INSTRUCTION ON IMPLEMENTING THE
CONSTITUTION ON SACRED LITURGY
Chapter I. General Norms
Chapter II. Mystery of the Eucharist
Chapter III. The Other Sacraments
Chapter IV. Divine Office
Chapter V. Designing Churches and
Altars to Facilitate Active Participation of the Faithful
I. NATURE OF THIS INSTRUCTION
1. Among the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council's primary achievements
must be counted the Constitution on the Liturgy, since it regulates
the most exalted sphere of the Church's activity. The document
will have ever richer effects as pastors and faithful alike deepen
their understanding of its genuine spirit and with good will
put it into practice.
2. The Consilium, which Pope Paul VI established by the
Motu Proprio Sacram Liturgiam, has promptly taken up its
two appointed tasks: to carry out the directives of the Constitution
and of Sacram Liturgiam and to provide the means for interpreting
these documents and putting them into practice.
3. That these documents should immediately be properly carried
out everywhere and any possible doubts on interpretation removed
are matters of the utmost importance. Therefore, by papal mandate,
the Consilium has prepared the present Instruction. It
sets out more sharply the functions of conferences of bishops
in liturgical matters, explains more fully those principles stated
in general terms in the aforementioned documents, and authorizes
or mandates that those measures that are practicable before revision
of the liturgical books go into effect immediately.
II. PRINCIPLES TO BE KEPT IN MIND
4. The reason for deciding to put these things into practice
now is that the liturgy may ever more fully satisfy the conciliar
intent on promoting active participation of the faithful. R1
The faithful will more readily respond to the overall reform
of the liturgy if this proceeds step by step in stages and if
pastors present and explain it to them by means of the needed
5. Necessary before all else, however, is the shared conviction
that the Constitution on the Liturgy has as its objective not
simply to change liturgical forms and texts but rather to bring
to life the kind of formation of the faithful and ministry of
pastors that will have their summit and source in the liturgy
(see SC art. 10). That is the purpose of the changes made up
to now and of those yet to come.
6. Pastoral activity guided toward the liturgy has its power
in being a living experience of the paschal mystery, in which
the Son of God, incarnate and made obedient even to the death
of the cross, has in his resurrection and ascension been raised
up in such a way that he communicates his divine life to the
world. Through this life those who are dead to sin and conformed
to Christ "may live no longer for themselves but for him
who for their sake died and was raised" (2 Cor 5:15).
Faith and the sacraments of faith accomplish this, especially
baptism (see SC art. 6) and the mystery of the Eucharist (see
SC art. 47), the center of the other sacraments and sacramentals
(see SC art. 61), and of the cycle of celebrations that in the
course of the year unfold Christ's paschal mystery (see SC art.
7. The liturgy, it is true, does not exhaust the entire activity
of the Church (see SC art. 9); nevertheless the greatest care
must be taken about rightly linking pastoral activity with the
liturgy and carrying out a pastoral liturgy not as if it were
set apart and existing in isolation but as it is closely joined
to other pastoral works.
Especially necessary is a close, living union between liturgy,
catechesis, religious formation, and preaching.
III. RESULTS TO BE HOPED FOR
8. Bishops and their assistants in the priesthood should, therefore,
attach ever greater importance to their whole pastoral ministry
as it is focused toward the liturgy. Then the faithful themselves
will richly partake of the divine life through sharing in the
sacred celebrations and, changed into the leaven of Christ and
the salt of the earth, will proclaim that divine life and pass
it on to others.
I. General Norms
I. HOW THE NORMS APPLY
9. The practical norms, in the Constitution and in this Instruction,
as well as practices this Instruction allows or mandates even
before revision of the liturgical books, even if they are part
of the Roman Rite, may be applied in other Latin rites, due regard
being given to the provisions of law.
10. Matters that this Instruction commits to the power of the
competent, territorial ecclesiastical authority can and should
be put into effect only by such authority through lawful decrees.
In every case the time and circumstances in which such decrees
begin to take effect are to be stipulated, with a reasonable
preceding interval (vacatio) provided for instruction and preparation
of the faithful regarding their observance.
II. THE LITURGICAL FORMATION OF CLERICS (SC art. 15-16
11. Regarding the liturgical formation of the clergy:
a. In theological faculties there shall be a chair of liturgy
so that all students may receive the requisite liturgical instruction;
in seminaries and religious houses of studies local Ordinaries
and major superiors shall see to it that as soon as possible
there is a properly trained specialist in liturgy.
b. Professors appointed to teach liturgy shall be trained as
soon as possible, in keeping with the norms of the Constitution
c. For the continuing liturgical education of clerics, especially
those already working in the Lord's vineyard, institutes in pastoral
liturgy shall be set up wherever possible.
