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24 Sep 2015 News USA No comments

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23 Feb 2016 Americas News No comments

Founder of the EWTN Global Catholic Network remains in "delicate" condition says fellow Nuns

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11 Dec 2014 Q&A Comments (3)

Is the sign of the cross on the forehead, lips, and heart before the Gospel reading for the priest only?

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Was this truly a Mass if a woman celebrated it?

Full Question

My family and I were visiting a little town in Mexico, and we went to a Catholic church to pray, but then Mass began and instead of a priest it was a woman giving Mass. We left but tried to seek an answer about why a woman offered Mass. The only response was that the priest was on a trip.


Without more information, it is impossible to determine whether the woman was offering Mass or leading a Communion service. Given the explanation offered you, it sounds likely that what was offered was a Communion service. If you observed the woman attempting to consecrate the bread and wine, contact the bishop of the church’s diocese and report to him what you witnessed.

Laypeople (including laywomen) are allowed to lead Communion services in the absence of priests. The Eucharist is not consecrated at this service, because that is something only a priest can do. The Eucharist that is distributed to the congregation was consecrated beforehand at another Mass. As an example of the difference between Masses and Communion services, remember what happens on Holy Thursday and Good Friday. Because Masses are not offered on Good Friday, the priest consecrates double the usual amount of hosts on Holy Thursday and the extras are reserved for the Communion service on Good Friday.

1 comment

  1. Chris Reply

    See hear is another stupid question being asked and I do hope that it being asked by a non- Catholic. If it is not then we should get out those beads and pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph.

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