GIRM 348-351: Other Things Intended For Church Use

The final subsection of Chapter VI:

348. Besides the sacred vessels and the sacred vestments, for which some particular material is prescribed, other furnishings that either are intended for direct liturgical use [Book of Blessings part III] or are in any other way admitted into a church should be worthy and in keeping with their particular intended purpose.

349. Special care must be taken to ensure that the liturgical books, particularly the Book of the Gospels and the Lectionary, which are intended for the proclamation of the Word of God and hence receive special veneration, are to be in a liturgical action truly signs and symbols of higher realities and hence should be truly worthy, dignified, and beautiful.

Public display is not required, but I’ve seen it in a few places, especially for the Book of the Gospels.

350. Furthermore, every care is to be taken with respect to those things directly associated with the altar and the celebration of the Eucharist, for example, the altar cross and the cross carried in procession.

351. Every effort should be made, even in minor matters, to observe appropriately the requirements of art and to ensure that a noble simplicity is combined with elegance.

Noble simplicity. Elegance. How would you see the Church, or more specifically your parish, cover these points?


About catholicsensibility

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

6 Responses to GIRM 348-351: Other Things Intended For Church Use

  1. FrMichael says:

    What say you? What is the liceity (and more importantly, appropriateness) of using iPads as Lectionaries? It is a growing fad (my word) around here. One enterprising pastor had a parishioner create a little liturgical red cloth cover to wrap the iPod at a parish where I helped with confessions the other night. As he explained it, it prevents the lector from reading the wrong passage from the Vol. IV Lectionary. Personally, I prefer ribbons and discreet Post-It notes to keep that from happening.

    I think I’ll be dead or retired before I allow an iPod to be used liturgically in my parish. I’m still one of the few who are hold outs on installing movie screens.

    • Todd says:

      One of our students changed the Christmas Proclamation from his iPad at Midnight Mass. Agreement on video screens: a bane to good liturgy.

    • Liam says:

      I see no fundamental reason why the electronic tablet cannot find a place among ritual resources along with the codex (aka book), scroll and hard tablet. Remember, the codex was once a novelty, too. That said, the Book of the Gospels will likely remain in codex form for the sheer symbolism.

      As for the Lectionary (aside from the Gospels), we should recall its purpose is purely practical, not symbolic: the Bible would be symbolic, but the Lectionary is a conveniently organized set of lections from the Bible. While related, there is a distinction. The Book of Gospels and the Bible have traditionally been given the ritual role of symbols that embody the Word of God in a way that the Lectionary (or the Missal, for that matter) has not (we don’t process with the Lectionary, as many people unlearned in the last generation…).

  2. FrMichael says:

    Liam, I agree that the Lectionary is more functional than the Book of the Gospels and would be more apt to be replaced by a tablet. However, I find the lector’s finger scrolling on a long reading very distracting!

    • Liam says:

      Just shift your perspective and imagine a yad (Torah pointer) being used on a scroll. The way Jesus would have done it.

  3. FrMichael says:

    Hey, I’ve been at a bar mitvah and I remember the yad! Perhaps I should give one to the neighboring parish. Thanks for the :)

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