Inter Oecumenici on Some Minor Matters (32-36)

We get into some bitty, but practical items for liturgical implementation, starting with laying out the notion that the clergy do not usurp the parts of the people–a far more realistic danger to the liturgy than the people taking over priests’ parts:


32. Parts belonging to the choir or to the people and sung or recited by them are not said privately by the celebrant.

33. Nor are readings that are read or sung by the appropriate minister said privately by the celebrant.

Remaining above the all-too-human practice of currying favor with the powerful is important:


34. Individual bishops, or, if it seems advisable, regional or national conferences of bishops shall see to it that the Council’s prohibition against preferential treatment of individuals or a social class either in the ceremonies or by outward display is respected in their territories.

35. In addition, pastors shall not neglect to ensure prudently and charitably that in the liturgical services and more especially in the celebration of Mass and the administration of the sacraments and sacramentals the equality of the faithful is clearly apparent and that any suggestion of moneymaking is avoided.

The question recently came up in our parish touching upon policy for accepting cash donations for Mass intentions. Clearly, we would designate a Mass offering for a parishioner unable to pay. We are not permitted to take money for a second or later intention for a Mass already provided for by a donation. The Consilium is right on these points: it is vital that even the appearance of impropriety be avoided.

We finish off this post with some minor ceremonial matters:


36. In order that liturgical services may manifest a noble simplicity more attuned to the spirit of the times:

1. the celebrant and ministers shall bow to the choir only at the beginning and end of a service;

2. incensation of the clergy, apart from those who are bishops, shall take place toward each side of the choir, with three swings of the censer;

3. incensation shall be limited to the one altar where the liturgical rite is being celebrated;

4. kissing of the hand and of objects presented or received shall be omitted.

Any comments of things of importance? Or even things of little importance?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Inter Oecumenici, Liturgy, post-conciliar liturgy documents. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Inter Oecumenici on Some Minor Matters (32-36)

  1. Gavin says:

    the clergy do not usurp the parts of the people–a far more realistic danger to the liturgy than the people taking over priests’ parts:

    I disagree. The purpose of that section seems to be to do away with the old practice where the priest silently says the Gloria whilst the choir sings it, and so on. I’m not sure of any dangers of priests usurping congregational roles (again, that’s not the point of the paragraphs), although I’d be interested to hear concerns.

    I see congregational usurping of celebrant roles more often. Look at the people mimicking the “orens” position at the preface or during the Pater Noster. On the traditional end, I recall someone at NLM bragging about praying the Canon in Latin during the Mass since the priest “doesn’t do it right.” I think the point to be learned is that it’s difficult to let someone else be responsible for liturgical action, as priests found out in switching to a dialogue Mass, and as congregations trying to usurp priestly roles need to learn.

  2. Sorry, Gavin, but it’s standard to open one’s hands to pray. It is not mimicking anything. [Except maybe the icons of every praying Saint……]

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