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|Meeting Christ in the Liturgy|
Instruction of the Roman Missal
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QUERY: Some celebrants have the practice of raising then joining their hands during the dialogue before the preface and at the beginning of the final blessing. Others omit such gestures. What is right? REPLY: As is often the case, at issue is a habit having its source in the rubrics of the former Roman Missal. The current directives of the Order of Mass are to be followed, which are clear on the two points raised: a. As to the dialogue before the preface, no. 27 (MR p. 392) says precisely: "With hands extended he sings or says: «The Lord be with you»;" "He lifts up his hands and continues: «Lift up your hearts»;" "With hands extended, he continues: «Let us give thanks to the Lord our God»;" "The priest continues the preface with hands extended." Therefore, the former rite is not to be continued; among other things it indicated at this point: "He joins his hands before his breast and bows his head as he says: «Let us give thanks»...." b. As to the blessing at the end of Mass, the new Order of Mass says only: "The priest blesses the people, with these words . . ."(no. 42). But the rubrics of the former Order of Mass, after the dismissal «Ite, Missa est», prescribed a gesture for the blessing having five steps: "Raising his eyes, extending, raising, and joining his hands, and bowing his head to the cross, he says: «May almighty God bless you». . .and turning to the people . .continues: «the Father». . ." Now, however, only that gesture is required which is indicated by the revelant rubric, namely, the priest blesses the people, with the words: «May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit»: Not 14 (1978) 536 - 537, no. 12.
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