40. In IG 120, ministers are virtually defined as those wearing vestments in the entrance procession: "ministers, clad in their vestments". The Latin text for this is: "ministri, sacris vestibus induti" - literally: "ministers, sacred clothes wearing".
41. In other places there appear to be alternatives:
42. IG 119 (c) has been translated as: "for the other ministers: albs or other lawfully approved vestments." However the term translated as "vestments" is "vestes", which could be translated as "clothes".
43. IG 336 has been translated as: "The vestment common to ministers of every rank, ordained and lay, is the alb ..." However the word translated as "lay" is "institutis", which would normally be translated as "instituted".
44. IG 339 has been translated as: "Acolytes, readers and other lay ministers wear the alb or other vestment that is lawfully approved in each region by the Conference of Bishops." However the Latin ends with "possunt", meaning "can, able". This was translated in GIRM 301 as "lay ministers may wear the alb...". The study translation has omitted "may". The word translated as "vestment" is "vestes", which could be translated as "clothes".
45. According to LM 54 "an instituted reader must wear the distinctive vestment of their office when they go to the lectern to read the word of God. Those who carry out the ministry of reader just for the occasion or even regularly but without institution may go to the lectern in ordinary attire that is in keeping with local custom."
46. However, according to the translation of the 1970 GIRM 82 and IG 120, it seems that everyone in the entrance procession (including the reader) must wear vestments: "Once the people have gathered, the priest and ministers, clad in their vestments, go to the altar in this order: ..." It seems people without vestments cannot be part of the procession. The Latin text, however, is: "Populo congregato, sacerdos, et ministri, sacris vestibus induti, ad altare procedunt hoc ordine: ..." (The IG has an extra comma, added after sacerdos, that was not in the 1970 GIRM - seeming to make it clearer that this is a list of who may be in the procession).
From this it seems that not everyone in the procession must be a priest (sacerdos) or minister, but that it may include the gathered people "populo congregato". Thus the reader, who is not specified as being a minister, may be one of the people in ordinary clothes, rather than a minister.
47. Following IG 107 the Bishop, in the norms for his diocese, could more clearly establish:
- which functions of the instituted acolyte and instituted reader must be performed with an alb or other vestment
- and under what circumstances vestments could be omitted.
48. According to IG 119 everyone wearing an alb should use a cincture and amice, unless they are not needed on account of the type of alb. According to CB 65, the amice should be put on if the alb does not completely cover the minister's street clothing at the neck.
49. For the Stational Mass an additional vestment - cassock and surplice - seems to be permitted for lay ministers. After listing the vestments for the bishop, concelebrants, and deacons it has "for other ministers: amices, albs, and cinctures or cassocks and surplices, or other lawfully approved vesture" (CB 125). It is surprising that lay ministers wear cassock and surplice, which is to be worn by priests who take part in the Mass but do not concelebrate, according to CB 66. Usually vestments are intended to promote the proper identity of those ordained from those who are not. IG 119 has added footnote 95, which refers to a document that emphasises this point.[Ecclesia de mysterio, 15 August 1997, article 6. The English title is "Instruction on certain questions regarding the collaboration of the non-ordained faithful in the sacred ministry of priests."] Possibly the inclusion of cassock and surplice in the list of vestments for "other ministers" was intended for priests who are not concelebrants, rather than for lay ministers. Bishops may decide to regulate on this issue in their diocese, in accordance with IG 107.
Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 18 March 2002. Last updated 15 April 2002.