Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Again, Fathers: READ the black, DO the red!

Zenit's Father Edward McNamara received a letter which, once again, points to the advisability of priests reading the missal when celebrating Mass...no matter how much they think they know the words.

Q: My parish priest recited the words of consecrating the host twice: first over the host and then over the chalice. He did not appear to notice -- although a number of parishioners did. Certainly he did not go back and recite the correct prayer. Was the consecration of the chalice valid? Was the Mass valid? There was a deacon at that Mass, but he did not intervene. He was as startled as any of us and before we realized what had happened the priest was continuing with the next part of the Eucharistic Prayer. Should the deacon have intervened at once, even to the point of interrupting the Eucharistic Prayer? Should anyone have intervened at once, even if that means calling out from the pews? -- F.T., England

Father McNamara's entire answer is great. What I love, though, is this:

It is advisable not to trust too much to memory and to read these prayers directly from the missal. Many of us have perhaps fallen into some error by excessive trust in automatic pilot.