The Showing of the Holy Cross

February 25, 2023

Question: During the celebration of the service of the Lord’s Passion in the afternoon on Good Friday, pertaining to the procession of the cross to the altar before the veneration, the sacramentary gives two indications. 1) That the cross "unveiled" may be carried in procession by the minister with two candles, and "Behold the wood of the cross" is intoned three times from the entrance, the middle, and at the altar; then afterward it's put at the place prepared for the veneration. 2) The second form says the minister carries the veiled cross with two candles to the sanctuary and then, facing the people, intones the "Behold the wood of the cross" three times while unveiling the cross slowly. My concern is that most priests combine the two forms in my country. They veil the cross and sing the chant three times, at the entrance, middle, and at the sanctuary. Is this also OK? Or does one need to stick to one form, as seen in the sacramentary? -- N.A., Cape Coast, Ghana

When a Priest in Mortal Sin Celebrates Mass

February 18, 2023


Question: If a priest is not in the state of sanctifying grace, is the Mass and consecration lawful? And if a priest, bishop or cardinal publicly promotes same-sex marriages or the blessings of same-sex unions, is that person in a state of sanctifying grace? -- T.B., Courtenay, British Columbia

Singing at the Entrance and the Recessional

February 12, 2023

Question: I attend a parish where every Mass begins with a sung antiphon of two or three verses and then is immediately followed by a full entrance hymn; the recessional is done the same way: a sung antiphon followed by a recessional hymn. This seems repetitive to me, as in we should have either the antiphon or the hymn. Is this proper? -- V.S., Mobile, Alabama

Polish National Church and Communion

February 4, 2023

Question: In the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church, is someone baptized and who's made their first Communion in the Polish National Catholic Church permitted to receive Communion at a Roman Catholic church? – S.S.


Music and Singing at the Consecration

January 29, 2023

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

On 4 Points of the Mass

January 21, 2023

Question: Is it proper for the priest-celebrant to begin the Introductory Rites on the altar and not at the chair? (cf. General Instruction of the Roman Missal, Nos. 50, 124, 174, 211, 310). 2) Regarding GIRM No. 90, concerning “Brief Announcements,” how important and concise should they be? Do you think things like giving certificates, singing carols, etc., should be done at this juncture? 3) In GIRM No. 365, on the choice of the four Eucharistic Prayers, are these mere suggestions or an enforced rubric? 4) In a Commentary on the Reformed Ordo Missae by Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, he says one may follow the traditional incensation of the offerings but must omit the traces of crosses and circles as "they smack of magic." A similar question was also posed to Rome (cf. Notitiae 14 (1978): 301–302, n. 2); the answer said that "the many and complex gestures of incensation according to the prescripts of the earlier Missal ... are not to be repeated," and the incensation must be followed according to the GIRM. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, during his pontificate, spoke much about enriching both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Mass. The question is, in this case, is Rome correct, or should the late Pope Emeritus' recommendations be followed? Why or why not? -- J.A., San Pablo, Philippines


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

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