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White as a Default Liturgical Color

October 17, 2021

Q: Everybody assumes that the default liturgical color is white. In other words, they say that the white color can be used for every Mass. For example, if you are traveling for a week and you are going to celebrate Mass in a hotel room, you only need to pack in your suitcase white ornaments, instead of packing the various liturgical colors needed for that week. Another example, in Masses with a big number of concelebrants, the majority of them wear white ornaments, regardless of the liturgical color of the day, if there are not enough ornaments of the liturgical color of the day for the concelebrants. I assume this is right, but I cannot find anything in the liturgical norms in this regard. Could you tell me if this assumption is right? If so, is there any liturgical law that approves this practice? -- D.A., Granada, Spain

Blessings and Replated Sacred Vessels

October 10, 2021

Q. I sent my 57-year-old chalice and paten to have the inside of the cup and the top of the paten replated with gold. It was consecrated by a bishop back at that time, something that is not done anymore. My question is: Is it necessary to bless the chalice and paten before using them for Mass? -- J.H.,Austin, Texas

Concelebrants at the “Mysterium Fidei”

October 3, 2021

Q: I noticed that in the booklets for concelebration recently published in Spanish, it says that the concelebrants are not to say the acclamation after the "Mysterium fidei," which only the people are supposed to say. I had never heard or read that before, and checking in the concelebration booklets in Latin (2009) and English, I found that they explicitly stated that the concelebrants say this together with the people. On the one hand, it is absolutely clear that in a Mass with only priests concelebrating, the “Mysterium fidei” is omitted. Are the priests in a Mass with people not to say the acclamation? Where do they get this from? Does that apply to all the other answers where in the Missal it says "The people"? For example, in the offertory reply, "Blessed be God forever"? What about Masses when no laity are present, and the greetings and blessings are omitted -- should that also be the case when only priests are present? -- A.S., Ulestraten, Netherlands

On Who Should Receive the Offertory Gifts

September 26, 2021

Q: Who should receive the gifts from the offertory procession? The deacon, if present, or the celebrant? There seems to be a growing trend for the deacon, assisted by altar servers, to receive the gifts at the edge of the sanctuary while the celebrant remains seated at the chair. The deacon prepares the chalice, at which point the celebrant comes to the altar. Is this proper? -- S.M., Evansville, Indiana

Adjusting Texts for Number and Gender

September 19, 2021

Q: I am aware that a priest cannot change the approved liturgical texts used in Mass. However, I have a doubt regarding the mention of saints, the living and the deceased in the liturgical texts. Can a priest change the number and gender of the prayers to adapt them to a concrete celebration? -- D.A., Granada, Spain

Blessing With the Book of the Gospels

September 12, 2021

Q: Who can bless the congregation with the Book of the Gospels after the proclamation of the Gospel? Is it true that it can only be done by bishops? Sometimes I hear that the provincials of religious orders can also do it since they are considered as “bishops” for their order. Is this true? -- M.Z., Malta

Plenary Indulgence at Point of Death

September 5, 2021

Q: Pope Paul VI’s apostolic constitution on indulgences, Indulgentiarum Doctrina, mentions in No. 18 the plenary indulgence at the point of death. Therein he makes reference to Canon 468, paragraph 2 of the Code of Canon Law. It appears, however, that the Code he is referring to is that of 1917. My question is whether the indulgence is still in force, and if any conditions for gaining it have been changed? -- G.B., Saint Venera, Malta

Where a Homily Should Be Given

August 29, 2021

Q: Should a priest give his homily from the ambo, or can it be from the altar? -- S.W., Masai, Malaysia

A: The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) is rather sparse regarding this point.

No. 136 says: "The priest, standing at the chair or at the ambo itself or, when appropriate, in another suitable place, gives the homily. When the homily is completed, a period of silence may be observed."

Offertory Antiphons

August 15, 2021

Q: The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) speaks of an antiphon for the offertory at Mass, but the only place I have seen offertory antiphons is in missals for the extraordinary form; neither the now-defunct missals of the ordinary form nor the newly translated missals contain this antiphon. Do you know what happened to the offertory antiphon? Did the Latin "Novus Ordo" ever have them? If so, why were they dropped, and why would the GIRM speak of them? If not, why not? And if they do exist in Latin, why weren't they translated into English and given to us so that we can use them, as the Church obviously wishes? -- M.D., Cheyenne, Wyoming

A Hail Mary at the End of General Intercessions

July 26, 2021

Q: What sort of prayer is supposed to be recited at the conclusion of the Prayer of the Faithful? Is it permitted to substitute the Memorare for the Hail Mary? -- J.M., Harare, Zimbabwe

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