Priests and Daily Mass


#1

**I know that priests have to recite the Daily Office and Liturgy of the Hours. Are they under obligation to celebrate Mass everyday.

If so - please cite.

If not - why not?**


#2

[quote="jmjconder, post:1, topic:336922"]
**I know that priests have to recite the Daily Office and Liturgy of the Hours. Are they under obligation to celebrate Mass everyday.

If so - please cite.

If not - why not?**

[/quote]

The "Daily Office" is the Liturgy of the Hours.

As for daily celebration, the Code of Canon Law says:

Can. 904 Remembering always that in the mystery of the eucharistic sacrifice the work of redemption is exercised continually, priests are to celebrate frequently; indeed, daily celebration is recommended earnestly since, even if the faithful cannot be present, it is the act of Christ and the Church in which priests fulfill their principal function.

So while not obligatory it is strongly recommended.


#3

I can't speak as a priest, but if I were one, I imagine I would never want to go a day without celebrating Mass; indeed, I think it would be agony.


#4

They sure are. From the prophet Malachia (chapter 1 verse 11) "for from the rising of the
sun, even to it setting my name is great among the nations; and everywhere they bring
sacrifice to my name, and a pure offering; for great is my name among the nations, says
the Lord of hosts.

Some where on earth like Malachia precicted there will always be celebrated the sacrifice of the mass from the rising to the setting of the sun 24 hours daily.


#5

[quote="jmjconder, post:1, topic:336922"]
I know that priests have to recite the Daily Office and Liturgy of the Hours.

[/quote]

Daily Office and the Liturgy of the Hours are the same thing.

[quote="jmjconder, post:1, topic:336922"]
Are they under obligation to celebrate Mass everyday.

[/quote]

No!

[quote="jmjconder, post:1, topic:336922"]
If so - please cite.

[/quote]

N/A

[quote="jmjconder, post:1, topic:336922"]
If not - why not?

[/quote]

The Church places no such obligation on them.


#6

**

**

I am aware that I said “Divine Office” - however I meant “Office of Readings.”

Why is the celebration of daily Mass optional when the Divine Office is mandatory?[/FONT]


#7

Office of Readings is part of the Liturgy of the Hours.

I suppose the reason is purely prudential. The Church generally frowns on priests celebrating Mass outside of a Church without good reason, but priests are not always in churches. Sometimes they're traveling, sometimes they're on vacation, sometimes they're at a conference in another diocese, etc. These would all be reasonable impediments to being able to celebrate Mass. On the other hand, there's no reason a priest can't carry his breviary with him to any of these places, so there's less excuse for not praying the LotH.


#8

[quote="jmjconder, post:6, topic:336922"]
I am aware that I said "Divine Office" - however I meant "Office of Readings."

[/quote]

I understand now: you meant the Day Offices (Lauds, Middle Hour, Vespers and Compline) plus Office of Readings.

[quote="jmjconder, post:6, topic:336922"]
Why is the celebration of daily Mass optional when the Divine Office is mandatory?

[/quote]

The Divine Office is the official, public prayer of the Church. The Church considers it to be important. It requires all bishops, priests and religious to recite it daily.

I don't know why the Church doesn't require a priest to celebrate Mass daily. I'm not going to speculate. Hopefully others may know the answer. Interestingly, under the 1917 Code of Canon Law priests weren't required to celebrate Mass as frequently as now.


#9

That’s probably because concelebration was not allowed. A visiting priest to another church or parish now can concelebrate with the presiding priest so there’s less of an excuse to avoid celebrating Mass.

That said it’s still not required on a daily basis. Some priests even (gasp!) get a day off during the week…


#10

[quote="OraLabora, post:9, topic:336922"]
That's probably because concelebration was not allowed.

[/quote]

I'd agree that's a likely reason. Although, church's also used to have more than one altar and it was permitted to have more than one Mass being celebrated in the same church at the same time.

[quote="OraLabora, post:9, topic:336922"]
Some priests even (gasp!) get a day off during the week...

[/quote]

Personally, I've no objection to priests having a day off, quite the contrary in fact. But, that's another thread, which in fact there has been recently.


#11

[quote="OraLabora, post:9, topic:336922"]
That's probably because concelebration was not allowed. A visiting priest to another church or parish now can concelebrate with the presiding priest so there's less of an excuse to avoid celebrating Mass.

[/quote]

That seems kind of doubtful to me. In earlier times, the number of priests was greater and so was the number of parishes. Now, both have shrunk while the population has grown, which kind of says to me that there is more reason now for a priest to celebrate on his own, in order to meet the needs of the faithful.

[quote="OraLabora, post:9, topic:336922"]
That said it's still not required on a daily basis. Some priests even (gasp!) get a day off during the week...

[/quote]

In some traditions, e.g, the Ambrosian Rite, there are also what are known as aliturgical days, where a priest is forbidden to offer Mass. Fridays of Lent come to mind here. It's also the case in the East and Orient that the old tradition was for the Holy Sacrifice to be offered on Saturday (due to its relationship to the Sabbath), Sunday (obviously due to its being a commemoration of the Resurrection), and Wednesday (mainly, I think to replenish the reserved Eucharist -- remember that leavened bread tends to spoil and/or get stale rather quickly).


#12

**I may sound like a broken record...this makes no sense to me.

If a priest does not faithfully recite the LOH - many lay faithful may not even know. No Mass? Entirely different impact.

As far as one post that talked about the difficulty of celebrating daily Mass - I know many priest that always carry their Mass kit when they travel in order to celebrate Mass no matter when or how.

