Redemptionis Sacramentum 75-79

Wrapping up Chapter II, we examine with the CDWDS the matter “On the Joining of Various Rites with the Celebration of Mass.” Those liturgically knowledgeable among you readers know this can be done. But should it? And if so, under what circumstances.

[75.] On account of the theological significance inherent in a particular rite and the Eucharistic Celebration, the liturgical books sometimes prescribe or permit the celebration of Holy Mass to be joined with another rite, especially one of those pertaining to the Sacraments. [Cf. especially the General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours 93-98; Book of Blessings, General Introduction 28; Order of Crowning an Image of the Blessed Virgin Mary 10 and 14; Instruction, on Masses with Particular Groups, Actio pastoralis, 15 May 1969: AAS 61 (1969) pp. 806-811; Directory for Masses with Children, Pueros baptizatos, 1 November 1973:AAS 66 (1974) pp. 30-46; GIRM 21] The Church does not permit such a conjoining in other cases, however, especially when it is a question of trivial matters.

[76.] Furthermore, according to a most ancient tradition of the Roman Church, it is not permissible to unite the Sacrament of Penance to the Mass in such a way that they become a single liturgical celebration. This does not exclude, however, that Priests other than those celebrating or concelebrating the Mass might hear the confessions of the faithful who so desire, even in the same place where Mass is being celebrated, in order to meet the needs of those faithful. [Cf. Misericordia Dei 2; Cf. Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Response to Dubium: Notitiae 37 (2001) pp. 259-260] This should nevertheless be done in an appropriate manner.

Aside from the long connection of celebrating the Eucharist after one has confessed serious sin, and the possibility of very lengthy liturgy, this “most ancient tradition” has always been a curious one to me. But that might just be my later initiation into Catholicism.

Hearing confessions in a place while Mass is going on: that seems to open the door for individual people to “conjoin” those two sacraments in a “single” celebration. Or one visit to church. The importance of that differentiation somehow escapes me.

[77.] The celebration of Holy Mass is not to be inserted in any way into the setting of a common meal, nor joined with this kind of banquet. Mass is not to be celebrated without grave necessity on a dinner table [Cf. Liturgicae Instaurationes 9] nor in a dining room or banquet hall, nor in a room where food is present, nor in a place where the participants during the celebration itself are seated at tables. If out of grave necessity Mass must be celebrated in the same place where eating will later take place, there is to be a clear interval of time between the conclusion of Mass and the beginning of the meal, and ordinary food is not to be set before the faithful during the celebration of Mass.

I had one experience of this many many years ago. Quite frankly, it seemed seriously “off” to me. It was also hinted I shouldn’t question a “long” tradition of another parish. Okay. Neither did I repeat the experience later.

This makes sense:

[78.] It is not permissible to link the celebration of Mass to political or secular events, nor to situations that are not fully consistent with the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. Furthermore, it is altogether to be avoided that the celebration of Mass should be carried out merely out of a desire for show, or in the manner of other ceremonies including profane ones, lest the Eucharist should be emptied of its authentic meaning.

But does it make sense for American traditions such as Red Masses and Blue Masses and such?

[79.] Finally, it is strictly to be considered an abuse to introduce into the celebration of Holy Mass elements that are contrary to the prescriptions of the liturgical books and taken from the rites of other religions.

The operative connector here is “and” not “or.” Could be worded better here, I think.

Otherwise, no big controversial issues here, are there?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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One Response to Redemptionis Sacramentum 75-79

  1. Liam says:

    FWIW, the Red Mass as such is not an American tradition; IIRC, its roots go back to the High Middle Ages. In some states, at least, judges are not elected….

    I’ve reconsidered the issue of Reconciliation occurring while Mass is being celebrated and am reconciled to it. (Partly, because I believe in a generous offering of the sacraments, and that is one way such generosity can be easily demonstrated; I’ve just witnessed far too many parishes treat penance as something dutifully done in a 45 minute window at best (worst is only by appointment – I consider that the Scrooge gambit) and then seen how parishes that do not do that have more penitents showing up over time.

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