VNO 6: For Priests

The sixth listed Mass For Various Needs And Occasions is “For Priests.” Number seven is for an individual priest, so this liturgy is intended as a general intention.

Jesus’ quote of Isaiah 61:1 forms the long-ish entrance antiphon:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
for he has anointed me
and sent me to preach good news to the poor,
to heal the broken-hearted
and to let the oppressed go free.

It’s an interesting choice, given that a few verses later, the people are addressed, “You yourselves shall be called “Priests of the LORD,” “Ministers of our God” you shall be called. Isaiah 61 is certainly an extended lyrical text that applies well to priests.

For Communion, the Lord’s quote from the Last Supper:

Holy Father, consecrate them in the truth;
your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world,
so I sent them into the world, says the Lord.

My suggestion here is to utilize Psalm 19:1-11 for a more affirming tone or perhaps Psalm 40 if the spirit of lament plus praise seems more fitting.

Another thought that might work would be to use the text of the Magnificat for either entrance or Communion with these antiphons.

Count me a skeptic on the blurring of ordained and lay ministries. More to the point, our modern culture, inside and outside the Church, is driven by personal skills and abilities. It’s really more on the lack of institutional attention and a broad discernment that there may be confusion here and there about what constitutes the Catholic priesthood. Regardless of where one might fall on the opinion spectrum of who could or should get ordained, reasonable believers acknowledge that the clergy need prayers. One of the two collects prays that

(They) may be found faithful in carrying out the ministry they have received.

… and the other that God will grant

a persevering obedience to (God’s) will, so that by their ministry and life they main gain glory for (The Father) in Christ.

The baptized would do well to recall that the gifts and opportunities we have received are no less a calling to align our life and will to God’s mission in our world. In that there is a priesthood of all believers, we can recognize our own God-given impulses to follow as faithfully as we can on the Gospel path set out for us by Jesus.

Any comments?

Remember that in the GIRM, sections 368-378 cover the universal regulations on the use of “VNO” Masses.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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