Why can't the Hail Mary be prayed at Mass?

Michelle Arnold recently responded that the Hail Mary is inappropriate during Mass. Once, on a Marian feast, during the homily, Monsignor asked everyone to pray a Hail Mary, because of the importance of the day. So, we all did, and then he finished his homily. Was this unfitting?

I hesitate to say that praying the Hail Mary is “unfitting,” and it is not the prayer itself or devotion to the Blessed Mother that is unfitting. What is “unfitting” is imposing upon the freedom of the assembled congregation to participate in a public recitation of the Hail Mary when it is a private devotion that is not part of the public prayers of the Mass. The congregation was assembled for the Mass (obligatory worship), not for a public recitation of the rosary (a private devotion), and so it is possible that some present were not prepared to pray the Hail Mary and should not have felt pressured to do so.

It is important that private devotions not be introduced into the public prayers of the Mass on the unauthorized initiative of any individual, including a priest. If the Church decides to include a private devotion in the liturgy of the Mass – as it once did when the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel was prayed at the end of Mass before the reform of the liturgy – then the Church, in its authoritative office, may do so and the worshipping congregation should join in. But individuals, even priests, should not presume to introduce such private devotions on their own.

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