12. The course in liturgy shall be of appropriate duration, to
be fixed in the curriculum of studies by competent authority,
and shall follow a method patterned on the norm of the Constitution
13. Liturgical celebrations shall be carried out as perfectly
as possible. Therefore:
a. Rubrics shall be observed exactly and ceremonies carried out
with dignity, under the careful supervision of superiors and
with the required preparation beforehand.
b. Clerics shall frequently exercise the liturgical functions
proper to their order, i.e., of deacon, subdeacon, acolyte, reader,
as well as those of commentator and cantor.
c. Churches and chapels, all sacred furnishings and vestments
shall bear the mark of genuine Christian art, including the contemporary.
III. LITURGICAL FORMATION OF THE CLERIC'S SPIRITUAL LIFE (SC
14. In order that clerics may be trained for a full participation
in liturgical celebrations and for a spiritual life deriving
from them and to be shared later with others, the Constitution
on the Liturgy shall be put into full effect in seminaries and
religious houses of studies in keeping with the norms of the
documents of the Holy See, the superiors and faculty all working
together in harmony to achieve this goal. In order to guide clerics
properly toward the liturgy: books are to be recommended on liturgy,
especially in its theological and spiritual dimensions, and made
available in the library in sufficient numbers; there are to
be meditations and conferences, drawn above all from the fonts
of sacred Scripture and liturgy (see Const. art. 35, 2); and
those communal devotions are to be observed that are in keeping
with Christian customs and practice and are suited to the various
seasons of the liturgical year.
15. The Eucharist, center of the whole spiritual life, is to
be celebrated daily and with the use of different forms of celebration
best suited to the condition of the participants.
On Sundays and on the other greater holydays a sung Mass shall
be celebrated, with all who live in the house participating;
there is to be a homily and, as far as possible, all who are
not priests shall receive communion. Once the new rite has been
published, concelebration is permitted for priests, especially
on more solemn feasts, if pastoral needs do not require individual
At least on the great festivals it would be well for seminarians
to participate in the Eucharist gathered round the bishop in
the cathedral church.
16. Even if not yet bound by obligation to divine office, clerics
should each day recite or sing in common lauds in the morning
as morning prayer and vespers in the evening as evening prayer
or compline at the end of the day. Superiors should, as far as
possible, themselves take part in this common recitation. Sufficient
time shall be provided in the daily schedule for clerics in sacred
orders to pray the divine office.
At least on major festivals it would be well, when possible,
for seminarians to sing evening prayer in the cathedral church.
17. Religious devotions, arranged according to the laws or customs
of each place or institute, shall be held in due esteem. Nevertheless,
care should be taken that, especially if they are held in common,
they harmonize with the liturgy, in keeping with the Constitution
art. 13, and that they take into account the seasons of the liturgical
IV. LITURGICAL FORMATION OF MEMBERS OF RELIGIOUS INSTITUTES
18. The foregoing articles on the liturgical formation of clerics'
spiritual life are to be applied, with the required modifications,
to both men and women members of religious institutes.
V. LITURGICAL FORMATION OF THE FAITHFUL (SC art. 19)
19. Pastors shall strive diligently and patiently to carry out
the mandate of the Constitution on the liturgical formation of
the faithful and on their active participation, both inward and
outward, "in keeping with their age and condition, their
way of life, and stage of religious development" (SC art.
19). They should be especially concerned about the liturgical
formation and active participation of those involved in lay religious
associations; such people have the responsibility of sharing
more fully in the Church's life and of assisting their pastors
in the effective promotion of parish liturgical life (see SC
VI. COMPETENT AUTHORITY IN LITURGICAL MATTERS (SC art.
20. Regulation of the liturgy belongs to the authority of the
Church; no one, therefore, is to act on individual initiative
in this matter, thereby, as might well happen, doing harm to
the liturgy and to its reform under competent authority.
21. The Holy See has the authority to reform and approve the
general liturgical books; to regulate the liturgy in matters
affecting the universal Church; to approve or confirm the acta
and decisions of territorial authorities; and to accede to their
proposals and requests.
22. The bishop has the authority to regulate the liturgy within
his own diocese, in keeping with the norms and spirit of the
Constitution on the Liturgy, the decrees of the Holy See, and
competent territorial authority.
23. The various territorial assemblies of bishops that have responsibility
for the liturgy by virtue of the Constitution art. 22 should
for the time being be taken to mean one of the following:
a. an assembly of all the bishops of a nation, in accordance
with the norm of the Motu Proprio Sacram Liturgiam X;
b. an assembly already lawfully constituted and consisting of
the bishops - or of the bishops and other local Ordinaries -
of several nations;
c. an assembly yet to be constituted, with the permission of
the Holy See, and consisting of the bishops - or of the bishops
and local Ordinaries - of several nations, especially if the
bishops in the individual nations are so few that it would be
more advantageous for a group to be formed of those from various
nations sharing the same language and culture.
If particular local conditions suggest another course, the
matter should be referred to the Holy See.
24. The following must be included in the call to any of the above
a. residential bishops;
b. abbots and prelates nullius;
c. vicars and prefects apostolic;
d. permanently appointed apostolic administrators of dioceses;
e. all other local Ordinaries, except vicars general.
