DOP CIRCULAR NO. 2018-038
13 April 2018
|TO:||ALL PARISH PRIESTS, PARISH ADMINISTRATORS, RECTORS, CHAPLAINS, GUEST PRIESTS, PRIESTS ON LOAN AND RELIGIOUS PRIESTS IN THE DIOCESE OF PARAÑAQUE|
|RE:||THE PROPER PLACE FOR THE CELEBRATION OF THE EUCHARIST|
Reverend Monsignori and Fathers,
The Proper Place for the Celebration of the Eucharist
The Church has always regarded the liturgy with the highest esteem, being the source and summit of the Christian life. At the heart of the liturgy is the Sacrament of the Eucharist which our Lord entrusted to “His beloved spouse, the Church, as a memorial of His death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet in which Christ is eaten, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.” (SC 47).
In order to preserve the dignity and ecclesial character of the Mass, “It is to be stressed that whenever rites, according to their specific nature, make provision for communal celebration involving the presence and active participation of the faithful, this way of celebrating them is to be preferred, so far as possible, to a celebration that is individual and quasi-private.
This applies with special force to the celebration of Mass and the administration of the sacraments, even though every Mass has of itself a public and social nature.” (SC 27)
In view of these principles, we would like to lay down the following guidelines and policies for the Diocese of Parañaque regarding the proper places and conditions in the celebration of Masses outside the regular parish schedules.
We emphasize that the proper place of the celebration of the Eucharist according to Can. 932 §1 is a sacred place. Sacred places are specified by the Code of Canon Law as churches, oratories, private chapels and cemeteries (Cf. Cans. 1214, 1223, 1226 and1240). In ordinary circumstances, the Eucharist is celebrated in these sacred places.
However, on the basis of various pastoral circumstances and particular cases of necessity, Mass may be celebrated in places other than those already mentioned with the approval of competent ecclesiastical authority, and that the following conditions are met:
- The place where mass is to be celebrated is arranged in a dignified manner and fulfills the requirements of liturgical space and environment.
- This place must ensure a solemn celebration so as to provide the faithful with an opportunity for full, conscious, and active participation.
- Duly commissioned lay liturgical ministers are available to assist in the preparation and celebration of the Mass.
Hence, below are circumstances that fall under the condition as “particular cases of necessity.”
- BEC (Basic Ecclesial Community) masses in the sitios and communities that are under the program of the parish.
- Viaticum for the dying within mass at home or in a hospital.
- Regular Sunday masses in sitios and communities that are approved by the parish.
- Company/ office masses for first Friday devotion and anniversaries.
- Regular masses in malls with the approval of the Bishop.
- Masses in schools and hospitals that are approved by the parish priest and are not in violation of any Liturgical and Diocesan policies.
- Wake/ Funeral masses in private homes and funeral chapels with the presence of the body of departed or at least his/ashes in an urn.
- 25th and 50th church wedding anniversaries
In order to prevent any semblance of inequality or selectiveness in the granting of “special favors” for certain individuals, families, or groups in the parish community, and more so, for those who are not part of one’s community, the following are not encouraged:
- Masses at homes, hotels, or reception venues for birthday celebrations, thanksgiving, anniversaries, or other intentions, for individual persons, families, or groups.
- Masses at homes for death anniversaries.
We would like to remind all our parish priests to be always faithful and consistent in keeping the Canonical, Liturgical and Diocesan policies and guidelines. This is also to avoid possible abuses, conflicts and confusions in our parishes and the faithful.
We hope that the dignity and sacredness of the celebrations of the Eucharist be always preserved and nurtured through our faithful observance of our Liturgical and Diocesan policies and guidelines.
MOST REV. JESSE E. MERCADO, D.D.
Bishop of Parañaque
REV. FR. CARMELO O. ESTORES