Catholic Herald: Bishop urges priests to drop the Hail Mary after Prayers of the Faithful during Masses

In this week’s digital or paper, full edition of the UK’s best Catholic weekly, The Catholic Herald (subscribe) a story caught my eye.

Bishop urges priests to drop the Hail Mary from Masses

That is to say, Bp. Kieran Conry of the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton (where I have several priest friends including the great p.p. of St. Mary Magdalen) thinks that there should not be a “Haly Mary” after the prayers of the faithful or bidding prayers during Mass on the basis that the Roman Rite does not envisage the inclusion of devotional prayers like that. Also, it seems that the Holy See wrote to the Bishops of England and Wales to discourage gently the widespread practice. It isn’t widespread in the USA, however.

At my home parish in Minnesota we had either a “Hail Mary” after the intercessions or sometimes the Prayer to St. Michael. The man who formed and ran and really gave the style to the liturgical worship there was (and is, for he lives still as a nonagenarian) an Englishman, a permanent deacon to boot, who had been in the Westminster Cathderal school and was part of the army of boys who served there. He also received a charter from the Archdiocese of Westminster for the first group of the Archconfraternity of St. Stephen outside of England. The liturgical style was that of Westminster of the 1930’s. Very smooth. Precise without being too rushed, rigid or angular (which I detest). Anyway, I am sure the “Hail Mary” after the prayers of the faithful was brought in by this fine MC.

I note also in The Catholic Herald that there is an editorial on the topic and on Bp. Conry’s remarks.

“… This strikes us as sad – for what is being discouraged is a tradition that has been observed in England, known as “Mary’s dowry”, since medieval times. The absence of this venerable prayer will not enrich the Mass in any way; it will, however, distress Catholics who have been saying it at Mass every Sunday of their lives. Surely there are enough genuine liturgical abuses to address that the bishop need not worry about the persistence of this hallowed and much-loved practice.”

Let’s have a poll.

Choose your best answer and give your reasons in the combox, below. Anyone can vote but only registered participants can comment.

A "Hail Mary" (or St. Michael Prayer, etc.) after Prayers of the Faithful.

View Results

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  1. Jael says:

    I said “No, we do it here and I don’t like it.”
    We have a new priest who, upon arrival, added a Hail Mary after the sermon each week, with no explanation why. It seemed to me he was adding something to the liturgy, which is forbidden. The Hail Mary is not an official part of Mass. So, why put it in there? It freaks people out. Besides, they say 50 Hail Marys before Mass. People can get their Hail Mary fix then.

  2. Father K says:

    ‘…for what is being discouraged is a tradition that has been observed in England, known as “Mary’s dowry”, since medieval times.’

    I don’t see how that can be the case for there were no ‘bidding prayers’ or ‘prayers of the faithful ‘ until the liturgical reforms after Vatican II. Perhaps they are getting confused with the prayers after Low Mass?

    I have attended Mass where this takes place and it always grates – the “Hail Mary’ is not included in the editio typica of the Roman Missal and it has no place in the bidding prayers as the Hail Mary is not a ‘bidding prayer.’ The Prayer to St Michael would be even worse at this part of the liturgy. I have never heard it done in Australia and I hope I never do.

  3. Legisperitus says:

    Since this is an occasion where the Missal is essentially turned aside from, and thus to some extent an “intermission” in the liturgical text, I don’t see any harm in adding a traditional devotional prayer of the Church…. especially compared to the odd notions of “social justice” that some on the fringes may use for bidding prayers.

  4. traditionalorganist says:

    I said I’m for it (as though democracy really ought to have an effect on the liturgy). My reasoning was that, if I DID have the right to make such a decision, I would choose it as a good, pious practice, especially today in a church where educating the faithful in traditional Catholic prayers is so lacking. Of course, I would much prefer to have the Leonine prayers after Mass. I’d take them any day.

  5. ContraMundum says:

    I think it would be better to just say 5 decades of the Rosary either before or after Mass. That’s the closest I’ve seen to this practice.

    On the other hand, I’m not hugely fond of the intercessions, either. I’ve heard some pretty dodgy prayer requests. I’d prefer to see the Great Litany from the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom used; it covers everything people should be praying for anyhow. I think this could actually be done; “Lord have mercy” is even an approved response for the Ordinary Form.

  6. disc.s.thom says:

    I vote a strong “No!” and hope it doesn’t happen, because I’d rather get rid of the petitions entirely. There are many astute people who have commented on the “general intercessions” and criticized them. Perhaps too often they tend not to be very general. At times, they seem to push agendas. And they’re open to so much variation, which the Latin rite seems to want to veer away from.

    Perhaps if we had specified intentions proposed and implemented by the Holy See I might find that to be more acceptable. (Perhaps we could just say the Preces every time!) Otherwise, just get rid of them altogether!

    Insofar as saying a Hail Mary or St. Michael prayer afterwards goes, I don’t mind it since the whole thing is something of a novelty.

  7. jrpascucci says:

    Surely there are enough genuine liturgical abuses to address that the bishop need not worry about the persistence of this hallowed and much-loved practice.

    This seems like one of those ‘organic changes’ to the liturgy we keep hearing about that in no way does violence to the original.

    Unlike, say, the ritual reading of the parish Bulletin during the homily or after Holy Communion, which, if it did manage to make it into the liturgy, I always envision one day starting with Lectio Epistolae consilium paroeciale ad piger populi ending with a chanted Ite, Acta paroeciae est and a rather exasperated Deo gratias in the volvens oculos posture, as a response.

  8. Reginald Pole says:

    “I don’t see how that can be the case for there were no ‘bidding prayers’ or ‘prayers of the faithful ‘ until the liturgical reforms after Vatican II. Perhaps they are getting confused with the prayers after Low Mass?”

    The ‘bidding prayer’ was part of the Sarum rite.

  9. ShadesFSC says:

    I voted that I was indifferent and I am.

    I can see it being a pleasant addition to the Mass albeit an unnecessary one. The Mass, offered according to the rubrics and reverently, is already perfect and requires no addition. However, where the rubrics allow for a bit of extemproaneity (I dont think thats a real word) I do not feel that it is actually illicit.

  10. Jason Brown says:

    I am indifferent. I attend the Ordinary Form most of the time and the Extraordinary Form occasionally (thanks to the fantastic young JESUIT priest who says a weekly EF Mass in Winnipeg).

    I am unfamiliar with this (apparently) old English tradition, so I am speaking in general.
    Adding a Hail Mary after the general intercessions (I don’t know what the “bidding prayers” are) strikes me as pious but inappropriate. Adding a Hail Mary or St. Michael prayer at any point during the Mass, except during invocations of the Saints, seems to me inappropriate and out of place.

    I can’t back this up with a strong grounding in liturgy or the theology of the Mass. It just doesn’t seem fit to me. In the Mass we are worshiping the Blessed Trinity and receiving the great grace of the the Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. We are worshiping WITH the Saints, so why would we throw in prayers to the Saints at the same time? We turn to the Saints in order to turn more fully towards God, right? Well, at Mass we’re already turned towards God, so turning to the Saints seems like a step down.

    I wish I knew more and could have a clearer grasp of what’s involved. It seems my grasp of Catholic theology of the Communion of the Saints is a bit lacking and may be somewhat obscured by Protestant ideas.

    That said, at the Extraordinary Form I attend sometimes our priest leads us in praying a set of prayers after Mass, which include Hail Marys, Hail Holy Queen, prayers to the Sacred Heart, and the St. Michael prayer. Immediately following Mass strikes me as the perfect time to pray these devotionals. Right before would be fine too.

  11. dnicoll says:

    I said indifferent, but that is not quite there for me. I like the prayer and frequently use it, and see that it arguably has a place with the bidding prayers. But I am also a firm believer in submission to the Holy See, and if they encourage or discourage something, then I should take note unless I have a jolly good reason.

