How would a priest end a Mass in an emergency?


#1

I know, another thread that really has no purpose to my spiritual well being, but just a thread to have an answer in case someone asks me.

But lets say for example, a priest has already consecrated the bread and wine. Then, the audio system catches on fire, and the fire alarm is pulled. How does the priest end the Mass that was once started?

How does he protect the already consecrated hosts? Does the priest leave the Host in the church along with the ones in the tabernacle? Or does the priest/deacon gather those up and take them to safety somewhere else?

Thank you!


#2

I don't know for sure. Logically I would say getting out of the building is the priority.


#3

My church has been evacuated due to a tornado before, and I'm not sure what happened to the hosts. It was on Good Friday so they had already been consecrated. I imagine the priests just returned them to the tabernacle and hid with us in the basement.


#4

[quote="Allegra, post:3, topic:297973"]
My church has been evacuated due to a tornado before, and I'm not sure what happened to the hosts. It was on Good Friday so they had already been consecrated. I imagine the priests just returned them to the tabernacle and hid with us in the basement.

[/quote]

In my opinion, if I was the priest, I would of brought the Host down to the basement for 2 reasons.

1.) If the tornado struck the Church, the tabernacle would of been destroyed and the host would of been flown throughout the city.

2.) In the Basement, the priest could of exposed a host for deep prayer to Jesus.

Just my opinion.


#5

The priest should by all means save the Consecrated Hosts if he is able. As important as safety is, Jesus should come first.


#6

If there is any way possible they will complete the service. This happened at a Mass where a priest had a heart attack (of course they got him help).


#7

The basement of our Church isn’t really condusive to a group prayer. It is somewhat of a maze of hallways and classrooms. If I remember correctly, at least two of the priest remained upstairs, listening to the weather radio, and trying to figure out what to do. I’m not sure if the third priest brought the hosts downstairs or not. Fortunately, the parish wasn’t damaged and after a while, we went back to Mass. Another parish in our diocese had their steeple blown off, but I think the interior of the church was alright. There was a protestant church that had the roof peeled off right over the heads of the congregation as the were watching a film about Christ’s Passion! I imagine that was terrifying! Fortunately, no one was killed!


#8

I would imagine that the priest would take the Consecrated Hosts to safety, and a sacristan would retrieve the Hosts from the Tabernacle and take them to the priest. If we are careful to not let them drop to the ground or be handled in an irreverent manner, I would think that there would be procedures in place in case of an emergency to prevent any desecration of the Hosts - even if we as laity don't know what those procedures are.


#9

Besides a tornado, you could have an earthquake, or a tsunami. Those were the disasters I thought of when I first saw the thread title. I don't have an answer for the problem.


#10

Another question.

If you are at the Church during private prayer when everyone else is gone. The priest is out of town and the secretary has also left due to hurricane weather...She has left you in-charge, a laity sacristan, to lock up once you leave.

Then an evacuation squad starts to come down the street getting people to evacuate the town...Is it your job, as the sacristan, to unlock the tabernacle and retrieve the host and carry them to your car to keep the Host safe in case the hurricane rips the Church apart and Jesus is submerged in someones gutter somewhere?

If I was in a situation like that... my first instinct was to take the host with me...but I wouldn't be of the up most clarity... I would have a good intention to protect.

What are you opinions?


#11

In the 2012 Ordo of the FSSP, there is a section called “The Rite To Be Observed in the Celebration of Mass and On Defects That May Occur in the Celebration of the Mass” (English translations of the Latin texts from the 1962 Missale Romanium) that explains multiple scenarios and their resolutions. I had never seen it before I read the ordo, so I found it fascinating. I’m not sure if these are protocol for Ordinary Form priests, but I’m assuming that since they are in the ordo for the FSSP, they are the standard procedure for their apostolate.

