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 then invites all to stand and greet one another. The invitation comes from the cantor, not from me.