  12. HyacinthClare says:

    None of the above… I attend an EF and after low mass, we have three Hail Marys like the “olden days” with the other prayers. But I’m not “indifferent”. I think it sounds lovely. I agree with some above that the Prayers of the Faithful can turn into the liberal-indoctrination-of-the-attentive, and I’ve seen it done. But unless someone starts fiddling with the words, there’s no way to mess up a Hail Mary and that is certainly a “Prayer of the Faithful”.

    Speaking of changing words, Father, how about a poll on “Blessed art thou among women” as opposed to “Blessed are you among women”?

  13. lydia says:

    Growing up in the Catholic Church in the mid fifties and early sixties Mass was ended with a Hail Holy Queen and the prayer to St. Michael. I’d like to see that added after any form of Mass as we can really use all the help we can get.

  14. David says:

    We had, for a time, Father Robert Conroy M.C. at our parish in the Kansas City area. As soon as he started saying mass, he began to ask for the intercession of Mary after the general intercessions and lead the parish in saying one Hail Mary. I found it to be a wonderful practice and in the spirit of the general intercessions, that is, they are (somewhat) impromptu prayers. I see no harm in it even though, as pointed out, the Missal does not call for this prayer. In that sense, I suppose it is an “abuse”, albeit an extremely minor one.

    There are far graver abuses occurring every day. I pray for the day when a Hail Mary is as bad as it gets!

  15. Indifferent. However, if the claim that it is a tradition from Medieval times then it should be considered a rubric since it is a practice that has existed over 200 years.

    And, yes, I’m aware that the place it is currently placed in the Ordinary Form is different than it would be in the Extraordinary Form. But, that’s not the point.

    Sometimes there is Black and Red text written in invisible ink. And, that’s okay.

  16. HoyaGirl says:

    My answer isn’t there. We say the Prayer of St. Michael after the dismissal at the end of every Mass, and at least two of our priests add a Hail Mary at the end of that prayer. Our children and I add the Hail Mary on our own when we have the priests who only say the St. Michael prayer. I love having these traditional prayers at the end of Mass! There have been a few times when we have said a Hail Mary immediately following the Prayers of the Faithful, but they usually coincide with Marian feast days or with intentions ~ like life issues ~ for which we deeply desire the Blessed Mother’s intercession.

  17. akp1 says:

    I found this interesting because in my Diocese we have always said it; until recently in my Parish because of a change of priest. The current one who is supplying each Sunday was trained in Rome and is great, he does everything well and properly (including not saying Good Morning! so inappropriate but another subject). He does not put the Hail Mary after the Bidding Prayers. I always thought it was a lovely way to end the prayers through Our Lady, but if it has been discouraged that’s good enough for me. I read somewhere that England had an indult to add the Hail Mary at the end of the Bidding Prayers, but I don’t know if that was correct or not. I haven’t actually voted because none of the options fit my choice – I’d agree with dnicol above – certainly not indifferent, but prefer Mass to be celebrated correctly as it should be universally.

  18. Stu says:

    I attend an EF parish.

    We say a Hail Mary with the priest right before the sermon to ask for grace to receive his instruction properly.

  19. MyBrokenFiat says:

    “We say a Hail Mary with the priest right before the sermon to ask for grace to receive his instruction properly.”

    @ Stu – I think that’s a lovely practice. I know when I’m seated in the pews and I hear a priest begin grasping for straws, I immediately call on Our Lady and the Holy Spirit to help guide his homily along.


    As for the poll, I think the practice is nice and wouldn't mind seeing it where I am, however, I love Contramundum's idea on the Great Litany. That's just brilliant. Ha ha.

  20. Andrew says:

    Mine is a “don’t like it” vote.

    a) It does not fit the “petitions” format
    b) It is not in the rubrics
    c) It requires a priest who treats the liturgy as his own private domain
    d) It is a vernacular feature non-existent in the editio typica.

  21. jbas says:

    The rubrics only say that the priest concludes the bidding prayers with a prayer (GIRM 71), without prescribing a particular prayer. The deacon speaks to the congregation in announcing each petition, and then the congregation sings to God in response to each one, so it does not seem offensive for the priest to say something to the Blessed Mother at the end, especially if this is an immemorial custom.

  22. (X)MCCLXIII says:

    I am an Englishman who these days is almost always able to fulfil his obligation at mass in the traditional form, but who, before Summorum Pontificum, often, even normally, assisted at ordinary form masses where bidding prayers were read.

    In my experience the Hail Mary was always said after the bidding prayers. (Perhaps I should say “almost always”, but I can’t remember any exceptions in several decades and I’m sure I should remember if there had been any.) My understanding was that this apparent anomaly was because of the particular devotion to Our Lady in what was once widely known as her Dower, and, even, the result of some petition to Rome. My understanding was based on little, is anything, more than hearsay, but I suppose it might be of interest to Americans to hear the experience of an Englishman in this regard.

    I bought a copy of the Catholic Herald last Sunday, largely on the strength of this front page article. It seemed to me – immediately – that there were two things wrong:
    (1) That Bp. Conry was fussing about this issue at all.
    (2) That his concerns are apparently addressed to “those [laymen] who prepare the bidding prayers”.
    Of course, bidding prayers are made up ad hoc, and are surely a suitable topic for episcopal correction , but this? Why?

  23. I voted “indifferent.”

    This is not a battle I’d have chosen to fight, at least until others had been well managed. That said, I think the argument against it is right. The intercessions are supposed to be formulaic, yet in practice they end up being rather free-form; which may be a reason for a new rubric about the petitions, or else their suppression. But this is not a reason to take things another step in that direction.

    I confess I have done this, although not in awhile. The way this happens, I think, is precisely because the priest is able to extemporate the introduction and conclusion to these prayers. But I am less and less inclined all the time to that sort of thing.

    Were I persuaded this needs fixing, then I think I would propose a gentler approach, such as suggesting any of the following as options: moving the Hail Mary to the end of Mass; reciting the Rosary before or after Mass; reciting a Hail Holy Queen or a Memorare after the conclusion of Mass; make an effort to include Marian hymns at the conclusion of Mass throughout the year.

  24. Ben Trovato says:

    I live in the UK where this has been the practice for decades. Whilst not a fan of the Prayer of the Faithful in the current form (I think the more formal Good Friday prayers would be better) I voted that we have it (at my local OF Parish – not at the EF, of course) and I like it – because I do. I have blogged on this if anyone is interested in why…

  25. AnAmericanMother says:

    One of our priests has the same practice as David’s priest – to wind up the intercessions with an appeal to the Blessed Virgin and one Hail Mary.
    I rather like it, and it certainly is better than some of the oddball intercessions – that DO seem from time to time to push an agenda.
    If I were king (as my dear old dad says), I would revert to the standard form of the old Book of Common Prayer, “for the whole state of Christ’s Church”, to-wit:

    ALMIGHTY and everliving God, who by thy holy Apostle hast taught us to make prayers, and supplications, and to give thanks for all men; We humbly beseech thee most mercifully to accept our alms and oblations, and to receive these our prayers, which we offer unto thy Divine Majesty; beseeching thee to inspire continually the Universal Church with the spirit of truth, unity, and concord:
    And grant that all those who do confess thy holy Name may agree in the truth of thy holy Word, and live in unity and godly love.
    We beseech thee also, so to direct and dispose the hearts of all Christian Rulers, that they may truly and impartially administer justice, to the punishment of wickedness and vice, and to the maintenance of thy true religion, and virtue.
    Give grace, O heavenly Father, to all Bishops and other Ministers, that they may, both by their life and doctrine, set forth thy true and lively Word, and rightly and duly administer thy holy Sacraments.
    And to all thy People give thy heavenly grace; and especially to this congregation here present; that, with meek heart and due reverence, they may hear, and receive thy holy Word; truly serving thee in holiness and righteousness all the days of their life.
    And we most humbly beseech thee, of thy goodness, O Lord, to comfort and succour all those who, in this transitory life, are in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity.
    And we also bless thy holy Name for all thy servants departed this life in thy faith and fear; beseeching thee to grant them continual growth in thy love and service, and to give us grace so to follow their good examples, that with them we may be partakers of thy heavenly kingdom.
    Grant this, O Father, for Jesus Christ’s sake, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen.

