Fast Mass in Galway

"Some Priest in Co Galway has thought of a novel idea of an “express service” mass by cutting out the Homely and other unnecessary chat thus bring the average time of a service down to just 15 minutes.

He has succeeded in a dramatic increase of attendance. Will this take off in other parishes or would the hierarchy approve of this? It would be interesting to see if this will take off in other parishes."

belfasttelegraph.co.uk/ne…-14697191.html

surely this is against the rules and done in complete disobedience to Holy Mother Church?

The link doesn’t seem to be working, at least not for me.

Remember the Homily is NOT required during weekday Masses - nor are several other things like the Sign of Peace. Given a small number of attendees, the shortness of some days readings and the like, it’s not too dreadful that a weekday Mass without homily would take 15 minutes.

If we’re talking a Sunday Mass, on the other hand … certain things aren’t required, such as music. A homily, however, IS required on Sundays, albeit it can be a very brief one (hoping against hope that there’s a mistake and the priest is considering cutting the homily DOWN rather than OUT).

I don’t know what other ‘chat’ the priest is talking about, but if it consists of any of the prescribed prayers of the Mass, then they are far from unnecessary, and it is at least a minor abuse to edit or eliminate any of the required prayers, which all have deep meaning and are far from ‘unnecessary’.

Hi Stephen,

The Telegraph website won’t show the link you gave, so HERE is the article from yesterday’s Irish Independent, which is where I first read about this.

I must say, when I initially saw the article, I was not happy; however, I think it’s quite a good idea, and it doesn’t seem to be done in disobedience to the Church.

The only thing he’s leaving out is the homily. Bearing in mind he is talking about weekday Masses - a homily is desirable, but not strictly necessary; on Sundays and holy days it is not optional. The reference in Canon Law:

Can. 767: §2. A homily must be given at all Masses on Sundays and holy days of obligation which are celebrated with a congregation, and it cannot be omitted except for a grave cause.

§3. It is strongly recommended that if there is a sufficient congregation, a homily is to be given even at Masses celebrated during the week, especially during the time of Advent and Lent or on the occasion of some feast day or a sorrowful event.

§4. It is for the pastor or rector of a church to take care that these prescripts are observed conscientiously.

Now, I know that a homily is especially strongly recommended during Lent, but I suppose one has to consider the next point about conscientious observance of these guidelines. This priest listened to requests from his parishioners that Mass should be moved from the later time of 9 o’clock to 7.30 that they may be able to attend Mass during Lent. I think he now has to strike a balance now that he has increased his congregation so much - most of them have to leave immediately for work and certainly an elaborate homily might not make morning Mass feasible for them. So, the large congregation might warrant a homily as per Canon Law’s reference to “sufficient congregation”, but that sufficient congregation might cease to exist is he does give a homily! Rather a catch-22 situation. I think he should be given the benefit of the doubt on this one - he has done his best to facilitate his parishioners & to encourage attendance at daily Mass during Lent.

Apart from omitting the homily, Fr Kenny is celebrating the Mass as it should be - the rest of the Mass is not optional, he knows this & is not being disobedient. Fifteen to twenty minutes for a weekday Mass is not that unusual if there’s no homily - it can be accomplished even without rushing!

He is also using one Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion - again, I don’t think this is excessive. If he were using two or three EMHC’s, that would be beyond ridiculous.

It might be a novel idea in that it seems that it’s actually being advertised as a 15 minute Mass, but really such a short Mass is not very odd & certainly doesn’t necessarily imply disobedience.

I don’t like the idea of an ‘express Mass’. It is like rushing your time with the Lord. A person must prioritize God first.

But it’s not really an express Mass - the only part that he is omitting is the homily. In fact, it’s incorrect to say that he’s omitting it given that it’s not a necessary part of a daily Mass anyway; highly desirable and encouraged, yes - but its absence at a weekday Mass does not make the Mass illicit, invalid or anything else.

