Invalid or Illicit?

Okay, today it was the Fr. So & So show, rather than Mass.

  1. He changed the words in the Gospel.
  2. He ad libbed the entire Mass, including the whole Eucharistic prayer, and I’m not sure there was a consecration.
  3. We said no Creed, just an impromptu “renewal of baptismal promises” which only asked if we believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It could have been for any Christian religion.

I felt sick. Didn’t know if I should receive Communion. Didn’t know if I should bow before the Eucharist, and not sure if it was transubstantiated. I wasn’t sure if I could even say “Amen” before receiving

I’m telling you this was bad.

Not sure what to do ,since I don’t have a recording of what took place.
He did not follow the rubrics for the consecration, yet it is a Roman Catholic parish.

What can be done? How much leeway does a Roman Catholic priest have?

It was Mass, whatever else it may have been. There is nothing you have said that would have invalidated the Holy Eucharist. Yes, changing the words of the Gospel and changing the words of the liturgy is illicit. However, unless the priest omitted “This is my body…, this is my blood”, then changes did not invalidate the consecration.

As to the third point, I found this at EWTN.

Likewise, whenever baptism or confirmation is celebrated during Mass the profession of faith is omitted because the baptismal promises are either made or renewed during the rite.

ewtn.com/library/liturgy/zlitur154.htm

Like the first poster said, if the priest said, “This is my Body…This is my Blood” then consecration took place and the Mass was valid. So as long as those words were said and the priest was using red wine from grapes and unleavened bread (and he was validly ordained).

The best way to avoid this kind of thing is to attend the Latin Mass. It is hard to miss the consecration when you hear bells ringing!

Regarding the leeway that a priest has…ZERO. Accidentally missing the rubric is one thing. Intentionally changing things is another. It is ALWAYS illicit for the priest to change anything intentionally.

So now you know it was licit, OP, and you believe you really did receive the body and blood of Christ, would you put these thoughts to one side at the next similar Mass you attend? If not, how is it that the miracle of transubstantiation is not enough to distract you from the human failings of the priest?

There is no need to patronize someone who finds it difficult to ignore liturgical abuses. I also find it difficult to struggle when I hear a priest mess around with the rubric. Unfortunately this type of thinking, in which we should just “put these thoughts to one side”, allows liturgical abuses to continue…

Instead of ignoring blatant disregard for the rubric (that occurs consistently each week), we ought inform the priest of our concerns. If he fails to change then we are to consult with the local ordinary of that diocese. However, if this was a one time thing and an accident or unavoidable, then we have no right to be upset about human error that, in on way, invalidatd the Mass.

That is an obligation of the laity. Never ignore an abuse that is consistent week-after-week in a specific parish.

It is not an obligation. We do not have to report any abuse. We do have the right to report liturgical abuse though:
vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccdds/documents/rc_con_ccdds_doc_20040423_redemptionis-sacramentum_en.html#Chapter III

Any Catholic, whether Priest or Deacon or lay member of Christ’s faithful, has the right to lodge a complaint regarding a liturgical abuse to the diocesan Bishop or the competent Ordinary equivalent to him in law, or to the Apostolic See on account of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff. It is fitting, however, insofar as possible, that the report or complaint be submitted first to the diocesan Bishop. This is naturally to be done in truth and charity.

did the priest say this:

This is my Body
This is the covenant of my blood.

if he said both and used the proper matter and had the proper intention it was valid just very very very illicit.

I think that is all you need to make a mass valid, I think the invocation of the HS is important not sure if it would make it invalid if he didn’t say it.

I have a couple of questions and a comment.

Is this your normal parish? and is this your usual priest? Does this happen every week or just on occasion?

It may be that you and the priest were actually reading from different versions of the same Gospel. Depending on when your missal was printed and when the Lectionary was, they could both be NAB, but different versions.

Was Father using a different EP than you are used to? Even with the new translations, there are still several versions. As others have said, the important words are “This is my Body…This is my Blood”.

