When the Main Celebrant Can’t Finish the Mass

September 9, 2023

Question: The following occurred during a concelebrated Mass on the East Coast while I was visiting the United States. The main celebrant fainted and was taken to the hospital for appropriate treatment. The two concelebrants could not continue the Mass because it was in Portuguese, which they could not speak. This happened during the Lord’s Prayer. What the two concelebrants did was to jump to the distribution of Communion. After the Mass, they were told by the vicar general who had come to inquire about the situation of the sick parish priest that the celebration was invalid because the main celebrant did not receive Communion. Is there any law in such a case when the main celebrant cannot finish the Mass, and there is no other way to continue it, whether the language limits the concelebrants or there is no other priest to continue the Mass? -- F.X.N., Zambia


Timing of the Angelus

September 3, 2023

Question: In our Catholic school, according to our lesson schedule, during period 6, within the last 20 minutes of lesson time, we usually stop explaining, and all students stand for the Angelus. I see that as a mismanagement of class time. I suggested moving the Angelus to the end of the lesson, just before our lunch at 2 p.m. I have argued to my colleagues that the Angelus is not strictly bound to 6 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m.; as long as we keep praying it daily, it is okay?

Sacramentary as a Term

August 27, 2023

Question: Is the term sacramentary obsolete? While visiting the United States, I noticed a new liturgical book used by the main celebrant. It is called “Excerpts from the Roman Missal.” Checking it, I noticed that it is what we used to call the sacramentary, i.e., the liturgical book containing the prayers for the presider. But in this new format, I could not find the Prayer over the Gifts. I am wondering why is it called this way now. Thank you for the enlightenment. -- F.X.N., Ndola, Zambia

Postures and Gestures During the Our Father

August 20, 2023

Question: May the CBCP (a lesser authority than the Holy See) allow during the Lord's Prayer at Mass the use by the Filipino faithful of gestures and postures, including those innovations (for example, holding and or raising hands), which have not been approved with a formal recognition by the Holy See? Will this not violate the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) paragraphs 395 and 396?

Oil Candles at Mass

July 30, 2023

Question: Can paraffin oil candles be used on the altar during Mass? Or should candles be made of at least 51% beeswax? -- M.R., Alton, Illinois

Stoles Over Chasubles

July 23, 2023

Question: I see wider use of beautifully decorated stoles (concelebration style) being used and worn over the chasuble by concelebrants. What norms are available on this? -- F.C., Durban, South Africa

‘Holy Angel’ in the Roman Canon

July 16, 2023

Question: I would like to know about the "Holy Angel" in the Roman Canon, or Eucharistic Prayer I, that takes the gift to the altar on high. The Latin text refers to the text in capital letters (per manus sancti Angeli tui). Who exactly is the Angel? It cannot be Christ, right? Why is it in a capital letter? -- V.N., Rome

Psalm Prayers in the Breviary

July 9, 2023

Question: Will the psalm prayers be included in the new English Liturgy of the Hours? -- E.M., Victoria, Kansas

Altar Wines and Their Validity

July 1, 2023

Question: Several readers have asked for clarification regarding reports that, in an archdiocese in the United States, some parishes were found to have made long-term use of wines that were “invalid matter for the confection of the Eucharist.”

Mass Kits

June 25, 2023

Question: I have noticed that certain parish or diocesan ministries or committees own a Mass kit for use when a session, retreat or seminar is organized by that ministry or committee. The reason given by that ministry/committee on why it owns a Mass kit is that the priest invited to celebrate Mass for the session, retreat or seminar might not have his own kit, or he might have come from overseas and wasn’t able to bring a kit with him. Can a parish or diocesan ministry/committee own a Mass kit for such reasons, or should Mass kits be obtained only from a parish, or from the priests of a parish? Is it permissible for a parish or diocesan ministry/committee to own a Mass kit? -- A.K., Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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