Expert Answer Forum

Communion service QUESTION from Jane Gahlon July 19, 1999
It is my understanding that a Communion service is appropriate rather than Mass in the absence of a priest. How absent should this be? Can it be because they've gone to an amusement park with a youth group, it's their day off, or they will be gone fishing? What is appropriate to include in a service held in their absence? ANSWER by Mr. John Miskell on August 24, 1999
Dear Jane, The Church has specific instructions for such situations which are spelled out in the document titled; Conditions for Holding Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest, issued by the Office of the Congregation for Divine Worship Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ and confirmed by Pope John Paul II, who also ordered its publication, on June 2, 1988. In the second chapter we find the following instruction; 18. Whenever and wherever Mass cannot be celebrated on Sunday, the first thing to be ascertained is whether the faithful can go to a church in a place nearby to participate there in the Eucharistic mystery. At the present time this solution is to be recommended and to be retained where it is in effect; but it demands that the faithful, rightly imbued with a fuller understanding of the Sunday assembly, respond with good will to a new situation. This document can be found in it's entirety on-line at The Catholic Liturgical Library; http://www.catholicliturgy.com/documents/absence.shtml In Christ, John Miskell Back to Index Page

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