Diocese of Jackson

Directives for Implementation and Use of

Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of A Priest

In the Diocese of Jackson the following directives are promulgated on Oct. 18, 2010 and effective Nov. 28, 2010.

  1. Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest should not be celebrated in the cities and towns where two or more churches are located and Sunday Mass is celebrated in at least one of those (SCAP Directory 18). 
  2. If Mass is available at another church on Sunday within a reasonable driving distance then Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest should not be celebrated and parishioners should attend Mass in the nearby church (SCAP Directory 18). [15-20 miles is suggested]
  3. Ideally Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest should be celebrated only once in a community on a given Sunday (SCAP 15).
  4. When celebrated, Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest (SCAP) shall be celebrated in the form of Morning or Evening Prayer in all parishes, missions and institutions.
  5. Because of the richness of the tradition of the Liturgy of the Hours and the opportunity for the faithful to become more familiar with all Scripture, the entire Psalmody will be used at such celebrations in the Diocese of Jackson.
  6. Lay Leaders of Prayer must be properly trained and then delegated by the Bishop of the Diocese of Jackson and Pastor before conducting a Sunday Celebration in the Absence of a Priest.
  7. Lay Leaders of Prayer must be delegated by the Bishop in order to have the capacity to offer a reflection on the Scriptures at a Sunday Celebration in the Absence of a Priest
  8. In the Diocese of Jackson the vesture for Lay Leaders of Prayer will be Sunday dress or attire befitting the dignity of the distribution of Holy Communion. An alb may be worn. A cassock and surplice should not be worn.
  9. During a Sunday Celebration in the Absence of a Priest, Lay Leaders of Prayer should be seated outside the sanctuary near or among the faithful during the celebration (GSF 55D) facing the altar. The presider’s chair should not be used.