The community makes the Mass possible?

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Dr.Colossus

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Here’s something that’s been bugging me. At our parish, before Mass begins, either the reader or the Deacon will go to the podium and read a short welcoming paragraph that includes this sentence:

“Without your presence here, this event could not take place.”

Now, Canon Law says “A priest may not celebrate the eucharistic Sacrifice without the participation of at least one of the faithful, unless there is a good and reasonable cause for doing so.” So that statement is not entirely true, as there are precedents for celebrating a Mass without a congregation. Secondly, I have a problems with the word “event”. The event that takes place at Mass is the same event that took place at Calvary. It’s already happened. We are simply re-presenting it. Anyone else have any thoughts on this?
 
What the person said is heretical, almost implying that the laity have some kind of consecration ability.
 
Dr. Colossus:
Here’s something that’s been bugging me. At our parish, before Mass begins, either the reader or the Deacon will go to the podium and read a short welcoming paragraph that includes this sentence:

“Without your presence here, this event could not take place.”

Now, Canon Law says “A priest may not celebrate the eucharistic Sacrifice without the participation of at least one of the faithful, unless there is a good and reasonable cause for doing so.” So that statement is not entirely true, as there are precedents for celebrating a Mass without a congregation. Secondly, I have a problems with the word “event”. The event that takes place at Mass is the same event that took place at Calvary. It’s already happened. We are simply re-presenting it. Anyone else have any thoughts on this?
You did your homework, they did not. I would chalk it up to ignorance on their behalf.

This is particularly sad with respect to your deacon.
 
Charitable tell the Deacon and the priest about that situation and hopefully they will correct the problem right away.
 
That kind of statement steams me. In a hyper-technical sense it is correct as the Dr mentions. But the consecration is by the priest and priest alone. The Mass can only happen with a priest, otherwise what you have (at most) is a communion service.
 
It’s also difficult to have the miracle of the Mass referred to as an “event.” It’s not an “event.” It’s not a “service.” It’s Heaven on Earth.
 
Thanks guys. I’d hoped I was just overreacting, that maybe there was some Canon or rubric or something that made that statement accurate. I guess I should have known better. I’ll bring it to the attention of the pastor as soon as possible…I’m afraid they probably won’t change it, though. Our parish removed the Holy Water from the fonts during Lent and I sent a letter including the statement from the Congregation for Divine Worship that this wasn’t supposed to be done, but I never received anything back, and the Holy Water was left out of the fonts until Easter 😦 .
 
Now my point of view on this is most likely colored by my being byzantine and our traditions but what was said is in no way heretical and to be upset by it, in my opinion, is picking at nits…

In the byzantine tradition, if there is no one in the Church, the Divine Liturgy can not take place… That is no one from the congregation… The priest, deacon, and altar servers are not enough… The people must be present for the Divine Liturgy to take place.
 
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ByzCath:
Now my point of view on this is most likely colored by my being byzantine and our traditions but what was said is in no way heretical and to be upset by it, in my opinion, is picking at nits…

In the byzantine tradition, if there is no one in the Church, the Divine Liturgy can not take place… That is no one from the congregation… The priest, deacon, and altar servers are not enough… The people must be present for the Divine Liturgy to take place.
I don’t really think it’s so wrong as to be heretical, but the statement really rubbed me the wrong way. Especially since the Latin Rite does not always require the congregation present. And the part about the Mass being an “event” reinforces the wrong idea that it is a separate occurance than the Last Supper and the Crucifixion, when in fact they are the same. Perhaps there is a little nit-picking involved, but in my opinion every liturgical abuse introduced has been in an effort to make the Mass more congregation-centered instead of Christ-centered.
 
Dr. Colossus:
I don’t really think it’s so wrong as to be heretical, but the statement really rubbed me the wrong way. Especially since the Latin Rite does not always require the congregation present. And the part about the Mass being an “event” reinforces the wrong idea that it is a separate occurance than the Last Supper and the Crucifixion, when in fact they are the same. Perhaps there is a little nit-picking involved, but in my opinion every liturgical abuse introduced has been in an effort to make the Mass more congregation-centered instead of Christ-centered.
I can agree with this… I think the timeing of the statement was wrong, should have been used to lead off the Homily, then could get into Mass attendance… Also the part about it being an “event” also doesn’t sound correct to me either.
 
