Guidelines for the Publication of Participation Aids
In fulfillment of its responsibility to oversee the publication of the liturgical books and in order to foster the active participation of all the faithful in liturgical celebrations, the NCCB Committee on the Liturgy first issued guidelines for the publication of participation aids in May of 1975. Following initial consideration at the March 1997 meeting and subsequent consultations with publishers, the latest revision of these guidelines was approved by the BCL on June 17, 1998. The guidelines will be used by the Secretariat for the Liturgy as a guide in granting approval for the publication of all participation aids.
The NCCB Committee on the Liturgy has been charged with the responsibility of overseeing the publication of the liturgical books which describe and guide the reformed rites which were developed in the years since the Second Vatican Council. Likewise, the Committee has sought ways to foster the effective implementation of this reform in the fulfillment of its responsibility to regulate pastoral-liturgical action in the dioceses of the United States of America.
It is in the light of this responsibility that these guidelines have been developed for publishers of popular participation materials. The guidelines were first issued in May 1975 and subsequently revised on several occasions, most recently on June 17, 1998. The purpose is not to suppress initiative on the part of publishers, but to encourage the publication of effective participation aids and to foster that "full, conscious and active participation which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy."
Approval of the Secretariat for the Liturgy
Before copyrights will be released by USCC, CCD or ICEL for Participation Aids, the approval of the NCCB Secretariat for the Liturgy is required. The Secretariat acts on behalf of the Committee on the Liturgy in assuring conformity with these guidelines.
Previous publishers of participation aids should submit a copy of the manuscript from a forthcoming edition of their publication to the Secretariat for the Liturgy for its review and approval. Once a letter of approval has been received, such approval may be presumed for forthcoming editions of the same publication, provided that no changes concerning these guidelines have been made.
A single subscription to each participation aid should be sent to the Secretariat for the Liturgy.
Questions of format in presenting the Order of Mass may differ with different publications. However, an effort should always be made to accurately present the prayers, responses, acclamations and musical selections in such a way as to foster the participation of the entire assembly.
- Publishers may use only those liturgical books which have been approved by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and confirmed by the Apostolic See for use in the dioceses of the United States of America.
- While it is not necessary for participation aids to include presidential prayers or biblical readings, when such texts are printed, all legitimate options must be included.
- Any commentary should be clearly set apart from the liturgical texts and rubrics by size and typeface.
- The terminology given in the liturgical books is to be followed. Note that the word "presider" is not to be used as it is not used in the Sacramentary.
- Indications of postures should be based upon the norms contained in the General Instruction of theRoman Missal, number 21, and the Appendix to the General Instruction for the Dioceses of the United States of America. The assembly is to stand from the prayer over the gifts through the Sanctus. The assembly is to kneel after the Sanctus, stand after the Amen of the eucharistic prayer, and then remain standing until the end of Mass.
All three greetings must be printed, and no selection may be made.
Rite of Blessing and Sprinkling of Holy Water
If the prayer of blessing is printed, all options must be given (A, B and C during the Easter season or A and B for the rest of the year). If the people's part is printed, it is sufficient to print one of the antiphons with musical notation or another appropriate song.
If the introduction is printed, all options must be given (A, B and C). There should be some indication that other words of introduction may be used.
- All three penitential rites must be printed (A, B and C). For Rite C, the three responses (Lord, have mercy, Christ, have mercy, and Lord, have mercy) may be printed without the variable tropes since the Sacramentary provides so many examples.
When the Kyrie is printed, both English and Greek forms should be provided, as in the Sacramentary.
The typical text is to be printed in the approved sense line format. A rubric may be added to indicate the days on which the Glory to God is used.
If the opening prayer is to be included, both texts ("Opening Prayer" and "Alternative Opening Prayer") must be printed in full, in the typical sense line format.
- A rubric should be included which indicates that the people respond "Amen" to the prayer. However, if the prayer is printed, the simple "Amen" is sufficient.
Liturgy of the Word
First Reading, Second Reading, Gospel
By means of the word of God proclaimed at Mass, the Holy Spirit "makes what we hear outwardly have its effect inwardly" (GILFM 8). This, however, can only take place when the readings are proclaimed in "a speaking style on the part of the readers that is audible, clear, and intelligent" (GILFM 14) and when sufficient amplification is provided (GILFM 34).
