From a reader…
The most recent podcast with Ann Barnhardt was on the topic of prepping — HERE — and since the Church in the US might be needing to go underground sooner than we think one of the things we’ll need is supplies on hand so that underground priests can travel light and not carry full kit with them everywhere they go.
What are the minimum essentials to have a Mass if it’s an underground situation? Can a hand-missal be used if all of the Latin is there? Can a votive Mass be said on any day if there’s not access to a proper Missal (eg: print and laminate all the prayers for a full votive Mass to have on hand with wine and unconsecrated hosts)? What’s the best preparation we can make now to support underground priests (to the best we can make predictions about the future)?
Si vis pacem, para bellum.
Firstly, I answer those few questions. Then I will add some other comments.
Yes, a hand missal can be used. In a pinch, such as we are talking about here, a hand-held device, screen-device, could be used. Say you have one in “Farraday” cage or bag against the day when the coronal mass ejection hits and triggers a Carrington event, or an EMP from a foreign power. Have your sacred books as PDFs (they are available) loaded. Have physical books if possible. Remember: if you are networked, more people can share the expense of getting concrete sacred books. Not every group will need a Pontificale Romanum (for bishops), but the Missale Romanum and Rituale Romanum are indispensable.
Yes, in the situation you describe, when prepper conditions are engaged, sure. Why not? It would be great to have the Mass propers for, say, St. John Eudes. However, if what you have is a set of cards with a couple of Votive Masses, such as of the Blessed Virgin or of the Holy Spirit, sure! Use a Votive Mass! And say you want a Mass of the Virgin, but you only have an old set of BLACK vestments. In those conditions… who cares? Use the black when “saying the black”. Have only green but it is Christmas? Use green! And laminating is a good idea. Hard lamination.
Definitely have wine squirreled away. That might be the toughest aspect of all of this. As a matter of fact, there is a way to make wine from raisins that would be valid matter for Holy Mass. So, not only wine, but raisins and the know how to do it. Flour and water and heat can make a valid host for Mass. They don’t have to be pretty. However, there are available for sale host irons. US HERE – UK HERE You would not need a high watt machine, since your power could be limited anyway.
- Firstly, a place to stay that is safe where he can let his guard down and really sleep for a change.
- Enough supplies to get to his next destination.
- Antibiotics and vitamins, first aid stuff.
- A working “ham radio” station (power, transceiver, antennas(s)).
- Perhaps stock up on stuff that someone who is itinerant might need: changes of boots, clothes, etc. Send him on his way refreshed.
- Ammo: self-defense and also small game (which will be “money” if things get bad enough)
- Olive oil. You might ask priests to give you their old oils (SC, OC, OI) at the end of a year and then freeze them or store them in a dark cool place. Or ask a friendly priest to request extra oils and then do the same.
In the past I have written about