Saturday, May 21, 2011

Instruction on Eucharistic Worship - Sacred Congregation of Rites 1967 - Pt.18

45. The Laws of the Church Must Be Faithfully Observed in Celebrating Mass
Especially in the celebration of the Eucharist, no one, not even a priest, may on his own authority add, omit, or change anything in the Liturgy. Only the supreme authority of the Church, and, according to the provisions of the law, the bishop and the episcopal conferences, may do this.102 Priests should, therefore, ensure that they so preside over the celebration of the Eucharist that the faithful know that they are taking part not in a rite established on private initiative,103 but in the Church's public worship, the regulation of which was entrusted by Christ to the Apostles and their successors.


46. Pastoral Considerations as the Criterion by Which to Choose Among Different Forms of Celebration
"Care must be taken not only that in a liturgical action the laws for a valid and licit celebration are observed, but also that the faithful consciously, actively, and fruitfully participate in it."104 From among the forms of celebration permitted by the law, priests should, therefore, endeavor to choose in each instance those which seem most suited to the needs of the faithful and favorable to their full participation.


47. Concelebration
Concelebration of the Eucharist aptly demonstrates the unity of the sacrifice and of the priesthood. Moreover, whenever the faithful take an active part, the unity of the People of God is strikingly manifested,105 particularly if the bishop presides.106
Concelebration both symbolizes and strengthens the brotherly bond of the priesthood, because "by virtue of the ordination to the priesthood which they have in common, all are bound together in an intimate brotherhood."107


Therefore, unless it conflicts with the needs of the faithful which must always be consulted with the deepest pastoral concern, and although every priest retains the right to celebrate alone, it is desirable that priests should celebrate the Eucharist in this eminent manner. This applies both to communities of priests and to groups which gather on particular occasions, and also to all similar circumstances. Those who live in community or serve the same church should welcome visiting priests into their concelebration.
The competent superiors should, therefore, facilitate and indeed positively encourage concelebration, whenever pastoral needs or other reasonable motives do not prevent it.


The faculty to concelebrate also applies to the principal Masses in churches and public and semi-public oratories of seminaries, colleges and ecclesiastical institutes, and also of religious orders and societies of clergy living in community without vows. However, where there is a great number of priests, the competent superior may give permission for concelebration to take place even several times on the same day, but at different times or in different sacred places.


48. The Bread for Concelebration
If a large host is used for concelebration, as permitted in the <Ritus servandus in concelebratione Missae> no. 17, care must be taken that, in keeping with traditional usage, it should be of such a shape and appearance as befits so great a sacrament.

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