More on concelebration

At NLM I saw a nice photo of Benedictines at Randol in France in their usual mode of concelebration.

I approve.

Included is a link to a film, Noir et Blanc about the monastic life of the Benedictines at the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Randol.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. acardnal says:

    I was hoping you’d post this photo from TLM, Father.

  2. Bryan Boyle says:

    I note, with interest, that there are a couple of servers, probably fellow priests, serving as acolytes. Nice. Father talks about ‘stepping down’; I did witness it once when in Rome a few years ago, when a friend of mine, a priest, was hurrying off (with me in tow…) to celebrate Mass in one of the side altars of St. Peter’s…and a high-ranking prelate (whose name escapes me) stopped Father and asked if he needed a server for his Mass.

    The sight of a that reminded me that we ALL serve the Lord, and service at the altar is not to be taken lightly.

  3. acardnal says:

    sic: NLM vs TLM

  4. jflare says:

    It appears to me that this occurs in a fairly modern church building too.

    Not bad.

  5. One could ask … Why is their concelebration area built around a dance floor? But perhaps best not to go there.

  6. acardnal says:

    @jflare: go to You can view the history of the structures on the “some milestones” tab among other wonderful subjects.

  7. JPManning says:

    It looks like one or two of the priests do not have a server. How does the Mass go in that case? Does the priest say both parts or does he just give a pause where normally he would expect a response?

  8. Andrew says:

    Henry Edwards:

    My guess is that this is a crypt and the main altar is to the right of the viewfinder.


    My guess is that the priests without a server had either not started yet and the server is on the way, or that they already finished and are giving thanks to God.

  9. JPManning, in EF Masses without a server that I have observed, the priest has said the server’s responses audibly.

  10. Giuseppe says:

    Why wouldn’t one priest assist the other as the server?
    I know this is supposed to be the height of reverence, but I cannot help but think that something is wrong with this picture. (Confession: I was born post-Vatican II, so my world-view is admittedly warped.) My mind keeps being drawn back to pictures of man priests individually celebrating masses simultaneously in the middle ages for $$$. (Were indulgences sold further from the altar?) So, when I see many priests celebrating mass INDIVIDUALLY at different altars, I immediately think $$$. In my defense, I was taught by Jesuits in my early years, and they never met a Mass that could not be concelebrated and seemd to have zero concern for making a day-to-day living, so this has colored my worldview.

  11. Leonius says:

    Giuseppe, part of a priests work is to offer a mass once a day, in fact it is the number one thing a priest is called to do, this duty cannot be fulfilled by just serving at another priests mass.

  12. Leonius says:

    We should also mention “the public and social nature of every Mass,” a conclusion which clearly follows from the doctrine we have been discussing. For even though a priest should offer Mass in private, that Mass is not something private; it is an act of Christ and of the Church. In offering this Sacrifice, the Church learns to offer herself as a sacrifice for all. Moreover, for the salvation of the entire world she applies the single, boundless, redemptive power of the Sacrifice of the Cross. For every Mass is offered not for the salvation of ourselves alone, but also for that of the whole world. Hence, although the very nature of the action renders most appropriate the active participation of many of the faithful in the celebration of the Mass, nevertheless, that Mass is to be fully approved which, in conformity with the prescriptions and lawful traditions of the Church, a priest for a sufficient reason offers in private, that is, in the presence of no one except his server. From such a Mass an abundant treasure of special salutary graces enriches the celebrant, the faithful, the whole Church, and the entire world—graces which are not imparted in the same abundance by the mere reception of Holy Communion.” Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei (1965), n. 17

  13. Panterina says:


    For EF Masses without a server, there are a few changes regarding the Confiteor, server’s responses, and the transfer of the Missal. For example, see

  14. mpolo says:


    We actually promise to pray the Liturgy of the Hours during ordination, so it could be argued that only the LotH is directly a part of the priest’s work. Celebrating Mass daily is “technically” not required, but I admit, I tend to look poorly on those priests that schedule themselves a “Liturgy-free Monday”, where they don’t celebrate any Mass, even privately.

    To another assumption that has been made, it is also possible (probable?) that the servers are brothers, since traditionally not all Benedictines in a community are ordained priests, but only those who are needed for liturgical functions.

  15. jflare says:

    Oh dear. I had feared someone might well misconstrue my intent. Maybe someone has.

    I did not intend so much to berate the Benedictines for having a modern building. I intended something rather different.
    I noticed that the building appears to be fairly new, which OFTEN means that it’ll be built to be “functional”, not beautiful. Too often, this means that newer church facilities look downright boring at best, straight out ugly at worst. For what little I saw of this, it’s functional, but relatively aesthetically pleasing as well. A distinct improvement over what I might expect.

    I also notice that this particular Benedictine monastery DOES appear new, not old. Most orders who’re struggling to exist don’t expend resources on new facilities; they’d want to find someplace that’s fairly easily adapted for use. These guys, however, appear to expect to be around for a good long while, thus having need for newer, more expensive facilities.

    This strikes me as a good thing.

  16. Giuseppe says:

    @Leonius and @mpolo — thank you for that information. Very helpful.

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