Votive Mass

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I was under the impression that a priest celebrant could choose to offer a votive Mass on a ferial day under his own authority. As I look at the rubric for votive Masses and I read that a votive Mass may only be offered “if some serious pastoral benefit is to be gained,” and “at the direction of the Ordinary,  or with his permission.” Similar language appears in GIRM 374.

I am planning a votive Mass for the patron of one of my parishes commemorating the 149th anniversary of that parish (a weekday in Ordinary Time). Do I need explicit permission from my Ordinary before doing so? I don’t see anything in my faculties speaking to votive Masses.

A: See GIRM 377, which permits any Mass for Various Needs and Occasions on weekdays in Ordinary Time and on optional memorials, and GIRM 375, which permits Votive Masses on the same occasions.

GIRM 374 is referring to something else: It permits, with the bishop’s permission, those Masses on obligatory memorials, feasts, and weekdays of Advent and Lent—none of which are listed in the sentence that marks the exclusions.

So, you do not need permission in this instance. Go ahead and celebrate that votive Mass.