Category Archives: GIRM

GIRM 299: Placing the Altar

A short, but for traditionalists, a controversial section: 299. The altar should be built separate from the wall, in such a way that it is possible to walk around it easily and that Mass can be celebrated at it facing … Continue reading

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GIRM 296-298: A First Look at the Altar

GIRM 296-308 treats the altar. As you might imagine, there are important values and regulations to communicate: 296. The altar, on which is effected the Sacrifice of the Cross made present under sacramental signs, is also the table of the … Continue reading

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GIRM 295: Arrangement of the Sanctuary

Section II of Chapter V, Arrangement of the Sanctuary for the Sacred Synaxis, will include a look at the altar (GIRM 296-308), the ambo (309), and the chair (310). In this section’s introductory comments, the “sanctuary” is defined somewhat differently … Continue reading

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GIRM 294: Hierarchy and Unity

Not only should a building be ordered to human comfort, but also to depict the hierarchy (not surprising) and the coherent nature of the liturgy (don’t forget that one). 294. The People of God which is gathered for Mass is … Continue reading

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GIRM 293: Suitability For People

A brief look at the GIRM today, short section 293 : 293. The suitable arrangement of a church, and of what goes with it, in such a way as to meet appropriately the needs of our own age requires not … Continue reading

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GIRM 290-292: More on Churches

290. All churches should be dedicated or at least blessed. Cathedrals and parish churches, however, are to be dedicated with a solemn rite. Perhaps we should look at the dedication rites when we’re done with the GIRM. Part of the … Continue reading

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GIRM 289: Noble Assistance of the Arts

This appreciation for the visual arts is rather forward-looking, and presumes a connection to Christ and the aims of liturgy: 289. Consequently, the Church constantly seeks the noble assistance of the arts and admits the artistic expressions of all peoples … Continue reading

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GIRM 288: Churches Ideal for Eucharist

Let’s start with Chapter V, “The Arrangement and Ornamentation of Churches for the Celebration of the Eucharist.” Over the next several posts, we’ll look at general principles (288-294), the arrangement of the sanctuary (295-310) and the nave (311-318) 288. For … Continue reading

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GIRM 284-287: How To Provide Communion From The Cup

It’s interesting, don’t you think, that to provide Communion from the Cup, you don’t even need an extraordinary lay minister? 284. When Communion is distributed under both kinds: a) the chalice is usually administered by a Deacon or, in the … Continue reading

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GIRM 283: The Regulations on Communion from the Cup

Some people will always be free to receive from the Cup. It helps if you’re in Holy Orders: 283. In addition to those cases given in the ritual books, Communion under both kinds is permitted for: a) Priests who are … Continue reading

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GIRM 282: Glued To Trent

Having said that Communion from the Cup adds the fullness of the sign, we have the obligatory reminder in GIRM 282. It’s always struck me that the attachment to Trent’s approach to receiving the Eucharist is a little too excited, … Continue reading

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GIRM 281: Communion Under Both Kinds

It’s curious that a Gospel practice would have so much controversy attached to it. Sections 281-287 address last century’s addition of Communion from the Cup for the laity: 281. Holy Communion has a fuller form as a sign when it … Continue reading

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GIRM 278-280: “The Purification”

This section is titled “The Purification,” but that strikes me as a misnomer. We treat spills, drops, and accidents reverently and ideally without a distracting scrupulosity. But the notion that vessels, and other objects need “purifying” when in contact with … Continue reading

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GIRM 277: Three Swings or Two

Did you know there’s a proper ritual way to bless with incense? Read on: 277. The Priest, having put incense into the thurible, blesses it with the Sign of the Cross, without saying anything. Before and after an incensation, a … Continue reading

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GIRM 276: When To Use Incense

We’ve sped at a breakneck pace through the GIRM the past few days. Let’s slow down and take it easy for a bit. Sections 273 through 287 cover “Some General Norms for All Forms of Mass.” Yesterday we looked at … Continue reading

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