Humeral veil

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Greetings Fr. Paul: Thank you for your most informative blog. A question has arisen in the vesture for the laity exposing the Blessed Sacrament (in the monstrance). We do this two times a week.

The Pastor has the lay people vested in alb (that’s ok) and then has them wear the humeral veil to take the pyx to the altar, removing the luna, etc., and again at the end of exposition to return the luna/pyx to the tabernacle.

Is the humeral veil permitted for lay people in this ministry?

Many thanks in advance for your counsel.


A: I’m looking at Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass, starting at paragraph 91. It permits a deputed lay person (extraordinary minister of holy communion) to expose and repose the Blessed Sacrament. Paragraph 92 requires a priest or deacon to wear the humeral veil while imparting the blessing. Lay ministers, of course, may not impart a blessing with the Blessed Sacrament.

The order of service begins at paragraph 93, where it says that the “minister” puts on a humeral veil to carry the Blessed Sacrament from the tabernacle and to place it on the altar.

Paragraph 99 says that a priest or deacon wears the humeral veil to impart the blessing and then reposes the Blessed Sacrament. It never says when he removes the veil. Presumably, he keeps it on while he reposes the Sacrament in the tabernacle.

Consequently, I’m concluding that this ritual does not restrict the wearing of the humeral veil to priests and deacons, but expects any minister to wear one while carrying the Blessed Sacrament between the tabernacle and the altar. I admit that I rarely see this practiced, but from what I can tell, your pastor’s directive is in keeping with the rubrics.