Shortening mass /heat wave


#1

Hi, I was wondering if it was ok to shorten the mass on Sunday because of oppressive heat and no air conditioning. I know my son at college had shorter masses at times but it’s been happening during a heatwave in my state lately. The second reading and sometimes the creed or other short verse is omitted. Never the Gospel or homily or any part of the Eucharist.
I understand the elderly (many that attend) find it very hard and are fanning themselves the entire mass. I just feel funny because I know many years ago, heat was there and no air.

Are there hard and fast rules?


#2

[quote="debraran, post:1, topic:333535"]
Hi, I was wondering if it was ok to shorten the mass on Sunday because of oppressive heat and no air conditioning. I know my son at college had shorter masses at times but it's been happening during a heatwave in my state lately. The second reading and sometimes the creed or other short verse is omitted. Never the Gospel or homily or any part of the Eucharist.
I understand the elderly (many that attend) find it very hard and are fanning themselves the entire mass. I just feel funny because I know many years ago, heat was there and no air.

Are there hard and fast rules?

[/quote]

While it might be okay to shorten the Sunday Mass by other means, singing one verse of songs, shortening the homily, etc., the Creed should not normally be eliminated during Sunday Mass (though it may be omitted during daily Mass and during Easter Masses when baptismal vows are renewed).

ewtn.com/library/Liturgy/zlitur154.htm


#3

[quote="debraran, post:1, topic:333535"]
Hi, I was wondering if it was ok to shorten the mass on Sunday because of oppressive heat and no air conditioning. I know my son at college had shorter masses at times but it's been happening during a heatwave in my state lately. The second reading and sometimes the creed or other short verse is omitted. Never the Gospel or homily or any part of the Eucharist.
I understand the elderly (many that attend) find it very hard and are fanning themselves the entire mass. I just feel funny because I know many years ago, heat was there and no air.

Are there hard and fast rules?

[/quote]

The "rule" is that the law does not bind in an impossible situation.

If the heat is truly so bad that it causes genuine problems, then the priest has a certain latitude in omitting non-essential parts of the Mass. A good "rule of thumb" that many priests apply is to omit the parts of the Sunday Mass that either are or may be omitted on weekdays.

Of course, this has to be a genuine need---it can't be something artificial (like a priest who intentionally neglects to have the broken A/C fixed just so he can use that as an excuse to shorten the Mass).


#4

Other options to shorten a Sunday Mass due to the heat wave:

Process from the sacristy to shorten the procession.
Omit singing altogether.
Shorten the homily to only a few minutes.
Use the shortest version of prayers.
Omit the sign of peace.

After the heat wave is over, return to customary practices.


#5

Here is a Q&A from CAF Ask an Apologist on omitting the Creed during Sunday Mass.

"Can the Creed be omitted at Sunday Mass?

The last few Sundays at Mass I've noticed that we have not said the Creed. Is there a reason for this? There has been no explanation for its absence.

Re: Can the Creed be omitted at Sunday Mass?

In his book, Mass Confusion (pg. 97), Jimmy Akin says "Without special permission, it is not permitted for a pastor to omit the recitation of the creed on Sundays and solemnities":

  1. The purpose of the Symbolum or Profession of Faith, or Creed, is that the whole gathered people may respond to the word of God proclaimed in the readings taken from Sacred Scripture and explained in the homily and that they may also call to mind and confess the great mysteries of the faith by reciting the rule of faith in a formula approved for liturgical use, before these mysteries are celebrated in the Eucharist.

  2. The Creed is to be sung or said by the priest together with the people on Sundays and Solemnities. It may be said also at particular celebrations of a more solemn character.

General Instruction of the Roman Missal

To order a copy of Mass Confusion go here. "

Blue excerpt from source link here:

Can the Creed be omitted at Sunday Mass?
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=11032


#6

That the problem exists surprises me. I generally find church buildings are often cooler than outside. We're having an unusually hot and long heatwave here in England. Sunday Mass has been quite refreshing because church is cool inside. And, that's not because we have air conditioning. Air conditioning is not often found here.


#7

Bergon, you may have a nice old church with thick walls. Here in the USA, we have a variety of buildings. The church we go to is an uninsulated, modern building (much less substantial than the surrounding homes) that gets much hotter than the outdoors. When the temps reached 118 degrees here last month, our Mass was considerably shortened as we have no ac and the ceiling fans did nothing.

