I recently read an article about a Carmelite priest who had to jump through all these hoops to get permission to celebrate the Carmelite rite Mass, but then the article pointed out later that, under Universae Ecclesiae 34, “The use of the liturgical books proper to the Religious Orders which were in effect in 1962 is permitted.”
My question is this: to whom is that permission granted? It would seem that the obvious answer is that only a religious may celebrate a religious rite, and even then only the rite of his religious order. But the reason I ask is because I am a diocesan priest and in my parish boundaries lies a Carmelite monastery of nuns. We are responsible for celebrating their Masses because the nearest Carmelite priest is far away and only comes once a month. Unlike many other Carmelite nuns, these ones are still fully habited and really do strive to live like nuns, and I imagine that they would enjoy experiencing the Carmelite rite Mass. I really doubt, however, that the Carmelite priest who comes once a month would be willing and able, and I so I wonder whether it would be possible for the diocesan clergy responsible for their regular spiritual care to celebrate that rite for them.
How generous of spirit you are, Father. I applaud you.
Firstly, you don’t say what sort of Carmelites they are. I don’t think the Discalced reform of the Carmelite Order used celebrated the Carmelite Rite. Part of that reform included the use of the Roman Rite by all houses of discalced nuns and friars.
Therefore, to give them their patrimony, your spiritual care of the sisters would involve saying Mass for them as St. John of the Cross did in the presence of St. Teresa of Avila – that is, in the Roman Rite in its Extraordinary Form.
Moreover, I doubt permission would be given to a diocesan priest to use a the Carmelite Rite or any other Rite of an Order. Those Rites are for members of the Orders. The normative text of Article 34 of Universae Ecclesiae reads, “Sodalibus Ordinum Religiosorum licet uti propriis libris liturgicis anno 1962 vigentibus.” That extends the use of the Religious Rites in effect in 1962 solely to “sodalibus“.
Back in the day, permission was not granted to diocesan priests to use the Rites of Orders, nor did members of Orders normally say the Roman Rite, except in rare cases. Thus, if a diocesan priest were visiting a Dominican parish he would have to have used the Roman Rite even if he were himself a Third Order Dominican.
However, priests can cross over, as it were, and act as lesser ministers in Solemn Masses.