Mentioning Saint Joseph in the Eucharistic Prayers

January 20, 2024

Question: Do you know why “and blessed Joseph, her Spouse” was not included in the Eucharistic Prayers for Reconciliation and for Various Needs? It seems like an omission. Many priests include it anyway. -- O.K., Potomac, Maryland

Masses for One Deceased Person

January 13, 2024

Question: Could you explain why the Church allows a Mass to be offered for only one deceased person? In my parish church, the list is so filled up even until next year. A very close relative died in another country, and my way of easing the pain is to have a Mass said for him that my friends and I could also attend, but my request was denied. I am aware that there are churches that I could send a stipend for Mass remembrances. -- D.B., Arvada, Colorado

Masses for the Dead

January 6, 2024

Question: I have questions about Masses for the dead. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) says: “380. Among the Masses for the Dead, the Funeral Mass holds first place. It may be celebrated on any day except for Solemnities that are Holydays of Obligation, Thursday of Holy Week (Holy Thursday), the Paschal Triduum, and the Sundays of Advent, Lent, and Easter, with due regard also for all the other requirements of the norm of the law. 381. A Mass for the Dead, on receiving the news of a death, for the final burial, or the first anniversary, may be celebrated even on days within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas), on days when an Obligatory Memorial occurs, and on weekdays other than Ash Wednesday or the weekdays of Holy Week. Other Masses for the Dead or ‘daily’ Masses, may be celebrated on weekdays in Ordinary Time on which Optional Memorials occur or when the Office is of the weekday, provided such Masses are actually applied for the dead.” What is the difference between the funeral Mass (380) and the Mass for the final burial (381)? There are texts for the funeral Mass, but none for the Mass for the final burial, so what Mass formulary should be used for that? Also, what does this mean: “provided such Masses are actually applied for the dead”? -- O.K., Potomac, Maryland


Use of the Maniple and Biretta

December 24, 2023

Question: A seminarian told me that the use of the maniple and biretta was never abrogated; therefore, both can be used at the Novus Ordo Mass. Is this true? If so, at what parts of Mass should the priest (and deacon) wear the biretta and maniple? If the use of the biretta and maniple is not allowed, why? The same seminarian told me that, in the Novus Ordo, daily Masses are like Low Masses, implying that Sunday Mass is like a High Mass. He said because the daily Mass was like a Low Mass, we didn't need to use the cross in the entrance procession. Is it true that the processional cross can be omitted if there is a lesser degree of solemnity? Is the entrance procession optional? I ask because the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), No. 119, seems to suggest the possibility of no entrance procession. As an altar server, I wear an alb. The GIRM says that if the alb does not cover the ordinary clothing at the neck, an amice should be used (No. 336). When I put on the alb, only a small amount of my collared shirt shows at the neck. Must I wear an amice? Also, if the priest is wearing his clerical collar under his alb, should he cover it with the amice? -- D.A., Mesa, Arizona

Placement of Relics at an Altar

December 16, 2023

Question: I read some of your answers as well as the Ceremonial of Bishops regarding the display of relics. However, I am unable to find any liturgical documentation on reliquaries that are placed to the front of and under an already erected altar. These containers are always sitting on the floor of a chapel and visible to the faithful, especially during Mass. Could you kindly provide some guidance on that for me please? -- R.J., Orlando, Florida

The Te Deum and the Gloria During Advent

December 9, 2023

Question: If I read liturgical documents correctly, the Te Deum is to be prayed on Sundays during Advent but not during Lent, per No. 68 of the General Instruction on the Liturgy of the Hours. It's my understanding that the Te Deum is associated with and considered similar to the Gloria at Mass in offering praise to God. However, the Gloria is not prayed during Advent, per No. 53 of the General Instruction to the Roman Missal (GIRM). Why is there such a distinction during Advent? -- S.M., Indianapolis, Indiana

Archaic Terms in the Our Father

December 3, 2023

Question: In the Lord’s Prayer during the Mass, why is the liturgy still using some words that are no longer common, or used in the common language, such as “Who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name … thy kingdom…thy will”? Is there any inconvenience to use for example “Who are in Heaven … Holy be your name … your Kingdom come … Your will be done …”? Also, in the Order of Mass, No. 132, the rubric says, “The priest genuflects, takes the host and, holding it slightly raised above the paten or above the chalice, while facing the people, says aloud ….” My concern is about “slightly raised above the paten or above the chalice” because most of the priests (even bishops) simply lift the bread and the chalice all together, or the entire vessel of bread in one hand and the chalice in the other. Though the rubric is clear by saying that he “takes the host,” some pretend that the "Lamb of God" is bread and wine, not only bread. Can you help us by clarifying the correct gesture? – F.K., Ndola, Zambia

Liturgical Formulas and Popular Piety

November 25, 2023

Question: A priest prohibits us from saying "The Word of the Lord" after we proclaim the Bible passage as we gather at home or in specific groups to pray. He said we can only say it at Mass. We wonder why the Church banned this practice, though this is private prayer, not liturgical prayer. Also, can we say “Amen” after our reflection -- or a sharing -- or a homily at Mass -- to affirm our belief? My priest says that we can't do it, but we hear many bishops keep doing it after their homilies. -- M.N., Saigon, Vietnam

Gestures in the 1962 Missal

November 18, 2023

Question: If there is something that is not explicitly forbidden by the modern rubrics that was in the 1962 Mass, is it OK to do it in the Novus Ordo? For example, in the Tridentine Mass, the priest would make the sign of the cross during the absolution prayer in the Confiteor, but the General Instruction of the Roman Missal [GIRM] is silent on the subject. Another example is kissing the cruet and blessing it with the sign of the cross during the offertory. -- D.A., Mesa, Arizona

Masses for the Dead

November 5, 2023

Question: “Among the Masses for the Dead, the Funeral Mass holds first place,” the General Instruction of the Roman Missal says in No. 380.What are the other forms of Masses for the dead? What is the liturgical color for all these Masses? More and more, in many places, priests and bishops are using the white color, stating that the Mass for the dead is also "the Mass of the Resurrection.” I can’t find any reference saying that the Mass for the Dead is the Mass of the Resurrection, which for me is only the Easter celebration. In the "Commentary on the General Instruction of the Roman Missal,” edited by Edward Foley, Nathan D. Mitchell and Joanne M. Pierce, on Page 402, it reads, “e. Besides violet, white or black vestments may be worn at funeral services and at other Offices and Masses for the Dead in the dioceses of the United States of America.” Nothing refers to the Mass of the Resurrection for the use of these other colors; and if it is allowed for the dioceses of U.S., is it automatically applied to other dioceses in the world? – F.K., Diocese of Ndola, Zambia

At ePriest, we are dedicated to supporting Catholic priests as they serve their people and build up the Church.

We invite you to explore our resources to help your own ministry flourish!

Sign Up Now