GIRM 115-116: Mass with the People

We’ll spend the next few dozen posts looking at “Mass with the People.” A simple definition starts us off:

115. By Mass with the people is meant a Mass celebrated with the participation of the faithful. Moreover, it is appropriate, in so far as possible, and especially on Sundays and Holydays of Obligation, that the celebration take place with singing and with a suitable number of ministers.[cf. Eucharisticum Mysterium 26, Musicam Sacram 16, 27] It may, however, take place even without singing and with only one minister.

116. If at any celebration of Mass a Deacon is present, he should exercise his function. Furthermore, it is desirable that an acolyte, a reader, and a cantor should usually be there to assist the Priest Celebrant. Indeed, the rite described below foresees an even greater number of ministers.

Roman wisdom and practicality give us a high aim, but with the leeway to have a fully valid liturgical celebration while working toward that ideal. Sundays and holy days are “especially” suitable for more than four assisting ministers. That means this ideal of a “greater number” should apply to funerals, weddings, and even daily Masses.\

Those who think we do well to limit the number of ministers would not appear to be in congruence to the mind of the Church. Neither would those who see liturgy in terms of the High Mass/Low Mass dichotomy as applied to the modern Roman Rite. High Mass, as we knew it before Vatican II, is clearly the aim of good liturgy as envisioned by the Roman Missal.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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1 Response to GIRM 115-116: Mass with the People

  1. Pingback: Dudamel rehearsing Mozart's Mass

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