General Instructions


#1

Need help defending the G.I.R.M.. Having discussions with some folks that have told me that the G.I.R.M. is just suggestions for the priest and he can change things in it when he wants. They stated it says "customs of the local church" in there and thats the reason he can change things. They said that's why one church will kneel at certain times and others don't because their custom in that church allows them to do so. This dosen't seem right. Need help defending against what they said...Thanks


#2

[quote="DSJJ, post:1, topic:297583"]
Need help defending the G.I.R.M.. Having discussions with some folks that have told me that the G.I.R.M. is just suggestions for the priest and he can change things in it when he wants. They stated it says "customs of the local church" in there and thats the reason he can change things. They said that's why one church will kneel at certain times and others don't because their custom in that church allows them to do so. This dosen't seem right. Need help defending against what they said...Thanks

[/quote]

G.I.R.M is how all churches are to proceed. While there is room to defer to local custom, that is for the Bishop of each Diocese to determin not individual Parishes.


#3

The local Church (capital c) refers to the particular Church, that is, the diocese wherein the parish is domiciled (where it is). Customs at that level are to be defined by the diocesan bishop.

Also, the English translation of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal is liturgical law in every diocese of the United States of America, with the recognitio of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, which acts with the authority of the Holy Father. Not just suggestions.


#4

[quote="DSJJ, post:1, topic:297583"]
Need help defending the G.I.R.M.. Having discussions with some folks that have told me that the G.I.R.M. is just suggestions for the priest and he can change things in it when he wants. They stated it says "customs of the local church" in there and thats the reason he can change things. They said that's why one church will kneel at certain times and others don't because their custom in that church allows them to do so. This dosen't seem right. Need help defending against what they said...Thanks

[/quote]

A priest once explained the GIRM to me by telling a story of when he first went to Rome and boarded a bus. The first thing he saw when the doors opened was a big sign that said: IT IS FORBIDDEN TO STAND ON THIS BUS.

After he paid his fare and found a seat he saw another sign inside:
ALL PASSENGERS WHO STAND MUST HOLD THE HANDRAIL.

I don't now why it "doesn't seem right" to you, but latitude it built into the GIRM and then there are some parts with no latitude. Unless there needs to be. It's "right" because the Church says so.


#5

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) was formed as the standard of excellence in the celebration of the Mass within the Catholic Church. It is meant as a universal standard and keeps the Church as one united body. There are different forms allowed for and these are listed within the GIRM (see, for example, page 69 about the different forms in Australia and in England, Wales and Scotland).

In my understanding it would be an abuse of the term 'local custom' if it was a idiosyncratic novelty or on the whim of a local priest. It really must be a local custom as allowed by the local bishop.

The GIRM is incredibly detailed which means it is intended to cover most situations and variations due to the circumstances possible when and where a Mass is celebrated. There is interpretation already within the GIRM.

The GIRM concludes on the last page (p 122 in the new Roman Missal):

'And so, the Roman Missal, though in a diversity of languages and with some variety of customs, must in the future be safeguarded as an instrument and an outstanding sign of the integrity and unity of the Roman Rite'. (emphasis mine).


#6

So where does it say what rules the bishop can dispense with and what rules he can’t. For example can the bishop say “every church in my diocese will sit from beginning to the end of Mass” no kneeling or standing at all. Can he do that?


#7

[quote="DSJJ, post:6, topic:297583"]
So where does it say what rules the bishop can dispense with and what rules he can't. For example can the bishop say "every church in my diocese will sit from beginning to the end of Mass" no kneeling or standing at all. Can he do that?

[/quote]

No, he can't. Where he is allowed to change something it is indicated. In fact, at the end of the GIRM it indicates quite precisely what a Bishop can change..

  1. The diocesan Bishop, who is to be regarded as the high priest of his flock, and from whom the life in Christ of the faithful under his care in a certain sense derives and upon whom it depends,[148] must promote, regulate, and be vigilant over the liturgical life in his diocese. It is to him that in this Instruction is entrusted the regulating of the discipline of concelebration (cf. nos. 202, 374) and the establishing of norms regarding the function of serving the priest at the altar (cf. no. 107), the distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds (cf. no. 283), and the construction and ordering of churches (cf. no. 291). With him lies responsibility above all for fostering the spirit of the sacred Liturgy in the priests, deacons, and faithful.[LEFT] [/LEFT] [LEFT]388. The adaptations spoken of below that call for a wider degree of coordination are to be decided, in accord with the norm of law, by the Conference of Bishops.

