Necessity of Corporals

January 14, 2023

Question: I have been under the assumption that sacred vessels are to be placed on the corporal and not simply on the altar linen. I could not find this explicitly stated in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. Is it custom? Am I misinformed? Also, in the private recitation of the Divine Office, is reciting the hymn required or is it recommended? -- V.S., Mobile, Alabama

Masters of Ceremonies at Communion

January 7, 2023

Question: I would like your guidance on an issue I witnessed during our diocesan functions whereby the liturgical master of ceremonies vested in a cassock and surplice (with no stole). He vested in a stole during communion when he went to receive at the altar. Was that in order for an MC who is a priest to wear the stole during communion time so as to receive from the altar? Should an MC vested in cassock and surplice wear a stole on top during Mass? Do we have any liturgical document giving guidance on the same? – P.K., Kenya

Blessing or Dedicating a Church

December 24, 2022

Question: When should a church be dedicated? When should a church be blessed? Is there a difference? -- V.P.H., Can Tho, Vietnam

Danger of Diluting the Wine

December 17, 2022

Question: While exercising my ministry as a supply priest, I have noticed several occasions that sacristans are overly cautious about filling the cruet with the wine to be consecrated during Mass. This presents the real possibility that the priest or deacon may inadvertently dilute the wine with more than a few drops of water. In this case the wine loses its character of being wine, and becomes more like wine-flavored water. This would seem to invalidate the consecration. This practice seems somewhat widespread. -- K.M., Burbank, California

Permanent Candles at the Ambo

December 11, 2022

Question: Is it proper to have permanent candles on one side of the ambo (not just at the proclamation of the Gospel)? We have two candles on one side of the altar and the same at the ambo. It seems better to have the four candles symmetrically at the altar and none at the ambo. -- M.G., Orlando, Florida

Processions at the end of Mass

December 4, 2022

Question: I watched a live stream of Christmas Mass officiated by the Holy Father. I noticed that he concluded with the final blessing of the Mass and then started the Infant procession to the crèche inside the basilica. According to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal [GIRM] No. 384, it should be without the Benediction. What is your opinion? — D.Z., Beijing

Purification of Pyxes

November 26, 2022

Question: Thank you for your helpful indications regarding the distribution of pyxes to bring Holy Communion to the sick (see October 30column). Are there any guidelines for the purification of said pyxes? Often, when I bring Communion to the infirm, I notice that there are small particles of the sacred species left in the pyx (especially after fracturing a host for someone who finds it hard to swallow an entire host), and so I've undertaken the practice of purifying the pyx after each Communion visit. However, this is a personal practice, and not something that I have extended to or expected of our extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion to the sick. Should a priest, deacon, or acolyte be purifying their pyxes on a regular basis? Are there liturgical guidelines or historical precedent to guide us? -- S.W.,Sacramento, California


Music at the Consecration

November 20, 2022

Question: Is it right to play instruments or sing during the consecration of the bread and wine at Mass? -- V.S., Tamil Nadu state, India

Proper Attire and Location of Masters of Ceremonies

November 12, 2022

Question: My first question is about the proper attire of the master of ceremonies during a liturgical celebration. There are times that we see a master of ceremonies wearing a white cassock and a surplice, without any difference from the instituted acolytes and lectors serving during the liturgical celebration. Other times, we notice that the master of ceremonies is vested like any other concelebrant priest, whether in alb and stole or alb, stole and chasuble. There are also times that we see a master of ceremonies wearing a purple cassock and a surplice like the two masters of ceremonies of the Holy Father. These three situations are quite confusing because there is no clear rule. Are there any regulations for the attire of the master of ceremonies? 

Mentioning a Blessed in Eucharistic Prayer I

November 6, 2022

Question: When a marble altar was consecrated by the bishop, he placed a first-class relic (blood-drenched cotton) in a small niche in the altar, sealed with a marble cover. Now, I have always mentioned the blessed’s name, the foundress of a religious congregation who have a retreat house within my parish, in the Roman Canon of the Mass, and pasted a typed name in the appropriate place in the altar missal. Is it permissible, licit, valid, to recite viva voce, the blessed’s name within the canon? If not, may I recite the name silently? -- F.A.C., Comayagua, Honduras

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