who can give a homily?


My adult daughter spent last weekend in solitude at a Catholic retreat center. There is a priest, a deacon and evidently at least one sister at this small rustic retreat. There were also about 70 local parishioners who attended Sunday morning mass. She was surprised when the sister stood up after the gospel and gave the homily. (she was not giving an announcement of any type) The priest was present, but said nothing. Is this acceptable?


A layperson cannot give a homily during a Mass.

The *General Instruction of the Roman Missal * states the following:

  1. The Homily should ordinarily be given by the priest celebrant himself. He may entrust it to a concelebrating priest or occasionally, according to circumstances, to the deacon, but never to a lay person. In particular cases and for a just cause, the homily may even be given by a Bishop or a priest who is present at the celebration but cannot concelebrate. There is to be a homily on Sundays and holy days of obligation at all Masses that are celebrated with the participation of a congregation; it may not be omitted without a serious reason. It is recommended on other days, especially on the weekdays of Advent, Lent, and the Easter Season, as well as on other festive days and occasions when the people come to church in greater numbers. After the homily a brief period of silence is appropriately observed.

.“The Holy Father reminds us that, “the particular gift of each of the Church’s members must be wisely and carefully acknowledged, safeguarded, promoted, discerned and coordinated, without confusing roles functions or theological and canonical status”. (114) Source: ICP “Conclusion”

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