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  #1  
Old Sep 24, '12, 12:20 pm
ianjmatt ianjmatt is offline
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Default Mass without a Priest

I know I am probably betraying my ignorance here (so be gentle with me ) but if the sacraments operate ex opere operato which I think I translate correctly as "by the fact of the actions being performed" - if the correct words are said by anyone is the Eucharist valid, and does transubstantiation take place?

if not, what does that phrase mean?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old Sep 24, '12, 12:22 pm
Deo Gratias42 Deo Gratias42 is offline
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Default Re: Mass without a Priest

No. Without a priest there is no Mass. Only a validly ordained priest can confect the Eucharist and absolve sins.
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  #3  
Old Sep 24, '12, 12:34 pm
Lapey Lapey is offline
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Default Re: Mass without a Priest

Quote:
Originally Posted by ianjmatt View Post
I know I am probably betraying my ignorance here (so be gentle with me ) but if the sacraments operate ex opere operato which I think I translate correctly as "by the fact of the actions being performed" - if the correct words are said by anyone is the Eucharist valid, and does transubstantiation take place?

if not, what does that phrase mean?

Thanks!
The authority of the one performing the actions is key. I as a deacon have authority to baptize small children under the age of reason and therefore orriginal sin is washed away, however, I do not have authority to forgive personal sin.
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  #4  
Old Sep 24, '12, 12:44 pm
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YoungTradCath YoungTradCath is online now
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Default Re: Mass without a Priest

Quote:
Originally Posted by ianjmatt View Post
I know I am probably betraying my ignorance here (so be gentle with me ) but if the sacraments operate ex opere operato which I think I translate correctly as "by the fact of the actions being performed" - if the correct words are said by anyone is the Eucharist valid, and does transubstantiation take place?

if not, what does that phrase mean?

Thanks!
No, for the Eucharist to be confected, a validly ordained bishop or priest with the right intention (to confect the Eucharist), with the right matter (wheaten bread and grape wine), are required.

If anyone else says the words of consecration, nothing at all happens. It remains bread and wine in substance.
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  #5  
Old Sep 24, '12, 1:00 pm
ianjmatt ianjmatt is offline
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Default Re: Mass without a Priest

Thanks. So what, in the context of the eucharist, does ex opere operato mean?
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  #6  
Old Sep 24, '12, 1:20 pm
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Ophelia23 Ophelia23 is online now
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Default Re: Mass without a Priest

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Originally Posted by Lapey View Post
The authority of the one performing the actions is key. I as a deacon have authority to baptize small children under the age of reason and therefore orriginal sin is washed away, however, I do not have authority to forgive personal sin.
This is very interesting to me! Now after giving it thought, it makes sense that you as a deacon are able to baptize only children under the age of reason, but I had never even considered the limitation before. Thanks for teaching me something new today.
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  #7  
Old Sep 24, '12, 1:22 pm
edward_george edward_george is offline
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Default Re: Mass without a Priest

Ex opere operato, by the working of the work itself, means that the sacrament is valid so long as matter, form, and intention are correct, regardless of the disposition of the minister (who must still be a validly ordained minister). What this means is that so long as you are using bread and wine of proper constitution, the proper ritual words given by the Church in the context of her liturgy, and intend to do what the Church does in the sacrament (i.e. confect the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ), then the consecration occurs. Let's say you have a priest who is in mortal sin or who does not believe any longer in the Eucharist or even in God--by virtue of his using proper matter (bread and wine) and form (the ritual of the Church), his intention is presumed, even if it is not fully formed within him. In short, ex opere operato means that as long as all the other factors are present--matter, form, intent, and the validly ordained minister--the sacrament still occurs, even if the priest's disposition is not complete or correct.

