Can a priest skip the Creed on Christmas?


#1

We were vacationing, and visited a parish in another town. First the holy water was exchanged for hand sanitizer. Second, he completely skipped the Penitential rite, not even a Lord Have Mercy. Thirdly, he went straight to Prayers of the faithful after his homily that had nothing to do with the readings or Christmas. Next, he combined two different Eucharistic prayers, seemingly adlibbing, and finally, in the hope that the Mass was still valid, the bread was leavened. I asked the priest if he could explain how it’s allowed to skip the Creed, and he wanted to tell me a story. His response didn’t suffice. When I asked about the bread, he responded that it was indeed unleavened. (It looked like a wheat roll).

While this didn’t ruin our Christmas Day, it really disappointed our family, as we rarely get to celebrate Mass together, and Christmas Mass is literally at the top of the best things in life.


#2

First the holy water was exchanged for hand sanitizer.

No idea what is happening here. Obviously hand sanitizer can’t substitute for holy water. My guess would be that, for whatever reason, the pastor removed the holy water and when setting up hand sanitizer units simply put them where the holy water used to be. There’s nothing wrong with placing hand sanitizer at the entrance ways of the church but there should also be holy water.

he completely skipped the Penitential rite, not even a Lord Have Mercy.

The only exception to using the Penitential Rite would be if the Sprinkling Rite was used instead (GIRM 51). After sprinkling the congregation the priest would say, “May almighty God have mercy on us…”

he went straight to Prayers of the faithful after his homily

The Creed is not optional on Christmas, it should have been recited.

he combined two different Eucharistic prayers, seemingly adlibbing

Celebrants are not permitted to “cut and paste” the Eucharistic Prayers. However there are several options for Eucharistic Prayers.

the bread was leavened.

Leavened bread in the Roman Rite, while illicit, does not invalidate the Eucharist. The Eastern Churches use leavened bread. However in the Roman Rite unleavened bread is what the rubrics call for and what should be used.

This is just a good reminder that the liturgy is not something to be experimented with or the place to “try something out.” Celebrants who do such thing confuse the faithful and distract from worship.


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