SPLIT: When is the Mass valid?

Actually, to be picky, it’s only need for the Mass to be licit, not valid. The Mass is valid as soon as he says “this is my Body” and/or “this is … my blood” with the proper intent over proper matter.

Good catch! :wink:

This is wrong. The sacrifice is not completed unless the priest receives both the Precious Body and the Precious Blood. The Mass is not complete if the priest doesn’t receive, or even if he receives but only through one Sacred Species.

What you are saying is only for the Eucharist to be valid, not the Mass. The Mass is not the Eucharist, although the Mass is dependent on the Eucharist. Also, you can consecrate the Eucharist outside of Mass, but that would also mean excommunication for the priest as stated by Canon Law. Its expressively forbidden, but the Church cannot deny its validity.

Huh? I know there’s some serious theological implications if the priest does not recieve, but isn’t a Mass valid if the Eucharist is made present? Isn’t that what the term “valid Mass” means: the eucharist is there?

No. The Mass is the Sacrifice made present, and the Sacrifice is only complete after the priest receives.

The consecration of bread and wine only makes for a valid Eucharist, not a valid Mass.


There is a distinction between the Sacrament of Eucharist (Christ presence among us in the species of bread and wine) and the Mass (Christs bloodless sacrifice for us). This later requires the Offertory, the Consecration and the Communion (of the priest).

The new concept adds the gathering (in Jesus name), the learning (the Word of God) and the mission (from Christ to the world) too to the essence of the Mass, which earlier were outside of the emphasis, to the point that not even the presence of the faithful was required for a valid fulfillment of the obligation to assist in a Mass on Sunday and Holy Days of obligation.

As an analogy the Incarnation of the Second Divine Person was validly fulfilled when the Annunciation completed, and the egg in Mary’s womb became fertilized. The Redemption was fulfilled when He was risen from the death (admitting different theological opinions)

Not exactly sure what you mean by the part in blue. Do you mean that the priest could celebrate with no one there? He can still do that (except during the Triduum).

Not exactly. There are 4 conditions required for the valid confection (to use the Western term) of the Eucharist:

*]valid form (the correct formula as approved by the Church)
*]valid matter (unadulterated bread and pure grape wine – there have been many threads about this here so there’s no need to go into the specific details again now)
*]valid Orders (valid ordination to the priesthood according to the prescriptions of HMC)
*]valid intent (the intent of the priest to do what the Church intends, i.e. to consecrate the offerings that the Real Presence be made present in them.)

Provided those conditions are met, the Eucharist (i.e., the Sacrament) is valid.

The expression “valid Mass” is kind of a misnomer. Personally, I think it would be better called a “complete” Mass. The Mass itself cannot really be said to be “valid” or “invalid” because those terms relate to Sacraments, not to liturgical actions.

Now, for the Holy Sacrifice (which is offered within the Mass) to be complete, both bread and wine must be validly consecrated (as above), and the priest-celebrant must partake of both Species. For the Mass itself to be complete, there are other criteria.

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