The 2000 Revision of the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani
On Holy Thursday, 2000, Pope John Paul II approved the revised Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani, popularly known as the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. The present revision replaces the 1975 edition of the Institutio Generalis and is now available in Latin from the Vatican Press and in an English language study edition from the NCCB Secretariat for the Liturgy. This summary is offered to our readers in order to provide an introduction to some of the new aspects of this important liturgical document.
At the outset, it is important to understand that the revised Institutio stands in direct continuity with the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium) of the Second Vatican Council, and the former General Instruction on the Roman Missal (Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani) of l975. As with both these seminal documents, the prescriptions of the new Institutio are to be seen as concrete ways of specifying and underscoring the nature and importance of the sacred liturgy in the church's life (see Sacrosanctum Concilium, 5).
The structure of the Institutio remains largely unchanged, though there are some significant exceptions. The number of paragraphs has been increased from 340 to 399. A ninth chapter of new material regarding "Adaptations which are the Competence of Bishops and Conferences of Bishops" has been developed in the light of the Fourth Instruction on the Implementation of the Constitution on the Liturgy (March 29, 1994).
The introduction to the Institutio (1-15) contains the theological and spiritual rationale for what follows. These paragraphs deserve special attention because they show how this new document is an organic outgrowth of what has occurred since Vatican II in the reform of the liturgy, and they contain important theological insight about the central place of the Eucharist in the life of faith...As with the prior edition of the Institutio, its first chapter contains a general reflection on the "Importance and Dignity of the Eucharistic Celebration." The second chapter then examines the "Structure, Elements and Parts of the Mass." The third chapter ("Offices and Ministries in the Mass") is divided into three sections also found in the previous edition, dealing with the role of the ordained, the gathered faithful and special ministries. A fourth division has been added to the new edition, addressing the "Distribution of Roles and Preparations for the Celebration."
Chapter four ("Different Forms of Celebration") has been significantly restructured. The first section regarding "Mass with a Congregation" is now divided into four parts: "Mass without a Deacon" (previously, "Basic Form of Celebration"); "Mass with a Deacon" (previously, "Functions of the Deacon"), "Functions of the Acolyte" and "Functions of the Reader." Part III (previously, "Mass without a Congregation") is now entitled "Mass at which only one Minister Assists."
Chapter five ("The Arrangement and Furnishing of the Church for the Celebration of the Eucharist") is now divided into three sections: I. "General Principles", II. "Arrangement of the Sanctuary for the Sacred Synaxis" (formerly, "Arrangement of the Church"), and III. "The Arrangement of the Church." The structure of chapters six, seven and eight remains substantially unchanged.
In other instances, paragraphs have been added which conveniently collect rubrical information found elsewhere throughout the Institutio or otherwise found in the Order of Mass. An example of this is found at number 90, which provides a convenient summary of the concluding rites.
While much of the revision in the new edition is stylistic and editorial, bringing greater precision to the Institutio, many of the changes are introduced to nuance or enhance the meaning of a particular passage. For example, the adjective "sacred" is added regularly to such words as ministers, celebrations, hosts, vestments and action, in keeping with the Institutio's own general admonition that "[a]nything out of keeping with the sacred is to be avoided." (344) Likewise, the adjective "profound" has been added to the word "bow" in most instances and the adjective "liturgical" to the word "assembly" when suggested by the context.
