When to Take Up a Second Collection

Author: Father Edward McNamara


When to Take Up a Second Collection

ROME, 6 SEPT. 2005 (ZENIT)

Answered by Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University.

Q: Many parishes are required to take up a second collection during Mass. I have witnessed this second collection being taken up immediately after Communion. I believe the liturgy calls for a period of silence or a meditation hymn during this period. Is it appropriate to take up the collection after Communion? It seems disrespectful and distracting. When would be a good time to take up a second collection? — B.K., Baltimore, Maryland

A: According to the general liturgical norms, any announcements, testimonies, appeals and the like should be made following the Prayer after Communion and before the final blessing and this would appear to be the most appropriate moment.

If necessary the people may be invited to sit once more while the appeal or collection is being made. ZE05090621

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Follow-up: Timing of Second Collections [09-20-2005]

Pursuant to our comments on the appropriate moment for second collections (see Sept. 6) several readers wrote to recommend holding it right after the first collection.

To cite just one communication: "At our church, the second collection is usually announced the Sunday before. The ushers take the first collection, then go right up again and take the second collection. The money received is put into two separate baskets and they are brought, one on top of the other, up with the gifts to be offered to God."

Other readers ascertained that variations of this method are fairly well received and certainly it does seem to be a liturgically more appropriate moment than after the Communion prayer.

As a priest from Christchurch, New Zealand, wrote: "I think it is very inappropriate and unliturgical to take up a second collection after Communion because offertory is over and done already. We do not make an offering after Communion."

I am in broad agreement with our correspondent but I do think that there could be exceptions such as when the collection responds to an appeal (such as those to support the missions or another worthy cause) delivered by a non-cleric after the Communion prayer.

Even in these cases it is often possible to postpone the collection to the following week but sometimes it is not feasible. ZE05092021

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