Approval and Confirmation of USA edition of the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani
On November 12, 2002, the Latin Church members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops approved a revised edition of the ICEL translation of the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani, editio typica tertia with 239 Bishops voting in the affirmative 6 against and 1 abstention. Because the USCCB counts among its members 267 Latin Church Bishops, the motion required the consent of 179 members for passage. This action was confirmed by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in a Decree dated March 17, 2003 (Prot. N.2235/02/L). The text of the Congregation’s decree is provided here for the information of our readers:
On March 17, 2003, Bishop Wilton Gregory, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops published the following decree by which this edition of General Instruction of the Roman Missal may be used immediately in preparing and celebrating the liturgy. The universal law contained in the Insitutio Generalis Missalis Romani took effect upon its publication as a part of the Missali Romanum in March, 2001. The USA adaptations which have been incorporated into this edition of the General Instruction became particular law for the dioceses of the United States of America by decree of Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, USCC President, on April 25, 2002.
CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP
AND THE DISCIPLINE OF THE SACRAMENTS
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICAAt the request of His Excellency, the Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory, Bishop of Belleville, President of the Conference of Bishops of the United States of America, in a letter of November 13, 2002, and in virtue of the faculties granted to this Congregation by the Supreme Pontiff JOHN PAUL II, we gladly confirm and approve the English translation of the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani, excerpted from the third typical edition of the same Missal, as in the attached copy.
Two copies of the printed text should be forwarded to this Congregation.
All things to the contrary notwithstanding.
From the offices of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, March 17, 2003.
+Francis Cardinal Arinze
+Franciscus Pius Tamburrino
DECREE OF PUBLICATION
In accord with the norms established by decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites in Cum nostra ætate (January 27, 1966), this edition of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, is declared to be the vernacular typical edition of the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani, editio typica tertia in the dioceses of the United States of America, and is published by authority of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
In an attached letter (Prot 2234/02/L), Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, noted that “the Congregation judges the present text to be accurate and sufficient to the needs of the popular catechesis on the Missale Romanum which has been so earnestly undertaken by the Bishops of your Conference.” “In order to ensure a close correspondence between the yet to be translated rubrics and incipits of the prayers of the Ordo Missae of the Missale Romanum and the Institutio Generalis.” Cardinal Arinze described the confirmation as provisional and reserved the right to refine these “stylistic and terminological concerns” prior to the inclusion of the text in a USA edition of the Roman Missal, noting that such refinements “should not impede pastoral use” of the present confirmed translation.
The Cardinal Prefect likewise expressed “appreciation for the various ways in which the USCCB has sought to implement in a timely fashion the provisions of the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia.” In closing, he expressed gratitude for “the generous spirit of cooperation that has marked relations between the Conference and the Congregation in recent years [which] has greatly facilitated the present state of progress in this question, as in many others, not least the English-language translation of the book De Ordinatione. The overall picture is one of a steady advance toward the publication of a range of liturgical books which both ‘testify to the stability achieved and are worthy of the mysteries bring celebrated.’ (Vicesimus quintus annus, no. 20).
Holy Thursday and Good Friday and the Missale Romanum
The Chrism Mass
The text for Holy Thursday begins with a rubric formerly located at the beginning of the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper prohibiting all Masses without a congregation on Holy Thursday (Missale Romanum, “Rubrics for Holy Thursday, Chrism Mass” (CM, no. 1). The General Instruction of the Roman Missal seems to encourage priests to concelebrate at both the Chrism Mass and the Mass of the Lord’s Supper when it says in paragraph 204: “A priest who has concelebrated the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday may also celebrate or concelebrate the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper.”
Two new rubrics are inserted indicating that the blessing of the Oil of the Sick and the Oil of the Catechumens and the consecration of the Chrism are done according to the Order described in the Roman Pontifical (CM, no. 2). In our present Sacramentary this rite is found in the appendix. While the rubrics indicate that this Mass is usually celebrated in the morning, indication is given that if it is difficult for the clergy and people to gather then the Chrism Mass may be anticipated on another day near Easter (CM, no.3). Both of these rubrics appeared in the text of the blessing in Appendix II of our present Sacramentary. They also appear in no. 275 of the Ceremonial of Bishops.
The time for the blessing of oils has also been addressed in a newly composed rubric indicating that the blessing of the Oil of the Sick may take place before the end of the Eucharistic prayer. This positioning goes back to the Gelasian and the Gregorian Sacramentaries. Within the Eucharistic Prayer, the greatest prayer of consecration, a new wave of blessing is poured forth on the oil to be used for the sick. The blessing of the Oil of Catechumens and the consecration of the Chrism takes place after Communion. For pastoral reasons, the entire rite of blessing may take place after the liturgy of the word (CM, no. 5).
