John Lilburne's journal about the new norms for purifications in the USA, comparing this with the situation in Australia where only priests, deacons, and instituted acolytes can do the purifications.


About John Lilburne


2002 Roman Missal

Earlier discussions on purifications and acolytes

A later discussion of 19 April 2002

20 April 2002 - Contradiction?

21 April 2002 - Priest to hold chalice, not acolyte, only in USA

22 April 2002 - Advantages of intinction


Journal about new norms on purifications in the US

Today, 15 April 2002, I found two other sites with information on the 2002 Roman Missal.

Adoremus had nothing about the fact that the 2002 General Instruction of the Roman Missal was different from what was published in the 2000 Institutio Generalis. I hoped that they would have more about this.

I am also disappointed with the new norms for the USA, from

... Included among the norms is an indult from the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments providing for the cleansing of sacred vessels by Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. ...

In Australia I think we are better off without this indult and having only priests, deacons and instituted acolytes doing the purifications:

We do not need to purchase a new instruction.

We will not need to modify the 2002 General Instruction of the Roman Missal, n. 192, 247 and 279 which states that instituted acolytes are the only lay ministers who do the purifications.

Nor will we need to modify the 2002 Roman Missal, Order of Mass, n. 137 which says priests, deacons or acolytes are to do the purifications.

Visitors will not need to be educated about a change.

We will have a good reason not to purchase USA liturgical books which will be wrong for Australia.

There is a unique function for the instituted acolyte.

It improves the chances that this lay ministry will be taken seriously.

Seminarians will have a more easily recognised ministry before making a commitment to celibacy.

Other ministers can be taught about the instituted acolyte's unique function and so learn about his ministry.

When altar servers are taught that they are performing the instituted acolyte's functions only when he is absent (2002 GIRM 100) it will be easier to explain what that means.

Perhaps there will be less confusion for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion about who is responsible for purifications.

If something goes wrong it will be only the priest and instituted acolyte who will be held responsible.

Probably there will be fewer accidents and mistakes.

Of course I may find out about an Australian indult tomorrow. At a wedding on Saturday the priest instructed us to sit for the Eucharistic Prayer. Yesterday Archbishop Hart sat for the Gloria. If the Australian bishops have asked for an indult perhaps the Vatican will decide that here there are enough liturgical problems here without further complications.

Its good to see some more publicity about this new Roman Missal which is important for its successful implementation.

Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 15 April 2002. Last updated 22 April 2002.


Other Sites:

Adoremus Bulletin April

New Norms for purifications in USA Press Release

Links added 19 April 2002:

The decrees

USCCB BCL Newsletter March/April - Second Story on this

Link added 20 April 2002:

New Norms - whole text