    May need a little tweaking here and there, but it’s better than the semi-ad-lib production that we hear on any given Sunday.

  26. APX says:

    I voted in the negative for this practice. How many people here gripe about priests who don’t “say the black and do the red”? I think this holds true for both whacked out things and more traditional things that weren’t placed in the Mass. Personally, I think the prayers that are said at the end of low mass should be recited by the priest and congregation at the end of the OF. Such would also get people into the habit of praying after Mass, rather than be shoo’d out by the deacon because such and such is happening right away after Mass.

  27. Peggy R says:

    Mary is the patroness of our parish, so on her feast days the pastor adds the Hail Mary. I don’t see it as a problem or offense. But yes, if we really want to get back to tradition, the OF, HM, St Michael should rather follow the mass…

  28. jbas says:

    The whole point of the Bidding Prayers is that the priest and deacon lead the faithful in praying for each other to God. The Hail Mary is simply a more perfect form of the Bidding Prayers, in which we ask her to prayer for us to God.

  29. Lori Pieper says:

    When I voted, I put “indifferent,” which in this case meant “I can’t make up my mind.” But after reading the comments, particularly about the ancient use of the bidding prayer in the Sarum missal / rite, I am more for inclusion, since I am all for keeping the traditions of all ancient rites and liturgies. (It also goes to show how old the intercessory Prayers of the Faithful really are). Not sure why Rome wants to discourage the practice in this case, possibly because England isn’t really using the Sarum rite anymore? (I’m quite ignorant about the details here, though I know Milan has kept the Ambrosian rite)

  30. Papabile says:

    I am 100% sure that somewhere in Documents on the Liturgy (DOL) one can find a reference to what I believe was dubium published in Notitiae in the 1970’s.

    It specifically forbid the insertion of the Ave during the Bidding Prayers.

    I will see if I can dig it up tonight, if I have the time.

    Of course, these things usually only bind those that they are addressed to, and it would seem in England, at least, that there is a custom which would most likely bind.

  31. TKMP says:


    Any time anyone wants to add anything to the Mass: whether it is a Hail Mary after the petitions OR dancing with incense on our heads I have the some comment: Say the Black, Do the red. If it is NOT in the black, I will not say it and it if it is not in the red, I will not do it.

    If we are going to be consistent, we must do this for everything or it all becomes: What I WANT!


  32. ppb says:

    How about praying the Angelus immediately before or after Mass?

  33. Ella Minnow says:

    I did not vote in the poll because I didn’t see an option that fit my opinions. I’m with Lydia and Hoyagirl. Having A Hail Mary, A Saint Michael, or other prayers at the end of Mass would be ideal. I like ending Mass with prayer so much more than ending with announcements…

  34. Supertradmum says:

    I support Bishop Conry on this point for reasons listed on my blog a few days ago. I am against regional and national differences in the Mass. It is the Universal Mass and we should avoid differences.

  35. Tantum Ergo says:

    We have a bit of a problem at the morning Mass. There has been a somewhat spontanious recital of the St. Michael’s Prayer by the whole congregation right after the recessional hymn. We have a wonderful priest, but he said something that indicates that he’s not very happy that this is being done by the laity, without him being involved. No one intended to offend him, so I’m hoping he will consider leading the prayer.

  36. Alice says:

    We recently started doing the St. Michael prayer for the freedom of the Catholic Church in America at the request of our bishop. Occasionally the priest will lead us in a Hail Mary at the end of the Prayer of the Faithful instead of doing a closing prayer if he feels it’s appropriate or didn’t have time to compose something else. Personally, I prefer the Hail Mary unless the priest has really thought out his prayer. If Rome doesn’t like that, perhaps we could do away with the free-form Prayers of the Faithful and have something similar to the Great Litany instead.

  37. Supertradmum says:

    Tantum Ergo, that is one of my points. When will the laity stop thinking the liturgy belongs to each individual group instead of the universal Church?

  38. LauraK says:

    I like when a congregation prays to St. Michael the Archangel after mass, just as I love it when the congregation says a rosary before mass, but as long as a priest is asking, I’ll admit I’d rather they be distinct from the mass itself.

  39. I voted indifferent, I’d prefer the prayers be axed…or take the form of the Great Litany as previously mentioned.

  40. anilwang says:

    I voted “Yes, I am for it! I wish we did it where I am.” but I’m actually indifferent about whether it is adopted locally.

    Since its taking place during general intercession, it *is* the appropriate place for the Hail Mary or prayer to any other patron saint or angel, and its certainly more appropriate than praying for politicians to support “tolerance, social and environmental justice and an end to global warming and an exploding population” at every general intercession.

    But I do think its a local practice. If it has been the practice since before Vatican II, why should it be removed? It is part of a legitimate diversity that existed since the start of the Church. OTOH, if a new priest wants to impose it or prayers to his patron saint, I’d be against it, especially if it replaces the local intercession.

  41. “Entirely indifferent and I attend the Extraordinary Form or other Rite that doesn’t have them.”

    I appreciate the good intentions in praying the Hail Mary at this point in the Mass, but I have to second the bullet points raised by Andrew. It is simply not called for in the rubrics, and (believe it or not) it presumes the prerogative to employ novelty. The fact that it introduces an essentially devotional practice into a liturgical setting probably explains why the concern originated with the Holy See.

    And for those who cite the Leonine Prayers as precedent, those were said after, not at, the end of the traditional Low Mass.

  42. Maxiemom says:

    After merging with another parish and getting a new pastor, he added the Hail Mary to the Intercession list. I remembered reading that extraneous prayers didn’t belong in the mass. My parent’s parish however, St. Mary of the Assumption, prays the Hail Mary before the processional. I always thought that it was a more appropriate place for it.

  43. asperges says:

    I am not sure readers from outside the UK are entirely sure of what we are talking about here or where the Hail Mary is placed.

    Personally I don’t like the bidding prayers, and at the EF Masses I attend, they do not exist. Traditionally the Collect is the proper place for collected prayer. The Sarum rite I believe however had something akin to the Bidding Prayers also.

    In the OF in the UK since the 70s, the Hail Mary has been the rallying point after what often comes to be a collection of banal and trivial issues often made up by the parish. The petitions are supposed to based on the gospel but rarely are. The usual introduction to the Hail Mary at the end o tem is “let us commend all our petitions to Our Blessed Mother” or similar; so far from being anti-liturgical, within the new framework of the Novus Ordo, it is quite consistent and Catholic in feel.

    One would have though Bp Conry has better things to worry about. He appeared to criticise people who went to Confession ‘too often’ some years ago and seems to say some odd things from time to time. He is reported as not considering Summorum Pontificum was ‘significant.’ Perhaps this is his latest hobby-horse. There are better things to worry about.