Other more substantive changes are described under the following five categories: I. The Bishop, Priest and Deacon; II. Lay Ministers; III. Ritual Changes; IV. Sacred Things and V. Adaptation
I. The Bishop, Priest and Deacon
An introductory paragraph (91) has been added to the section on liturgical ministries, providing a context for ministries engaged in at the Eucharist. The Institutio recalls that the Eucharistic celebration is an action of Christ and the Church, that is, of "a holy people gathered together and ordered under the Bishop." Thus does the Eucharistic celebration belong to the whole Body of the Church:
Such a celebration manifests this same Body and affects it. As to the individual members of the Body, the eucharistic celebration touches them in different ways, according to their rank, office, and degree of participation in the Eucharist. In this way, the Christian people, "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own" demonstrates its cohesion and its hierarchical ordering. Therefore, all, whether ordained ministers or Christian faithful, by virtue of their function or their office, should do all and only those parts that belong to them.A. The Bishop
At the center of every liturgical celebration is the diocesan Bishop, for "celebration of the Eucharist in a particular Church...is of the greatest importance." (22) Masses which he celebrates "with the participation of his presbyterate, deacons and the people" manifest the mystery of the Church and ought to be an example to the whole diocese. (22) He is "chief steward of the mysteries... moderator, promoter and guardian" of "the entire liturgical life" of his diocese, striving to assure that all "grasp interiorly a genuine sense of the liturgical texts and rites, and thereby are led to an active and fruitful celebration of the Eucharist." (22)
Two ritual changes affecting the bishop are found in the revised Institutio. The bishop now enjoys the option of blessing the people with the Book of the Gospels after its proclamation. (175) Secondly, more specific wording is provided for the intercession for the bishop in the Eucharistic Prayers (149), including the reminder that while it is appropriate to pray for the co-adjutor and the auxiliary bishops, other bishops who may be present should not be mentioned.
B. The Priest
Because the celebration of the Eucharist is seen as the priest's principal office (19), it is recommended that every priest "celebrate the Eucharistic sacrifice even daily, whenever possible." (19) Likewise, whenever he is present at Mass, the priest should participate as a vested concelebrant, unless excused for a good reason. (114)
When Mass is celebrated without a congregation, it should not be celebrated without a minister "except for a just and reasonable cause," in which case all greetings, instructions and the blessing at the end of Mass are omitted." (254)
Likewise, the priest, neither adding, removing nor changing anything on his own authority, may make choices in preparing the Mass (24) at the same time retaining "the right of directing everything that pertains to himself." (111) In choosing among the options provided in the Order of Mass "liturgical songs, readings, prayers, introductory comments and gestures which may respond better to the needs, degree of preparation and mentality of the participants..." (24) he is counseled to consider "the common spiritual good of the people of God, rather than be concerned about his own inclinations."(352)
The Institutio expands on the adaptations permitted to the priest celebrant usually expressed in the Order of Mass by the rubric, ...these or similar words. The purpose of such adaptations is to make the instructions during the liturgy more understandable to the faithful. (31) The priest must, however, "always respects the sense of the introduction given in the liturgical book and he should express it only in brief terms." (31) Thus the priest celebrant may adapt a very brief introduction to the Mass of the day, to the Liturgy of the Word, to the Eucharistic Prayer and make comments before the dismissal. (31)
A common confusion is addressed with regard to the Penitential Rite, with the statement that the absolution at the conclusion of this rite "lacks the efficacy of the sacrament of penance." (51) The widespread practice of the priest intoning the Gloria is recommended for the singing of this hymn of praise. (53, 68) It may, however, also be intoned by the by a cantor or choir. (53)
Liturgy of the Word
Priest concelebrants are reminded by the new Institutio that even the present practice at a concelebrated Mass without a deacon allows a priest concelebrant to proclaim the gospel. In the presence of a bishop, such a priest asks for and receives the blessing in the same manner as would a deacon. (212) "Nevertheless, this should not be done in a concelebration in which a priest presides." (212)
To the previous Institutio's explanation of the homily several sentences are added, describing the homily as a living commentary on the Word of God, to be "understood as an integral part of the liturgical action." (29) The homily may be given by the priest celebrant, by a concelebrating priest, or even by a deacon, "but never by a lay person." (66) "In particular cases and with just cause, the homily may even be offered by a Bishop or a priest who is present at the celebration, but cannot concelebrate." (66) Homilies are required on Sundays and holy days of obligation and may be eliminated from Mass with a congregation only for a grave reason. (66) The priest gives the homily in a standing position either "at the chair or at the ambo, or, when appropriate, in another suitable place." (136)
