Postures at an Ordination

May 28, 2023

Question: At ordinations, is it right for the bishop to stand during Litany of the Saints to bless the candidates? If yes, why? Also, at the ordination of priests and consecration of bishops, is it right for those who lay hands on the head of the candidates to keep their right hands raised as they return to their seats and maintain this posture till the prayer of consecration is said? -- S.M., Benue State, Nigeria

Designs on Chasubles and Stoles

May 20, 2023

Question: My concern is about the liturgical vestments, mostly the chasuble and stole. Are there required motifs that can be put there, like a cross, cup, bread etc.? Can the logo or the image of the founder of a religious congregation be put on the chasuble or the stole, or it should be something Eucharistic? Would you like to provide the documents of the Church instructing about this topic? – N.S.K, Copperbelt Province, Zambia

Ending the Second Office Reading

May 6, 2023

Question: When the Office of Readings is celebrated publicly with a congregation, how does the reader/lector/ priest end the second reading? I have heard different lectors/priests saying different endings. Does he say, “End of the reading,” or “Word of the Church”? Or should he repeat at the end of the reading once again from where the reading was taken? For example: “This was a reading taken from the Sermons of St. Augustine.” Can you throw some light on this? -- J.V., Pune, Maharashtra, India

Praying the 1962 Divine Office

April 30, 2023

Question: From the day of my diaconate ordination, I will be obliged to pray the breviary. My problem is that I have been using the 1962 Divinum Officium for many years now, which was fine with Summorum Pontificum, and I have come to love it for many reasons. Now I am unsure whether I will be able to fulfill my obligation under the law in force (Traditionis Custodes). I have been given contrary answers from several priests. The one point is that the breviary constitutes an official and not personal prayer. On the other hand, it seems uncertain whether Traditionis Custodes does affect the breviary, and whether the validity of the 1962 breviary could be abrogated at all. I am very confused because of the different answers. I would take up the Liturgia Horarum only if necessary, as I appreciate the Divinum Officium so much for its spiritual depth. I would like to mention that I am aware that the obligation to pray the breviary is a strict one that binds under pain of mortal sin, so please note that your answer may have an impact on the way I will proceed in the time after ordination. -- T.G., Germany

A Revised Liturgy of the Hours

April 17, 2023

Question: Do you know if a revision of the Liturgy of the Hours is planned or even underway? -- V.S., Mobile, Alabama

Octaves of Easter and Christmas

April 1, 2023

Question: The Church's calendar has two remaining octaves: Christmas and Easter. My understanding of an octave is that the feast being commemorated is so significant that one day is not enough to celebrate the depth of the feast. In the Easter octave, each day is celebrated as if it were Easter Day; no other feasts are celebrated during the octave. The Christmas octave, however, is different; there are indeed feasts that are celebrated or at least possible in conjunction with celebrating Christmas Day. Why is the Christmas octave different from the Easter octave? – V.S., Mobile, Alabama

Exposition During a Via Crucis

March 25, 2023

Question: I can understand reciting the rosary and the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary at a holy hour when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed, but what about public Stations of the Cross? -- C.M.B., Ojai, California

Homilist During the Easter Triduum

March 18, 2023

Question: For Good Friday and Holy Thursday, the Roman Missal states the priest gives the homily. Does the priest have the option to delegate the homily to a deacon on these days? I've seen some information that one reason it says this explicitly is that since Good Friday isn't a Mass, this directive avoids the potential of the homily being delegated to a layperson. -- G.P., Ann Arbor, Michigan

Prayer Over the People

March 11, 2023

Question: Why is there not a formula of the solemn blessing for the Lenten season Sundays as well as ferial days? -- D.Z., Beijing

Liturgical Colors in Holy Week

March 4, 2023

Question: I have a query concerning the liturgical colors. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) in No. 346.b says: "As regards the color of sacred vestments, traditional usage should be observed, namely: [...] b) The color red is used on Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion and on Friday of Holy Week (Good Friday), on Pentecost Sunday, on celebrations of the Lord’s Passion, on the ‘birthday’ feast days of Apostles and Evangelists, and on celebrations of Martyr Saints." However, the traditional usage since the time of Innocent III was to use black for Good Friday, as a vestige of the oldest usage where black was used during the entirety of both the penitential seasons (De sacro altaris mysterio I.64). By the time of the Tridentine Missal, violet had replaced black all across Lent and Advent, except on Good Friday, which is apparently why Palm Sunday's liturgical color was also previously violet instead of red. I would like to ask what prompted the change to the use of red for both solemnities? Also, is there a lawful precedent by which the celebrant may vest in black for Good Friday or violet for Palm Sunday to observe the traditional usage per GIRM 346? -- A.U., Phoenix, Arizona

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