Coadjutor and auxiliary bishops may be called by the president,
with the consent of the majority of the voting members of the
25. Unless there is some other lawful provision for certain
places and in view of special circumstances, the assembly must
a. by the one who is the president, in the case of assemblies
already lawfully constituted;
b. in other cases, by the archbishop or bishop having right of
precedence under the norm of law.
26. The president, with the consent of the fathers, establishes
the rules of order for dealing with issues and opens, transfers,
extends, and adjourns the sessions of the assembly.
27. A deliberative vote belongs to all those named in no. 24,
including coadjutor and auxiliary bishops, unless the convening
instrument expressly provides otherwise.
28. Lawful enactment of decrees requires a two-thirds vote by
29. The acta of the competent territorial authority, to be transmitted
to the Holy See for approval, that is, confirmation, should include
a. the names of participants in the assembly;
b. a report on matters dealt with;
c. the outcome of the vote on each decree.
These acta, signed by the president and secretary of the
assembly and stamped with a seal, shall be sent in duplicate
to the Consilium.
30. With regard to acta containing decrees on use of the vernacular
and the mariner of its introduction into the liturgy, the acta,
following the Constitution on the Liturgy art. 36, § 3 and
the Motu Proprio Sacram Liturgiam no. IX, should also
a. a list of the individual parts of the liturgy for which use
of the vernacular has been decided;
b. two copies of the liturgical texts prepared in the vernacular,
one of which will be returned to the assembly of bishops;
c. a brief report on the criteria used for the work of translation.
31. The decrees of the territorial authority needing the approval,
that is, confirmation, of the Holy See shall be promulgated and
implemented only when they have received such approval, that
VII. PARTS TAKEN BY INDIVIDUALS IN THE LITURGY (SC art.
32. Parts belonging to the choir or to the people and sung or
recited by them are not said privately by the celebrant.
33. Nor are readings that are read or sung by the appropriate
minister said privately by the celebrant.
VIII. DISCRIMINATION TO BE AVOIDED (SC art. 32)
34. Individual bishops, or, if it seems advisable, regional or
national conferences of bishops shall see to it that the Council's
prohibition against preferential treatment of individuals or
a social class either in the ceremonies or by outward display
is respected in their territories.
35. In addition, pastors shall not neglect to ensure prudently
and charitably that in the liturgical services and more especially
in the celebration of Mass and the administration of the sacraments
and sacramentals the equality of the faithful is clearly apparent
and that any suggestion of moneymaking is avoided.
IX. SIMPLIFICATION OF CERTAIN RITES (SC art. 34)
36. In order that liturgical services may manifest a noble simplicity
more attuned to the spirit of the times:
a. the celebrant and ministers shall bow to the choir only at
the beginning and end of a service;
b. incensation of the clergy, apart from those who are bishops,
shall take place toward each side of the choir, with three swings
of the censer;
c. incensation shall be limited to the one altar where the liturgical
rite is being celebrated;
d. kissing of the hand and of objects presented or received shall
X. CELEBRATIONS OF THE WORD OF GOD (SC art. .35, §
37. In places without a priest and where none is available for
celebration of Mass on Sundays and holydays of obligation, a
sacred celebration of the word of God with a deacon or even a
properly appointed layperson presiding, shall be arranged, at
the discretion of the local Ordinary.
The plan of such a celebration shall be almost the same as that
of the liturgy of the word at Mass. Normally the epistle and
gospel from the Mass of the day shall be read in the vernacular,
with chants, especially from the psalms, before and between the
readings. If the one presiding is a deacon, he shall give a homily;
a nondeacon shall read a homily chosen by the bishop or the pastor.
The whole celebration is to end with the universal prayer or
prayer of the faithful and the Lord's Prayer.
38. Celebrations of the word of God, to be promoted on the vigils
of more solemn feast days, should also follow the structure of
the liturgy of the word at Mass, although it is quite permissible
to have but one reading.
Where there are several readings, their arrangement, for a clear
perception of the progression of salvation history, should place
the Old Testament reading before the one from the New Testament
and should show the reading of the gospel to be the culmination
39. The diocesan liturgical commissions shall be responsible
for suggesting and making available such resources as will ensure
dignity and devotion in these celebrations of the word.
XI. VERNACULAR TRANSLATIONS OF LITURGICAL TEXTS (SC art.
36, § 3)
40. Vernacular translations of liturgical texts to be prepared
in conformity with the norms of art. 36, § 3 will benefit
from observing the following criteria.
a. The basis of the translations is the Latin liturgical text.
The version of the biblical passages should conform to the same
Latin liturgical text. This does not, however, take away the
right to revise that version, should it seem advisable, on the
basis of the original text or of some clearer version.
b. The liturgical commission mentioned in the Constitution art.
