Bishop Paprocki authorizes St. Michael Prayer after Masses

Bishop Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois announced  Tuesday that the public recitation of the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel can be prayed by the faithful after the dismissal and before the recession.

H/T: Servant and Steward blog (Fr. Daren Zehnle)


  1. Some pastors in my diocese have long encouraged the recitation of this prayer after Mass. A few priests also say a Hail Mary at the end of the homily or at the end of the Prayer of the Faithful.

    One might plausibly argue that any prayer, sermon, or announcement after the dismissal (OF) or Last Gospel (EF) is not part of the Roman liturgy. I wonder why a bishop would need to give permission for a prayer that is outside the Mass. However, one might also argue that the Leonine Prayers were also not part of the liturgy. Nevertheless, those prayers were formally suppressed in 1964.

    1. Giving permission when no one has asked for it is simply a way of saying I endorse this practice. Who is aksing for this prayer at the end of the Mass?

  2. This Bishop Paprocki?

    Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
    Springfield, Illinois
    December 25, 2010

    …..I’m talking about the Battle of Vienna tonight because we are sadly
    mistaken or at least naïve if we think that this centuries-long onslaught of
    Muslims against Christians ended on that battlefield three hundred and
    twenty-seven years ago. From its beginnings in the seventh century, the
    Muslim community spread through the Middle East through conquest, and
    the resulting growth of the Muslim state provided the ground in which
    Islam could take root and flourish.”

    1. Wow. I actually might have walked out on that one, even if I were vested and serving in the sanctuary.

      One the plus side, I liked the quotation from St. Augustine at the end. Maybe he should have left it at that.

    2. I am extremely dismayed to read of a bishop promoting ethnic profiling and from the pulpit on Christmas. Clearly, he has so little understanding of Islam today that he feels the seige of Vienna is still relevant and furthermore assumes that all Muslims are ethnically homogeneous, which is nonsense. One can only pray that he is not taken seriously, and that people of peace will ignore him. It’s an embarrassment to Catholicism that someone with as little discernment has been made a bishop, regardless of the prayer to St. Michael.

      1. We need a prayer to someone to save us from such poor homilies. Then we ask why are people leaving the Church?

    3. Yes, and how’s this for a remarkable paring of sentences to get you started on an inspiring homily for Midnight Mass: “The commander of the defeated Ottoman army, Kara Mustafa Pasha, was executed in Belgrade on December 25, 1683. Merry Christmas!”

    4. Thanks for that quote from bishop Paprocki. Well, we know one bishop who won’t be accompanying
      the pope on his next visit to the middle east.

      1. Thanks for that quote from bishop Paprocki. Well, we know one bishop who won’t be accompanying
        the pope on his next visit to the middle east.

        P.S. On second thought, perhaps the good bishop
        will find a seat reserved for him on the pope’s plane to Saudi Arabia after all.

  3. Or this:

    Or this – blaming sexual abuse cases on the devil:

    Amused – in the 50’s and 60’s we used to pray for the conversion of Russia and for rain (cotton lands in west Texas). Of course, most clergy had no idea of when the farmers did or did not need rain but we prayed every Sunday no matter what. Remember my grandfather shaking his head one Sunday as we knelt to pray because the fields were too wet to plant – not good.

    1. Hey, be nice to Pluto! It’s been demoted from planet already; why pick on it even more?

      Um, I should probably confess here that by some definitions I’m a planetary scientist.

  4. I think its wonderful his excellency has authorized this prayer for after Mass. I try to pray it everyday because I love it. St. Michael’s intercession is powerful!

  5. While the Bishop IS the chief liturgist in his diocese, I question why any bishop would so deviate from the rest of the bishops of the entire world and from the General Instruction on the Roman Missal. Let me note for the record, even Pope Benedict XVI doesn’t do this prayer at the Masses at which he presides. I hope Bishop Paprocki doesn’t get in trouble for this practice.

    1. If the bishop had added a prayer for more respect for the environment, I suspect that the tone of our discussion would be totally different.

      A few years back, my bishop mandated a prayer for vocations at every Mass. I doubt that such an action would have even been noticed by PrayTell, if PrayTell had been around back then. But maybe I’m mistaken.

  6. “I suspect that the tone of our discussion would be totally different.”

    I suspect not so much.

    There is a place for intercessory prayer–a few actually. The ideal spot would be after the Creed.

    The liturgy is not the place for ministers to abuse an audience with their fussbudgetry on causes. Adaptations are for the people, not the desires or consciences of the clergy and liturgists.

    1. Does a St Michael prayer after the dismissal really undermine or threaten the integrity of the Liturgy? What if it was after the closing hymn? People might not stick around for it, but it would clearly not be a part of the Liturgy, in that place.

      Yet I still suspect that there would be complaints on the blogs even if it was after the closing hymn.

      1. Michael, I would ask proponents to identify the genre of the prayer. Do they recognize it as a prayer of intercession? Does it have a link to the dismissal of the faithful? Perhaps it does, if one’s mindset is that serving Christ is a battle against evil rather than a joyful and peaceable encounter with other human beings.