There really shouldn’t be so much hype about a fifteen minute Mass on a weekday - it’s not that unusual; as I said in my last post, Mass can be celebrated with ease, without rushing, without omitting necessary parts of the Mass, in 15-20 minutes. What is most laudable is the effect that taking the suggestions of his parishioners on board has had.

although he is in obedience I have to agree that an express mass is not something I would attend, and the reason people flock to it already shows you its a bad idea, the world is a lazy one and we are a lazy people and those who put one foot in the church and one foot out of it are the only ones I’d say would attend such an express mass.

if he is supposed to be given homilys at weekday masses during lent and it is required by canon law then he is in disobedience to Holy Mother Church and nobody should ever give someone like himself the benefit of the doubt.

Thank you for taking the time to respond

God bless and take care
Stephen <3

You need to read the previous messages.

Homilies are not required during Lent. The priest is not doing anything against Canon Law and is not being disobedient.

People flocking to the Mass shows that it’s a bad idea? So, is the converse of that true? Was the virtually empty church that he had when Mass was celebrated at 9a.m. as sign of him doing something right? The point is that when Mass was celebrated later in the morning, a huge portion of the community simply could not attend due to work commitments - I doubt that that Mass would have lasted more than 15-20 minutes itself. I don’t think it’s because of laziness that the parishioners are arising earlier to attend Mass before they even set off for work. Don’t get me wrong here - it’s not all about getting a packed church & doing whatever’s necessary to achieve this, but the plain fact is that daily Mass simply was not an option for most parishioners before. Having Mass earlier now gives them the option - I mean, if the priest started to advertise the 9a.m. Mass as an “express Mass” the numbers probably wouldn’t have increased, simply because the people would have been at work. I think you need to give the parishioners some credit rather than branding them as “lazy”. I don’t believe that it’s the length that’s the key to its success - it’s the actual time that the Mass is taking place.

He is not bound by Canon Law to give a homily. Yes, it is especially desirable during Lent - but it is still optional. You may argue that it is poor judgement on the part of the priest not to give a homily, but it is not an act of disobedience.

Prior to Vatican II it was common to have short Masses on weekdays, especially early ones.

The “Fast Mass” that my Irish brother is using is really nothing new. In the later 1950’s, when Latin was still used and I was a server, the first Mass on M-F was always “fast” and was completed in 15-20 minutes. In addition, there was a second priest available - remember, we had lots of priests back then - who would pass out Communion before the Mass started and continue to do so until the Offertory. He then hung around until the Eucharist was distributed at the usual time. This particular Mass - which I believe started at 6:15 or 6:30 - was typically the most crowded of the weekday Masses and a lot of those folks left right after receiving Communion. And you know what: nobody complained!!!

I’ve been to reverent daily masses that lasted about 20-30 minutes. The lack of a choir/cantor, lack of a homily (or short homily), and smaller number of people who receive communion, significantly lower the time it takes for mass to be completed.

15 minutes seems a bit low, and could be an exaggeration. I couldn’t read the article because the link was broken. Whether this is bad depends on how mass is said and whether necessary parts of the canon are being removed. If it’s being said reverently, then it’s no bad thing - *especially *if it is encouraging more people to come to daily mass. I’m assuming this is not being done with a Sunday mass.

Why do you think this is disobedience?

Our daily Masses run about 20 minutes here. Without the homily, singing or the shared sign of peach (which is optional) and with one of the shorter Eucharistic prayers, the only thing that would make a 15 minute Mass difficult would be distributing Communion. Dramatically increasing attendance might backfire by making Communion longer and defeating the 15 minute Mass. :smiley:

BTW, I heard this story on the radio this morning. Your link didn’t work for me either but an important part of the story I heard was that the priest also moved the Mass time from 9am (I think) to 7:30am. The idea is to encourage people to go on thier way to work or school. Keeping the Mass short keeps everyone on schedule.

if you cannot attend because of work commitments and so on then put God first before your work or dont come near him at all is my view. ‘‘could you not watch one hour with me’’

the reason people flock to it? you have not studied the spiritual meaning of what I’m saying.

it seeks to put ones self and his own perogatives over and above God, which is a result of original sin, its not beneficial to the Lords faithful as they are not getting the full mass.

a fifteen minute mass would only do in situations on war ground in my view.

For those who are having trouble linking to the original article, the following worked for me as of 60 seconds ago:

belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/church-attendance-soars-with-the-15-minute-mass-14697191.html

How can you insist that it’s not a full Mass? The priest is leaving nothing out, we have no evidence that he is rushing the Mass - as I and others have said, he would not need to rush in order to complete the Mass in 15-20 minutes. And we shouldn’t be judging the spiritual dispositions or motives of the parishioners involved.

