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Vince Desmond wrote:

Mike

I have two questions:

  1. What part of the canon of the Mass is it acceptable for the priest to interject his own expressions?

  2. Is it absolutely necessary for the priest to put a few drops of water in the wine before the consecration and if it is not done what is the effect?

Thanks for your answer,

Vince

  { What part of the Mass can the priest insert his own words and are those drops in the wine needed? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Vince —

You said:
What part of the canon of the Mass is it acceptable for the priest to interject his own expressions?

There is NO part of the canon where the priest is allowed to interject his own expressions.

The priest has to follow the sacramentary of the Church exactly!!

If his changes or omits words, the Mass is illicit, or illegal, but "CAN" still be valid.

You said:
Is it absolutely necessary for the priest to put a few drops of water in the wine before the consecration and if it is not done what is the effect.

My understanding is that if the priest does not add water to the wine then the Mass is illicit, or illegal, but still valid.

Neither the priest nor bishop have the right to change or modify any of the approved Eucharist Prayers that the Holy See has permitted. Changing the Eucharistic Prayer is a grave sin.

If it is done, the Mass is illicit but still valid.

For a Mass to be valid, the priest must:

  • use the correct form or words
    • "This is my Body"
    • This is the cup of my  Blood"
  • use the correct matter, unleavened bread and grape wine in the Roman Rite
  • intent to do what the Church intents him to do at Mass

If you believe a priest is celebrating an invalid Mass in your diocese, you should inform your local bishop.

Mike Humphrey

John replied:

Hi, Vince —

Mike is correct.

What must be said for the Mass to be valid is:

"This is My Body" and " This is the cup of My Blood"

Any changes in that and we don't have a valid sacrament.

For instance, the Priest can not say, this represents my body, or blood.

He must also say it in the First Person, because at that moment it is Christ speaking through the priest. Beyond that, the priest must intend to do what the Church intends, even if he personally has some doubts.

I would only suspect the priest's intention if, by his words, he:

  • changes the words in the canon, or
  • preaches a position that is questionable or in opposition to what the Church teaches.

Hope this helps,

John DiMascio

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