Priest celebrating mass twice or thrice on the same day

Per the Roman Ritual.


The following rules were issued by the C. S. R., and carried in “Ephemerides Liturgicae” 67 (1953) p. 39:

  1. All priests who are to celebrate Mass twice or three times on the same day may consume the two ablutions prescribed by the rubrics of the Missal in each preceding Mass, but using only water, which, according to the new principle, does not break the fast.

  2. A priest who celebrates three Masses without interruption on Christmas or All Souls is to follow the rubrics pertaining to the ablutions (see below).

  3. Should a priest who is obliged to celebrate two or three Masses on the same day inadvertently take wine also, he is not prevented from celebrating the second and third Mass.
    The following additional rule, over and above what is said in the preceding or subsequent decrees, was issued by the C. S. R. and carried in AAS 46 (1954) p. 71:

Instruction for a priest having the faculty of celebrating Mass twice or thrice on the same day:

Priests who are to celebrate a later Mass at a late hour, or after the heavy duties of their ministry, or after traveling a long distance may take some liquid nourishment, excluding alcohol, between Masses; but in this case they should abstain at least one hour before exercising the sacred ministry.

The following rules were issued by the C. S. R., and carried in
“Ephemerides Liturgicae” 75 (1961) pp. 438-439:

  1. A priest who celebrates two or three Masses without interruption (i.e… without leaving the altar) on Christmas or All Souls observes the following rules:

(a) In the first and second Mass, if another is to be celebrated immediately, after consuming the Precious Blood he does not purify or wipe the chalice, but places it on the corporal and covers it with the pall. Then with hands joined he says: “What I have received by mouth,” etc., and afterward cleanses his fingers in the finger-bowl, saying “Lord, may your body,” etc. and wipes them. Having done this he removes the pall from the chalice which is still resting on the corporal and covers the chalice as usual, namely with the purificator, the paten containing the host to be consecrated, the pall, and the veil. But the chalice is not to be taken off the corporal. If inadvertently he consumes wine in the ablutions, he may nevertheless celebrate a second and third Mass if necessary, without the customary three-hour interval. As for the rest Mass is concluded in the usual way.

(b) In the second and third Masses, if preceded immediately by the other Mass, having removed the veil at the offertory he moves the chalice slightly toward the epistle side but on the corporal; and after offering the host he does not wipe the chalice but lifts it slightly above the corporal, pours in wine and water, and without wiping it makes the offering of the chalice. All else follows as usual.

  1. A priest who celebrates several Masses without interruption should consume the two ablutions in the preceding Mass as prescribed by the rubrics. If the next Mass is to be celebrated before an interval of three hours, he takes water only in the ablutions. But if he inadvertently also consumes wine, he may nevertheless celebrate the next Mass if necessary, without the customary three-hour interval.

The following rule was issued by C.S.R.,
and carried in “Ephemerides Liturgicae” 78 (1964), p. 164:

I am somewhat concerned because my parochial vicar had to celebrate six Masses two Sundays in a row. He was taking care of two parishes (ours and another).

The rubrics quoted were issued before Vatican II, there have been modifications, which allow priests and laity a shorter fast. Holy Mother the Church also provides for priests or laity who have health issues and need to eat for their health sake.

That being said, the Church also bids those who are able to follow the older customs regarding fasts and abstinance when they can.

Our parish priest regularly celebrates 4 Masses on Sundays plus one Saturday night. We used to have two priests, now we have one. :frowning:

I hope your parochial vicar has help soon.

Can. 919 §1. A person who is to receive the Most Holy Eucharist is to abstain for at least one hour before holy communion from any food and drink, except for only water and medicine.
§2. A priest who celebrates the Most Holy Eucharist two or three times on the same day can take something before the second or third celebration even if there is less than one hour between them.**

That eases my mind some. Two of the Masses are almost back to back, the others have time between them.

In my parochial vicar’s case, seven were back-to-back. He got a respite after the 1PM Mass. He did not have another until 6PM that day.

Our pastor has Anticipated Sunday Mass, then four masses on Saturday morning (7 a.m., 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and Noon) and says masses at the county jail and the state prison north of town on Saturday.

It is also innaccurate on several other counts:

  • a priest is not longer permitted to celebrate Mass without interruption on Christmas, and even All Souls (as the “diversis temporibus” implies, though there is more leeway there)
  • the same prayers and actions are no longer prescribed. For example, the purification may be (and is) done regularly with water only and may be postponed after Mass and done by even a deacon or instituted acolyte. Like some of the chalice accessories are now optional

Is there a question in this thread? I’m not sure what the reason for posting those regulations was.

We have a visitng priest who is leaving this Sunday and our pastor is still ill. I am sure that our remaining priests will be able to handle the Mass schedule, and that the Bishop will send help as needed.

No priests will starve from having to celebrate more than one Mass on a day, but this is again a good reminder to us all to pray for vocations.

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