Its clearly preferable that the word of God be clearly heard by all who participate in the liturgy, for "In the hearing of God's word the Church is built up and grows". (GILFM 7) For this reason, the printing of readings and presidential prayers in participation aids is discouraged, unless other circumstances make it impossible for the word to be effectively proclaimed. Even in these instances, however, it is preferable that steps be taken to assure the effective proclamation of the Scriptures rather than resorting to providing a "read along" text to the members of the assembly.
- The official Liturgical Calendar for the Dioceses of the United States of America, published each year by the Secretariat for the Liturgy, is to be used in choosing the readings for each day.
- When several options exist for the readings (i.e. Christmas, the vigil of Pentecost, etc.) no preference may be indicated unless such a preference is printed in the Lectionary for Mass. When more than two options are given for a reading, only one reading must be printed in full. All other optional readings should be listed by their biblical references and tituli.
- Optional shorter and longer forms of readings must be printed in the order given in the Lectionary for Mass. The shorter form of the reading may be bracketed within the longer form.
- The arrangement of readings in the typical sense lines provided in the Lectionary for Mass is optional. When the sense lines of the Lectionary are not observed, the sense lines of the New American Bible must be followed.
The responsorial psalm is to be printed, preferably with musical notation for the response. In addition, it is recommended that a seasonal antiphon be provided (cf. LFM #174).
- While it is sufficient to print only the refrain of the responsorial psalm, the verses may also be printed.
- When there are various options in the Lectionary (e.g., in the Commons where responsorial psalms are grouped together rather than related to specific first readings), a selection may be made of at least one responsorial psalm, but there must be an indication that there are other options.
- The sense lines of the approved text as it appears in the Lectionary for Mass is to be followed.
The Alleluia or Gospel Acclamation is to be printed, preferably with musical notation for the response.
- This acclamation belongs to the gospel reading and is not a response to the preceding readings. This differentiation should be clearly indicated by the format.
- The musical settings for this acclamation should be varied for the sake of the local community. A rubric should be included stating that, if the Alleluia or the Lenten gospel acclamation cannot be sung, it is to be omitted.
Profession of Faith
The typical text of the Nicene Creed is to be printed in the approved sense line format. If the typical text of the Apostles' Creed is included for use at Masses with children, it too is to be printed in the approved sense line format and a rubric should be added to indicate that its use is limited to Masses with children.
In the interest of encouraging the local composition of the General Intercessions, none of the parts of this prayer (introduction, intercessions, concluding prayer) may be printed, even as examples. At least the most common of the responses ("Lord, hear our prayer'") should be printed; others may be indicated, and it is appropriate to give musical notation for these.
Liturgy of the Eucharist
Presentation of the Gifts
The prayers to be said inaudibly by the priest should not be printed.
Prayer over the Gifts
If the Prayer over the Gifts is to be included, both options (when provided) must be printed in full, in the typical sense line format. A rubric should be included which indicates that the people respond "Amen" to the prayer. However, if the prayer is printed, the simple "Amen" is sufficient.
No preference should be indicated among the four eucharistic prayers. If one is printed, all must be included. The prefaces of Eucharistic Prayer II and IV must appear as parts of the respective prayers.
- It should be clear from the typographical arrangement that the preface is an integral part of the eucharistic prayer, whether or not the texts are printed.
- If the prefaces are given, no selection may be made among the prefaces for Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter, and any strictly proper preface or prefaces (e.g., for a specific Sunday or feast day) must be included. In Ordinary Time it is sufficient to give three Sunday and three weekday prefaces; the selections should be varied. The possibility of other options should be clearly
- The Holy, Holy, Memorial Acclamation, and Amen are to be printed with musical notation. No preference should be indicated among the memorial acclamations. No other acclamations within the eucharistic prayers may be printed.
- The Eucharistic Prayers for Masses of Reconciliation may be printed in place after the four principal eucharistic prayers. However, if one of these texts is printed, both must be given. The prefaces must appear as parts of the respective prayers.
- The Eucharistic Prayers for Masses with Children may not be printed due to the nature of these prayers and their intended audience. A rubric may indicate that on some occasions the priest may use the authorized Eucharistic Prayers for Masses with Children or for Various Needs and Occasions. It is appropriate to print the acclamations for these prayers with musical notation.
- If the introduction to the Lord's Prayer is printed, all four texts must be given. It is appropriate to give musical notation for the prayer and the doxology which follows the embolism.
- The prayers said inaudibly by the priest are not to be printed.
