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Entering a Sanctuary Without a Tabernacle

90. According to IG 49, the priest, deacon and ministers profoundly bow to the altar when they enter the sanctuary. The priest and deacon kiss the altar.

91. The profound bow is made "on reaching the altar" by the priest and ministers (IG 122). The cross carried in the entrance procession, is set aside, or (if there is not another cross) it becomes the altar cross. The candlesticks, carried by the ministers, are placed on or near the altar. The Book of the Gospels is placed on the altar.

2002 IG 222 seems to make placing the Book of the Gospels on the altar optional, by adding the word "laudabiliter" -- that it is praiseworthy to do this.

92. It would seem that the profound bow is made to the altar after the ministers have placed the items they are carrying on, or near, the altar - rather than while carrying them.

93. For Mass with a deacon, it is explained that when the deacon is not carrying the Book of the Gospels, "he customarily makes a profound bow to the altar with the priest alone, and then with him venerates the altar with a kiss." (IG 173). Thus it seems that the bow is to be made in pairs, rather than all together.

94. When the deacon is carrying the Book of the Gospels "he omits the reverence and goes up to the altar, places the Book of the Gospels on it, and then kisses the altar with the priest" (IG 173).

2002 IG 173 adds "laudabiliter" regarding placing the Book of the Gospels on the altar, indicating that this is praiseworthy, not compulsory.

95. For a concelebrated Mass, according to IG 211, the concelebrants and celebrant "make a profound bow, kiss the altar and then go to their designated chairs."

96. For Mass with a bishop, according to CB 70 "Neither a genuflection nor a deep bow is made by those who are carrying articles used in a celebration, for example, the cross, candlesticks, the Book of the Gospels." It may seem surprising that IG has not completely included this. IG 274 has "Ministers who are carrying the processional cross or the candles bow their heads in place of a genuflection." But it does not make provision for similarly replacing a deep bow with bow of the head. It makes no exception for those carrying items, apparently requiring the deep bow after the carried items have been put in place.

97. For a Stational Mass, on entering the sanctuary "all make a deep bow to the altar, two by two." (CB 130). When the bishop reaches the altar he "hands the staff to a minister and takes off the miter. Together with the deacons and other ministers accompanying him, the bishop makes a deep bow to the altar, then goes up to the altar and, together with the two deacons assisting him, kisses it." (CB 131).

98. The Stational Mass has the option of the candles being put on the side table, but this has not been retained in IG 122, for Masses without a Bishop, which requires them to be put on or near the altar.



Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 18 March 2002. Last updated 15 April 2002.