The priest celebrant introduces and concludes the intercessions from the chair. He introduces them with hands joined and prays the concluding prayer with hands extended. (138) At the offering of the gifts, the priest may choose to pray the blessing formulas aloud, but only when neither a song is sung nor the organ played. (142)
The priest is to pray the Eucharistic Prayer alone "in virtue of his ordination," while the people "associate themselves with the priest in silent faith, as well as by the prescribed acclamations in the Eucharistic Prayer, which are their responses in the Preface dialogue, the Sanctus, the acclamation after the consecration and the great Amen after the final doxology, and also other acclamations approved by the Conference of Bishops and confirmed by the Holy See." (147) The priest is also encouraged to sing those parts of the Eucharistic Prayer provided with musical notation. (147)
A significantly expanded description of the sign of peace is included in numbers 82 and 154. The pax is defined as the rite "by which the Church asks for peace and unity for herself and for the whole human family, and the faithful offer some sign of their ecclesial communion and mutual love for each other before communicating by receiving the Sacrament." (82) In order to avoid a disruption to the rite, the priest may exchange a sign of peace only with others in the sanctuary. (154) (The form for the sign of peace is left to individual conferences of bishops.) Likewise, for the faithful, "it is suitable that each person offer the sign of peace only to those nearby and in a dignified manner." (82) As all in the congregation offer each other the sign of peace, they may say: The peace of the Lord be with you always. The response is: Amen. (154)
The section on the Breaking of the Bread is significantly expanded, noting that this rite "signifies that in sharing the one bread of life which is Christ, who died and rose for the salvation of the world, the many faithful are made one body (1 Cor. 10,17)." The rite is "reserved to the priest and the deacon;" it should not "be unnecessarily prolonged or its importance be overemphasized."(83) Thus the practice of extraordinary ministers sharing in the breaking of the bread and the filling of chalices with the Precious Blood is no longer allowed.
The option is given for elevating the host over the chalice at the This is the Lamb of God (Ecce), thus holding both species before the assembly. Otherwise, the host may be held over the paten. The host by itself is never held aloft at the Ecce. (243, 157)
The manner in which the priest gives the final blessing is described in greater detail. After the greeting and response, the priest joins his hands, and then immediately places his left hand upon his breast, elevates his right hand and gives the blessing. (167)
C. The Deacon
A new section is added describing the ministry of the deacon, including both an enumeration of the particular responsibilities of the deacon at Mass, and several clarifications. When he carries the Book of the Gospels in the entrance procession, the book is "slightly elevated." (172) When arriving at the altar with the Book of the Gospels, he does not bow, but immediately places the Book of the Gospels on the altar and then kisses the altar at the same time the priest does. (173) When not carrying the Book of the Gospels, he reverences the altar in the customary fashion. (173) If incense is used at this point, he assists the priest. (173) Likewise, he "proclaims the gospel reading, sometimes preaches God's word, announces the intentions of the general intercessions, ministers to the priest, prepares the altar and serves the celebration of the sacrifice, distributes the Eucharist to the faithful, especially under the species of wine, and from time to time gives directions regarding the people's gestures and posture." (94)
When present, the deacon may exercise his function (116) and is counted, next to the priest, as the first among the ministers by reason of his sacred ordination. (94) While the dalmatic is the proper vesture for the deacon it may be omitted "for some necessity or on account of a lesser grade of solemnity." (338)
Greater detail is given to the deacon's role in the proclamation of the Gospel as well. He is to bow when asking for the blessing and when taking the Book of the Gospels from the altar. (175) A description of the optional kissing of the Book of the Gospels by the bishop is likewise included. The deacon may proclaim the readings, but only in the absence of a qualified reader (176) and he proclaims the intentions "as a rule from the ambo." (177)
During the Eucharistic Prayer the deacon "as a rule" kneels from the epiclesis to the elevation of the chalice. (179) For the remainder of the Eucharistic Prayer, the deacon stands near the altar when his ministry involves the chalice and Missal. "Nevertheless, as much as possible, the deacon stands back from the altar, slightly behind the concelebrants." (215) When incense is used during the elevations of the host and chalice he places incense in the censer and, kneeling, incenses the Blessed Sacrament. (179) In the absence of a deacon, paragraph 150 makes provision for another minister to perform this incensation.
