Book of the Gospels

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Thank you for being a marvelous resource for all things liturgical!

I have a question for you: Is there anything in the documents about the priest (or deacon) displaying the Book of the Gospels on the Ambo shelf after the homily (in front of Ambo) and does it specify if the book should be open or closed?

Thanks & Blessings from California!


 A: welcome. 

I’ve treated this in my book Let Us Pray in paragraph 353. The USCCB’s book on art and architecture, Built of Living Stones, says in footnote 84 that it has become customary to provide a place to display the book of the gospels, even in front of the ambo. The GIRM says that the deacon (or priest) may remove the book of the gospels to the credence table or some other appropriate place (175).

Personally, I recommend closing the book. It is opened for the sake of proclamation, and otherwise closed. The entire book is the symbol.