GIRM 305: Decorating the Altar

Let’s chat about how the altar can and should be decorated:

305. Moderation should be observed in the decoration of the altar.

During Advent the floral decoration of the altar should be marked by a moderation suited to the character of this time of year, without expressing in anticipation the full joy of the Nativity of the Lord. During Lent it is forbidden for the altar to be decorated with flowers. Exceptions, however, are Laetare Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Lent), Solemnities, and Feasts.

Keep in mind this prescription is for the altar, not for other areas of the church.

Floral decoration should always show moderation and be arranged around the altar rather than on the altar table.

It’s been years since I’ve seen flowers actually on an altar. Combine it with six candlesticks and you get a positively meal-like vibe with a strong aristocratic tilt.

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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.
This entry was posted in GIRM, post-conciliar liturgy documents. Bookmark the permalink.

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