44 and in the present Instruction art. 44 is to have special
responsibility for the preparation of translations of liturgical
texts, with the institute of pastoral liturgy providing as much
assistance as possible. But where there is no such commission,
two or three bishops are to share responsibility for the translating;
they are to choose experts, including the laity, in Scripture,
liturgy, the biblical languages, Latin, the vernacular, and music.
Sound translation of a liturgical text into the language of a
people has to answer many requirements simultaneously.
c. Where applicable, there should be consultation on translations
with bishops of neighboring regions using the same language.
d. In nations of several languages there should be a translation
for each language, to be submitted to the bishops involved for
e. Special attention should be given to the high quality of books
used for reading the liturgical text to the people in the vernacular,
so that even the book's appearance may prompt greater reverence
for the word of God and for sacred objects.
41. Liturgical services held anywhere for people of a foreign
language, especially for immigrants, members of a personal parish,
or other like groups, may, with the consent of the local Ordinary,
lawfully be celebrated in the native tongue of these faithful.
Such celebrations are to conform to the limits for use of the
vernacular and to the translation approved by the competent,
territorial ecclesiastical authority for the language in question.
42. Melodies for parts to be sung in the vernacular by celebrant
and ministers must have the approval of the competent, territorial
43. Particular liturgical books lawfully approved before the
promulgation of the Constitution on the Liturgy and indults granted
up to then, unless they conflict with the Constitution, remain
in force until other dispositions are made as the reform of the
liturgy is completed, in whole or in part.
XII. LITURGICAL COMMISSION OF THE ASSEMBLY OF BISHOPS (SC
44 . The liturgical commission, which should be expeditiously
established by the territorial authority, shall as far as possible
be chosen from among the bishops themselves or at least include
one of them, along with priests expert in liturgical and pastoral
matters and designated by name for this office.
The members and consultants of the commission should ideally
meet several times a year to deal with issues as a group.
45. The territorial authority may properly entrust the following
to the commission:
a. to carry out studies and experiments in keeping with the norms
of the Constitution art. 40, §§ 1 and 2;
b. to further practical initiatives for the whole region that
will foster liturgical life and the application of the Constitution
on the Liturgy;
c. to prepare studies and the resources required as a result
of decrees of the plenary assembly of bishops;
d. to control pastoral liturgy in the whole nation, to see to
the application of decrees of the plenary assembly, and to report
on these matters to the assembly;
e. to further frequent consultation and promote collaboration
with regional associations involved with Scripture, catechetics,
pastoral care, music, and art, as well as with every kind of
lay religious association.
46. Members of the institute of pastoral liturgy, as well as
experts called to assist the liturgical commission, shall be
generous in aiding individual bishops to promote pastoral? liturgical
activity more effectively in their territory.
XIII. DIOCESAN LITURGICAL COMMISSION (SC art. 45)
47. The diocesan liturgical commission, under the direction of
the bishop, has these responsibilities:
a. to be fully informed on the state of pastoral - liturgical
activity in the diocese;
b. to carry out faithfully those proposals in liturgical matters
made by the competent authority and to keep informed on the studies
and programs taking place elsewhere in this field;
c. to suggest and promote practical programs of every kind that
may contribute to the advancement of liturgical life, especially
in the interest of aiding priests laboring in the Lord's vineyard;
d. to suggest, in individual cases or even for the whole diocese,
timely, step-by-step measures for the work of pastoral liturgy,
to appoint and to call upon people capable of helping priests
in this matter as occasion arises, to propose suitable means
e. to see to it that programs in the diocese designed to promote
liturgy go forward with the cooperation and mutual help of other
groups along the lines mentioned above (no. 45 e) regarding the
liturgical commission of the assembly of bishops.
II. Mystery of the Eucharist
I. ORDO MISSAE (SC art. 50)
48. Until reform of the entire Ordo Missae, the points
that follow are to be observed:
a. The celebrant is not to say privately those parts of the Proper
sung or recited by the choir or the congregation.
b. The celebrant may sing or recite the parts of the Ordinary
together with the congregation or choir.
c. In the prayers at the foot of the altar at the beginning of
Mass Psalm 42 is omitted. All the prayers at the foot of the
altar are omitted whenever there is another liturgical rite immediately
d. In solemn Mass the subdeacon does not hold the paten but leaves
it on the altar.
e. In sung Masses the secret prayer or prayer over the gifts
is sung and in other Masses recited aloud.
f. The doxology at the end of the canon, from Per ipsum through
Per omnia saecula saeculorum. R. Amen, is to be sung or recited
aloud. Throughout the whole doxology the celebrant slightly elevates
the chalice with the host, omitting the signs of the cross, and
genuflects at the end after the Amen response by the people.
g. In recited Masses the congregation may recite the Lord's Prayer
in the vernacular along with the celebrant; in sung Masses the
people may sing it in Latin along with the celebrant and, should
the territorial ecclesiastical authority have so decreed, also
in the vernacular, using melodies approved by the same authority.
h. The embolism after the Lord's Prayer shall be sung or recited
i. The formulary for distributing holy communion is to be, Corpus
Christi. As he says these words, the celebrant holds the host
slightly above the ciborium and shows it to the communicant,
who responds: Amen, then receives communion from the celebrant,
the sign of the cross with the host being omitted.
j. The last gospel is omitted; the Leonine Prayers are suppressed.
k. It is lawful to celebrate a sung Mass with only a deacon assisting.
l. It is lawful, when necessary, for bishops to celebrate a sung
Mass following the form used by priests.