  44. chantgirl says:

    Always obedience. The EF does not have any Hail Mary prayer during the Mass, but the saints including the Blessed Virgin are invoked during the prayers of the Mass. I don’t see any problem praying a Hail Mary or other traditional prayer during a homily since the homily is technically outside the ritual of the Mass (the way I understand it). Honestly, though, I agree with the question as to why this is so high up on the list of priorities when we have priests blessing pets and stuffed animals (my son’s former Catholic school), and when we have members of the laity invited to extend their hands in blessing over catechumens and extraordinary ministers laying hands on children to bless them when they come up at Communion. Also, whenever I hear people say that they are acting on instructions from the “Holy See” or the “Vatican”, I am always curious to see the actual documents and their contents (including who signed them!) because those terms are thrown around pretty loosely these days. If the Magisterium instructed us to say the prayer during Mass, I would have no problem with saying it, and I also don’t have a problem waiting until after Mass to say it. Perhaps someone is afraid that we would give Protestants reason to believe we worship Mary by saying a prayer to her during Mass? I am not qualified to speak about local traditions being incorporated into liturgy, but watching this whole SSPX story evolve, I would rather stay on the safe side and be obedient even if it meant giving up something that might be praiseworthy in itself.

  45. APX says:

    @Tantum Ergo
    If it’s after the recessional hymn. Then it’s happening after Mass. I don’t see the issue.

  46. eulogos says:

    I checked “entirely indifferent, attend other rite” (Byzantine). It was the only “other rite” option.

    However, one of the “worship sites” in my territorial parish does do this. I always squirmed a bit, knowing it was an addition and wondering if it were allowed. On the other hand, this is a very liberal parish where one can find true abuses. I thought there were many other things to be addressed first, and that it really couldn’t hurt the people to say a Hail Mary. The spirit of addition, personalization and innovation is already in force when you have concocted “Prayers of the People.” One never knows what one is going to be asked to pray for. For the success of the Campaign for Human Development. For our DRE’s trip to the Los Angeles Religious Education Conference. For the Oppressed and Marginalized in our society. That we all will be accepting of human diversity. (Hint: Accept Human Diversity is written on a rainbow flag.) After all of that, a Hail Mary is really a relief. But what is wrong with a standard and all inclusive set of petitions said at every mass? For the peace of the whole world and the good estate of all the holy Churches, let us pray to the Lord. For this holy church and all those who with faith, reverence and fear of God enter therein. And so on. Let us not be creative. Let us not add anything.

    Susan Peterson

  47. Michelle F says:

    I voted “Yes, I’m for it! I wish we did it where I am.”

    I know of only one priest who says the Hail Mary during Mass. He makes it the last prayer of the Prayer of the Faithful/Bidding Prayers, said BEFORE he says the “…through Christ our Lord” and “Amen.”

    Considering its placement, it seems to me that the Hail Mary said by this priest counts as one of the “Prayers of the Faithful.” Therefore, it cannot be considered an addition to the ritual. The practice is no different from the practice of another priest I know, who says a prayer for the end of abortion as the last prayer of the “Prayer of the Faithful.”

    I think people who object to saying the Hail Mary (or the Prayer to St. Michael) during Mass as a Prayer of the Faithful are doing so because it is a formulaic prayer instead of one that is 100% ad-libbed. As far as I know the section of the Mass set aside for the Prayers of the Faithful is one of the few places wherein ad-libbing is permitted. I don’t see how it can be a problem if one of the ad-libbed prayers just happens to be a formulaic prayer.

    Also, I don’t see any problem with a priest ending every sermon with a Hail Mary, or any other genuinely Catholic prayer. The priest can say pretty much whatever he wants as part of his sermon (theoretically) so long as he addresses the day’s readings.

    Having said all of that, what I would REALLY like to see is a priest leading a Rosary before Mass, or after Mass (processing out and then returning so people know that what he is doing is not part of the Mass), or offering Adoration and Benediction after Mass, or any good old-fashioned Catholic devotion!

  48. wmeyer says:

    I did not vote. I find the differences parish to parish (in one diocese) appalling. First, let’s follow the Missal, without adornments. The intercessions are possibly the last refuge of the ad libbers, being the place where they can foster their “social justice” side-stepping of the Church teaching.

    With Mass in the vernacular, national differences will persist. However, the Mass should be standard within the domain of a particular Missal.

  49. mamajen says:

    At my church a tradition was begun at some point to say three Hail Mary’s after the closing hymn. Everyone would kneel, and the priest would lead the prayers from the back of the church. This proved a little bit confusing to people visiting the parish (since it wasn’t announced that it would be done), and so the priest started saying them after the final blessing but prior to the closing hymn.

    This church used to have a liberal reputation with large numbers of parishioners skipping out after receiving communion, so I was very pleased to see this development when I started attending.

  50. Papabile says:

    @Tantum Ergo

    If recitation of the prayer happens after the recessional, it’s a private devotion, and I don’t see why Father should have any problem with it whatsoever. There is no prohibition on oral prayers in a Church without the Priest/Pastor.

  51. PaterAugustinus says:

    @ Father K, above, who said: “I don’t see how that can be the case for there were no ‘bidding prayers’ or ‘prayers of the faithful ‘ until the liturgical reforms after Vatican II.”

    The bidding prayers are an ancient custom which fell into desuetude, and which have apparently been resurrected post Vatican II. The bidding prayers were done in the Middle Ages; the Sarum cathedral use had them done during the procession before Mass, though the usual parish practice seems to have been to do them after the Creed, before the Offerenda. In fact, the “oremus” which precedes the offerenda, without any following collect, is thought by many to be an hold-over from the time when the bidding prayers immediately followed.

    All that said, I’ve never seen any recension of the bidding prayers, that included an Hail Mary. The Bidding Prayers, though usually done in the vernacular, were still more or less liturgically formal, being more like a litany. It would be more liturgically sensible, to include a commemoration of the Virgin in the bidding prayers, rather than an Hail Mary afterwards. Often, in fact, the Procession and Bidding Prayers ended in just this way. Sometimes pious Roman Catholics think that “doing more” is always more pious, and that “taking the Hail Mary away” could only be the act of a modernist ogre. In reality, if it is an innovation conducted in poor taste, you’re not doing the Virgin any favours. Commemorate the All-Pure Mother of God in a decorous way.

  52. AnnAsher says:

    I voted “no I’m against it and I hope they never do it where I am”.
    Do the Leonine Prayers after Mass instead. There’s more of them!
    As unreconstructed ossified manualists, I think, we must recognize the Hail Mary is not part of the Liturgy of the Mass.

  53. Yes, I am for it! We do it where I am and I like it.

  54. jilly4ski says:

    I voted indifferent/attend OF. But I am really not completely indifferent, if we got a new priest (which we are in a few weeks) and he introduced this, I would potentially be a bit miffed. However, after the intercessions seems like an appropriate place in the Mass. But I would prefer if it happened before or after. At my current parish, the entire congregation kneels after the priest has processed out and prays (silently). According to my husband who grew up in this parish, they pray an Our Father, Hail Mary, and a Glory Be. I like to say a Saint Micheal and Hail Holy Queen (if I have time) instead. I find this to be a nice devotional practice (and ensures that the Church is quiet and silent for a little bit after Mass).

    At the parish I grew up in, we had some visiting priests for a stint, while our pastor was either on sabbatical or doing retreats/conferences. One priest always said a prayer to the Holy spirit before his homily, so he would be guided to preach worthily. If I remember correctly it was, “Come Holy Spirit, come by the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.” and would repeat that three times.

  55. Bryan Boyle says:

    Wow…being an ossified traditionalist who normally would feel like he died and was in paradise if he ever attended an OF that strictly adhered to the rubrics…when compared to the broadway show tunes, ad-libbed collects and dismissals, politically-correct Prayers of the Faithful, call for applause for the choir before the dismissal (as well as ‘spontaneous’ applause after the recessional), the ‘orans’ or hand-holding during the Pater Noster, communion in the hand, legions of EMHCs…saying a simple devotional prayer to Our Lady, the Mother of the Church, the vessel through which the Father sent His Son, who stood at the foot of His cross seems to be a pretty minor affront on “Saying the Black, Doing the Red” meme. At least it’s directed to someone we know enjoys the Beatific Vision, rather than the guy or gal sitting next to you.

