Jun 15, 2002

"American Adaptations" Approved

Online Edition – Vol. VIII, No. 4: June 2002

"American Adaptations" Approved:

Adds Another Layer to Liturgy Changes

In a letter dated April 25, Bishop Wilton Gregory, Belleville, president of the US Conference of Catholic bishops, formally effected the "American Adaptations" to the new Roman Missal’s rules for celebration of Mass, the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani (IGMR). These adaptations of the universal rules, as amended by the Vatican, will affect only the Church in the United States and are to be incorporated into the body of the IGMR when it is published in English.

Bishop Gregory wrote,

"In accord with the approval of these norms and following the confirmation of this action by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on April 17, 2002 (Prot. 1381/01/L), they are hereby published as particular law for all Latin celebrations of the Sacred Liturgy in the dioceses of the United States of America.

"This decree is effective immediately.

"Given at the General Secretariat of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, D.C. on April 25, 2002, the Feast of St. Mark".

No English translation of the entire IGMR, however, has yet been approved.

Posture Changes
Several changes to the proposed adaptations submitted by the bishops in November 2001 were made by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

Two of the adaptations involve the posture of the faithful, amending §43 and §l60 of the IGMR:

"This adaptation will be inserted at § 43.2:

"They should sit during the readings before the Gospel reading and during the responsorial psalm, for the homily and the preparation of the gifts, and, if this seems helpful, they may kneel or sit during the period of religious silence after Communion.

"This adaptation will be inserted at § 43.3:

"In the dioceses of the United States of America, they should kneel beginning after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer, except when prevented on occasion by reasons of health, lack of space, the large number of people present, or some other good reason. Those who do not kneel ought to make a profound bow when the priest genuflects after the consecration. The faithful kneel after the Agnus Dei unless the Diocesan Bishop determines otherwise".

"This adaptation will take the place of § 160. 2:

‘The faithful are not permitted to take up the consecrated bread or the sacred chalice themselves, and still less, hand them on to one another. The norm for reception of Holy Communion in the dioceses of the United States is standing. Communicants should not be denied Holy Communion because they kneel. Rather, such instances should be addressed pastorally, by providing the faithful with proper catechesis on the reasons for this norm.

"When receiving Holy Communion standing, the communicant bows his or her head before the sacrament as a gesture of reverence and receives the Body of the Lord from the minister. The consecrated host may be received either on the tongue or in the hand at the discretion of each communicant. When Holy Communion is received under both kinds, the sign of reverence is also made before receiving the Precious Blood".

(Emphasis indicates change.)

Another change is that the sung music for Mass is called Cantus.

To be continued…



The Editors