Silence before Mass

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Trusting you are well and safe.  I follow your blog every day and thankfully so. What is your viewpoint, and do liturgical documents say anything about people greeting and speaking to each other in church before Mass starts?  There is tension in some parishes between those who wish to pray privately and in silence prior to Mass, and others wanting to greet fellow parishioners. The latter argue that when the Collect of the Mass is prayed, it should be an acknowledgement that people have in fact ‘collected’, especially given the reticence of many Catholics to develop a fellowship, let …

‘Sunday Homily Joke’

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Hi Father. Hope you are having a pleasant Summer. I have opened my homilies often with a joke. Many good priests that I know have done that through the years and people were expecting their ‘Sunday Homily Joke’ on a regular basis. That help them appreciate the Sunday homily more. But I myself  stopped doing it a few months ago after putting more thought on the essence of the homily as an integral part of the liturgy. Yet for pastoral reasons -to help the faithful find a bit of a humorous oasis from the turmoil of problems of the …

Oil of catechumens

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I’m planning to accept a ten-year old into the Order of Catechumens with RCIA 260-276, but I don’t see an anointing with the oil of catechumens. Does that happen at a different time? == A: There is no anointing yet because the child is just becoming a catechumen. The oil is given for strengthening later on. One option is in the penitential rite of Lent (RCIA 301).

Solemn Blessings

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Am I correct in my understanding that presiders are not able to write their own Solemn Blessings for the celebration of the Mass? The options provided in the Missal do not give the “these or similar words” option. == A: Correct. The presider is expected to choose from the options in the missal. The same applies to other presidential prayers such as collects and prefaces. The deacon’s command to bow the head and pray for the blessing used to be “these or similar words,” but the third edition of the missal changed it to the unchangeable formula, “Bow down …

Procession of the gifts

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q:  On page 65 of your book Ars Celeberandi, why do you say/believe it’s okay to have water in the procession of the gifts but not purificators/corporals/chalices, etc? Especially if less is more, and we shouldn’t add/subtract. What is the logical use there in presenting water for inclusion but not other items that likewise remain unmentioned? What consistent value being uplifted here? == A:  Thanks for reading my book so carefully. You might enjoy a careful read of another of my books, Let Us Pray, which gives a fuller explanation of the procession of the gifts in paragraph 425. The …

Baptism question

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Hello Fr. Paul! I do not want to leave to common sense or “intent” something as sacred as Holy Baptism, and so I turn first to you. This weekend, we attended a baptism of six children, representing three families. It was celebrated outside of Mass but at a Catholic church by a priest in good standing.Straight to the point, he used the correct words and water which he blessed according to the rite, but our concern is that he used a continual flow of water from a pitcher while pronouncing “I Baptize you in the name of the Father, …

Introduction to the Lord’s Prayer

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: In your book Ars Celebrandi, p. 58, I don’t remain sold on your 1973 usage [footnote 9] of the circular letter (seemingly replaced with later liturgical documents/directives that revised RM; even if at level of a canonical Instruction, letter been replaced) regarding the priest may vary the introduction to the Lord’s Prayer without these or similar words.  == A: In that footnote I cite another of my books, In These or Similar Words, where I make a more extended argument that the priest may use “similar words” to introduce the Lord’s Prayer at Mass. I may not be able to convince those who …

Anniversary Mass

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I’m looking over for an Anniversary Mass for a couple, and there is no indication given for what the Preface should be for an Anniversary Mass of Marriage. Since this is the case, am I right to assume that any Preface from the Ritual Mass for the Celebration of Marriage is permitted? If not, which Prefaces are permitted for an Anniversary Mass of Marriage? == A: Since this is the anniversary and not the sacrament itself, you use the appropriate prayers for the occasion from the missal. See Order of Celebrating Matrimony 237 as a source. Mass #11 in …

Chasuble

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: You recently wore a cope for a baptism outside of Mass. Why didn’t you wear a chasuble? == A: A chasuble is only worn for Mass and for the Passion on Good Friday. A priest or deacon may wear alb and stole for a baptism. According to custom for such services as a baptism outside Mass, the cope is optional for a priest, the dalmatic is optional for a deacon. 

Stole at the cemetery

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Does the priest wear a stole at the cemetery when dressed in black for the committal prayers. I’ve used it occasionally, but  I prefer to use the stole exclusively with the alb. So hardly ever I have used a stole at the cemetery. Although I know of a few priest who use it regularly. Since I don’t remember that ever mentioned at the Liturgical Practicum class in the seminary, wanted to hear your thoughts about it.  == A: With regard to the service at the place of committal, the Order of Christian Funerals says, “The minister should vest according …