Tenebrae Service

At the Traditional Tenebrae service tonight, we had a guest homilist who was an Anglican married Priest. Being that this is not a Mass that was concelebrated, I was just confused as to whether this was still illicit or allowable, I’m not entirely sure I’m comfortable with it either way, but I thought I’d pose the question to the forum for your thoughts. God Bless!

Thank you,

First of all, there should be no problem at all with any of the Christian faithful celebrating the Liturgy of the Hours (including Tenebrae).

However, a homily, by its very nature should be given by a priest or deacon, not a member of the laity (since Anglican orders are invalid, they are laity in the eyes of the Church).

Can. 767 §1. Among the forms of preaching, the homily, which is part of the liturgy itself and is reserved to a priest or deacon, is preeminent; in the homily the mysteries of faith and the norms of Christian life are to be explained from the sacred text during the course of the liturgical year.

That is not to say that there cannot be lay preaching, but it should not be part of a liturgical celebration (be it the Divine Office or the Mass).

Specifically, the GILH paragraph 23 says:

The task of those who are in sacred orders or who have a special canonical mission is to direct and preside over the prayer of the community…

So to turn over a part such as giving a homily to a lay person seems most inappropriate if not illicit.

Again, don’t get me wrong: I see absolutely nothing wrong with celebrating the Office with any member of the Christian Faithful, including separated brethren…to include having them in choir if they are familiar with the Office. But not in a presidential role.

I thought that any message during LOTH, not during Mass or Communion Service, was by definition not a homily so that rule would be relaxed. Yes this is one example of the times we should pray together because we can.

Yes, it’s not a Mass, I think it was just referred to as a homily out of habit and/or simplicity. It was more of an exhortation, it was just really weird, like the guy was making jokes and stuff and I was just thinking to myself, this is supposed to be very somber. I don’t know, it might just be me, I’m not comfortable with it, it seems like blurring the line a little bit. But who am I to judge?

At our service there was no gospel reading or homily. There were several readings but 2 where from psalms and 2 were Lamentations.

Since it was not a true mass, I don’t think this is a problem. Heck, our priest wasn’t even there. The Deacon did the service.

Actually, the the GILH, it makes provision for a brief “homily”

  1. In a celebration with a congregation a short homily may follow the reading to explain its meaning, as circumstances suggest
    Remember, it’s still a “liturgy”

it is not a homily unless delivered by a Catholic bishop, priest or deacon, otherwise it is a reflection, exhortation or some other message.

But the GILH does not call on a “reflection,” “exhortation” or “some other message” to be delivered in a liturgy. It calls for a “homily” to be optionally delivered.

The point I’m getting at is that this Anglican “priest” or any other layman would be welcome to participate in the LOTH (including Tenebrae). I think that is wonderful.

And a layman (to include an Anglican “priest”), to the extent that it agrees with the Magesterium of the Church, is more than welcome to provide a “reflection,” “exhortation,” “some other message” (outside of a liturgy).

But not during a liturgy. And the LOTH, particularly when celebrated in community, is a liturgy.

Any chance that the preacher was a Catholic priest involved with the Anglican use, himself a former Anglican? Just a thought.

The Tenebrae services do not include any homily as part of the service; so rules about the homily does not apply. Catechesis related to the day or to the service can be given by non priests.

Also: was the married Anglican priest (converted to Rome and validly ordained) or just a minister of the Anglican church? The former, as validly ordained priest can give proper homily too.

The Anglican Priest simply stated that he was a married Anglican Priest with a wife and two children and then made a joke about how it was “allowed” in his church. Then he went on to give a 45 minute “homily” about the meaning of The Cross, our rejection of God, and the smallness of our sins in comparison to Gods infinite love, and also the importance of representing the Body of Christ on The Cross to remind us of the ugliness of our sin and to remind us, when we ask “where is God in all our suffering?”, that He’s there suffering with us on The Cross.

Aside from all that, I cannot comment on who he was or what his status is. Is it possible he is one of those coming over to the Catholic Church, I suppose, though there was no indication of that. As I said who am I to judge? I withhold any judgement as I do not know all the details. On its face, however, it made me very uncomfortable, and I don’t know what to make of it. He didn’t say anything blatantly that I picked up on as contrary to Catholicism, but I’m just not sure I like the whole idea.

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