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Good morning, Father,

I would like to ask you:

1. The faithful who participate in a Mass in which the priest changes to his liking the words and the rites satisfy the festive precept or should he/she participate in another Mass?

2. What if the priest changed the words of the consecration and, as a result, doubts arose regarding the validity of the Mass?

Thank you!

My dear,

1. The faithful who participate in a Mass in which a priest changes to his own liking words and rites do satisfy the festive precept. Indeed, as it pertains to him, he fulfilled his duty.

Instead, who did not fulfill his duty is the priest, since he was not allowed by anyone to change the rites and the words.

In fact, repeatedly the Magisterium of the Church expressly forbade him to do so.

2.  Of his obstinacy, as well as the trouble and affliction he caused to the faithfuls who had to suffer because of his inventions, he will have to answer in front of Our Lord.

Even if he were able to find expressions more beautiful than those established by the Church, complying with what has been established is a beautiful act of humility in front of God and in front of the faithful. 

3. The humility is essentially submission, not only to God, but also to whom on this earth acts in His stand.

Saint Thomas says that humility “expels pride, which “God resisteth”, and makes man submissive and ever open to receive the influx of Divine Grace.  Hence it is written (James 4:6): “God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” (Summa Theologiae II-II, 161, 1, ad 2).

4. It is admirable, also in this sense, the humility of Saint Teresa of Avila who was able to write about herself: “In matter of faith, I would not break the least ceremony of the Church, that I would expose myself to die a thousand times rather than that any one should see me go against it or against any truth of the Holy Writ” (The Life, 33,6).   

5. Also, it is very sad having to observe that those who do whatever they want with the liturgy, disparage and denigrate those who observe it, charging them of parroting because they utter the prescribed words of the Ritual without altering it.

Meanwhile, the faithfuls must suffer.

The authority itself, forced to deal with more grave issues, let all this pass.

6. Coming to the last question, the Mass would have been invalid if the words of the consecration were substantially changed, which are as follows: “This is my Body” and “This is the cup of my Blood”.

If the priest voluntarily changes the other words of the consecration, he obviously commits an extremely grave abuse, but the consecration is valid.

I take this opportunity to wish you a happy and Blessed Easter: may everything blossom again in your life, just like everything blossomed again in Christ’s life with his risurrection.

I will remind Him of you in prayers and I bless you.

Father Angelo