Opening the Pulpit

2 Responses

  1. Gallibus says:

    Leave the Mass and the homily to the priests and deacons. There is plenty of scope for religious enrichment outside of the Mass which is a holy Sacrifice and not an event for in-depth lecturing and training. Why is there such a reluctance to provide training and adult religious education outside of the Mass in the community? It is no wonder that the Lord complains that His lambs are starved. Are we to be religiously stymied and stuck at primary school level in the same way as most stop learning art in baby school, making most incapable of the most elementary drawing? Proficiency in the subject is a basic requirement for teaching anything or are we to have a new wave of do-it-yourself heretics?

  2. Colleen Sass says:

    During Mass we are celebrating and recognising the incarnation, passion, death, and resurrection of our Lord. We don’t go to Mass just simply to have people get together to sing songs or listen to someone telling us how to be a nicer person and to make the world a better place to live in. As stated by Rev Dwight Longenecker, “[t]he Mass is not just a cheerful fellowship where we all hold hands and try to raise one another’s self-esteem. The Mass is not a political rally in which we are instructed in an ideology to change the world. The Mass is not just a time for catechesis with bread and wine. It is not an RCIA class with hymns.”

    The priest and deacon are standing in persona Christi which should give one a clear understanding of why lay people shouldn’t preach. As stated further by Rev Longenecker, the priest and deacon “represent Christ symbolically and liturgically. One as Christ the priest, the other as Christ the Servant. When the priests and deacons read and preach the gospel therefore, they are exercising not only a teaching function, but a signifying function. They are liturgically incarnating Christ the Teacher and Christ the Servant to the people.”

    So how important is the homily at holy Mass? In the scope of the sacred liturgy as a whole, it’s not terribly important. One doesn’t go to Mass for the homily. If the homily is such a bane to one’s existence, offer your having to endure it up to God.

    The Church is already suffering enough with attempts at protestantizing the Mass. Just because a priest doesn’t have the charisma or “stage presence” to make the homily exciting, do we now have to call for lay people to say the homily? Even the worst of homilies can do little to rob the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass of its transcendent grandeur.

    I, for one, wouldn’t like to have the homilies being given by anyone but my priest or deacon and I see no reason to go against St John Paul’s tightening the ban on lay preaching.