II. READINGS AND CHANTS BETWEEN READINGS (SC art. 51)
49. In Masses celebrated with a congregation, the lessons, epistle,
and gospel are to be read or sung facing the people:
a. at the lectern or at the edge of the sanctuary in solemn Masses;
b. at the altar, lectern, or the edge of the sanctuary—whichever
is more convenient—in sung or recited Masses if sung or read
by the celebrant; at the lectern or at the edge of the sanctuary
if sung or read by someone else.
50. In nonsolemn Masses celebrated with the faithful participating
a qualified reader or the server reads the lessons and epistles
with the intervening chants; the celebrant sits and listens.
A deacon or a second priest may read the gospel and he says the
Munda cor meum, asks for the blessing, and, at the end, presents
the Book of the Gospels for the celebrant to kiss.
51. In sung Masses, the lessons, epistle, and gospel, if in the
vernacular, may simply be read.
52. For the reading or singing of the lessons, epistle, intervening
chants, and gospel, the following is the procedure.
a. In solemn Masses the celebrant sits and listens to the lessons,
the epistle, and chants. After singing or reading the epistle,
the subdeacon goes to the celebrant for the blessing. At this
point the celebrant, remaining seated, puts incense into the
thurible and blesses it. During the singing of the Alleluia and
verse or toward the end of other chants after the epistle, the
celebrant rises to bless the deacon. From his place he listens
to the gospel, kisses the Book of the Gospels, and, after the
homily, intones the Credo, when prescribed. At the end of the
Credo he returns to the altar with the ministers, unless he is
to lead the prayer of the faithful.
b. The celebrant follows the same procedures in sung or recited
Masses in which the lessons, epistle, intervening chants, and
the gospel are sung or recited by the minister mentioned in no.
c. In sung or recited Masses in which the celebrant sings or
recites the gospel, during the singing or saying of the Alleluia
and verse or toward the end of other chants after the epistle,
he goes to the foot of the altar and there, bowing profoundly,
says the Munda cor meum. He then goes to the lectern or to the
edge of the sanctuary to sing or recite the gospel.
d. But in a sung or recited Mass if the celebrant sings or reads
all the lessons at the lectern or at the edge of the sanctuary,
he also, if necessary, recites the chants after the lessons and
the epistle standing in the same place; then he says the Munda
cor meum, facing the altar.
III. HOMILY (SC art. 52)
53. There shall be a homily on Sundays and holydays of obligation
at all Masses celebrated with a congregation, including conventual,
sung, or pontifical Masses.
On days other than Sundays and holydays a homily is recommended,
especially on some of the weekdays of Advent and Lent or on other
occasions when the faithful come to church in large numbers.
54. A homily on the sacred text means an explanation, pertinent
to the mystery celebrated and the special needs of the listeners,
of some point in either the readings from sacred Scripture or
in another text from the Ordinary or Proper of the day's Mass.
55. Because the homily is part of the liturgy for the day, any
syllabus proposed for preaching within the Mass during certain
periods must keep intact the intimate connection with at least
the principal seasons and feasts of the liturgical year (see
SC art. 102-104), that is, with the mystery of redemption.
IV. UNIVERSAL PRAYER OR PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL (SC
56. In places where the universal prayer or prayer of the faithful
is already the custom, it shall take place before the offertory,
after the Oremus, and, for the time being, with formularies in
use in individual regions. The celebrant is to lead the prayer
at either his chair, the altar, the lectern, or the edge of the
A deacon, cantor, or other suitable minister may sing the intentions
or intercessions. The celebrant takes the introductions and concluding
prayer, this being ordinarily the Deus, refugium nostrum et virtus
(MR, Orationes diversae no. 20) or another prayer more suited
to particular needs.
In places where the universal prayer or prayer of the faithful
is not the custom, the competent territorial authority may decree
its use in the manner indicated above and with formularies approved
by that authority for the time being.
V. PART ALLOWED THE VERNACULAR IN MASS (SC art. 54)
57. For Masses, whether sung or recited, celebrated with a congregation,
the competent, territorial ecclesiastical authority on approval,
that is, confirmation, of its decisions by the Holy See, may
introduce the vernacular into:
a. the proclaiming of the lessons, epistle, and gospel; the universal
prayer or prayer of the faithful;
b. as befits the circumstances of the place, the chants of the
Ordinary of the Mass, namely, the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo,
Agnus Dei, as well as the introit, offertory, and communion antiphons
and the chants between the readings;
c. acclamations, greeting, and dialogue formularies, the Ecce
Agnus Dei, Domine, non sum dignus, Corpus Christi at the communion
of the faithful, and the Lord's Prayer with its introduction
Missals to be used in the liturgy, however, shall contain besides
the vernacular version the Latin text as well.