        If the standard of liturgical accretions is harm, many of us could ask a lot of questions of things like intercommunion for non-Catholic spouses, inclusive language, MR2.

        Is a bishop’s task to develop or reinforce what is essentially a lay devotion? I might suggest that improving preaching of his clergy or developing a music academy in his diocese would be matters within the realm of governance and leadership. There is no clergy part in this prayer, so what’s he doing fussing with something not his affair?

        And finally, does this prayer reflect a true devotion to St Michael? As his namesake, I suspect it might for you. But for most others I would wonder: is it a liturgical bauble for sentimentalists? Is it merely a prayer against a personified evil–and does that distract from sinners taking responsibility for their own sins?

        Perhaps some Catholics wish to deny the nature of evil–either by blaming someone else, or avoiding mention of the devil. My interpretation is that this prayer is a feel-good opportunity that doesn’t invite greater scrutiny, either of one’s sinfulness or of the devotional life, or even of the place for intercessory prayer in the Mass.

        Sticking it to the end of Mass is a legalism. If it were of such grave importance, Bishop Paprocki would emphasize the feast of St Michael, and encourage devotion beyond a single prayer for one-stop spiritual shoppers.

        Would it hurt to have this prayer tacked on before or after the closing hymn or postlude? I’d rather phrase it another way: if the bishop discerns this strongly, why doesn’t he jump in with all the traditions of the church? As part of a wider effort, this initiative might be palatable. But as a stand-alone bit, it strikes me as lazy and a distraction.

      2. No, Todd, it’s not a legalism (with dubious legality given its suppression in that placement) but a . . . shibboleth.

  7. Tom asked What is the actual text of this?

    There are slightly differing versions in different countries, but this is the one I grew up with:

    Blessed Michael the Archangel, defend us in the day of battle.
    Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
    May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
    and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
    by the power of God,
    thrust down to hell Satan and all the wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls.

    1. Well Paul I hope the bishop didn’t approve THAT mealy-mouthed effort, but rather this glorious alternative, a favourite of our own dear Professor Rindfleisch:

      O Glorious Prince of the heavenly host, St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in the battle and in the terrible warfare that we are waging against the principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against the evil spirits. Come to the aid of man, whom Almighty God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of Satan.

      Fight this day the battle of the Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in Heaven. That cruel, ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold, this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay and cast into eternal perdition souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. This wicked dragon pours out, as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity.

      These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where the See of Holy Peter and the Chair of Truth has been set up as the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be.

      (cont . . . )

    2. ( . . . cont)

      Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious power of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly find mercy in the sight of the Lord; and vanquishing the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.
      V. Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
      R. The Lion of the tribe of Judah has conquered the root of David.
      V. Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
      R. As we have hoped in Thee.
      V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
      R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

      Let us pray.
      O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as supplicants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin Immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious St. Michael the Archangel, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all the other unclean spirits who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of souls. Amen.”

      1. Could we get Vox Clara to give us a definitive text from the Latin please?

  8. If something is going to be imposed on the liturgy, why not something Eucharistic? Like the O Sacrum convivium, or the Anima Christi? Of course, the appropriate place for these would be after communion, just before the post-communion prayer…

  9. The diocesan paper has an article

    “The practice was discontinued as normative in the 1960s” seems a little misleading to me. I thought this prayer was suppressed for use at the end of Mass.

    I wouldn’t have a problem if the prayer was being encouraged for private use. As soon as this prayer gets added, then I think we just have to ask how long before other devotional things begin to creep back into the liturgy.

  10. Only priests especially “devoted” to the bishop are likely to adopt this. Do you suppose he names monsignors there?

  11. Thank you, Paul and Chris, for posting the texts.

    I do not see what it has to do with liturgy at all.

    It seems to me to be another instance of wanting the one required hour of attendance per week be all things to all factions, or at least to the faction or fashion in control at the time, right or left.

    I can not understand why we, bishops, pastors, liturgists, liturgy committees, put more effort into adding or changing things than we do into preparing, rehearsing, and doing the basics well.

    To a theater person, most US RC liturgies of all persuasions look under rehearsed; performances seem “mailed in”, lacking personal effort or investment by its ministers. There seems to be no sense of sight lines, stage picture, transitions, blocking, and little effort at projection, enunciation, interpretation, or understanding the functions of the various parts. It is so much “just going through the motions”.

    Maybe I am just a bit sour after last night watching the presider stop the deacon from acting during the “Lamb of God” and then having the pouring and breaking and distribution to assisting ministers take a seeming eternity after the congregation was invited to communion.

  12. This whole event with the “restoration of the Prayer to St. Michael” seems to me to be part of a “restoration” of the Pre-Vatican II liturgy. This despite the fact that there is nothing in the General Instruction on the Roman Missal 2000 to even suggest this addition, let alone encourage it.

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