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Method of Hearing Mass Spiritually
for the Absent

With the Propers for the Third Sunday in Lent

Dear Readers:

In light of the Coronavirus quarantines that are now preventing many from attending Mass, I am sharing this devotion from the "St. John's Manual," updated with the current Sunday propers, so that the Catholic faithful who are unable to physically attend Mass can nevertheless unite themselves to it spiritually in their homes. Feel free to print this out, copy it, and share the link to anyone who might profit from it. And see also the Carthusian Office of  the Mass.
Yours in the peace of Christ,
-Claudio Salvucci
On this feast of St. Gregory
March 12th, in the Year of our Lord 2020.

Method of Hearing Mass Spiritually, for the Absent.

As it often happens that a Christian may, from his remoteness from a church, illness, or other unavoidable impediment, be unable to fulfil the obligation of hearing Mass on Sundays, and holidays of obligation, devotions are here given which may be recited in such cases. Causes may excuse bodily presence, but do not dispense us with uniting ourselves in spirit to those who then actually enjoy the happiness of being in God's holy temple.

The Sundays and feasts are instituted by the Church, that we may render unto God, in a solemn form of divine institution, that worship which we owe Him every moment of our lives. This worship — the only one on which God looks down with an eye of favor — is the Mass ; and it is offered for us even when not actually present. But to enjoy the benefits which it procures, we must, by a spiritual communion, become partakers of the altar from which we are temporarily banished.
Excite a desire of visiting the house of God : "How is my sojourning prolonged?" and choosing a proper time, let the whole family kneel before a crucifix, statue of the Blessed Virgin, or pious picture. Then transporting themselves in spirit before the altar where Mass is celebrating, endeavor to follow the service there performed.

Prayers for Mass for the Absent.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

O Lord, King of heaven and earth, deprived as I am of the happiness of assisting at the august  sacrifice, where Thy divine Son vouchsafes to renew for us that which He once offered in a bloody manner on Calvary for the salvation of the world, by shedding the last drop of His blood, and offering Thee His life for the remission of our sins ; vouchsafe now to accept my regret, and mercifully accept my homage and prayers as if I actually knelt among those who surround Thy holy altars. I unite myself in spirit to the sacrifice which is now offering; and, relying on the merits of the Blessed Virgin, and of all the angels and saints, whose assistance I implore, united to Thy holy Church, and all Christians who at this moment enjoy the happiness of assisting at the most holy sacrifice of the Mass, I adore Thy greatness; I acknowledge my nothingness ; I confess and detest my sins; I thank Thee for all Thy favors, and bless Thy holy name. With them I groan over my miseries, and I earnestly beseech Thee to grant me all the graces of which I am in most pressing need : I ask and hope for them through the infinite merits of that pure and holy Victim, Whose voice is more powerful before Thy throne than that of our iniquities. As I know that we are on this world only for Thee, I offer Thee my labors, my occupations, my pains, my sufferings, which I accept in expiation of my sins ; and I especially conjure Thee to grant me, with the light of the true faith, the grace to triumph over the snares of the many enemies that I have to struggle with in myself, and to be preserved from sin, the only real evil that can befall me in this life ; and grant that, living and dying in Thy love, I may praise Thee eternally in heaven. Amen.

Psalm lxxxiii. Quam dilecta.

How lovely are Thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts : my soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord.
My heart and my flesh : have rejoiced in the living God.
For the sparrow hath found her a house : and the turtle a nest for herself, where she may lay her young.
Even Thy altars, O Lord of hosts : my King and my God.
Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house, O Lord : they shall praise Thee forever and ever.
Blessed is the man whose help is from Thee : in his heart he hath disposed to ascend by steps, in the vale of tears, in the place that he hath fixed.
For the lawgiver shall give a blessing, they shall go from virtue to virtue : the God of gods shall be seen in Sion.
O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer : give ear, O God of Jacob.
Behold, O God, our protector : and look upon the face of Thine Anointed.
For one day in Thy courts: is better than a thousand.
I have chosen rather to be an abject in the house of my God : than to dwell in the tabernacles of sinners.
For God loveth mercy and truth : the Lord will give grace and glory.
He will not deprive of good things them that walk in innocence : O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that hopeth in Thee.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost : as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

The Confiteor.

I confess to Almighty God, to blessed Mary ever Virgin, to blessed Michael the Archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and to all the Saints, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, and deed, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore I beseech blessed Mary ever Virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the Saints, to pray to the Lord our God for me.

