Vatican City, 17 December, 2020 / 3:10 pm (ACI Africa).
The Vatican’s liturgy congregation will permit priests to say up to four Masses on Christmas Day, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God on Jan. 1, and Epiphany to accommodate more worshipers amid the pandemic.
Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, signed a decree announcing the permission Dec. 16.
The decree said that diocesan bishops may allow priests in their diocese to say up to four Masses on the three solemnities “in view of the situation brought about by the worldwide spread of the pandemic, by virtue of the faculties conceded to this Congregation by the Holy Father Francis, and due to the persistence of the general contagion of the so-called COVID-19 virus.”
According to the Code of Canon Law, a priest ordinarily may celebrate Mass just once per day.
Canon 905 says that priests may be allowed by their local bishop to offer up to two Masses per day “if there is a shortage of priests,” or up to three Masses per day on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation “if pastoral necessity requires it.”