How exactly does a priest say mass in private?

I’m thinking of Fr. Corapi being on leave and not being able to celebrate mass publicly. How does he go about doing it privately? Does he simply read the gospel readings for the day and make his own Eucharist, bless it etc in his place he lives at alone?

There is a form of Mass that used to be known as “Mass without a congregation” in the 1975 edition of the Roman Missal (I’m not sure what it’s called in the 2002 edition). THhis is Mass where the priest is assisted by one other person only, who makes the responses and serves the Mass.

It may be possible for a priest to celebrate Mass completely alone, although I believe this practice is frowned upon unless there is a very serious reason for it. If a priest were to do this I believe that one or two bits are omitted, but I’m not sure which.

From the 2002 General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) approved for the USA, which can be accessed from romanrite.com/girm.html :
“III. MASS AT WHICH ONLY ONE MINISTER PARTICIPATES
. …
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.”

This section of the GIRM is from 252 - 272, giving a detailed description of this “Mass at Which Only One Minister Participates”.

=dfp42;7715921]I’m thinking of Fr. Corapi being on leave and not being able to celebrate mass publicly. How does he go about doing it privately? Does he simply read the gospel readings for the day and make his own Eucharist, bless it etc in his place he lives at alone?

There are OF COURSE RULES that cover such a contingency:D

The NORM is to to say Mass as one would basically in Public; but conecrate only One [or two] if there is another person present] Host and a bit of Wine. No homily of course; :)but the first and second readings are read in private. There ought to be at least one other participate IF POSSIBLE.

God Bless,
Pat

Not saying Mass publically does not mean he has to be all alone. He can say Mass at an unpublicized time with a few friends, members of his family, members of his congregation, etc.

Friends and family, yes. Members of his congregation, probably not. While it might not technically be public ministry it violates the spirit of the suspension…

I meant his religious congregation, not his parish congregation. How is that a violation?

What if a priest acts as a congregation for another priest’s mass? Does that count for both priests mass’ for the day?

Priests aren’t required to celebrate Mass or attend Mass every day.

In my experience priests don’t usually just ‘act as congregation’ unless they are visiting a parish incognito. They usually concelebrate.

I know retired priests who live in a retirement home. Some get up around 4 am, celebrate a private Mass and then continue on with their daily routine. When we lived in the seminary for a couple of weeks each summer, there was one priest who celebrated a private Mass at 7 am each day. Sometimes he was all alone, sometimes fellow students would attend. It was still a private Mass.

It is my understanding that cathedrals had/have side altars for just this purpose.

I once made an inquiry into this with a monk who teaches sacramental theology as well as a former Vicar General of my diocese. The norm is that a Mass should be celebrated with at least one priest/bishop and one other person (who represents the congregation; in practice, this other person commonly acts as an altar server for the Mass). But, as we see in the above instruction quoted by John Lilburne, the GIRM permits a priest to celebrate the Mass without an additional person “for a just and reasonable cause.” To my knowledge, there is no official Church documentation that specifically details what is, and is not, such a cause. This obviously gives an individual priest a bit of leeway.

It was explained to me that the reasoning behind this statement is because there is a valid historical precedent in the Church for a priest to celebrate the Mass alone. For example, there have been hermits who live isolated from other people and therefore offered the Mass in seclusion. Fr. Corapi is technically a religious hermit, so maybe he is allowed this consideration (either through personal interpretation of the GIRM, a special consideration granted to his religious order by the Church, or by special dispensation of the local bishop). There have also been priests imprisoned in solitary confinement in gulags and such who managed to have bread and wine smuggled in for the sake of offering the Mass.

As a side note, I know of a priest who, when asked if he ever celebrates the Mass alone, responds, “Only with all the angels and saints in heaven.”

I’ve asked both our Pastor and the Assistant Pastor this question, and they both gave the same answer. They’d do all the same things, except they wouldn’t give a homily (Msgr told me that he’s already heard it, so he doesn’t want to hear it again…)

It’s called a low mass, but isnt really used today.

In my experience in a religious house or friary where there are a lot of priests, older priests will usually choose to say a private Mass because they vowed when they were ordained to say a Mass everyday.

Younger priests will say a Mass when it is their turn, and the rest of the time will simply sit in the congregation. If a house is financially poor, they may concelebrate in order to earn stipends for the house treasury.

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