In our diocese, we even have one "church" with no walls or roof at all. It is a permanent "church" that is set up outdoors during the summer months. Last year, an attack of stinging wasps and high heat (Mass is said there at 12:45 p.m.) caused a considerably shortened Mass to say nothing of a some panic among allergic parishioners who had to flee during the Mass.

As someone said, we aren't called to the impossible.


#8

I remember as a teenager, a priest gave an unusually short homily. It consisted of “My brothers and sisters, as we sit here today in this oppressive heat, always remember there is someplace hotter!”

It made Mass much shorter :smiley:


#9

[quote="GRATEFULONEjim, post:8, topic:333535"]
I remember as a teenager, a priest gave an unusually short homily. It consisted of "My brothers and sisters, as we sit here today in this oppressive heat, always remember there is someplace hotter!"

It made Mass much shorter :D

[/quote]

Love it! :thumbsup::thumbsup:


#10

[quote="sojo, post:7, topic:333535"]
Bergon, you may have a nice old church with thick walls. Here in the USA, we have a variety of buildings. The church we go to is an uninsulated, modern building (much less substantial than the surrounding homes) that gets much hotter than the outdoors. When the temps reached 118 degrees here last month, our Mass was considerably shortened as we have no ac and the ceiling fans did nothing.

In our diocese, we even have one "church" with no walls or roof at all. It is a permanent "church" that is set up outdoors during the summer months. Last year, an attack of stinging wasps and high heat (Mass is said there at 12:45 p.m.) caused a considerably shortened Mass to say nothing of a some panic among allergic parishioners who had to flee during the Mass.

As someone said, we aren't called to the impossible.

[/quote]

Yes, our church is oldish. It's not hundreds of years old, the Anglicans stole those:D

I can't understand why a Mass was scheduled at one of the hottest parts of the day (i.e. 12.45 pm) in such weather conditions. A shortened Mass may be necessary if the temperatures are too high. It might also be a good idea to have Masses earlier in the morning or in the evening. The temperature is usually a little lower then than late morning or the afternoon.


#11

[quote="SwizzleStick, post:4, topic:333535"]
Other options to shorten a Sunday Mass due to the heat wave:

Process from the sacristy to shorten the procession.
Omit singing altogether.
Shorten the homily to only a few minutes.
Use the shortest version of prayers.
Omit the sign of peace.

After the heat wave is over, return to customary practices.

[/quote]

When we had AC problems (in South Texas, the temps are consistently in the high 90s and low 100s from April to October), our late pastor would:
1. Entered from the sacristy to one verse of the hymn.
2. Had lectors omit the parts of the reading that were bracketed (and could be omitted)..
2. Had the psalmist omit the parts of the psalm that were bracketed (and could be omitted).
3. Skipped the Alleluia.
4. Had the deacon skip the Gospel procession, read from the Lectionary (instead of Book of Gospels) and skip the bracketed parts of the Gospel.
5. Used the Apostles Creed.
6. Skipped the Prayers of the Faithful.
7. Did the Offeratory in silence.
8. Used the preface that goes with Eucharistic Prayer 2.
9. Used Eucharistic Prayer 2.
10. Skipped the Sign of Peace.
11. Exited through the altar instead of processing through the Church.

The Mass was less than 30 minutes using all the licit shorter options.


#12

[quote="PacoG, post:11, topic:333535"]
When we had AC problems (in South Texas, the temps are consistently in the high 90s and low 100s from April to October), our late pastor would:
1. Entered from the sacristy to one verse of the hymn.
2. Had lectors omit the parts of the reading that were bracketed (and could be omitted)..
2. Had the psalmist omit the parts of the psalm that were bracketed (and could be omitted).
3. Skipped the Alleluia.
4. Had the deacon skip the bracketed parts of the Gospel.
5. Used the Apostles Creed.
6. Skipped the Prayers of the Faithful.
7. Did the Offeratory in silence.
8. Used the preface that goes with Eucharistic Prayer 2.
9. Used Eucharistic Prayer 2.
10. Skipped the Sign of Peace.
11. Exited through the altar instead of processing through the Church.

The Mass was less than 30 minutes using all the licit shorter options.

