Sprinkling

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: May a layperson assist with the sprinkling rite at Mass; that is, also sprinkle a part of the assembly as the priest sprinkles another part? It would seem not, given that in Pastoral Care of the Sick, a layperson is not mentioned as being able to sprinkle with holy water (e.g., #82 – deacon and  priest are specifically mentioned, and the praenotanda notes that the text is very careful in mentioning which ministers can do what [#44]). == A: I share your interpretation of this. The missal makes no provision for a layperson assisting in the sprinkling of water …

Funerals

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: People seem to have lost a sense that death is a time to pray for the deceased, not to assume that they went straight to heaven. Funerals are not canonizations, but they can often sound like it.  One of my colleagues wants the Widor Toccata from Symphony No. 5 played at his funeral. I don’t think it’s appropriate. Just because it’s organ music without words, that does not automatically make it liturgically appropriate. Of course, the same argument would prohibit its use at (after) Mass even at Easter. What would you say? == A: I share your observation that funerals are …

Dedication or Consecration

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: We are in the process of preparing the final Mass at a Catholic church that will be sold (and possibly torn down). We are aware that there is no formal ritual for the occasion. But during one of our planning meetings someone mentioned that the church was never “consecrated” only “dedicated”.  An article in the archives states that the current church building was dedicated in 1957 by the then Archbishop. Can you clarify the terminology of dedication and consecration? Does it / should it make a difference to our planning of the closure? == A: Earlier, the ceremony was …

Crowning

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Would it be liturgically okay to celebrate the Rite of Crowning an Image of the Blessed Mary at Sunday Mass during the Easter Season, Father? Thanks. == A: You may certainly incorporate crowning an image of the Virgin within a Mass. The Roman Pontifical envisions this possibility for a bishop. The crowning takes place after the homily.

Flowers

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Fr. Paul, maybe I am a bit too sensitive about the observance of secular holidays that fall on weekends. When I saw the weekend flower order for 2 arrangements that are placed by the tabernacle in the center of the church behind the altar- red, white and blue, I did cringe. Do you have any suggestions? I was going to offer a suggestion of light blue hydrangeas with some red flowers, a bit less of the traditional patriotic.  Thanks for the work you do. == A: I think the USCCB’s recommendations pertaining to the American flag could be used for …

Gloria in Eastertide

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Is the Gloria prayed during weekday masses in Eastertide? I note the Australian Ordo does not suggest so,  but is it permissible. Reading Ars Celebrandi….congratulations! And thanks.  == A: The Gloria is prayed only during the weekdays of the Octave of Easter, not on the other weekdays. Occasionally a feast shows up during Easter Time, and that would call for the Gloria. On other days, no. it would not be advisable to add it. That way the Octave of Easter stands out as the most special week that it is. Thanks for reading my new book.

Language of prayers

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I was struck by this post from March 5. I’m hoping it was sent by a priest because it made me feel so much better knowing I was not alone in my thinking about how stilted and awkward the prayers sound. I subscribe to Give Us This Day so I can follow along with the prayers and readings and sometimes they make no sense! It’s so frustrating. Also, I once asked the priest about the word “merit.” He didn’t have an answer.  == A: Thanks for your message. When I struggled with the word “merit”, it helped me to look it up …

Birthdays and anniversaries at Mass

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I am looking for some direction regarding the acknowledgement of  parishioners’ birthdays and anniversaries.   Over the past 20 years, my husband and I have been to masses at many different churches where we saw this done in some way.  The method has varied depending upon the priest/pastor and the size of the church, but we always thought it was a wonderful way to build community and allow parishioners to celebrate even in a small way. What we have seen is the presider at some point asking who is celebrating a birthday/anniversary this month, and he acknowledges by asking them …

Options for Easter season

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: In Let Us Pray, you state that “There are three versions of this prayer in the Missal. The last is designated for the Easter season.” That seems a bit ambiguous to me. Does that mean that in Eastertime you have three options… or only one? Thanks!  == A: I’m looking at the missal in Latin, and I’m relieved to report that it’s as ambiguous as I am. The English translation is faithful to what it says in Latin. After the first option, the rubric introducing the second one says, “Or.” And after that, the rubric introducing the third one says, “Or, during Easter …

Items on the altar

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I read your response to the statue on the altar (and agree).  Exactly what is permitted and/or required on the Altar?  Also, I believe there should be an even number of the candles on or around the Altar (except when a bishop is celebrating the Mass and an extra one is permitted).  At one point. for some time, there were three candles on our Altar.  Any justification for this? == A: I treat items on the altar in my book Let Us Pray at paragraphs 71 and 419: “Apart from its cloth, nothing else is to be on the altar except possibly …