New Directive on Lay Reflections
In August, it was announced at Mass that we had been directed by the Archdiocese to make a change in our liturgy on the Sundays when either Sr. Phyllis or Leif was scheduled to share the Reflection on the Word. We were told that on those days, the Reflection must be given just after Communion. Why? Liturgical law dictates that one must have preaching faculties to give the Homily at Mass, which is the message delivered immediately after the Gospel is proclaimed. Only an ordained priest has preaching faculties. Therefore, to avoid confusion, and to make it clear that what Sr. Phyllis or Leif offered was a Reflection on the Word, not a Homily, it was to be delivered just after Communion time.
However, on September 13, we received an updated directive from Archbishop Sample which makes it quite clear that any form of Lay Reflection on the Word at any time during Mass is not acceptable. Parish leadership (Pastoral Council, Admin Council, Liturgy Committee, and Staff) discussed the letter on September 15 and decided to make it available to all in the community. See the Archbishop's letter posted here. We will comply with the directive, and we are exploring options for lay reflections outside the celebration of Mass.
Your comments on this directive are welcome. Use the comment feature on this page, or write directly to Leif Kehrwald at email@example.com.
9/18/2021 10:42:40 am
Are we still allowed to pray without priestly guidance? Really, this has gone a step too far for my comfort. Very disappointing news.
9/19/2021 01:43:54 pm
Jim, I share your disappointment. Thank you for commenting.
9/19/2021 01:41:50 pm
I verified Sample's sources:
9/19/2021 01:48:10 pm
Dave. Good insights. Thanks for doing the research. I will pass this along the Liturgy Committee as they deliberate how we will proceed.
9/25/2021 10:36:35 am
Seems to me in these citations (see below) that lay people can preach and provide reflections. I have seen women and men give reflections or provide homilies. Sometimes it is a regular routine and other times to highlight worthy causes. Certainly, we even see videos from this archdiocese during homily time to ask for money. Its always possible to change, adapt as our church had throughout history and should...would God really be opposed to this?
9/26/2021 01:00:32 pm
Sarah, thanks for your comment. The key phrase in the canon, however, is "The diocesan bishop will determine the appropriate situations . . . " It seems, in our case at St. Charles, our bishop sees no 'appropriate situations.' It's unfortunate.
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