58. The Holy See alone can grant permission for use of the vernacular
in those parts of the Mass that the celebrant sings or recites
59. Pastors shall carefully see to it that the Christian faithful,
especially members of lay religious institutes, also know how
to recite or sing together in Latin, mainly with simple melodies,
the parts of the Ordinary of the Mass proper to them.
VI. FACULTY OF REPEATING COMMUNION ON THE SAME DAY (SC
60. The faithful who receive communion at the Mass of the Easter
Vigil or the Midnight Mass of Christmas may receive again at
the second Mass of Easter and at one of the Day Masses of Christmas.
III. The Other Sacraments and Sacramentals
1. PART ALLOWED THE VERNACULAR (SC ART. 63)
61. The competent territorial authority, on approval, that is,
confirmation, of its decisions by the Holy See, may introduce
the vernacular for:
a. the rites, including the essential sacramental forms, of baptism,
confirmation, penance, anointing of the sick, marriage, and the
distribution of holy communion;
b. the conferral of orders: the address preliminary to ordination
or consecration, the examination of the bishop-elect at an episcopal
consecration, and the admonitions;
d. rite of funerals.
Whenever a more extensive use of the vernacular seems desirable,
the prescription of the Constitution art. 40 is to be observed.
II. Elements to be Dropped in the Rite of Supplying Ceremonies
for a Person Already Baptized (SC ART. 69)
62. In the rite of supplying ceremonies in the case of a baptized
infant, Rituale Romanum tit. 11, cap. 6, the exorcisms
in no. 6 (Exi ab eo), no. 10 (Exorcizo te, immunde
spiritus - Ergo, maledicte diabole), and no. 15 (Exorcizo
te, omnis spiritus) are to be dropped.
63. In the rite for supplying ceremonies in the case of a baptized
adult, Rituale Romanum tit. 11, cap. 6, the exorcisms
in no. 5 (Exi ab eo), no. 15 (Ergo, maledicte diabole), no. 17 (Audi, maledicte
satana), no. 19 (Exorcizo te - Ergo, maledicte
diabole), no. 21 (Ergo, maledicte diabole), no. 23
(Ergo, maledicte diabole), no. 25 (Exorcizo te - Ergo,
maledicte diabole), no. 31 (Nec te latet), and no.
35 (Exi, immunde spiritus) are to be dropped.
III. CONFIRMATION (SC ART. 71)
64. If confirmation is conferred within Mass, the Mass should
be celebrated by the bishop himself; in this case he confers
the sacrament clad in Mass vestments.
The Mass within which confirmation is conferred may be celebrated
as a second-class votive Mass of the Holy Spirit.
65. After the gospel and homily, before the reception of confirmation,
it is well for those being confirmed to renew their baptismal
promises, according to the rite in lawful use in individual regions,
unless they have already done so before Mass.
66. If the Mass is celebrated by someone else, the bishop should
assist at the Mass in the vestments prescribed for the conferral
of confirmation; they may be either of the color of the Mass
or white. The bishop himself should give the homily and the celebrant
should resume the Mass only after the conferral of confirmation.
67. The conferral of confirmation follows the rite outlined in
the Pontificale Romanum, but with a single sign of the
cross at the words In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus
Sancti that follow the formulary, Signo te.
IV CONTINUOUS RITE FOR ANOINTING THE SICK AND VIATICUM
(SC ART, 74)
68. When the anointing of the sick and viaticum are administered
at the same time, unless a continuous rite already exists in
a local ritual, the sequence of the rite is to be as follows:
after the sprinkling with holy water and the prayer upon entering
the room as given in the rite of anointing, the priest should,
if need be, hear the confession of the sick person, then administer
the anointing and finally give viaticum, omitting the sprinkling
with its formularies, the Confiteor, and the absolution. If,
however, the apostolic blessing with plenary indulgence at the
hour of death is also to be imparted, it shall be given immediately
before the anointing; the sprinkling with its formularies, the
Confiteor, and absolution are omitted.
V. LAYING ON OF HANDS IN THE CONSECRATION OF A BISHOP (SC
69. At the consecration of a bishop all bishops present, clad
in choral vesture, may participate in the laying on of hands.
Only the consecrator and the two co-consecrators, however, pronounce
the words, Accipe Spiritum Sanctum.
VI. RITE OF MARRIAGE (SC ART. 78)
70. Unless there is some good, excusing reason, marriage shall
be celebrated within Mass, after the gospel and homily The homily
is never to be omitted.
71. Whenever marriage is celebrated within Mass, the Missa
votiva pro sponsis shall always be celebrated, even in closed
times, or a commemoration made from it, in keeping with the rubrics.
72. As far as possible, the pastor himself or the one he delegates
to assist at the marriage shall celebrate the Mass; if another
priest assists at the marriage, the celebrant shall not continue
the Mass until the rite of marriage has been completed.
The priest who only assists at the marriage but does not celebrate
the Mass shall be vested in surplice and white stole and, if
it is the local custom, also in cope; he shall also give the
homily. But the celebrant is always to give the blessing after
the Pater noster and before the Placeat.
73. The nuptial blessing shall always be given within the Mass,
even in closed times and even if one or both of the spouses is
entering into a second marriage.
74. In the celebration of marriage outside Mass:
a. At the beginning of the rite, in keeping with the Motu
Proprio Sacram Liturgiam no. V, a brief instruction shall
be given, not a homily but simply an introduction to the celebration
of marriage (see SC art. 35, § 3). After the reading of
the epistle and gospel from the Missa pro sponsis, there
shall be a sermon or homily based on the sacred text (see SC
art. 52). The order of the whole rite, then, is to be as follows:
the brief instruction, reading of the epistle and gospel in the
vernacular, homily, celebration of marriage, nuptial blessing.
b. For the reading of the epistle and gospel from the Missa pro sponsis, if there is no vernacular text approved by the competent
territorial ecclesiastical authority, it is lawful for the time
being to use a text approved by the local Ordinary.
c. Singing is allowed between the epistle and gospel. After the
rite of marriage and before the nuptial blessing it is most desirable
to have the prayer of the faithful in a form approved by the
local Ordinary and incorporating intercessions for the spouses.
d. Even in closed times and even if one or both of the spouses
is entering a second marriage, they are to receive the nuptial
blessing, according to the formulary in the Rituale Romanum tit.
VIII, cap. 3, unless local rituals provide a different one.
75. If marriage is celebrated during closed times, the pastor
shall advise the spouses to be mindful of the proper spirit of
the particular liturgical season.
VII. SACRAMENTALS (SC ART. 79)
76. For the blessing of candles on 2 February and of ashes on
Ash Wednesday just one of the prayers for these in the Missale
77. The blessings in the Rituale Romanum tit. IX, cap.
9, 10, 11, hitherto reserved, may be given by any priest, except
for: the blessing of a bell for the use of a blessed church or
oratory (cap. 9, no. 11); the blessing of the cornerstone of
a church (cap. 9, no. 16); the blessing of a new church or public
oratory (cap. 9, no. 17); the blessing of an antemensium
(cap. 9, no. 21); the blessing of a new cemetery (cap. 9, no.
22); papal blessings (cap. 10, nos. 1-3); the blessing and erection
of the stations of the cross (cap. 11, no. 1). reserved to the
IV. Divine Office
I. CELEBRATION OF DIVINE OFFICE BY THOSE BOUND TO CHOIR
78. Until reform of the divine office is completed:
a. Communities of canons, monks, nuns, other regulars or religious
bound to choir by law or constitutions must, in addition to the
conventual Mass, celebrate the entire divine office daily in
Individual members of these communities who are in major orders
or solemnly professed, except for lay brothers, are obliged,
even if lawfully dispensed from choir, to private recitation
each day of the hours they do not celebrate in choir.
b. Cathedral and collegiate chapters must, besides the conventual
Mass, celebrate in choir those parts of the office imposed on
them by common or particular law.
Individual chapter members, besides the canonical hours obligatory
for all clerics in major orders (see SC art. 96 and 89), must
recite in private the hours that are celebrated by their chapter.
c. In mission regions, while preserving the religious or capitular
choral discipline established by law, religious or capitulars
who are lawfully absent from choir by reason of pastoral ministry
may, with permission of the local Ordinary (not of his vicar
general or delegate), use the concession granted by the Motu
Proprio Sacram Liturgiam no. VI.
II. FACULTY OF DISPENSING FROM OR COMMUTING DIVINE OFFICE
(SC ART. 97)
79. The faculty given all Ordinaries to dispense their subjects,
in individual cases and for a just reason, from the obligation
of the divine office in whole or in part or to commute it is
also extended to major superiors of nonexempt clerical, religious
institutes and of societies of common life.
III. LITTLE OFFICES (SC ART. 98)
80. No little office can be classified as conformed to the divine
office if it does not consist of psalms, readings, hymns, and
prayers or if it has no relationship to the hours of the day
and the particular liturgical season.
81. But little offices already lawfully approved suffice for
the time being as a sharing in the public prayer of the Church,
provided their makeup meets the criteria just stated.
For use as part of the public prayer of the Church, any new little
office must have the approval of the Holy See.
82. The translation of the text of a little office into the vernacular
for use as the public prayer of the Church must have the approval
of the competent, territorial ecclesiastical authority, following
approval, that is, confirmation, by the Holy See.
83. The Ordinary or major superior of the subject is the authority
competent to grant use of the vernacular in the recitation of
a little office to anyone bound to it by constitution or to dispense
from or commute the obligation.