During Advent we admit the Gloria. For the Creed, we can use other versions of a profession of faith and the “do you believe in God…do you reject Satan…” is very common.

Instead of ignoring blatant disregard for the rubric (that occurs consistently each week), we ought inform the priest of our concerns. If he fails to change then we are to consult with the local ordinary of that diocese. However, if this was a one time thing and an accident or unavoidable, then we have no right to be upset about human error that, in on way, invalidatd the Mass.

This is good advice and why I asked if this was a normal occurance or even the poster’s regular parish.

For anything we are concerned about at Mass, our first step should always be to speak to the priest in question (not worry about whether we have the Mass recorded!). It may be that we misunderstood or that Fr is simply having an off day.

If the problems persist and aren’t just things that we don’t like (ie valid EP but not our favorite, etc.) than speak to the pastor of the parish.

Only after that do we speak to the Bishop. Always in charity and understanding that after we make the complaint we won’t be notified about what was said the Fr (if anything), what he said back, etc. etc. All that isn’t our business.

A blessed Advent to everyone!

one other thing if you are in doubt recieve the Eucharist there is it isn’t your fault if you go to mass thing its valid then a couple weeks later you realize it is invalid. Also it wouldn’t hurt to go to mass again if this were to happen again. I would also suggest talking to the priest and if that gets no where send a letter to your bishop or the bishop of that diocese, ESPICALLY if you determine this mass to be invalid, people’s souls are at stake if a priest isn’t celebrating a valid mass.

Okay, today it was the Fr. So & So show, rather than Mass.

A few posts above are incorrect. And, having been through many such shows, I feel for you.

  1. He changed the words in the Gospel.

Illicit means, basically, “against the law”. Some posters above seem not to know that. Modifying the lectionary is illicit.

  1. He ad libbed the entire Mass, including the whole Eucharistic prayer, and I’m not sure there was a consecration.

Again, illicit, and highly so. It’s not up to lay people to decide whether a particular invented consecration is valid or not. That’s a matter for liturgists in the curia. Lay people on the internet have no authority nor competence in such matters and should hold their tongues/fingers. I’d say simply that we don’t know whether it was valid and even if you had a recording we’re not the people to ask.

  1. We said no Creed, just an impromptu “renewal of baptismal promises” which only asked if we believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It could have been for any Christian religion.

If the renewal followed the prescribed form, then it was entirely proper. If the form was modified, this was illicit.

I felt sick. Didn’t know if I should receive Communion.

You are only required to receive communion once per year. Feel free to abstain when you are in grave sin, have not observed the required fast or are concerned that receiving is improper in any way. This is one of those times.

Didn’t know if I should bow before the Eucharist, and not sure if it was transubstantiated.

You can always reverence the Altar, no big problem here, and certainly the fact that a Catholic made a reverence to a possible, potential, or probably presence of Christ is showing good instincts. Also, you should act so as not to give scandal, so again reverencing is a good idea.

I wasn’t sure if I could even say “Amen” before receiving

Yeah, but you’re a lay person, it’s not your responsibility to make sure the Mass is done well. I’d give yourself a break on these things. This is not supposed to happen to you, you have received no instruction concerning it. Not your fault or responsibility.

I’m telling you this was bad.

I’ve been there.

Not sure what to do ,since I don’t have a recording of what took place.
He did not follow the rubrics for the consecration, yet it is a Roman Catholic parish.

Your Bishop’s email is probably published. If so, write a short letter expressing your concerns in the most calm language you can. Be detached and cool. This will help you communicate better.

What can be done?

The Bishop can act if he chooses. That’s his job.

How much leeway does a Roman Catholic priest have?

Very little! If you want to know, buy a copy of the G.I.R.M. (General instruction of the Roman Missal) in paperback for a few bucks and read about it. I also like this book. It’s faithful and not political.

Remember, it’s not your job to do anything about this beyond telling your Bishop simply and politely if you feel it is warranted.

Or was he just using another version of the NAB? Different publications of it have minor differences in wording. It’s cosmetic changes.

