Pastoral Introduction to the Order of Mass to be published by Committee on the Liturgy
On July 21, 2000, Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez, Prefect of theCongregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, provided an emended copy of the Pastoral Introduction to the Order of Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States to Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza, NCCB President noting that the Congregation "sees no obstacle to the Bishops' proceeding with its publication." In response to a request fromBishop Fiorenza on behalf of the Committee on the Liturgy, this text has been updated in the light of changes introduced into the Order of Mass by the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani recently published by the Holy See. In addition, the Congregation introduced other changes in exercising its specific competence.
The Pastoral Introduction to the Order of Mass was approved by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1997 in the course of its consideration of the revised translation of the Roman Missal. In his letter, Cardinal Medina described the Pastoral Introduction as a "useful pastoral instrument for liturgical formation of the People of God" which addressed "appropriately and felicitously the specific ecclesial and pastoral context of the Conference's territory."In order to make the Pastoral Introduction available to as wide an audience as possible, the Secretariat for the Liturgy is preparing a single edition in English and Spanish. Like the recently published study translation of the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani, the Pastoral Introduction will be available for purchase in an 8 ½ x 11" unbound, three-hole punched and shrink-wrapped edition. Copies will be available at the beginning of September and may be ordered by sending a check for $15 each to: Pastoral Introduction, c/o NCCB Secretariat for the Liturgy, 3211 4th Street N.E.,Washington, DC, 20017. Dioceses wishing to reproduce the text at their own expense may do so by paying a fee of $5 per copy.
Thirteen Questions on the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani 2000
- What authority does the Institutio Generalis have?
- Does the Institutio expect that a priest celebrate Mass every day?
- What does the Institutio mean when it calls for the blessing of things used in the liturgy?
- Why does the Institutio discourage the priest from exchanging the sign of peace with members of the congregation?
- What roles can Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion fulfill?
- Does the deacon have to kneel during the Eucharistic Prayer?
- If the Book of the Gospels is not used, can the Lectionary for Mass be carried in the entrance procession?
- When the Institutio speaks of "Acolytes," do they mean altar servers?"
No. Instituted acolytes hold special duties reserved to them and described in numbers 187-193 of the Insitutio Generalis, including the incensation of the priest and people at the preparation of the gifts (190), the administration of the chalice at communion, (191) and the cleansing of sacred vessels. (192) Number 100 describes the functions which "in the absence of an instituted acolyte, lay ministers may" perform, including carrying "the cross, candles, ashes, censer, bread, wine and water" or serving as extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. (100) The Bishop may issue norms conceming the functioning of such altar servers.(107)
- Our congregation currently stands at the Prayer Over the Gifts. Has this changed?
Yes. The Institutio requires that all stand when the priest says, "Pray that our sacrifice..."
- Is it true that the Institutio says that flowers cannot be placed on the altar?
Yes. Nothing may be placed on the altar except what is required for the celebration of Mass. (306) Flowers are to be modestly arranged around the altar but never on top of it. (305)
- Does every altar cross now Nave to have an image of the crucified Lord on it?
Yes. The Institutio requires that "a cross with the figure of Christ crucified upon it" be positioned "either on the altar or near it." This cross should be clearly visible at all times. (308)
- Can the Blessed Sacrament still be reserved in a separate chapel?
Yes, but this depends on the judgment of the diocesan bishop and the structure of the church. Numbers 315317 provide two possible locations for the tabernacle: either in the sanctuary or even in another chapel. If in the sanctuary, the tabemacle may not be located on an altar where Mass is celebrated. If a separate chapel is used, it must be integrally connected with the church and be conspicuous to the faithful.
- When the document This Holy and Living Sacrifice is in conflict with the revised Institutio Generalis, which should be followed?
This Holy and Living Sacrifice is a directory based on the 1975 edition of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. It was compiled by the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy in order to assist bishops in the implementation of an indult received from the Holy See permitting a wider use of Holy Communion under both species. The provisions for distribution of Holy Communion under both species found in the Institutio Generalis should be followed. In the near future, the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy plans to revisit the directory This Holy and Living Sacrifice in the light of the revised Institutio Generalis.
The Institutio Generalis contains liturgical law for the universal Church as it applies to the celebration of the Eucharist. It is promulgated as a part of the Missale Romanum by virtue of an Apostolic Constitution. While the Apostolic Constitution promulgating the present Roman Missal 2000 has not yet been published, the closing sentence of the Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum published by Pope Paul VI in 1969 best describes the nature of the Institutio Generalis and the Missale Romanum of which it is a part: "We decree that these laws and prescriptions be firm and effective now and in the future, notwithstanding, to the extent necessary, the apostolic constitutions and ordinances issued by our predecessors and other prescriptions, even those deserving particular mention and amendment."