    Alternatively, bring back the Leonine Prayers. Especially the St. Michael. I know one parish which does so as a spontaneous expression after mass. Of course, you can hear Fr. from the back…

  56. eulogos says:

    American Mother, I was thinking of using that prayer as one example, along with the litany of petitions in the Liturgy of St. John C, but was not sure it would be well received here. I always hear it in the voice of the priest who baptized me.

    Just a little note….it used to be “truly and indifferently administer justice” -was changed to impartially because indifferently (ie making no difference between one fellow and another, just as impartially means not taking the part of one or the other ) started to mean uncaringly, carelessly. I think the 28 still had indifferently.

    You should also note that there is a bit of waffling about praying for the dead in this prayer. ” And we also bless thy holy Name for all thy servants departed this life in thy faith and fear; beseeching thee to grant them continual growth in thy love and service, and to give us grace so to follow their good examples, that with them we may be partakers of thy heavenly kingdom.” This prayer is part of the Anglican Use Mass, so you can say it as a Catholic, with a Catholic interpretation meant, but it is clearly written so as to give space for a Protestant interpretation as well.
    I also wonder about “our only Mediator and Advocate.” Certainly Christ’s mediator-ship is absolutely unique, but was this meant by Cranmer to exclude the intercession of the saints, or the special advocacy of Our Lady? I fear so.

    But we are at one on a fixed set of petitions which is part of the liturgy, not extra liturgical. I hadn’t even read your comment when I wrote mine.
    Susan Peterson

  57. AnnAsher says:

    Id like to add (in response to a post that mentions the GIRM) that if the priest wanted to use Hail Mary to conclude the intercessions then he alone should be the reciter.

  58. PaterAugustinus says:

    I noticed that some commentators either thought that there were no bidding prayers in the olden days, or expressed frustration with the agenda-driven nature of modern bidding prayers. Here is an example of bidding prayers as found in some Sarum manuscripts. If the post-VII bidding prayers are as malleable and make-up-able as they seem to be, then there should be no problem getting faithful priests to use these texts ad libitum. They pray very generally for the needs of the people, in a way that would not ruffle anybody’s orthodox sensibilities.

    When the procession has ended (or, just after the sprinkling of holy water, or just before Mass begins), the priest and deacon face the people. The priest sings the prayers, for the most part, though the deacon intones the names inserted for commemoration (listed as N. N.). The prayers are informal, vernacular prayers, and so a server may substitute for the deacon if need be. Or the priest can do it all himself.

    Let us pray the mercy of the Lord, dearly
    beloved brethren, for our brothers and
    sisters from East to West, N.N., that each one
    of them might also pray for us in diverse places,
    + through Christ our Lord.
    R. Amen.

    Let us pray also for the unity of the churches,
    for the sick, N.N., for the frail, for
    prisoners, for penitents, for labourers, for
    sailors, for travellers, N.N., for those that give
    alms, for the spirits of the departed, and for
    those not receiving Communion, that the Lord
    grant them to do worthy penance, + through
    Christ our Lord.
    R. Amen.

    Let us pray the mercy of the Lord also for the
    spirits of our loved ones who are fallen
    asleep, N.N., that the Lord may be pleased to
    give them peaceful refreshment, and translate
    them to a place of rest and refreshment, by the
    intercession of His saints, + through Christ our
    R. Amen.

    Lord Jesus Christ, we offer Thee this prayer
    from the rising of the sun unto the setting
    thereof, from the right hand unto the left, to
    the honour and glory of the divine and human
    natures of Christ; to the honour and glory of the Blessed
    Virgin Mary; to the honour and glory of all
    the heavenly ranks, of Michael and Gabriel the
    archangels; to the honour and glory of the patriarchs,
    prophets, apostles, and martyrs, for all
    virgins; for believers, for penitents, for all that
    are married; for those not exceeding good, for
    those not exceeding evil; for all deserving our
    prayer and supplication, + through the same
    Christ our Lord.
    R. Amen.

    The priest, deacon and servers now enter the chancel, as the antiphon from the processionale is sung. In the chancel, the priest begins the versicle, the people give the responsory, and the priest intones the collect. If they do not commemorate the Virgin (as they often did in the Sarum Use), a commemoration of the Virgin can conclude the bidding prayers before the entrance into the chancel. Once in the chancel, though, the priest changes his cope for his chasuble and begins his customary prayers with the servers as the choir sings the Introit, Kyrie, Gloria, etc.

    I don’t know much about modern Roman liturgy, so I don’t know how well that aligns with modern practice. But there it is, FWIW…

  59. jflare says:

    Um, I didn’t actually vote, because I couldn’t decide which choice to use.
    In my parish, we’ve been offering the Prayer to St Michael immediately in the wake if the dismissal from Mass, but before the priest and servers process out.
    That wasn’t an option, so I felt it wise to abstain.

  60. jflare says:

    Whoops! That should be “in the wake OF the dismissal..”
    My goof.

  61. Pastor in Valle says:

    I must declare an interest straight away: Bishop Conry is my Bishop, and therefore my superior. I have to respectfully observe, however, that in this case he has been badly advised. The permission to use the Hail Mary as part of the prayers of the faithful (often known in England as the Bidding Prayers, a touching of the forelock to our pre-Reformation tradition) was sought by Cardinal Heenan from Rome and granted more than forty years ago, in fact it was already a feature before the publication of the Missa Normativa in 1969. This means that, since it has been observed in England throughout this period, it counts canonically as ‘immemorial custom’, and therefore enjoys the favour of the law. In England at least, it may not legally be forbidden.

  62. Phil_NL says:

    A ‘no’ from me. I can understand leaving the practice alone is it is indeed going back to medieval times, but only where that truely is the case. If not, it’s just the umpteenth addition to the Mass, which is uncalled for. From there, it’s but a small step to ad libbing some extra stuff here and there, and before you know, every time ‘sin’ is mentioned, it’s replaced by ‘sins, failures, oversights and shortfalls’. Those are all alike, right? (sadly, I hear this during Mass every now and then. And I’m afraid that priest would be deaf even to a ‘say the black, do the red’ coffee mug. He’s even promoted to regional superior of his order now… I pray he’s up for the task)

    Moreover, I prefer the mass focussed on the Lord and his Sacrifice. I’m sure He won’t begrudge his blessed Mother some attention, but I think it muddies the waters too much for the faithful, who often already have a poor appreciation of what’s actually happening during Mass.

    There’s room for a nearly infinite Hail Mary’s after Mass, let them be said then if desired.

  63. Malvenu says:

    I answered, “Yes, I am for it! We do it where I am and I like it.”

    The questionable nature of the intercessions has already been mentioned and, more than once, I have wondered whether I should be qualifying a pray with, ‘Hear our prayer!’

    After, “Good morning” from the priest, a veritable din before and immediately after Mass (i think some people think the ringing of the bell (before) is to signify that they should shut up), folky-guitar musics in place of hymns and liturgy (Gloria in Excelsis, Agnus Dei, Sanctus, etc.) that is sometimes woefully, woefully out of tune – even during communion, EMHCs, one priest combining the two prayers that begin, ‘Blessed are you above all creation…’ at the consecration (?) of the bread and wine, into one prayer – presumably to save time, and other such regular abuses – I even witnessed a parishioner removing the Blessed Sacrament from the monstrance after Adoration to replace it in the Tabernacle (i’m not well versed in rubics or whatever but i’m sure this has to be an abuse – certainly i would not dream of doing such a thing – undoubtedly fallout from the granting of communion in the hand).

    After all these abuses – that even I can recognise as such – I regard the Hail Mary, at the very least, as transcending the Bidding Prayers above the personalised dross that we sometimes are expected to acquiesce with.

    As a convert I also see the presence of the Hail Mary within the Mass as something objectively Catholic alongside the above abuses and things such as the ‘Peace be with you’ handshake that are decidedly Protestant. In this regard i see Bishop Conry’s request as unnecessary, given the existence of other more worthy targets and regrettable in that the presence of the Hail Mary in some Churches would at least reassure the faithful that they are in the right Church!!!

    However, given the choice of the Hail Mary being the “least of the abuses” or a Mass where the rubrics were perfectly observed by the priest and the whole Church, silence was observed before and after Mass, etc. so that one could pray a Hail Mary or other devotional prayers, I would much prefer the latter!

  64. PJ says:

    People have mentioned Sarum already. Just take a look at the Order of Mass itself and you’ll see it’s stuffed full of Ave Maria’s.

    Those to pillars of devotion to Our Lady and the Real Presence come across very strongly in Sarum.

    I believe this is a legitimate devotion for England which has a sound historical basis for being there (it does not represent a complete “innovation” in England) while at the same time not being an exercise in antiquarianism – it is a devotional, not an antiquarian/academic addition.

  65. Charliebird says:

    I agree that this issue is the least of the problems in the liturgical life of most parishes in this age. Solve the others.

    That being said, if the rubrics do not permit it, or do not at least leave room for it, then, as spiritually wonderful as this glorious prayer is, and as pleasing as it is to our Holy Mother, it should not be in the Mass.

    But, if the rubrics DO allow for it, at least permissively, then…so be it. However, the Mass should be clearly predictable for the faithful, not spontaneous, to provide a resonance for the soul, a rhythm for the faithful who retreat to the Mass as to the trustworthiness of the Trinity, as to the peaceful fulfillment of Heaven, as to the organic enrichment of the soul’s sanctification. Grace sanctifies us in a natural/spiritual direction, not like steroids, but like consistently rich soil.

  66. pseudomodo says:

    At the parishes I have attended, the Hail Mary is sometimes inserted at the end of the intercessory prayers and almost always in Mary’s Month – that is now. This is because the statue of Mary is places in the church in this month.

    I too would like to see liturgical abuses dealt with well before the clergy take a swipe at devotion to the BVM.

  67. lydia says:

    How can saying a Hail Mary ever be wrong? Their are so many other things that need correcting.

  68. AnAmericanMother says:

    Sitting here staring at my hard copy of the ’28 BCP (signed by my bish when I was confirmed the first time, back in the early 60s), and it says “impartially”.
    According to the Society of Archbishop Justus (which maintains online versions of almost all the versions of the BCP) this language dates back to 1789 and the first American book.
    There are odds and ends changed throughout the American BCP, not just the prayers for King George!

    As I said, there are ‘tweaks’ that probably should be made, and (as I’ve said before) they should be made by decent scholars of 17th century English in tandem with some good Catholic theologians. Otherwise you get the unfortunate juxtapositions we find in the Anglican Use Rite.

  69. Jenice says:

    I attend the NO and have only rarely encountered this practice, and it was at Mass said by a holy and cheerful priest from another country. I appreciate his devotion, but this isn’t part of the rubrics, so I don’t think it should be included, however pious it might be. It is simply the priest doing his own thing with the liturgy, just as the more progressive types like to do in many ways more ridiculous than this.

  70. The Cobbler says:

    Never seen this done, and can’t vote as I really think the general idea is more complex than “Yes!” “No!” or “Indifferent.” It’s not currently lawful, the intercessions may not be the best place for it, and simply grabbing the Hail Mary and praying it at Mass isn’t necessarily fitting the form; but in theory it’d be nice to get some Marian devotion into the Mass, right? Just because all the individual, particular, private devotions, however common (e.g. the rosary), are not part of the Church’s public prayer doesn’t mean that the Church hasn’t told us all time and again that we should have _some_ sort of devotion to Mary and doesn’t mean that such devotion might not have a universal/public variant at some point. (I think I may have heard of some rites already having it, in fact, but would have to search around.) So, good idea, flawed execution?

    I couldn’t even vote “indifferent” on top of that more nuanced position because I think of myself as attending both forms of the Roman Rite as I am reasonably able — right now happens to be EF about 1/4 of the time because of a monthly opportunity, and the other 3/4 are at a Dominican (or at least Dominican-run) parish with the Novus Ordo leaning toward the chanty end of the spectrum.

    I actually have a question for Fr. Z himself, if he doesn’t mind… Father, assuming that a fitting place in the Mass (even if it were at the very beginning or end, a la the Leonine prayers at the time they were actually part of the rubric, if I’ve understood the history) were found to include what is typically a private devotion such as the Hail Mary, would you say it would be more organic if people/priests “on the ground” so to speak started doing it without it first being included at least as an option in the rubrics, or would you say it would be more ordered and/or lawful if it were granted a rubric (optional or mandatory)? Or both? Can those conflict? It doesn’t seem to me like they should, ideally.

    I guess this is part of something I’m not sure has ever been fully clear to me: if changes made without first getting Church approval are abuse, and changes made by Rome directly are (or at least can be) “liturgy by commission”, and Rome giving people options to change is an encouragement of picking and choosing and being sloppy and eventually change without permission (at least, so I’ve heard it argued around this blog — I could find the posts if I had to)… where is the ol’ “organic development” supposed to take place?

  71. leonugent2005 says:

    I love the Hail Mary and there is a priest from Nigeria in my diocese who does this regularly and it doesn’t bother me one bit. However, when we can start messing with the liturgy as long as it’s “the right kind of messing with the liturgy” then we have become the conservative error as opposed to the liberal error. Say the black and do the red. There is an excellent example of this when Saul is told to put a people under the ban and instead of doing this he saves the best stuff to offer sacrifice to the Lord. The Lord more or less asks him…which one of my words didn’t you understand?

  72. gaudete says:

    WDTPRS poll hacked?

  73. Father K says:

    Stu says:

    22 May 2012 at 2:28 pm

    I attend an EF parish.

    We say a Hail Mary with the priest right before the sermon to ask for grace to receive his instruction properly.

    Oh pulise! Is this Mass or a Holy Rollers Meeting?

  74. josephx23 says:

    I’m an Maerican Catholic and am indifferent to the practice. Nonetheless, I feel like something is missing here. The impetus to clamp down on this practice is coming from the Holy See, but commenters above suggest that Cardinal Heenan obtained an indult for it in the 20th century and that the practice is possibly connected to the Sarum Rite and the heritage of England as the “dowry of Mary.” Perhaps the indult expired? In a 21st century Church in which we have an Extraordinary Form and an Ordinary Form and Anglican Use/Ordinariate uses or forms of the Mass, all of this fuss over a single Hail Mary seems excessive. It’s an ancient prayer of Holy Church, not some newfangled incense-bowl-waving dervish dance. It has been closely connected with the Latin Rite before, if not in exactly the same way. I certainly don’t support liturgical abuse or clerical rebellion against pontifical orders, but with the limited version of the story I’m working with here, it seems like a shame that Rome is clamping down on what appears to be a pious custom.

  75. josephx23 says:

    Whoops, that should have read, “American Catholic,” as in a Latin Catholic living in the United States. The Maerican Rite is full of pernicious abuses like an occasional Ave.

  76. Father K says:

    Reginald Pole

    “The ‘bidding prayer’ was part of the Sarum rite.” Precisely – which hasn’t been used officially since after ‘Quo primum.’ So the re-introduction of this prayer [which in fact was not the complete ‘Hail Mary’ as we have it now as that was only fixed by Pius V]. The Post VII ‘reintroduction’ of the bidding prayers has nothing to do with the ‘Sarum Rite’ including a Hail Mary. Instead of posting personal preferences – which many of the comments have done – let’s remember the ‘motto’ of this blog: ‘do the red, say the black.’ simple -let’s get on with it!

