Pray Tell Poll: Should Presider and Ministers Pray Together Before Eucharistic Celebration?

Should Presider and Ministers Pray Together Before the Eucharistic Celebration?

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Tell us in the comments how to do it, or why or why not to do it!

4 comments

  1. I would use the verb “could.” In large parishes, the prep areas–sacristy, altar server vesting, and music rehearsal room–might be fairly far apart. So we might be talking about sacristy-connected ministries, not everybody.

    My reason for voting “no,” though I’ve seen this prayer done with some fruitfulness among some people in some places:

    1. Presider and ministers might do better to welcome parishioners and newcomers rather than circle the wagons for a quasi-private prayer.

    2. The prayer for fruitful celebration of what is to come is properly the collect. And that includes everybody–at least the people who came on time.

    3. Prayer might be better placed at the moments various ministries prepare for their role. At rehearsals, especially.

    But I’m only leaning 75-25 to my vote. I could be convinced otherwise by better arguments than mine.

  2. As a concept, I think pre-Mass prayers with all the ministers are a commendable idea. Based on observation and feedback, I think the bulk of this falls on the shoulders of the bishop or priest who is presiding at a given Mass. For better or worse, he sets the tone for the celebration even before the Mass begins.

    If the bishop/priest is stressed out, flying in all directions, clarifying procedures with families who are receiving Sacraments, responding to someone who has requested a low-gluten host, confirming that the Parish Council member is ready to speak before Mass about elections, etc., then I doubt this type of pre-Mass prayer would be included. At particularly large parishes, there could be any number of items that pop loose and require attention prior to Mass. As an alternative, the lay ministers could always organize the prayer(s) themselves without the priest(s)/deacon(s) present, but that doesn’t exactly serve the same purpose.

    I also agree with Todd that the layout of the building could have a significant impact, as it may be very difficult to get all the ministers collected (no pun intended) into one room or quiet area. Most sacristies are not known for their overall size.

    1. Who said this prayer needs to be in a sacristy or enclosed space? At my parish we just do a brief prayer in the narthex before the entrance procession. Stragglers are usually very respectful of our pre-mass ritual so we’ve never felt the need to hide in our decently sized sacristy which is nearby. Even before our busy high morning mass we’ve always been able to squeeze in our 30 second prayer, which I think goes a long way towards getting everyone’s spirits in the right place before we offer the Holy Sacrifice.

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