Thursday, March 12, 2020

Adding Prayers to the EF Mass Against the Pandemic

Dom Alcuin Reid sent me this very useful note about the prayers which may be added to the Mass in the Extraordinary Form in time of disease, which I am very glad to share with our readers. I strongly second his suggestion that priests who regularly celebrate the EF should ask their local ordinaries to issue the relevant decree as indicated below.

“At this time of anxiety it seems necessary to recall that local Ordinaries (normally Diocesan Bishops) have the faculty to order extra prayers at Masses in the usus antiquior in times of public emergency and crisis. If we are to live the Sacred Liturgy and the liturgy is to be truly pastoral, the use of this capacity of the older rites to address such emergencies (without detracting from the privileged Lenten ferias) seems to be apposite. Amidst their Eminences’ and their Excellencies’ provisions published to date, this provision seems to be notable by its absence. It may be worth bringing this matter to the attention of local Ordinaries who might otherwise not know of its existence.

The accompanying pictures give the rules in force for these prayers (“orationes imperatae”) according to the liturgical books in use in 1962, as detailed by J.B. O’Connell, The Celebration of Mass, pp. 113-114. (1964) A local Ordinary could, for example, order the prayers from the votive Mass n. 23 ‘Tempore mortalitatis’ where danger is severe, or the prayers from the Orationes diverse n. 20 ‘In quaqumque necessitate’, n. 21 ‘In quaqumque tribulatione,’ or leave priests the choice of which prayers are appropriate.”

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