GILM 42-43: Prayers and Commentary

According to the GIRM, the presider’s responsibility extends beyond the homily to the conclusion of the Liturgy of the Word. The references are all to the early edition of the GIRM, but are maintained in the current version of the document:

42. The president is responsible for preparing the faithful for the liturgy of the word on occasion by means of introductions before the readings. [70] These comments can help the assembled congregation toward a better hearing of the word of God, because they stir up an attitude of faith and good will. He may also carry out this responsibility through others, a deacon, for example, or a commentator. [71]
 
Most often these days, I see the priest acting as a commentator at Mass, not a layperson or deacon. Is this role still valuable? My own sense is that it’s not, but I know many clergy would disagree with me. I think the commentary on the readings is well reserved to the homily, and only the homily. That said, I wouldn’t be inclined to berate a priest who did it occasionally. A well-catechized assembly should not need it.
43. As he directs the prayer of the faithful and through their introduction and conclusion connects them, if possible, with the day’s readings and the homily, the president leads the faithful toward the liturgy of the Eucharist. [72]
Does this happen in your parish: a connection of the introduction and concluding prayers of the faithful connected with readings and homily? I would see this as somewhat important, but not absolutely essential. In my parish, residents or students prepare the text of the prayer of the faithful, and I ask they attend to the readings of the day for inspiration for intentions, phrases, and other considerations.

We’ll get to what the GILM has to say about the role of the commentator a bit later, but feel free to offer comments on any of this on this thread.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in General Introduction to the Lectionary, post-conciliar liturgy documents, Scripture. Bookmark the permalink.

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