Wish I had my Commentary on Canon Law to see the explanation on the code.**


#13

[quote="jmjconder, post:12, topic:336922"]
**I may sound like a broken record...this makes no sense to me.

If a priest does not faithfully recite the LOH - many lay faithful may not even know. No Mass? Entirely different impact.

As far as one post that talked about the difficulty of celebrating daily Mass - I know many priest that always carry their Mass kit when they travel in order to celebrate Mass no matter when or how.

Wish I had my Commentary on Canon Law to see the explanation on the code.**

[/quote]

With the LOTH it's not a question of the faithful knowing or not knowing whether one particular priest or another has prayed his obligation. It's a question of praying for the entire Church, and that prayer be continuous. The LOTH assures that prayer vigil over the entire Church. It is a serious obligation, and for instance for Benedictine Monastics the LOTH is known as the "work of God"; the motto "Ora et Labora" (pray and work) has many layers of meaning, one of which is that the Divine Office is both the Ora and the most important Labora of monastics.

It is of the utmost importance to everyone in the Church, to maintain solidarity with all regardless of one is in a state of joy, suffering, nearing death, fallen away, etc. Especially for those in difficulty.

The faithful may not know if a priest skips his obligation or not, but the faithful should know that priests, religious, and an increasing number of the laity, are joined in continuous prayer for all of us. Without the obligation, that continuous vigil would surely start to fracture, given the foibles of human nature.


#14

[quote="jmjconder, post:12, topic:336922"]
**I may sound like a broken record...this makes no sense to me.

If a priest does not faithfully recite the LOH - many lay faithful may not even know. No Mass? Entirely different impact.

As far as one post that talked about the difficulty of celebrating daily Mass - I know many priest that always carry their Mass kit when they travel in order to celebrate Mass no matter when or how.

Wish I had my Commentary on Canon Law to see the explanation on the code.**

[/quote]

I don't understand why you are struggling with this or what it is you need to understand.

The Church says a priest must recite the Liturgy of the Hours everyday. It does not obligate him to celebrate Mass daily although it does recommend and encourage it. Whether any lay person likes this or not is irrelevant, it's what the Church requires.

Why is it any concern of the laity whether a priest prays the Office. If he doesn't pray it that's between him, his conscience, God and his ordinary. It is not the business of the laity.

We may know whether a priest has celebrated Mass. A priest may not celebrate Mass and individual laity won't know if he has celebrated it. It doesn't matter because the priest has no obligation to say Mass.


#15

[quote="OraLabora, post:13, topic:336922"]
With the LOTH it's not a question of the faithful knowing or not knowing whether one particular priest or another has prayed his obligation. It's a question of praying for the entire Church, and that prayer be continuous. The LOTH assures that prayer vigil over the entire Church. It is a serious obligation, and for instance for Benedictine Monastics the LOTH is known as the "work of God"; the motto "Ora et Labora" (pray and work) has many layers of meaning, one of which is that the Divine Office is both the Ora and the most important Labora of monastics.

It is of the utmost importance to everyone in the Church, to maintain solidarity with all regardless of one is in a state of joy, suffering, nearing death, fallen away, etc. Especially for those in difficulty.

The faithful may not know if a priest skips his obligation or not, but the faithful should know that priests, religious, and an increasing number of the laity, are joined in continuous prayer for all of us. Without the obligation, that continuous vigil would surely start to fracture, given the foibles of human nature.

[/quote]

Thank you for your explanation.


#16

Not sure why your tone is so harsh. Why I am questioning this? It is my “faith seeking understanding” ~ Please do not come down on me for that.


#17

[quote="jmjconder, post:16, topic:336922"]
Not sure why your tone is so harsh. Why I am questioning this? It is my "faith seeking understanding" ~ Please do not come down on me for that.

[/quote]

I don't see that this is "faith seeking understanding" since what you are asking about is not a matter of faith or morals, but the discipline of the Church. We really do not need to understand the "why" of everything.

Remember that to celebrate the Mass requires a suitable place and chalice, etc. There can be many times when it is not possible for a priest to celebrate Mass since celebrating outside of a church or oratory should, of necessity, be very rare. Consider if a priest is traveling a long distance - perhaps flying from the western United States to Europe. It may not be possible for him to celebrate Mass for one or two days, but it is always possible for him to pray the Liturgy of the Hours.

The Church does not ask the impossible of us.


#18

[quote="jmjconder, post:12, topic:336922"]
**I may sound like a broken record...this makes no sense to me.

If a priest does not faithfully recite the LOH - many lay faithful may not even know. No Mass? Entirely different impact.

As far as one post that talked about the difficulty of celebrating daily Mass - I know many priest that always carry their Mass kit when they travel in order to celebrate Mass no matter when or how.

Wish I had my Commentary on Canon Law to see the explanation on the code.**

[/quote]

Like I said, the issue is not necessarily having a place to celebrate Mass, not failing to have the supplies for it. Suppose a diocese hosts a Gregorian chant workshop and 150 priests show up. Where will they all celebrate Mass?


#19

[quote="jmjconder, post:16, topic:336922"]
Not sure why your tone is so harsh.

[/quote]

It is not. That's your misinterpretation.

[quote="jmjconder, post:16, topic:336922"]
Why I am questioning this? It is my "faith seeking understanding"

[/quote]

I'm not sure how it contributes to this. How can it help your own spirituality to know all this about priestly obligations.

[quote="jmjconder, post:16, topic:336922"]
~ Please do not come down on me for that.

[/quote]

I am not. Unfortunately, I can't prevent you misinterpreting what I've posted.


#20

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