The Myhic Fire


Implemenation #2

Second Instruction on the Liturgy


May 4, 1967


Sacred Congregation of Rites


Three years ago, in the instruction "Inter Oecumenici" published by this sacred congregation on September 26, 1964, a series of adaptations was established to be introduced into the sacred rites as a first part of the liturgical reform provided for by the conciliar constitution. These became effective on March 7, 1965.

     That abundant fruit is already being gathered from these first steps is attested to by numerous reports from the bishops, who also confirm that participation of the faithful in the sacred liturgy and particularly in the holy sacrifice of the Mass has increased everywhere and has become more consciously aware and more active.

     In order to favor this participation further, particularly in the Mass, and to make the sacred rites clearer and more intelligible, the bishops themselves have suggested other adaptations, which after being submitted to the Consilium for the implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, have been attentively examined and discussed by the Consilium itself and by this sacred congregation.

     Not everything suggested could be realized, at least for the time being, but it seemed fitting to implement some of the proposals which are recommended by their pastoral aspects and which are not contrary to the general guidelines of the forthcoming definitive reform. They also serve to introduce the reform progressively and can be implemented by simple rubrical arrangements, leaving the present liturgical books unchanged.

     It seems necessary, however, to recall in this circumstance that fundamental principle of the discipline of the Church, clearly reconfirmed by the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy which specifies that: "Regulation of the sacred liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church ... therefore no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority."

     Let the ordinaries, whether diocesan or religious, bear in mind their grave duty before the Lord to exercise vigilance regarding the observance of this norm, so important for the life and structure of the Church. And let the sacred ministers and all the faithful comply with it in good will.

     Both the edification and the spiritual good of individuals demand it, as well as the spiritual harmony in the Lord and mutual good example which must exist among the faithful of a local community and the duty incumbent on every local community to cooperate in the good of the entire Church用articularly today when the good and evil done in individual communities has immediate repercussions on the entire community of the family of God.

     Let everyone therefore bear in mind the admonishment of the Apostle Paul: "God is a God of peace, not of disorder."

     The following adaptations and variations are ordered so that the liturgical reform may be brought into practice in a more measured way and by progressive stages.




     1. On class III liturgical days, aside from Lent, either the Mass of the day's Office may be said or the Mass of the commemoration which is made at Lauds. For this latter the color of the day's Office may be used, in accordance with art. 323 of the code of rubrics.

     2. Once permission for use of the weekday lectionary at Masses in which the faithful take part has been obtained from the episcopal conference of one's own nation, lessons for the weekdays may be used also for Masses in which the faithful do not take part. In this case the lessons may be read in the vernacular.

     This ordo of weekday lessons is used on certain class II liturgical days as expressly indicated in the lectionary, and in all Masses of the class III and IV, whether of the temporal or sanctoral cycles, or votive Masses, which do not have their own special lessons (lessons in which there is mention of the mystery or the person being celebrated).

     3. On weekdays throughout the year, when the Mass of the preceding Sunday is said, either one of the orations for special circumstances as listed in the missal, or the orations from one of the votive Masses for various occasions, also in the missal, may be substituted for the orations of the Sunday.




     4. Only one oration is to be said at Mass. Nevertheless, under a single conclusion with the oration of the Mass, there may be added in accordance with the rubrics:

     a) a ritual oration:

     葉he oration from an impeded votive Mass on the occasion of the profession of a man or woman religious;

     葉he oration from the votive Mass for spouses when impeded;

     b) the oration in the votive Mass of thanksgiving;

     葉he oration for the anniversary of the Supreme Pontiff or the bishop;

     葉he oration on the occasion of one's own priestly ordination.

     5. Should there be more than one oration that could be added to the principal, only one should be used葉he one which is more in keeping with the celebration at hand.

     6. In place of the "oratio imperata" the bishop may have one or more intentions for special local needs inserted in the prayer of the faithful. Likewise, by decree of the competent territorial authority, intentions may be inserted in the prayer of the faithful. These may be made mandatory in different ways, according to circumstances, for the benefit of civil rulers in various areas. Or there may be special intentions concerned with the needs of the entire nation or region.




     7. The celebrant genuflects only:

     a) when he arrives at or leaves the altar, if there is a tabernacle there containing the Blessed Sacrament;

     b) after the elevation of the host and after the elevation of the chalice;

     c) at the end of the Canon, after the doxology;

     d) before Communion, prior to saying "Panem caelestem accipiam";

     e) after the Communion of the faithful, when the remaining hosts have been put back in the tabernacle.


All other genuflections are omitted.


     8. The celebrant kisses the altar only at the beginning of Mass while he says the prayer "Oramus te, Domine," or when he arrives at the altar if the prayers at the foot of the altar are omitted; and at the end of Mass before giving the blessing and dismissing the faithful. All other kisses of the altar are omitted.

     9. At the Offertory, after offering the bread and wine, the celebrant places on the corporal the paten with the host and the chalice, omitting the signs of the cross with the paten and the chalice. The paten with the host on it is left on the corporal before as well as after the Consecration.

     10. In the Masses attended by the faithful, even though they are not concelebrated Masses, it is permissible for the priest to recite the Canon aloud (intellegibili voce) when this is considered opportune. In sung Masses, it is lawful to sing those parts of the Canon which may be sung according to the rite for the concelebration of Mass.

     11. During the recitation of the Canon the celebrant:

     a) begins the "Te igitur" standing erect and with hands extended;

     b) makes only one sign of the cross over the offerings, at the words "benedicas + haec dona, haec munera, haec sancta sacrificia illibata" in the prayer "Te igitur."


