GIRM 128-133: Liturgy of the Word

The first part of the Liturgy of the Word is choreographed:

128. After the Collect, all sit. The Priest may, very briefly, introduce the faithful to the Liturgy of the Word. Then the reader goes to the ambo and, from the Lectionary already placed there before Mass, proclaims the First Reading, to which all listen. At the end, the reader pronounces the acclamation The word of the Lord, and all reply, Thanks be to God.

A colleague of mine once grumbled about the potential number of “very brief” homilies allowed by the Roman Missal. Note that the commencement of the Word is not a time for announcements.

Then a few moments of silence may be observed, if appropriate, so that all may meditate on what they have heard.

Silence “may” be observed, but I would consider it an essential.

129. Then the psalmist or the reader proclaims the verses of the Psalm and the people make the response as usual.

130. If there is to be a Second Reading before the Gospel, the reader proclaims it from the ambo. All listen and at the end reply to the acclamation, as noted above (no. 128). Then, if appropriate, a few moments of silence may be observed.

Silence after the Psalm would be good, too.

131. After this, all rise, and the Alleluia or other chant is sung as the liturgical time requires (cf. nos. 62-64).

132. During the singing of the Alleluia or other chant, if incense is being used, the Priest puts some into the thurible and blesses it. Then, with hands joined, he bows profoundly before the altar and quietly says the prayer Munda cor meum (Cleanse my heart).

133. If the Book of the Gospels is on the altar, the Priest then takes it and approaches the ambo, carrying the Book of the Gospels slightly elevated. He is preceded by the lay ministers, who may carry the thurible and the candles. Those present turn towards the ambo as a sign of special reverence for the Gospel of Christ.

Here’s a question for you liturgical pickers of nits: altar candles or special candles?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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1 Response to GIRM 128-133: Liturgy of the Word

  1. Liam says:

    on the nit: that definite article is interesting (because Latin doesn’t typically rely on definite articles). cf GIRM 175, which simply states “lighted candles”.

    In our parish, there are four candles at the altar, and two that are set by the processional cross; it is these latter two that accompany the procession with the Gospel book.

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