Monday, 25 November 2013

Fr Kocik on priests participating at Mass in choro

The other day I posted my Catholic Dilemma article (published in the Catholic Herald) on the subject of Priests in choir at wedding. I suggested "you could print off from the internet an article about the meaning of a priest assisting at Mass in choir."

In 2006, Fr Thomas Kocik wrote just such an article for the excellent journal Antiphon: Preaching through the Choir: The Merits of Assisting at Mass In choro. I recommend this as an introduction, especially given our present context, that of a general preference for concelebration. As Fr Kocik points out, the priest should normally only celebrate Mass once a day. Most Bishops give their priests general permission to celebrate Mass twice on a weekday and three times on a Sunday or Holyday of Obligation if there is a pastoral need.

Very often, a priest attending a wedding, clergy funeral or diocesan celebration will already have celebrated his parish weekday Mass. There is no pastoral reason for him to celebrate Mass again and so the proper thing would be for him to assist at Mass in choro, that is, on the sanctuary, dressed in cassock and cotta, participating at Mass as a priest, but not concelebrating.
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