Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Sacred Liturgy Nos. 35-38

35. Liturgical Vestments
Not all the members of the Body of Christ have the same role. The variety of offices and ministries is shown outwardly by the diversity of sacred vestments. Besides being a sign of the office proper to each minister, the vestments contribute to the beauty of the sacred action. It is appropriate that the vestments worn by liturgical ministers be blessed according to the Roman Rite before they are used.
The garment common to all instituted lectors or acolytes, ordained priests and deacons is the Alb. It is a white robe (the word alb in Latin means “white”). It is tied at the waist with a Cincture. An Amice is worn if the alb does not cover the street clothes at the neck. It is a square piece of white cloth that ties around the neck. The pure white Alb represents purity and the Cincture around the waist symbolizes chastity.
For the priest and deacon, the Stole is worn for Mass and other liturgical functions. It is a band of fabric in the color of the day that hangs around the neck; for the priest it hangs straight and for the deacon it hangs at an angle across the body. The stole symbolizes the authority of the office.
A deacon wears a Dalmatic over the top of the other vestments at Mass. A priest wears a Chasuble on top, symbolizing charity, which covers all things and is to permeate his whole life.
The Cope is a cape worn for processions, the Liturgy of the Hours, and Benediction.
GIRM 335-144

36. Liturgical Vestments Continued
The Liturgy is always to be celebrated with all the required vestments. The celebrant at Mass is always to wear the Chasuble over the top of the Alb and Stole. Concelebrating priests may wear only the Stole over the Alb.
The Stole may not be omitted, nor is it to be worn over the Chasuble. The Alb may not be omitted either. A priest may not celebrate Mass without vestments, or simply with a Stole over the ordinary clothes or religious habit.
The colors of the vestments are important liturgical symbols. White is worn for celebrations of the Lord, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, of Saints who were not Martyrs, and for the Feasts of the Nativity of John the Baptist (June 24, Saint John the Evangelist December 27), the Chair of Saint Peter February 22), and the Conversion of Saint Paul (January 25). Gold and Silver vestments, festive in nature, may be used in place of White.
Red, symbolic of the fire of the Holy Spirit, and of the blood of Christ and of the Martyrs, is worn for the celebrations of the Lord’s Passion, Pentecost, and Feasts of the Apostles and Evangelists, and Martyrs.
Green is used during The Season of the Year (“Ordinary Time”).
Violet is worn in Advent and Lent.
Rose is worn on Gaudete Sunday (Third Sunday of Advent) and Laetare Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Lent, as a symbol of hope and the joy we anticipate in Christmas and Easter.
Either Black, Violet, or White may be worn at Funerals.
RS 121-128, GIRM 346

37. Sacred Vessels
The vessels used in the celebration of Mass are held in high honor, especially the chalice and paten, in which the bread and wine, which become the Body and Blood of Jesus, are offered and consecrated, and from which they are consumed. Sacred vessels are to be made of precious metal, or some other solid material that does not rust, break, or deteriorate, and is not porous or absorbent.
Vessels may be fashioned by artists to reflect the customs of different places, provided they are distinguishable from ordinary items of everyday use, e.g. common wineglasses and household dishes. The vessels used for the liturgy are always to be of high quality, beautiful, and noble. They ought to be signs of the Church’s faith in the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Sacred vessels are to be blessed according to the rites of the Church.
Preferably, the sacred vessels are to be purified after Communion but they may also be purified immediately after Mass. The water used to wash the vessels, which contains the sacred species, is poured down a sacrarium, a special sink (required of every church) that empties directly into the ground. Great care is always to be taken that the remaining Precious Blood is consumed during Mass, immediately after Communion, and that the vessels are purified well and reverently.
GIRM 327-334, RS 117-119

38. Linens Used in the Liturgy
It is the duty of pastors, and indeed all those entrusted with service to the Liturgy, to take care that the altar cloths and linens are always clean, neat, and appropriate for sacred worship. The linens that will receive the sacred species, i.e. corporal and purificator, need to be washed in the traditional way, by washing them in water and pouring the water into the sacrarium or directly into the ground.
The corporal is a square, white cloth placed on the Altar. On it are placed the chalice(s), paten, and ciboria. It helps to define for the priest the bread and wine he intends to consecrate: clearly those on the corporal, and not those on the credence table or in the cupboard. It also serves to catch particles of the sacred species that may fall on the Altar. The purificator is a rectangular cloth used to wipe the chalice after one has drunk from it. The pall is the square piece of cardboard covered in cloth used to cover the chalice. Current norms indicate that chalices are also veiled in a veil matching the color of the vestments of the day, or white.
Altar cloths are always white. Colored cloths according to the liturgical season are called frontals or antependia (from the Latin words meaning “to hang in front”). Great care should always be taken in the manufacturing, display and cleaning of the linens and cloths used in the Liturgy.
RS 120

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