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Private masses: prohibited? #308432
12/30/08 11:46 PM
12/30/08 11:46 PM
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Rio de Janeiro/ RJ - Brazil
Philippe Gebara Offline OP
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Is it true that private masses are prohibited in the Byzantine Rite?

Re: Private masses: prohibited? [Re: Philippe Gebara] #308439
12/31/08 12:29 AM
12/31/08 12:29 AM
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The Third Rome
Slavipodvizhnik Offline
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OK, I may sound dumb here, but what exactly is a private Mass? How can one have a Banquet for one?

Alexandr

Re: Private masses: prohibited? [Re: Slavipodvizhnik] #308440
12/31/08 12:40 AM
12/31/08 12:40 AM
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A Simple Sinner Offline
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A private Mass is a Mass the priest celebrates alone or perhaps attended by just one or a few people.

It makes sense when viewed through the lense of "Mass as sacrifice" which was highly focused on in the West.

I hope that the comment "How can one have a Banquet for one?" isn't meant to sound flip or glib. No one would appreciate it if "Westerners" started, for example, denigrating the fact that daily parochial liturgy is near unheard of in most of the East.

Different homes, different traditions.

Re: Private masses: prohibited? [Re: A Simple Sinner] #308441
12/31/08 12:57 AM
12/31/08 12:57 AM
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Nothing glib intended, and I apologize if it came across as such. But to the East, the Liturgy (leitourgia) comes from the Greek laos (people) and ergon (work). Quite literally, it is the work of the people. It is inclusive. It involves all the members of the community-the Body of Christ-and requires our active participation. For example, it is up to us to listen to, assimilate, appropriate for ourselves, and finally give our consent-our "Amen" [So be it!]- to the prayers that the priest intones, almost all of which are the prayers of the people. It is up to us to give our consent-our "Amen"-to not only the words of Institution ("Take eat this is My body which is broken for you for the forgiveness of sins..."), but to the words of consecration ("And make this bread the precious body of Your Christ-Amen...And that which is in this cup, the precious Blood of Your Christ-Amen. Changing them by Your Holy Spirit-Amen. Amen. Amen.") and the words of the fraction. It is the entire people of God who call on the Holy Spirit to be present with us. In fact, in Orthodox ecclesiology (i.e. how we understand ourselves as Church), a priest cannot serve the Divine Liturgy alone. He needs the people!

Alexandr

Re: Private masses: prohibited? [Re: A Simple Sinner] #308442
12/31/08 01:07 AM
12/31/08 01:07 AM
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Irish Melkite Offline
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Philippe,

The CCEO does not proscribe private celebration of the Divine Liturgy, but encourages that it be served publicly.

Quote
Canon 673

The celebration of the sacraments, above all the Divine Liturgy, as an action of the Church, inasmuch as it is possible, should be done with active participation of the Christian faithful.


The Latin Code says:

Quote
Canon 904

Remembering always that in the mystery of the eucharistic Sacrifice the work of redemption is continually being carried out, priests are to celebrate frequently. Indeed, daily celebration is earnestly recommended, because, even if it should not be possible to have the faithful present, it is an action of Christ and of the Church in which priests fulfil their principal role.

Canon 906

A priest may not celebrate the eucharistic Sacrifice without the participation of at least one of the faithful, unless there is a good and reasonable cause for doing so.


I won't swear to the absolute accuracy of the following, but it generally describes how the practice of "private" Masses came about.

Quote
Beginning in the 8th century, the private Mass evolved in the monasteries of northern Europe. Monks were originally laity, and they relied on local priests for their sacramental needs or ordained some of their own members for those needs. Beginning in the 8th century, British and Irish monks were ordained for the missionary work of converting the tribes of northern Europe that had been subdued by Charlemagne and his successors. By the 11th century (after the great missionary age), the growing monasteries of northern Europe continued to ordain their monks; so the number of priests eventually far exceeded the sacramental needs of the monks. Thus, the practice of private daily celebration of Mass grew until, by the 12th century, it was common.


Many years,

Neil



"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
Re: Private masses: prohibited? [Re: Irish Melkite] #308444
12/31/08 01:22 AM
12/31/08 01:22 AM
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Just a quick follow-up, there is another usage for the term "private Mass" and that relates to one served for a small number of persons, often in a private residence or chapel. It was not infrequently done for royalty or very rich patrons who had their own chaplain, although it occurred in other circumstances as well - sickrooms, etc.

