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Online Edition - Vol. VI, No. 9: Dec 2000-Jan 2001

Letter on the Posture of the People During Mass

On November 7, 2000, Cardinal Jorge Arturo Medina Estévez, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, sent a response to the questions of an American bishop about the new regulations for the celebration of Mass [Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani]. The questions [dubia] concerned the posture and gestures of the people at Mass, and placement of the tabernacle. The response, originally written in English, appears below.


Prot. n. 2372/00/L

Responses to Dubia

1. Is it the case that the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, by No. 43 of the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani, intends to prohibit the faithful from kneeling during any part of the Mass except during the Consecration, that is, to prohibit the faithful from kneeling after the Agnus Dei and following the reception of Holy Communion?

Resp.: Negative.

2. Does the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments intend by Nos. 160-162, 244, or elsewhere in the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani, that the people may no longer genuflect or bow as a sign of reverence to the Blessed Sacrament immediately before they receive Holy Communion?

Resp.: Negative.

3. Does the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani Nos. 314-315, or elsewhere, intend that a separate chapel for the reservation of the Most Blessed Sacrament within parish churches is to be preferred to a prominent and central location within the main body of the church, thus visible to the faithful during the celebration of the Mass?

Resp.: Negative, et ad mentem.

Mens: Within the norms specified by law, it pertains to the diocesan Bishop, in his capacity as moderator of the Sacred Liturgy in the particular Church entrusted to him, to exercise judgment regarding the most appropriate place for the reservation of the Most Blessed Sacrament, bearing foremost in mind the purpose of encouraging and enabling the faithful to visit and adore the Most Blessed Sacrament.

Vatican City, 7 November 2000
Jorge Arturo Cardinal Medina Estevez, Cardinal Prefect
Archbishop Francesco Pio Tamburrino, Archbishop Secretary

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