Redemptionis Sacramentum 161

After a longer exploration of Communion ministry, the CDWDS turns its attention to preaching. There’s been something of a retrenchment in the years between the promulgation of the new Code of Canon Law to this document up to today.

I’ve known many fine lay preachers. Is it important for a ministry such as this to be done fruitfully and well?

2. Preaching

[161.] As was already noted above, the homily on account of its importance and its nature is reserved to the Priest or Deacon during Mass.[Cf. Code of Canon Law, can. 767 § 1] As regards other forms of preaching, if necessity demands it in particular circumstances, or if usefulness suggests it in special cases, lay members of Christ’s faithful may be allowed to preach in a church or in an oratory outside Mass in accordance with the norm of law.[Cf. Code of Canon Law, can. 766] This may be done only on account of a scarcity of sacred ministers in certain places, in order to meet the need, and it may not be transformed from an exceptional measure into an ordinary practice, nor may it be understood as an authentic form of the advancement of the laity.[Cf. Ecclesiae de mysterio, Practical Provisions 2 §§ 3-4] All must remember besides that the faculty for giving such permission belongs to the local Ordinary, and this as regards individual instances; this permission is not the competence of anyone else, even if they are Priests or Deacons.

Lay preaching has been done as a voice for women, or for clergy in training. It makes sense for a bishop to moderate and oversee it. It also makes sense that good preaching is for the people in the pews, perhaps exclusively, and not for the people who deliver it. One hopes that’s the understanding for the ordained.

About these ads

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 Redemptionis Sacramentum. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s