ASK FATHER: Does “for all” instead of “for many” make the Mass invalid? Should I receive Communion if I doubt validity?

From a reader…


My schedule required me to attend a lunchtime Novus Ordo near my office today.  The priest (I believe intentionally) modified the Eucharistic Prayer, employing the old “for all” translation of pro multis.

As far as I can tell, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith agree that, “There is no doubt whatsoever regarding the validity of Masses celebrated with the use of a duly approved formula containing a formula equivalent to ‘for all'”.

Since this formula is no longer duly approved though, was the Mass valid?  If I doubt the validity of a Mass, should I refrain from presenting myself to receive communion?

Just one of the many advantages of Mass in Latin is that it keeps the ad libbing to a minimum.

Rest at ease, the Mass was valid.  Father Jackass’s personal preference which, out of selfish clericalism he imposed on the congregation, did not invalidate the consecration.

Should you receive Communion when you doubt the validity of the Mass?  If you truly cannot say that you think the Mass is valid, then you should not go up for Communion.  If you are thinking “That’s just bread… that’s just wine”, then reception of that “just wine… just bread” would be a sin.

Mind you, if the priest stuck to the proper form of consecration for the Host, the Body of Christ, but then said something that would be invalid for the wine (which did not transubstantiate into the Precious Blood), then receiving the Host you would indeed be receiving the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ.  However, it wouldn’t technically be a Mass because of the invalid second consecration (and therefore separation of the Blood from the Body, etc.).  In that case, Father Invalidator would have consecrated one species of the Eucharist outside of Mass which is about the worst canonical crime a priest can commit, called in the Latin Code “nefas” (“monstrous, abominable” – can. 927).  If he did that wittingly, and it could be demonstrated through proofs, the bishop ought move swiftly to impose censures.  Moreover, something would have to be done about any Mass stipends received for those non-Masses.  A great deal of work would be needed to repair the terrible scandal.



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, Canon Law, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Curate says:

    “Just one of the many advantages of Mass in Latin is that it keeps the ad libbing to a minimum.”
    Indeed. I often say Mass in Latin on my day off, even though I’ve never been formally trained in Latin. Unfortunately, I think many of my brother priests have never been formally trained in Latin.
    That being said, there is one benefit: we’re not clever enough to ad lib in a foreign language. No temptation to change the words!

  2. WVC says:

    While I of course agree with everything said about how the bishop should act if he learned of such an outrage as a priest consecrating the Eucharist outside of Mass due to idiotic tinkering with the form of the sacrament, the ever-growing cynicism in my brain says, “That’ll be the day.” The line from Chesterton’s Lepanto echoes in my memory – “And dead is all the innocence of anger and surprise . . .” Is there a liturgical abuse gross enough to stir the average bishop’s heart into action?

    Why yes, yes indeed. Have a good priest offer a reverent Latin Mass to a devoted congregation contra the bishops severe dictates per Traditores Custodes, and then watch how quickly the heads will roll.

    What a fetid and reprehensible age we live in.

  3. Charles E Flynn says:

    Suppose the priest says:

    “for you, for the forgiveness of sins”

    omitting both “for all” and “for many”?

    I wish this were a hypothetical question.

  4. Charles: I think I will deal with your scenario in a post.

  5. Pingback: ASK FATHER: Father omits both “for all” and “for many” from the consecration of the Precious Blood. Wherein Fr. Z rants. | Fr. Z's Blog

  6. Orual says:

    “Father Jackass’s … selfish clericalism he imposed on the congregation …”

    Thank you for putting a name to a situation that occurred this past Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception at a Catholic School Mass I attended.

    It had nothing to do with the words of consecration, but Fr. Jackass decided that on this important Solemnity he would take the opportunity to preach about the endangered leopards in the South American rain forest. He did this while holding a stuffed toy jaguar while pacing around the sanctuary. He made a weak (and I think failed) attempt to tie it together with Mary at the end. He then placed the stuffed jaguar in front of the altar for the remainder of the Mass.

    Climate change is a favorite topic for this priest and he never misses an opportunity to talk about our ‘common home’ but I thought on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception he would give it a rest, especially given all the school children there who missed an opportunity to learn more about Mary. Instead they learned more about jaguars.

Comments are closed.