After the reading of the Gospel, the Bishop is to give a homily. The editio typica tertia is more precise about this than the previous rubric. It indicates : “…taking as a starting point the texts of the readings which were proclaimed in the Liturgy of the Word, he speaks to the people and to the priest about the priestly anointing, urging the priests to be faithful in fulfilling their office and inviting them to renew publicly their priestly promises” (CM, no.8). The Renewal of Commitment to Priestly Service remains as it is in the present Sacramentary.
There follows a change in rubrics. Whereas, before, both the profession of faith and the general intercessions were omitted, now only the profession of faith is omitted and the general intercessions follow (CM, no.10).
Music for the Preface of the Priesthood of Christ and the Ministry of Priests is provided in place in the Missale Romanum.
Finally, a new rubric is provided that indicates “a reception of the Holy Oils may take place in every parish either before the celebration of the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper or at another time that seems appropriate” (CM, no. 15). The Reception of the Holy Oils Blessed at the Chrism Mass is no longer in print. Since this can be a means of catechizing the faithful about the use and effects of the Holy Oils and Chrism in Christian life, we are making it available on the USCCB website, nccbuscc.org/liturgy/index.shtml. The link reads the reception of the Holy Oils blessed at the Chrism Mass.
Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper
The Ceremonial of Bishops sets the context in no. 297: “With this Mass, celebrated in the evening of the Thursday in Holy Week, the Church begins the sacred Easter Triduum and devotes herself to the remembrance of the Last Supper. At the super on the night he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus, loving those who were his own in the world even to the end, offered his Body and Blood to the Father under the appearance of bread and wine, gave them to the apostles to eat and drink, then enjoined the apostles and their successors in the priesthood to offer them in turn. This Mass is, first of all, the memorial of the institution of the eucharist, that is, of the Memorial of the Lord’s Passover, by which under sacramental signs he perpetuated among us the sacrifice of the New Law. The Mass of the Lord’s Supper is also the memorial of the institution of the priesthood, by which Christ’s mission and sacrifice are perpetuated in the world. In addition, this Mass is the memorial of that love by which the Lord loved us even to death…”
The rubrics, by way of exception, allow for the local Ordinary to permit another Mass in churches and oratories to be celebrated in the evening, and, in the case of genuine necessity, even in the morning. Such Masses are provided for those who are in no way able to participate in the evening Mass and not for the advantage of individuals or (newly added) special small groups (Missale Romanum, “Rubrics for The Evening Mass” (EM, no.3).
The rubrics then make a mention of the liturgical decoration. “The altar may be decorated with flowers with a moderation that reflects the character of the day” (EM, no.5).
The Church bells are rung during the singing of the Gloria and then remain silent unless the “diocesan Bishop, as circumstances suggest, decides otherwise” (EM, no.7). The decision about this matter no longer involves the conference of bishops. A further musical specification is provided: “the organ and other musical instruments may be used only to support the singing” (EM, no. 7)
The rubric following the washing of the feet is more descriptive than the presently existing one: “After the washing of the feet, the priest washes and dries his hands, puts the chasuble back on, and returns to the chair, and from there he directs the General Intercessions. The Creed is not said” (EM, no. 13).
In a new rubric it is noted that “at an appropriate time during Communion, the priest may entrust the Eucharist from the table of the altar to the deacons or acolytes or other extraordinary ministers, so that afterwards it may be brought to the sick who must communicate at home” (EM, no. 33). This may require that parishes do some preliminary planning for this to successfully happen.
It is explicitly stated that the prayer after Communion is said by the priest “standing at the chair” (EM, no. 35).
The order of procession is more carefully described for the transfer of the Blessed Sacrament to the place of reposition. Newly added is the description : “A lay minister with a cross between two others with lit candles follow. Before the priest carrying the Blessed Sacrament comes the censer bearer with a smoking censer” (EM, no. 38).
The directions for what the priest should do once he reaches the place of reposition have been supplemented. “…the priest, with the help of the deacon if necessary, places the ciborium in the tabernacle, the door of which remains open” (EM, no.39). He then incenses the Blessed Sacrament while Tantum Ergo Sacramentum or another Eucharistic song is sung. Then the “deacon or the priest himself places the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle and closes the door” (EM, no. 39).
The previous Missale Romanum seemed to indicate that the stripping of the altar followed immediately whereas the new Missale Romanum notes that “at an appropriate time” the altar is stripped (EM. no. 41).
The faithful are “invited” in the new Missale Romanum to spend time in adoration. It was formerly indicated that the faithful “should be encouraged” (EM, no. 43).