At the Kiss of Peace, the deacon's invitation to exchange the sign of peace is given with his hands joined. (181) He then receives the sign of peace from the priest and exchanges it with the ministers who stand near him. (181)
At Communion, the priest himself gives communion to the deacon under both kinds (182). When Communion is given to the faithful under both kinds, the deacon ministers the chalice. After Communion has been distributed, the deacon, at the altar, reverently consumes any of the Blood of Christ which remains. (182)
More explicit note is made of the deacon's admonition, "Bow your head and pray for God's blessing," before a solemn blessing and he is instructed to give the final admonition, "Go in the peace of Christ," with hands joined. (185)
II. Lay Ministers
Lay ministers are also described in the new Institutio. They are to wear the alb or other vestment that is approved by the Conference of Bishops. (339) Chosen by the "pastor or rector of the church," they receive their ministry through a liturgical blessing or a temporary deputation. (107)
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion may be called forward by the priest only when a sufficient number of priests or deacons is not present. (162) First among those to be called forward are instituted acolytes, then those who have been commissioned as extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, and last of all, those commissioned for the occasion. (162)
The Institutio describes in detail the way in which such extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion exercise their ministry. At Mass, they assist only with the distribution of Holy Communion. Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion come to the altar only after the priest has received Communion (162) and always receive from the priest the vessel which contains the Blessed Sacrament which they will distribute. (162) The distribution of consecrated hosts and the Precious Blood to sacred vessels is reserved to the priest or deacon.
After Communion, the remaining consecrated wine is consumed by the deacon, or in his absence, by the priest. (163) The deacon or priest or instituted acolyte are likewise charged with the purification of sacred vessels immediately after Mass. (279) No provision is made for the purification of vessels by an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion.
The duties of the instituted reader are described as specific to him and "he alone ought to perform [them], even though ordained ministers may be present." (99) In the absence of an instituted reader, other truly qualified people may proclaim the scriptures, provided they have been carefully prepared. (101) The functions of the master of ceremonies (106), musicians, (103), sacristan (105) commentator (105), collectors and ushers/greeters (105) are likewise described.
An expansion of the roles relating to the Word of God recalls that because the office of reading the Scriptures is a ministerial, not a presidential function, "the readings should be delivered by a reader, the Gospel being proclaimed by the deacon or by a priest other than the celebrant." (59)
In the absence of a deacon, the reader, "wearing the appropriate vesture, may carry the Book of the Gospels slightly elevated" in the entrance procession. (194) Upon entering the sanctuary, he places the Book of the Gospels on the altar. Then, he takes up his position in the sanctuary with the other ministers. (195) The Lectionary, however, is never carried in procession. (120)
The instituted acolyte has "special duties" (98) which he alone ought to perform and which should ideally be distributed among several acolytes. (187) If an instituted acolyte is present, he should perform the most important functions, while the others may be distributed among several ministers. (187) These "special duties" are described in detail in 187-193, many of which are exercised only in the absence of a deacon, and include incensation of the priest and people at the preparation of the gifts (190), and administration of the chalice at communion.(191) Unlike other extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, the instituted acolyte may help the priest or deacon cleanse the sacred vessels at a side table. (192) In the absence of an instituted acolyte, lay ministers may serve at the altar, assisting the priest or deacon. "They may carry the cross, candles, ashes, censer, bread, wine and water" or serve as extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. (100) The Bishop may issue norms concerning the function of such altar servers. (107)
The revised Institutio significantly expands the section on gestures and postures at Mass, which "allow the whole celebration to shine with dignity and noble simplicity, demonstrating the full and true meaning of each of their diverse parts, while fostering the participation of all." (42) Thus
greater attention needs to be paid to what is laid down by liturgical law and by the traditional practice of the Roman Rite, for the sake of the common spiritual good of the people of God rather than to personal inclination or arbitrary choice. The uniformity in posture to be observed by all taking part is a sign of the unity of the members of the Christian community gathered for the sacred Liturgy: it both expresses and fosters the spiritual attitude of those assisting. (42)The postures of the assembly are then described in detail, as in the previous Institutio. The new document, however, makes several minor adjustments to these directives, noting that the faithful stand from the invitatory, Pray that our sacrifice..., and not from the prayer over the gifts, as in the previous Institutio. (43) "Reasons of health" have been added to the list of exceptions when people may stand at the consecration (43) and the Institutio now directs that those standing at the consecration "ought to make a profound bow when the priest genuflects after the consecration." Finally, the new Institutio notes that "where it is the custom that the people remain kneeling from the end of the Sanctus until the end of the Eucharistic Prayer [as in the United States] this is laudably retained." (43)
Two paragraphs define the meaning and practice of two primary gestures. Genuflection "which is made by bending the right knee to the ground, signifies adoration." Genuflection is reserved to "the Most Blessed Sacrament and to the Holy Cross, from the solemn adoration in the liturgy of Good Friday until the beginning of the Easter Vigil." (274) The priest genuflects three times during Mass: after the showing of the Eucharistic bread, the chalice and before communion. As in the previous Institutio, a genuflection is made by all the ministers upon arriving at and departing from the altar at the beginning and end of Mass if the tabernacle is located in the sanctuary, "but not during the celebration of Mass itself." (274) "Ministers who are carrying the processional cross or the candles bow their heads in place of a genuflection." (274) Bowing is seen as an expression of reverence and honor towards "persons or what represents those persons." (275) The revised Institution refers to two types of bows: a profound bow, and a bow of the head.
