Private Devotions Inserted Into Mass
  • Inspired by the Saint Michael Prayer thread - in the diocese I am currently in, it is common for the St. Michael Prayer to be recited at the end of the Prayers of the Faithful.

    I've also encountered liturgies where the Hail Mary was said by everyone at the same place.

    Are there any rules or regulations regarding such practices?
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,569
    Anomalous to the general Catholic liturgical practice of the last few centuries, where prayers within the liturgy properly speaking, other than in the Litany of the Saints, are typically addressed to the persons of the Trinity (we pray to the Father through Christ in the Holy Spirit, as it were). The Ave in that spot is a practice that started after Vatican II in England. I've encountered celebrants who avoid doing that but join the prayers to the intercession of the BVM (in the third person) as part of the concluding prayer for the intercessions.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 690
    In some diocese in Brazil it's common to have various novenas at the end of Mass, either seasonal ones, ones relating to a patron saint, or ones pertaining to devotional groups (ie Thursday's it's Our lady of Schoenstatt, Tuesday's Saint Anthony, and so on).
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,259
    Apparently, people can put anything into the “prayers of the faithful,” including but not limited to attempting to guilt others into doing things… “that people will get their Covid shots,” “that people will show charity by wearing face coverings at Mass, “for the success of _____.”
    I’d rather the “prayers of the faithful,” in their obnoxiously inventive nature, be completely removed.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 824
    If priests would adhere to the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, the celebration of Mass would be so much better:

    22.3: Therefore no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority.


    Also in the GIRM:

    24: However, the Priest will remember that he is the servant of the Sacred Liturgy and that he himself is not permitted, on his own initiative, to add, to remove, or to change anything in the celebration of Mass.


    So it seems clear that adding a St. Michael Prayer during Mass as a regular feature of the community's liturgical prayer is an unpermitted modification to the liturgy. Same with communally praying the Hail Mary during Mass after the Universal Prayer. People try to get around the liturgical norms by appending things to Mass immediately before or after, so they say "technically" we're not adding to the liturgy. Well, in a letter-of-the-law sense they aren't, but in a spirit-of-the-law sense they are.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,843
    22.3: Therefore no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority.
    ummm... this was intended mainly for Paul VI as HE changed the entire liturgy...
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 581
    When I sang in the choir at St. Mary's (1977-2010), the Legion of Mary always prayed the rosary before Sunday Mass but not for every Mass on Sunday. Now the rosary would finish about 5 or 7 minutes before the Mass would start. This gave the choir an opportunity on many occasions to sing a devotional hymn. If the choir was going to sing it was communicated with the priest saying Mass. This was the practice or tradition for many years. In my current parish of St. Paul's we have a prelude hymn before Mass and after the final blessing "go forth the Mass has ended" we pray a prayer to St. Paul, who is our patron saint especially during the month of January. However, to my knowledge be it St. Mary's or St. Paul's nothing was inserted during the Mass.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,016
    It has been reported that CDWDS has twice asked the bishops of England&Wales to drop the practice of adding the Hail Mary at the end of the Intercessions, and none has taken any action. We say it, but sing the Salve during October and on Sundays adjacent to a great Marian feast, and Regina Cœli during Eastertide.
    IIRC it was our then Archbishop Worlock who first suggested it.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • DL
    Posts: 36
    The Hail Mary appears in the 1967 volume The Prayer of the Faithful (which was completed in November 1966 and based on an earlier collection of prayers from 1965), imprimatured by George Dwyer. It was actually compiled by Bishop Gordon Wheeler* and Fr David Quinlan. On the Hail Mary, the preamble asserts: “The prayer to Our Lady inserted in the scheme authorized for England and Wales following a medieval precedent. It is constant
    and always concludes the petitions.”


    I don’t know whether this was one of the pies into which Derek Worlock’s fingers made their way.

