A received a question from a reader about the number of TLMs which can be celebrated in a parish on a Sunday or feast.
In order to preserve anonymity, I will simply rephrase it.
Context: A parish where the TLM is celebrated regularly. The priest – otherwise friendly to the TLM – states that there can only be one celebration of the TLM in the parish on a day because Summorum Pontificum 5. § 2. says:
§ 2. Celebratio secundum Missale B. Ioannis XXIII locum habere potest diebus ferialibus; dominicis autem et festis una etiam celebratio huiusmodi fieri potest. … § 2. Celebration according to the Missal of Bl. John XXIII can take place on weekdays; on Sunday, however, and feasts there can be also one celebration of this kind.
QUAERITUR: Does this mean that there can be only literally one celebration of Holy Mass with the 1962MR in a parish on a Sunday or feast? Does this mean that – even if the pastor wants to put an additional celebration in the schedule in a stable way – he may not because of Summorum Pontificum 5. § 2?
RESPONDITUR: The intent of Summorum Pontificum is clear. The TLM is to be made available to those who request it reasonably. If there is great enough interest in the TLM to merit more than one Mass, there can be more than one placed in the schedule in a stable way.
However, Summorum Pontificum is clear that there must be adequate provisions made for those who prefer to attend Mass in the Ordinary Form lest they be deprived of their rights.
I have reason to believe that were a parish priest to write to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei he would receive this same answer.
There are other issues to consider. Since the Holy Father speaks of how young people are interested in the older form of Mass, and that his hope is that there will be mutual enrichment of the two forms of the Roman Rite, it makes perfect sense that there have to be adequate numbers of celebrations of Holy Mass with the 1962MR – in parishes – to satisfy these ends. Not only do parish priests have to respond to requests for the older Mass, parish priests ought to make sure their folks know the older form through adequate exposure.