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

The Precious Blood After Distribution of Communion

October 29, 2023


Question: With the precious blood being reinstated after COVID, I was curious as to the proper way of distributing and receiving it. Can an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion drink the “leftovers,” or would this be some kind of self-communication? I have also heard that deacons should be distributing the Precious Blood rather than the Body, is this true? -- K.K., Austin, Texas

The Doxology in the Liturgy of the Hours

October 22, 2023

Question: I need some clarifications about the Liturgy of the Hours. In the general presentation of the Liturgy of the Hours, No. 123, it says: "The custom of concluding the psalm with Glory be to the Father is retained. Tradition has aptly employed this to attribute to the prayer of the Old Testament a quality of praise and a christological and trinitarian meaning.” And in No. 137, we learn that "At Vespers, after the two psalms, a canticle from the Epistles or Revelation of the New Testament is inserted. There are seven such canticles, one for each day of the week.” Here is my concern: Since these canticles are not neither psalms nor from the Old Testament to apply automatically to what is said in No. 123, can we also conclude these canticles of the New Testament with Glory be to the Father as in any psalm recited or sung? – F.K., Ndola Diocese, Zambia

When a Bishop Isn’t Celebrating but Present

October 15, 2023

Question: In a Mass presided over by a priest, but the diocesan bishop is present in the sanctuary, when a deacon reads the Gospel does he present the Book of Gospels to the bishop to kiss it, or can he (the deacon) kiss it? -- J.J., Banjul, The Gambia

Masters of Ceremonies

October 8, 2023

Question: Recently, my superior and I were reading the General Instruction of the Roman Missal [GIRM], and we were wondering what the rules are on the master of ceremonies—whether lay or ordained—assisting the main celebrant by flipping the pages of the altar missal for him. In another archdiocesan seminary assisting the celebrant in this way was normal, but some priests affirm that such a task is reserved for sacred ministers. So, I have two questions: 1) Is it permissible to be a master of ceremonies at a daily Mass, when there is not much coordinating of other altar servers going on? 2) Is it permissible for a lay MC to assist the priest, if the latter wishes, by flipping the pages of the altar missal for him? -- L.D., Toronto, Ontario

Bishops’ and Priests’ Gestures at an Ordination

September 30, 2023

Question: At the ordination of priests, when other bishops are present aside from the ordaining prelate, should they lay hands on the candidates or refrain from doing so? I have seen both practices. Also, is it appropriate during the prayer of ordination for priests to extend their hands toward the ordinandi? -- J.Z., Weston, Massachusetts

Proportion of Wine and Water

September 23, 2023

Question: Due to celiac disease diagnosis and doctor’s orders not to consume any gluten whatsoever (i.e., low-gluten host), I have permission from my pastor to bring my own small (celiac) chalice to Mass to receive the Precious Blood from it. Before the first Mass I attended with the pastor, he asked if I would like him to pour a small amount of wine into the chalice. Since previous priests have poured a copious amount of wine into my little chalice, I responded “yes” to the pastor, who told me that he prefers only a tiny bit of wine. To my shock, when I went to receive the Precious Blood, I discovered that the pastor had poured hardly any wine into my chalice. And the tiny bit that trickled down the chalice tasted like watered-down wine, leaving me seriously doubtful that what I had received was valid matter. I am concerned that if the pastor prepares his chalice as he did mine by placing only a tiny bit of wine and an equal or greater proportion of water in it, then the matter in his chalice is also invalid and that the Masses that he is celebrating are, consequently, invalid. I am not sure how to proceed. -- E.R., Orange County, California

After the Restoration of a Church

September 17, 2023

Question: My parish church has recently undergone a restoration where the roof has been replaced, along with the pews, floor, etc. The altar, however, has been left untouched. Must the church be rededicated? Or is a blessing of the church enough? -- D.F., Singapore

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