Q: The Prefaces for Advent include the rubric that those Prefaces are to be used “in Advent and have no proper Preface.” The Ordo seems to suggest that for some of the Memorials and Optional Memorials seem to reference the Common Prefaces for Martyrs, Pastors and such as alternative Prefaces available to be used. This seems contradictory and the GIRM seems to me to be silent on this. How should I properly understand this rubric?
A: It is possible during the first part of Advent for a priest to offer one of the masses for various needs and occasions if he judges it pastorally important. Let’s say a husband and wife have a 50th wedding anniversary, and they want a mass with their family & friends on a Friday night in Advent. You may judge it important enough to select readings and presidential prayers for the occasion, but there is no proper preface for that celebration. Because that mass has “no proper Preface,” you use the one for Advent. Memorials do have proper prefaces, so they may be used as alternatives to the Advent ones.