IV. DIVINE OFFICE OR LITTLE OFFICE CELEBRATED IN COMMON BY
RELIGIOUS INSTITUTES (SC ART. 99)
84. The obligation of celebrating in common all or part of the
divine office or a little office imposed by their constitution
on members of institutes of perfection does not take away the
faculty of omitting prime and of choosing from among the little
hours the one best suited to the time of day (see Motu Proprio
Sacram Liturgiam no. VI).
V. LANGUAGE FOR RECITATION OF DIVINE OFFICE (SC ART. 101)
85. In reciting the divine office in choir clerics are bound
to retain the Latin language.
86. The faculty granted the Ordinary to allow use of the vernacular
in individual cases by those clerics for whom the use of Latin
constitutes a serious hindrance to fulfilling the obligation
of the office is extended also to the major superiors of nonexempt,
clerical religious institutes and of societies of common life.
87. The serious hindrance required for the concession of the
faculty mentioned ought to be evaluated on the basis of the physical,
moral, intellectual, and spiritual condition of the petitioner.
Nevertheless, this faculty, conceded solely to make the recitation
of the divine office easier and more devout, is not intended
to lessen in any way the obligation of priests in the Latin rite
to learn Latin.
88. The respective Ordinaries of the same language are to prepare
and approve the translations of the divine office for the non-Roman
rites. (For parts of the office shared with the Roman Rite, however,
they are to use the version approved by competent territorial
authority.) The Ordinaries are then to submit the translation
for the Holy See's confirmation.
89. Breviaries for clerics who, according to the provisions of
art. 101, § 2, have the right to use the vernacular for
the divine office should contain the Latin text along with the
V. Designing Churches and Altars to Facilitate Active Participation
of the Faithful
I. DESIGN OF CHURCHES
90. In building new churches or restoring and adapting old ones
every care is to be taken that they are suited to celebrating
liturgical services authentically and that they ensure active
participation by the faithful (see SC art. 124).
II. MAIN ALTAR
91. The main altar should preferably be freestanding, to permit
walking around it and celebration facing the people. Its location
in the place of worship should be truly central so that the attention
of the whole congregation naturally focuses there.
Choice of materials for the construction and adornment of the
altar is to respect the prescriptions of law.
The sanctuary area is to be spacious enough to accommodate the
III. CHAIR FOR CELEBRANT AND MINISTERS
92. In relation to the plan of the church, the chair for the
celebrant and ministers should occupy a place that is clearly
visible to all the faithful and that makes it plain that the
celebrant presides over the whole community.
Should the chair stand behind the altar, any semblance of a throne,
the prerogative of a bishop, is to be avoided.
IV. MINOR ALTARS
93. There are to be fewer minor altars and, where the design
of the building permits, the best place for them is in chapels
somewhat set apart from the body of the church.
V. ALTAR APPOINTMENTS
94. At the discretion of the Ordinary, the cross and candlesticks
required on the altar for the various liturgical rites may also
be placed next to it.
VI. RESERVATION OF THE EUCHARIST
95. The Eucharist is to be reserved in a solid and secure tabernacle,
placed in the middle of the main altar or on a minor, but truly
worthy altar, or, in accord with lawful custom and in particular
cases approved by the local Ordinary, also in another, special,
and properly adorned part of the church.
It is lawful to celebrate Mass facing the people even on an altar
where there is a small but becoming tabernacle.
VII. LECTERN (AMBO)
96. There should be a lectern or lecterns for the proclamation
of the readings, so arranged that the faithful may readily see
and hear the minister.
VIII. PLACE FOR CHOIR AND ORGAN
97. The choir and organ shall occupy a place clearly showing
that the singers and the organist form part of the united community
of the faithful and allowing them best to fulfill their part
in the liturgy.
IX. PLACE FOR THE FAITHFUL
98. Special care should be taken that the place for the faithful
will assure their proper participation in the sacred rites with
both eyes and mind. Normally there should be benches or chairs
for their use but, in keeping with the Constitution art. 32,
the custom of reserving places for special persons is to be suppressed.
Care is also to be taken to enable the faithful not only to see
the celebrant and other ministers but also to hear them easily,
even by use of modern sound equipment.
99. In the construction and decoration of the baptistry great
pains are to be taken to ensure that it clearly expresses the
dignity of the sacrament of baptism and that it is a place well
suited to communal celebrations (see SC art. 27).
This Instruction was prepared by the Consilium by mandate
of Pope Paul VI, and presented to the Pope by Cardinal Giacomo
Lercaro, President of the Consilium. After having carefully
considered the Instruction, in consultation with the Consilium
and the Congregation of Rites, Pope Paul in an audience granted
to Cardinal Arcadio Maria Larraona, Prefect of the Congregation
of Rites, gave it specific approval as a whole and in its parts,
confirmed it by his authority, and ordered it to be published
and faithfully observed by all concerned, beginning on the first
Sunday of Lent, 7 March 1965.