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Meeting Christ in the Liturgy
Instruction of the Roman Missal

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    • A. Basic Form of Celebration
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A. Basic Form of Celebration


82. Once the congregation has gathered, the priest and the ministers, clad in their vestments, go to the altar in this order:

a. a server with a lighted censer, if incense is used;

b. the servers, who, according to the occasion, carry lighted candles, and between them the crossbearer, if the cross is to be carried;

c. acolytes and other ministers;

d. a reader, who may carry the Book of the Gospels;

e. the priest who is to celebrate the Mass.

If incense is used, the priest puts some in the censer before the procession begins.

83. During the procession to the altar the entrance song is sung (see nos. 25 - 26).

84. On reaching the altar the priest and ministers make the proper reverence, that is, a low bow or, if there is a tabernacle containing the blessed sacrament, a genuflection.

If the cross has been carried in the procession, it is placed near the altar or at some other convenient place; the candles carried by the servers are placed near the altar or on a side table; the Book of the Gospels is placed on the altar.

85. The priest goes up to the altar and kisses it. If incense is used, he incenses the altar while circling it.

86. The priest then goes to the chair. After the entrance song, and with all standing, the priest and the faithful make the sign of the cross. The priest says: «In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spiritthe people answer: «Amen».

Then, facing the people and with hands outstretched, the priest greets all present, using one of the formularies indicated. He or some other qualified minister may give the faithful a very brief introduction to the Mass of the day.

87. After the penitential rite, the «Kyrie» and «Gloria» are said, in keeping with the rubrics (nos. 30 - 31). Either the priest or the cantors or even everyone together may begin the «Gloria».

88. With his hands joined, the priest then invites the people to pray, saying: Let us pray. All pray silently with the priest for a while. Then the priest with hands outstretched says the opening prayer, at the end of which the people respond: Amen.


89. After the opening prayer, the reader goes to the lectern for the first reading. All sit and listen and make the acclamation at the end.

90. After the reading, the psalmist or cantor of the psalm, or even the reader, sings or recites the psalm and the congregation sings or recites the response (see no. 36).

91. Then, if there is a second reading before the gospel, the reader reads it at the lectern as before. All sit and listen and make the acclamation at the end.

92. The «Alleluia» or other chant, according to the season, follows (see nos. 37 - 39).

93. During the singing of the «Alleluia» or other chant, if incense is being used, the priest puts some into the censer. Then with hands joined he bows before the altar and says softly the prayer, «Almighty God, cleanse my heart».

94. If the Book of the Gospels is on the altar, he takes it and goes to the lectern, the servers, who may carry the censer and candles, walking ahead of him.

95. At the lectern the priest opens the book and says: «The Lord be with youThen he says: «A reading from». . ., making the sign of the cross with his thumb on the book and on his forehead, mouth, and breast. If incense is used, he then incenses the book. After the acclamation of the people, he proclaims the gospel and at the end kisses the book, saying softly: «May the words of the gospel wipe away our sins». After the reading the people make the acclamation customary to the region.

96. If no reader is present, the priest himself proclaims all the readings at the lectern and there also, if necessary, the chants between the readings. If incense is used, he puts some into the censer at the lectern and then, bowing, says the prayer, «Almighty God, cleanse my heart».

97. The homily is given at the chair or at the lectern.

98. The profession of faith is said by the priest together with the

99. Next, with the people taking their proper part, follow the general intercessions (prayer of the faithful), which the priest directs from his chair or at the lectern (see nos. 45 - 47).


100. After the general intercessions, the presentation song begins (see no. 50). The servers place the corporal, purificator, chalice, and missal on the altar.

101. It is fitting for the faithful's participation to be expressed by their presenting both the bread and wine for the celebration of the eucharist and other gifts to meet the needs of the church and of the poor.

The faithful's offerings are received by the priest, assisted by the ministers, and put in a suitable place; the bread and wine for the eucharist are taken to the altar.

102. At the altar the priest receives the paten with the bread from a minister. With both hands he holds it slightly raised above the altar and says the accompanying prayer. Then he places the paten with the bread on the corporal.

103. Next, as a minister presents the cruets, the priest stands at the side of the altar and pours wine and a little water into the chalice, saying the accompanying prayer softly. He returns to the middle of the altar, takes the chalice, raises it a little with both hands, and says the appointed prayer. Then he places the chalice on the corporal and may cover it with a pall.

104 The priest bows and says softly the prayer, «Lord God, we ask you to receive

105. If incense is used, he incenses the gifts and the altar. A minister incenses the priest and the congregation.

106. After the prayer, «Lord God, we ask you to receive», or after the incensation, the priest washes his hands at the side of the altar and softly says the prescribed prayer as a minister pours the water.

