1123 K Thu 27 Jun 2002
The front page of The Age newspaper always has an "Odd Spot". Yesterday it was:
Chainsaws should not be placed on the altar in the Catholic Church. According to the Roman Missal:
The 2002 Institutio Generalis added to the list of items that may be placed on the altar the pall, the square board that is placed on the chalice.
There should be at least one white cloth on the altar (2002 General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) 304). Flowers are to be placed around the altar, not on it according to the 2002 GIRM 305. Candles may be placed on the altar or around it (2002 GIRM 307).
As well as the Roman Missal, I think it is reasonable to include the stand for this book. I also think it is reasonable to have microphones on the altar, although a less obtrusive "clip on" microphone would seem better.
For the dedication of an altar chrism (i.e. oil) is poured onto it.
I don't think the liturgical books ever instruct that documents should be signed on the altar.
Is it OK to bless chainsaws? According to the Book of Blesssings:
In the Latin "editio typica" of this book, called De Benedictionibus, this section is at n 698 in the chapter "Ordo Benedictionis Instrumentorum Laboris".
But another section of the Book of Blessings has:
In the Catholic Church the rite provided for the blessing of tools does not take place in Mass and the tools should not be placed on the altar. But I see the blessing of chainsaws as appropriate.
Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 27 June 2002.
Congregation gives thanks for chainsaws