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  #8  
Old Sep 24, '12, 1:40 pm
Mrs Sally Mrs Sally is offline
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Default Re: Mass without a Priest

Quote:
In short, ex opere operato means that as long as all the other factors are present--matter, form, intent, and the validly ordained minister--the sacrament still occurs, even if the priest's disposition is not complete or correct.
This protects both the people and the priest. The people don't have to worry about attending an invalid Mass. The priest doesn't have to be questioned about his intent before every Mass.
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  #9  
Old Sep 24, '12, 2:05 pm
ianjmatt ianjmatt is offline
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Default Re: Mass without a Priest

Quote:
Originally Posted by edward_george View Post
Ex opere operato, by the working of the work itself, means that the sacrament is valid so long as matter, form, and intention are correct, regardless of the disposition of the minister (who must still be a validly ordained minister). What this means is that so long as you are using bread and wine of proper constitution, the proper ritual words given by the Church in the context of her liturgy, and intend to do what the Church does in the sacrament (i.e. confect the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ), then the consecration occurs. Let's say you have a priest who is in mortal sin or who does not believe any longer in the Eucharist or even in God--by virtue of his using proper matter (bread and wine) and form (the ritual of the Church), his intention is presumed, even if it is not fully formed within him. In short, ex opere operato means that as long as all the other factors are present--matter, form, intent, and the validly ordained minister--the sacrament still occurs, even if the priest's disposition is not complete or correct.

-ACEGC
Very helpful - thank you.

Why is ti different when it comes to baptism then, when only the correct form being used is sufficient?
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  #10  
Old Sep 24, '12, 2:44 pm
maltmom maltmom is offline
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Default Re: Mass without a Priest

Probably b/c you don't need a Priest or anyone ordained for a baptism to be valid. I was baptized in the Baptist church...not by the preacher. I had no record of it. The records were destroyed during Katrina. My Priest asked if there was a video, pictures or a witness. The friend who did it died last year, my parents were there, but they are dead as well. He finally accepted a call with my cousin (Catholic) who remembered my talking about being baptized.
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  #11  
Old Sep 24, '12, 7:20 pm
Gorgias Gorgias is online now
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Default Re: Mass without a Priest

Quote:
Originally Posted by ianjmatt View Post
Very helpful - thank you.

Why is ti different when it comes to baptism then, when only the correct form being used is sufficient?
Umm... it isn't different for baptism! You still need form, matter, and intention. The form is the rite of baptism (at the very least, the proper baptismal formula 'I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit'), the matter is water, and the intention is to baptize into the Christian faith. What's different is that it isn't necessary to be a priest in order to baptize -- in danger of death, any person may baptize. In ordinary circumstances, an ordained person should be the one celebrating the baptism.

btw, the reason Lapey said "under the age of reason" doesn't have anything to do with him being a deacon, per se -- it has to do with the fact that, for teens and adults, the proper way to initiate a person is through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, which is a process that culminates at the Easter vigil, and includes baptism, First Communion, and confirmation (as applicable to the particular person). Although confirmation usually requires a bishop, a priest can get permission (and usually has it in general) to do this in his parish at the Easter vigil...
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  #12  
Old Sep 24, '12, 7:27 pm
Friar David, O.Carm Friar David, O.Carm is offline
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Default Re: Mass without a Priest

Technically with out a priest (or bishop) there can be no Mass.
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  #13  
Old Sep 24, '12, 7:39 pm
TimothyH TimothyH is offline
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Default Re: Mass without a Priest

I don't know if it has been pointed out, but intentionally carrying out the actions of a priest without actually being a priest, IE impersonating a priest, is a grave offense. I don't know if it incurs excommunication, but it is an impediment to Holy Orders if you ever did want to get ordained in the future.


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  #14  
Old Sep 24, '12, 8:19 pm
Lapey Lapey is offline
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Default Re: Mass without a Priest

Quote:
Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
I don't know if it has been pointed out, but intentionally carrying out the actions of a priest without actually being a priest, IE impersonating a priest, is a grave offense. I don't know if it incurs excommunication, but it is an impediment to Holy Orders if you ever did want to get ordained in the future.


-Tim-
I think you are correct, simulating a sacrement does hold an automatic ex...I'll have to read up on that one again, but i think you are correct.
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  #15  
Old Sep 24, '12, 11:26 pm
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JGMendes4049 JGMendes4049 is offline
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Default Re: Mass without a Priest

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Originally Posted by Lapey View Post
I think you are correct, simulating a sacrement does hold an automatic ex...I'll have to read up on that one again, but i think you are correct.
Yes, it is an automatic interdict (and also automatic suspension, if one is a cleric), according to Canon 1378. Only for Mass and absolution, though.
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