After the Confiteor, say:

Thou art just, O Lord, in all judgments. I acknowledge Thy justice in thus depriving me of a grace which I have so often abused. How often, O Lord, have I heard Mass with coldness, tepidity, and indifference, unmindful of the greatness of the sacrifice, my own wants, and Thy Sovereign Majesty ! But, though my sins, O Lord, deserve that I should be deprived forever of the happiness of appearing before Thy holy altar; still, O Lord, hearken to Thy mercy, and grant that I may not be long deprived of this blessing. Lord, have mercy ! Lord, have mercy !

[Gloria omitted for Lent]


We beseech Thee, Almighty God, regard the desires of the humble, and stretch forth the right hand of Thy majesty to be our defence. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, etc.


A Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians.
Brethren, be ye followers of God, as most dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath delivered himself for us, an oblation and a sacrifice to God, for an odor of sweetness. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you, as becometh saints; nor obscenity, nor foolish talking, nor scurrility, which is to no purpose; but rather giving of thanks: for know ye this, and understand, that no fornicator, nor unclean, nor covetous person, which is a serving of idols, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words; for because of these things cometh the anger of God upon the children of unbelief. Be ye not therefore partakers with them. For you were heretofore darkness; but now light in the Lord. Walk, then, as children of the light: for the fruit of the light is in all goodness, and justice, and truth.


A Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke
R. Glory to Thee, O Lord.
At that time, Jesus was casting out a devil, and the same was dumb. And when he had cast out the devil, the dumb spoke, and the multitudes were in admiration at it. But some of them said: He casteth out devils by Beelzebub the prince of devils. And others tempting, asked of him a sign from heaven. But he seeing their thoughts, said to them: Every kingdom divided against itself shall be brought to desolation, and house upon house shall fall. And if Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because you say, that through Beelzebub I cast out devils. Now if I cast out devils by Beelzebub, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I by the finger of God cast out devils, doubtless the kingdom of God is come upon you. When a strong man armed keepeth his court, those things which he possesseth are in peace; but if a stronger than he come upon him, and overcome him, he will take away all his armor wherein he trusted, and will distribute his spoils. He that is not with me, is against me; and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through places without water, seeking rest; and not finding, he saith, I will return into my house whence I came out: and when he is come, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then he goeth, and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and entering in they dwell there. And the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. And it came to pass, as he spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to him: Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and the paps that gave thee suck. But he said: Yea rather blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it.

The Creed.

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God of God; Light of Light; true God of true God ; begotten, not made ; consubstantial with the Father, by Whom all things were made. Who, for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary: AND WAS MADE MAN. [Here kneel down.] He was crucified also for us, suffered under Pontius Pilate, and was buried. The third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures ; and ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father: and He shall come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead : of Whose kingdom there shall be no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Life-giver, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son : Who together with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified ; Who spake by the prophets. And one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the remission of sins. And I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

An Offering of the Mass.

Renew then your faith in the divine mystery of the real presence of our Lord, and in the efficacy of the Mass as a sacrifice acceptable to God ; and offer to the heavenly Father all the Masses then saying throughout the world.

An Act of Faith.

O my God! I firmly believe all the sacred truths which Thy holy Catholic Church believes and teaches ; and I especially believe and profess that in the Mass there is offered unto Thee, O Father Almighty, Eternal God, a true, proper, and propitiatory sacrifice for the living and dead ; and that in the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist there are truly, really, and substantially the Body and Blood, together with the Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ; and that there is made a change of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood ; and I confess and believe that in the most holy sacrifice of the Mass, the Body and Blood of Thy divine Son are really and truly offered unto Thee for the sins of the world, to obtain for us the graces necessary to salvation, and a speedy release to the suffering souls in purgatory.

An Oblation.

I offer Thee, O Eternal Father, in union with all Thy priests who now minister at the altar, this oblation of the Body and Blood of Thy only Son, to Thy honor and glory, in remembrance of my Savior's passion, in thanksgiving for Thy benefits, in satisfaction for all my sins, and for obtaining Thy grace, whereby I may be enabled to live virtuously and die happily. I beseech Thee likewise to accept it, O God, for N. N., my parents, friends, and benefactors; grant them all blessings spiritual and temporal : likewise for all such as are in misery; for those I have any ways injured in word or deed ; for all my enemies ; for the conversion of sinners, and enlightening of all that sit in darkness. Pour forth Thy blessings on all, according to their different necessities : through the merits of Thy only Son our Lord.

Here everyone may add his particular necessities,
as likewise those of his friends, &c.

