ASK FATHER: How to contact priests to serve their private Traditional Latin Masses

From a reader…


With the outbreak of COVID-19 in Seattle and the shift to exclusively private masses, I imagine there are a good number of priests in my city saying the EF who could use servers. What’s the best way to find these guys and get in touch with them? I’m trained and ready to serve.

Hmmm… good question.

This isn’t only a thing there.  It’s a thing everywhere.

Maybe you readers have an idea.

If only there were “an app  for that”, as it were.

I suppose that word of mouth would might be the quickest way to get in non-touch touch.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Elizabeth D says:

    I was told we may be denied even Easter Communion till some time later on. And there’s a post about how males can get to attend Mass? By all means I want them to attend Mass. It’s the most important thing of my every day and everyone should have that opportunity. [Since lay people and priests who prefer the TLM (called by St John Paul a “legitimate aspiration” and behind which he put his “Apostolic authority”) are relentlessly treated like second class Catholics, I emphasize solutions for the TLM without ignoring the Novus Ordo.]

    Pace, powers that be who invite priests to strategize lest the Faithful actually know when and where these private Masses are, I myself can go to Mass by sitting at the outer wall of the building where and when I know the Holy Sacrifice is offered. This shows zero sign of becoming a popular activity, but the truth is you cannot phone in to Mass. Our Lex Orandi refers to the actual presence of the Faithful assisting at Mass: “…all gathered here, whose faith and devotion are known to you, for them we offer you this sacrifice of praise, or they offer it for themselves and all who are dear to them….” [You are out over your skiis.] The crux of the Mass is the real presence of Our Lord in His saving sacrifice, and its orientation is a spiritual and also bodily unity between Christ the Head and His bride the Church of whom we are members. For me as someone who consecrates herself to Christ for the sake of the kingdom of heaven in a nuptial spirituality, who relates to Christ as Spouse, it is necessarily deeply painful not to be able to attend daily Mass. We can unite our will to the Mass without being present, yes, as in a Morning Offering when we offer our joys and sorrows and labors etc in union with all the Masses throughout the world. [Yes, thanks for a positive note.]

    Isn’t the Annunciation a day when we recall the “scandal of particularity” of the Incarnation? The Word became flesh in a specific time and place. And the same for the Last Supper occurring, and His dying, and His rising. He did not arrange for any of the mysteries of our salvation to be livestreamed, though He certainly could have by choosing a different place and time. Each Mass occurs not in “cyberspace” or in the computer screen of someone watching one of a myriad of internet videos (“live” or not) of a Mass in their PJs, sipping coffee and distracted by other browser tabs, but at such and such a time in such and such a church or chapel, and the prayers of the Mass refer to the participation in the sacrificial action (the body of the Church in union with the priest in the person of Christ the Head) by those who are also in that time and place.

    [The Annunciation is a mystery we can and should reflect on often. So too with the mystery of the Ascension, whereby now the High Priest transcends space limitations as He continuously offers His Sacrifice to the Father. We are involved right now with the art of the possible.]

  2. E Faulkner says:

    I’m not understanding how having servers, much less different servers, would be helpful for keeping a priest healthy so that he is available for the other Sacaraments.

  3. JamesF-J says:

    Would love to do this but in the UK priests have been ordered to say their private Masses completely solo – no servers – I’m not even allowed to assist as a deacon – which is straining the vow of obedience!

  4. Antonin says:

    This is putting many priests in a very difficult bind. I know if at least on case where someone called the priest and said they need the sacrament to get through this. The priest just said we will work something out. I told the person that the priest just doesn’t want to make a lot of this public so if this is just for you, make it for you and just don’t publicize it. He will do what he can. So I think priests are doing what they can but we all have to be “wise as serpents and innocents as doves” and maybe don’t start broadcasting accommodations priests might be making. We will all get through this. Let’s just continue to pray for our leaders and health officials to make wise decisions

  5. Suburbanbanshee says:

    There’s nothing wrong with laymen offering to help priests by serving Mass or doing anything else, and there’s nothing wrong with craving the Mass intensely and being unable to go.

    But we don’t need to add anybody’s snappishness to the annual Lent snappishness, because things are already crazy enough for most purposes.

    Catholic Answers has had some really nice podcasts on topics like the theology and practice of spiritual communion, getting along with your family during lockdown, etc. But their call-in shows have also been a window into wackiness, and why we all need more catechesis.

    (The lay EMHC with a chapel and tabernacle key, who was proud to announce that EMHCs could self-communicate every day, was a real facepalm moment. Needless to say, they tried to explain the error, but you could tell that the hosts were just boggled by ignorance.)

    This is a real Lent, and maybe it’s going to be forty days of repentance for sins against the Eucharist too. But we have to take care that we don’t add new ones!

    Oh, yeah, and I don’t think “solidarity with other Catholics who are also deprived” is a good logical argument for not going to Mass if you have a chance. The general rule for Catholics is to go when you can, whenever it’s in accordance with prudence. “We don’t want priests to get sick” is a better argument.

    But I agree that parish council, EMHCs, etc. should avoid the appearance of “cutting in line” or setting up a special privileged kind of layperson. If you have special duties that include special access, do them humbly and don’t publicize it.

Comments are closed.