Tres Abhinc Annos: Changes in the Ordo Missae (7-16)

Chapter III covers “Changes in the Order of Mass,” and we begin with genuflections:

7. The celebrant genuflects only:

  1. on going to or leaving the altar if there is a tabernacle containing the blessed sacrament;
  2. after elevating the host and the chalice;
  3. after the doxology at the end of the canon;
  4. at communion, before the words Panem caelestem accipiam;
  5. after the communion of the faithful, when he has placed the remaining hosts in the tabernacle.

All other genuflections are omitted.

The question often comes up about servers and other lay ministers genuflecting in the proximity of the tabernacle outside of or during Mass. Some teachers at our parish school have counselled bowing instead of genuflecting during Mass, but I think the liturgical practice for clergy seems a good solution. Communion ministers genuflect as they retrieve or restore the sacrament: that’s it.

8. The celebrant kisses the altar only: at the beginning of Mass, while saying the Oramus te Domine, or on going to the altar, if the prayers at the foot of the altar are omitted; at the end of Mass before the blessing and dismissal of the people.

The kissing of the altar is otherwise omitted.

This is the current Roman Missal prescription.

9. At the offertory, after offering the bread and wine, the celebrant places on the corporal the paten with host and the chalice, omitting the signs of the cross with paten and with chalice.

He leaves the paten, with the host on it, on the corporal both before and after the consecration.

And here, too.

10. In Masses celebrated with a congregation, even when not concelebrated, the celebrant may say the canon aloud. In sung Masses he may sing those parts of the canon that the rite for concelebration allows.

The Eucharistic Prayer is now said aloud always.

11. In the canon, the celebrant:

  1. begins the Te igitur standing erect and with hands outstretched;
  2. makes one sign of the cross over the offerings at the words benedicas + haec dona, haec munera, haec sancta sacrificia illibata, in the prayer Te igitur. He makes no other sign of the cross over the offerings.

12. After the consecration, the celebrant need not join thumb and forefinger; should any particle of the host have remained on his fingers, he rubs his fingers together over the paten.

13. The communion rite for priest and people is to have the following arrangement: after he says

Panem caelestem accipiam, the celebrant takes the host and, facing the people, raises it, saying the Ecce Agnus Dei, then adding three times with the people the Domine, non sum dignus. He then communicates himself with host and chalice and immediately distributes communion in the usual way to the people.

I can see how the practice with lay communion ministers developed in some places with the “immediate” distribution to the people.

14. The faithful receiving communion at the chrism Mass on Holy Thursday may receive again at the evening Mass on the same day.

These were the days when these Masses were celebrated on the same day.

15. A Mass celebrated with a congregation should include, according to circumstances, either a period of silence or the singing or recitation of a psalm or canticle of praise, e.g., Ps 33 [34] I will bless the Lord, Ps 150, Praise the Lord in his sanctuary or the canticles Bless the Lord [Dn 3:35] or Blessed are you, O Lord [1 Chr 29:10].

These particular choices were not given in the publication of the Roman Missal, but they’re good ones to keep in mind.

16. At the end of Mass the blessing of the people comes immediately before the dismissal. It is recommended that the priest recite the Placeat silently as he is leaving the altar.

Even Masses for the dead include the blessing and usual dismissal formulary Ite, Missa est, unless the absolution follows immediately; in this case, omitting the blessing, the celebrant says: Benedicamus Domino and proceeds to the absolution.

Any other comments about these particular changes in the Order of Mass? Consider that these particulars are arriving to the Church via committee, not by the pope, not by the council bishops.

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About catholicsensibility

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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3 Responses to Tres Abhinc Annos: Changes in the Ordo Missae (7-16)

  1. Liam says:

    Well, it should be noted that number 12 there was a bombshell in its time. The former rubrical requirement to keep those fingers together untils the purification was completed required a great deal of practice and necessitated a lot of things. It amazes me that there are people who yearn to bring that in particular back….

  2. Fr. Klingele says:

    Liam, do you speak from your own experience? You wrote:
    “The former rubrical requirement to keep those fingers together until the purification was completed required a great deal of practice and necessitated a lot of things.” From my actual experience, it takes about one Mass to master this former rubric and present day option. If you can flip the tabbed pages using your middle finger instead of your pointer finger and if you can pick up the chalice between your pointer finger and your middle instead of between your thumb and pointer finger, you have done it. If you want to talk about difficult practices, let us look at the preparation of the Paschal Candle at the Easter Vigil. From my pastoral experience in multiple parishes, people’s belief in the Real Presence in the small and seen particle is strengthened by the priest whose own belief is expressed either in keeping his fingers together or in brushing them over the chalice so as not to be careless with the visible particles.

  3. Liam says:

    I speak from reading many comments of priests on this point over the years, including those sympathetic to the TLM. Thanks for a contrasting perspective.

    The practice would have no effect on my belief in the Real Presence.

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