Pray Tell is passionately interested in interested in questions of worship in increasingly secularized socities, and constructive responses to challenging issues around the decline of organized religion. A key aspect of that for Roman Catholics is the clergy shortage. This week’s question from a Pray Tell reader addresses is an example of the new questions now arising.
As the number of priests in our diocese continues to shrink, there are times when the priest leaves through the sacristy after the final blessing and dismissal but before the last song, in order to get to a neighboring parish to celebrate Sunday Mass there.
On such occasions, the acolytes usually do a procession by themselves – cross and candles. What sort of instruction might be given concerning this practice?
What would you say about this situation? And what other issues are raised for you when priests race from one Sunday Mass to another?