    *Wheeler was the first English diocesan bishop to have been trained at St Stephen’s House (an Anglican theological college), in either the Church of England or the Catholic Church.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,653
    So it seems clear that adding a St. Michael Prayer during Mass as a regular feature of the community's liturgical prayer is an unpermitted modification to the liturgy. Same with communally praying the Hail Mary during Mass after the Universal Prayer. People try to get around the liturgical norms by appending things to Mass immediately before or after, so they say "technically" we're not adding to the liturgy. Well, in a letter-of-the-law sense they aren't, but in a spirit-of-the-law sense they are.


    As you emphasize, “during” is the key. But where your spirit-of-the-law argument fails is that a pope formally decreed that the st Michael prayer be prayed world-wide after low mass. So this isn’t some goofy home-grown devotion. It was formally promulgated.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,648
    And formally removed. Popes give and popes take away. It is used in my area because the bishop reinstated it.
  • Mark,

    SURELY, if the prayer to St. Michael is the means by which the people offer their intentions, rather than being forbidden, it is permitted.
  • We have broached this subject before.
    There seem to be those who like to add their own saints and interests at the end of the Universal Prayers, and will do so regardless of whether such prayers are licit. They are not.
    There should be no persons added and no persons addressed who are not Divine
    (meaning Father, Son and Holy Ghost) . In other words, only God or Persons of the Holy Trinity are licitly addressed at mass. The entire mass is addressed to God, the Trinity, and no other.

    As for the St Michael prayer, it is always said after mass at Walsingham - followed by a short 'litany' of various saints during the recession, after which the postlude is played.

    I think that those who just can't resist adding intercessions to the BVM, etc. think that God will not hear us but through her or other saints - which is an affront to Him.
  • The entire mass is addressed to God, the Trinity, and no other.


    This is not entirely true though. Think of the various Marian propers. These are texts of the Mass which unambiguously address the Mother of God.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,653
    I presume MJO means the Sacrifice itself which is the purpose of the Mass. But point taken.
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,154
    People try to get around the liturgical norms by appending things to Mass immediately before or after, so they say "technically" we're not adding to the liturgy. Well, in a letter-of-the-law sense they aren't, but in a spirit-of-the-law sense they are.


    Very interesting, but you are literally 'making it up'--a tactic with a rather disgusting history. Lay people do not "plot" to "get around" norms; rather, they are motivated to pray. The church is a fine place to pray.

    But prove me wrong!! Prove to me that there are 'plots' and 'schemes' to 'violate liturgical norms'--about which 99.99% of laypeople know nothing.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,653
    dad29, I agree that for the average layperson, there is no plot to circumvent liturgical norms. Most people don't even know that the GIRM exists, let alone what it is or what it says. That said, many people do have ideas about how they want their liturgy to be, and they are almost always uniformed since they are unaware of the aforementioned document and the rubrics contained therein. So, there are agendas, to be sure, but they run parallel to the theory of undermining liturgical norms. They simply are wanting things to be the way they want them to be.

    This is why I once posed the following question to our parish via a bulletin column:

    "How does God want to be worshipped?" Followed by the logical followup, "Can we know the answer to this question? Yes, we can, because Holy Mother Church has taught us and has millenias-old traditions which inform our understanding in this regard."

    But I think very few people think in these terms. They don't realize that the Mass is about God the Son offering Himself to God the Father on our behalf; they think it's about us, and us receiving communion. It's a very anthropocentric understanding of things, and obvious a complete inversion of reality. But they were never taught, so the question of what does GOD want never crosses their minds because they aren't aware that there is anything wrong or deficient. "You don't know what you don't know," as it were.
    Thanked by 1StimsonInRehab
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 1,058
    @CCooze, since you only attend EF Masses, why do you even care?
  • .
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,653
    @CCooze, since you only attend EF Masses, why do you even care?

    That's a bit like saying, "that guy isn't beating your kids; why do you care if those other kids get beaten?"

    It is in everyone's best interest to improve things as much and wherever we can. We are either "one body" or we aren't.
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 436
    --a tactic with a rather disgusting history. Lay people do not "plot" to "get around" norms; rather, they are motivated to pray. The church is a fine place to pray.

