Communion service without priest

Question from Jun Correa on 11/5/2007:

Hi! I'm a convert from the Philippines. Since my conversion in 1999, I often hear the term "Dry Mass" which really pertains to a communion service without a priest. This is usually conducted by a extraordinary minister of the holy communion. I tried reading the GIRM for guidelines but couldn't find any. My questions are:

1. Is this term "dry mass" a legitimate term used by the Church? 2. Where can I find guidelines for this? 3. Can this fulfill our Sunday obligation?

I asked these questions because two Sundays ago, my family went to a nearby chapel where a Sunday Mass is supposed to be celebrated by a priest but then only a extraordinary minister came with consecrated hosts. My family and I hurriedly left the chapel when the service was starting so we could catch the Sunday Mass at our town's parish. My conscience was bothered because I felt that we ignored our Lord's true presence in the consecrated hosts.

Thanks for your help.


Answer by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on 11/5/2007:

The term "dry Mass" is not a canonical term. I have never heard of it before.

If a person is able to attend Mass on Sunday, then the person is obligated to attend Mass. Attending a Communion service is never required and does not fulfill the obligation to attend Mass. You did the right thing of leaving in order to attend Mass elsewhere.

A Sunday Celebration in the Absence of a Priest is permitted on occasions when it is impossible to have Mass and when no other nearby Mass is available. However, there is no obligation to attend such a service.

1 comment:

  1. AnonymousMay 14, 2008

    Dry Mass (Missa Sicca) was once a daily part of the Carthusian's schedule. Apart from his regular mass, an OCart priest in his cell would recite the mass without the prayers of consecration.

    By this he would unite himself with other priests in the world saying mass at that time.