Long Distance Consecration

I have to admit this comes close to the unique hosts-in-a-baggie solution once devised by one of my fellow Kansas Citians. From Zenit’s weekly liturgy column comes the question:

How far from the altar can the celebrant be for the consecration and how many altars can he preside over at once? The situation I witnessed was in a large conference hall where bread and wine were prepared at each table where eight people sat around and the priest was at another table at the end of the hall. I question the validity of consecration at any of the tables except where the priest was. If this is valid, then what is to keep a missionary or bishop from consecrating all the elements on all the altars at a given time across his parish or diocese? Some say valid location is based on intention, so you could have a very broad intention, yes? — D.H., Salem, Missouri

Uh oh. The questioner is from my state.

It wouldn’t happen at a liturgy conference, that’s for sure. Go here to read the answer, as well as a primer on the pronunciation of “Amen.”

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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4 Responses to Long Distance Consecration

  1. Liam says:

    That is the kind of thing that would leave me *very* disturbed.

    Btw, the situation is *utterly* a rejection of the conciliar reform. It not purports to have consecrations at multiple “altars” simultaneously (something the Council freed us from), but to have tele-consecration by a single celebrant. Moreover, this is profoundly hostile to the congregation because it places doubt about validity in some of their minds. The mind reels and the thoughtless cluelessness in evidence here. And a talk with the bishop would be most warranted.

  2. Jimmy Mac says:

    I was at a Serbian Orthodox baptism a couple of weeks ago, and they say:


    But, hey, what do you expect from a bunch of also-rans?

  3. Gavin says:

    Not that I’m at all knowledgable about this, but I’d say “If you have to ask, you’re too far away”

    Just a thought.

  4. Liam:

    You hit the nail on the head. The priest should always, always humble himself before the mystery here, i.e — not calling the validity of the sacrament in question. Not that other tampering with the liturgy is okay, but when the validity of the sacrament is itself in doubt, that is, as you say, profoundly hostile to the faithful.

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