Carrying the Lectionary in the recessional

Apparently for a number of years the Lectionary was carried out during the recessional in a Latin church I attend. Then someone deemed it unnecessary and the practice was stopped, to the consternation of some.

The question that came up is whether any specific direction exists on this for the Roman rite, ordinary form, carrying or not carrying out the Lectionary during a recessional.

From the 2002 General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) approved for the USA, which can be accessed from romanrite.com/girm.html :
“193. After the celebration of Mass, the acolyte and other ministers return in procession to the
sacristy, together with the deacon and the priest in the same way and order in which they
entered.”

“172. Carrying the Book of the Gospels slightly elevated, the deacon precedes the priest as he
approaches the altar or else walks at the priest’s side.
173. When he reaches the altar, if he is carrying the Book of the Gospels, …”.

“**A. MASS WITHOUT A DEACON **
*The Introductory Rites *
120. Once the people have gathered, the priest and ministers, clad in the sacred vestments, go
in procession to the altar in this order:
a. The thurifer carrying a thurible with burning incense, if incense is used;

d. A lector, who may carry the Book of the Gospels (though not the Lectionary), which
should be slightly elevated;”

So are you inferring from 193 that “in the same way and order in which they entered.” would or could include carrying out the Book of the Gospels, as 120, 170 173 describe carrying it in during the Introductory Rites, with and without a deacon?

Seems a reasonable inference.

The books, Lectionary or Book of Gospels, are not carried out because once proclaimed their words are in the hearts and minds of the assembly. They carry out the Gospel in the way they live it out following Mass.

I know we’re talking about the recessional, but I thought I’d address both ends.

The GIRM makes it clear that the only book that can be carried in the processional is the Book of the Gospels. The Lectionary is specifically excluded, and it is mentioned that it should be at the ambo already:
[LIST]
*]“The following are also to be prepared … At the ambo: the Lectionary…” (118)
*]“the priest and ministers, clad in the sacred vestments, go in procession to the altar in this order: … A lector, who may carry the Book of the Gospels (though not the Lectionary), which should be slightly elevated…” (120)
*]“Then the lector goes to the ambo and, from the Lectionary already placed there before Mass, proclaims the first reading, to which all listen.” (128)
[/LIST]
The recessional is not described in detail in the GIRM. It simply says: “After the celebration of Mass, the acolyte and other ministers return in procession to the sacristy, together with the deacon and the priest in the same way and order in which they entered.” (193) That could be interpreted to mean that, since the cross-bearer recesses with the crucifix, and the torch-bearers with candles, and the thurifer with the thurible… that the lector or deacon should recess out with the Book of Gospels.

However, the Introduction to the Book of the Gospels states very clearly that: “The Book of the Gospels is not carried in the procession at the end of Mass.” (22) That is from the 2000 edition of the Book of the Gospels.

The Lectionary is NOT carried in or out, only the “Book of the Gospels” is carried in, but not out in procession.

Also (in a perfect world) we should be dismissing Catechumens year-round so the Book of the Gospels leaves with them.

A link to the instruction “22. The Book of the Gospels is not carried in the procession at the end of Mass.” It is at: usccb.org/liturgy/innews/042000.shtml .

Far from a perfect world, but we do now have year round RCIA in my parish, so for much of the year we do have dismissal of the Catechumens (and usually some candidates, not perfect), and the Lectionary goes with them, on rare occasions it’s been the Book of the Gospels. I’ll bring this up with my DRE.

The processing of the Lectionary out at the end predates my time in the parish so I’m just believing the person who spoke about it that it was the Lectionary. She’s been a lector for years so I think she knows the difference between the Lectionary and the Book of the Gospels :slight_smile:

Thanks much for this.

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