III. Ritual Changes
A. Liturgy of the Word
Several articles from the recently revised introduction to the Lectionary for Mass have been added, including the insistence that the order of readings be strictly adhered to (357) and that non-biblical texts never be substituted for the Lectionary text. (57) The division of any readings into parts, except for the Passion, is prohibited by the new Institutio. (109) The readings are always given from the ambo in Masses with a congregation. (58) While the new Institutio recommends the singing of the Responsorial psalm (61), it notes that "if the psalm cannot be sung, then it should be recited in a way more suited to fostering meditation on the word of God." (61)
The profession of faith is described by the new Institutio as "a way for all the people gathered together to respond to the word of God" by which "the great mysteries of the faith may be recalled and confirmed before their celebration in the Eucharist is begun." (67) Likewise, the General Intercessions are seen as a response to the Word of God by the faithful who, "exercising the office of their baptismal priesthood, offer prayers to God for the salvation of all." (69) To the prior descriptions of this prayer is added the recommendation that the intentions be sober, discrete and brief, "expressing the needs of the whole community." (71)
The Institutio's section on sacred silence has been expanded, recommending that "even before the celebration itself, it is praiseworthy for silence to be observed in church, in the sacristy and adjacent areas, so that all may dispose themselves for the sacred rites which are to be enacted in a devout and fitting manner." (45) Admonishing that the Liturgy of the Word "must be celebrated in such a way as to promote meditation," (56) the Institutio cautions against "any kind of haste which impedes recollection" and recommends brief moments of silence throughout the liturgy, especially after the readings and the homily so that the word of God may be "taken into the heart by the fostering of the Holy Spirit." (56)
Following an introduction almost identical to the 1975 edition which commends and contextualizes sacred music at Mass, (40) the new Institutio recalls that liturgical law requires the use of music on Sundays and Holy Days of obligation, but the complete absence of singing on weekdays should be guarded against. (40) A re-emphasis on the privileged place of Gregorian chant as "more proper to the Roman liturgy" is included, though "other kinds of sacred music, polyphony in particular, are not in any way to be excluded, provided that they correspond with the spirit of the liturgical action and that they foster the participation of all the faithful." (41)
A preference for singing many parts of the Mass is expressed in the new Institutio by the introduction of the phrase "is either sung or recited" at the profession of faith (137), the Lamb of God (155), Preface (216), the Kyrie (125) and the Gloria. (126) Songs or hymns may never be substituted for either the Agnus Dei or the other chants of the Mass. (366) Finally, more specific direction for the use of the organ during Advent (used with moderation) and Lent (permitted for accompanying sustained singing) is included. (313)
B. Liturgy of the Eucharist
The sections of the Institutio recommending the reception by the faithful of Communion consecrated at that Mass "just as the priest himself is bound to do," (85) on the reciting of the Communion antiphon "either by the faithful, or by a group of them, or by a reader" (87) and care for providing for the reception of Communion by cantors (86) have been slightly expanded.