- It should be made clear from the typographical arrangement that the Lamb of God accompanies the breaking of the bread and should be repeated until the breaking of the bread is finished. Musical settings for the Lamb of God should be provided.
- The period after communion should not be designated "thanksgiving," nor should thanksgiving or litany prayers be included.
Prayer After Communion
If the Prayer After Communion is to be included, both options (when provided) must be printed in full, in the typical sense line format. A rubric should be included which indicates that the people respond "Amen" to the prayer. However, if the prayer is printed, the simple "Amen" is sufficient.
- The simple form of the blessing may be printed, as in the Sacramentary.
- The solemn blessing or prayer over the people may be printed according to the selection made in the Sacramentary for the principal seasons, but there should be an indication that other texts may be chosen.
- No preference among the optional texts for the solemn blessing or prayer over the people for the Sundays in Ordinary Time may be made, but there should be an indication that there are various options.
- In all cases the responses of the people should be indicated.
- No preference should be indicated among the options for the dismissal.
Guidelines for Receiving Communion
The following Guidelines for Receiving Communion must be included in a prominent place in all participation aids in the same type used for the responses of the assembly.
As Catholics, we fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist when we receive Holy Communion. We are encouraged to receive Communion devoutly and frequently. In order to be properly disposed to receive Communion, participants should not be conscious of grave sin and normally should have fasted for one hour. A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to receive the Body and Blood of the Lord without prior sacramental confession except for a grave reason where there is no opportunity for confession. In this case, the person is to be mindful of the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition, including the intention of confessing as soon as possible (canon 916). A frequent reception of the Sacrament of Penance is encouraged for all.
For Other Christians
We welcome our fellow Christians to this celebration of the Eucharist as our brothers and sisters. We pray that our common baptism and the action of the Holy Spirit in this Eucharist will draw us closer to one another and begin to dispel the sad divisions which separate us. We pray that these will lessen and finally disappear, in keeping with Christ's prayer for us "that they may all be one" (Jn 17:21).
Because Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life, and worship, members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Holy Communion. Eucharistic sharing in exceptional circumstances by other Christians requires permission according to the directives of the diocesan bishop and the provisions of canon law (canon 844 § 4). Members of the Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Polish National Catholic Church are urged to respect the discipline of their own Churches. According to Roman Catholic discipline, the Code of Canon Law does not object to the reception of communion by Christians of these Churches (canon 844 § 3).
For Those Not Receiving Communion
All who are not receiving Holy Communion are encouraged to express in their hearts a prayerful desire for unity with the Lord Jesus and with one another.
We also welcome to this celebration those who do not share our faith in Jesus Christ. While we cannot admit them to Holy Communion, we ask them to offer their prayers for the peace and the unity of the human family.
Other Mass texts
If votive Masses and Masses for special occasions, etc., are printed, the Sacramentary is to be followed, with the usual indication of options. If a ritual Mass is printed, one set of texts may be selected, with the usual indication of options. The appropriate ritual book is to be followed.
Rite of Penance
Sacramental celebrations of the reconciliation of several penitents with individual confession and absolution (Rite II) must be taken from chapters 2 and 4, and Appendix II of the Rite of Penance. Settings for such celebrations require the approval of the Secretariat of the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy prior to their publication in a participation aid.
The most recent edition of the ritual Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass must be followed in any directions or rubrics.
- An introductory note should state that, since eucharistic exposition may not be held merely to give the eucharistic blessing, Benediction must always be preceded by a suitable period for reading of the word of God, song, prayers, and sufficient time for silent prayer.
- Suitable songs, hymns, or psalms should be provided for the opening of any liturgy of eucharistic adoration.
- During the period of adoration, readings from Scripture should be indicated together with appropriate prayers and songs.
- A hymn or other eucharistic song or songs should be given to immediately precede Benediction. A rubric should mention the prayer of the priest and the eucharistic blessing. If the prayer of the priest is printed, there should be the usual indication of the options contained in the Roman Ritual.
- A song or acclamation may be printed for use during reposition. The Divine Praises may also be used. A rubric should indicate that other acclamations or songs may be used.
Other Liturgical Celebrations
Care should be taken to follow the Sacramentary regarding the special rites (i.e. the blessing of candles on the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, the blessing and distribution of ashes on Ash Wednesday, etc.) and rubrics (i.e., the requirement to genuflect at the words "and became man" of the Nicene Creed on Christmas and the Annunciation) which mark particular liturgical celebrations.
