Redemptionis Sacramentum 124-126

Maybe I could have grouped this section with yesterday’s post on clergy vestments:

[124.] A faculty is given in the Roman Missal for the Priest concelebrants at Mass other than the principal concelebrant (who should always put on a chasuble of the prescribed colour), for a just reason such as a large number of concelebrants or a lack of vestments, to omit “the chasuble, using the stole over the alb”. [Cf. GIRM 209] Where a need of this kind can be foreseen, however, provision should be made for it insofar as possible. Out of necessity the concelebrants other than the principal celebrant may even put on white chasubles. For the rest, the norms of the liturgical books are to be observed.

Roman sensibility: do what needs to be done in extraordinary situations. It’s good that a strain of this approach is still functioning.

For deacons:

[125.] The proper vestment of the Deacon is the dalmatic, to be worn over an alb and stole. In order that the beautiful tradition of the Church may be preserved, it is praiseworthy to refrain from exercising the option of omitting the dalmatic. [Cf. GIRM 338]

Back east in the 80’s, most all deacons wore alb and stole–no dalmatic. I like the vestment as an item of liturgical style. My observation is that some are indistinguishable from the chasuble to the casual observer. Now, if the CDWDS doesn’t mind that …

What about the situation of no chasuble? The CDWDS comes down hard:

[126.] The abuse is reprobated whereby the sacred ministers celebrate Holy Mass or other rites without sacred vestments or with only a stole over the monastic cowl or the common habit of religious or ordinary clothes, contrary to the prescriptions of the liturgical books, even when there is only one minister participating.[Cf. Liturgicae Instaurationes 8c] In order that such abuses be corrected as quickly as possible, Ordinaries should take care that in all churches and oratories subject to their jurisdiction there is present an adequate supply of liturgical vestments made in accordance with the norms.

Bishops should oversee supply where supply is an issue.

I’ve known clergy who, for various reasons, prefer to omit the chasuble for, say, daily Mass. Alb and stole only. I’m not sure how to react to that. I can give my input when I visit a place, but it’s really likely some priest is going to listen to liturgist-on-vacation. I don’t see that a chasuble is a problem for any Mass. If I were a priest, I would comply here.

What do you clergy have to say about this? Deacons, too, chime in.

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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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One Response to Redemptionis Sacramentum 124-126

  1. Jeff BeBeau says:

    I found it interesting that the attitude towards the use of the dalmatic was becoming more and more popular. As you noted, for a time it seemed the only time that a deacon wore a dalmatic was at his ordination. The GIRM notes that is may be omitted for less solemnity, but here we see a positive exhortation (certainly few in RS) to wear the dalmatic on all occasions. It is interesting to note that while a chasuble is exclusively for the celebration of the Eucharist (the cope being used at other times), the use of the dalmatic is not restricted to the celebration of the Eucharist. Then there is also the option of a bishop to use the pontifical dalmatic, which I believe has a beautiful symbolism of the fullness of order. I also really like the idea that on Holy Thursday, if the bishop is to do the washing of the feet, and if he is wearing the pontifical dalmatic, he removes the chasuble but not the dalmatic, a very strong symbol that the dalamtic is the vestment of service. There is however a bit of a disconnect in the Blessing of an Abbot for the rite directs the abbot to also wear the dalmatic. Again a situation where we see the historic melding of order and jurisdiction. A priest who also has jurisdiction, such as an apostolic prefect is permitted the use of pontificals even though he isn’t a bishop.

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