Reeson’s Rambling :: October 15, 2017
What is the minimum required for “Mass to count”?
This is a common question that I have been asked often during the 37 years since I was ordained.
People want to know, does Mass count if I get in the church before the end of the opening song or do I need to be in the pew for the penitential rite? If I arrive for part of the Gloria, is that enough to meet the minimum requirement or for the Mass to count must I get to the church before the Gospel reading? Or is it before the Eucharistic prayer?
Does the Mass count if I leave after I have received Communion or must I stay for the final blessing? Will Mass count if I leave before the announcements? Must I stay for Reeson’s last lame joke after the announcements or must I stay until the end of the closing song for Mass to count?
I heard an analogy recently that explains in a different way what is needed for “Mass to count”!
A young couple meets and grows to be in love. The man proposes to the woman and they decide to marry. Before they marriage, the gentleman asks his future wife just how much time he is expected to spend with her?
Just exactly what is the minimum to be married? The man asks, “If I come home and spend the night with you three times a week, will the marriage count?”
“How about,” he asks, “if I spend a full hour each week with you, is that the minimum to be married?
I may spend more time with you on holidays like Christmas or Easter, but I just want to be clear what is minimally required for us to be married.”
If the man asks these kinds of questions about the minimum requirements to be married, I think the marriage will not happen or will be doomed. What is most important is not what is minimally required! I hope that a happily married couple desires to spend as much time together as possible and not the minimum.
In a similar way, the question should not be what is minimally required for Mass to count. When I love the Lord and am grateful that Jesus has changed my life, I want to spend time with him and don’t just want the minimum.