- If provision is made for Sunday celebrations in the absence of a priest, the ritual book Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest should be followed, with the usual indication of options.
- If any texts of the Liturgy of the Hours are printed, both Morning and Evening Prayer should be included. A selection of hymnody and psalmody for the various hours may be made, but always with an indication that other texts may be chosen. The headings given in the ordinary of the Liturgy of the Hours are to be followed. When psalm prayers are given, they should be chosen from among those given in the Liturgy of the Hours.
- Nonsacramental penitential celebrations should follow the structure of a Liturgy of the Word, such as is in the Rite of Penance. It should be clearly indicated that such celebrations are not to be used in place of the sacrament of penance.
- If other celebrations (for example, prayer services with special themes, etc.) are added, both typographical arrangement and explicit rubrics should indicate that these are not official texts or rites.
- An original setting should not be printed if an approved rite already exists (i.e. order for crowning an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Proclamation of the Birth of Christ, etc.). When such rites are printed, the approved text should be followed, with the usual provision for options.
- Devotional or personal prayers may be printed in participation aids. When a prayer exists in several versions, preference should be given to the versions printed in the Handbook of Indulgences and Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers.
Participation Aids in Other Languages
By decree of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, April 2, 1964, languages other than English may be used in the celebration of the liturgy in translations approved by other conferences of bishops and confirmed by the Apostolic See. The above guidelines apply equally to the publication of participation aids in Spanish and other languages for use in the dioceses of the United States of America. Publishers should consult the Secretariat of the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy concerning various approved liturgical translations in other languages.
In recent years, several publishers have developed collections of "Clip Art" for parishes and other institutions which may be reproduced free of charge for non-profit publications by the purchaser. Liturgical Training Publications has recently published Clip-Art for Parish Life by Suzanne Novak ($30, ISBN 1-56854-086-8) and Clip Notes for Church Bulletins: Volume I ($30, ISBN 1-56854-169-4). Both publications include a CD-ROM from which the material can be downloaded to a word processing program. Clip Notes includes seventy five articles on various aspects of the liturgy, grouped into categories for convenience. The book also contains a "suggested schedule Sunday by Sunday" for the use of these helpful popular catechetical aids.
Paulist Press has recently published Clip Art for Seasons and Celebrations of the Church Year by Jeanne Heiberg ($14.95, ISBN 0-8091-3772-0). The book is designed for "newsletters, bulletins, greeting cards, posters, announcements and programs." Like most publications of this sort, permission is given to reproduce the art and text for use in publications and posters distributed by purchasers at no cost.
The Liturgical Press has previously published several volumes of clip art, including Clip Art for the Liturgical Year by Clemens Schmidt and Joshua J. Jeide, O.S.B. ($15.95, Catalog number 1582-1), More Clip Art for the Liturgical Year and Even More Clip Art for the Liturgical Year by Placid Stuckenschneider, O.S.B. ($15.95 each, Catalog number 1952-2 and 2169-2). All three of these volumes are available on CD-ROM under the title Clip Art, More, and Even More Clip Art for the Liturgical Year ($79.95, Catalog number 2426-X).
Also available from the Liturgical Press are Clip Art for Feasts and Seasons and Clip Art for Celebrations and Services by Gertrud Mueller Nelson ($15.95 each, Catalog number 6041-X and 6083-5). The latter two volumes by Gertrud Mueller Nelson are available on CD-ROM under the title Clip Art for Feasts and Seasons ($79.95, Catalog number 6169-6).
Further clip-art books available from the Liturgical Press are Clip Art of the Old Testament and Clip Art: Block Prints for Sundays, Cycles A, B and C by Helen Siegel ($15.95 and $17.50 respectively, Catalog number 6010-X and 6066-5) and Clip Art of the Christian World. This last publication draws from the sketches of Christian art originally contained in a study by Thierry Bonfroit, Odette Mukherjee, Joseph Schlipf and Hanna Losowska under the title Art of the Christian World, A.D. 200-1500: A Handbook of Styles and Forms (Rizzoli International Publishing, 1982).
On May 31, 1998, the Solemnity of Pentecost, Pope John Paul II published an Apostolic Exhortation entitled Dies Domini, On Keeping the Lord's Day Holy. While excerpts of this exhortation will be published in the September issue of the BCL Newsletter, the full text is available on the BCL Website, along with a wide variety of other items of liturgical interest. The website may be accessed at www.nccbuscc.org.