[/quote]

Very good, thank you!:thumbsup::thumbsup:


#13

[quote="Bergon, post:10, topic:333535"]
Yes, our church is oldish. It's not hundreds of years old, the Anglicans stole those:D

I can't understand why a Mass was scheduled at one of the hottest parts of the day (i.e. 12.45 pm) in such weather conditions. A shortened Mass may be necessary if the temperatures are too high. It might also be a good idea to have Masses earlier in the morning or in the evening. The temperature is usually a little lower then than late morning or the afternoon.

[/quote]

The Mass times are limited to how many churches our one priest can get to in one day. The outdoor Mass is in the mountains, and normally cooler, but we have had several heat waves this summer. Our priest travels between 5 different locations on Sunday (he has a dispensation so he can say Mass up to 6 and sometimes 7 times on Sunday). Needless to say, he doesn't have time after Mass to stop and shake hands and chat either! We already have about as many communion (no priest) services as anyone could imagine, but he tries to get around on Saturday and Sunday and reach as many people as possible. We've seen him peeling off his vestments as he strides out the Church and simply jump in his little car and take off for the next church. I bet he wishes he had super powers so he could leap over tall buildings and fly to his next church!


#14

This really seems to be the best solution to the problem. There’s no need to do anything illicit when we have a perfect option right here. As long as this isn’t the norm for the parish, I think you’re in good shape and have a prudent priest. :wink: :smiley:


#15

[quote="SwizzleStick, post:5, topic:333535"]
Here is a Q&A from CAF Ask an Apologist on omitting the Creed during Sunday Mass.

Can the Creed be omitted at Sunday Mass?
...
In his book, Mass Confusion (pg. 97), Jimmy Akin says "Without special permission, it is not permitted for a pastor to omit the recitation of the creed on Sundays and solemnities":
...
Can the Creed be omitted at Sunday Mass?
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=11032

[/quote]

It is quite possible, likely even, that the bishop has given standing permission to omit the creed during extreme heat. We need not assume the worst.


#16

[quote="runningdude, post:15, topic:333535"]
It is quite possible, likely even, that the bishop has given standing permission to omit the creed during extreme heat. We mustn't assume the worst.

[/quote]

Who is assuming the worst? :confused:

The fact remains that omitting the Creed is generally not permitted and that there are other acceptable means to shorten the Mass.


#17

[quote="sojo, post:13, topic:333535"]
The Mass times are limited to how many churches our one priest can get to in one day. The outdoor Mass is in the mountains, and normally cooler, but we have had several heat waves this summer. Our priest travels between 5 different locations on Sunday (he has a dispensation so he can say Mass up to 6 and sometimes 7 times on Sunday). Needless to say, he doesn't have time after Mass to stop and shake hands and chat either! We already have about as many communion (no priest) services as anyone could imagine, but he tries to get around on Saturday and Sunday and reach as many people as possible. We've seen him peeling off his vestments as he strides out the Church and simply jump in his little car and take off for the next church. I bet he wishes he had super powers so he could leap over tall buildings and fly to his next church!

[/quote]

It's sad we're so short on priests. I bet your parish is having lots of Rosaries for priestly vocations. Our priest serves three parishes. One of them had its church closed and demolished so he only has to go to two churches on Sunday not 6 or 7.


#18

Yes, prayers for more vocations are unceasing. And the priests in our diocese really hate being sent to the poorer, rural areas and the Bishops will seldom send someone here who really opposes the decision.

t is discouraging to drive a long time, especially with gas so dear, only to have a very shortened Mass. We only have daily Mass at our local church two days a week (the others are communion services if any service at all). I have driven 45 minutes for a 10 minute daily Mass and then 45 minutes home. Very sad-making.


#19

[quote="GRATEFULONEjim, post:8, topic:333535"]
I remember as a teenager, a priest gave an unusually short homily. It consisted of "My brothers and sisters, as we sit here today in this oppressive heat, always remember there is someplace hotter!"

It made Mass much shorter :D

[/quote]

I love it!!! Sometimes one can say a LOT in just a few words.GOD bless, Memaw


#20

[quote="Domnall, post:14, topic:333535"]
This really seems to be the best solution to the problem. There's no need to do anything illicit when we have a perfect option right here. As long as this isn't the norm for the parish, I think you're in good shape and have a prudent priest. ;) :D

[/quote]

He also used the shortest greeting ("The Lord be with you"...) and shortest (and least...and in my opinion, most beautiful) Penitential Rite: "Be merciful, O Lord" (or in the old translation, "Lord, we have sinned against you...")


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