School of Theology and Seminary Graduate Papers/Theses
Short-Term Solution, Long-Term Problem: The Rite of Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest and its Use in the United States of America
Date of Award
Master of Arts in Theology
School of Theology and Seminary
Anthony Ruff, OSB
Liturgy and Worship
The Sunday Celebration in the Absence of a Priest (SCAP) has become a common part of the American Catholic experience as dioceses continue to struggle with ways to deal with the shortage of available ordained priests to celebrate Eucharist. In this paper, I look at early church history (in the pre-Nicaean church as well as the Middle Ages) to find historical and theological justification of the rite. I examine relevant background information data from American history on the availability of Eucharist and Eucharistic piety, and then outline the 20th-century movement which restored frequent reception of Communion to the laity, to explain how the current situation developed in the USA. I trace the development of the SCAP rite, from 1973’s Holy Communion Outside of Mass to the 2007 revision of the SCAP rite. I then consider a number of the most pressing criticisms of the SCAP from a variety of vantage points, including sacramental, ecclesiological, theological, and sociological.
Angel, Christopher, "Short-Term Solution, Long-Term Problem: The Rite of Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest and its Use in the United States of America" (2011). School of Theology and Seminary Graduate Papers/Theses. 745.
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