Is it appropriate to celebrate Mass in someone's house?


#1

Is it appropriate to celebrate Mass in someone's house? The Priest offered to a group of men (I was included) that he wanted to do something nice for the group. Mass is what was decided to do. I mentioned that I had never heard of offering Mass in someone's home before and was uneasy about it. I was reassured that there are no issues with it. Now that we are getting closer to the date, I'm not sure that this is really appropriate. Can anyone help me locate what the Catechism or Canon Law has to say on the subject? My searching has just made me more concerned about, but I have not been able to find something that directly relates to the topic. I appreciate your help in advance.


#2

[quote="raymondg, post:1, topic:307625"]
Is it appropriate to celebrate Mass in someone's house? The Priest offered to a group of men (I was included) that he wanted to do something nice for the group. Mass is what was decided to do. I mentioned that I had never heard of offering Mass in someone's home before and was uneasy about it. I was reassured that there are no issues with it. Now that we are getting closer to the date, I'm not sure that this is really appropriate. Can anyone help me locate what the Catechism or Canon Law has to say on the subject? My searching has just made me more concerned about, but I have not been able to find something that directly relates to the topic. I appreciate your help in advance.

[/quote]

My understanding (and I defer to wiser men than myself) is that Mass is to be celebrated in designated sacred spaces (such as a church or oratory) unless a good reason presents itself.

Such a reason may be, for instance, a retreat held at a place without a church or oratory, such that Mass can only be celebrated outdoors or in a dining hall, or cases where a chaplain is deployed and his base has no chapel, so he must celebrate Mass outdoors or in a non-sacred room. Another example would be during persecutions, when priests are in hiding and Mass must be celebrated in secret, e.g., in the basements of the houses of people hiding them.

I don't think wanting to do something nice counts as a reason. Here again, though, I defer to wiser people than myself.


#3

I have read exorcism books and they celebrated Mass in the peoples houses. Bl Pope John Paul celebrated in the wilderness. The early Christians in catacombs. I'm not up on Canon law though I'm afraid.


#4

Generally speaking - yes, it is permitted. Here are two posts on CAF from a priest/member that substantiates it. Be at peace, don't worry.

forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=4983902&postcount=4

forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=5175690&postcount=19


#5

[quote="raymondg, post:1, topic:307625"]
Is it appropriate to celebrate Mass in someone's house? The Priest offered to a group of men (I was included) that he wanted to do something nice for the group. Mass is what was decided to do. I mentioned that I had never heard of offering Mass in someone's home before and was uneasy about it. I was reassured that there are no issues with it. Now that we are getting closer to the date, I'm not sure that this is really appropriate. Can anyone help me locate what the Catechism or Canon Law has to say on the subject? My searching has just made me more concerned about, but I have not been able to find something that directly relates to the topic. I appreciate your help in advance.

[/quote]

What did Father say when you asked him?


#6

When my BIL visits for the holidays or for his vacation, we have daily Mass in my MIL's living room. And he is nothing if not orthodox!


#7

If Father has permission to (which you should assume he does if he agrees to your request) it's fine.
Some of the most solemn masses I've ever heard have been outside of official church buildings:
one at the top of a mountain at summer camp as a child (well, 7 masses- the camp was a week long)
one at my girl scout leader's house after a meeting. We had just finished the "live your faith" and "Marian medal" badges, and our very kind priest offered to say mass for us.


#8

At one assisted living place that I lived at had Mass several times a year (about every two or three months) in the 'TV room'. :):cool:


#9

When we had our family reunion, a retired priest celebrated Mass for us in the family barn which is where all the festivities were taking place. The Mass itself was nothing if not reverent and the set up for Mass had everything that was required.


#10

Art. 4.
THE TIME AND PLACE OF THE CELEBRATION OF THE EUCHARIST
Can. 931 The celebration and distribution of the Eucharist can be done at any day and hour except those which the liturgical norms exclude.
Can. 932 §1. The eucharistic celebration is to be carried out in a sacred place unless in a particular case necessity requires otherwise; in such a case the celebration must be done in a decent place.
§2. The eucharistic sacrifice must be carried out on a dedicated or blessed altar; outside a sacred place a suitable table can be used, always with a cloth and a corporal.
Can. 933 For a just cause and with the express permission of the local ordinary, a priest is permitted to celebrate the Eucharist in the place of worship of some Church or ecclesial community which does not have full communion with the Catholic Church so long as there is no scandal.


#11

Thanks everyone! The priest celebrating the mass is different from my normal priest. I asked my priest about it and he stated that it should be celebrated in a sacred building, but certain circumstances are allowed. He did not agree or disagree that this special occasion was a good enough reason so I guess I join the group. Thanks again. God Bless.


#12

Here in the Philippines you can attend Mass on Sundays at most of the large shopping malls.


#13

See Canon 933 quoted above. Your pastor isn’t going to make this judgement. It is up to the Ordinary (the Bishop) to determine what circumstances merit permission to say Mass outside of a Sacred place. If this is a priest in good standing in the diocese, you should assume that he has requested and received the appropriate permissions unless you have good reason to believe that he has not. Give him the benefit of the doubt that he is fulfilling his duties appropriately.


#14

Most priests (probably all in the US) receive a formal letter from their bishop upon ordination and/or with every new assignment, called a "Pagella of Faculties."

These letters are rather "standard" in that for the most part, they are very similar from one diocese to another. They explain (formally) just what that particular priest can or cannot do. Some of these are obvious. A pastor's pagella will usually say that he has the faculties to witness marriages, just for example. These letters also explain what permissions or dispensations (delegations, etc. etc.) the bishop has given to that particular priest; such as the faculties to absolve from a procured abortion.

Most pagellas will contain a clause that the priest is given permission to celebrate Mass in a place other-than a proper church building. Some bishops put restrictions on this. I recall my first pagella said something like "to say Mass in any dignified place where a crucifix is present, but never a bedroom."

My point (with this lengthy explanation) is that it's safe to say that most priests have the necessary permission from their bishops to celebrate Mass in some appropriate place.

Given that the priest (in this post) did indeed do it, we should all give him the benefit of the doubt that he had the necessary permission. In all likelihood, he probably has it. It would be more unusual for the permission to be absent.

Some dioceses have made samples of their "standard" pagellas available on the internet. Do a search for "pagella of faculties" if you're curious.....


#15

If Mass is said in such a place would a portable altar be required for it to be valid? Just curious, as I've seen many Masses held in nursing homes, as a previous poster had pointed out.


#16

My parish celebrates mass in several nursing homes, but has no portable altar. We use a regular table in one of their recreation rooms.


#17

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