Home Entertainment President’s social collecting directives and the situation for Catholic anticipatory Mass

President’s social collecting directives and the situation for Catholic anticipatory Mass


Pursuing the 10th presidential deal with on the Covid-19 pandemic in Ghana and the directive for the gradual easing of social accumulating, there have been some mixed reactions by the community.

Some are of the watch that easing the limitations on social gatherings by limiting the assembly to 100 folks isn’t the greatest because the Covid-19 conditions preserve increasing with the passing of the working day.

They argue even further that with the “typical Ghanaian attitude”, it will be complicated to strictly go by this directive as to who should really be dropped or added to the variety 100.

Yet again, they maintain the situation of registering persons for social gatherings or church company may perhaps not only be burdensome but also cumbersome.

There are some much too who are of the view that this presidential directive on church provider throughout this pandemic is not only possible but also plausible if and only if, it is properly prepared and executed by the churches, nay the a variety of religious bodies.

The Catholic Mass

The Catholic Mass, typically the celebration of the Eucharist, is the central act of worship of the Catholic Church.

And the Eucharist according to Catechism of the Catholic Church is the supply and summit of the Christian everyday living (CCC.1324).

This indicates that the life of the church hinges on the celebration of the Mass.

However, there is a cap on the quantity of Masses that a priest can celebrate inside a working day, “three-Mass limit”.

The 1983 Code of Canon Legislation stresses that “if there is a scarcity of monks, the bishop can permit clergymen to celebrate two times a day for a just cause or if requirement necessitates it, even 3 situations on Sundays and holydays of obligation” (no.905.2).

The Presidential Directives and the Catholic Mass

Now with this presidential directive on church company in this Covid-19 era, the issue that a lot of are asking is that church buildings with big congregants will have issue, taking into consideration the actuality that each and every priest has a confined number of Masses to rejoice a day.

Some are also of the opinion that priests are likely to appear under powerful force in having “marathon Masses” in purchase to serve as a lot of as attainable and that does not augur well for the well being of the priests.

It is on the basis of these arguments that I would like us to analyze critically the challenge of Anticipatory Mass.

Anticipatory Mass

The anticipatory Mass was initial instituted for the particular reason of offering a time for Catholics who genuinely are unable to be at Sunday Mass due to the fact of work and was basically discouraged as a “Mass of Convenience” to the standard general public (of course that did not work).

It is the exact in content as the ordinary Sunday Mass, and possibly legitimately celebrated whenever from 4:00 p.m. onward on Saturday evenings.

Biblical Basis

Genesis 1:5 it reads: “Evening came, and early morning followed—the very first working day.” The phrase is recurring after each individual of the very first six times of generation, providing rise to the Hebrew definition of a day as measured from one desert sundown to the next.

Illustrations in the two Testaments testify that time tends to make a important shift at sundown: the Temple is shut as shadows lengthen, or crowds bring their sick to Jesus as night falls. Even Easter is counted as “the 3rd day” when the women method the tomb beneath address of darkness.

To be on the harmless side in observing erev (Hebrew “evening”), rabbis say 1 has to wait for three stars to surface in the sky.

When you believe about it, the strategy that the a.m. (ante meridiem, Latin for “before noon”) time period commences at midnight is not significantly far more than a selection. The working day has to begin someplace.

Some Biblical References: Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31 Leviticus 23:5, 32 Nehemiah 13:19 Matthew 28:1 Mark 16:1-2 Luke 4:40 2 Peter 1:19

Historical Standpoint

Jewish practice carries above in the anticipatory Mass for Sunday, or the Vigil Mass of a feast.

In 1969, Paul VI wrote that ”the observance of Sunday and solemnities starts with the night of the previous day.”

Whilst this was a moto Proprio (individual papal initiative), it created on official instructing issued two several years before granting authorization for the anticipatory Mass.

It also acknowledged what the Liturgy of the hours had promoted for centuries: a Sunday celebration lasting from evening prayer on Saturday night until finally night prayer on Sunday.

The 1983 Code of Canon Law on Anticipatory Mass

The 1983 Code of Canon Legislation notes that “assist(ing) at a Mass celebrated any where in a Catholic rite either on the feast working day alone or in the evening of the previous working day satisfies the obligation of taking part in the Mass.” (no.1248).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms: “On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the devoted are certain to take part in the Mass. The principle is glad by guidance at a Mass which is celebrated wherever in a Catholic ceremony either on the holy day or on the night of the previous day.” (no.2180)


I want to attractiveness to pastoral discretion and judgment as a rationale for recommending anticipatory Mass since we are not in ordinary periods and nonetheless continue to the Church has to reply to the spiritual needs of her customers.

Nevertheless, care really should be taken so as not to give the effect that Sunday as the working day of Lord is becoming dismissed.

In this feeling, I want to reiterate Canon 1247 which states that “On Sundays and other holydays of obligation, the faithful are obliged to support at Mass.

“They are also to abstain from this sort of operate or business enterprise that would inhibit the worship to be supplied to God, the pleasure good to the Lord’s Working day or the thanks rest of head and body”.

Having said that, permit me hasten to insert that attending Mass on Saturday evening compared to Sunday does not transform one’s obligation to abstain from buying on Sundays and holydays and to rest on this kind of times.

This indicates that faithful Catholics should not be heading to shop on Sunday when this sort of can be finished on Saturdays.

On Sunday, they really should be resting and making the most of the working day with their relatives and buddies, carrying out some religious reading through, reflection, meditation, making the most of the beauties of God’s creation.

Furthermore, the presidential directives would be meaningless devoid of our cooperation.

As a Church we have to have to stick to strictly the laid down protocols recommended for the celebration of Mass.

This includes, the use of temperature guns, obligatory putting on of masks, hand washing, frequent use of hand sanitizers, observing social distancing, and very good cleanliness.

Try to remember any faith that fails to seek out the welfare of its customers, is a failed and useless faith.

Reference: Celebrating the Easter Vigil – Rupert Berger, Hans Hollerweger, eds. (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1983)
Allow Us Pray: A Guide to the Rubrics of Sunday Mass – Paul Turner (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Push, 2012)

Rev. Fr. Isaac Atta Mensah

About the author Rev. Fr. Isaac Atta Mensah is the Rector of St Mary’s Rectorate Nusta-Wassaw in the Western Region

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