Oh, it wasn’t just a one time thing. They say this every Mass! That’s the part that really bugs me.
 
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BrianDay:
That kind of statement steams me. In a hyper-technical sense it is correct as the Dr mentions. But the consecration is by the priest and priest alone. The Mass can only happen with a priest, otherwise what you have (at most) is a communion service.
**I know a priest who actually says that it is the people (along with the priest, I guess) who creates the Eucharist…I also heard this kind of thing while working on my MAR at a Catholic institution. **

The prof (a nun) actually intimated that unconsecrated hosts could be used if the priest “runs out”…
 
The prof (a nun) actually intimated that unconsecrated hosts could be used if the priest “runs out”…
All together now…

:banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:
 
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CD4:
The prof (a nun) actually intimated that unconsecrated hosts could be used if the priest “runs out”…
Yeeks. That would be nothing less than idolatry.
 
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ByzCath:
In the byzantine tradition, if there is no one in the Church, the Divine Liturgy can not take place… That is no one from the congregation… The priest, deacon, and altar servers are not enough… The people must be present for the Divine Liturgy to take place.
Is the Eastern Catholic tradition in this matter different from the Orthodox? The reason I ask is that +Timothy Ware writes in his book The Eastern Orthodox Church that only a priest and a reader are strictly necessary for the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. I have never heard that a congregation was necessary for the celebration of the D.L. What do the monastics do when there’s no congregation?
 
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dcs:
Is the Eastern Catholic tradition in this matter different from the Orthodox? The reason I ask is that +Timothy Ware writes in his book The Eastern Orthodox Church that only a priest and a reader are strictly necessary for the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. I have never heard that a congregation was necessary for the celebration of the D.L. What do the monastics do when there’s no congregation?
The Eastern Catholic tradition is the same as the Orthodox tradition, except for the Catholic things…

Bishop Kalistos is correct and so am I, as a reader is part of the congregation.
 
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ByzCath:
The Eastern Catholic tradition is the same as the Orthodox tradition, except for the Catholic things…

Bishop Kalistos is correct and so am I, as a reader is part of the congregation.
Some people may be confused by the last few posts. There seems to be a little unclarity. In what sense is a congregation “necessary” for the liturgy to take place?

Not absolutely, since a priest, of whatever rite, has the power to confect the sacrament on his own. But he may not have the right. In the West the tradition has been for a priest to celebrate Mass daily, even if that means alone. He has the right to celebrate even in the absence of a congregation or anyone else. Apparently a different rule holds in the East.
 
In my Mom’s old parish, at every Sunday Mass a commentator/narrator would:
  1. welcome the congregation;
  2. explain the local “rules” (everyone stands at Communion until all have received, etc.)
  3. ask that EVERYONE come forward at Communion, if just to get a blessing
  4. announce the priest. The words used were “Fr X is our presider and everyone here are the celebrants.”
I know that the laity are the common priesthood, but to say that everyone is a celebrant???
 
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BrianDay:
In my Mom’s old parish, at every Sunday Mass a commentator/narrator would:
  1. welcome the congregation;
  2. explain the local “rules” (everyone stands at Communion until all have received, etc.)
  3. ask that EVERYONE come forward at Communion, if just to get a blessing
  4. announce the priest. The words used were “Fr X is our presider and everyone here are the celebrants.”
I know that the laity are the common priesthood, but to say that everyone is a celebrant???
Well, one out of four ain’t good.

A. There are no “local rules” for parishes. Rubrics are universal, with certain adaptations being made when requested by national bishops conferences. Rubrics do not change parish by parish.

B. There is no rule to stand until everyone has received. In the U.S. the proper posture after Communion is kneeling.

C. There should be no effort to get everyone into the Communion line. Some people ought to–and want to–remain in the pews. The parish in question was putting such people on the spot and thus was rude to them.

D. Only a priest is a celebrant, since the celebrant is the one who confects the sacrament. The congregation can’t do that.
 
B. There is no rule to stand until everyone has received. In the U.S. the proper posture after Communion is kneeling.
Not according to our Bishop. He said we must all stand & we should pay attention to the procession of people going up to recieve Communion. We are to be in unity with those who have yet to recieve, instead of with our Lord whom we have just recieved.

I tried to obey, but now I kneel & pray.
 
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