Is the Creed Obligatory at Sunday Mass?

Dear Catholic Exchange:

My parish priest does not say the Creed at Sunday Mass. When I asked him why he did not say the Creed, he said that it is not obligatory. Another parishioner went to him with the same complaint, and his answer was "If you are not happy about my not saying the Creed, just whisper it to yourself." I would appreciate an answer to this [question] as it greatly upsets me, and I feel the Mass is not complete without the Creed being said. My priest also said that the Gloria is not obligatory.



Dear Bernadette,

Peace in Christ!

In every Sunday Mass we celebrate the Resurrection. Each Sunday is a "little Easter" we celebrate in the fullest (see Catechism, no. 1166-1167). This includes making our liturgies more beautiful by giving each part the fullest extent of solemnity. This is done in various ways. We sing the Gloria on Sunday, but not on regular weekdays. We have more readings from Scripture on Sundays than we do on weekdays; the Profession of Faith is said on Sundays and not on weekdays.

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) instructs that the Gloria "is to be sung or said on Sundays outside Advent and Lent, on solemnities and feasts, and in special celebrations of a more solemn character" (no. 53). The GIRM also states: "The Creed is to be sung or said by the priest together with the people on Sundays and Solemnities. It may be said also at particular celebrations of a more solemn character" (no. 68). The Creed is sometimes omitted because another profession of faith is made in the Mass (e.g., baptism, baptismal promises during Easter celebration).

I am sorry that your parish priest did not express an appreciation for the richness of the liturgy. The Gloria is part of Introductory Rite. Its absence should be felt in preparation for Christmas and Easter. The Creed takes us to our baptisms and our common belief. Fortunately, the omission of the Gloria and the Creed does not affect the validity of the Mass.

Please see our Faith Facts: Invalid Masses and We Believe in One God…: The Nicene Creed at Mass.

United in the Faith,

Eric Stoutz
Information Specialist
Catholics United for the Faith
827 North Fourth Street
Steubenville, OH 43952
800-MY-FAITH (800-693-2484)

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  • Guest

    The validity of the Mass is not really the problem with the actions of this Priest. Rather it is his flouting of unity with the body of Christ. He removes himself AND his congregation from their brethren and sets himself as the ultimate source of authority. Similar to the actions of protestants.