Give ear, we beseech Thee, to the prayers of Thy servants, the priests appointed to offer sacrifice on our behalf ; and grant it may be effectual for the obtaining those blessings which they ask for us, absent as we are from Thy holy altar.

Be Thou, O Lord, the eternal bond of all our friendships and societies ; and as Thou hast vouchsafed to join us not only in communion with Thy sacred household of faith here below, but also with those who are now triumphing in heaven, with the martyrs and apostles, and Thy blessed virgin mother ; be Thou the sacred tie to fasten and preserve us therein forever.

I also offer this holy sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Thy only Son, in behalf of the faithful  departed, and in particular for the souls of N. N., my parents, relations, benefactors, neighbors, &c. ; likewise of such as I have anywise injured, or been the occasion of their sins ; of such as have injured me, and been my enemies ; of such as die in war, or have none to pray for them, &c. For these and all others, as many as are yet in the state of suffering, waiting for their discharge, we beseech Thee  to hear us: grant them rest, O Lord, and eternal  salvation, and admit them to the company of Thy blessed saints.

Vouchsafe to grant the same one day to us, poor and miserable sinners as we are, and judge us not according to our demerits ; but, through the infinite multitude of Thy mercies, in which we hope, liberally extend to us Thy grace and pardon.

We ask it of Thee in the name of Thy dear Son, Who lives and reigns eternally with Thee, and in that form of prayer which He Himself hath taught us.

Then recite the Lord's Prayer.  Our Father...etc.

Agnus Dei

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us!
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us !
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, grant us peace!

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath said to Thy apostles, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you," look not upon my sins, but upon the faith of Thy Church, and be pleased to keep her according to Thy will in peace and unity.

An Act of Adoration.

Almighty Lord of heaven and earth ! with all the angels and saints I adore Thee : with all the ministers of Thy Church, I adore Thee: and in praise, adoration, and thanksgiving, I offer Thee all the Masses now saying in any part of the world. I render Thee the homage of my being and life, I devote myself to Thy holy service now and forever,

Make, with great reverence, the Spiritual Communion.

O my sweet Savior Jesus Christ, Thou who art my sovereign Good, the fountain of all goodness, my God and my all, I most firmly believe that for us sinners, and for our salvation, Thou wast pleased to come down from heaven, to take upon Thee, by the mystery of Thy incarnation, our human nature, and to become one of us, that so Thou mightest be our High Priest and our victim. I most firmly believe that Thou offeredst Thyself upon the Cross a sacrifice for us all, after having suffered many cruel torments for us, and that by Thy glorious resurrection and admirable ascension, Thou hast opened the gates of heaven for us. I most firmly believe that in the sacred mysteries Thou art truly and really present, and that Thy sacred body and blood are there offered up in sacrifice, and verily, and indeed, received by the faithful in remembrance of Thy death. Oh, how happy are those souls who worthily receive Thee in Thy divine sacrament ! Oh, what graces, what sanctity do they receive from that fountain of all holiness ! Oh, that I were so happy as to be worthy to kneel this day before Thy holy altar ! Oh, that I were worthy to approach Thy heavenly banquet and feed on the food of life, the bread of angels ! But alas ! I am the most wretched of all sinners, who, from my first coming to the use of reason to this hour, have in innumerable ways offended Thee, my God. My soul is overspread with a universal leprosy, covered on all sides with ulcers, and is unclean and filthy beyond measure; and therefore infinitely unworthy to approach the Lord of all purity and sanctity. In this lamentable state I am unworthy to approach Thy altar, from which my sins have justly banished me ; but with eyes cast down and a heart depressed, and with a deep sense of my manifold treasons and great unworthiness, I humbly beg pardon of Thee for all my sins and implore Thy mercy. Oh, fountain of mercy, have compassion on me, and suffer me at least to sigh after Thee ; and though I am unworthy of Thy embraces, permit me, like the penitent Magdalen, to present myself at least in spirit at Thy feet, and wash them with my tears ! Oh, may Thy sacred blood, which Thou hast shed for all sinners, cleanse my poor soul this day from all its filth ! Oh, come to me, dear Lord, in spirit, and take possession of all the powers of my soul ! Keep my memory fixed on Thee, enlighten my understanding, and inflame my will with Thy love. Oh, let me be thine, and Thou mine from henceforth and forever, and let nothing in life or death ever separate me from Thee any more. In this one prayer, I Lord, hear me, and in all things else do with me as Thou wilt.

May the + blessing of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, descend upon me now, and remain forevermore.