Validity of Mass

I just finished reading James Akins book “Mass Confusion”

Page 106…it reads…on “Preparation of the Elements”

"One way in which the prayers over the bread and wine do not have flexibility concerns a practice that is reported in some areas of a priest holding both the paten and the chalice above the corporal and fusing the two prayers together, along these lines:

Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this bread and wine to offer…"

This is contrary to the rubrics and requires the priest to ad lib in an attempt to fuse the disparate parts of the two prayers.

It is not allowed."

I have seen priests do this repeatedly, and I am asking does this effect the validity of the Eucharist? By the words “It is not allowed.” What is meant by that? That means if its done…what?

Also the priest leaving the sanctuary to greet the folks on the front pew during the exchange of peace? While liturgical abuses, does it effect anything? Should one just be happy and go along with it or should something be said?

Thanks, God bless.

There are two different terms here, valid and licit. A validity concerns whether or not the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ, whether or not Mass actually happened. Licitness concerns whether or not the rules not related to validity were followed.

For a Mass to be valid, you have to have (1) a priest (male, ordained by the Church) who (2) intends to celebrate the Eucharist with (3) bread (made of flour, water, and possibly yeast) and wine and (4) uses the correct words to do so (this is my body, this is my blood). If those four things are met, then it really become the Body and Blood of Christ and Mass has been celebrated.

Beyond that, you are concerned with whether or not the Mass was licit. This deals with whether the priest is doing and saying the things he is supposed to. All of the stuff you mentioned would fall into this category. It is important to do all this stuff correctly, what we do and say has meaning, but if the priest doesn’t, you have still attended Mass and received the Eucharist.

As for what do to, you will get a variety of opinions about this. For me, if it was something that affected the validity of Mass I would most certainly talk with someone, starting the the priest and moving up if I had to. If it was something that was illicit, and was fairly major, I might talk to the priest (although knowing myself and how I avoid confrontation at all costs, probably not :wink: ). If it was something illicit and more minor, I would probably just let it go. But that is me, you will have to decide for yourself exactly where the cut off is for you. :shrug:

The items you mention are illicit practices, but they do not invalidate the Mass.

A couple nitpicks:
First, it is not necessary that the priest be ordained by the Church, unless you use a loose definition of “the Church.” Priests of other churches, mostly Orthodox, may validly confect the Eucharist.

Second, the requirements people have been talking about on this thread are those for a valid Eucharist. A valid Eucharist is one of the requirements for a mass to take place; if the Eucharist was invalid, there wasn’t truly a mass. However, it is generally accepted that for a mass to have taken place, other elements must be present as well. What the minimum requirements would be hasn’t been clarified by the Church, but communion of the priest, Liturgy of the Word, and prayers of the faithful are among the elements sometimes suggested.

A priest could offer a valid Mass in his bathtub at home, provided that he uses the correct matter (wheat bread and grape wine), uses the correct form (This is my Body etc…) and has the correct intention (to do what the Church intends to do).

Nothing else is required to consecrate the elements but it would be gravely sinful to do so without due cause.

I appreciate your replies. I have learned that the Eucharist has been valid, and basically what he is doing is no big deal really since nothing is effected one way or another.

It seems to me the “bathtub scenario” might be taking things just a bit too far.

The bread must be UNLEAVENED (No yeast allowed or it’s invalid) wheat and water only:tsktsk:

No, the eastern Catholics use leavened bread. So in a Latin Rite church using yeast would be valid but illicit.

That seems to make sense.

It was an exaggerated yes, but i was making a point that it is the 3 conditions that i mentioned that count and not the location or the style of the celebration of the Sacrifice

You don’t think they do that do they?:bigyikes:

I have just had a strange mental image of a priest dressed up as a clown in the bath…:smiley:

Actually, around the time of Vatican II, either before or after, there was a directive saying that if a priest of one church was consecrating reserved Sacrament for faithful of another church, he should use the form of bread by the receiving Church.

For example, a Latin priest should consecrate leavened bread for a Byzantine tabernacle.

But it IS a big deal, because, even if validity is not affected, no priest is allowed to make changes to the Mass on his own. Catholics are entitled to a Mass celebrated in accordance with the published norms.

maybe you should see a doctor…:smiley:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=298092&highlight=consecrate

I don’t think this fits into the “context of the liturgy”

I agree, it is a big deal to me, but no one else cares and its not invalidating the Eucharist, so by me pointing it out it would just cause trouble and make me labeled a ‘troublemaker’

There are SOME FEW places in the American version of the Ordinary Form where the Priest is allowed some liberty in phraseology, which is shown by such expressions as “in these or similar words.”

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.