Adaptations to the 2002 Roman Missal for the USA on bowing the head before receiving communion, vesture for lay ministes. These are related to my suggestions, in Ministers in Masses.


About John Lilburne


The Adaptations in the May 2002 Newsletter

2002 Roman Missal


USA Missal Adaptations

The May 2002 Newsletter of the USCCB BCL has adaptations to the 2002 Roman Missal which are applicable to the United States.

Particularly important is the following for receiving communion:

... When receiving Holy Communion in the hand, the communicant bows his or her head before the sacrament as a gesture of reverence and receives the Body of the Lord from the minister. ...

The 2002 Roman Missal recommends "an appropriate gesture of reverence" without saying what this is. I am pleased that the US bishops chose a bow of the head, rather than a genuflection, as I wrote about in Ministers in Masses, n. 279.

Another helpful change on the vesture for lay ministers, with this adaptation in n. 339:

In the dioceses of the United States of America, acolytes, altar servers, readers, and other lay ministers may wear the alb or other suitable vesture or other appropriate and dignified clothing.

Its good that clarification has been made in this confusing area, which I wrote about in the Ministers in Masses - Vesture. By including "acolytes" but not "lectors" perhaps it does not change the requirement of the General Introduction to the Lectionary for Mass, n. 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."

For the Sign of Peace, an additional sentence helps clarify some of the confusion I wrote about.

In the dicoeses of the United States of America, for a good reason, on special occasions, (for example, in the case of a funeral, a wedding, or when civic leaders are present) the priest may offer the sign of peace to a few of the faithful near the sanctuary.

There are 17 adaptations in all, which hopefully will soon be available on the internet.

Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 5 June 2002. Updated 26 August 2002, 25 November 2002.

Other sites:

USCCB BCL Newsletter of May 2002

US Adaptations