Announcements before Mass: yea or nay
  • CatholicZ09
    Posts: 108
    My pastor and I may not agree on a lot, but one thing I love that he has done is eliminate any announcements before Mass. The cantor would normally greet the assembly, list the Mass of the day, and go into a slew of announcements that can all be found in the bulletin. We’ve had some weekends where there would be 3-4 minutes of announcements before the opening hymn. Now, the priest just rings the sacristy bells, and the organist picks up from there.

    What’s done in your parish, and would you prefer something different?
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,602
    The lector goes to the ambo, greets the people, tells us which Sunday it is and which EP our priest will be using, and invites us to stand and join in saying the Introit. Then we have a verse or two of a hymn as the priest and servers enter.
    I would prefer to sing the introit, the Mass of the Day is in the bulletin, and I am content to listen to the EP (from hearing which I derive much spiritual benefit).
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 334
    My experiences:

    Lutheran: very brief announcements between prelude and procession. 15 seconds or less, and only if something vital to the whole parish had occurred after the printing of the bulletin, which had every single announcement in it and proofread religiously. Things on the order of “there is no Sunday school today because the heat in those rooms is out of order”, or “Wednesday events are cancelled because the city needs to dig up a water main”. Nothing at any other point – it was all clearly printed.

    Episcopal 1: All at very beginning of homily. I didn’t like this – we had just heard the Word, and then suddenly changed gears to talk about when the AA would meet, and then back again to try to remember what the texts were as he started in preaching.

    Episcopal 2: (The Book of Common Prayer orders the middle of the liturgy as follows: Creed, Universal Prayer, Confession of Sin, Sign Peace, then on to the Liturgy of the Eucharist.) This church puts the announcements after the Peace, when everyone’s already looking around and distracted.

    Catholic 1: Cantor reads an entire newscast worth of announcements, and then “and now…..…..let us greet our celebrant Fr X with today’s opening hymn, “You are Plenty Eagles Gathered, #666” or whatever. Good money for a college student. Not a fan.

    Catholic 2: Prelude, lector says only “Good morning, and welcome to St N. on the Yth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The celebrant is Fr. X. Today’s readings are on p. 1 of the missalette. As we begin, please join in singing hymn #….. ” Only variation was if there was no hymn and the entrance antiphon was read or sung. This was in the process of being phased out when I had to leave. Announcements were read by the lector after the Prayer after Communion but but before the blessing and dismissal.

    I think this last one was best, without the initial spiel.

    – I don’t like “Good morning…Welcome….”; to me it always feels as if the speaker is saying “This is my house, not God’s, and I will deign to welcome all you outsiders”. I feel more welcomed and more at home when the very first words are the name of the God who made me, who baptized me with that name, whose house and Mass it is I wanted to come to in the first place.

    – We trust people driving to Mass to read the street names and stop signs, and even to notice the name on the church and end up in the right place. I don’t think when they walk in they suddenly become illiterate, and truly are incapable of comprehending a hymn board or a leaflet or both that tell them to go to page X. If they really can’t read those things, then why even bother directing them to a printed page?

    – I come to Mass to hear from, be with, and worship God. Every word in the liturgy is carefully chosen and put in a specific order to make a whole that will teach me what I must do to serve God. When this structure is interrupted, or when my weak mind is distracted by other concerns (bingo! pasta dinner!), I struggle to get back on track with what the liturgy and homily and music are communicating.
  • trentonjconn
    Posts: 181
    We have a lector go to the ambo five minutes before Mass to welcome visitors, lead a prayer for vocations, and request the silencing of cell phones. After they're done, I play prelude. The bell is rung, and we jump straight into the processional hymn (followed by the introit) without announcement. It's an arrangement I can live with.
  • TCJ
    Posts: 762
    Father signals for the music to start and it starts. No announcements or other shenanigans.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,143
    At times, lengthier announcements before Mass than the homily, itself. At our NO parish's TLM, anyway.
    I don't get it.

    I haven't been to a Sunday NO in over a year, so I'm not as up-to-date on whether it has changed much from Gamba's Catholic 2, above.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,154
    Announcements policies are all over the place. A former pastor of 38 years came out every Sunday before vesting and read announcements. Then a few minutes pause and the mass began. The next pastor essentially didn't do announcements unless it was something eventful. Later, another pastor did them at the end after the dismissal.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,311
    In a Catholic sacramental understanding of the Mass, God's presence is also with the community of the faithful gathered together. And not incidentally.

    I favor of a bare minimum of pre-liturgical announcement, if needed at all. Sometimes, it is needed - the COVID protocols did require some announcement, for example.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,456
    we have them in the middle of Mass, just prior to the homily, conducted by the priest... and there is usually only parish gathering information... no sales pitches.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,772
    Apropos to a thing that Gamba mentioned: I have heard an anecdote from several priests in my diocese of slightly different ages and different views about liturgy of an announcement at a Mass with the Bishop in the 80s: "Welcome to St. X. Cathedral. Let us greet Bishop N. as we sing "Hail, Holy Queen.""

    We try not to have announcements. The former pastor had them before the sermon, because everyone was sitting down; The new guy has them in the "proper" place before the blessing, which I hate.

    There really is no good place in the liturgy for announcements, thus why the parish bulletin exists. I think that before Mass begins is the least invasive, but leaving a gap of a few minutes before the sacristy bell is rung. For the love of Pete, keep them brief!
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,456
    For the love of Pete, keep them brief!
    that is why our priests handle them alone... short, sweet and only info that must and should be shared...
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,359
    I don't much care when brief announcements are made. But I do care about the use of the ambo for any purpose not included in liturgical norms:
    GIRM 309. The dignity of the Word of God requires that in the church there be a suitable place from which it may be proclaimed and toward which the attention of the faithful naturally turns during the Liturgy of the Word... From the ambo only the readings, the Responsorial Psalm, and the Easter Proclamation (Exsultet) are to be proclaimed; likewise it may be used for giving the Homily and for announcing the intentions of the Universal Prayer. The dignity of the ambo requires that only a minister of the word should stand at it.
  • The dignity of the ambo requires that only a minister of the word should stand at it.

    This dignity doesn't depend on architectural value, or, I would guess, the fact that absolutely anyone can serve as a "minister of the word" now?