ASK FATHER: Adding a Collect after the intercessions, like a “commemoration”

From a reader:

As far as I understand it, in the OF you are required by the Roman Missal and the GIRM to say ONE collect (not adding another for a commemoration, like in EF). But, on Feb 3 this year, Msgr. ____ did something odd/cool. He offered the Mass in honor of St. Blaise and only used the prayers for his memorial. But, at the end of the General Intercessions/Prayers of the People, he said the collect for St. Ansgar. I’ve seen one or two other priests (also Msgrs, oddly enough) do similar things on other days with multiple saints. Could this be a valid way to bring back the commemorations of the EF in the OF? (Ex, say June 13 was a Sunday. Would you be allowed to say the prayers for whatever Sunday in Ordinary Time it is, then “commemorate” St. Anthony in the intercessions?) Or is this a liturgical abuse?

The General Instruction is silent on the issue.  It says simply that the priest precedes the General Intercessions with an introduction, and concludes them with “an oration.”

I like the idea.  I can’t see why you couldn’t do that.

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  1. There is a decree from the Congregation for Divine Worship (February 17, 1995, Prot. N. 284/95/L) for Austria, according to which, when December 8 falls on a Sunday, the Immaculate Conception is liturgically celebrated on that Sunday, but the second reading is from the second Sunday of Advent rather than the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and the prayer after the intercessions is the Collect of the second Sunday of Advent.
    The decree only applies to Austria and only to this particular case when December 8 falls on a Sunday, but it is a positive indication that this is a fine way to commemorate a feast that otherwise is not liturgically celebrated.

  2. jbas says:

    I’ve done the same for years, especially on optional memorials. It was the Paulist Press ordo that gave me the idea with its suggestion for using the collects of commemorations to conclude the bidding prayers during Lent.

  3. dans0622 says:

    I thought I saw an official document which countenanced this practice. But, I don’t know what that document was. Maybe it was in the Liturgy of the Hours’ general instruction, saying you can have this kind of “commemoration” at the end of those intercessions. That’s not Mass but…

  4. This is standard practice with the priests whose OF Masses I regularly attend nowadays. In my CTS new-translation hand missal, after the prayers of the faithful, it says “The priest concludes the prayer with a collect.” Not just any old prayer, a collect.

    To me, a collect is a collect is a collect. If it’s not a collect read from some Mass in the Roman Missal–with the structure of a Roman collect, with the long conclusion–then it’s not a collect (in my view). An extemporaneous concluding prayer by the priest–as one often hears from priests of a certain vintage–is not a collect. And if on an optional memorial of a saint, but the Mass of that saint is not celebrated, then I would be disappointed if I did not hear the memorial collect after the prayers of the faithful.

    “Or is this a liturgical abuse?”

    So, No, it’s the failure to do it that’s questionable. Repeated questions on this level–and my own decades of painful observation from the pews–make me wonder whether those problem generations of priests received any liturgical instruction at all in the seminary. Or were they simply ordained and told to go celebrated Mass? And then continued to do it the same way the rest of their lives, not continually studying their craft and progressing in their practice of it as all other professionals do throughout their careers?

  5. kpoterack says:

    “[I] wonder whether those problem generations of priests received any liturgical instruction at all in the seminary.”

    Henry, I’ve heard as much from reliable sources – that the level of liturgical instruction in many seminaries was non-existent to very little in the 70’s and 80’s. There has been some improvement in the past 30 years, but there is still quite a ways to go.

  6. Which reminds me, kpoterack, of a claim by a seminary survivor of those days, that his only liturgy course had been a single term taught by a bitter ex-nun who constantly berated them that nothing significant would really happen to them at ordination, and the text for this “liturgy” course was a slim paperback written by a Methodist laywoman. This being the generation of priests from which many or most of our current pastors and bishops come.

  7. Dan says:

    I can’t comment on the authority of the translation, but when I read the GIRM (138) for the 3rd edition it simply says that the priest concludes the petitions with a “prayer.”

    In one of the appendices of my English translation of the Roman Missal (LTP) it offers examples of the universal prayer. In every case I believe it ends them with simply “Through Christ our Lord.” rather than the longer ending found in the Collects. Again, I don’t know if those carry any authority.

  8. Father G says:

    Here is what the Ordo by Paulist Press states:

    Regarding which Collect to use when the memorial of a saint falls between Dec 17-31 and during the entire season of Lent:
    Directive #4. Commemorations of Memorials during Privileged Seasons (17-31 Dec. and during Lent)
    “…at Mass, the Collect of the saint may replace the Collect of the feria.”

    Regarding using a Collect to conclude General Intercessions, the Ordo has this to say:

    Advent: “On obligatory Memorials, when the prayers of the saints are to be said, the ferial Collect may be used to conclude the general intercessions, thus situating Memorials within their seasonal context.”

    Lent: “During Lent, when the Collect of the saints may be said, the ferial Collect may be used to conclude the general intercessions, thus situating commemorations within their seasonal context.”

  9. Papabile says:

    What I have always found interesting is an often overlooked part of the IGMR by the reform of the reform crowd.

    The ability to utilize the Martyrology to align many of the traditional Saints Feasts with the Calendar is often overlooked. I see no reason why this, combined with integrating a memorial collect afetr the Bidding Prayers wouldn’t assist in what Benedict XVI identified as the two forms influencing eachother…..
    355. On Optional Memorials,

    a) On the weekdays of Advent from December 17 to December 24, on days within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord, and on the weekdays of Lent, except Ash Wednesday and during Holy Week, the Mass texts for the current liturgical day are used; but the Collect may be taken from a Memorial which happens to be inscribed in the General Calendar for that day, except on Ash Wednesday and during Holy Week. On weekdays of Easter Time, Memorials of Saints may rightly be celebrated in full.

    b) On weekdays of Advent before December 17, on weekdays of Christmas Time from January 2, and on weekdays of Easter Time, one of the following may be chosen: either the Mass of the weekday, or the Mass of the Saint or of one of the Saints whose Memorial is observed, or the Mass of any Saint inscribed in the Martyrology for that day.

    c) On weekdays in Ordinary Time, there may be chosen either the Mass of the weekday, or the Mass of an Optional Memorial which happens to occur on that day, or the Mass of any Saint inscribed in the Martyrology for that day, or a Mass for Various Needs, or a Votive Mass.

    If he celebrates with the people, the Priest will take care not to omit too frequently and without sufficient reason the readings assigned each day in the Lectionary to the weekdays, for the Church desires that a richer portion at the table of God’s Word should be spread before the people.[140]

    For the same reason he should choose Masses for the Dead in moderation, for every Mass is offered for both the living and the dead, and there is a commemoration of the dead in the Eucharistic Prayer.

    Where, however, the Optional Memorials of the Blessed Virgin Mary or of the Saints are dear to the faithful, the legitimate devotion of the latter should be satisfied.

    Moreover, as regards the option of choosing between a Memorial inscribed in the General Calendar and one inserted in a diocesan or religious Calendar, preference should be given, all else being equal and in keeping with tradition, to the Memorial in the particular Calendar.

  10. Gaz says:

    The older use of commemorations could address the is of every-day-of-Holy-obligation-is-moved-to-Sunday. I would propose that these sacred days are celebrated where they fall and are liturgically commemorated in the older manner on the following Sunday. Bishops conferences could determine which were obligatory for the faithful, and whether or not readings could be substituted. Would apply to both ordinary and extraordinary.

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