Plenary Indulgence at Point of Death

September 5, 2021

Q: Pope Paul VI’s apostolic constitution on indulgences, Indulgentiarum Doctrina, mentions in No. 18 the plenary indulgence at the point of death. Therein he makes reference to Canon 468, paragraph 2 of the Code of Canon Law. It appears, however, that the Code he is referring to is that of 1917. My question is whether the indulgence is still in force, and if any conditions for gaining it have been changed? -- G.B., Saint Venera, Malta

Where a Homily Should Be Given

August 29, 2021

Q: Should a priest give his homily from the ambo, or can it be from the altar? -- S.W., Masai, Malaysia

A: The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) is rather sparse regarding this point.

No. 136 says: "The priest, standing at the chair or at the ambo itself or, when appropriate, in another suitable place, gives the homily. When the homily is completed, a period of silence may be observed."

Offertory Antiphons

August 15, 2021

Q: The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) speaks of an antiphon for the offertory at Mass, but the only place I have seen offertory antiphons is in missals for the extraordinary form; neither the now-defunct missals of the ordinary form nor the newly translated missals contain this antiphon. Do you know what happened to the offertory antiphon? Did the Latin "Novus Ordo" ever have them? If so, why were they dropped, and why would the GIRM speak of them? If not, why not? And if they do exist in Latin, why weren't they translated into English and given to us so that we can use them, as the Church obviously wishes? -- M.D., Cheyenne, Wyoming

A Hail Mary at the End of General Intercessions

July 26, 2021

Q: What sort of prayer is supposed to be recited at the conclusion of the Prayer of the Faithful? Is it permitted to substitute the Memorare for the Hail Mary? -- J.M., Harare, Zimbabwe

Mass Intention in the Prayer of the Faithful

July 18, 2021

Q: Some parishes here have the intention(s) of the Mass added in the Prayer of the Faithful, or general intercessions. Is that an acceptable liturgical practice? -- T.C., City of Navotas, Philippines

Funerals With Cremated Remains

July 11, 2021

Questio: During the funeral Mass when the cremated remains are present, are the remains sprinkled with holy water and reverenced with incense at the final commendation? -- D.Y., Winnipeg, Manitoba

Arriving Late to Mass

July 4, 2021

Q: How late can a person be to Mass for it to count? Does it count if they arrive just for Communion? -- T.F., Westminster, Colorado

Consuming the Host at the End of a Procession

June 27, 2021

Q: Is it permissible to consume the Blessed Sacrament after it has been used in a procession, even when it arrives at a location (with an empty tabernacle) where Mass is going to be celebrated? -- C.W., West Palm Beach, Florida

Anniversary Mass in Lieu of Obligatory Memorial

June 14, 2021

Q: If the anniversary of the ordination of a priest falls on a day that is an obligatory memorial or a feast, which Mass can he celebrate? Is it permissible to use the prayers of the anniversary instead of the prayers of the memorial or feast? -- G.O., Orlu, Nigeria

On Stoles, Cinctures, Albs and Surplices

June 6, 2021

Q: I am a priest ordained before the post-conciliar liturgical reforms. At that time, we crossed the stole and secured it in place with the cincture under the chasuble. Also, in those days I don’t recall ever wearing a stole over an alb to preach or to officiate in any other circumstances. Rather we wore the stole over a surplice. No cincture. We no longer cross the stole...[continued] 

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