  1. He ad libbed the entire Mass, including the whole Eucharistic prayer, and I’m not sure there was a consecration.

Did he adlib the Eucharistic Prayer or use one of the many available with which you might not be familiar?

  1. We said no Creed, just an impromptu “renewal of baptismal promises” which only asked if we believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It could have been for any Christian religion.

Not required during advent provided one of the appropriate substitutes.

Didn’t know if I should bow before the Eucharist, and not sure if it was transubstantiated. I wasn’t sure if I could even say “Amen” before receiving

Did the priest say “This is My Body” and “This is… My Blood”. Those are the minimum words which make up the form of the sacrament. If he said these words with the intent to “do as the church does” over valid matter, then the sacrament is valid, even if illicitly performed.

As such, the Eucharist is due all the respect that Christ commands anywhere He is present.

However, if you feel legitimately like you’re no longer spiritually prepared to receive, you are always welcome to refrain from receiving communion.

What can be done? How much leeway does a Roman Catholic priest have?

First you should probably clarify whether or not your suspicions are even correct.

[quote=KLJM12]The best way to avoid this kind of thing is to attend the Latin Mass. It is hard to miss the consecration when you hear bells ringing!
[/quote]

Or, you know, to find another OF parish that sticks to the rubrics (they’re fairly common, you know). Or to stick around and try to help the parish get back on the right track (helping ALL the catholics there rather than abandoning them to what is alleged to be a poor liturgical offering). Or to research and find out if one has even seen an abuse, or if one is merely misunderstanding something.

There are many good solutions to this situation. Going immediately to the EF is not the “best”, it’s one of several.

As to knowing when the consecration occurs, it’s pretty hard to miss it when the priest says it audibly in English. A bell can simply be rung, whether or not the priest says the right words… but when you HEAR and UNDERSTAND what he says, there can be no doubt.

I don’t think he did. I’m pretty sure he changed these words. The meaning might have been similar though. So not sure. I’ve experienced liturgical abuse before, but this really takes the cake.

Not my parish.
I made a decision to go an hour out of town to attend the last chance Mass, so that I could take my 11 yr old daughter to every Mass during Advent this year. She is with her non Catholic dad some weekends. Otherwise I would have been at my Latin Novus Ordo :wink:

hmm if he didn’t say that it may be invalid :(, but it may be difficult to tell if the mass was invalid or not just off hearing it. I’m no cannon lawyer so I can’t know for certain.

Well good that you both got to Mass and that you are teaching your daughter how important Mass is.

If this isn’t your parish, but is in your normally good diocese, than I would guess that this priest may have made choices you aren’t familiar with, and may be a bit loosey-goosey, but that the Mass was valid.

Since you don’t remember exactly what he said, and none of us were there,we can’t say definately one way or the other. In charity, it is good to assume the best. And then try to avoid Mass with this priest in the future. :thumbsup:

There is no requirement for the wine to be red. As long as its fresh and made from grapes, it can be any color.

I would contact your bishop’s office and politely, respectful tell them what happened, in as much concrete detail as possible.

This is something that could harm the faith of other Catholics, and what he did was certainly a serious abuse of his role as priest, as well as the rights of the laypeople.

Erm… as other posters have pointed out, depending on the version of missal(ette) vs. the lectionary, on whether or not the priest merely used a different EP than the OP is used to, and the form of the creed, there MAY have been no abuse at all.

It’s certainly FAR from certain at this point.

Keep reading, it sure looks like an obligation to me:

[quote=Redemptionis Sacramentum]183. In an altogether particular manner, let everyone do all that is in their power to ensure that the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist will be protected from any and every irreverence or distortion and that all abuses be thoroughly corrected.
[/quote]

Hmm. The Church is not shy about using the word “obligation.” If you feel this way, it is certainly your right. However, I would be careful about imposing on others any sense of obligation the Church does not. One can choose to pray for those priests, for example, and take the path of holy silence, especially when it is not an issue of desacration.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.