Suspended Mass

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: A priest called me with this question from his parish this morning. A fire at his parish brought the firefighters to ask everyone to leave and extinguished the fire. The Liturgy of the Word had just ended but the Liturgy of the Eucharist was not resumed. Communion from the ciboria rescued was held in the parking lot.

There is no obligation to finish this Mass, right?

Where do I find information about such things?


A: My goodness. I hope everyone was safe and that the building escaped severe damage.

I don’t know where to find legislation on such things. The liturgical law of the church is extensive, but it does not cover every possible scenario. It would be highly contrary to liturgical sense to resume a Mass some time later after such an interval. It would appear as though Mass were beginning with the Liturgy of the Eucharist, which is just not right. It’s Mass, not a suspended baseball game.

It sounds as though people did the right thing and can focus on other matters.