ASK FATHER: The timing of announcments in the Novus Ordo

From a reader…

QUAERITUR:

Our Pastor has recently decided not to make announcements after the final blessing because, he says, it isn’t part of the liturgy. I say that after the final blessing, the Liturgy is finished and can say what ever he wants. What do you say?

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal makes provision for announcements to be made during Mass. Article 90 states that announcements can be made as part of the concluding rites, after the Prayer after Communion and before the Final Blessing.

These announcements should be brief and necessary (e.g. “there will be a reception in the undercroft following this Mass so parishioners can greet the Archabbot and thank him personally for enshrining the relic of St. Perspicacity in our side chapel.”).

Keep announcements brief.

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18 Responses to ASK FATHER: The timing of announcments in the Novus Ordo

  1. disco says:

    Announcements should be right at the end of the sermon just before father ties one on. (the maniple)

  2. Frank H says:

    Our parish has recently re-located the announcements to a couple of minutes before Mass begins which has really been a wise move, I think, making the concluding rites after communion much more conducive to prayerfulness.

  3. YorkshireStudent says:

    disco makes a good point, does the GIRM foresee the homily as extra-liturgical in the same way as it is seen in the EF?

    If so would it be permissible for notices to be given then, despite the GIRM providing another place, on the basis that more detail can be given at that point in (or out of) the Mass?

  4. rtrainque says:

    The Newman Center chapel and the parish with the TLM I frequent both go the 5 minutes before Mass route, and I really do think it’s the solution most conducive to prayer and keeping Mass focused on what it should be.

    We had a priest who was interested in having someone speak briefly at Mass about the young adult group I run with a couple other people. Normally at this parish, announcements, etc. are done after the homily…in effect you have a 5 minute “commercial break” during Mass when this kind of thing happens…no thanks. The “pastoral associate” at the parish is one of the people who helps with the group and I told him that if Fr. was willing to give us 5 minutes right before Mass to introduce the group to the parish, then I would be there for every. single. Mass. some weekend to speak and then even hang around outside the front door afterward to answer questions and take contact info from parishioners. He asked, but the answer was no. Long story short, we didn’t end up making any announcements.

  5. chadmyers says:

    “Liturgy of the Bulletin” which follows the the “Children’s Liturgy of the Word Now” (CLOWN) and may or may not be interrupted by the “Shared Meal”

  6. Father’s correspondent says, “I say that after the final blessing, the Liturgy is finished and can say what ever he wants. What do you say?”

    Incorrect on several points.

    First, as our genial host points out, the rubrics of the current Missal specify announcements not after the final blessing, but before, but after the post-communion prayer. There is no provision, none, for sandwich announcements (or anything else) between the final blessing and the dismissal, i.e., Ite, missa est.

    Second, I disagree with the notion that once Mass is over, anything goes. While there is greater liberty once Mass has truly ended, good judgment and decorum would argue against any needless interruption of either people exiting church in an orderly way, or the prayers of those who remain. In the case of an announcement, that would seem to be an irritant to those you just told, “go forth, the Mass is ended,” who now must stop going forth, but must remain in place for yet more talking. Which may be why the rubrics locate such announcements where they do.

    All this supports the approach other commentators refer to, of locating announcements just before Mass begins. This, I think, is a better way to handle a need to have someone give a short talk “at Mass” but which cannot be given as a homily — either a talk by a non-ordained person, or if the pastor needs to give a message to everyone, but he can’t be present to give the homily at each Mass. From a practical and psychological standpoint, it seems that having people stand up for the post-communion prayer, and then sit down for another talk is often not well received; people are ready to go; whereas when they arrive, they are more tolerant of some short talk, provided the overall Mass isn’t unreasonably extended as a result.

    One more point that ought to be obvious: just because the rubrics permit announcements, doesn’t make them obligatory. The priest in this case may well feel as I do, that it’s better to avoid announcements altogether if you can.

  7. iamlucky13 says:

    More input on what reasonably could be considered as “brief and necessary” would be appreciated. [Common sense is to be applied.]

    Our “liturgy of the bulletin,” as chadmeyers put it, frequently includes Knights of Columbus breakfasts, a monthly vocation discernment program, parish office closures or daily Mass cancellations, register for this activity or that, and occasionally a separate person to speak on a specific activity or cause, such as donating or volunteering with CCS or an upcoming retreat. Even though I’m glad to be informed of them, many of them seem less than “necessary” in this context and when a speaker other than the lector adds an announcement, it’s almost never brief and usually followed by inexplicable applause.

    Like rtrainque, I also organize a young adult group, and have made announcements for it during this time at the request of the pastor, even though I’ve never been entirely sure it’s appropriate. And the applause for what amounted to “We have a group, you can make friends and learn stuff,” definitely bothered me. It not only seems inappropriate to applaud a mere human when you should primarily be reflecting on your Communion, but it’s even a bit insulting to think that I should need applause for making an announcement.

    It was also recently pointed out to me that the GIRM 309 states that the ambo is only to be used for the readings, psalm, prayers of the faithful, and the homily. Therefore, it’s not appropriate to make these announcements from the ambo.

  8. CharlesG says:

    In many parishes I’ve been to, the announcements are before the postcommunion prayer, after people are settled down after communion. I guess the thinking is to get the secular stuff out of the way before getting back to the sacred with the postcommunion and then the blessing and dismissal — i.e., some priests apparently think the postcommunion (sacred), announcements (secular), blessing (sacred), etc., sequence is too choppy. However, the latter is what the GIRM provides.

