Announcements before Mass: yea or nay
  • CatholicZ09
    Posts: 122
    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?
    Thanked by 2tomjaw cesarfranck
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,728
    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: 350
    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: 201
    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: 779
    Father signals for the music to start and it starts. No announcements or other shenanigans.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,172
    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.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,278
    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: 4,374
    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: 9,576
    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: 2,802
    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!
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,576
    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...
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • 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?
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 8,043
    NAY, and a NAY a thousand times
    announcments before mass!:
    Let every tongue right silent be

    Refrain -
    Repeat the sounding NAY
    Repeat the sounding NAY
    Repee-eet, repee-eeet, the sounding Nay.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,802
    I agree with Fr. Krisman, but I will add that I, personally, feel that it is equally bad to have the announcements read from the place where prayers are said, such as the sedilia, or, heaven forbid, the altar itself.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • JMJones
    Posts: 64
    It's like what I couldn't stand about broadcast Masses. I'm kneeling there in my living room when the churches were closed, which already isn't a church, and I'm trying to prepare my heart, and there's commercials going on... and then suddenly, there's Mass starting! It was so jarring. Thankfully, as a musician, I got to be one of the ones providing services for the broadcast Masses most of the time, so I didn't have to experience it very often. Please don't turn your parishes into this.
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 640
    I'd vote for putting announcements on the bulletin board. Tonight we had: pre-Mass explanation of today's Mass, introduction of priest/welcome, priest's commentary (after sign of the Cross, before Kyrie); break before the offertory to bless some couples; then before the final blessing - long reflection on the homily and blessing of the priest from a layman; further announcements and a Hail Mary for vocations. Not my usualSunday parish but I was away until evening. I do love this priest, though, despite his tolerance of too much talking.
  • Hmmm - sounds like high church Baptists to me!
  • Catherine,

    I'm glad that's not my parish!
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 640
    Ironically I know an elderly baptist who spent his youthful years preaching against the corrupting influence of rock'n'roll, only to see the baptist churches he knew gradually adopt that very style of music. He was baffled, I think.