Placement of the Book of the Gospels

June 18, 2023

Question: In my diocese, when the Book of the Gospels is carried at the entrance procession the deacon places it at a little lectern beside the altar. Is this right? I thought the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) states that the Book of the Gospels is placed on the altar. Also, can you enlighten me on the practice of carrying lighted candles for the reading of the Gospel during Easter season? In my diocese many priests believe that with the presence of the paschal candle the altar servers should not carry candles for the Gospel. Is this correct? -- G.O., Orlu, Nigeria

When Chrism Spills on a Chasuble

June 11, 2023

Question: A priest accidentally poured a large amount of chrism on his chasuble. Are there any directives or suggestions about how to launder this? Is there anything that needs to be done before it can be sent to the cleaners? -- S.T., Sacramento, California

Blow to the Cheek at Confirmation

June 2, 2023

Question: When celebrating the sacrament of confirmation, is it right for the bishop or his delegate to slap the candidates on their right cheeks at the words, "Peace be with you"? Maybe as a sign that they are now soldiers for Christ in the world? Also, what is the reason that bishops may impart blessings with the Book of the Gospels? And why is only the Book of the Gospels carried in procession for the Mass but not the lectionary? -- S.T.M., Benue State, Nigeria

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

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