Communion under both kinds
In the light of the significant growth of the practice of the reception of the Eucharist under both kinds, the new Institutio has restructured and expanded this section. The occasions on which Communion under both kinds may be permitted, in addition to those found in the ritual books, now include:
- for priests who are not able to celebrate or concelebrate;
- for the deacon and others who perform some role at Mass;
- for community members at their conventual Mass or what in some places is known as the "community" Mass, for seminarians, for all who are engaged in spiritual exercises or are participating in a spiritual or pastoral conference. (283)
Cleansing of Sacred Vessels
Several changes regarding the cleansing of sacred vessels are also introduced. Whatever remains of the Precious Blood after Communion is completely consumed at the altar by the priest, deacon or instituted acolyte, who ministers the chalice. (284b, 279) The vessels may be left on a side table, placed on a corporal to be cleansed immediately after Mass by the priest, deacon, one of the concelebrants, or an instituted acolyte. (163, 279) The extraordinary minister is noticeably omitted from the list of those entrusted with the cleansing of the sacred vessels.
In every Mass, Communion should be offered under the form of bread (284c), and care should be taken that no surplus of the Blood of Christ remains after Communion. (285a) More detailed directions concerning the procedure for the distribution of Communion by intinction are also given. (285b)
The sacrarium, only incidentally referenced in prior liturgical documents, is recommended and described as the place in the sacristy "into which water from the cleansing of sacred vessels and linens is poured." (334)
IV. Sacred Things
The sanctuary is defined as "the place where the altar stands, the word of God is proclaimed, and the priest, deacon and other ministers exercise their offices." (295)
As a rule, every church should have a single, fixed and dedicated altar (303) which "signifies to the assembly of the faithful the one Christ and the one Eucharist of the Church" (303) and "represents Christ Jesus, the Living Stone (1 Peter 2:4; see Eph. 2:20) more clearly and permanently" (298) than does a moveable altar. The requirement that "in every church there should ordinarily be a fixed, dedicated altar, which should be freestanding to allow the ministers to walk around it easily and Mass to be celebrated facing the people" is retained. (299) An addition has been made to this sentence describing Mass facing the people as "desirable whenever possible." (299)
The Institutio admits, however, of instances in the renovation of churches when an old altar, impossible to move without compromising its artistic value, "is so positioned that it makes the participation of the people difficult." (303) In such instances, another fixed and dedicated altar may be erected. The old altar is then no longer decorated in a special way and the liturgy is celebrated only on the new fixed altar. (303)
A new paragraph is added cautioning that nothing should be placed upon the altar except for an indicated list of what is required for the celebration of Mass. (306) Even flowers are to be arranged modestly and with moderation around the altar but never on top of it. (305) A paragraph on the arrangement of altar flowers likewise notes that during Lent the decorating of the altar with flowers is prohibited, except on Laetare Sunday, solemnities and feast days. In the same way, a certain moderation is exercised during the Advent Season when altar flowers convey "the character of the season but which should not anticipate the full joy of the Nativity of the Lord." (305)
The Altar Cross
Where the previous Institutio spoke only of an altar or processional cross, the revised Institutio speaks always of "a cross with the figure of Christ crucified upon it." (308, 122) This cross, "positioned either on the altar or near it," should be clearly visible not only during the liturgy, but at all times recalling "for the faithful the saving passion of the Lord, [and] remain[ing] near the altar even outside of liturgical celebrations." (308)
To the previous descriptions of the ambo is added the summary observation that "the dignity of the ambo requires that only a minister of the word should approach it." (309) Likewise, as often as possible, the readings should be delivered from the ambo. (58)
The Chair for the priest Celebrant and Other Chairs
The new Institutio reiterates the statement from the 1975 edition that "the best place for the chair is at the head of the sanctuary," (310) but to the previous list of exceptions are added instances "where the tabernacle is positioned medially behind the altar." (310) To this section is also added a description of sanctuary chairs for concelebrants and priests present in choir (310), the deacon ("near that of the celebrant") and the seats for other ministers which are to be arranged so that "the ministers are easily able to fulfill the office assigned to them," and yet are "clearly distinguished from the seats for clergy." (310)
The section on the place of reservation of the Blessed Sacrament has been adjusted and expanded. (314-317) It begins by recalling the instruction Eucharisticum Mysterium 54 with the general statement that "the Most Blessed Sacrament should be reserved in a tabernacle in a part of the church which is noble, worthy, conspicuous, well decorated and suitable for prayer." (314) The requirements summarized in the previous Institutio are repeated: that there should be only one tabernacle, which is immovable, solid, unbreakable, locked, and not transparent.