    And BTW I am simply amazed at the number of responses to such an insignificant matter – there are many more things to be concerned about which must leave casual readers of this blog somewhat confused. I mean by this nothing but admiration for the author of this blog and what he is trying to achieve- but at this point over 75 responses to a quibble? Weird – and I admit I contributed to it by being about the 2nd/76th respondent.

  77. Jason_schalow says:

    Answered: “No, I am against it. I hope they never do it where I am.”

    NOT because I don’t like the Hail Mary, but because the theology of placing it after the intercessions during Mass is flawed. Remember “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi”…the Mass is offered by the Church through, with and in Jesus Christ *to the Father*. This includes the intercessions, which in the OF are a proper part of the Liturgy of the Word. We hear God speak in the Holy Scriptures and we respond with the Creed and the General Intercessions. They also form a kind of ‘bridge’ into the Offertory where the gifts and our very selves are presented to the Father. Including the Hail Mary here makes it seem that the Church’s offering to the Father is somehow incomplete without ‘extra’ help from the Blessed Virgin–forgetting that as the Mother of the Church she is already praying with us in the intercessions by definition. These prayers are not private prayers in which we must invite our Blessed Mother to pray with us. They are the prayers of the whole Catholic Church in which Mary, the Angels and Saints are already full, active and conscious participants :-)

    To see this point one must simply look at the new translation of the Communicantes in the Roman Canon: “In communion with those whose memory we venerate, especially the glorious ever-Virgin Mary, Mother of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ…” We do not ask for the prayers of the saints, *we assume them* as an aspect of the Communio Sanctorum that we professed in the Creed and we unite ourselves with their merits and prayers.

    Adding the Hail Mary during the intercessions makes it look like the Church needs to approach the Father through Mary–we approach Him through Jesus WITH Mary. Now a good Hail Mary after the dismissal for our individual protection is a whole other (good) thing…

  78. Terry1 says:

    Generally, we say two Hail Mary’s before the closing prayer, once in English and once in the Coeur”d’Alene dialect of the Salish language. Since I was a kid our communion song has been a mournful Jesus, Joseph, and Mary and it is sung in a slightly softer Spokane dialect. Our vernacular can be quite eclectic when we include it with the Greek, Latin, and Hebrew language that is already in the liturgy.

  79. Karen Russell says:

    I voted indifferent/attend OF. It is not a common practice here, but I’ve encountered a few priests who do it regularly. They were the more careful, orthodox priests and the Hail Mary seemed to add a solid, Catholic counterweight to petitions which were often banal or heavily leaning towards the flaky end of the social justice spectrum. And since there are no prescribed words for the petitions themselves, it seemed more like just one more petition than a priest adding his own words to the liturgy. As liturgical abuses go, this one is very small potatoes indeed.

  80. ContraMundum says:

    the Mass is offered by the Church through, with and in Jesus Christ *to the Father*.

    The fact that the Litany of the Saints is included in the Easter vigil Mass indicates that the theological problem you see does not really exist.

  81. Mrs. O says:

    I voted indifferent. If the Holy See is discouraging it, then I would listen. We have at our parish, USA, a fluctuation between Glory Be and Hail Mary (think only on her Feast Days tho). On the one hand, this is a good way to teach those prayers that people do not know anymore – younger generation. On the other hand, I would love to pray the St. Michael at the end of Mass that is tradition in some parishes here. I would love to just keep praying as people exit so this will exit quietly.

  82. Leonius says:

    We have said the Hail Mary as part of the bidding prayers in my English parish and every other English parish I have visited for the entire 30+ years of my life, to me it fits perfectly at that point in the Mass.

    This is the national custom in England and as such should not be thought of as been the same as a priest simply making up his own mass, local customs that are not not harmful to the faith are generally, prudently and wisely protected by the Church and this custom in England falls into that category in my opinion. Sometimes this protection of custom even extends to entire rites of mass ie. the Ambrosian Rite for example.

    Since I moved to the USA I actually miss having the Hail Mary during the Mass.

  83. Jason_schalow says:

    The Litany of the Saints is part of the Baptismal Rite (and the Ordination Rite)…it is included in the Holy Saturday liturgy before the Baptisms as part of the celebration of that sacrament as it is included in the Ordination Mass before the ordinations–for the benefit of the Elect and the Ordinandi. Apologies, but the consistent address of prayers within the Mass to the Father has been the constant tradition throughout the history of the Church. To make other kinds of intercessions an ordinary practice as Fr. Z describes above–even if that intercession is the venerable and outstanding Ave Maria–changes the focus of that part of the Mass in a direction inconsistent with its nature.

  84. Blaise says:

    My experience has been the same as Leonius’.
    For those not in England perhaps the way it actually works should be made clear. The Hail Mary is not added by the individual priest as such, it is not generally introduced by the priest but by the reader after the end of the specific prayers. It is often followed by a short period of silent prayer for personal intentions (sometimes but rarely this comes before the Hail Mary) before the priest then adds his concluding words.
    It is intercessory like all the other intercessions, and although of course directed to Our Lady it is directed to her to direct prayers to the Father.

    For most English people removing this would seem to be removing a standard part of the OF mass and come as something as a shock.

    Of course if I were a parish priest in the diocese of Arundel & Brighton I would obey my bishop’s request but ensure instead that at sung mases the offertory always included a Marian hymn / anthem (after the relevant chant of the mass of course :) ) and have the congregation sing the seasonal Marian Anthem at the end of every Mass as the recessional to ensure the faithful didn’t think this was an attack on Marian devotion at all.

    But then I am not a priest so I don’t have to worry about that.

    I think the question of prayers to St Michael or Our Lady after mass is a completely different one.

  85. Nora says:

    I voted No – and hope we don’t do it at my parish. However, I would add to that vote that I would not want it stopped if it were a long standing practice at my parish. It does smack of adding something to the liturgy, but that horse is several centuries out of the barn.

  86. Janine says:

    I voted no and I am against it – sometimes in my parish the Hail Mary is recited after the prayers of the faithful.
    So it seems it was traditional to say in England, and I appreciate the reasons for it, but is it part of the rubrics? For me it just seems out of place and impromptu – because it is only recited sometimes here. If it were an ages old practice, I can see why people woud be upset if they were asked to stop.

  87. Ingatius says:

    It is privilege which, to my understanding, was given to England on the request of Cardinal Heenan (of the famous English insult). Bishop Conry is known to be one of the more liberal members of the hierarchy (one of the ‘pirates of the southern sees) and it does not surprise that he would want to remove this from the bidding prayers.

    What saddens me is his position as the appointed bishop to oversee evangelisation in England and Wales.

    Pray for him and pray for the Church in England.

  88. Stu says:

    Father K,

    I actually had to look up “Holy Rollers.” Thanks of the education.

    From the Secret of the Rosary by Saint Louis De Montfort.

    “In another place Blessed Alan says: “All priests say a Hail Mary with the faithful before preaching, to ask for God’s grace. They do this because of a revelation that Saint Dominic had from Our Lady. ‘My son,’ she said one day ‘do not be surprised that your sermons fail to bear the results you had hoped for. You are trying to cultivate a piece of ground which has not had any rain. Now when Almighty God planned to renew the face of the earth He started by sending down rain from Heaven—-and this was the Angelic Salutation. In this way God made over the world.

    ‘So when you give a sermon, urge people to say my Rosary, and in this way your words will bear much fruit for souls.’

    “Saint Dominic lost no time in obeying, and from then on he exerted great influence by his sermons.”

    Blessed Alan, Saint Dominic and Saint Louis de Montfort. Bunch of “holy rollers” those guys.

