Priest Has to Leave Mass Early to Get to His Next Mass

Priest Has to Leave Mass Early to Get to His Next Mass

[From the looney liberal liturgical weblog: A priestless Mass – at least for the recessional. One tongue-in-cheek comment (since deleted) suggests that the priest leave after his own Communion and let the eucharistic ministers “finish up,” although it might set a bad example for congregants to leave after their Communion and thus leaving the acolytes to process without a priest through an empty or almost empty church. I think he should leave after the Consecration, take his Communion “on the run,” and leave his vestments on so he’ll save time by not having to take them off at one parish and putting on a different set at the other.]

MAR 6 ‘
Posted by Editor in Pastoral Theology

Non Solum series: Pray Tell is passionately interested in interested in questions of worship in increasingly secularized societies, and constructive responses to challenging issues around the decline of organized religion. A key aspect of that for Roman Catholics is the clergy shortage. This week’s question from a Pray Tell reader addresses is an example of the new questions now arising.

As the number of priests in our diocese continues to shrink, there are times when the priest leaves through the sacristy after the final blessing and dismissal but before the last song, in order to get to a neighboring parish to celebrate Sunday Mass there.

On such occasions, the acolytes usually do a procession by themselves – cross and candles. What sort of instruction might be given concerning this practice?

Get AQ Email Updates

14 comments on “Priest Has to Leave Mass Early to Get to His Next Mass

  1. Any ideas what Spock would suggest, Howl?

  2. Time to trot out this durable chestnut, once again. (I think it was ECS220 who first posted it, lo, a number of years back)

  3. Can the two places really not adjust their mass times to avoid this issue?
    Of course the real answer is going back to real Catholicism and its TLM. That would bring them the vocations they need for the priesthood.

    • Of course they could…but that’s not the point. The point is that these “crises” are manufactured to reach a certain predetermined outcome – priestesses or “lay ecclesial ministers” as they are styled in nu-church. Let me relate a little tale from a N.O. parish I attended years ago. It seemed like the pastor – a popular guy with the “in-crowd” who would hire “professional” off-off-Broadway singers to entertain at parish fundraisers, didn’t really have much use for daily Mass. he assured us few faithful daily communicants that a daily Eucharist (his words) was a “private devotion” and that the early Church only met for the “breaking of the bread” on Sunday – the Lord’s Day. Long story short; pastor pawns off the daily Mass to the resident permanent (married) deacon, who then passes it off to the female “extraordinary lay ecclesial minister.” The faithful flee to a nearby parish that at least has an “alter Christus” (of sorts). Viola – no more daily Mass. “Problem” solved!

      • I totally agree. They’re not trying to find solutions. They just keep breaking and fixing what wasn’t broken. They’re experts as excuses for everything.
        My first reaction to this was that most probably wouldn’t notice or mind as I remember back in the 70’s that it seemed half the parish went to communion and continued on out the doors leaving only about half of us left finishing mass.

  4. Captain Kirk: Mister Spock! Modernist priests leaving Mass early to get to their next Mass in the continuing evolution of the New Evangelization and the Spirit of Vatican II which involves declining vocations and priestless parishes.

    Spock: Fascinating, Captain. Perhaps some analogy with Zeno’s paradoxes would be in order.

    Captain Kirk: Zeno of Elea? Does it require consultation with pre-Socratic Greek philosophy, Mister Spock?

    Spock: Not necessarily, Captain. However, the liturgical movement of Vatican II modernism in place and time is something which lends itself to paradoxical considerations.

    Master Po: Ah, yes, Grasshopper. In time we must introduce you to Zeno of Elea and his paradoxes.

    Robin: Zeno of Elea?

    Batman: Indeed, Robin. I’m sure that your Greek teacher at Fordham Prep will be addressing this in your homework assignments shortly. Until then you can catch up on practicing recitation of third declension Latin case endings.

    Robin: I guess you’re right, Batman.

    Father Mulcahy, S.J.: We can never have enough Latin homework.

    Batman: Tuesday mornings are a good time to catch up on Latin noun declensions.

    Robin: I guess so, Batman.

    Batman: Always remember, Robin: civilization begins or falls with whether we are learning the proper Latin case endings.

    Carol Brady: Mike, I don’t mean to interrupt such an interesting book, but I think Jan is on the Pill.

    Professor Derrida: As our narrative of modernity begins to implode, here Carol Brady is subverting the discourse.

    Reverend Neuhaus: That’s my opening….Forgive me for interrupting again as aggressive and pushy professional Protestant converts sometimes do, but this might be a good time to discuss the Naked Public Square in modernity, Max Weber’s concept of disenchantment in modern culture, and Professor Taylor’s secularization theories…

  5. Captain Kirk: Mister Spock! The application of Zeno’s paradoxes to the problem of priests leaving Mass early to get to their next Mass… analyze using your usual superior Vulcan logic which we no longer call “superior” to avoid being accused of excessive rigidity and neo-Pelagian triumphalism by liberals and progressive modernists less familiar with Aristotelian logic due to curriculum changes from the Land O’Lakes conference agenda, who might interpret logical reasoning as a microaggression…

    Spock: Fascinating, Captain. Perhaps an analogy would serve our purposes.

