GIRM 139-146: Preparation Rites

GIRM 139 through 165 covers “The Liturgy of the Eucharist” We’ll start with the rites involving the preparation of the altar and gifts:

139. When the Universal Prayer is over, all sit, and the Offertory Chant begins (cf. no. 74).

An acolyte or other lay minister places the corporal, the purificator, the chalice, the pall, and the Missal on the altar.

Question: how many parishes have any of this already in place?

140. It is desirable that the participation of the faithful be expressed by an offering, whether of bread and wine for the celebration of the Eucharist or of other gifts to relieve the needs of the Church and of the poor.

The offerings of the faithful are received by the Priest, assisted by the acolyte or other minister. The bread and wine for the Eucharist are carried to the Celebrant, who places them on the altar, while other gifts are put in another suitable place (cf. no. 73).

A few clergy in my diocese consider “another suitable place” to be away from the altar, but my reading of GIRM 73 suggests not on the table top of the altar. In my parish, the priest does not “receive” these gifts, and GIRM 140 suggests this as well.

141. The Priest accepts the paten with the bread at the altar, holds it slightly raised above the altar with both hands and says quietly, Benedictus es, Domine (Blessed are you, Lord God). Then he places the paten with the bread on the corporal.

Is the raising in your parish slight? Pronounced?

142. After this, as the minister presents the cruets, the Priest stands at the side of the altar and pours wine and a little water into the chalice, saying quietly, Per huius aquae (By the mystery of this water). He returns to the middle of the altar and with both hands raises the chalice a little, and says quietly, Benedictus es, Domine (Blessed are you, Lord God). Then he places the chalice on the corporal and, if appropriate, covers it with a pall.

If, however, there is no Offertory Chant and the organ is not played, in the presentation of the bread and wine the Priest may say the formulas of blessing aloud and the people acclaim, Blessed be God for ever.

Saying these formula, then, is normatively quiet. Saying them aloud is optional, only if there is no music.

143. After placing the chalice on the altar, the Priest bows profoundly and says quietly, In spiritu humilitatis (With humble spirit).

144. If incense is being used, the Priest then puts some in the thurible, blesses it without saying anything, and incenses the offerings, the cross, and the altar. While standing at the side of the altar, a minister incenses the Priest and then the people.

It seems as if the acolyte is to incense the people. Anybody have a concern about this, especially if the role is filled by a youth or child? Or is the connection with the priest adequate?

145. After the prayer In spiritu humilitatis (With humble spirit) or after the incensation, the Priest washes his hands standing at the side of the altar and, as the minister pours the water, says quietly, Lava me, Domine (Wash me, O Lord).

Incense first, then water.

146. Returning to the middle of the altar, and standing facing the people, the Priest extends and then joins his hands, and calls upon the people to pray, saying, Orate, fratres (Pray, brethren). The people rise and make the response May the Lord accept the sacrifice, etc. Then the Priest, with hands extended, says the Prayer over the Offerings. At the end the people acclaim, Amen.

Lots to cover in just a few minutes before the Eucharistic Prayer, but are there any comments?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in GIRM, post-conciliar liturgy documents. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to GIRM 139-146: Preparation Rites

  1. Katherine says:

    Acolytes incensing: I might not want to entrust the task to a very young server, but it’s not rocket science. Young people can be trained to do it well; some are eager and take pride in being entrusted with the responsibility.

    As a practical matter, it could be a privileged duty entrusted to servers who are experienced and proven to be careful and reliable. A sacristan or MC (if you have one on duty), can supervise and make sure the thurible is correctly prepared and ready.

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