To the priest : so that they celebrate mass daily, even if they are alone

My dear brothers priests,


Certain fellow priests do not celebrate Mass each day.

You will find here some arguments that I would like to make to them.

For some years the Church has not spoken about daily Mass. It has more recently commented that its usage is excellent.

Today it is difficult for Western minds to understand symbolics.

But symbols are very useful in understanding the spiritual realities.

So I propose the following symbol.

It is about the sanctification of time.

In the history of the world contained between the Alpha and the Omega there is only one way leading to the world of God, and that is the sacrifice of Our Lord 

But the year is the symbol of the history of the world: it has a beginning and an end and in it there is only one celebration of the Passover.

The day also, with the rising and going down of the sun is the symbol of the year as well as of the history of the world. So it is necessary to celebrate the holy Sacrifice of the Mass daily.

Then there are graces which are not given because they are not asked for. 'Ask and you shall receive' says the Lord.

Mass is celebrated " for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church": what great progress there would be if all the priests all around the world would celebrate Mass daily, for the Church and evangelisation, for peace and health of the world.

The priests have an immense power to do good: so why not use it? 

But some would say 'And what if I am alone?' 

In fact many think that the celebration of the Eucharist by a priest who is alone has no meaning.

It is true that for a long time the church did not want the priest to celebrate the Mass on his own, if nobody else but him were present. But today this discipline is no longer carried out.

Firstly the faculty of such a celebration was given personally, for example to Blessed Charles de Foucauld. The nit was granted to many at once, as it was the case for the military chaplains.


Today the Code of Canon Law, in its recent edition, recalls the old disposition (Canon 906), but adds that it is permitted for each priest to celebrate the Mass alone so that he can celebrate Mass daily (Canon 904).

This provision of the Church has been confirmed this year. Due to the epidemic, the Roman authority decided to allow the priests to celebrate Mass without people on Thursday of Holy Week (Decree of 25 March): there is an exception, not because on other days it would not have been allowed, but because on this day of the year it was not allowed (cf. Missale Romanum MMII, p. 291 n. 1).

So no one would declare meaningless what the Church allows or even recommends!

Well, my brother priests, let us encourage one another to celebrate the Mass each day, even alone, especially in these calamitous times! 



Can. 904 Remembering always that in the mystery of the eucharistic sacrifice the work of redemption is exercised continually, priests are to celebrate frequently; indeed, daily celebration is recommended earnestly since, even if the faithful cannot be present, it is the act of Christ and the Church in which priests fulfill their principal function.

Can. 906 Except for a just and reasonable cause, a priest is not to celebrate the eucharistic sacrifice without the participation of at least some member of the faithful.

Comment by Angel Marzoa: It is clear that there is a legitimate and justifiable reason to follow the firm recommendation of c. 904 of the daily celebration, when we have done everything possible to obtain the help of the faithful and that we have failed in spite of everything. (Commentary prepared under the direction of the Martin de Azpilcuet Institute, French edition of Wilson and Lafleur Itée, Montreal 1999).

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