Sacrosanctum Concilium 32

vii4.jpgHow could I have missed it? Checking back through the archives, I found something amiss in the numbering of the posts.

The liturgy makes distinctions between persons according to their liturgical function and sacred Orders, and there are liturgical laws providing for due honors to be given to civil authorities. Apart from these instances, no special honors are to be paid in the liturgy to any private persons or classes of persons, whether in the ceremonies or by external display.

Anything to say about this, anyone?

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Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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8 Responses to Sacrosanctum Concilium 32

  1. Gavin says:

    Didn’t know that about due honors.

    I know this will offend many, but when I was young I didn’t like the idea of Extraordinary Ministers (of course, then known as Eucharistic Ministers). I thought it was too showy for 8-12 people to go up to the chancel and get to distribute communion as though they’re better than others. Although this was just childish ideas, I think in the spirit of this direction we should avoid the attitude that John Q. Layman the lector/cantor/altar boy/EMHC is such because he’s better than James R. Pewsitter. I’m sure that you yourself don’t encourage or put up with any such behavior, but it does no doubt happen. Just hear the stories of, say the purification rule, when people would whine “but that’s MY job!”

  2. ~m2~ says:

    gavin, you must have belonged to a large parish because seeing 8-12 people going up to help distribute Communion must have looked like a concert choir, especially to someone who was young!

    speaking for myself, when i became an Extraordinary Minister, it was a tremendous and most humbling honor. i take nothing for granted, i take great care to make sure people are receiving properly in front of me, and by no means do i whine and say “that’s MY job!” if you could do it for one time, meeting people at their need, seeing their faces, feeling their hands…meeting Jesus and Jesus meeting them where they are? it is really incredible and has ofttimes moved me to tears. i am simply an instrument, nothing more.

  3. Liam says:

    Aside from the fact that the statement is more than a bit circular, it appears to be aimed at customary practices to segregate and limit certain types of clothing to royalty and nobility, et cet.

    The nature of the quote is such that it does not seem to address things like the KofC, whose attire is not a liturgical honor.

    All that said, this quote is one of the bases excluding people who are not liturgical ministers from the *liturgical* procession as such. They may process in before the liturgy begins, of course…. (Btw, some canonists would apply this principle to choirs, about whom there is a some debate whether they are liturgical ministers in the strict sense. I don’t really care, but it’s worth mentioning in this context.)

  4. Talmida says:

    I suspect this section might come in useful to nations with a monarchy and issues of protocol and precedence to deal with.

    I wonder if someone who is a monarch “by the grace of God” qualifies as a “civil” authority?

    Since my monarch is an Anglican, I’ve never really considered the issue. However, we’ve had plenty of catholic Governors General (including the saintly George Vanier). I’m guessing that this section means that a priest is not obliged to bow before the GG before offering him communion? ;)

  5. Gavin says:

    Right, of course I wasn’t suggesting that all, or perhaps even most, EMHCs are impious spotlight dwellers. I was merely speaking from my experience. Actually, my home parish WAS huge up until about ’95 or so. Then it shrunk to perhaps 200-300 people. And yet, the same 8 or so people were EMs. That’s when you have to wonder if it’s being done out of necessity or to just make people in that role happy.

    Actually, as for the real topic of the paragraph, I’ve never really seen an important civil leader at church with the exception of the congressman, who’s a member there anyway. So I can’t really say what does go on there.

  6. Liam says:

    It might be helpful to remember that royalty often once sat exclusively in royal boxes adjoining the sanctuary (as the ritual of anointing a monarch was a sacramental at least, and used holy oil), and communion on occasion might only be administered to such royalty, et cet.

  7. Anne says:

    The Catholic veterans in my town have a yearly “Pearl Harbor” remembrance. I think we do this nicely and the vets seem happy. They enter before the opening procession with flags. The flags are placed off to the sides. Some vets then go and sit with their families while others may sit together but there is no designated area. The Entrance Procession begins followed by the usual greeting by Father who will acknowledge the vets in the assembly. Liturgy as usual and following the prayer after communion someone will speak briefly about Pear Harbor and acknowledge survivors who may be present. Then, “The mass is ended, go in peace…” The priest processes out and when he is at the door, a group of veterans remove the flags ceremoniously.
    Sound Ok? No “special honors”….?

  8. Liam says:

    Yes. That’s fine.

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