From the amusing Eye of the Tiber:
Culver City, CA––Parishioners of St. Raymond Catholic Church in Culver City, California were forced to jump into action during Mass early Monday morning when it appeared that only one priest would be available for the consecration. According to sources at the scene, parishioners went into a frenzy when it appeared that visiting priest Fr. Bryce Carbone was close to saying the words of consecration all by himself. [!] “Our regular pastor, Fr. Ed, usually invites us all to gather and encircle the Lord’s table during consecration,” said longtime parishioner Donna Fullwood, before reassuring reporters that Carbone was doing well despite his brush with Mass without liturgical participation. “All I can say is it was a close call. I know a few parishioners are a little shaken up thinking of what could’ve happened if they hadn’t been able to participate. All’s well that ends well, though.” 56-year-old Fullwood went on to recount the story of how 20 or so quick-thinking parishioners rushed into action as Carbone prepared to consecrate the bread and wine without a single layman there to assist him. “We all looked at each other like ‘Oh no,’ then rushed to the altar as quick as we could and surrounded it. Then we all lifted one hand each in the concelabratory way. It was amazing how fast everyone moved to assist Fr. Bryce. I’m sure he’s really thankful. Maybe they’ll make a movie about it one day, like Zero Dark Thirty or something.”
Remember: A thousand lay people, ten thousand, a million, can say the words of consecration over bread and wine again and again and again with all the fervor they can humanly muster and, at the end of the day, there will still be only bread and wine on the altar. A single priest, even a little distracted, can whisper the words of consecration over the same bread and wine and they become the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ.
The priesthood shared in by all the baptized and the priesthood of the ordained are qualitatively different. Lay people, by their participation in Christ’s priesthood as the baptized, are enabled to offer in their manner spiritual sacrifices and join their sacrifices to that which the priest does at the altar in his way.
Priesthood is for sacrifice. Sacrifice requires priesthood. No priest, no sacrifice.
Pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood.