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The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM)—in the Latin original, Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani (IGMR)—is the detailed document governing the celebration of Mass of the Roman Rite in what since 1969 is its normal form. Originally published in 1969 as a separate document, it is printed at the start of editions of the Roman Missal since 1970.
In the circumstances indicated in the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of 2007, the Catholic Church still permits celebrations of Mass in accordance with the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal. Such celebrations are governed not by the General Instruction but by the 1960 Code of Rubrics, particularly its section Rubricae generales Missalis Romani (General Rubrics of the Roman Missal), and by the Ritus servandus in celebratione Missae (Rite to be observed in celebration of Mass).
The 1960 Code of Rubrics replaced the Rubricae Generales Missalis, which had been in the Tridentine Roman Missal since its first edition in 1570 and had been amplified and revised by Pope Clement VIII in 1604. This had been supplemented, since the 1920 edition, by the Additiones et Variationes in Rubricis Missalis ad normam Bullae "Divino afflatu" et subsequentium S.R.C. decretorum (Additions and Variations to the Rubrics of the Missal in accordance with the Bull Divino afflatu and subsequent decrees of the Sacred Congregation of Rites), which indicated the changes in the Roman Missal that followed from the reform of the Roman Breviary by Pope Pius X.
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal also replaced the document that in the original Tridentine Roman Missal (1570) was called Ritus servandus in celebratione Missarum (Rite to be observed in celebration of Masses) and that, after being revised by Pope Clement VIII, appeared in editions from 1604 on in altered and amplified form under the title Ritus servandus in celebratione Missae (Rite to be observed in celebration of Mass). In his 1962 edition, Pope John XXIII had made some changes in this document.
In his apostolic exhortation Sacramentum caritatis,Pope Benedict XVI stressed the importance of proper knowledge of the General Instruction not only for priests but also for the laity:
The eucharistic celebration is enhanced when priests and liturgical leaders are committed to making known the current liturgical texts and norms, making available the great riches found in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal and the Order of Readings for Mass. Perhaps we take it for granted that our ecclesial communities already know and appreciate these resources, but this is not always the case. These texts contain riches which have preserved and expressed the faith and experience of the People of God over its two-thousand-year history.
The General Instruction is arranged in nine chapters, preceded by a preamble. The chapter headings are:
The Latin original may be consulted at a number of sites. The most easily legible on a computer screen is perhaps that of the Salesians of Don Bosco (German Salesians).
An English translation, but with adaptations for the United States, can be consulted at the appropriate web page of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Divine Worship.The same translation, but with adaptations instead for England and Wales, may be found at the web site of the England & Wales Liturgy Office.
The Roman Missal is the liturgical book that contains the texts and rubrics for the celebration of the Mass in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.
Mass is the main eucharistic liturgical service in many forms of Western Christianity. The term Mass is commonly used in the Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church, as well as in Anglican, Methodist, Western Rite Orthodox, and Old Catholic churches.
The Mass of Paul VI or, as it is more commonly called, the post-Vatican II Mass is the most widely used form of the Mass in use today within the Catholic Church. It was first promulgated, after the Second Vatican Council (1962–65), by Pope Paul VI in 1969 and published in the 1970 edition of the Roman Missal, and was revised by Pope John Paul II in 2000. As thus revised, it "is and continues to be the normal Form – the Forma ordinaria" of the Roman Rite Mass, as intended for use in most contexts.
The Tridentine Mass, also known as the Traditional Latin Mass or Usus Antiquior, is the Roman Rite Mass of the Catholic Church. It appears in typical editions of the Roman Missal published from 1570 to 1962. Celebrated exclusively in Ecclesiastical Latin, it was the most widely used Eucharistic liturgy in the world from its issuance in 1570 until the introduction of the Mass of Paul VI.
Liturgical colours are those specific colours used for vestments and hangings within the context of Christian liturgy. The symbolism of violet, white, green, red, gold, black, rose and other colours may serve to underline moods appropriate to a season of the liturgical year or may highlight a special occasion.
The maniple is a liturgical vestment used primarily within the Catholic Church, and occasionally used by some Anglo-Catholic and Lutheran clergy. It is an embroidered band of silk or similar fabric that is hung over the left arm. It is only used within the context of the Mass, and it is of the same liturgical colour as the other Mass vestments.
Low Mass is a Tridentine Mass defined officially in the Code of Rubrics included in the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal as Mass in which the priest does not chant the parts that the rubrics assign to him. A sung Mass in turn is a ‘High’ or Solemn Mass if celebrated with the assistance of sacred ministers ; without them it is a Missa Cantata.
In the liturgical year of some Christian denominations, Passion Sunday is the fifth Sunday of Lent, marking the beginning of the two-week period called Passiontide. In 1969, the Roman Catholic Church removed Passiontide from the liturgical year of the Novus Ordo form of the Mass, but the day remains observed on the fifth Sunday in the Extraordinary Form mass, as well as by the Anglican Communion and by Lutherans.
A memorial in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church is a lower-ranked feast day in honour of a saint, the dedication of a church, or a mystery of the religion.
In the Latin liturgical rites, a commemoration is the recital, within the Liturgy of the Hours or the Mass of one celebration, of part of another celebration, generally of lower rank, that is impeded because of a coincidence of date.
The Roman Rite is the main liturgical rite of the Latin Church, the main particular church sui iuris of the Catholic Church. It is the most widespread liturgical rite in Christianity as a whole. The Roman Rite gradually became the predominant rite used by the Western Church, developed out of many local variants from Early Christianity on, not amounting to distinctive rites, that existed in the medieval manuscripts, but have been progressively reduced since the invention of printing, most notably since the reform of liturgical law in the 16th century at the behest of the Council of Trent (1545–63) and more recently following the Second Vatican Council (1962–65).
In the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, Lutheranism, Methodism and Anglicanism, an altar or sanctus bell is typically a small hand-held bell or set of bells. The primary reason for the use of such bells is to create a joyful noise to the Lord as a way to give thanks for the miracle taking place atop the altar. An ancillary function of the bells is to focus the attention of those attending the Mass that a supernatural event is taking place on the altar. Such bells are also commonly referred to as the Mass bell, sacring bell, Sacryn bell, saints' bell, sance-bell, or sanctus bell. and are kept on the credence table or some other convenient location within the sanctuary.
The text and rubrics of the Roman Canon have undergone revisions over the centuries, while the Canon itself has retained its essential form as arranged no later than the 7th century. The text consists of a succession of short prayers with no clear sequence of thought. The rubrics, as is customary in similar liturgical books, indicate the manner in which to carry out the celebration.
Mass in the Catholic Church goes by many names. As fundamentally an action of thanksgiving to God it is called Eucharist, which means thanksgiving. Other terms for it are Lord's Supper, Breaking of Bread, Eucharistic assembly, memorial of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection, holy sacrifice of the Mass, Holy and Divine Liturgy, Sacred Mysteries, Most Blessed Sacrament, Holy Communion, the holy things, and finally Holy Mass from the sending forth (missio) of the faithful.
In Eastern and Western Christian liturgical practice, the elevation is a ritual raising of the consecrated elements of bread and wine during the celebration of the Eucharist. The term is applied especially to that by which, in the Roman Rite of Mass, the Host and the Chalice are each shown to the people immediately after each is consecrated. The term may also refer to a piece of music played on the organ or sung at that point in the liturgy.
Orate fratres is the incipit of a request for prayer that the priest celebrating Mass of the Roman Rite addresses to the faithful participating in it before saying the Prayer over the Offerings, formerly called the Secret. It thus corresponds to the Oremus said before the Collect and the Postcommunion, and is merely an expansion of that shorter exhortation. It has gone through several alterations since the Middle Ages.
In the Catholic Church, the altar is the structure upon which the Eucharist is celebrated.
Versus populum is the liturgical orientation in which the priest celebrates Mass facing the people. The opposite orientation, whereby the priest faces in the same direction as the people, is called ad orientem or ad apsidem.
The Code of Rubrics is a three-part liturgical document promulgated in 1960 under Pope John XXIII, which in the form of a legal code indicated the liturgical and sacramental law governing the celebration of the Roman Rite Mass and Divine Office.
A communion-plate is a metal plate held under the chin of a communicant while receiving Holy Communion in the Catholic Church. Its use was common in the last part of the nineteenth century and during most of the twentieth.