    Captain Kirk: It won’t be too complicated or too confusing?

    Spock: Only to the extent necessary in the interests of logic, Captain.
    Suppose that Father O’Malley has to leave from morning Mass at St. Mary’s at 7:35am in order to try to make it to St. Patrick’s for the 8:00am Mass. But Father Mulcahy is leaving from St. Matthew’s at 7:45am in order to try to make it to Holy Trinity by 8:00am. How fast would Father Mulcahy have to be traveling in order to reach Holy Trinity before Father O’Malley reaches St. Patrick’s?

    Father O’Malley: Wouldn’t we have to know fast I was traveling to St. Patrick’s?

    Father Mulcahy, S.J.: Oh, yes, very good. I think we would also need to know the distance between St. Matthew’s and Holy Trinity.

    Father Fitzgibbon Is there a prize for the one who gets there first?

    Father Copleston, S.J.: Yes, there should be a prize.

    Father Dowling: Can I be in the race?

    Kwai Chang: Master, can Father Dowling be in the race?

    Master Po: Ah, Grasshopper, I can think of no reason in Taoism, Confucianism, or Zen Buddhism why not…

    Captain Kirk: How about it, Spock? Can Father Dowling be in the race?

    Spock: Possibly, Captain. It introduces a few more mathematical variables into the analogy, but we should be able to accommodate the wishes of Father Dowling, Master Po, and Kwai Chang Caine, provided that Father O’Malley and Father Mulcahy have no objections. However, I will need to know Father Dowling’s Mass schedule in Chicago.

    Father Mulcahy, S.J.: Naturally.

    Father Dowling: Is it alright if Sister Stephanie is driving?

  6. Father O’Malley: Well, that clears up that mystery. At first I thought Steve was kind of a funny name for a nun.

    Father Mulcahy, S.J.: Oh, yes, of course. And very fitting that the daughter of a 1950s hipster should grow up to be a nun detective in Chicago.

    Robin: Can nuns really be detectives, Batman?

    Batman: Indeed. Anything can happen on television, old chum.
    You were planning to start working on your Latin homework from Fordham Prep, Robin?

    Robin: I was?

  7. Master Po: Ah, Grasshopper, perhaps it would be more interesting if each priest were carrying a book during the race to their next Mass.

    Kwai Chang: Which book should Father Mulcahy be carrying, Master? Perhaps the Tao Te Ching of Lao-Tzu?

    Master Po: Ah, Grasshopper, a fine book but not one that a Catholic priest would likely be carrying on his way to Mass. No, I think that Father Mulcahy should be carrying Method in Theology by Bernard Lonergan, S.J.

    Father Mulcahy, S.J.: Oh, very good. A fine choice, Master Po. But what book will Father Dowling be carrying during the race?

  8. King Arthur of Camelot: I shall put it to you another way. How many PC snowflake coeds can dance on the bald head of a goateed Fine Arts professor deconstructing Picasso?

    Bridgekeeper: What? I don’t know that!

    Reverend Neuhaus: Forgive me for interrupting again as aggressive and pushy professional Protestant converts sometimes do, and I certainly don’t mean to call into question the value of the insights of Bernard Lonergan, but since this might be a good time to discuss Max Weber’s concept of disenchantment and the Naked Public Square in modernity, wouldn’t it be more useful if Father Mulcahy were carrying Trojan Horse in the City of God by Dietrich von Hildebrand?

    Father Mulcahy, S.J.: Oh, yes, very good. A fine and engaging book by Professor von Hildebrand. However, I’m not sure that I could get away with a sermon on Trojan Horse in the City of God at Holy Trinity with all of the trendy progressive modernists and divorced and remarried neo-Catholics in the congregation.

  9. Hugh of St. Victor: If Robin would like to parse third declension Latin nouns that appear in The Sentences of Peter Lombard, I am ready to examine and quiz him on their proper case endings.

    Robin: Is that OK, Batman?

    Batman: You can’t keep a 12th-century medieval scholastic theologian waiting, Robin.

    Robin: What’s his address, Batman?

    Father O’Malley: We didn’t settle yet on the book I should be carrying….

  10. Father Mulcahy, S.J.: Of course, trendy modernist congregations can be a tough sell sometimes. On the other hand, a sermon on Dietrich von Hildebrand’s Trojan Horse in the City of God might be just the thing to shake them up and out of their complacency during Lent.

    Reverend Neuhaus: I don’t mean to interrupt again as aggressive and pushy professional Protestant converts sometimes do, particularly during the luxury cruise season for benefactors, but I think that during the race Father Dowling should be carrying a copy of The Shoes of the Fisherman by Morris West. This will help to keep the modernist narrative of the Spirit of Vatican II in focus.

    Father Dowling: But I was planning to give a sermon on the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series and how God surprises us sometimes….

Leave a Reply