107. The priest returns to the center and, facing the people and extending then joining his hands, pronounces the invitation: «Pray, brothers and sisters». After the people's response, he says the prayer over the gifts with hands outstretched. At the end the people make the acclamation: «Amen».

108. The priest then begins the eucharistic prayer. With hands outstretched, he says: «The Lord be with you». As he says: «Lift up your hearts», he raises his hands; with hands outstretched, he adds: «Let us give thanks to the Lord our God». When the people have answered: «It is right to give him thanks and praise», the priest continues the preface. At its conclusion, he joins his hands and

109. The priest continues the eucharistic prayer according to the rubrics that are given for each of them. If the priest celebrant is a bishop, after the words «N. our Pope» or the equivalent, he adds: «and for me your unworthy servant». The local Ordinary must be mentioned in this way: «N. our Bishop» (or «Vicar, Prelate, Prefect, Abbot»). Coadjutor and auxiliary bishops may be mentioned in the eucharistic prayer. When several are named, this is done with the collective formula, «N. our Bishop and his assistant bishops60 All these phrases should be modified grammatically to fit each of the eucharistic prayers.

A little before the consecration, the server may ring a bell as a signal to the faithful. Depending on local custom, he also rings the bell at the showing of both the host and the chalice.

110. After the doxology at the end of the eucharistic prayer, the priest, with hands joined, says the introduction to the Lord's Prayer. With hands outstretched he then sings or says this prayer with the people.

111. After the Lord's Prayer, the priest alone, with hands outstretched, says the embolism, «Deliver us». At the end the congregation makes the acclamation, «For the kingdom».

112. Then the priest says aloud the prayer, «Lord Jesus Christ». After this prayer, extending then joining his hands, he gives the greeting of peace: «The peace of the Lord be with you always». The people answer: «And also with you». Then the priest may add: «Let us offer each other a sign of peace». All exchange some sign of peace and love, according to local custom. The priest may give the sign of peace to the ministers.

113. The priest then takes the eucharistic bread and breaks it over the paten. He places a small piece in the chalice, saying softly: «May this mingling». Meanwhile the «Agnus Dei» is sung or recited by the choir and congregation (see no. 56 e).

114. Then the priest says softly the prayer, «Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God», or «Lord Jesus Christ, with faith in your love and mercy».

115. After the prayer the priest genuflects, takes the eucharistic bread, and, holding it slightly above the paten while facing the people, says: «This is the Lamb of God». With the people he adds, once only: «Lord, I am not worthy to receive you».

116. Next, facing the altar, the priest says softly: «May the body of Christ bring me to everlasting life» and reverently consumes the body of Christ. Then he takes the chalice, saying: «May the blood of Christ bring me to everlasting life», and reverently drinks the blood of Christ.

117. He then takes the paten or a ciborium and goes to the communicants. If communion is given only under the form of bread, he raises the eucharistic bread slightly and shows it to each one, saying: «The body of Christ». The communicants reply: «Amen» and, holding the communion plate under their chin, receive the sacrament.

118. For communion under both kinds, the rite described in nos. 240 - 252 is followed.

119. The communion song is begun while the priest is receiving the sacrament (see no. 56 i).

120. After communion the priest returns to the altar and collects any remaining particles. Then, standing at the side of the altar or at a side table, he purifies the paten or ciborium over the chalice, then purifies the chalice, saying quietly: «Lord, may I receive these gifts», etc., and dries it with a purificator. If this is done at the altar, the vessels are taken to a side table by a minister. It is also permitted, especially if there are several vessels to be purified, to leave them, properly covered and on a corporal, either at the altar or at a side table and to purify them after Mass when the people have left.

121. Afterward the priest may return to the chair. A period of silence may now be observed, or a hymn of praise or a psalm may be sung (see no. 56 j).

122. Then, standing at the altar or at the chair and facing the people, the priest says, with hands outstretched: «Let us pray». There may be a brief period of silence, unless this has been already observed immediately after communion. He recites the prayer after communion, at the end of which the people make the response: «Amen».


123. If there are any brief announcements, they may be made at this time.

124. Then the priest, with hands outstretched, greets the people: «The Lord be with you». They answer: «And also with you». The priest immediately adds: «May almighty God bless you» and, as he blesses with the sign of the cross, continues: «the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit». All answer: «Amen». On certain days and occasions another, more solemn form of blessing or the prayer over the people precedes this form of blessing as the rubrics direct.

Immediately after the blessing, with hands joined, the priest adds: «Go in the peace of Christ», or: «Go in peace to love and serve the Lord», or: «The Mass is ended, go in peace», and the people answer: «Thanks be to God».

125. As a rule, the priest then kisses the altar, makes the proper reverence with the ministers, and leaves.

126. If another liturgical service follows the Mass, the concluding rites (greeting, blessing, and dismissal) are omitted.


60. See SCDW, Decr., 9 Oct. 1972.

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