On Stoles, Cinctures, Albs and Surplices

June 6, 2021

Q: I am a priest ordained before the post-conciliar liturgical reforms. At that time, we crossed the stole and secured it in place with the cincture under the chasuble. Also, in those days I don’t recall ever wearing a stole over an alb to preach or to officiate in any other circumstances. Rather we wore the stole over a surplice. No cincture. We no longer cross the stole...[continued] 

Saying the Mysterium Fidei

May 30, 2021

Q: Who says “Mysterium fidei” during Mass, especially when a bishop is the principal celebrant and assisted by several priests? Does a priest take the role of a deacon in announcing “Offerte vobis pacem” and “Ita, missa est”? If the three are roles of a concelebrating priest when a bishop is the president of the liturgy, kindly provide liturgical documents that will help me explain it well to others. -- R.P., Kasama, Zambia

Adoration When Mass Is Being Celebrated

May 23, 2021

Q: Our parish has Eucharistic adoration, but it does so in a chapel that adjoins the main church. Hence, each day, even on Sundays and solemnities, adoration continues while Mass is being celebrated. There is a "stained glass" barrier, but it is still transparent enough that the celebration of the Eucharist can be seen right into the sanctuary. Also, the Mass itself can be heard clearly, all of the prayers, the readings, the homily, the Eucharistic Prayer, etc. It was my understanding that the Eucharist should....(Read More) 

Names of the Dead in Eucharistic Prayers

May 16, 2021

Q: It is my understanding that the insert for the dead in the second and third Eucharistic Prayers can only be used in Masses for the Dead. However, it is very common in my diocese to insert names of deceased in the second and third Eucharistic Prayers in Masses which are not Masses for the Dead. For example, some priests modify the second Eucharistic Prayer in this way: "Remember also N. and N. and our brothers and sisters who have fallen asleep in the hope of the resurrection and all who have died in your mercy: welcome them into the light of your face.” Is this correct? Can be done? Finally, it is also common in my diocese to insert the names of saints in the second Eucharistic Prayer in this way: "Have mercy on us all, we pray, that with the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with blessed Joseph, her spouse, with the blessed Apostles, with N. and N. and all the Saints who have pleased you throughout the ages, we may merit to be coheirs to eternal life, and may praise and glorify you through your Son, Jesus Christ.” Is this correct? Can be done?

A Mass for an Anniversary of a Foundation

May 9, 2021

Q: Our community is going to celebrate the centennial anniversary of our foundation. My questions are: 1) Is there any specific divine office to celebrate this occasion? 2) What would be the appropriate ritual Mass for this celebration? I have trouble deciding which ritual Mass and which readings. For example, the Collect from the Common of Dedication of a Church is not quite right, but the prayer over the offerings and communion antiphon are fitting with occasion. On the other hand, the Mass for Religious seems directed toward one person instead of one community, while Mass for the Church is sort of fitting but does not mention our anniversary. 3) Can this Mass be considered a solemnity? -- M.I., California

Distribution of Communion When a Deacon Is Present

May 2, 2021

Question: On February 20, 1987, the Pontifical Council for the Authentic Interpretation of the Code of Canon Law issued an interpretation of Canon 910 §2 which stated that the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion may not exercise his or her function “when ordinary ministers, who are not in any way impeded [qui non sint quoquo modo impediti], are present in the church, though not taking part in the Eucharistic celebration.” An ordinary minister may be impeded if he is not vested, has not been notified that he is to assist in this ministry, or cannot easily approach the sanctuary. In such cases extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion are free to exercise their ministry. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) says when a deacon is present at the celebration of the Eucharist, he should exercise his ministry wearing sacred vestments. I've heard some people interpret this very strictly that the deacon, if present, should always vest and assist. Priests I've talked to would rather have an unvested deacon (as an ordinary minister of Holy Communion) assist with distribution as needed, versus an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion. If a deacon attends Mass, but is not vested and is called on to distribute Communion, it creates a logistical challenge as to when it would be appropriate to put on an alb and stole.

Venue of a Mass Without a Congregation

April 25, 2021

Q: The Mass must be celebrated in a sacred place, unless in a particular necessity it may be celebrated outside a sacred place. If a priest celebrates Mass without a congregation, may he celebrate it in the sacristy, instead of celebrating it in the church?

Te Deum Services

April 18, 2021

Te Deum Services

Q: I have noticed that in a number of European countries, including those that are not Catholic, there is often a "Te Deum" service to mark a national holiday or another important anniversary. I would assume this naturally involves the singing of the Te Deum, but in the Church is there or has there been a set structure to these ceremonies? In other words, would a Te Deum service be essentially the same in Belgium as it would be in Spain, or the same contours in 1820 as it has in 2020?

Options With Mass and Liturgy of the Hours

April 11, 2021

Q1: When celebrated by a single community (for instance, of religious), should the Liturgy of the Hours and the Mass use the same “option” on days when options are permitted?

Readings for Votive Masses and Those for Various Needs

March 28, 2021

Q: I like to celebrate Masses for various needs and occasions and also votive Masses. According to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM): "370. In all the Masses for Various Needs and Occasions, unless expressly indicated otherwise, it is permissible to use the weekday readings and also the chants between them, if they are suited to the celebration. 371. Among Masses of this kind are included Ritual Masses, Masses for Various Needs and Occasions, and Votive Masses.” Where can I find a prohibition to use weekday readings for a particular Mass? In the Roman Missal, the color of the vestments is clearly stated for some days (for example, votive Mass of the Most Holy Eucharist). However, I do not find any indication about the readings. In the lectionary for Masses for various needs and occasions and votive Masses, I find several options for readings for each Mass but no prohibition to use weekday readings.

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