The Armchair Liturgist: How Much Mass To Miss?

This post isn’t about the more ordinary worshiper. It’s more about those more in the servant role. It’s been many years since I’ve been in a parish with multiple preachers who were assigned three to five repeat homilies on a given weekend. You know the practice, right? One priest is assigned multiple Masses to preach, but he only “attends” the single Mass or two at which he presides. For the others, pop in for the homily, then leave. In my early days as a Catholic (70s), before lay Communion Ministers, clergy would appear in black-n-surplice to serve people, then disappear before the closing procession.

For a music director we don’t have those opportunities–except during the homily. My predecessor usually absented herself from Mass between the Gospel reading and the Creed. I can’t quite bring myself to do so. But others do.

Sit in the purple chair and pontificate on the practice. Should a homilist, music director, usher, or anyone feel free to absent themselves from part of Mass? Or for non-Catholics, any part of worship? Does it make a difference if it’s the second, third, or nth time of the weekend?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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1 Response to The Armchair Liturgist: How Much Mass To Miss?

  1. Liam says:

    Happy New Year!

    Well, as we’re being invited to “pontificate”, that partakes of a consideration of legal obligation. So the last question would be the easiest to answer: Yes, because the preceptual obligation is no longer in play for those instances. In practical terms, the in-and-out aspect of presbyteral in-and-outs in Mass also meant those priests were historically available to serve calls to the rectory or elsewhere for priestly sacramental and other assistance that might arise.

    I might also note the question might be received as having a bit of elder brother energy invested behind it, particularly the “feel free” part….

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