Different countries, different liturgical rules?

Are different ‘rules’ of the Catholic mass etc, applicable in different areas of the world? for example, supposedly the Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops, (our local bishop is the president) says we do not need to kneel during concecration, we are allowed to wash womens feet, it is ok for our youth to be around the altar during a life teen mass. Or are our bishops causing severe liturgical abuse?

Dear jax,

Yes, some liturgical laws are left to the various national councils of bishops to fine tune. Still others are left to the local bishop. For example, the universal requirement is that the laity kneel for the consecration at Mass. The U.S. bishops extended the requirement until the end of the Great Amen.

However, no one, not even a local bishop has the authority to ignore the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. The GIRM explicitly states in #21: “(The people) should kneel at the consecration unless prevented by the lack of space, the number of people, or some other good reason.” This also covers the matter of Children standing around the altar during the consecration. We have documentation for the washing of the feet as well, should you need it.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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