A paragraph on the location of the tabernacle then begins by citing the Eucharisticum Mysterium 55, recalling that "the tabernacle in which the Most Blessed Sacrament is reserved not be on the altar on which Mass is celebrated." (315) This is immediately followed by a reminder that the location of the tabernacle should always be determined "according to the judgment of the diocesan Bishop." (315) Two options for such a location follow:
- either in the sanctuary, apart from the altar of celebration, in the most suitable form and place, not excluding on an old altar which is no longer used for celebration;
- or even in another chapel suitable for adoration and the private prayer of the faithful, and which is integrally connected with the church and is conspicuous to the faithful.
The paragraphs on sacred vessels (327-333) have been rewritten, with a stronger emphasis on the character of sacred vessels as "clearly distinguished from those [vessels] designed for every day use." (332) Described as holding a place of honor at the eucharistic celebration, these vessels "in which the bread and wine are offered, consecrated and consumed," (327) are to be made "from noble metal." (328) If the metal is of a lesser quality or produces rust, the interior is to be fully gold-plated. (328) It is only following a formal action of the Conference of Bishops and confirmation by the Apostolic See that "other solid materials which, in the common estimation of the region are regarded as noble" (329) may be used. Preference "is always to be given to materials that do not break easily or deteriorate." (328)
A new introductory paragraph has been added to the section on sacred images, setting their use in an eschatological frame:
In the earthly liturgy, the Church participates in a foretaste of the heavenly liturgy, which is celebrated in the holy city Jerusalem, towards which she tends as a pilgrim and where Christ sits at the right hand of God. By so venerating the memory of the saints, the Church hopes for some small part and company with them. (318)This is followed by an expanded description of the purpose of these "images of the Lord, the Virgin Mary, and the saints" which are "displayed in sacred buildings for the veneration of the faithful, and may be so arranged that they guide the faithful to the mysteries of the faith which are celebrated there." (318) While the cautions of the previous document regarding limiting the number and placement of images in churches are retained, their duplication has been prohibited "as a rule." (318)
Bread for the Eucharist
The paragraph on the composition of bread for the Eucharist is brought more closely into conformity with canon 924, with the added requirements that the bread must be made only from wheat and recently baked. (320)
Incense is explained at greater length in the new Institutio, observing that "incensation is an expression of reverence and prayer as signified in the Sacred Scriptures (cf. Ps. 140:2; Rev. 8:3)." (276) After placing incense in the censer, the priest blesses the incense with a silent sign of the cross (277) and makes a profound bow before and after incensing a person or thing, (277)
Blessing of Sacred Things
There is an increased emphasis throughout the revised Institutio on the care of all things destined for liturgical use, including everything associated with the altar (350), and liturgical books, which should be "revered in the liturgical action as signs and symbols of supernatural things, and hence, retain true dignity, beauty and distinction." (350) Thus the tabernacle (314), organ (313), ambo (309), presidential chair (310), vestments for priests deacons and lay ministers (335), sacred vessels (333), and all things destined for use in the liturgy should receive the requisite blessing.
V. Adaptations and Inculturation
The ninth chapter of the Institutio Generalis summarizes the "Adaptations which are the competence of Bishops and Conferences of Bishops." Adaptations in the liturgy are seen as a response to the Council's call to foster that "full, conscious and active participation which is required by the nature of the Liturgy itself and to which the faithful, in virtue of their state, have a right and duty." (386) Thus have certain points of "accommodation and adaptation" been assigned to "the judgment either of the diocesan Bishop or of the Conference of Bishops." (386)
The role of the diocesan bishop is then revisited, for from him "in some sense the life in Christ of [the] faithful is derived and is dependent." (387) He must, therefore, "foster, govern and watch over the liturgical life in his diocese." (387) In addition to his primary task of nourishing all with the spirit of the sacred Liturgy, the Institutio assigns him four actions in adapting the liturgy to the life of his diocese:
- the governance of the discipline of concelebration;
- the establishment of norms for altar servers;
- the establishment of norms for distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds;
- the establishment of norms for the construction and ordering of church buildings.
