Can a priest say a mass privately for a personal intention?

For example, what if a priest so desired to say a Mass in private for a personal intention , for example, a votive Mass for his parents.

How would he go about saying the Mass if he did not have servers and lectors? If so, does the priest read the readings and opening prayer,and confession himself at the altar and then proceed into the Liturgy of the Eaucharist?
Does he make the responses himself?

Does he have to say such Mass in a low voice or does he have to read,for example, the Eaucharistic prayer in a loud tone.

In short what are the changes in rubrics if he is doing the Mass without a minister and the GIRM does not have rules for a solitary Mass of the priest?

I know that there is something somewhere that slightly changes the rubrics at a “private Mass” (although no Mass is really ever private, since all the angels and saints are there, not to mention Our Lord). In short, he would make the responses himself, read the readings, but I think he also skips a few things, including the final blessing, and has the option to celebrate Mass “from the altar” (as opposed to the standing at the chair the first half of the Mass.).

There is also some practical things, such as elimitating multitasking (such as when the priest normally says a prayer during the Agnus Dei, it is moved to after the Aguns Dei). There is obviously no homily, but as in any part of the Mass, the priest may stop to simply reflect on on the readings to himself.

Maybe our good friend BenedictGal can PM me (and you) something if she has what I’m thinking of.

I hope this makes sense.

As far as I know, the priest is not restricted in which intentions to pray for during a Mass.

This form of Mass is covered in the GIRM, articles 252-272
nccbuscc.org/liturgy/current/chapter4.shtml#sect3

If it is a public mass with a mass intention assigned to it, the priest must offer the mass for that intention. If it is a personal private mass he can pray his own intention. Often however, we have unannounced masses that are given to priests who may not be offering mass publically or offering it in the rectory chapel if they don’t have a public mass that day. These don’t have days assigned but it is expected that the priests offer these intentions in a timely manner.

I thought, and I am happy to be corrected, that priests could not celebrate Mass completely alone. GIRM nn. 252-272 provide the rubrics for the priest celebrating with assistance of one minister, e.g. acolyte, altar server.

Par 211 provides for such for a just and reasonable cause (one translation reads “serious necessity”) Not sure what the Latin says…

It looks like we’re at cross purposes. I used the same version of GIRM as the poster (Spirithound) in Post #3 on the USCCB’s website and GIRM #211 reads

On reaching the altar, the concelebrants and the principal celebrant, after making a profound bow, venerate the altar with a kiss, then go to their designated seats. The principal celebrant, if appropriate, also incenses the cross and the altar and then goes to the chair.

He meant ¶ 254, which says in the Latin:
254. Celebratio sine ministro vel aliquo saltem fideli ne fiat nisi iusta et rationabili de causa. Hoc in casu salutationes, monitiones et benedictio in fine Missae omittuntur.
and in the English:
254. Mass should not be celebrated without a minister or at least one of the faithful, except for a just and reasonable cause. In this case, the greetings, the introductory or explanatory remarks (monitiones), and the blessing at the end of Mass are omitted.
“For a just and reasonable cause” is indeed a good translation of “iusta et rationabili de causa.”

GIRM #254 does cover the situation you mentioned. It says

Mass should not be celebrated without a minister or at least one of the faithful, except for a just and reasonable cause. In this case, the greetings, the introductory or explanatory remarks, and the blessing at the end of Mass are omitted.

In Latin in says

Celebratio sine ministro vel aliquo saltem fideli ne fiat nisi iusta et rationabili de causa. Hoc in casu salutationes, monitiones et benedictio in fine Missæ omittuntur.

Which translation is that?

Very true. A priest assigned to the Cathedral, after everyone had evacuated because of hurricane Gustave in 2008, said mass by himself in the Cathedral as scheduled.

There were no other people anywhere around, it was a ghost town. While the storm rolled through he said mass. It was quite funny to have him tell us the story of when part of the roof came off during the Liturgy.

Well, funny now. I bet he wasn’t laughing then…I would say he is a dedicated priest!:thumbsup:

=a83192;7343598]For example, what if a priest so desired to say a Mass in private for a personal intention , for example, a votive Mass for his parents.

How would he go about saying the Mass if he did not have servers and lectors? If so, does the priest read the readings and opening prayer,and confession himself at the altar and then proceed into the Liturgy of the Eaucharist?
Does he make the responses himself?

Does he have to say such Mass in a low voice or does he have to read,for example, the Eaucharistic prayer in a loud tone.

In short what are the changes in rubrics if he is doing the Mass without a minister and the GIRM does not have rules for a solitary Mass of the priest?

Can. 900 §1. The minister who is able to confect the sacrament of the Eucharist in the person of Christ is a validly ordained priest alone.

§2. A priest not impeded by canon law celebrates the Eucharist licitly; the provisions of the following canons are to be observed.

Can. 901 A priest is free to apply the Mass for anyone, living or dead

[The norm requires that unless there is a sufficient reason at least one other person ought to be present]. This can be waved for just cause.

I gotta admit: What a holy priest! What could he have been doing better at that time? We need more priests like that.

The “serious necessity” one? I don’t remember which website I found it on. I was doing a quick Google search and happened on one which used that verbiage. Don’t know if it was “official” or what edition it was from.

I remember Fr Egan S.J. {Prof Emeritus as SU} said the Pope John Paul II asked priests to always include an intention for Vocations to the Priesthood whenever they offered their daily mass if no other intention was requested. He understood that to mean that they should offer a daily mass, even when alone, and on vacation.

I’m not sure, but I think he still (in his 80’s) offers a daily mass, even if he is unable to get to a church. (He’s getting on in age). I know he argued over this matter with other Jesuits in the retirement home where he lives.

Ah, I see. It was inaccurate google info, tempered by someone’s fauly recollections. :rolleyes:

It was what the translations used to read before the change in the Code of Canon Law. One can still find it in books with older versions of the GIRM.

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