    But prove me wrong!! Prove to me that there are 'plots' and 'schemes' to 'violate liturgical norms'


    “Uncle Tony loved Frank Sinatra singing ‘My Way.’ If you insist we can’t have that during communion, then we’ll play it before the Mass/at the end/Fr X at Y parish did that for Aunt Sue’s funeral, he said it was fine since it was after Mass……it’s HIS FUNERAL….”
  • Alright - quote just one utterance in the ritual text of the mass (which to depart from or add to is forbidden), which directly addresses the BVM or other saints. We note that our prayers are joined with the BVM et al , but they are not addressed, nor is their intercession asked.
    Many people hear the mention of the saints during the canon and think they are addressed. Such confusion arises from poor catechism, not an informed conscience.
    Thanked by 1Schönbergian
  • MarkB
    Posts: 824
    The Litany of Saints directly addresses the BVM and other saints and asks for their intercession.

    That's the only instance I know of.

    But the Litany isn't part of the Mass; it's part of the liturgy of Baptism, which at the Easter Vigil is incorporated into the Mass.
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 436
    MJO

    Off the top of my head, without cracking open the books:

    The introit “Salve, sancta parens”, the gradual “Beata es tu, Virgo Maria”, the offertory “Ave Maria”, and the communion “Gloriosa” are all directly addressed to the BVM.

    One way they might be different from the SMP or a Hail Mary would be that they do not petition Mary for anything. They are simply ascriptions of praise, for one reason or another. To be crass, they are compliments to the BVM, which, like compliments to the person next to me about his tie, do not interfere with the Mass being a prayer addressed to God through Christ etc.
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,154
    Gamba, those examples (I've had to deal with those, too) are not relevant to the discussion about the SMP or a Rosary. As Thomas Aquinas reminds us: distinguish!!

    One's funeral or wedding, for which one may 'plot' an inappropriate piece of music is NOT the same as a Sunday Mass before/after which is said a Rosary or the SMP. And that's not to mention the vast difference between pops/crooner hit songs and a Rosary or SMP in the first place.

    I'm not a fan of the Rosary Gang, but I admire their resolve to pray ceaselessly, so long as it doesn't interfere with the Mass--which it cannot do when before or after the Mass. I'm favorably inclined to the SMP, after the Mass, so it does not interfere with it.

    Those on this board who insist that a Rosary or SMP is--somehow--a derogation of the Mass, or arranged for by the Sinister Granny Prayer-Gang, are perhaps far too sensitive for the work of parish musician.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,648
    This old parish musician could eat you for lunch and grind up the remaining body parts. Hardly sensitive by any measure. It is all about consideration for others. If you are aware that activities are going on to get ready for mass - it happens - then don't insist on commandeering the nave until 5 minutes before mass for a group rosary. There are times when something needs a last minute go-over by the choir or even a cipher which I had to fix one day almost up to mass time. Wouldn't you know it was a trumpet pipe that could be heard in the next county, so no playing around it. As I mentioned in another post, scheduling so events don't overlap or collide with each other is the key. It's just good manners and basic consideration for others. It is not all about you or "your" rosary.
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,154
    I don't think you have the necessary ..........

    Sounds like a problem you should discuss with your pastor, or maybe threaten the grannies-with-rosaries. Come to think of it, they probably don't know that YOU own the church!
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,648
    I don't own it but there is a time and a place for everything. Everyone can't stop and humor a group that thinks their private devotions are more important than what others are doing. Again, a situation the pastor could easily control.
  • Gamba is right to suggest that those introits etc., which mention the BVM (or other saints) are ascription of praise, not petitions for one thing or another. They are all about what God has accomplished through them.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 1,058
    At my church, the rosary is said before the Sunday morning Mass. It is started 30 minutes before Mass time and is finished well before Mass.

    Saying a group rosary at the church allows one to receive an indulgence (I think it is a plenary indulgence, but I will have to look that up). For many people, before Mass is the only time they can get together to do this.