Discussion of BCL Newsletter 26 July
Current liturgical law on purifications
US Bishops November 2001 discussion
on modifying purification laws
Purifications - I was
In my search of the legislation on who could do the purifications
I did not find the following from Notitiae 14 (1978). This seems
to say that other extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion
can do purifications. Therefore I was wrong -- in saying that
those doing the purifications were disobedient and that the proposed
changes by the U.S. Bishops to This Holy and Living Sacrifice
was "rewarding disobedience".
Here is the text from Notitiae 14 (1978) 593-594, no. 15:
Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 9 June 2001. Last Modified
16 February 2002.
Query: After the distribution of communion the priest is observed
purifying the vessels (chalice, paten, ciborium) at the middle
of the altar. Cannot a better place and time be chosen to do
this? May another minister purify the vessels?
Reply: a. The directives in the GIRM are to be observed. There
is a general principle in no. 238: "The vessels are purified
by the priest or else by the deacon or acolyte after the communion
or after Mass, if possible at a side table. Wine and water or
water alone are used for the purification of the chalice, then
drunk by the one who purifies it. The paten is usually to be
wiped with the purificator."
The directive as to time (whether after communion or after
Mass) is completed in no. 229 with one regarding place (at the
side of the altar). It is implicit in this regulation that the
celebrant never stands in the middle of the altar as he purifies
the vessels (see also no. 120).
b. Other particulars are found elsewhere in the GIRM: As to
the priest, no. 120:
After communion the priest returns to the altar and collects
any remaining particles. Then standing at the side of the altar
or at a side table, he purifies the paten or ciborium over the
chalice, then purifies the chalice, saying inaudibly: Lord
may I receive these gifts, etc. , and dries it with a purificator.
If this is done at the altar, the vessels are taken to a side
table by a minister. It is also permitted, especially if there
are several vessels to be purified, to leave them, properly covered
and on a corporal, either at the altar or at a side table and
purify them after Mass when the people have left.
As to the deacon, no. 138:
After communion, the deacon returns to the altar with the
priest and collects any remaining fragments. He then takes the
chalice and other vessels to the side table, where he purifies
them and arranges them in the usual way; the priest returns to
the chair. But it is permissible to leave the vessels to be purified,
properly covered and on a corporal, at a side table and to purify
them after Mass, when the people have left.
As to the acolyte, no. 147:
After communion, the acolyte helps the priest or deacon to
purify and arrange the vessels. If no deacon is present, the
acolyte takes the vessels to the side table, where he purifies
and arranges them.
The remarks on the priest, deacon, and acolyte are applicable
to a special minister who lawfully distributes communion
(see SCDS, Instruction Immensae caritatis, nos.; RR, Holy
Communion and Worship of the Eucharist outside Mass, no.
17). See also GIRM no. 229 on a priest celebrating without a
congregation; nos. 202-206 on a concelebrated Mass. [From Documents
on the Liturgy 1963-1979, Liturgical Press, 1982, page 512, Footnote
Links to other websites on the U.S. Bishops Meeting in Atlanta
and changes to "This Holy and Living Sacrifice":
Bishops asked to revisit adaptions - 13 Nov 2001 report
Newsletter June-July 2001 - Describes another meeting on
12-13 June and gives details of the vote. There is more information
on what is proposed "granting to diocesan Bishops in the
dioceses of the United States of America the faculty of permitting
extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion ...".
Approve Revised Guidelines in Atlanta, 15 June 2001, NCCBUSCC
Newsletter, January-February 2001
Release of 29 May 2001 on Meeting in Atlanta from NCCBUSCC
Advisory of 11 June 2001 on Meeting in Atlanta from NCCBUSCC
Revision of "This Holy and Living Sacrifice" on www.webelieve.cc
report on proposed liturgy changes at Atlanta meeting
Catholic Reporter editorial of 25 May 2001