GIRM paragraph 89
I detest announcements at Mass. Well, that’s not true. When there is need of an announcement where and when else is everybody gathered (hopefully) so that you can tell them about something important for the community?
But the problem is, “How do you regulate announcements so that A) they do not drone on with too much information and B) that there is proper vetting system in place so that there are not 2,000 of them?” We have announcements at the end of Mass just before the final blessing. Just when you think things are about to wrap up and your are grabbing your music book as well as your hat making ready to escape our horrible parking lot, someone says, “We have just a few announcements.” I see the air go out of people’s lungs and shoulders slump. If there are a number of them, then you can SEE attention starting to drift off toward the ceiling. Announcements should be like javelin tosses. You throw one, and it is quick and a doozy. After that, people shut down and anything said will be as well heard as a long lecture of the benefits of flossing sitting outside on a hot afternoon having already had a bottle of wine.
But that has ALMOST nothing to do with today’s post.
It seemed very common that, in many places, the announcements (or talks, or funding requests, or invitations to events) took place BEFORE the prayer after communion simply because it was a quiet moment and those who were going to be late for Mass are there and those who are going to try to sneak out early haven’t left yet.
The problem with this is that THE COMMUNION RITE IS NOT YET OVER. The prayer after communion is not called the prayer after communion simply because it is some random prayer that just happens to be after communion but rather it is “to complete the prayer of the People of God, and also to conclude the whole Communion Rite . . . ” Thought it may not seems so, adding ANYTHING before this prayer would be a kin to stopping before the Angus Dei and saying, “Before we receive Communion today, I have a couple of announcements.”
At least one local parish makes their announcements before Mass (missing the late comers.) Most of us (I think) make it at the end of Mass annoying those who had it in their mind that they were just about to ease on down the road. BUT VERILY I SAY UNTO THEE that I think this is cool that people are wearied at this pause before concluding the Mass. I do believe that announcements are a necessary evil but it shows what an intrusion they are, no matter when they are done, to the Mass. It messes with the flow of prayer and ritual. It is the fly in the soup; one little spec that seems to taint the giant pot. It is like the plane that was just about to touch down but which decided to make one more loop before landing. It is like this post that has now gone on a few sentences too long.