I run errands in a nearby city, and usually try to pop in for noon Mass at a large church when I have the opportunity.
These days, the priest isn’t able to be there as often as previously. So while, say, 10 years ago, they offered daily Mass M-Fri, they do a Liturgy of the Hours on some days, and daily Mass on others. But occasionally, like in the case of scheduling issues or Diocesan retreats, the priest isn’t able to make it for a normally-scheduled Mass. So sometimes it’s with zero warning (ie, being called away for an emergency) and other times, it’s with warning (ie, the retreat’s on the calendar).
So these days, when the expected Mass doesn’t happen, we do the readings, a meditation, and some closing prayers, and get on with our day.
10 years ago, we would have done a Communion Service (for a scheduled absence).
So, knowing this latest occasion was a scheduled absence, I asked the sacristan, “Hey, do y’all do Communion Services at your church anymore, or is this a Diocesan-wide sort of thing?” Because I had noticed we didn’t do Communion Services at our church, either, although we’re a teeny tiny little rural parish, and have changed priests, and the usual people who would have been entrusted with such things in the past are no longer with us, and the priest who would have trusted certain people to do things correctly is also no longer with us.
“The Bishop has discouraged all the churches in the Diocese from offering Communion Services,” they said.
We got a new Bishop installed back in 2014, so that fits in with the-last-time-I-saw-a-Communion-Service.
So-- I was wondering if that was part of a movement across all the Diocese in the US, to move away from offering a Communion Service when a priest wasn’t available for Mass— or if that’s just a local preference.