Hand Gestures by Cantors and Lectors

November 14, 2021

Q. I often see cantors or lectors raise their right hand when they are wanting the congregation to respond or participate at Mass. Is this a permissible hand gesture at Mass or should it be discouraged? -- N.H., Kansas City, Kansas

Confession at End of Life

November 7, 2021

Question: At the time of death, to make a final confession, how does one go about recalling sins of a lifetime, although they have been confessed and forgiven during a lifetime. What does a final confession entail? -- E.C., Calgary, Alberta

Location of the Choir

October 30, 2021

Q: I am relatively new in the Catholic faith, and it would be my desire to learn the right things from the word go. I recently found myself confused regarding the location of the choir with respect to the ambo and the sanctuary. The information I've heard doesn't have historical backing. It keeps changing, and I wish for some clarity on this issue. -- A.N., Nairobi, Kenya

Bride and Groom as Readers at Wedding Mass

October 24, 2021

Q: In the Vietnamese wedding Mass, the bride and the groom usually read the Lectionary. Some people say that the bride and the groom shouldn’t do it because of the following reasons. First, some brides and grooms can’t read the Lectionary very well. Second, they don’t wear the clothes of the minister of the Word, but rather a wedding dress and a suit. For these reasons, some parish priests prohibit the bride and groom from reading the Lectionary. On the contrary, some people say that the bride and groom should do it because many have the ability to read well and they can practice the readings. Moreover, they would love to read the Lectionary for their solemn wedding Mass. -- D.T., Phu Cuong, Vietnam

White as a Default Liturgical Color

October 17, 2021

Q: Everybody assumes that the default liturgical color is white. In other words, they say that the white color can be used for every Mass. For example, if you are traveling for a week and you are going to celebrate Mass in a hotel room, you only need to pack in your suitcase white ornaments, instead of packing the various liturgical colors needed for that week. Another example, in Masses with a big number of concelebrants, the majority of them wear white ornaments, regardless of the liturgical color of the day, if there are not enough ornaments of the liturgical color of the day for the concelebrants. I assume this is right, but I cannot find anything in the liturgical norms in this regard. Could you tell me if this assumption is right? If so, is there any liturgical law that approves this practice? -- D.A., Granada, Spain

Blessings and Replated Sacred Vessels

October 10, 2021

Q. I sent my 57-year-old chalice and paten to have the inside of the cup and the top of the paten replated with gold. It was consecrated by a bishop back at that time, something that is not done anymore. My question is: Is it necessary to bless the chalice and paten before using them for Mass? -- J.H.,Austin, Texas

Concelebrants at the “Mysterium Fidei”

October 3, 2021

Q: I noticed that in the booklets for concelebration recently published in Spanish, it says that the concelebrants are not to say the acclamation after the "Mysterium fidei," which only the people are supposed to say. I had never heard or read that before, and checking in the concelebration booklets in Latin (2009) and English, I found that they explicitly stated that the concelebrants say this together with the people. On the one hand, it is absolutely clear that in a Mass with only priests concelebrating, the “Mysterium fidei” is omitted. Are the priests in a Mass with people not to say the acclamation? Where do they get this from? Does that apply to all the other answers where in the Missal it says "The people"? For example, in the offertory reply, "Blessed be God forever"? What about Masses when no laity are present, and the greetings and blessings are omitted -- should that also be the case when only priests are present? -- A.S., Ulestraten, Netherlands

On Who Should Receive the Offertory Gifts

September 26, 2021

Q: Who should receive the gifts from the offertory procession? The deacon, if present, or the celebrant? There seems to be a growing trend for the deacon, assisted by altar servers, to receive the gifts at the edge of the sanctuary while the celebrant remains seated at the chair. The deacon prepares the chalice, at which point the celebrant comes to the altar. Is this proper? -- S.M., Evansville, Indiana

Adjusting Texts for Number and Gender

September 19, 2021

Q: I am aware that a priest cannot change the approved liturgical texts used in Mass. However, I have a doubt regarding the mention of saints, the living and the deceased in the liturgical texts. Can a priest change the number and gender of the prayers to adapt them to a concrete celebration? -- D.A., Granada, Spain

Blessing With the Book of the Gospels

September 12, 2021

Q: Who can bless the congregation with the Book of the Gospels after the proclamation of the Gospel? Is it true that it can only be done by bishops? Sometimes I hear that the provincials of religious orders can also do it since they are considered as “bishops” for their order. Is this true? -- M.Z., Malta

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