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When a Deacon Leads the Rosary During the Homily

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A friend in Ohio posted this on Facebook the other day, talking about last Sunday’s homily:

Today our deacon decided to preach not on the Samaritan Woman (we had the First Scrutiny at Mass) but on the Rosary, going so far as to having everyone do the Sorrowful Mysteries then and there. By the time the Scrutiny happened it looked like people wanted to head for the exits.

Needless to say, this shouldn’t happen.

A 1974 exhortation by Pope Paul VI notes:

The Rosary is an exercise of piety that draws its motivating force from the liturgy and leads naturally back to it, if practiced in conformity with its original inspiration.; It does not, however, become part of the liturgy. In fact, meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary, by familiaring the hearts and minds of the faithful with the mysteries of Christ, can be an excellent preparation for the creation of those same mysteries in the liturgical action and an also become a continuing echo thereof. However, it is a mistake to recite the Rosary during the celebration of the liturgy, though unfortunately this practice still persists here and there.

As for the homily, the General Instruction of the Roman Missal is clear:

65. The Homily is part of the Liturgy and is highly recommended, for it is necessary for the nurturing of the Christian life. It should be an explanation of some aspect of the readings from Sacred Scripture or of another text from the Ordinary or the Proper of the Mass of the day and should take into account both the mystery being celebrated and the particular needs of the listeners.

And there is this, from the Homiletic Directory issued two years ago:

Whether the homily explains the text of the Sacred Scriptures proclaimed in the readings or some other text of the Liturgy, it must always lead the community of the faithful to celebrate the Eucharist actively, “so that they may hold fast in their lives to what they have grasped by faith” [SC 10]. From this living explanation, the word of God proclaimed in the readings and the Church’s celebration of the day’s Liturgy will have greater impact. But this demands that the homily be truly the fruit of meditation, carefully prepared, neither too long nor too short, and suited to all those present, even children and the uneducated.

Photo: Wikipedia

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