Prayer of the Faithful

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: What do you think of the practice of the Prayers of the Faithful being read from the pews, from within the body of the congregation, rather than at the front or the sanctuary ?


A: I treat the location of the petitions in my book, Let Us Pray.

Several paragraphs in the GIRM call for them to be delivered from the ambo or another suitable place, though the introduction to the Lectionary for Mass just mentions the ambo. GIRM 138 says the petitions are announced “while facing the people.”

So, are the pews “a suitable place”? It depends partly on the architecture of the church and the amplification. But the prayers are “of the faithful” not because of the petitions but because of the response: “Lord, hear our prayer,” or “Hear us, Lord,” or whatever it may be. The people in their pews are the ones addressing God. The one listing the petitions is addressing the people. It probably makes more sense if that person faces the people so that the people may pray.