Paranaque priests told: Don’t mention government officials during mass

Evelyn Macairan, The Philippine Star
Posted at 09/05/2015 9:45 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The next time government officials attend mass at churches under the diocese of Parañaque, there would be no applause for them.

Fr. John Francis Frederick Manlapig, who heads Parañaque’s Diocesan Commission on Liturgy and Popular Religiosity, has discouraged the parishes in the diocese from giving special mention if there are government officials attending a liturgical service, the CBCPNews, the official news service provider of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), reported.

“Since there is no place for recognizing individual achievements during the liturgy, we likewise recommend our pastors and lay liturgical ministers to refrain from the habit of mentioning the services rendered by particular individuals or groups, such as the lay liturgical ministers, the presence of government officials, or even the presiding celebrant himself,” Manlapig said in a recent circular.

However, he admitted that there are instances when applause can be allowed, such as on special events in the diocese or parish, a patron saint’s feast day or the dedication of a church.

“Whereas the act of clapping has no place in the liturgy, it may be argued that this act, which is practiced by Christian communities after the mass, may well be an expression of thanksgiving for a beautifully celebrated liturgy and gratitude for the grace of the Eucharist that has been received,” he said.

He added, “there are occasions wherein the faithful are invited to clap their hands, for instance, when a newly ordained priest is presented to the community by the bishop, or when a newly married couple is introduced by the solemnizing minister, or catechumens as they are received by the parish community during the Easter Vigil.”

According to Manlapig, in these situations, the applause is meant as an appreciation of the grace received and the growth of the church, not for individual achievements.

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