QUAERITUR: more than one TLM on Sundays and feasts

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.

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  1. Cel says:

    It always seems that the answer to these questions boils down to “Be generous, be merciful.” Being a convert from a fundamentalist background, I certainly know that I tend to be a literalist and read much into details which is not always bad but sometimes gets me into trouble.

    So, Father, what does the “una” refer to then or is it more like “on Sundays, there can be also A celebration of this kind?”

  2. Mitchell NY says:

    Maybe this point would have cleared via the clarification letter on SP. Any word floating as to when we may actually see this or has it been shelved? Seems there are still many a questions floating out there and it would make sense to issue a clear, lengthy document in order to cover as much ground as possible and avoid future needs for another clarification. I know the Holy Father knows best and I trust in that, at the same time many, many people are looking for words of support from Rome and more steady ground to stand on when requesting a UA in our parish. Would probably cut down on the questions going into Ecclesia Dei as well. SP does seem to restrict it to “one” per Sunday, maybe that is an attempt to not have them clustered all in one parish on a Sunday but be more evenly distributed throughout a Diocease, at least in the beginning.

  3. Ioannes Andreades says:

    Since Sum. Pont. was published, it has seemed strange to me that this 1-mass/Sun. rule would appear to apply even to personal parishes dedicated to the E.F. I would seem reasonable (though against the expressed language of Sum. Pont.) for such a parish to have at least one low mass and one solemn mass on the same Sunday.

  4. Greg Smisek says:

    Can anyone confirm that “una” made it into the AAS text? (I don’t have my copy with me.)

  5. j says:

    SP asked BISHOPS to be generous in granting personal Parishes, but that PASTORS could, on their own initiative, institute ONE EF Mass. It seemed clear to me (though, admittedly, it isn’t really spelled out in the document itself) that SP set the limits of what a Pastor and a Bishop could do. I think it is illogical to expect that Tridentine Personal Parishes could only offer one Sunday Mass, and a reasonable restriction on Pastors NOT to be able to de facto create Personal Parishes on their own, excluding O.F. Parishioners.

    Admittedly, just a personal interpretation, but seemingly logical.

  6. Mac McLernon says:

    Referring to your comment about the cardinals previously wearing robes of a more purple hue… I read somewhere (and please correct me if I’m wrong) that cardinals did indeed wear purple… the same colour now worn by bishops… and the Pope wore red. Then a Pope who had been a Dominican was elected, and he chose not to discard his white robes. Successive Popes continued to wear white (though retaining red shoes), so the Cardinals asked if they could switch to the previously Papal red… and then the Bishops asked if they could “inherit” the purple of the Cardinals…

    Does anyone know if that’s true

  7. Maria says:

    I have found that the priests in my diocese will not make any provision for the EF even though there are at least 40 people who have requested it. They refer us to the diocese as they are afraid of stepping on the Bishops toes. Even parish priests are very cautious and refer us to the Diocese. We have found that requesting the Mass as individuals representing a group of people hasn’t met with success either.They either ignore us or just tell us to run along to the nearest Novus Ordo. We are travelling 80 miles of a Sunday to get to the nearest EF.

    We are trying the last option of setting up an official association. Please pray that we will have provision soon.

    Thanking you all.

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