Presentation of Lord

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: In the 2010 English translation of the Roman Missal it has for the Feast on 2 February: “8. As the procession enters the church, the Entrance Antiphon of the Mass is sung.” This is a strange instruction, since the General Instruction of the Roman Missal describes the Entrance Antiphon as something recited when there is no singing. For example: “198. If there is no singing at the Entrance or at Communion and the antiphons given in the Missal are not recited by the faithful, the reader may read them at an appropriate time (cf. nos. 48, 87).”In a 1985 Roman …

Rites of Commendation

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: My understanding is the Catholic Church does not encourage ashes to be sprinkled outdoors following a cremation. However, for pastoral advantage I will attend such an event for a parishioner sprinkling her husband’s ashes over the ocean one year following his death. He was not Catholic but a great supporter of our parish events; his wife is also a wonderful support erand faithful Catholic. Please advise about a simple ritual that a Catholic priest can lead for sprinkling ashes. == A: The Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism says this, “In the prudent judgment of …

Memorial acclamation

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I was a visitor at a parish during the Christmas season and was stunned when the priest began singing “O Come Let Us Adore Him” during the elevation of both the host and chalice.  Is this a permissible adaptation to the Roman Missal? == A: It was trendy about 40 years ago to sing that refrain as a memorial acclamation at Christmas Time. But it was never one of the official options and is not now. There are two other difficulties with the practice you describe. The priest is not supposed to participate in the memorial acclamation. He introduces …

Introductions to the readings

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Is it liturgically correct for a lay reader to give information concerning the reading they are about to do.  For instance before someone does the First Reading is it ok for them to discuss what has happened prior to the verses being read or to discuss the prophet who wrote the verses or to tell  something about the book of the bible that the reading came from. We have a reader who wants to do this and wants all the readers to do this.  I have never seen this done except maybe by a deacon or priest. The one time …

Oil of catechumens

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Thank you so much for your insight into celebrating the rites of initiation.  I am the coordinator of the RCIA process in our parish, and have been working diligently with our pastor to take our process to the next level.  Your book “Celebrating Initiation, A Guide for Priests”  has been invaluable to this effort.  We always refer to your book on Celebrating Initiation as we strive to make the celebration of these rites more fruitful for catechumens and candidates, as well as for the entire parish. Your thoughts cut to the core of the rituals and are so “right …

Liturgy and performance

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Kindly comment on the performance element associated with Catholic Liturgies. I am being criticised by certain parishioners for being theatrical. In particular, they do not like me amplifying the Introductory Rites at Mass by inviting people to greet each other prior to the penitential rite, Gloria and Collect. Otherwise I remain true to the rubrics of the Mass. == A: All of us priests need to remember that at mass we are celebrants, not celebrities. We are leading worship, not a social gathering. Here at the cathedral, before announcing the opening hymn, our cantor introduces himself or herself, and …

Homilies with women

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Is it permissible for a female Anglo-Catholic priest to robe and sit with me on the sanctuary during Mass? Can I invite her, in the spirit of Ecumenism, to co-deliver the homily which I begin and end, and to which my ordained sister in Christ contribute? == A: There is not a provision for these ideas, but you may ask your bishop for an opinion. If a vested non-Catholic minister sat in the sanctuary, it may blur the distinctions between your roles. A bishop might counsel that a homily during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity could include …

Eucharistic prayer

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: A question please.  Given that no women in church leadership roles are mentioned during the Eucharistic Prayers when we pray for the pope, bishop/s, clergy and deacons, is it permissible after mentioning the male litany to add something like…“and women in church leadership roles  and/or women religious”? In other words, can I nuance a Eucharistic Prayer? I presume not, but hope there may be some wriggle room, especially given the outcry associated with the Australian 2020 Plenary Council about the shameful disregard for women in our church who are its backbone. == A: No, we shouldn’t really play with the …

Book of Gospels

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: In the Motu Proprio Aperuit illis of 30 September 2019 the Pope has written: “It is important, however, that in the Eucharistic celebration the sacred text be enthroned, in order to focus the attention of the assembly on the normative value of God’s word.” This applies to the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time. How do you interpret this, particularly when a parish does not have a Book of the Gospels? The 1982 book “Documents on the Liturgy 1963-1979” has in the index, for the entry “Book of the Gospels”, “enthronement 1346”. This is from a document by the Consilium of 14 …

Omitting the Creed

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: While visiting a parish this morning it was odd that the presider omitted the Creed and instead led the assembly in a renewal of baptismal promises followed by the Universal Prayer.  While I can see how one could be enticed to use this approach on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, I was under the impression that this is not allowed except for Easter Sunday in the US and when Baptism or Confirmation is celebrated at a regularly scheduled weekend Mass.  Am I correct? == A: You are correct. The same question came up in our diocese …