Priest Not Vested Properly at Mass?

Recently I went to a Sunday Mass in which the priest wore only an alb and a stole. He was not concelebrating. He said he was not going to put on the chasuble because it was a hot day. Also, this priest never kneeled after the elevation in the Eucharistic Prayer, whether in a church with or without A/C. I doubt that he had knee problems because he was able to walk very fast. Do you think this priest is being too liberal about the ceremonials?

I think that if it is bothering you, you need to talk to the priest directly.


Walking very fast in no way excludes knee or back problems , that deny a person the act of kneeling. Assumptions are dangerous activities.


The heat can be dangerous.

Remember when Christ gathered some wheat on the Sabbath? Well, I am pretty sure Christ would not want your priest to collapse from heatstroke during Mass.

An idea, raise funds to buy an air conditioner and some lightweight cotton vestments for your parish to use in the Summer.

And never judge anyone else’s disability. We can never know what pain another bears inside themselves :frowning:


General Instruction to the Roman Missal:

  1. The vestment proper to the priest celebrant at Mass and other sacred actions directly connected with Mass is, unless otherwise indicated, the chasuble, worn over the alb and stole.

Sacred vestments are not meant to be comfortable. If they were, a priest may as well celebrate in jeans. One wonders how comfortable. As for kneeling, a priest must follow the rubrics. Only some sort of ailment can make that impossible. We cannot know, so we oughn’t speculate. The absence of a chasuble bothers me, however. I would definitely, immediately talk to him. If that fails, go to the bishop. If that fails, go to the relevant authorities. Priests should be properly vested. There could be a perfectly good explanation though.


In my doubtlessly unsophisticated opinion, it is better for the priest to dress lightly than to collapse at the altar.


We’ve had heat warnings many days this summer and have a large, non-airconditioned church.

I neither expect nor want my priest to endanger his well-being and was pleased to see he had shifted to saying Mass in an alb and stole rather than adding the chasuble as it is clearly safer for him to do so.


He has to wear a chasuble according to the rubrics. I did not write them. I am sure there are lightly made, summer versions of that vestment.

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Perhaps, but not in our parish. Their theoretical existence does nothing for the priest who is vesting in 40C+ degree temperatures.

Adhering to the rubrics when it puts one’s health and wellbeing in danger is legalism at its finest.


I think there are too few details to form an opinion.


Unless it’s somehow miraculously exempted, yes in your parish.

The abuse is reprobated whereby the sacred ministers celebrate Holy Mass or other rites without sacred vestments or with only a stole over the monastic cowl or the common habit of religious or ordinary clothes, contrary to the prescriptions of the liturgical books, even when there is only one minister participating. In order that such abuses be corrected as quickly as possible, Ordinaries should take care that in all churches and oratories subject to their jurisdiction there is present an adequate supply of liturgical vestments made in accordance with the norms.

Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum

Roma locuta; causa finita est


Please ask him. Speculating about in on the internet (where none of us know this pastor) is not going to be helpful.


First, a stole over an alb is not the same as a stole over a monastic cowl, religious habit, or ordinary clothes.

Second, I cannot believe you are more concerned with whether or not the priest is dressed as you expect him to than whether or not is well-being is at danger. That is absolutely absurd.


First, he’s not wearing the stole over his proper vestment, so the same principle applies.

I think you mean as the Church expects him to.

On a previous thread discussing this, Fr. David mentioned “broken air conditioning” (in other words excessive heat) as a “common sense reason” for not wearing the chasuble.
It may be that the bishop has issued some kind of dispensation applying in cases of excessively hot days.
I would suggest speaking to your priest about it.


Um, no. An alb is a valid liturgical vestment. What he isn’t doing is wearing the chasuble over the alb and stole, which your citation does not speak of.

And you can parse words however you like. Putting attire ahead of health and safety is ridiculous.


I was going to post that but I forgot the word, dispensation.

Yes, in charity we must assume that this exception has been allowed by the bishop.


OK, read this. If you won’t listen to me, listen to a professor of the liturgy, Father Edward McNamara:

‘Except in those few cases where the Holy See has granted a special dispensation from using the chasuble, it must be used by a single celebrant in all celebrations, or by at least the principal celebrant in concelebrations.’

Without a special dispensation from the Holy See, which is almost never issued, celebrating without chasuble is never allowed. And the alb is not the proper vestment to wear the stole over, however valid it may be. It is never acceptable to deliberately disobey the rubrics without a special dispensation from the Holy See itself. If he thinks it dangerous, let him not celebrate mass, or do so in an outdoor setting if possible. Saints have mortified themselves far more for the faith and our Lord. This is the only correct response.

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Thanks, I shall bear it proudly.

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