Diocesan Directives for Weekday Celebrations
(Includes distribution of Holy Communion when Mass is not available)
Updated September 23, 2014
Since we do not want to create a culture or a custom where “getting” Holy Communion on a daily basis becomes the focus among our faithful and therefore seen as an equal alternative to participation in the celebration of the sacrifice of Mass, we have developed these directives for the Diocese of Jackson concerning Weekday Celebrations when a priest is not available to celebrate Mass.
- Whenever possible, the Mass schedule of nearby parishes should be available to parishioners. If a nearby parish is celebrating Mass on a given weekday, serious consideration should be given to encouraging people to participate in that Mass. Communion services should not be offered if Mass is available nearby.
- Weekday Celebrations with the distribution of Holy Communion should not occur in the Jackson tri-county area or in cities and towns with more than one Catholic Church where Mass is available daily or several times a week.
- Weekday Celebrations should not include the distribution of Holy Communion if Mass is available in a nearby parish (15-20 mile radius). These celebrations should take place if at all possible under the form of Morning or Evening Prayer. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament could very easily be incorporated into these celebrations.
- The specialized provisions for Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest are NOT appropriate for weekday celebrations. Where Mass is not available in a nearby parish, Weekday Celebrations may include the distribution of Holy Communion. This should be done using the Rite of Distributing Holy Communion Outside Mass.
- Weekday celebrations on Holy Days of Obligation should follow the above directives.
- A Liturgy of the Word with Distribution of Holy Communion should never be scheduled for the purpose of ‘providing a role’ for deacons or lay ministers. Likewise, choosing the option of the Funeral Liturgy outside Mass solely to provide a role for the deacon is inappropriate. It is also inappropriate to have the deacon preside at the Funeral Liturgy outside Mass when a priest is available to celebrate a Funeral Mass.
- The Distribution of Communion should not be connected with the Stations of the Cross in any way.