

I started making the effort to drive two hours into the big city on Sundays to attend the TLM done by the FSSP, The other TLM I’m used to going to when I’m home from school is only an hour, but these ones are getting up to 90 minutes long. Personally, I don’t care, and wouldn’t mind longer sermons because they’re so full of goodness. It’s like savoring a steak compared to eating a hot dog.

I don’t think I’ve ever sat for the Gospel, not even on Palm Sunday, during which we kneeled at parts, which is worse than standing. Even in the TLM, when the priest reads the epistle and gospel in Latin, and then reads them again in English before his homily, we stand for the gospel both times. We also stand for the final gospel.

thank you:clapping:

Not to mention standing outside stores in the cold winter Boxing Day morning for literally hours so they can get that 52" plasma flat screen TV they don’t need that’s on sale for one day only, and they only have 4 in stock in all of Canada.:rolleyes:

Back in the early churches, there were no places to sit. You stood…for hours.

One thing that I become confused with is - when a priest tells us to sit during the Gospel reading or during the consecration (which has often happened for me), I become unsure what to do. I kneel even so during the consecration but feel I am being disobedient to the priest but my heart and whole being wants to kneel.

As for homilies 30 minutes would be great. In college we were taught that a lecture longer than 40 minutes and you have lost you audience attention.

Unlike some traditional Masses the new rite Masses are full, and there is 5-7 in every weekend. The regulation is the time frame of the schedule

In my territorial Church the Sunday schedule is:

6:30, 8:00, 9:30, 11:00, 12:30

except for the last one the total time frame is 90 minutes. Since the masses are full (300+ people on average) the peaceful turnover is 20 minutes (first crowd leaves, new fills the parking lot). Thus the time frame for a mass regulated by the reality in 70 minutes. If the priest makes longer homily than 10 minutes, that can be done only for the expense of the Eucharistic prayer.

You can say: Oh they are just hot bodies, who cares about the, You have to meditate on the question: does our Lord call everyone to met him, or only a few selected ones? If you think it over you will understand the new rite masses, and you will realize that our Lord is present there.

That’s just not the case Lazlo. My pastor, who is an awesome homilist, routinely gives a 15 to 20 minute homily and I prepare for the opportunities I get to give the homily by preparing a message, whether it is 10 or 20 minutes, I give a message. This is what my pastor has directed me to do, I oblige and the people have responded to the messages I have delivered.

With this said, the difference in mass time from a 10 minute homily to a 20 minute homily is 55 to 65 minutes. I believe you can handle staying in mass for 65 minutes, don’t you agree?

We are not losing church attendees because of long homilies or long masses, especially when you consider most leave to go to protestant non-denominational churches where the preacher preaches for 45 to 50 minutes.

No we are losing parishioners because we don’t stand out anymore as something real and different. Sadly we lose because we don’t feed. Changing the mass by little increments like sitting as the Gospel is proclaimed does just that.

I served with a priest, a visiting priest from outside our diocese, this weekend that went a step further. He told me just before time to get up and proclaim the gospel that he would read the gospel, then he proceeded to tell the people to sit and that he would read the gospel and “insert” his homily between the lines while he read the word. And he did exactly that!:eek:

You couldn’t tell where his words stopped and the Lord’s words started. It was quite strange. Some people loved it, some questioned me after mass, “can he do that?” I’ll be honest, I didn’t know what to tell them without giving the appearance I was dogging the priest.

I called my diaconate coordinator for our diocese yesterday and I intend to talk to my pastor today to see if he will address this.

All of these small things cause big problems, and major confusion; that’s why we are losing so many Catholics.

Unlike some traditional Masses the new rite Masses are full, and there is 5-7 in every weekend.

And this is justification for sitting during the Gospel? :confused:

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