That is generally discouraged now, if not outright prohibited. Not sure if it is addressed in the CCEO, but it is in a Latin Code provision that says something to the effect that, barring unusual circumstances (and maybe requiring authorization by the local Ordinary), Mass is to be celebrated in a church or public chapel.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
Re: Private masses: prohibited? [Re: Irish Melkite] #308446
12/31/08 01:29 AM
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At times I think it had to be done though, for example with the recusants.

Re: Private masses: prohibited? [Re: AMM] #308457
12/31/08 02:44 AM
12/31/08 02:44 AM
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Are funeral Masses celebrated for a family considered a "private Mass"? I think it's only prohibited if the family prevents others from attending, since all Masses are open for anyone to attend.

Re: Private masses: prohibited? [Re: Michael_Thoma] #308474
12/31/08 01:32 PM
12/31/08 01:32 PM
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Rio de Janeiro/ RJ - Brazil
Philippe Gebara Offline OP
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Alexandr, but the liturgy would not reach all cosmos, humankind and nature, per se? "We offer You your own, from what is your own, in all and for the sake of all".

And what is the role of the words of institution, since you called "words of consecration" only the words of Epiclesis?

Thank you, Neil, for quoting the Canon Laws!

Re: Private masses: prohibited? [Re: Philippe Gebara] #308489
12/31/08 03:57 PM
12/31/08 03:57 PM
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In response to this thread, I humbly offer these beautiful words of St. Ephraim's (5th century) "Canticle of the Wilderness"

He who celebrates alone
in the heart of the wilderness,
he is a great assembly.

If two together celebrate among the rocks,
thousands and tens of thousands are present there.

If three are gathered together, a fourth is among them.
If there are six or seven together,
twelve thousand thousand are assembled.

If they range themselves in rank,
they fill the firmament with prayer.

If they be crucified on the rock,
be marked with a cross of light,
the Church is constituted.

When they come together,
the Spirit hovers over their heads.
When they end their prayer,
the Lord rises to serve His servants.

Blessed be God in the wilderness forever. Amen



I really love holy Ephraim's liturgical ecclesiology.

Re: Private masses: prohibited? [Re: Utroque] #308493
12/31/08 04:31 PM
12/31/08 04:31 PM
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Beautiful!


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
Re: Private masses: prohibited? [Re: Irish Melkite] #308496
12/31/08 04:49 PM
12/31/08 04:49 PM
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Complementing St Ephraim's statement, we in the East teach that the Divine Liturgy is celebrated in the midst of the heavenly hosts, the saints, and before the throne of God.

Thus, a "private Divine Liturgy" with no one present except the celebrant is not possible.

I don't know that this is authorized Church teaching but it is the conclusion which I deduce.

Re: Private masses: prohibited? [Re: Paul B] #308510
01/01/09 02:44 AM
01/01/09 02:44 AM
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It is actually as what Paul said, even in the Latin Church.
Thus even if it is only the priest who assist the Mass, still it is a Liturgy of the whole church. The same with the Divine Office. Thus even if I pray it alone in private in my room, it is a public liturgy with the whole church in attendance.

Re: Private masses: prohibited? [Re: Alfonsus] #308511
01/01/09 03:18 AM
01/01/09 03:18 AM
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This is simply not the case in the East. It is not in the Orthodox Tradition for a priest to serve alone. I have been looking on the net, and though pickings in English are slim, I did find this from the Archives of the Antiochians.
"It is not proper for the priest to conduct the Divine Liturgy alone, as there are no "private liturgies" in the Orthodox tradition. Indeed, such would be impossible because of the communal nature of the Liturgy"

http://www.frmichel.najim.net/liturgyvid.pdf

This concept of "private liturgies" sounds like something that has crept in from the West, and is alien to Orthodox praxis and mindset, whilst being more in tune with Latin liturgical viewpoints.

I will look at the Slavonic sources and give you the final word on how the Church rules on the concept of a "private liturgy".

Alexandr

Re: Private masses: prohibited? [Re: Slavipodvizhnik] #308515
01/01/09 06:06 AM
01/01/09 06:06 AM
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Yes 'private masses' were taken up by many of the Eastern Rite Catholic Churches. It belongs to the days that everything the Latins did was better and copying them was the way to go. Rome has put up the ideal that Mass/Liturgy should have someone else present other than the Priest.

Since Vatican II many Eastern Catholic Churches have restored the non liturgy days which was their original practice before copying the Latins in everything was the fashion. We still see occasionally older priests going their separate ways in Eastern Catholic Churches to have Liturgy going on simulatiously in the same church, at various altars instead of concelebrating together at the one altar. This practice is not encouraged.

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