From a reader…
I had to use my territorial novus ordo parish for a valid mass instead of the TLM since I work in emergency medicine and sometimes shift work makes it difficult to get to a TLM or even a moderately well celebrated novus ordo mass.
During mass this evening 5/11/19 Archdiocese of __ the pastor had a lay woman assist with the sprinkling rite (i.e. he did half of the congregation she did the other half).
Additionally after the Gospel he gave a short homily (~3-4 sentences) and then another woman gave a “reflection on the scripture readings”.
Before I get too frustrated, are either of these licit in the novus
ordo (I know they are in poor taste). If illicit, are there any hard
references I can send to my territorial pastor (he was presiding at this mass) in the hopes this is all simply out of liturgical
GUEST PRIEST RESPONSE: Fr. T. Ferguson
Fr. McNamara actually has a pretty thorough and (to my mind) reasonable answer to the question of whether a layperson can assist with the sprinkling rite (http://www.ewtn.com/library/liturgy/zlitur573.htm). He concludes that a deacon (or deacons) might be able to assist the priest, but finds no support for the laity assisting with the rite, even in the case of a priest who is too old or infirm to do it. I would add that since it is an optional rite in the Novus Ordo, except on Easter, if the priest is unable to sprinkle the congregation, logic would dictate that he simply refrain from using the rite.
As to the “reflection” that issue has been treated time and time again. There is simply no excuse for this sort of folderol. Redemptionis Sacramentum 64, 65, 66, and 161 outright exclude the possibility of a lay person preaching, or reflecting, or testifying, or memorializing, or ruminating, or remonstrating, or chewing the fat, or lecturing, or sharing bon mots at the time of the homily or even after the homily. Paragraph 74 raises the notion of a layperson giving some kind of appeal or instruction – preferably outside of Mass, but “for serious reasons” after the Prayer after Communion (it’s hard to imagine what these serious reasons might be), but this appeal or instruction should not in any way shape or form be confused with a homily.