A totally new rubric is found at the end of Holy Thursday. “If in the same church the celebration of the Lord’s Passion on the following Friday does not take place, the Mass is concluded in the usual way and the Blessed Sacrament is placed in the tabernacle (EM, no. 44).
The very first rubric for Good Friday indicates that only the sacraments of the Anointing of the Sick and Penance are celebrated on Good Friday and Holy Saturday (Missale Romanum, “Rubrics for Good Friday” (GF,) no.1.)
The rubric for the celebrant’s and deacon’s reverence has been somewhat changed. “After making a reverence to the altar, they prostrate themselves or, according to circumstances humble themselves on their knees and pray for a while. All others humble themselves on their knees” (GF, no. 5). The “Circular Letter Concerning the Preparation and Celebration of the Easter Feasts” describes the significance of this action as “the abasement of ‘earthly man’ and also the grief and sorrow of the Church” (no. 65).
The new rubric in the Missale Romanum makes it explicitly clear that the celebrant says the opening prayer with hands outstretched “omitting the invitation, Let us pray” (GF, no.6).
Liturgy of the Word
The rubrics indicate that at the end of the homily, “the faithful may be invited to spend a brief period of time in prayer” (GF, no. 10).
The General Intercessions come down to us in a form derived from ancient tradition and they reflect the full range of intentions. In case of serious public need, the diocesan Bishop may either permit or decree the addition of a special intention (GF, no. 13).
The previous rubrics spoke of the deacon as giving the introductions to the General Intercessions. The Missale Romanum indicates that a “lay minister” may do this in the absence of a deacon (GF, no. 11).
The deacon’s invitation Let us kneel- Let us stand may be used as an invitation to the priest’s prayer. The Conference of Bishops may provide other invitations to introduce the prayer of the priest (GF, no. 12). The Missale Romanum notes that when the deacon’s invitations are used then the prayer is sung in a solemn tone by the priest (GF, no. 13). These tones are given in the Missale Romanum in the Appendix.
Adoration of the Holy Cross
The rubrics for this section begin immediately with the first form of Showing the Cross. The deacon or another suitable minister goes to the sacristy and obtains the veiled cross. Accompanied by two ministers with lighted candles, the veiled cross is brought to the center of the sanctuary in procession. The priest accepts the cross and the standing before the altar (not “at the altar” as previously indicated) and facing the people, uncovers the upper part of the cross, the right arm and then the entire cross. Each time he sings This is the wood of the cross…(GF, no. 15).
The second form of the adoration of the cross which takes place at the door of the church, in the middle of the church and before entering the sanctuary has not changed (GF, no.16).
The priest or deacon may then carry the cross to the entrance of the sanctuary or another suitable place (GF, no.17).
The first person to adore the Cross is the priest celebrant. If circumstances suggest, he takes off his chasuble and his shoes. The clergy, lay ministers and the faithful then approach (GF, no.18).
The personal adoration of the cross is an important feature in this celebration and every effort should be made to achieve it. The rubrics remind us that “only one cross” should be used for adoration. If the numbers are so great that all can not come forward, the priest, after some of the clergy and faithful have adored the cross, can take the cross and stand in the center before the altar. In a few words he invites the people to adore the Cross. He then elevates the cross higher for a brief period of time while the faithful adore it in silence (GF, no. 19). Pastorally, it should be kept in mind that when a sufficiently large cross is used even a large community can reverence it in due time. The foot of the cross as well as the right and left arm can be approached and venerated. Coordination with ushers and planning the flow of people beforehand can allow for this part of the liturgy to be celebrated with decorum and devotion.
The Missale Romanum gives specific directions as to the music used during the adoration. The antiphons We worship you, Lord, the reproaches, the hymns Faithful Cross, or other suitable songs are sung. Totally new is the indication: “According to local circumstances or traditions of the people and pastoral appropriateness, the Stabat Mater may be sung, according to the Graduale Romanum, or another appropriate chant in memory of the compassion of the Blessed Virgin Mary” (GR, no. 20).
The cross is then carried by the deacon or other suitable minister to its place at the altar. Lighted candles are then placed around or on the top of the altar or near the cross (GF, no. 21).
The rubric is specific that either the deacon or priest bringing the Blessed Sacrament to the altar puts on a humeral veil. Rather than indicate there is no procession, the rubric says the deacon or priest brings the Blessed Sacrament back from the place of reposition “by a shorter route”. All stand in silence. The rubric for the priest has been shortened, indicating that “the priest goes to the altar and genuflects” (GF, no. 22).
The priest communicates after This is the Lamb of God. There is a new rubric that notes the priest is to say privately, May the Body of Christ bring me to everlasting life. (GF, no. 27).
