Prayers of the Faithful

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Thank you…I actually found you by a simple Google search, you happen to be the first entry when, “Catholic Liturgical Blog” was typed in. First off I wanna say I’m not particularly, “Liturgically Sensitive”…to be frank, if I was I wouldn’t attend the Novus Ordo, as parish creativity is unfortunately a common phenomenon everywhere…so I can, “roll with the punches”, so to speak.

However, every now and again I will experience something I’ve NEVER run into. 

So, this past Tuesday the reader at my Cathedral, which I rarely attend, after finishing the Reading, did not say the phrase, “The Word of the Lord”. Ok, I figured it was a momentary lapse. Then when it came for the, “Prayers of the Faithful”, the person instead of finishing the prayer with, “We Pray to the Lord”…of course invoking our response in the pews…the person remained silent after each petition. I then realized this was intentional.

So I figured this was likely an unusual choice by that particular reader, but today, went back to the Cathrdral and witnessed the same thing at the, “Prayers of the Faithful”, unusual silence after each petition, by a completely different reader. So this apparantly is a new norm.

So went to the GIRM concerning the “Prayers of the Faithful” and #71 ends with, 

The people, for their part, stand and give expression to their prayer either by an invocation said in common after each intention or by praying in silence.”. 

So does the last part of the sentence give “room” for what they are doing? Because it, as I understand, refers to those in the congregation who choose to remain silent after being invoked with the phrase, “We pray to the Lord”,  which normally has us doing the invoking with the prayer, “LORD hear our Prayer”. Again, I’ve NEVER experienced this. Is it liturgically permissible? If NOT what do I appeal to so there is no question as to the proper liturgical action in this context.

Thank you for your time Father and would appreciate your prayers. God bless.


A: You have found the relative sentence in the general instruction. As it explains, the people may respond to the intercessions with silent prayer. The important thing is that they are praying because it is the prayer “of the faithful.”

On Good Friday, the people respond to each invocation of the solemn intercessions with silent prayer.

Regarding not saying “The Word of the Lord” after the first reading, there is no provision for that. The reader is supposed to say that in every instance. (One exception is after the Exodus reading in the Easter Vigil, which leads directly to the responsorial, even though the lectionary in the US omits that directive.)