All other signs of the cross over the offerings are omitted.


     12. After the Consecration the celebrant may omit keeping his thumbs and index fingers together; should some fragment of the host stick to his fingers, he should purify his fingers over the paten.

     13. The rite of Communion for priest and faithful is to take place as follows: after saying "Panem caelestem accipiam," the celebrant takes the host and turning toward the people elevates it and says: "Behold the Lamb of God," then three times together with the faithful "Lord I am not worthy." He then receives Communion himself, both the host and the contents of the chalice, omitting the signs of the cross; immediately afterwards he distributes Communion to the faithful as usual.

     14. The faithful who receive Communion on Maundy Thursday during the Mass of the Chrism may receive Communion again during the evening Mass of the same day.

     15. In a Mass in which the faithful participate, before the postcommunion, there may be a period of sacred silence, if convenient, or the singing or recitation of a psalm of praise預s for instance Psalm 33 "I will bless you, Lord," Psalm 150 "Praise the Lord in His sanctuary" or the canticles "Bless the Lord" or "You are blessed."

     16. At the end of Mass, the blessing of the people is given immediately before the dismissal. It is suggested that the "placeat" prayer be recited in secret by the priest as he leaves the altar.

     The blessing is given even in Masses for the dead and the people are dismissed with the usual formula "The Mass is ended. Go in peace," unless the absolution follows immediately; in which case the priest says: "Let us bless the Lord," omits the blessing and proceeds to the absolution.




     17. In nuptial Masses, the celebrant says the prayers "Propitiare" and "Deus, qui potestate" not between the "Our Father" and its embolism, but after breaking the host and dropping the particle into the chalice, immediately before the "Agnus Dei."

     If Mass is offered at an altar facing the people, after dropping the particle into the chalice the celebrant (if opportune) genuflects and goes to the spouses where be recites the prayers mentioned above. At the end of the prayers, he returns to the altar, genuflects and continues Mass as usual.

     18. When Mass is offered by a priest whose sight is failing or one who is infirm, if he has an indult to offer a votive Mass, this order may be followed:

     a) the priest says the orations and the preface of the votive Mass;

     b) another priest, a deacon, a lector or some other server reads the lessons from the day's Mass or from the weekday lectionary. If he is only a lector or server, he may still read the Gospel, but without the prayers "Munda cor meum," "Jube, domne, benedicere" and "Dominus sit in corde meo." The celebrant precedes the reading of the Gospel with the "Dominus vobiscum" and at the end kisses the book.

     c) the choir or people or even the lector may read the antiphons at the Introit, at the Offertory and at the Communion and the verses between the lessons.




     19. Until the general reform of the Divine Office is completed, the recitation of one nocturn suffices for Matins of class I and II liturgical days which have three nocturns.

     The "Te Deum" is recited after the third reading, according to the rubrics. During the Sacred Triduum, the special rubrics of the Roman breviary are to be retained.

     20. In individual recitation, the absolution and blessing before the readings and the conclusion "Tu autem" at their end are omitted.

     21. At Lauds and Vespers at which the faithful are present, instead of the chapter a longer reading from Sacred Scripture may be used, taken, for instance, from Matins or Mass of the day, or from the weekday lectionary. If convenient, a brief homily may be added. Before the oration, the prayer of the faithful may also be recited unless Mass follows immediately.

     When these elements are employed, only three psalms need be said, according to the following pattern: at Lauds, one of the first three psalms is said, followed by the canticle and the last psalm; at Vespers, any three of the five psalms may be chosen.

     22. The Sunday psalms may always be used when Compline is recited with the participation of the faithful.




     23. Violet may be used in offices and Masses for the dead. Episcopal conferences, however, may adopt some other liturgical color which is more in accord with the mentality of the people, provided it does not offend against human sorrow, and provided it demonstrates Christian hope illumined by the paschal mystery.

     24. In the absolution at the coffin or the grave, the responsory "Libera me, Domine" may be replaced by other responsories taken from Matins for the dead. Namely, "Credo quod Redemptor meus vivit"; "Qui Lazarum resuscitasti"; "Memento mei, Deus"; "Libera me, Domine, de viis inferni."

     25. The maniple need never be worn.

     26. The sprinkling with holy water before Sunday Mass, the blessing and distribution of ashes at the beginning of Lent and the absolution at the coffin may be done wearing the chasuble.

     27. All concelebrants must wear the sacred vestments prescribed for individual celebration. Nevertheless, for a grave reason, as for instance in the case of a large number of concelebrants and a shortage of sacred vestments, the concelebrants, always with the exception of the principal celebrant, need not wear the chasuble. They must never omit the alb and the stole, however.




     28. The competent territorial authority, while observing the prescriptions of art. 36, paragraphs 3 and 4 of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, may decree that in liturgical celebrations in which the people participate, the vernacular language may be used even:

     a) in the Canon of the Mass;

     b) throughout the entire rite of sacred ordinations;

     c) in the lessons of the Divine Office even when recited "in choro."

     His Holiness Pope Paul VI during an audience granted on April 13, 1967, to the undersigned Arcadio, Cardinal Larraona, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, approved the present instruction in all its individual parts and confirmed it with his authority, ordering that it be published and observed by all those concerned, beginning June 29, 1967.

     Rome, May 4, 1967, the feast of the Ascension of the Lord, Jesus Christ.


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