Can Mass be celebrated outside a church?

I got this question today in my search box:

Can a catholic orthodox priest celebrate mass outside a church?

The person might have been looking for an older article, and perhaps found it.

The ideal is that Mass is celebrated in a consecrated church building. It can also be celebrated in a simply blessed oratory or chapel. It can also be celebrated in a home or a suitable secular building for pastoral reasons (eg: for the sick or a congregation of people unable to afford a dedicated church building).

In a way, where Mass is celebrated, that place becomes a church even if only for a short time. I have celebrated Mass outdoors, for example on a rock on the Glénans islands on on the tailgate of my van using my tuck box chapel. Many priests have done so, because no consecrated church was available to them.

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2 Responses to Can Mass be celebrated outside a church?

  1. ed pacht says:

    a consecrated church building is a considerable blessing, but it needs to be remembered that the Eucharist was not instituted in a church building, nor in the temple, nor in a synagogue, but at dinner in a private house. Nor was the Eucharist of the earliest Christians celebrated in consecrated space. The Church was not initially able to provide such spaces, and today it is also very often unable to do so.

  2. Stephen K says:

    I agree with ed. Personally, I think the Mass can be celebrated anywhere where ‘2 or 3 are gathered together’ in Jesus’ name, so long as it is not disturbed by extraneous noise or activity. It could therefore be celebrated on a chartered ‘bus, but not on the public 2.40 to Paddington.

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