Private Masses

Every so often an old liturgical discussion becomes new again. I noticed an interest in private Mass discussion here and here. A result of this, I think.

I know it’s been discussed here before. I’ve been in discussions about it elsewhere too. I have nothing to contribute one way or the other. I’m not a priest, so I don’t celebrate them. Such Masses are private, so I’m never invited. End of story.

One friend once reminded me of the intercessory value of such clergy prayers. I am sure that is correct. I also know that intercessory prayer is a charism. Not everyone is blessed with that grace. Perhaps it is a charism endowed at ordination, but I’m not sure every priest gets it.

Some person who has made intercessory prayer her or his life’s mission is certainly more fruitful than the average priest. I’ve heard stories of amazing intercession and none of them have come from a solo celebration of Mass. To be sure, I need all the prayers I can get, especially some days. But if I had to rely on only one person, I think I’d go for the charism-endowed Christian with a rep for spiritual fruit–not necessarily a priest.

As for public policy on a tourist destination/prime Roman basilica, I suppose I don’t have an oar in that Tiber either. I’m not a parishioner or a staff member at St Peter’s. Alas, I will likely never be a pilgrim there. If I were, I’d probably walk away–I hate joining liturgy when its in progress. The best judge of allowing all, some, or no private Masses is the boss in consultation with the staff. If that’s happened, all I can do is shrug.

I suppose if there’s a thing about praying the Mass in St Peter’s, I guess I’d say that if the Mass has efficacy whether people are present or not, it also produces grace in good architecture or poor. If prayed in a humble chapel with thatched roof and dirt floor, in a hotel room with a window looking out over some holy scene of architecture or nature, or back in one’s covid-stripped parish.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Liturgy. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s