Daily Mass

OK, so two out of the last three times I’ve attempted to go to daily Mass, the priest has decided not to show up.  Or overslept or something.  Granted these two occasions are separated by several months, but that almost makles it worse.  Does this happen even more frequently?  Or am I just unlucky, or worse, cursed?  The first time, I bailed while the deacon went to bang on the rectory door.  Today, after calling over, the deacon cobbled together some kind of commuion service.  I am grateful that I was still able to receive communion, and that the deacon gave it his best shot, but I am sure there is an approved form for a communion service in the absence of a priest.  Other than kinda going through the Mass, changing things here and there, with no sacrifice.  But seriously.  Total and absolute kudos to him for making the best out of an awkward situation.

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~ by Rob on March 3, 2010.

One Response to “Daily Mass”

  1. In my experience, it happens that the priest is sometimes late, but it’s pretty rare that he doesn’t show up. But it does happen. I think it’s a strange coincidence that you had it happen 2 out of 3 times. Sometimes the priests oversleep or don’t set the alarm clock properly. Sometimes there’s an emergency and the priest doesn’t make it back. Sometimes schedules change and they forget — Fr. A asks Fr. B to take the Mass next Tuesday and Fr. B forgets to update his calendar for instance. Funny story: one day there was an unexpected switcheroo at Mass as one priest came into the sacristy and started to vest. A few minutes later, the priest we were expecting to celebrate comes in. Apparently one of them asked the other to switch, but there was some some confusion as to the day. So instead of nobody showing up, we had two. We also had a situation where we had an older priest who was getting a little forgetful, and once or twice he forgot (and was nowhere to be found).

    Usually there’s a system in place though to handle situations where the priest is late. For instance, at my parish, there’s a listing of each priest’s cell phone number and the sacristan is told to call if the priest hasn’t shown up by 5 minutes before Mass is to begin. I would assume the deacon or sacristan has access to at least the rectory phone number.

    As for what to do when there is no priest, there is a book called Directory for Sunday Celebrations in the absence of a priest. I don’t think there’s an official what-to-do for weekdays, but the same principles can apply. There should be a Liturgy of the Word like you’d usually have right up to the intercessions. Then you would recite the Lord’s Prayer, and go through the Communion Rite. Like you said, go through the Liturgy, but skip the offertory and the Lord’s Prayer. If that’s what he did, then he basically did everything right, as far as I know. Of course, when you’re not expecting to have to jump in like that, it’s possible to get flustered which can make things confusing.

    So there you go. With your track record, maybe I should have you come to a few of my classes to see if your streak applies to professors too.

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