From a reader:
When I travel I frequently have to attend NO Masses. Such was the case last Sunday. The parish is liberal and so is the “guest” priest, but I was with a friend, so on I went.
The priest changed the words of the consecration by substituting the words “friends” for “disciples”. He did that for both the bread and the wine. I recognize that words are important and I think it is a poor but not surprising substitution to use the word “friends” given the social action personality of this priest (He broke bread and gave his friends….). I checked the actual version in the weekly (monthly???) pew missal, while listening. The missal uses the word “disciples”.
My question is does this in any way invalidate the Mass. If not, fine. I am subject to this Mass on occasion and really can’t get out of going so it is good to know that at least I satisfied my Sunday obligation (on Sat, naturally). Mostly I am curious.
First, isn’t it wonderful that you can go to Mass when you travel?
Second, the priest had NO authority to change those words. What he did was just plain wrong. The pastor of the parish or his superior/bishops should admonish him in this regard. By changing the words he caused people to wonder about the Mass.
Third, the change you related did NOT make the Mass invalid. Be at ease about that.
We must not ever fall into the trap some minimalists had dug, namely, that as long as the bare bones essentials are left untouched, we can do what we want with the Church’s liturgy.
Just because that Mass wasn’t invalid, doesn’t mean that what he did was okay.
You also start appreciating Mass in Latin more: for most priests it is a little harder to ad lib, and those who are able to wouldn’t generally be the type who would.