A discussion by US Bishops on their attempts to change the intended liturgical laws in Institutio Generalis on who should do the purifications after communion. Rather than just the instituted acolyte dong the purifications attempts are being made for other Extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers to do them.


Roman Missal "a new approach"

Purifications - "I was wrong"

Discussion of BCL Newsletter 26 July 2001

Current liturgical law on purifications




"Who purifies?" discussed at end of US Bishops November 2001 meeting

In the February Edition of Adoremus there is a report on the USCCB November 2001 meeting. The report concludes:

Bishop Zubik: Archbishop, my question just refers to paragraph #193 in the Instruction. And it's one that speaks about: After the distribution of Communion a liturgically instituted acolyte helps the priest or deacon to cleanse and arrange the sacred vessels. I think if my memory serves me correctly, when we met in Atlanta we asked whether or not an exception to that could be made to allow Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, to be able to cleanse the vessels. And I didn't notice anything in Cardinal Medina's letter or any other reference in the documentation we received. I just wanted to find out where we are with that.

Archbishop Lipscomb: This was --

Bishop Fiorenza: I could answer it.

Archbishop Lipscomb: You want to answer it?

Bishop Fiorenza: Yeah. When we spoke with Cardinal Medina earlier, and we brought up this point, he said that after the Missale Romanum is adopted then we could apply for the indult. Is there some other word on it?

Archbishop Lipscomb: We sent over our application. It's contained in the document "This Holy and Living Sacrifice", which we approved in June, that contained these exceptions as a part of those documents. We have not heard back yet. I think the Cardinal might not have understood the procedure. That we asked him for the Adaptations specifically with respect to the Institutio Generalis, and we applied for the exceptions in a more comprehensive document that would explain Eucharistic devotion and practice in the United States and in the context of which we asked for these several exceptions that more or less preserve the customs about purifying the vessels, and the [extraordinary] Eucharistic ministers being given their proper roles.

So we haven't heard back from that yet. But it's in the works, and it will certainly be pursued.

Helen Hull Hancock adds:

The question of indults for extraordinary ministers to purify chalices, etc., was raised during a press conference following this session. The Catholic News Service reporter asked about Cardinal Medina's letter that said that before granting such an indult "it would be necessary to establish the fact that all options provided in the existing norms of the new Institutio ... have truly proved unworkable after diligent and sustained attempts to implement them".

Archbishop Lipscomb replied that "the Conference went through a stated process of discovery, and testing and debate in June, which is the time when `This Holy and Living Sacrifice' was approved. And so I don't anticipate that there will be any great difficulty in what we have asked for being granted because I think it is part of the Eucharistic practice and faith life in the Church in the United States. And I think that the Congregation will take this into consideration when it is presented, much in the same way as these adaptations found favor with the Congregation".

Posted by J.R. Lilburne, 16 February 2002


Links to other sites:

Entire meeting transcript from www.adoremus.org