Yes. The Institutio recommends that each priest celebrate Mass daily whenever possible. (19) This sentiment is evidently inspired by canon 904, which "eamestly recommends" that priests celebrate Mass every day "even if the faithful cannot be present, [since the Mass] is the act of Christ and the Church in which priests fulfill their principal function (munus suum paecipuum)." The words of the Code are themselves based upon the teaching of the Council Fathers who, in Presbyterorum Ordinis (PO), strongly urge that priests celebrate Mass every day, "since even if a number of the faithful cannot be present, it is still an act of Christ and the Church."(PO, no. 13) The Conciliar teaching may be traced further still to the 1965 Instruction of Pope Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei (MF),who, as the father of the liturgical reform, urged priests to "worthily and devoutly offer Mass each day in order that both they and the rest of the faithful may enjoy the benefits that flow so rich1y from the sacrifice of the cross." (MF, no. 762)
The Book of Blessings (BOB) recalls that "the Church has always sought to ensure that all those things that are involved in any way in divine worship should be worthy, becoming, and beautiful; that they first be blessed then kept exclusively for sacred celebrations, and never turned to commonplace uses. It is the Church's intention to maintain this practice. (BOB, no. 1076) Thus does the Institutio remind pastors that the tabemacle (314), organ (313), ambo (309), presidential chair (310), sacred vestments (335), sacred vessels (333), and all things destined for use in the liturgy should receive the requisite blessing.
The priest may exchange a sign of peace only with others in the sanctuary. (154) Like everyone else in the congregation, he offers the sign of peace "to those nearby and in a dignified manner." (82) This is done "in order to avoid a disruption to the rite." (154) It might be noted, as well, that such a limitation makes sense in the light of the fact that the priest offers a sign of peace to all the gathered faithful with the words, "May the peace of the Lord be with you always" and avoids any form of perceived discrimination in the giving of the sign of peace only to a certain portion of the congregation.
In the course of the approval of the Pastoral Introduction, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments made note of the particular demands experienced in those parishes where the Eucharist is distributed under both species and neither deacons nor concelebrants are regularly available to assist. In his letter of July 25, 2000 to NCCB President, Bishop Joseph Fiorenza (see sidebar), Archbishop Francesco Pio Tamburrino, O.S.B., made clear the Congregation's approval of number 21 of the Pastor Introduction which provides that in "those instances where large numbers of chalices are required for the distribution of the Eucharist under two species, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion...may assist with the pouring of the Precious Blood into ancillary chalices during the singing of the Lamb of God." (PIOM, no. 21.2) In such instances, the Extraordinary Ministers come to the Altar as the "Lamb of God" is sung. Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion do not, however, assist with the breaking or distribution
of the consecrated hosts into ancillary vessels.
"As a rule" the deacon 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 Sacramentary. Otherwise, "as much as possible, the deacon stands back from the altar, slightly behind the concelebrants." (215)
No. The Institutio explicitly states that the Lectionary is never carried in procession. 120 The reader, however, may carry the Book of the Gospels in the absence of a deacon. (120)
Copies of two major publications of current interest are available for immediate shipment from the NCCB Secertariat for the Liturgy. Both publications are available in an 81/2 x 11" unbound, three-hole punched and shrink-wrapped edition.
The Liturgical Calendar 2002 can be purchased by writing to Liturgical Calendar 2002 at the NCCB Secretariat for the Liturgy (see address on BCL Newsletter masthead). All orders must be accompanied by a check madre out to "Committee on the Letargia" in the amount of $7.00 per copy, including printing, postage, and handling. An electronic file of the calendar is available in WordPerfect 9.0 format for $10. Copies of the Liturgical Calendars for2000 and200l are available for free download from the Conference Website at www.nccbuscc.org.
Copies of the BCL study translation of the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani 2000 are available from the Secretariat for the Liturgy for $12 per copy. Orders should be sent to Institutio Generalis at the NCCB Secretariat for the Letargia (see address on BCL Newsletter masthead). Dioceses wishing to reproduce the text at their own expense may do so by paying a fee of $5 per copy. Copies of the June-July 2000 BCL Newsletter description of the changes in the current Institutio Generalis may be downloaded in English and Spanish editions from the NCCB website. The complete Latin text of the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani may also be downloaded from this website.
Copyright ® 2000 United States Catholic Conference, Inc., Washington, DC. All rights reserved.
No part of this work may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.