Four questions

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: What do you think of this? A priest/deacon begins and concludes a homily and invites someone in the midst of it to contribute to the main ideas being proposed. This could involve lay people in leadership.

Also given initial findings of the Amazonia Synod can we continue to apply a universal principle to the liturgy? The North American and Australian realities are different to say nothing of the church in the so-called developing world.

Also, can parishes adopt a little more flexibility than a cathedral? I think there is a qualitative difference to a cantor/welcomer welcoming the community from that of the priest in persona Christi…hopefully there’s middle ground between being a celebrant and a celebrity. 

Also interested in any literature affirming the performance/theatrical aspect of liturgy, which it surely has…especially in cathedral settings.
Your viewpoint welcomed.



1. A preacher should always welcome insights from the laity. These will enhance his preaching. The rubrics for the mass envision that a priest or deacon shares the fruits of his reflections in the homily. It would not be appropriate for the homilist to sandwich his thoughts around those of another speaker, but he could certainly cite insights he has received from other sources. He could also invite reflections and guidance from a lay speaker before mass or during the announcements.

2. The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy from the Second Vatican Council included guidelines for inculturation. We still apply universal principles to the liturgy, but the Vatican may and does approve adjustments at the request of conferences.

3. My idea of having a cantor invite people to introduce themselves to one another pertains to my ministry as pastor of a parish, not pastor of a cathedral. I think that letting people greet one another before the opening hymn can enhance their participation in the entirety of the mass. It’s just my opinion. That’s all.

4. My book Let Us Pray will give some guidelines to priests on presiding well.