Here’s a breakdown of a few scenarios and the resolutions (reformatted from the text (Section X - Defects occurring in the celebration of the rite itself)):

[LIST]
*]If, while the priest is celebrating Mass, the church is violated before he has reached the Canon - the Mass is to be discontinued.
*]**If after the Canon **- it is not to be discontinued.
*]**If there is fear of an attack by enemies, or of a flood or of the collapse of the building where the Mass is being celebrated **- the Mass is to be discontinued if it is before the Consecration; if this fear arises after the Consecration, however, the priest may omit everything else and go on at once to the reception of the Sacrament.
*]If before the Consecration the priest becomes seriously ill, or faints, or dies - the Mass is discontinued.
*]If this happens after the consecration of the Body only and before the consecration of the Blood, or after both have been consecrated - the Mass is to be completed by another priest from the place where the first priest stopped, and in case of necessity even by a priest who is not fasting.
*]If the first priest has not died but has become ill and is still able to receive Communion, and there is no other consecrated host at hand - the priest who is completing the Mass should divide the host, give one part to the sick priest and consume the other part himself.
*]If the priest has died after half-saying the formula for the consecration of the Body - there is no Consecration and no need for another priest to complete the Mass.
*]If the priest has died after half- saying the formula for the consecration of the Blood - another priest is to complete the Mass, repeating the whole formula over the same chalice from the words Simili modo, postquam cenatum est; or he may say the whole formula over another chalice which has been prepared, and consume the first priest’s host and the Blood consecrated by himself, and then the chalice which was left half-consecrated.
[/LIST]
The list goes on, but here’s a few of the more interesting scenarios:

[LIST]
*]**If before the Consecration a fly or spider or anything else falls into the chalice **- the priest is to pour out the wine in a suitable place, put other wine into the chalice, add a little water, offer it, as above, and continue the Mass.
*]If after the Consecration a fly or something of the kind falls into the chalice - he is to take it out, wash it with wine, burn it after the Mass is over, and throw the ashes and the wine which was used for washing into the sacrarium.
*]If the Blood freezes in the chalice in winter time - the chalice should be wrapped in cloths that have been warmed. If this is not enough, it should be placed in boiling water near the altar until the Blood melts, but care should be taken that none of the water gets into the chalice.
[/LIST]


#12

[quote="HonoraDominum, post:11, topic:297973"]
In the 2012 Ordo of the FSSP, there is a section called "The Rite To Be Observed in the Celebration of Mass and On Defects That May Occur in the Celebration of the Mass" (English translations of the Latin texts from the 1962 Missale Romanium) that explains multiple scenarios and their resolutions. I had never seen it before I read the ordo, so I found it fascinating. I'm not sure if these are protocol for Ordinary Form priests, but I'm assuming that since they are in the ordo for the FSSP, they are the standard procedure for their apostolate.

Here's a breakdown of a few scenarios and the resolutions (reformatted from the text (Section X - Defects occurring in the celebration of the rite itself)):

[LIST]
]If, while the priest is celebrating Mass, the church is violated before he has reached the Canon* - the Mass is to be discontinued.
]If after the Canon *- it is not to be discontinued.
]If there is fear of an attack by enemies, or of a flood or of the collapse of the building where the Mass is being celebrated *- the Mass is to be discontinued if it is before the Consecration; if this fear arises after the Consecration, however, the priest may omit everything else and go on at once to the reception of the Sacrament.
]If before the Consecration the priest becomes seriously ill, or faints, or dies* - the Mass is discontinued.
]If this happens after the consecration of the Body only and before the consecration of the Blood, or after both have been consecrated* - the Mass is to be completed by another priest from the place where the first priest stopped, and in case of necessity even by a priest who is not fasting.
]If the first priest has not died but has become ill and is still able to receive Communion, and there is no other consecrated host at hand* - the priest who is completing the Mass should divide the host, give one part to the sick priest and consume the other part himself.
]If the priest has died after half-saying the formula for the consecration of the Body* - there is no Consecration and no need for another priest to complete the Mass.
]If the priest has died after half- saying the formula for the consecration of the Blood* - another priest is to complete the Mass, repeating the whole formula over the same chalice from the words Simili modo, postquam cenatum est; or he may say the whole formula over another chalice which has been prepared, and consume the first priest's host and the Blood consecrated by himself, and then the chalice which was left half-consecrated.
[/LIST]
The list goes on, but here's a few of the more interesting scenarios:

[LIST]
]If before the Consecration a fly or spider or anything else falls into the chalice *- the priest is to pour out the wine in a suitable place, put other wine into the chalice, add a little water, offer it, as above, and continue the Mass.
]If after the Consecration a fly or something of the kind falls into the chalice* - he is to take it out, wash it with wine, burn it after the Mass is over, and throw the ashes and the wine which was used for washing into the sacrarium.
]If the Blood freezes in the chalice in winter time* - the chalice should be wrapped in cloths that have been warmed. If this is not enough, it should be placed in boiling water near the altar until the Blood melts, but care should be taken that none of the water gets into the chalice.
[/LIST]

[/quote]

They should have this for ALL Scenarios. ;)


#13

[quote="Pat_Albertson, post:9, topic:297973"]
Besides a tornado, you could have an earthquake, or a tsunami. Those were the disasters I thought of when I first saw the thread title. I don't have an answer for the problem.

[/quote]

I guess this:

[list]*]If there is fear of an attack by enemies, or of a flood or of the collapse of the building where the Mass is being celebrated - the Mass is to be discontinued if it is before the Consecration; if this fear arises after the Consecration, however, the priest may omit everything else and go on at once to the reception of the Sacrament.[/list]

answers my question.


#14

I just thought of something else. Suppose there was an earthquake during Mass and after the first few shocks, it was feared that the church would collapse during the next few. Given that most earthquakes don't consist of only a few shocks (like 2, 3, or 4), and given that you don't know when the next ones will be, could the priest, instead of either discontinuing the mass in the church or moving to a speedy conclusion, could the priest move the Mass out into the open air, say to a safe open air parking lot adjacent to the church? Could he say, "OK parishoners, let's continue our Mass outside. Let's all move in a safe and orderly manner outside into the parking lot. Because of the danger of structural collapse induced by aftershocks, this Mass inside the church building is being discontinued, but we shall resume this Mass in the parking lot in just a little bit." In other words, once started, can a priest move a Mass?

Note: this is not a city scenario where the church is surrounded by skyscrapers with all of their glass windows waiting to be shattered, this is either a suburban or rural scenario, where outside in the open really means outside in the open.


#15

[quote="HonoraDominum, post:11, topic:297973"]
In the 2012 Ordo of the FSSP, there is a section called "The Rite To Be Observed in the Celebration of Mass and On Defects That May Occur in the Celebration of the Mass" (English translations of the Latin texts from the 1962 Missale Romanium) that explains multiple scenarios and their resolutions. I had never seen it before I read the ordo, so I found it fascinating.** I'm not sure if these are protocol for Ordinary Form priests, but I'm assuming that since they are in the ordo for the FSSP, they are the standard procedure for their apostolate.*Here's a breakdown of a few scenarios and the resolutions (reformatted from the text (*Section X - Defects occurring in the celebration of the rite itself)):

[LIST]
]If, while the priest is celebrating Mass, the church is violated before he has reached the Canon* - the Mass is to be discontinued.
]If after the Canon *- it is not to be discontinued.
]If there is fear of an attack by enemies, or of a flood or of the collapse of the building where the Mass is being celebrated *- the Mass is to be discontinued if it is before the Consecration; if this fear arises after the Consecration, however, the priest may omit everything else and go on at once to the reception of the Sacrament.
]If before the Consecration the priest becomes seriously ill, or faints, or dies* - the Mass is discontinued.
]If this happens after the consecration of the Body only and before the consecration of the Blood, or after both have been consecrated* - the Mass is to be completed by another priest from the place where the first priest stopped, and in case of necessity even by a priest who is not fasting.
]If the first priest has not died but has become ill and is still able to receive Communion, and there is no other consecrated host at hand* - the priest who is completing the Mass should divide the host, give one part to the sick priest and consume the other part himself.
]If the priest has died after half-saying the formula for the consecration of the Body* - there is no Consecration and no need for another priest to complete the Mass.
]If the priest has died after half- saying the formula for the consecration of the Blood* - another priest is to complete the Mass, repeating the whole formula over the same chalice from the words Simili modo, postquam cenatum est; or he may say the whole formula over another chalice which has been prepared, and consume the first priest's host and the Blood consecrated by himself, and then the chalice which was left half-consecrated.
[/LIST]
The list goes on, but here's a few of the more interesting scenarios:

[LIST]
]If before the Consecration a fly or spider or anything else falls into the chalice *- the priest is to pour out the wine in a suitable place, put other wine into the chalice, add a little water, offer it, as above, and continue the Mass.
]If after the Consecration a fly or something of the kind falls into the chalice* - he is to take it out, wash it with wine, burn it after the Mass is over, and throw the ashes and the wine which was used for washing into the sacrarium.
]If the Blood freezes in the chalice in winter time* - the chalice should be wrapped in cloths that have been warmed. If this is not enough, it should be placed in boiling water near the altar until the Blood melts, but care should be taken that none of the water gets into the chalice.
[/LIST]

[/quote]

I was just about to post something along that lines, because there was once an interesting thread on here about what a priest is to do if, after the consecration begins, a mass shooter walked in and attacked.

For all forms of the mass (as I am to understand), once consecration has begun the mass is not to be stopped. While parishoners may respond to an emergency, the priest is to finish the mass.

Incidently, we arrived at the conclusion that the priest should finish the mass while the parishoners should defend the sacrament (and I think that the term "return fire" was used at that point as well...). Of course, that was all hypothetical joking, but it DOES illustrate the grave importance of the mass, and particularly the Blessed Sacrament.


#16

Normally a Mass started must be concluded, even if it is some hours later. The classic example is if a priest takes ill during the Mass. I have twice in my life been at Masses weher one priest started the Mass, became ill (stroke, heart attack), and another priest had to be called in to complete the Mass. Traditionally, even if it takes hours for another priest to arrive, the Mass must be concluded.

In the evacuation case, the priest would gather up the already consecrated Hosts from the altar and tabernacle, and the altar items,a nd presumably the Mass would be concluded later, even if in another room or part of the church grounds.

I was also present in Miami for Blessed John Paul II's public Mass at Tamiami Park in 1987. There was severe lightining, and the crowd of 300,000 was sent home after the homily. The Holy Father and cardinals were moved to inside a trailer on the FIU college campus next door, where the Mass was completed.


#17

[quote="Chatter163, post:16, topic:297973"]
In the evacuation case, the priest would gather up the already consecrated Hosts from the altar and tabernacle, and the altar items,a nd presumably the Mass would be concluded later, even if in another room or part of the church grounds.

I was also present in Miami for Blessed John Paul II's public Mass at Tamiami Park in 1987. There was severe lightining, and the crowd of 300,000 was sent home after the homily. The Holy Father and cardinals were moved to inside a trailer on the FIU college campus next door, where the Mass was completed.

[/quote]

Here you seem to be in agreement with the notion that even if it is already underway, a priest can move a Mass if he needs to.


#18

Here was another interesting scenario posted on Father Z's site today.

What happens if a priest saying the EF form of the Mass dies after consecrating the bread, but not the wine, and the only priest that can be found to finish the Mass does not speak Latin?

wdtprs.com/blog/2012/09/quaeritur-priest-dies-between-consecrations-in-the-ef/


#19

[quote="Rolltide, post:18, topic:297973"]
Here was another interesting scenario posted on Father Z's site today.

What happens if a priest saying the EF form of the Mass dies after consecrating the bread, but not the wine, and the only priest that can be found to finish the Mass does not speak Latin?

wdtprs.com/blog/2012/09/quaeritur-priest-dies-between-consecrations-in-the-ef/

[/quote]

Exactly, and the second occasion that I mentioned where a different priest completed the Mass happened at a Traditional Mass. This was in 1993. The replacement priest was not familiar with the old rite, and had to use the Ordinary Form to complete it.


#20

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