Permanent Candles at the Ambo

December 11, 2022

Question: Is it proper to have permanent candles on one side of the ambo (not just at the proclamation of the Gospel)? We have two candles on one side of the altar and the same at the ambo. It seems better to have the four candles symmetrically at the altar and none at the ambo. -- M.G., Orlando, Florida

Processions at the end of Mass

December 4, 2022

Question: I watched a live stream of Christmas Mass officiated by the Holy Father. I noticed that he concluded with the final blessing of the Mass and then started the Infant procession to the crèche inside the basilica. According to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal [GIRM] No. 384, it should be without the Benediction. What is your opinion? — D.Z., Beijing

Purification of Pyxes

November 26, 2022

Question: Thank you for your helpful indications regarding the distribution of pyxes to bring Holy Communion to the sick (see October 30column). Are there any guidelines for the purification of said pyxes? Often, when I bring Communion to the infirm, I notice that there are small particles of the sacred species left in the pyx (especially after fracturing a host for someone who finds it hard to swallow an entire host), and so I've undertaken the practice of purifying the pyx after each Communion visit. However, this is a personal practice, and not something that I have extended to or expected of our extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion to the sick. Should a priest, deacon, or acolyte be purifying their pyxes on a regular basis? Are there liturgical guidelines or historical precedent to guide us? -- S.W.,Sacramento, California


Music at the Consecration

November 20, 2022

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

Proper Attire and Location of Masters of Ceremonies

November 12, 2022

Question: My first question is about the proper attire of the master of ceremonies during a liturgical celebration. There are times that we see a master of ceremonies wearing a white cassock and a surplice, without any difference from the instituted acolytes and lectors serving during the liturgical celebration. Other times, we notice that the master of ceremonies is vested like any other concelebrant priest, whether in alb and stole or alb, stole and chasuble. There are also times that we see a master of ceremonies wearing a purple cassock and a surplice like the two masters of ceremonies of the Holy Father. These three situations are quite confusing because there is no clear rule. Are there any regulations for the attire of the master of ceremonies? 

Mentioning a Blessed in Eucharistic Prayer I

November 6, 2022

Question: When a marble altar was consecrated by the bishop, he placed a first-class relic (blood-drenched cotton) in a small niche in the altar, sealed with a marble cover. Now, I have always mentioned the blessed’s name, the foundress of a religious congregation who have a retreat house within my parish, in the Roman Canon of the Mass, and pasted a typed name in the appropriate place in the altar missal. Is it permissible, licit, valid, to recite viva voce, the blessed’s name within the canon? If not, may I recite the name silently? -- F.A.C., Comayagua, Honduras

Pyxes Left on the Altar

October 30, 2022

Question: Is it lawful for priests to leave newly consecrated Hosts (in pyxes) on top of the altar right after the dismissal, veneration of the altar, and recession at the end of the Mass, and then let the extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion go to the altar by themselves immediately after Mass to get their pyxes with consecrated Hosts for them to bring to the sick? And is there a "proper" procedure (that is, prayers, etc.) for the extraordinary ministers in giving Communion to the sick outside the Mass? --M.A.S., Iloilo City, Philippines

Recorded Music in Lieu of Singing

October 24, 2022

Question: I have attended a Mass at a place where they use recorded music instead of singing. Is this permitted? – J.W., Santa Cruz, California

Proper Prefaces

October 16, 2022

Question: The prefaces for martyrs, holy pastors, holy virgins, and religious all say they “may” be used for memorials. So, on a memorial such as Saint Maximilian Kolbe, could the preface be I or II of Martyrs, Holy Pastors, Holy Virgins and Religious, or I or II of Saints? It seems that diocesan ordos are rather haphazard in how they treat this. -- O.K., Irving, Texas

St. Michael's Prayer Before the Final Blessing

October 9, 2022

Question: In light of your 2018 article "St. Michael Prayer at Mass," is it lawful for a priest to let the faithful pray that prayer right before the final blessing, that is, even before the Mass has ended? May he have this prayer prayed at the particular part before the final blessing even without the bishop's permission? And even if that priest was indeed given permission by his bishop, will doing so still be lawful, taking into consideration Inter Oecumenici no. 48-j? Also, is praying other additional prayers (e.g., Oratio Imperata, novena prayers) during the "announcement" part before the final blessing allowed? -- M.A.S., Philippines

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