Eucharist
Part 5 Eucharist in Special Circumstances

Chapter 52 Mass with Special Groups

Preliminary Questions

Bibliography

Theology

Mass with Children

Small Groups

Private Mass

To Think About

Preliminary Questions

Have you experienced the Eucharist in non-church settings? What was your impression of the experience?  What modifications and adaptations of the rubrics are made when the eucharist is celebrated in a home?

In what circumstances do you see yourself celebrating eucharist with a small group? (Viaticum in a home? Mass in jails? Mass during pre-confirmation retreat? Four priests on vacation?)

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Bibliography

(Regarding the legislative force of a "Directory" see "Classification of Roman Documents" C, 6, in Chapter 51 Introduction to Liturgical Law 

 

Directives for Masses for Small Groups

Holy See

NCCB

http://www.disciplesnow.com/  Website for Catholic Youth, sponsored in part by Saint Anthony Messenger Press

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Theology

1.  Is Mass a "private" activity or always a parish event?  For example, can you restrict presence at eucharist? (e.g. publish in the parish bulletin: "The Mass at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday is exclusively for members of AA; other parishioners are not to attend.")[Return to Top of This Page]

Mass with Children

There are reasons for and against Liturgy of the Word for Children -- I weigh them and come out on the side of "for" Children's Liturgy of the Word because:

1. The children prefer it.  I do not say this lightly e.g. children prefer candy to vegetables. Children prefer it because they know it is good for them. I have had parishioners tell me that they were going to "sleep in" this Sunday and their children came and got them out of bed because they want to go to Mass and be with their friends and hear about Jesus.

2. When I preside at Sunday Eucharist in the parish, Liturgy of the Word for Children lets me talk about adult things to the adults while the children are not there. (There are many moments important to a family that are not witnessed by the children.) It's not that I don't know how to talk to adults and children both, I do and can. But there are things that need to be preached that should not be preached in the presence of children.

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Small Groups

1.  Place:  The permission for celebration of Mass outside of a church depends on the local bishop.

2.  Vestments:  Principle of proportionality.  Sign to whom of what?

3.  The Gathering Rites and the Story Telling:  Need not take place in close proximity to the table of sacrifice.  The choice of readings can be more flexible.  The homily may be followed by comments by the participants. The General Intercessions might be proposed by members of the group. The general intercessions may include an expression of communal failing and of petition for reconciliation with God and with each other.  

4.  Note:  All invitations are listed in the rubrics "In these or similar words..." (This is true for all Masses, not just Masses for small groups.)

5.  Communion: The presider might receive last.

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Private Mass

Every Eucharist is by the very fact that it is a liturgical act, is a public act, an act of the Church.  By "Private" Mass we mean a Mass celebrated by the priest without anyone else present and a Mass celebrated by the priest with a server, but no congregation.

 

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To Think About

In what circumstances do you see yourself celebrating eucharist with a small group? (Viaticum in a home? Mass in jails? Mass during pre-confirmation retreat? Four priests on vacation?)

What are the principal adaptations that need to be made in the rubrics when celebrating Mass for a small group?  What type of adaptations go beyond the rubrics?  What are the pastoral benefits of this type of celebration?

With the growing ratio of the number of the baptized in proportion to the number of the ordained, what opportunities will priests have for celebrating eucharist with small groups?

Is Mass a "private" activity or always a parish event?  For example, can you restrict presence at eucharist? (e.g. publish in the parish bulletin: "The Mass at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday is exclusively for members of AA; other parishioners are not to attend.")

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© Copyright: Tom Richstatter, Franciscan Province of St. John the Baptist, Cincinnati Ohio, Order of Friars Minor. All Rights Reserved.  This page was created by Fr. Thomas Richstatter, O.F.M.  Every effort has been, and is being made, to acknowledge sources when the ideas are not my own.  Any failure to comply with the United States Copyright Act (Title 17, United States Code) will be corrected immediately should I become aware of it.  This site was updated on 03/03/10 .  Your comments on this site are welcome at tomrichs@psci.net.