Thursday, September 05, 2013

Cong for Clergy urges priests to celebrate Mass daily


This interesting document is in danger of not being noticed because it has so far been published only in Italian and German. It is short, however, and (with a bit of help from Google) the main points are clear enough. Priests are urged to celebrate Mass every day, even in the absence of the Faithful. The arguments in favour of this traditional practice are, at bottom, the spiritual life of the priest, and the good of the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

This position strikes at the heart of the liberal conception of the Mass as a 'shared meal' in which the congregation's role is as important as that of the celebrating priest. On such a conception Missa sine populo - Low Mass literally without any congregation, perhaps not even with a server - doesn't make any sense.


The document also sheds some light on the meaning of the buzz-word of today: Pelagianism.

'To omit this daily celebration - except in the case of impossibility - means [as priests] depriving ourselves of the main food needed for our sanctity and the apostolic ministry of the Church, and to the risk of indulging a kind of spiritual Pelagianism , trusting in the power of man more than the gift of God.'

(Google, with corrections.)

Here it is, in Italian. How about someone doing a proper translation?


Photos: private Masses at the Latin Mass Society Priest Training Conference at London Colney in 2009. No Pelagians here!


  1. I have done a translation of the document into English but a few bits that I am unsure about are in orange font. If you would like it please tell me how I should send it to you.

    1. I'll be most interested. Send to marked for my attention to

  2. Anonymous9:11 pm

    A beautiful church in Colney. I imagine the reason private Masses are no longer offered is another rotten innovation, concelebration. I deplore and dislike it intensely - because it is an innovation, because, like all of the deplorable changes in the Church, it seems to seek to denigrate the sacrifice of the Mass by making it seem, again, 'a communion meal' or at any rate anything but the Sacrifice of the Cross, offered by the hands of God's Priest, it destroys the Sacrifice.

    It looks ludicrous and irreverent. It destroys the beautiful sight of so many priests murmuring their silent Masses. It has all but destroyed the magnificent choir dress, the Monsignore in their mantellatas, the Bishops in their cappa magnas, mozzettas, surplices and cottas, birettas and cassocks and the clergy and Princes of the Church in a brave show, which you can see here: [I simply choose this video as I live 'near' (in Highland terms, I think sixty miles) Pluscarden]. The rows of clergy assisting at Mass in choir dress, or the Canons in a Cathedral, have been replaced in an ugly semi-circle of cassock-albs and stoles, which serves only to diminish reverence, to obscure the Sacrifice of the Mass and, more than anything, to diminish the number of Masses - and so the relief of the Souls in Purgatory and the immense graces from the Sacrifice - I think St. Padre Pio said the world could sooner do without the Sun than the Mass.

    I am very probably gabbling, my tongue likes to run away with me; so I hope this makes sense.

  3. Certainly some of my most memorable Masses (as server) have been those where there was no congregation present (due to bad weather). The intense silence increased the sense of reverence and the awareness of the True Presence