More on Purification of Vessels

July 10, 2022

Question: This is a follow-up to the question-and-answer last week regarding deacons purifying vessels at the altar or credence table. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal, No. 183, was referenced in your response. I wonder if the 2004 instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum could also inform the answer, though I know it pre-dates the GIRM. 

Purification by a Deacon at Credence Table

July 3, 2022

Question: It is a custom in many dioceses in the United States for the celebrant to sit down after the distribution of Communion, while the deacon purifies the sacred vessels at the altar. Yet there is a note from the USCCB newsletter indicating that, if the vessels are purified during Mass at the altar (if not done at the credence table), then the deacon cannot purify them at the altar (see Page 15 of the attached document). In places where it is the custom for the vessels to be purified during Mass – and this is usually at daily Mass with smaller congregations – I usually purify at the altar while the deacon is at my side, who then hands the vessels to the servers and dresses the chalice with the veil, etc. Do you have any thoughts? -- G.S., Denver, Colorado 

Where Communion Should Be Distributed

June 26, 2022

Question: During communion at Mass, is there any guideline or indication as to where the ministers should stand to distribute to the faithful? It seems that most priests prefer to step down off of the last sanctuary step so as to be on the same ground level as the faithful, while a few others prefer to remain a step up so as to remain in the sanctuary. It seems one could argue symbolic significance for both locations. Sometimes the Church architecture with tight space in front of the altar requires the distributors to stand a step up. Is there an expressed preference in any of the guidelines? -- W.P., Leipsic, Ohio

When the Precious Blood Spills

June 18, 2022

Question: Can you explain the proper procedures when a chalice of consecrated wine is spilled during the Mass? -- R.H., Grand Rapids, Michigan

When a Church Is Used Again for Liturgy

June 12, 2022

Question: I have a somewhat technical question. A church building was originally dedicated in 1895. However, during the 1970s it briefly and illegally fell into non-Christian hands, liturgical worship was interrupted, and the high altar removed. After a while, the building was restored to Church ownership, and worship was renewed with a simple Mass on a new altar. Did this brief interruption constitute a loss of consecration? Finally, is the anniversary of the dedication automatically a solemnity in the Church or does this require a special decree to celebrate the solemnity? -- C.V., Middle East

The Hours at Eucharistic Adoration

June 5, 2022

Question: Can we integrate the Liturgy of the Hours during the Eucharist adoration? -- R.M., Meghalaya state, India

Composing the Prayer of the Faithful

May 29, 2022

Question: Please, would you say something about the "Prayer of the Faithful," the prayers of petition prayed by a reader after the Creed on Sundays? Is there a rule or tradition about who composes them? As they are "of the Faithful," it seems logical that the faithful should write them as well as pray them. In my parish, a team of three or four people takes turns every month to prepare these prayers. I volunteered when there was an appeal for more involvement in the parish. We have a new parish priest and he often does his own prayers or edits the ones from the team. – R.K., South West London

Folded Hands at Reading of the Gospel

May 22, 2022

Question: I would like to know why it is that when a priest or deacon proclaims the Gospel he does so with "folded hands." What is the significance of introducing the Gospel without extending the hands? In the seminary, we were not taught about this. Hence today many priests and deacons (including bishops) extend their hands when proclaiming the Gospel. ─ G.V.D., Pretoria, South Africa

Baptism When Euthanasia Looms

May 15, 2022

Question: Here in Canada, euthanasia is legal – it is called medical assistance in dying. If a Catholic layperson is in the presence of someone who is about to be euthanized (death is imminent but still avoidable), would he be permitted to baptize the person who is about to die if the person requests it? -- T.B., Courtenay, British Columbia

Alternate Masses in Easter Season

May 8, 2022

Question: Are optional memorials and memorials celebrated during Easter week? For example, in the fourth week of Easter can we celebrate the optional memorials given there for saints and Our Lady of Fatima? – A.O., Savannah, Georgia

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