SUNDAY CELEBRATION IN THE ABSENCE OF A PRIEST

-

SCAP—-What is SCAP? It stands for Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest. As part of our One In Christ ACC goals work with the Worship Committee, and prompted by some near misses during the COVID months, we researched how we would respond if the scheduled celebrant for a weekend Mass was suddenly not available due to illness or other unforeseen circumstances, the assembly was already gathering for worship, and there was no time to find a substitute. in the Absence of a Priest.
As part of our One In Christ ACC goals work with the Worship Committee, and prompted by some near-misses during the COVID months, we researched how we would respond if the scheduled celebrant for a weekend Mass was suddenly not available due to illness or other unforeseen circumstances, the assembly was already gathering for worship, and there was no time to find a substitute.
Using the existing Rite for such celebrations, and adapting it to our settings, the deacons and several lay persons from our ACC parishes have recently had training for leading Sunday worship with Communion if the situation occurs. Though the Rite would include the day's readings and Communion with the Hosts reserved in the tabernacle, the Rite is intentionally different in various ways from Mass to avoid confusion and foster the importance of praying for priestly vocations.
Should this situation occur, we will do our best to communicate the lack of Mass at a given parish as best as we can, announce and post door signs that include the location of other Masses in the area, and provide a meaningful and approved celebration of the Word and of Holy Communion for those who cannot reasonably attend another church. In such circumstances beyond a person's control, the Sunday obligation is suspended for that day. As noted above, it is our fervent hope that we will never pull this off the shelf, but it's wise to be ready.
Communication methods will be our next focus in this effort. It has also prompted us to consider best ways to reach our parishioners in general where we can do better to keep you informed, inspired, and engaged. The months during COVID when public Masses were not available, we experienced what a central place the Eucharist plays . In these times of the national Eucharistic Revival, your prayers for vocations are especially welcome and valuable.