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Justin Bryan wrote:

Hi, guys —

Good Day!

I go to Mass in a cathedral where several priests have been assigned.

I noticed, almost all of them during the Offertory, offer the bread and wine together as follows:

Blessed are You, Lord God of all creation. Through Your goodness, we have these bread and wine to offer ...

I read in a book that there is a reason why, during the Offertory, the bread and wine are offered separately.

  • Is what they are doing a liturgical abuse?


  { Is what the priests doing, during the Institution Narrative of the Mass, a liturgical abuse? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Justin —

Thanks for the question.

We have to distinguish between an illicit Mass and a valid Mass. A priest can say an illicit
(or illegal) Mass that is still valid.

No priest, bishop, cardinal or pope in the Church has the right to change any part of the Eucharistic Prayer and when they do, it is wrong and makes the Mass illicit.

For a Mass to be valid, the priest must use the correct form and matter and intend to do what the Church requires him to do.

The correct form of the Mass are the words of consecration:

  • "This is my body", followed by
  • "This is the cup of my Blood".

If the priest does not say these words, the Mass is invalid! Find another Mass. Using the words of another questioner, "no gimme's allowed". The correct matter for the Mass is grape wine and, in the Roman Rite, unleavened wheat bread.

Although the words within the Eucharistic narrative that lead up to the two separate consecrations, does require that the priest offer the matter for the Eucharist separately, if a priest deviates from the written liturgy by saying:

"Blessed are You, Lord God of all creation. through Your goodness, we have this bread and wine to offer." (or something similar)

The Mass is illicit but still valid, meaning the faithful still receive the Body and Blood of Our Lord in the Eucharist. The whole point of the bread and wine being offered separately is to manifest the separation of Our Lord's Body from His Blood. The re-presentation or entering into Calvary, that takes place at Mass, is manifested symbolically in the separate consecrations of the unleavened bread into the Body of Christ and the grape wine into the Blood of Christ and if one separates their body from their blood, they can't live; they will die. We enter into that one-time death that happened at Calvary every time we go to Mass, as if we were their with Mary at the foot of the Cross in 33 A.D.

We cannot logically explain or understand this; it is a mystery of faith.

You said:

  • Is what they are doing a liturgical abuse?

Yes, but the Mass is still valid.


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