- to prepare and approve a complete edition of the Roman Missal in the vernacular language and to submit it for the recognitio of the Apostolic See; (389)
- to define, with the recognitio of the Apostolic See, those adaptations to the Roman Missal which are indicated in the Institutio, (390) such as:
- gestures and posture of the faithful;
- gestures of veneration to the altar and the Book of the Gospels;
- texts of various chants;
- readings from Sacred Scripture for special circumstances;
- the form of the gesture of peace;
- the manner of receiving Holy Communion;
- material for the altar and the sacred furnishings, especially the sacred
vessels, and also materials, form and color of the liturgical vestments;
- inclusion in the Missal of Directories or Pastoral Instructions; (390)
- gestures and posture of the faithful;
- to carefully prepare translations of biblical texts for use at Mass, in a language "which responds to the capacity of the faithful and which is suitable for public proclamation, while maintaining those characteristics that are proper to the different manners of speaking employed in the biblical books"; (391)
- to prepare translations of other liturgical texts " in such a way that while respecting the nature of each language, the sense of the original Latin text is fully and faithfully rendered. In carrying this out, it is well to keep in mind the different literary genres which are employed in the Missal, such as the presidential orations, the antiphons, acclamations, responses, litanic supplications, and so on." (392) The proclamatory dimension of such texts is not to be neglected, for such texts are destined to be "read aloud or sung in the course of a celebration." (392) The language used should be accommodated to the faithful, but should be "nevertheless noble and marked by literary quality." (392)
- to approve appropriate melodies for the Mass and to judge which "musical forms, melodies, and musical instruments may be admitted into divine worship, in that they are truly apt for sacred use or can be rendered apt." (393)
- to draw up a proper calendar for the country to be approved by the Apostolic See. In such calendars "only celebrations of the greatest importance should take precedence" over Sunday, and the liturgical year should not be obscured by secondary elements. (394) Similarly, "each diocese should have its own calendar and Proper of Masses." (394)
- to propose "variants and points of deeper adaptation in order that the sacred celebration" facilitate the participation and spiritual good of a people in light of their mentality and customs in accord with article 40 of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. (395) A series of steps to be followed in such proposals are then outlined in keeping with the Holy See's Instruction, Inculturation and the Roman Liturgy. (395) The Institutio then recalls the indispensable need for the "instruction of the clergy and faithful in a wise and orderly fashion" (396) in preparation for receiving any such adaptations.
The Institutio concludes by describing the "notable and valuable part of the liturgical treasure and patrimony of the Catholic Church" which is the Roman Rite, admonishing that any diminishing of this treasure would gravely harm the universal Church.
Through the centuries, the Roman Rite has not only "conserved the liturgical usages that had their origin in the city of Rome, but has also in a deep, organic and harmonious way incorporated into itself certain others, thus acquiring a certain ‘supra-regional character.'" (397) Both the identity and unity of the Roman Rite are today expressed in the Latin typical editions and the approved and confirmed vernacular editions derived from them. (397)
Thus the Institutio insists that the liturgy should not be changed in the interest of inculturation unless "a real and certain need of the Church demands it and with all proper care that new forms in some way grow organically from already existing forms." Thus understood, "inculturation requires a necessary amount of time, lest in a hasty and incautious manner the authentic liturgical tradition suffer contamination." (398) Inculturation is not aimed at creating new rites, and approved innovations may not be "at variance with the distinctive character of the Roman Rite." (398) The Institutio closes with a summary description of the Missale Romanum: "Thus the Roman Missal, although in a diversity of languages and in a certain variety of customs, must in the future be maintained as a means to the integrity and unity of the Roman Rite, and as its outstanding sign." (399)