Pre-VII Mass with ill priest

Tonight at Mass I noticed that the priest had the ‘sniffles’.

He performed his duties including a homily and consecration of the bread and wine.
A member of the congregation, an EMHC, came forward to distribute Communion.

This is a rural parish with only one priest. Before Vatican II how were these situations handled?

I don’t think there were too many parishes with just one priest prior to 1961.:slight_smile:

Let me offer a crazy idea: if there is a real health concern over a priest distributing Holy Communion to the faithful, and there is no one else permitted to distribute Communion (as would be the case in the Extraordinary Form), there’s always the option of not having the congregation receive Communion.

I’ve read on these boards (here and in the Traditional Catholicism board) that many people would receive communion outside of Mass in the Pre-Vatican II days. How was this done? Were there communion services outside of Mass? Was there a liturgy for these services? Would people just go and ask the priest for Holy Communion?As EF Masses become more and more common in the SP era, are we going to see the accompanying Communion Service?

Furthermore, I’ve also read that distribution of Communion wasn’t an official part of the EF. Does the same apply in the 1962 Missal?

I’m not an expert on this, but from what I’ve read and heard, the Rite of Communion for the congregation in the pre-Vatican II Roman Missal (but before 1962) was essentially the Rite of Communion Outside Mass inserted into the Mass, which is why it had (no longer in the 1962 Missal) “another” Confiteor (which the priest and server – and congregation had already prayed at the beginning of Mass), and has (still in the 1962) “another” Domine, non sum dignus (which the priest prays privately before his own Communion), among other duplicated elements.

The pre-Vatican II Rite of Communion Outside Mass can be found in the “Roman Ritual”, here.

I would not expect that.

I think that’s talking about older editions of the pre-Vatican II Missal. By 1962 (and maybe a few years earlier), the additional Confiteor was removed from the Communion Rite, although the people do still say their own Domine, non sum dignus… apart from the priest.

In the Ordinary Form, some of the “duplications” eliminated were the merging of prayers said by the priest and then said again by the congregation. For instance, in the EF, there are two Confiteors at the beginning of Mass (one by the priest, one by the server/people). In the OF, because both priest and people are participating in a single act of penitence, they say the Confiteor (or whatever penitential act is used) together.

That pretty much agrees with my studies as well, but I’ve never been quite sure why the rite of Communion outside Mass was incorporated in the Missal (well, in the ritus servandus of the Missal) in the first place. (It’s interesting that the same duplications occur in the traditional Missale Ambrosianum. I suspect that dates from the late 16th century and was due to imitation of Roman custom.)

Anyway, as far as I know, the “2nd Confiteor” was suppressed with the promulgation of the 1962 Missale Romanum. In that Missal, the ritus servandus seems to dispense with the former communion rite in toto, with the exception of the two things that really make sense: “Ecce Agnus Dei” and the "Domine, non sum dignus" in response. That last is particularly interesting since, although it is obviously a duplication of words, I think it clearly has a place before the communion of the faithful, (just as it does before the communion of the priest), where a response to “Ecce Agnus Dei” would seem to be called for.

Just my :twocents:

Yes this is true. It was far, far more common before the 1930s (of course, before the 20th century is was not that common to have ‘communicating’ Masses outside certain times a year). What essentially would happen was a classic feature of “time saving” and could take two forms in order not to ‘delay’ people at Mass, and likewise when Masses were back-to-back.

(1) Holy Communion would be distributed either before or after Mass to those who wished to communicate. The priest would wear and surplice stole, or if it immediately followed or preceded Mass , he could wear his chasuble. He would then use the Rite of giving Holy Communion outside Mass.

(2) Another priest, possibly at a side altar, though in many places even at the main altar, would begin the distribution of Holy Communion using Hosts from a tabernacle and the Rite of Holy Communion outside Mass when the priest offering Mass reached the Pater Noster. Sometimes the priest offering Mass would not even distribute Communion, but precede as normal and the distribution of Holy Communion would end shortly before or at the same time as the Mass.

There were of course, some regulations in these practices which were often flouted (the first not so much, but the others frequently).

  • Communion could only be given before or after a Missa privata (‘private’ Mass, which essentially was most ‘low’ Masses)

  • in scenario (2), the Hosts used had to be Hosts reserved (in modo sacramenti). Hosts consecrated within a Mass (in modum sacrificii), if distributed, had to be distributed within that Mass at the proper time (that is, after the Communion of the priest).

  • assisting priests could not give Communion using a ciborium of Hosts consecrated at the Mass if the celebrant himself did not distribute Communion. The procedure was that they had to take their ciboriums from the altar to distribute Communion after he left the altar to give Communion, and place them back on the altar *before *he returned.

  • there were also a multitude of others concerning the proper observance of the rite of distributing Holy Communion outside Mass. Often, in scenarios like (2), the assistant priests would nto observe the rite in its integrity.

Of course the liturgical books urged distribution of Communion within Mass but excepted it for a “reasonable cause” - quite a liberal phrase that allowed for people not being delayed, priests having other pastoral responsiblities, etc.*

Actually, it was suppressed with the new rubrics, promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in Rubricarum instructum on 23 July 1960. Number 503 refers to the suppression of the Confiteor before communion.

Thanks. I often forget Rubricarum instructum, probably (a) because of the proximity in time to the promulgation of the Missal, and (b) because it was incorporated into the Missal. :o

At many masses very few people received communion. If you went to a wedding or funeral you had to get up there fast or the priest was already into the Last Gospel. I have heard that since reception of Communion was unusual priests tended to use the whole rite for giving Communion outside of mass whenever they gave Communion. Sorry, that came out a bit clumsy, but I hope you get what I mean.}

I followed the link and looked over the Rite of Communion Outside Mass. I found something that caught my attention that has relevance to the new English translation of the OF that we are undergoing…the return to “And with your spirit” as the response to “The Lord be with you.” In the Rite of Communion Outside Mass, the people responded as follows"

*7. Then he adds:

P: Lord, heed my prayer.

All: And let my cry be heard by you.

**P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.**
Let us pray.*

Is the reason that the congregation responds “May He also be with you” instead of “And with your spirit” because the priest is not saying Mass and thus isn’t acting in Personna Christi? Therefore, because he isn’t saying Mass and not acting in *Personna Christi, *you don’t greet his “spirit?”

It seems to me to be just a case of bad translation. The Latin text reads the way we would expect:

[INDENT]7. Mox Sacerdos dicit:

V. Dómine, exáudi oratiónem meam.

R. Et clamor meus ad te véniat.

V. Dóminus vobíscum.

R. Et cum spíritu tuo.[/INDENT]

I believe that you are using the Weller translation published by Bruce in 1964. This was made right around the time that the Council was stating that some vernacular would be used in the liturgy, though no specific guidelines had yet been given. The Weller translation rushed into print and was never an official liturgical text. It was never used as such, and had no official standing. It was known for being an early creation of those who wanted to push the translation issue to the absolute limit, and a few years later did so successfully. That is what is finally being fixed now.

Oh MY, of course there were. All over the world. St John Vianney did not have an associate pastor. :wink:

The answer to the OP is that either the priest distributed communion even with the sniffles, because folks didn’t worry so much about germs, OR he didn’t distribute communion at all. We are not obligated to receive communion every week–only to attend Mass. There were many Masses celebrated in which the lay faithful did not receive communion.

I would agree with that. Maybe one of the reasons being there was a three-hour fast and before that, a fast from midnight. With the more relaxed rules in the fast rules, the number of communicants really jumped. But I’m sure there were other factors too.

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