Q: I’m hoping you can clear up some confusion. During a discussion of the importance of the Divine Office, a friend stated that a priest is obligated to pray the Divine Office every day but is not obligated to celebrate Mass every day. I remember being told that a priest is obligated to celebrate Mass every day if at all possible. Can you clarify?
A: I had to consult a canon lawyer on this because it is not a liturgical question.
He referred me to these canons:
c. 276, §2, 3° “In order to be able to pursue this perfection: priests and deacons aspiring to the presbyterate are obliged to carry out the liturgy of the hours daily according to the proper and approved liturgical books….”
c. 904 “Remembering always that in the mystery of the eucharistic sacrifice the work of redemption is exercised continually, priests are to celebrate frequently; indeed daily celebration is recommended earnestly since, even if the faithful cannot be present, it is the act of Christ and the Church in which priest fulfill their principal function.”
Thus, priests are obliged to pray the liturgy of the hours daily and earnestly recommended to celebrate mass every day.