Mention is made that Psalm 22 (21) may be sung during the distribution of communion or another appropriate chant (GF, no. 28). After Communion either the deacon or another suitable minister takes the ciborium to a place prepared outside the church, or, if circumstances require, may place it in the tabernacle (GF, no. 29).
The priest then says Let us pray and, “after observing, according to circumstances, some period of sacred silence, says the prayer after Communion” (GF, no. 30). The Missale Romanum in this instance emphasizes the period of silence after Let us pray.
Before the Prayer Over the People the priest, if there is no deacon, may say the invitation: Bow your heads and pray for God’s blessing (GF, no. 31).
The previous rubric mentioned only that all depart in silence. The new rubric notes “after genuflecting toward the Cross,” all depart in silence (GF, no. 32).
It is then indicated that the altar is stripped after the celebration. “The cross remains upon the altar with two to four candles” (GF, no. 33).
Pope John Paul II on Music and the Liturgy
In the course of his remarks to the General Audience on February 26, 2003, Pope John Paul II continued his commentary on the Psalms and Canticles of the Liturgy of the Hours. Reflecting on Psalm 150 and the subject: “Music and hymnody should be worthy of the greatness of the Liturgy.”
1. Psalm 150, which we have just proclaimed, rings out for the second time in the Liturgy of Lauds: a festive hymn, an "alleluia" to the rhythm of music. It sets a spiritual seal on the whole Psalter, the book of praise, of song, of the liturgy of Israel.
The text is marvelously simple and transparent. We should just let ourselves be drawn in by the insistent call to praise the Lord: "Praise the Lord ... praise him ... praise him!". The Psalm opens presenting God in the two fundamental aspects of his mystery. Certainly, he is transcendent, mysterious, beyond our horizon: his royal abode is the heavenly "sanctuary", "his mighty heavens", a fortress that is inaccessible for the human being. Yet he is close to us: he is present in the "holy place" of Zion and acts in history through his "mighty deeds" that reveal and enable one to experience "his surpassing greatness" (cf. vv. 1-2).
2. Thus between heaven and earth a channel of communication is established in which the action of the Lord meets the hymn of praise of the faithful. The liturgy unites the two holy places, the earthly temple and the infinite heavens, God and man, time and eternity.
During the prayer, we accomplish an ascent towards the divine light and together experience a descent of God who adapts himself to our limitations in order to hear and speak to us, meet us and save us. The Psalmist readily urges us to find help for our praise in the prayerful encounter: sound the musical instruments of the orchestra of the temple of Jerusalem, such as the trumpet, harp, lute, drums, flutes and cymbals. Moving in procession was also part of the ritual of Jerusalem (cf. Ps 117,27). The same appeal echoes in Psalm 46,8): "Sing praise with all your skill!".
3. Hence, it is necessary to discover and to live constantly the beauty of prayer and of the liturgy. We must pray to God with theologically correct formulas and also in a beautiful and dignified way. In this regard, the Christian community must make an examination of conscience so that the beauty of music and hymnody will return once again to the liturgy. They should purify worship from ugliness of style, from distasteful forms of expression, from uninspired musical texts which are not worthy of the great act that is being celebrated.
In this connection in the Epistle to the Ephesians we find an important appeal to avoid drunkenness and vulgarity, and to make room for the purity of liturgical hymns: "Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father" (5,18-20).
4. The Psalmist ends with an invitation to "every living being" (cf. Ps 150,5), to give praise, literally "every breath", "everything that breathes", a term that in Hebrew means "every being that breathes", especially "every living person" (cf. Dt 20,16; Jos 10,40; 11,11.14). In the divine praise then, first of all, with his heart and voice, the human creature is involved. With him all living beings, all creatures in which there is a breath of life (cf. GN 7, 22) are called in spirit, so that they may raise their hymn of thanksgiving to the Creator for the gift of life.
Following up on this universal invitation, St Francis left us his thoughtful "Canticle of Brother Sun", in which he invites us to praise and bless the Lord for all his creatures, reflections of his beauty and goodness (cf. Fonti Francescane [Franciscan Sources], 263).
5. All the faithful should join in this hymn in a special way, as the Epistle to the Colossians suggests: "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, as you teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God" (Col 3, 16).
On this subject, in his Expositions on the Psalms (Enarrationes in Psalmos), St Augustine sees the musical instruments as symbolizing the saints who praise God: "You are the trumpet, lute, harp, tambourine, choir, strings, organ, and cymbals of jubilation sounding well, because sounding in harmony. You are all of these. Do not here think of anything vile, anything transitory or anything ridiculous"... "every spirit (who) praises the Lord" is a voice of song to God (cf. Exposition on the Psalms, vol. VI, Oxford, 1857, p. 456).
So the highest music is what comes from our hearts. In our liturgies this is the harmony God wants to hear.