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Katie wrote:

Hi, guys —

Last night, I went to Mass said by a rather elderly priest. He left out one very important part of the Mass — the Consecration! It was obvious to everyone that he had skipped that whole part, and there were whispers and unsure looks, all around.

  • What should one do in a situation like this?

There were no other religious present, which is unusual, as this Mass is normally attended by a handful of nuns. No one let him know, and he continued on with the Mass. He broke the bread and distributed communion, as usual.

Is it OK to receive communion, if it hasn't been consecrated?

To me it isn't the Body and Blood of Christ. Others were saying that priests should be allowed "gimmes" every now and then. I received communion, but didn't say "Amen".

I was just hoping you could help out us confused Catholics!

I just found your web site by searching Yahoo.

Thanks.

Katie

  { If the priest skips the Consecration, is the Mass still valid? }

John replied:

Hi, Katie —

When you say he left out the consecration, do you mean he failed to say "This Is My Body" and "This Is The Cup Of My Blood" .

If that is not the case you still would have a valid Eucharist, no matter what other part of the Eucharistic prayer was omitted.

As for receiving Communion, in that situation, I would abstain from receiving if I knew that the priest had no intention of consecrating.

Let's say a priest accidentally invalidates the Eucharist by some how losing his place. Odds are the hosts coming out of the Tabernacle were properly consecrated, so I'd be careful and get in the line where those hosts were being used. At any rate, God gives us some grace no matter what, when we seek to do our part.

If, on the other hand, you happen to have serious doubts about a certain priest's intentions, then I'd stay away from that parish.

Hope this helps.

Under His Mercy,

John C. DiMascio

Mike replied:

Hi, Katie —

If I were in your situation, I would leave the Church and say a spiritual Communion in the car.

I am shocked that other Catholics would suggest,

"that priests should be allowed 'gimmes' every now and then."

What they are saying is that "bread worship" and "wine worship" are OK.

No they are not!

Worship and adoration belongs solely to God in the Person of Jesus, Himself in the Eucharist. Priests are human, but the Eucharist or the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the source and summit of Catholic worship in the Church. Priests have been trained to see it as such.

A Mass can be said illicitly, but still be a valid Mass. This means that although the priest may have mistakenly said or purposely changed some of the words of the Eucharistic Prayer which contains the Prayer of Consecration, if he:

  • Uses the correct form for the consecration of the bread, "This Is My Body".
  • Uses the correct form for the consecration of the wine, "This Is The Cup Of My Blood", and
  • intents to do what the Church wishes him to do

The Mass is said legally or licitly and the Eucharist is a valid sacrament.

Let's say the priest, holding the bread says, "This Is My Body" but then goes on to use an incorrect form of the consecration for the wine. Our Lord's Body and Blood are presence under the appearance of the bread and can be received, but His Body and Blood are not presence under the appearance of the wine, and should not be received. Again, we say that the Mass is illicit, but the sacrament under the form of bread is valid.

If problems like these continue, I would bring it to the bishop's attention.

In my humble opinion,

Mike Humphrey

Lisa commented:

Hi, Katie —

  • I wonder if anyone at that Mass politely informed the elderly priest he forgot to say the consecration?

Maybe speaking up is the answer, instead of everyone leaving without saying anything. I think the elderly priest would want to know if he forgot something so important.

Lisa Simmons

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