Was a priest allowed to do this?

I went to a Mass and was reader for a reading. I realized later that it was chosen and not the reading for the day in The Lectionary. Was the priest allowed to do this?

Hi ccg, the simple answer is no. Could there perhaps be another explanation? [perhaps a Saint’s day of which you were unaware?] I hope there was!!

Dominus vobiscum

There are any number of reasons why a different reading might have been validly chosen for a weekday Mass.

See GIRM 357-362

I am reading tomorrow - Saturday the 23rd. Knowing the priest assigned I expect I will read the readings of the day. One of the others might opt for St John of Capistrano; the other would probably choose a votive mass for the Blessed Mother. If they swap priests I will have to prepare another set of readings on the fly.

The Mass was in memory of a kid that died.

Are you sure it was intentional? The priest could’ve easily been confused or forgotten what day it was and accidentally set the marker in the wrong place. Unless it’s something that’s consistently happening then it might have been a simple human error.


Masses for the Dead generally use readings different from the day’s ordinary readings; this is 100% normal and permitted. It’s all explained in the Lectionary.

EDIT: And also GIRM no. 385:
385. In the arranging and choosing of the variable parts of the Mass for the Dead, especially the Funeral Mass (e.g., orations, readings, Prayer of the Faithful), pastoral considerations bearing upon the deceased, the family, and those attending should rightly be taken into account.
Hope this helps. And so the answer to your original question is, yes, the priest was definitely allowed to do this. :slight_smile:

FURTHER EDIT: And for the list of options from the Lectionary, see here!

Including this important fact in your original question might have been a sensible thing to do.

Can they change readings for things like graduation Masses.

Yes. GIRM no. 358:
In Masses with special groups, the priest is allowed to choose texts more suited to the particular celebration, provided they are taken from the texts of an approved lectionary.
If you had simply read the portion of the GIRM dealing with choice of readings when Phemie provided the link, you would have had these answers already!

There are many reasons for changing the readings: funerals, graduations, weddings, quinces, ordinations, religious profession, just to name a few, provided that the day is not a feast day or that if it’s a memorial, it’s an optional memorial. Sometimes, when the day is something like Monday of the Third Week of Ordinary Time or some such thing, the priest is celebrating a votive mass, there is some flexibility. The missal and lectionary will offer guidance on this matter.

If the priest is a member of a religious order he may choose to follow the liturgical calendar of his religious order and not the calendar of the Church. There are times when the readings and prayers do not coincide. Some religious orders demand that that the priests follow its calendar and not the calendar of the Church. For example, the major religious orders of men, not the congregations of men, have their own rubrics and calendars. These calendars have been approved by the Congregation for Divine Worship. But you will not find the readings in the typical Catholic calendar. They are listed in the Ordo Missae for the order, which is usually in the posession of the religious memers of the institute.

I get this question a lot from people who watch the mass on EWTN and then attend mass at their parish. They realize that the priest used different readings, wore a different color and used different prayers. He may have even used three readings and the Gloria.

If you watch the mass on EWTN, even when Fr. Mitch or Fr. Wade celebrate it, they follow the Franciscan calendar, not the Roman Calendar, because they are in a Franciscan chapel and they are bound by the tradition of the Franciscans as are the lay people who attend mass there. Whatever is on Franciscan schedule is what they read.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

Mea Culpa. [A lesson learned].:blush: Just goes to show that what one knows and what one thinks one knows are often two very different things!!

Dominus vobiscum

Sorry ccg, the simple answer is YES and I’m an idiot!!! I apologise to you and CAF. Mea Maxima Culpa.

Dominus vobiscum

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.