Expert Answer Forum

Readings at Mass QUESTION from Jeff Campbell December 20, 1999
Dear Mr. Miskell, I fear that, due to your imminent vacation, you will not be able to respond in time, but I must at least try. I have been, for about two months, committed to doing the music for Christmas vigil mass. Until yesterday, we did not know which liturgy was to be celebrated (some priests will commute the readings for the Midnight Mass to an earlier vigil if there is no attendance for that late hour, etc.), and so inquired, so we could be prepared for the responsorial. The priest told me that we were not doing the readings or the responsorial for that mass, but doing a dramatization of the nativity instead (I have heard of liturgical drama, but I am certain that it is not supposed to be allowed to supplant the scripture readings). I have little doubt that this is illicit, but I feel bound by my commitment to do the music ministry-although very upset. My question is does failure in the Liturgy of the Word render the Liturgy of the Eucharist invalid? I certainly hope to read to my wife and children the required readings during the evening, but I do not suppose for a minute that this is sufficient to make up for an invalid mass. As you can no doubt surmise, time is of the essence in this matter. If it is possible to answer in time, please do so. Many thanks, and be assured of my prayers for your health. Jeff. ANSWER by Mr. John Miskell on December 20, 1999
Dear Jeff, Changing or omitting the readings wouldn't invalidate the Mass but it is illicit. I'm amazed and saddened at what so many of you have to endure. As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry. [2 Timothy 4:5] Thank you for your prayers. God bless you and yours John Miskell Back to Index Page

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