From a priest reader:
In the very near future my bishop’s resignation will be accepted by the Holy Father. I was wondering what the correct thing to do will be when praying for the bishop in the Eucharistic Prayer.
I have seen various things done in other dioceses when they are without a bishop: praying for the recently retired bishop, praying for the retired bishop from two bishops ago when the most recent bishop was moved to another diocese. Something about those don’t seem right.
It makes sense to me simply to omit the bishop part when there is no bishop. Is there any official protocol? Any other thoughts?
I suspect that when that day comes around, the chancery will send out to all the priests some sort of directive about what to say during Mass.
In the meantime, this is my understanding. I am happy to receive correction in this.
Leaving aside what bishops say about themselves during the Eucharistic Prayer, here is my understanding of what priests say.
We are obliged to mention the local, diocesan bishop by name when there is one. If there is a coadjutor or auxiliaries, we can mention them by name or in a generic way (e.g., “his coadjutor/helper bishops/auxiliaries”), but we are not obliged to. It is up to us. If there is some other bishop who isn’t of the diocese present, it is not foreseen that his name be mentioned. However, I think you have to mention the name of a bishop who is the “apostolic administrator”, because he is effectively the local bishop. You don’t mention a resident bishop “emeritus”.
When the diocese has no resident ordinary bishop, you leave that cause out. The same applies with there is no Pope. You leave that clause out. If there is no Pope and no local bishop, you leave both clauses out. I do not believe you mention the name of a “diocesan administrator” in place of the local ordinary bishop.
When you visit Rome, by the way, since the Pope is the local bishop, you mention the Pope’s name and then exclude the other clause. When the See of Peter is empty, you omit the whole thing.
These rules would apply to the Extraordinary as well as the Ordinary Form.
For myself, I mention the name of the Pope and only the local ordinary bishop without any other additions. That’s what the black and red indicate. However, after every Mass, either in private, or quietly to myself in public, I say a Memorare for a list of bishops with whom I have had some contact or who have particularly difficult mandates. The devil hates bishops with unrelenting malice. Bishops need our special attention in prayers.
And about that “Any other thoughts?”… Why yes!
When you’ve had a hard day of it, when things have been challenging or perhaps people are on your case, when you’ve been beset by financial cares and worried about the souls of those under your protection, try to imagine the burdens a bishop carries and then console yourself with a big WDTPRS mug of piping hot Mystic Monk Coffee!
The Enemy of the soul and all the forces of hell are fallen angels. That means that they are untiring, unrestrained by space and matter, and possessed of an intellect vastly beyond our own. Even while they are constrained in some respects by God and warded off by our angel guardians, they are nevertheless capable of confusing us, stimulating our baser parts and appetites, troubling our memories, and doing the same to all those around us. In their pride and pain they desire to us to be separated from God in agony for eternity just as they are.
They hate priests and they hate bishops even more than they hate priests. To bring down a bishop is a great blow.
That’s why you should refresh your supply of Mystic Monk Coffee!
Mystic Monk Coffee, roasted by traditional Carmelites in Wyoming, will keep you bright and focused so that you can pray for bishops and priests!
What’s bad about that?
The Monks 4 Favorites might be a place to start if you haven’t had their coffee before. Four packs and free shipping.
“But Father! But Father!”, I can hear some of you saying. “It is really okay to drink coffee while praying?”
Not to worry. It is okay to pray while drinking coffee! See?
Bishops everywhere will appreciate your prayers, whether you are drinking coffee or not.
Mystic Monk Coffee!