Monday, July 4, 2011

Redemptionis Sacramentum - Part 33

3. Particular Celebrations carried out in the Absence of a Priest
[162.] On the day known as the Lord’s Day, the Church faithful gathers together to commemorate the Lord’s Resurrection and the whole Paschal Mystery, especially by the celebration of Mass.[263] For “no Christian community is built up unless it is rooted in and hinges upon the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharist”.[264] Hence it is the Christian people’s right to have the Eucharist celebrated for them on Sunday, and whenever holydays of obligation or other major feasts occur, and even daily insofar as this is possible.

Therefore when it is difficult to have the celebration of Mass on a Sunday in a parish church or in another community of Christ’s faithful, the diocesan Bishop together with his Priests should consider appropriate remedies.[265] Among such solutions will be that other Priests be called upon for this purpose, or that the faithful transfer to a church in a nearby place so as to participate in the Eucharistic mystery there.[266]
[163.] All Priests, to whom the Priesthood and the Eucharist are entrusted for the sake of others,[267] should remember that they are enjoined to provide the faithful with the opportunity to satisfy the obligation of participating at Mass on Sundays.[268] For their part, the lay faithful have the right, barring a case of real impossibility, that no Priest should ever refuse either to celebrate Mass for the people or to have it celebrated by another Priest if the people otherwise would not be able to satisfy the obligation of participating at Mass on Sunday or the other days of precept.

[164.] “If participation at the celebration of the Eucharist is impossible on account of the absence of a sacred minister or for some other grave cause,”[269] then it is the Christian people’s right that the diocesan Bishop should provide as far as he is able for some celebration to be held on Sundays for that community under his authority and according to the Church’s norms. Sunday celebrations of this specific kind, however, are to be considered altogether extraordinary. All Deacons or lay members of Christ’s faithful who are assigned a part in such celebrations by the diocesan Bishop should strive “to keep alive in the community a genuine ‘hunger’ for the Eucharist, so that no opportunity for the celebration of Mass will ever be missed, also taking advantage of the occasional presence of a Priest who is not impeded by Church law from celebrating Mass”.[270]

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