In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I am so grateful for all of the help that you provide to all of us.  I have one question with which I was hoping that you could help.

When having multiple concelebrants, not enough belt-clip wireless microphones for them, and no altar top microphone, what is the best way to have the concelebrants do their parts for the Eucharistic Prayer?  We do have a single wireless handheld microphone that might be used here.
My guess is that we have the following possibilities:

1) Simply have the concelebrants do their part without any amplification.

2) Have them step forward to the altar, but have a server or MC hold a handheld wireless microphone for them.  

3) Have them remain in their spot, but have servers hold a concelebrants’ book or extra Missal for them along with the handheld wireless microphone.  The optics of this seems awkward, but it is easier to get amplification to them.

4) Try to place a handheld microphone on the altar and hope that it helps with amplification.

How should I approach this?


A: Great question. It’s not just a practical matter, but a spiritual one. How can the concelebrants best lead the assembly in prayer?

There are no rules here, so we’re just going on judgment. 

Like you, I think the third option is awkward. It might work in some sanctuaries, but it is hard to imagine the logistics. The other options are agreeable and in no particular order. It depends on so much – size of sanctuary, size of nave, number of people in the assembly, proximity of concelebrants to altar, potency of microphones, and more.

One other possibility is that the main celebrant alone does the parts marked for a single voice while all the concelebrants remain silent. That is perfectly in keeping with the rubrics. There’s no requirement that concelebrants speak those part in place of the main celebrant. And if amplification is an issue, that might suggest letting the presider take those parts so that the assembly can hear them and pray along.