Expert Answer Forum

Welcome & Dismissal at Mass QUESTION from Joe January 10, 1999
Last week the priest when dismissing us said: let us go in peace, the worship has ended! This week the choir director said at the beginning: Before our worship let us stand and welcome the person next to you. Now, I felt, both times, that something was just not right. These words are not the ones mentioned in the missal as options for the welcome or dismissal and using the word worship instead of Eucharist or Mass just did not sit well with me. Am I overreacting? I really need your input. ANSWER by Mr. John Miskell on January 10, 1999
Dear Joe, Thank you for your question. There are three approved forms for dismissal which may be used at the celebrants discretion. They are; A. Go in the peace of Christ. B. The Mass is ended, go in peace. C. Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. The celebrant has no authority to substitute anything else. Regulation of the sacred liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church, that is, on the Apostolic See, and, as laws may determine, on the bishop. Therefore no other person, not even a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority. [Sacrosanctum Concilium, 22] Bear in mind that any celebrant can have a bad day and make unintentional mistakes. On the other hand I'm acutely aware that there are far too many priests in America who believe that making innovations to suit their own style is no big deal. They are wrong and we should pray for them to repent from their disobedience. The Holy Father seems to think that making unauthorized innovations to the Mass is a big deal. He recently told bishops from the American Northwest the following: ...It is so important that the liturgical law be respected. The priest, who is the servant of the liturgy, not its inventor or producer, has a particular responsibility in this regard, lest he empty liturgy of its true meaning or obscure its sacred character. As for the announcement made by the choir director, it seems this occured outside of the Mass. While it's all a bit too touchy feely / warm and fuzzy for my tastes, I don't believe there's anything authoritative which would forbid the practice. I hope this helps. In Christ, John Miskell Back to Index Page

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