Is it a valid mass?

I went to a different church the other day (still catholic of course) and the mass bothered me a lot. First let me say that it was the day of a baptism so I may be totally off base here but help me out if you can… there was no penitential rite no gloria no kyrie… opening song baptism stuff right to first reading… then after that there was no profession of faith other than the choir singing I believe I believe I believe… don’t these parts of the mass matter or are they expendable just so the mass can be under the 45 min mark?

When baptism occurs during the Mass, that’s what is supposed to be done. According to the Rite of Baptism, the penitential rite is “omitted” (I don’t like that word, but that’s what is used). The Creed is already part of the baptismal ritual, so saying it again at the same Mass would be redundant and repetitive.

The priest is required to say the opening prayer although you might not have noticed or remembered it, and the gloria should have been sung if it was a Sunday, although omitting the Gloria is a minor infraction at most.

These differences are confusing at times. Is there a layman book for dummies on the different liturgies of the vernacular Latin Mass?

There are only four defects that make a mass invalid.

  1. Lack of matter–that is, pure wheat bread and grape wine.

  2. Lack of minister–properly ordained priest or bishop.

  3. Lack of form–deliberately mangling the approved consecratory formula so it does not clearly refer to the Bread and Wine becoming the Body and Blood of Christ. Merely stumbling over the words (such as a priest celebrating in an unfamiliar language or rite) would not in itself constitute “lack of form.”

  4. Lack of intention–that is, actually refusing to accomplish the Mystery of the Eucharist. This is hard to prove. If a priest goes to the trouble of vesting, saying the prayers and performing the ceremonial acts, intention is presumed, lacking clear positive evidence to the contrary.

This is really great to know. Thanks.

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