Sunday, June 28, 2009

Who needs homilies?

We went to [parish unnamed to protect the guilty] in the Baltimore area last week before heading down to Chincoteague, VA with our family for vacation. Father [ditto] decided since it was Father's Day, he wouldn't give a homily, but just a series of jokes instead.

He begged the congregation no less than four times not to write the Archbishop.

Naturally, I just sent my letter, citing the GIRM (emphasis added):

The Homily

66. The Homily should ordinarily be given by the priest celebrant himself. He may entrust it to a concelebrating priest or occasionally, according to circumstances, to the deacon, but never to a lay person. In particular cases and for a just cause, the homily may even be given by a Bishop or a priest who is present at the celebration but cannot concelebrate.

There is to be a homily on Sundays and holy days of obligation at all Masses that are celebrated with the participation of a congregation; it may not be omitted without a serious reason. It is recommended on other days, especially on the weekdays of Advent, Lent, and the Easter Season, as well as on other festive days and occasions when the people come to church in greater numbers.
And I'm sure he's not the only one.

UPDATE: Here's the Archdiocese's reply:

Your e-mail below was referred to me as the Director of the Archdiocesan Office for Worship. True concern for the liturgy and the life and love that Christ wishes to bestow on us in the liturgy are high priorities for the Archbishop and for me personally. I contacted Father ____ and asked him to explain the situation.

Father ____ shared with me that he did in fact have a homily on June 21, Father’s Day. It was shorter than his usual homily and it did contain three humorous stories all of which he sent and none of which involved Jesus playing golf. Father ____ used these stories to feature the care that father’s give their children. Then he related that to the care that to his primary focus, the God has for us, as was evidenced in the gospel where Jesus calms the storms. He has since received compliments on the homily, one of which he shared with me. While compliments do not ensure a good homily, he indicated that those who complimented him understood and appreciated the point about God’s care for us. I am sorry that you did not share this reception.

After examining the situation, I am confident that, while different in style even from his own usual homilies, there was no liturgical abuse at _____ Church on June 21, 2009. Father _____ is a good pastor who is familiar with and follows the rubrics as laid out in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal and the other pertinent documents. Father _____ also indicated that he greets people after every Mass and would have been more than willing to discuss this with you. Since you indicate that you return to the area occasionally, perhaps next time you may want to bring it up with him after Mass.
No, thank you. Quite simply, this priest lied. I will not attend his parish again, since he has no credibility with me anymore. And what a whitewash.

I will, however, pray for him.


Cygnus said...

Post removed because of my error, not that of the commenter. I didn't anonymize enough.

daniel speth said...

I will pray for you. It seems you have no love in your heart.

Paul said...

Thanks, I can use all the prayers I can get! By the way, while you're looking in my heart, would you tell me how my left ventricle is doing?

Paul said...

P.S. Daniel: you not only can't spell, you say I have no love in my heart...and then proceed to cuss me out in a comment that I, as benevolent dictator of this blog, thankfully deleted.