Cardinal Tagle to brother-priests: Quit “Good morning” at start of Mass

tagleManila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle asked priests to do away with their habit of greeting their parishioners “good morning” during Mass, saying the expression “the Lord be with you” is already sufficient.

“With all due respect, my brother-priests, I do not see the need for saying ‘good morning’ and similar greetings when God’s real presence in the Holy Eucharist alone suffices,” he said in an article posted on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) website.

“Is not the expression ‘The Lord be with you’ more than enough?” added Tagle.

His Eminence said this during his Corpus Christi Mass at the Santa Cruz Church (Our Lady of the Pillar Parish Church) in Manila, Sunday.

Tagle said priests seem to give more emphasis on “good morning” than on the all-important “The Lord be with you.”

According to him, any person can wish another good morning, but “The Lord be with you” is heard only during mass, which explains why it must be emphasized.

Many of them, the cardinal said, even instinctively repeat wishing their parishioners “good morning” when a “Good morning, Father” is not fast forthcoming, but are completely oblivious when “The Lord be with you” is unreciprocated.

It is for this reason that Tagle is urging the clergy to do away with the habit.


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15 Responses to Cardinal Tagle to brother-priests: Quit “Good morning” at start of Mass

  1. I don’t see what difference it makes.


  2. Toad says:

    Would it be heresy to say both?
    Or at least, cheerful, reasonable, and decent to do so?
    Or is it heresy to be cheerful?
    …What with Hell and all?
    I don’t know.
    (But I have my suspicions.)

    “Many of them, the cardinal said, even instinctively repeat wishing their parishioners “good morning” when a “Good morning, Father” is not fast forthcoming, but are completely oblivious when “The Lord be with you” is unreciprocated.”

    …Of course.
    Perfectly sensible.
    …But only if we are Catholics?


  3. Toad says:

    ..On the other hand, it might be best to say, “What, ho, all” ..and leave it at that.

    …Don’t be flippant, Toad.


  4. johnhenrycn says:

    I agree with both the above commenters. It’s not a big deal, except I suppose in the EF when it might be a bit jarring. I remember reading an essay (pre-VII) by Evelyn Waugh, in which he compared the priest to a plumber – coming into the Sanctuary from the Sacristy with his bag of tools, turning his back to the customer, not speaking with him, but getting on with the business of repair, paying skant attention to the customer peering over his shoulder, except for a grunt now and then.


  5. Bob Hayes says:

    I’m with the cardinal on this matter. The Mass is spending time with God: we do not need the priest to introduce a personal greeting to make him seem like an old chum.


  6. johnhenrycn says:

    In case it wasn’t clear from my above comment, Evelyn Waugh disliked Novus Ordo. I thought everyone knew that.


  7. johnhenrycn says:

    Everyone in bed? Even Toadmeister? Good. Here’s a treat for Cardinal Tagle, God bless him:


  8. GEOFF KIERNAN says:

    Given the enormity of what is to take place there is no place for banalities or the use of Crass exchanges between Priest and People. its been said that the Latin is the language of the Angels and that the same language that we use in everyday speech to Criticise Politicians or abuse the sports referee or the obscenities of ‘normal’ everyday conversations is then used to try and praise God. In Novus ordo Masses ( Here in W.A.) some of the people , on receiving the Body and Blood of there creator immediately take time out to say ‘thank you Father’. A sublime moment is then lost as we turn our attention from our God to the Priest. If these banalities are allowed then others creep into the liturgy and there will be no end to them….. Now watch what comes out of the woodwork… Perhaps I should have said all that in Latin and there would by no possible room for ambiguity.


  9. johnhenrycn says:

    ♫The corn is as high as a elephant’s eye♫

    That’s how they talk in the mid-west, according to Rodgers and Hammerstein, and maybe Toad, too. He used to earn his daily crust a couple of states away. But I was not a star, like Curly, in my High School Glee Club (do they still call them that?) when we put on Oklahoma back in the day. No I was the comic relief, although my mother says girls talked in the washroom during intermission about how handsome I (then) was:


  10. Toad says:

    Waugh’s observation of the priest as plumber should not be taken too literally. I would not care to see a priest on his knees exposing the top of his buttocks, and half his Calvin Klein underpants. All in the eye of the beholder, though.

    Do you consider , “Good Morning,” a crass banality,”then Geoff?
    Hmm. Have to think about that.
    Context, of course, to be considered. Everything is relative.
    Takes all sorts, though, dunnit?


  11. GEOFF KIERNAN says:

    Banalities? yes for the reason already given


  12. kathleen says:

    I totally agree with Cardinal Tagle (and both Bob and Geoff): this moment is no time for social chit-chat – banalities indeed!

    The enactment of the most amazing event in the history of Mankind is about to take place, and the priest who walks out onto the altar is the vehicle, chosen by God, to bring this about. This is why we stand in respect when he appears. If his first words are good morning instead of the those of the Sign of the Cross (the Holy Trinity) in Whose Name he is about to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, he is immediately drawing the congregation’s focus onto himself, and oh what a jolly good fellow he is!

    “He must increase and I must decrease” said St. John the Baptist… words that every priest (and every one of us too of course) should always have first and foremost in all our thoughts, words and deeds.


  13. GEOFF KIERNAN says:

    Kathleen: So very right…He must increase and I must decrease…


  14. mmvc says:

    In his recent post “Active Participation” the Raven wrote: “…for the next forty minutes, I seem to have stepped outside this world, with its concerns, into a different place.” I find that a cheery “Good morning everybody” from the Priest effects the exact opposite of raising hearts, minds and souls to the heavenly mysteries. It’s more like a bump back down to earth from the very start, especially when followed by animated gesticulations to elicit a lively response from the “audience”.

    JH, if “good morning” is ‘jarring’ in the EF, then surely it must also be out of place in the OF. As I understand it, the sense of the sacred so evident in the TLM was always meant to be retained in the NO.


  15. Pingback: Pilgrimage – a way to deepening the faith | tata tantrums

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