DSCAP 23: Priest Needed–We Know

You few readers have detected my heart seems not to be in the Directory for Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest. DSCAP is certainly worth studying, even this paragraph:

23. The faithful are to understand that the Eucharistic sacrifice cannot take place without a priest and that the Eucharistic communion which they may receive in this kind of assembly is closely connected with the sacrifice of the Mass.

So, a Sunday Communion service is “close,” but the reminder needs to be in place: a priest is needed. I suspect the reminder is also well-placed in a chancery: parishes need priests, and every priest assigned outside of pastoral work, or trained for something other than liturgy, is a missed opportunity.

On that basis the faithful can be shown how necessary it is to pray that God will “give the Church more priests and keep them faithful in their love and service.” (Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions, I. For the Church, 9. For Priestly Vocations, prayer over the gifts)

The challenge in many places is that no matter how much prayer and how many vocations are developed, people may never see their celibate young man return to the community for ministry. Lay people are not uninformed, and sometimes they can be bitter if they feel their community does not receive a bishop’s priority. My experience in rural dioceses is that the politics complicates the effort of prayer, petition, and ministry assignment.

Directory for Sunday Celebrations in the absence of a priest English translation © 1988, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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