Our parish just published in the bulletin that the pastor will no longer celebrate two masses on days when a funeral is scheduled. He is a new pastor, and this was never done with the former priests, who always said the early mass for parishioners in addition to the funeral liturgy. I was told the reason for this change is to encourage support from the congregation for the grieving family by attending that liturgy.
The problem is that the funeral liturgy is specific for funerals, and the participants are not able to celebrate the mass of the day according to the calendar.
Due to many parish closings and priests having “days off,” we have many people traveling among parishes that have a mass. They arise early, prepare for mass, drive in excess of 10 miles one way, only to find that the mass has been cancelled.
My question: Is this practice followed in other dioceses or parishes? Is this something I should bring to the Bishop’s attention? May a priest decide to celebrate only once daily and omit the regular mass?
Another concern is that many people schedule massses for their departed loved ones’ anniversary, etc., pay a stipend, see it in the bulletin, and find that it was set aside for a funeral. Is this lawful?