  89. ContraMundum says:


    Either the inclusion of prayers to the saints “changes the focus of that part of the Mass in a direction inconsistent with its nature”, or else it doesn’t. The fact that the Litany of the Saints is included on a regular if infrequent basis shows that the Church does not agree that it changes the focus in the manner you fear. You can still object to the inclusion of the Hail Mary on other grounds, but it is not inconsistent with the nature of the Mass.

    Likewise, in the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, there are passages like the following:

    It is truly right to bless you, Theotokos, ever blessed, most pure, and mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, without corruption you gave birth to God the Word. We magnify you, the true Theotokos.

    That obviously not only draws attention to the Blessed Virgin (as do other parts of the Mass and the Liturgy); is directly addressed to her.

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  92. JacobWall says:

    In Mexico, there are some parishes that say the Rosary and a litany after mass; but it comes after the dismissal, and a number of people usually leave at this point. So, to me it always seemed clear that it was something being done apart and separate from the Mass (even before I joined the Church). One parish that has a relic of St. Francis of Assisi would alternate between the Rosary and veneration of this relic, but it was likewise done after the Mass was completely finished, and it was clear that it was not a part of the mass.

    To me, this approach seems best, since I don’t think adding to, taking away from or altering the Mass is correct. Yet, on the other hand, the commentary quoted by Fr. Z says that “what is being discouraged is a tradition that has been observed in England, known as “Mary’s dowry”, since medieval times.” If that is really true, then I suppose it deserves more consideration, not to mention real historical research to determine the real age of the practice, as well as its roots.

    My opinion, (which quite uninformed and therefore not worth a whole lot) is that the people of Arundel and Brighton should follow their bishop on this, especially if the Holy See has already discouraged the practice. Or, if they are really convinced on the historical point, they should ask their bishop (and/or the Holy See) for a historical review of the practice, following his directives in the mean time.

  93. Suburbanbanshee says:

    I voted “Yes, I am for it, and I wish we did it here,” but it was really more of a “Yes, I am for it, and where it is the custom, they should keep doing it.” I’ve only run into the custom in a few parishes (mostly in the Northern Cities Tier of the US, if that helps you on settlement patterns), but it certainly seems like a laudable custom. And if it predates Trent and was brought over from places following that custom, it certainly seems that we should not dare to ban what our forefathers and foremothers preserved as liturgically right and holy.

    If you’re doing Prayers of the Faithful, why would you stop praying an established prayer of the faithful?

  94. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Oh, and I forgot to say that there have always been local indults and permitted local customs. Such things do not threaten the universality of the Church, any more than each diocese having its own liturgical calendar of commemorations of dead priests and local saints threatens the universal calendar and the Roman martyrology. If Mother Church was really that hep on absolute universality, every single parish church would have exactly the same measurements, architecture, and decorations, like a prefab house out of a catalog.

  95. pseudomodo says:

    I may be wrong but can anyone point out the place in the rubrics where it directs us to take up a collection?

  96. PaterAugustinus says:

    @PJ, who said the Sarum ordo of Mass is “stuffed full of Ave Marias.”

    I don’t think that’s true at all. The only “Ave Maria” done in connection with the Sarum Mass, is said privately by the priest… and, not during Mass itself. The only direct invocations of the Virgin (I say “invocations,” not “mentions”) during the Sarum Mass, are in private prayers of the priest: for example, as he pours ablution wine over his fingers, into the chalice. He says: “Blessed be thou by thy Son, o Lady, for through thee we have partaken of the fruit of life.” There is also a brief invocation of the Virgin in the versicles following the Confiteor of the ministers. There is nowhere a liturgical “Ave Maria” done aloud by the people. It never even shows up in the Office; it is always one of the quiet prayers before (and after) the Office. It seems contrary to liturgical good taste to stick one in the Mass after so many centuries without it. It would be far more appropriate to include a commemoration, or a versicle and response, or some other short prayer, in the bidding prayers.

  97. Fr Carney says:

    I include the Hail Mary at the beginning of my homilies after the sign of the cross. The first part of the Hail Mary is the angelic salutation and is solely from Scripture. The second part confirms that Mary is the Mother of God taken from one of the major ecumenical councils in the 4th century. St. Louise de Montfort explains how the Order of Preachers like St. Dominic started their homilies with the Hail Mary. I think that Mary is helping since I have placed more faith in her powerful intercession especially in my pastoral endeavors at my parish.

  98. cl00bie says:

    This, in my opinion, is a subtle changing of the Mass and an odd thing for a proponent of Say the Black, Do the Red to support.

    We do three Hail Mary’s, a Glory Be and request the intercession of our patron saints after “The Mass is Ended”.

    Do whatever you want when the Mass has ended, but during the Mass do what is written.

  99. eulogos says:

    American Mother, I knew I had read of the change from indifferently to impartially, so I Googled it. I found a discussion of it by CS Lewis in “Letters to Malcolm,” which I will paste in here. I will see if I can find more information.

    “For whom are we to cater in revising the language? A country parson I know asked his sexton what he understood by indifferently in the phrase “truly and indifferently administer justice.” The man replied, “It means making no difference between one chap and another.” “And what would it mean if it said impartially?” asked the parson. “Don’t know. Never heard of it,” said the sexton. Here, you see, we have a change intended to make things easier. But it does so neither for the educated, who understand indifferently already, nor for the wholly uneducated, who don’t understand impartially. It helps only some middle area of the congregation which may not even be a majority.”

    The person making the citation I pulled this from (He was using it to comment on the “ineffable” controversy) stated that Lewis was discussing the process in the C of E that ultimately led to the publication of the Alternative Service Book in 1980. I’ll try to find out a bit more about this.
    I’d like to get back to you via private email since this is remote from the subject of this thread. Fr. Z has my permission to give you my email address, but most likely he doesn’t have time to do this. If you took my posting name here, put after it my first name, all run together, and used that as an @gmail address, you would reach me. Also my first name dot my last name at SSA.GOV. But better that I address such issues at home!

    I agree about the awkward shifts in language in the Anglican Use mass, although custom reduces the discomfort they cause. Perhaps the new one now being worked on will be better.
    Susan Peterson

  100. John Nolan says:

    Why do we pray for the Pope, the bishop, the Church and the faithful departed at this point in the liturgy, when they are all prayed for in the Eucharistic Prayer? When Birmingham Oratory went from Solemn Latin OF to Solemn EF for its principal Sunday Mass, the omission of these otiose and tiresome vernacular intercessions was like a breath of fresh air.

  101. Blaise says:

    If you get an OF mass where they explicitly pray for the Pope and the local bishop in the bidding prayers you are probably quite lucky; my recent experience is that they will pray for “Church leaders” or something even less specific. Frankly I think we should be encouraged to pray for the Pope and our bishop more often.
    That is the real problem with the general intercessions – they often get written by someone shadowy person in the parish without any editorial control by the priest and tend to pick up whatever is considered the most newsorthy cuase. If we had a more defined text like a shorter version of the Good Friday intercessions I think that would be much better.
    I seem to remember that the missal used to include some kind of outline / specific list and perhaps Bishop Conry could encourage the use of that at the same time. But it probably offends his sense of church.

  102. lelnet says:

    The rubrics specify to conclude with a prayer. Which makes it a prudential and aesthetic choice, rather than a question of obedience to the prescribed liturgy. Which means I’m yanking out that hoary old cliche: “I’m personally opposed, but…” :)

    Aesthetically, I’m opposed. Prudentially, I’d say it depends on the parish, but I’m mostly opposed there, too. But when we look at the wide array of practices taking place weekly in Catholic parishes around the Western world which urgently need to be corrected or suppressed in order to terminate the decades-long and still-ongoing counter-catechesis of the lay faithful…well, sorry, but even if the argument can be made that this is contrary to the rubrics, I can’t bring myself to argue for making its correction a priority.

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