Monday, July 12, 2010

Clarity on some liturgical abuses

Fr Michael Brown has just received his copy of Canon Law Abstracts, he draws attention to three dubia concerning liturgical abuses. The first concerns priests receiving communion at the same time as the people, I haven't seen or heard of that one for ages. The other two happen pretty frequently.
The next considers whether it is correct for a bishop to act as a concelebrant at a priest`s jubilee Mass so that the jubilarian can be main celebrant. I must admit I`ve always been uneasy with bishops concelebrating at a Mass where the main celebrant is a priest. The comment is made: " Theologically the bishop must always preside, even if he does so in choir dress and presides over the Liturgy of the Word but does not concelebrate. This is provided in Caerimoniale Episcoporum no.18."
.... Caerimoniale no. 18 which says:
When a bishop presides at the eucharist but is not the celebrant, he does everything in the liturgy of the word that belongs to the celebrant and he concludes the Mass with the rite of dismissal, following the provisions given in nos 176-185.
176-185 say the bishop is to vest in alb, stole, cope and mitre so this seems to extend the possibility to him presiding over the liturgy of the Word in choir dress.
It has always struck me as being exceedingly odd for a bishop to pretend not to be a bishop, and just one of the lads but then I have met more than one or two bishops who just don't know how to say Mass, they have never read the rubrics. One young priest I know said, "I never look when concelebrating with my bishop". A real case for a Bishop learning both forms of his Rite!

The third response concerns whether it is correct for concelebrants to elevate chalices at the end of the Eucharistic prayer. This too is reprobated. The comment is : "The purpose of this elevation is not to show the consecrated elements to the people but to express the giving of glory to God. Only the celebrant with the assistance of a deacon for the chalice should do this."
I just hate that, "let's all show them the silverware" moment.


Crux Fidelis said...

I seem to remember reading somewhere that HH Pope John Paul II of happy memory on occasion used to assist (or serve?) at the Masses of members of his household. I also remember at the time, unaware of any canonical proscription, being touched by his humility.

Michael.Petek said...

I thought the purpose of the elevation was to elicit an act of worship towards the Eucharistic Species. That's why Catholics elevate and Protestants don't.

georgem said...

Have a gander on YouTube at the new Bishop of Springfield US at his installation Mass. While maybe not strictly a liturgical abuse, I think it's known as stealing the show from Christ.

Fr Ray Blake said...

I think there is difference.
A bishop may assist at Mass in choro but if he is celebrating he should do so as a bishop.

Just another mad Catholic said...


It was Pope John Paul 1st who served the Mass (the then)Fr. Magee when +Magee was his Personal Secretary.

RJ said...

I had the misfortune to be offered Communion at the same time as the priests recently but indicated that I did not wish to receive and then went forward at the proper time. I was given Communion and nothing was said. I wasn't making an issue of it but I think it is important to receive according to the norms of the Church and not according to some individual's/group's imagined improvements because otherwise one is conceding a point of principle: namely that the liturgy is at the disposal of some individual or group which in fact has no authority to change it.

Sussex Catholic said...

In the footballing world it is not uncommon for a popular player to take over as manager of his club while he is still a player. One of the critical decisions he must take early on is to introduce a bit of distance between him and his former colleagues. He is no longer "one of the lads" but their leader. He may have to take difficult decisions, drop or even sell some of his players, they can no longer be his "mates". If he is skilful he makes this transition, his door remains open for any player to come and speak to him and he can inspire great loyalty but it is not the loyalty of a friend but the loyalty owed to a leader whom one trusts. Those players who refuse to make this transition or continue to behave as "one of the lads" rarely stay in post for very long. Many leave management on the basis that they miss the camaraderie of the dressing room and drift out of the game completely.

Recorder said...

Dear Father,

You might be interested in this event:

We have also got a short analysis of the response of our Diocese to Summorum Pontificum:

God bless you!

Fr Ray Blake said...

Sussex Catholic, It isn't a pastoral issue, or even a managerial one as you imply, it is a thelogical one.
The bishop is the High Priest, the Successor of the Apostle, he is literally in his diocese the head of the Church and focus of unity, he is most certainly not just another priest. He is certainly not a player who does a bit of managing.

Physiocrat said...

This appears to give the Bishop an appropriate option if he does not know the local language and does not want to celebrate in Latin. Is this correct.

It cannot be right that the mass is celebrated in a foreign language.

gemoftheocean said...

"The bishop is the High Priest, the Successor of the Apostle, he is literally in his diocese the head of the Church and focus of unity, he is most certainly not just another priest. "

Well...some of us got stuck with the one filling in for Judas. [Ever see the movie "Mr. Roberts" when Jimmy Cagney went ape over Mr. Roberts "promoting disharmony in this ship?" Well, in this diocese our bishop is a target worthy of the "Firecracker under the old man's bunk."]

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