GIRM 309: The Ambo

One section on the ambo, but there’s a good bit here to which to attend:

309. The dignity of the Word of God requires that in the church there be a suitable place from which it may be proclaimed and toward which the attention of the faithful naturally turns during the Liturgy of the Word.[Inter Oecumenici 92]

It is appropriate that generally this place be a stationary ambo and not simply a movable lectern. The ambo must be located in keeping with the design of each church in such a way that the ordained ministers and readers may be clearly seen and heard by the faithful.

My parish’s ambo is a movable piece, though it takes two people to budge it awkwardly. The stand on which it sits is more easily moved across the floor, a concession to the possibilities of focusing the proclamation of the Word to either side of our antiphonally-seated assembly, as the situation might dictate.

From the ambo only the readings, the Responsorial Psalm, and the Easter Proclamation (Exsultet) are to be proclaimed; likewise it may be used for giving the Homily and for announcing the intentions of the Universal Prayer. The dignity of the ambo requires that only a minister of the word should stand at it.

Homily and general intercessions optional. Anybody have the intercessions announced from a place other than the ambo. I tend to lean toward that option myself.

It is appropriate that before being put into liturgical use a new ambo be blessed according to the rite described in the Roman Ritual.[Book of Blessings 900-918]

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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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One Response to GIRM 309: The Ambo

  1. Liam says:

    Inspirational art history:

    The ambo (ambones=plural, by the way) at the height of development:

    From S Clement’s in Rome: here you can easily grasp how the proclamation of the Word was integrated with the choral function (nice candle for the proclamation of the Gospel….).

    The pulpit at the height of development in 13th century Tuscany by Nicola Pisano and his son Giovanni Pisano – these sculptures were perhaps the beginning of the classical ressourcement that fed the Italian Renaissance:

    The baptistery of Pisa: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/83/Pisa.Baptistery.pulpit01.jpg

    The cathedral of Siena:

    The cathedral of Pisa:

    The church of S Andrea in Pistoia:

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