Season of Creation

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: During this Season of Creation (September 1-October 4) and as we mark the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si, are there prescribed readings for a Green Mass? == A: In our diocese, we’ve promoted these for September 1: Parishes are encouraged to include prayers and songs for creation in the liturgy, and use the presidential prayers from the missal’s Mass for the Sanctification of Human Labor from the Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions (no. 26; see especially the second Collect of formulary A), as well as readings from Volume IV of the lectionary from the mass “For …

Communion in a different space

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Thank you for all of your help.  It is a great service to all of us. I have seen the discussion about bringing Holy Communion to a group of people in a different space during Mass who have a video feed of the Mass.  I was just going to point out that this was done for the canonization of St. Junipero Serra at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC.  Seminarians and religious were inside the basilica.  The Mass was celebrated on the side lawn.  At the appropriate time, deacons brought ciboria into …

Children and initiation

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

I guess you sent out some canon law quotes relating to RCIA recently, and they seem to say that any child of the age of reason should receive all the sacraments of initiation. In the past when we have asked about this, you have said that it is a pastoral call on whether the child is ready to be prepared. My pastor would like some clarification – we currently have a child in 3rd grade that we were going to only do Baptism to allow her more time to learn about the faith. You had advised us in the past …

Christmas in pandemic times

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: In my State, we are likely facing many more likely months of very strict governmental restrictions on the number of people who can be present for “public gatherings,” including church services (no more than 50 people, no matter how large the church building is). This leaves a real puzzle: how do we handle the liturgy schedule on Christmas Eve?  I am wondering whether it would be liturgically and pastorally appropriate in our very unfortunate circumstances to include a couple shorter services in the Christmas Eve schedule of our multiple-church parish: Sung Evening Prayer with some carols?  Some sort of …

Chrism Mass

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: It is our tradition to hold the Chrism Mass the Thursday prior to Holy Week. I have been searching the documents for some clue as to whether we can hold Chrism Mass on the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, as this would be the date in 2021. What I have found seems to indicate this would not be permissible.  Do you have any insight or can you confirm my findings? == A: In the absence of a document, a simple deduction shows that the answer is absolutely yes, you may schedule the Chrism Mass on March 25. …

Sign of the Cross

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I am looking at the rite of Baptism outside of Mass and I notice that the liturgy does not start with the Sign of the Cross. While it is not included in the rite book, would it be appropriate to start with the Sign of the Cross in this instance? I noticed that the Marriage rite outside of Mass starts with the Sign of the Cross. I don’t believe the Funeral rite starts with one when it is outside the Mass. Is there a liturgical precedent that the church follows for when the Sign of the Cross is used? …

Lectors and Readers

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Greeting Father Turner!  Thank you for this wonderful blog and for sharing your time and talents with us. My question is, which title “reader” or “lector” is proper when referring to laity who read in Mass?  I think lector is or was one of the minor orders for the priesthood and therefore use of the term reader would reduce any confusion regarding those lay people who declare the readings in Mass. == A: The English translation of the GIRM distinguishes the two. A lector is a male reader whom a bishop has instituted into the ministry of lector. This …

Candidacy

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: In the Pontifical, the Rite of Admission to Candidacy says, “Because of its nature, the rite is never combined with the celebration of Holy Orders or with the institution of lectors or of acolytes.” My interpretation of this is that one does not admit men to candidacy at the same Mass as one institutes other men as lectors or acolytes–that is, these rites should not be combined in one Mass. However, others interpret this to mean, instead, that one does not institute as lector or acolyte the SAME MAN  just admitted to candidacy, but that it is fine to …

Custom at ordination

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I hope and pray that this email finds you well. I have a friend who received the following question from a parishioner: “I have a photograph of a cousin on the day he was ordained. It includes him with his court. The court is made up of his nieces and nephews all dressed in very formal, medieval type clothes, except for the niece who is the bride. The bride is in a bride’s dress. The nieces and nephews are all children between 5 and 10 years old. The photograph was taken 85 years ago.” I have never heard of …

Closed-circuit Mass and communion

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I get it that you think people watching a live-streamed Mass should not suddenly receive communion from a minister who enters the room in real time, but what about closed-circuit? What if people in the basement of the same church where Mass is happening are watching it in real time, singing and responding to what they hear while watching it all on a closed-circuit screen? Could they receive communion from that celebration of the Mass? == A: Pandemic conditions are not ideal. They are not the way we usually live. It’s almost like being in prison: There are certain …