  9. Wiktor says:

    Well, I rarely hear them brief, more like 5 mins average, with a lot of impossible to remember dates and hours.

    And yes, like CharlesG, I find the timing between postcommunion and blessing quite unfortunate.

  10. mpolo says:

    Of course, if you have everybody standing for the post-Communion prayer, then you have a good incentive not to make any more announcements than are strictly necessary. Because having everybody sit down again for a long announcement period would be a real de-railing of the whole “liturgy train”.

  11. Konichiwa says:

    I don’t know how to explain it well, but I always feel like I’m at a meeting during the announcements. There’s always a lay person, leader of the committee coming up to make an announcement and thanking parish members or groups. It might be just me that thinks this but it’s almost like formal speech or a mini homily as refereces are made to the readings or the feast day.

    I like how the local FSSP parish makes the announcements before the homily; it’s the priest or deacon that speaks, and the peaceful feeling I get from going to Mass doesn’t get taken away by the announcements.

  12. Simon_GNR says:

    Announcements, if necessary, should come as currently provided for in the rubrics, i.e. after the post-Communion prayer but before the blessing and dismissal. What annoys me is when a priest puts the announcements before the post-Communion prayer, thus making them part of the Communion Rite!!

    I feel that often there are too many announcements at Mass – everything that needs to be communicated to the parish can surely be included in the bulletin – and it’s reasonable in this day and age to assume that everybody can read. There can also be a noticeboard at the back of church, so announcements should only cover “stop press” items that were too late to be included in the bulletin.

  13. SaintJude6 says:

    Konichiwa,
    Thank you. I was wondering if other FSSP parishes handle it the same way. It seems to flow nicely. I can’t think of the exact order, but we have the re-reading of the Epistle and Gospel, the brief announcements, a long list of girls in our area considering abortion to pray for, a Hail Mary, and then the homily. (If you have little ones who inevitably need to use the bathroom midway during Mass, you can pop out during the re-readings and the announcements and be back in time for the homily.)

  14. Imrahil says:

    I also prefer the EF way: at the beginning of what is technically the sermon… but actually right in between the Gospel and the repeating of the Readings in the vernacular (then followed by the actual sermon).

    Sounds awkward to those unused to it, to be sure, and indeed: why then? But it is, I’d say, the least bad among all options, and I do agree they have to be somewhere. (Putting important information into the bulletin without speaking about them is not, in my view, a solution either – though you can do that with the unimportant ones.)

    You could do them at the beginning, as it is (indeed) done in the EF with the announcement of the Mass to follow if need be (such as “today we’re celebrating the votive Mass of St. Nepomuk, which is the Mass ‘of one martyr during Paschal time’ in your missal”), but then some people are late, and the others have been preparing themselves for Holy Mass in meditative silence. At the end, after having (if we have) Communicated, the proper thing is to burst out into song, not really, I’d say, listen to somewhat Everydayish announcements. And then, pace Vatican II, for Sermon Mass is (in some restricted, narrow sense) interrupted anyway.

    There is one nice custom, though, which occurs sometimes and which could probably not be done with the same fittingness within the sermon: i. e. when at the end, the celebrant announces a couple of requiems and funerals and then adds, “let us pray for our faithful departed: O Lord grant them eternal rest”, etc.

  15. andia says:

    What about adding extra prayers to the Mass? Is that ok, tonight after just after communion and before the final blessing the priest added 3 prayers, one he called “the prayer of spiritual adoption ” , another called ” prayer for vocations ” and third a Hail Mary….I’ ve never seen these added before.

  16. papaefidelis says:

    At the Cathedral of the Diocese of {redacted}, certain priest seem to feel that we are all illiterate. After the closing prayer, yet before the blessing, we are weekly commanded, “Please be seated.” Father then proceeds to READ the ENTIRE bulletin to us rubes, who are obviously too dense and stupid to read the bulletin ourselves. For, surely, why else would the blessing be withheld for 10 minutes? Why even publish a bulletin? Update on the leg ulcers of Bertha Slapersassky? I don’t care. Collection for a gift for the parish juggling coordinator who is going off to study aroma therapy? Couldn’t care less. Collection of used ashtrays for destitute smokers in the Third World? Doesn’t matter a iota to me. Perhaps that’s why my time is wasted… nobody else cares enough to read such drivel to begin with so they feel the need to hold us hostage! O tempora! O mores!

  17. Gerard Plourde says:

    Announements at our Mass of Paul VI parish occur at the place stipulated by the rubrics (immediately prior to the Final Blessing) and are usualy limited to announcing the confession schedule. Important information concerning the Parish or Archdiocese (a letter from the Archbishop for example) would also be announced at this time.

    Form a personal standpoint, I was always jarred by the placement of announcements in the Mass of Pius V. It broke the natural progression of the act of worship and it too closely resembled a commercial break for me, probably a result of my extensive exposure to television at that time. I remember that it also was the practice to re-read only the Gospel in the vernacular and that there was no instruction to the priest-celebrant that his sermon had to have any relationship to the Word of God that the Church ordained to be read on that day. On balance, I personally find this change to be a marked improvement.

  18. Imrahil says:

    Commercial break?

    Interesting observation.

    And: Why not. In fact, the announcements do for a good part do belong to the category of advertisement… in a sense.

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