Daily Mass is not a requirement as Sunday Mass is, so there is no reason to assume that it is merely down to self-centeredness…they are deciding to go of their own accord. As to “could you not watch one hour with me?” - this does not only apply to the Holy Mass, if it did, then daily Mass probably would be a requirement for Catholics. There are other ways that one can keep watch with the Lord - indeed, the Mass or Eucharistic Adoration are the best ways. However, these people, going to Mass, not out of obligation, but out of a personal desire will benefit infinitely more from even ONE minute spent in reverence before the Lord than one who does not give the Lord a second thought before starting about their daily activities.

Weekday Mass where I attend (St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal) is usually about 30 minutes with a brief homily. I expect if the homily was left out, it would be 25 minutes. No music; 15 minutes seems fast indeed.

absolute rubbish I know people who go to these fifteen minute masses and yet straight after it go out on the booze for the night, or go play tennis for a few hours.

rubbish there is no excuse unless there is a really really good excuse as to not spend time with the Lord, I know people working mad hours all day and spend half an hour in church before the Lord and then the full hour. people can make time for the Lord, I know scripture does not apply to the canon, but for me he is regressing and going backwards.

When I used to get up pretty early here in the west I’d listen to daily mass on the satellite radio from St. Patrick’s in NYC (I believe it was 7:30 EDT). On the days when Archbishop Dolan was the celebrant the mass usually went around 20-25 minutes, and that was with singing and a short homily (usually not longer than 2 minutes and quite a few times less than 1), and usually EP 2 or 3. I believe they included the prayers of the faithful too.

I can easily see a 15 minute mass if you don’t have the music or the homily (which isn’t required on weekday masses, and sometimes when there is one it’s a very quick reflection as if there wasn’t one anyways) or the prayers of the faithful.

Here at our college chapel daily mass runs around 25 minutes (I think, I hardly ever pay attention to how long it takes), but we usually get a very good homily. I would guess that most people are in between classes and just looking for a little spiritual nourishment.

First of all, it is a blessing to even have daily Mass. Second, as many others have stated, a homily is optional during the week, unless, of course, a solemntiy happens to fall on a weekday (ie: Christmas, Assumption, Ascension, All Saints, All Souls, etc); then, a homily is expected. Now, at my parish, there is generally a homily at Daily Mass. But, we are out in half an hour at the most.

Second, I have been to Mass at my former parish, sans homily, and the Holy Sacrifice takes roughly 15 minutes (and, mind, you, this includes the readings). This is for the lunch-time crowd who happen to come at Mass during their lunch-hours.

Rather than chide people for including daily Mass as part of their spiritual regimen, we should be thankful for the opportunity. People do not love God less simply because they cannot make it to Daily Mass. My late mother rarely got to attend daily Mass. But, that did not mean that she did not devote some time during the day for the recitation of the rosary or some other form of prayer. With all due respect, you are trying to lay on burdens for other people without examining their particular situations. That is most uncharitable.

For many of us, Mass prior to work is not an easy option; Mass during lunch time is. There is also Mass after work. We take full advantage of our opportunities when we can.

May I respond in similar terms to your summation of my comments. You know people (and I probably do too) who go to short Masses and then go out and drink for the night. There are also people who go to Mass every day, spend time at Adoration, do all the devotions, Rosary, Stations of the Cross, apparently the most pius people on earth, who similarly go out and drink themselves sick, or go home and abuse spouse and children. You have no right to pass judgement on those who are going to this particular Mass. The test is how they live God’s Word in their daily lives - the greater hypocrites are those who, despite all the time spent in church, do not take Christ out into the world with them.

Again, we are on the issue of daily Mass - which as Benedictgal put it, is a blessing to have, and thankfully it is now an opportunity for the people in this parish. You do not know what is going on in their lives beyond 7.45 - maybe some spend significant time in the church directly after Mass, maybe others (who are working in Galway, for example) make time to visit the Lord during the day, others may spend time in private devotions in the evening…we don’t know. They may be going to a Mass lasting 15 minutes, but whatever you may think, they are spending time with the Lord which they probably didn’t before. That 15 minutes could be what makes their day.

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