The Armchair Liturgist: Who Makes Announcements?

The topic of announcements at Mass usually centers on when. For a change, I’d like to change it up and suggest you sit in the purple chair and render judgment on who.

A few years ago, my parish switched from the clergy vetting and giving announcements to the liturgist (me) vetting and one of the lectors giving.

At a recent parish meeting someone noted that when the priest makes the announcement, people listen more. Do you think that’s true? Whether true or not, do you think the priest should be making announcements, or someone else? And if someone else, then who?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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8 Responses to The Armchair Liturgist: Who Makes Announcements?

  1. David D. says:

    This is probably one of the few liturgical issues that does not get me riled up one way or another. From my observation, the questions of who and when are closely related: if priest then before homily; if reader/lector then after communion. Before the homily seems to me marginally less obtrusive but only if done by the priest. I guess I vote priest. Are there any norms at any level governing this question?

  2. Liam says:

    It depends on the priest. I am in favor of whoever will make them safe, legal and rare, or at least limit them to three announcements no more than three lines long each. Why the artificial limit? Limits invite prioritization and creativity. Without prioritization, nothing is important enough to listen to. Without creativity, they won’t be worth listening to.

  3. Jim McCrea says:

    At my parish the announcements are made just prior to the processional by a trained member of the laity. If the priest has something special he wishes to say over and above that, he does so just prior to the final blessing.

    We have enough faith in the quality of people making the announcements and their training to not get our knickers in a twist if there are more or less of them on any given Sunday.

    • acasad says:

      I’d propose that it isn’t trivial. The GIRM specifies that announcements take place after the Prayer After Communion and, therefore, as part of the Concluding Rites, that is, as an intrinsic element of the dismissal. This then proposes to us who it is that should do the announcements, namely the deacon who will say, “Go in peace and announce/glorify by your life.” The announcements then tell us how to do that! It probably is true that the faithful give more credence to announcements made by the presider, but that is an impoverishment of our liturgical imagination. If you don’t have a deacon? Who in your parish heads up the diakonal ministries? Leads the faithful to announce the kerygma in the world? Coordinates the light bringing works of charity in your community? She should make the announcements. Brief.

      • Jim McCrea says:

        Heavens to Betsy! We are talking about quickies re: social events, adult ed programs, maybe a retreat. This is something that anyone can do and the success/failure of the mass is far from dependant on who and when.

  4. As has already been pointed out, the when is clearly stated in the GIRM, so that should not be a question. As to WHO, that does seem to be open for discussion. Adding the caveat that I write from Japan, but looking back on close to 40 years as a priest, and taking in some twenty years working in the education apostolate, whatever the context, and whoever does the announcing, a take-up of 30-40% is probably a good average. Fliers, posters, announcements, putting it online, any combination of two or more of the above, even all of the above and there doesn’t seem to be much variant in the take up. I recently sent out an announcement, in my capacity as head of the diocesan liturgy commission, for a liturgy study day for the priests of the diocese, and brought it up at a gathering of the priests council today. The bishop also made some remarks encouraging attendance. Blank faces and a couple of questions as we were dispersing indicated that the letter had only received a superficial reading in some quarters.

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