May the priest change this word in the Mass?


This may be a very minor point but could someone tell me if the following is alright. Between the “Our Father” and “For the Kingdom…”, there is a beautiful prayer said by the priest, “Deliver us Lord…”. There is a priest in our parish who changed the word ‘anxiety’ to ‘useless worries’. I see the two as meaning different things and wondered if a priest had the right to change words as he sees fit.


Dear P,

No, the priest does not have the authority to change any words at random in the Mass that he doesn’t like. Canon 846 of the code of canon law states: “The liturgical books approved by the competent authority are to be faithfully observed in the celebration of the sacraments; therefore, no one on personal authority may add, remove, or change anything in them.” So much for paraphrasing in the Liturgy.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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