Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fr. Hunwicke Suggests a Plural Mass

Over on his blog, Fr. Hunwicke asks if it might be appropriate for a divided congregation to have a plural mass (if that is the correct term), e. g. one in which “Communion was given from the two different tabernacles by two different priests to two ecclesially separated congregations, one belonging to the [R. C.] Ordinariate and one to the Church of England.”

I’ve never heard of this, but the comments there indicate such has been done before.

Before anyone dismisses this possibility out of hand, consider a situation I may encounter in the future.

When I was studying in Oxford, I joyfully took Communion at Pusey House. Let’s say Pusey House crosses the Tiber. If they then only handled Mass the usual way, I sadly could not receive there without willfully violating R. C. practices. (I know there might be a loophole or two, but put that aside for the sake of argument.) But if Pusey House, on occasion at least, had a plural mass in which faithful Anglicans could receive, that would be better for Anglican square pegs like myself, even if slightly unwieldy.

I am not sure what to think just yet. But a big problem I have with the Roman Catholic Church is that their communions are closed to non-Roman Catholics. Perhaps, plural masses are a way for some Catholic parishes, particularly those which cross the Tiber but do not want to leave people behind, to get around that barrier.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Church of the Holy Apostles in Virginia Beach, Virginia has been doing something like this for the past 32 years. From their website:

"Services are held each week at 10:00 a.m. We celebrate the Liturgy of the Word together, but maintain separate altars for the Eucharist. Roman Catholics in good standing may receive from the Roman Catholic priest; all other baptized Christians in good standing with their own church may receive from the Episcopal priest."