[/LEFT]
[LEFT]389. It is the competence of the Conferences of Bishops in the first place to prepare and approve an edition of this Roman Missal in the authorized vernacular languages, for use in the regions under their care, once their decisions have been accorded the recognitio of the Apostolic See.[149]

[/LEFT]
[LEFT]The Roman Missal, whether in Latin or in lawfully approved vernacular translations, is to be published in its entirety.

[/LEFT]
[LEFT]390. It is up to the Conferences of Bishops to decide on the adaptations indicated in this General Instruction and in the Order of Mass and, once their decisions have been accorded the recognitio of the Apostolic See, to introduce them into the Missal itself. These adaptations include[/LEFT]

[LIST]
] [LEFT]The gestures and posture of the faithful (cf. no. 43); (In the US the norm as decided by the Conference is kneeling after the Sanctus until after the AMEN for everyone and from "Behold the Lamb of God" until Communion unless the diocesan bishop has decided on another posture. There is no option not to kneel during the Eucharistic Prayer unless one is unable to due to illness, lack of space, etc.)
[/LEFT]
*] [LEFT]The gestures of veneration toward the altar and the *Book of the Gospels
(cf. no. 273);[/LEFT]
*] [LEFT]The texts of the chants at the entrance, at the presentation of the gifts, and at Communion (cf. nos. 48, 74, 87);[/LEFT]
*] [LEFT]The readings from Sacred Scripture to be used in special circumstances (cf. no. 362);[/LEFT]
*] [LEFT]The form of the gesture of peace (cf. no. 82);[/LEFT]
*] [LEFT]The manner of receiving Holy Communion (cf. nos. 160, 283);[/LEFT]
*] [LEFT]The materials for the altar and sacred furnishings, especially the sacred vessels, and also the materials, form, and color of the liturgical vestments (cf. nos. 301, 326, 329, 339, 342-346).

[/LEFT]
[/LIST]


#8

[quote="DSJJ, post:6, topic:297583"]
So where does it say what rules the bishop can dispense with and what rules he can't. For example can the bishop say "every church in my diocese will sit from beginning to the end of Mass" no kneeling or standing at all. Can he do that?

[/quote]

That is not a licit adaptation within the competence of the diocesan bishop according to the GIRM. He can say that (and it will be binding), of course, if he requests that the CDWDS grants an indult for that, and they grant said indult. Then that is particular law for his diocese.


#9

[quote="JGMendes4049, post:8, topic:297583"]
That is not a licit adaptation within the competence of the diocesan bishop according to the GIRM. He can say that (and it will be binding), of course, if he requests that the CDWDS grants an indult for that, and they grant said indult. Then that is particular law for his diocese.

[/quote]

But fyi DSJJ, that is quite rare.


#10

[quote="DSJJ, post:1, topic:297583"]
Need help defending the G.I.R.M.. Having discussions with some folks that have told me that the G.I.R.M. is just suggestions for the priest and he can change things in it when he wants. They stated it says "customs of the local church" in there and thats the reason he can change things. They said that's why one church will kneel at certain times and others don't because their custom in that church allows them to do so. This dosen't seem right. Need help defending against what they said...Thanks

[/quote]

Print this page and show him this (emphasis mine):

Sacrosanctum Concilium art. 22.3 (1963)
o Therefore no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority.

Canon 846.1 (1983)
o The liturgical books approved by the competent authority are to be faithfully observed in the celebration of the sacraments; therefore no one on personal authority may add, remove or change anything in them.

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1125 (1992)
o For this reason no sacramental rite may be modified or manipulated at the will of the minister or the community. Even the supreme authority of the Church may not change the liturgy arbitrarily, but only in obedience of faith and with religious respect for the mystery of the liturgy.

General Instruction of the Roman Missal, no. 24 (2003)
o Nevertheless, the priest must remember that he is the servant of the Sacred Liturgy and that he himself is not permitted, on his own initiative, to add, to remove, or to change anything in the celebration of Mass.

Redemptionis Sacramentum, nos. 31, 59 (2004)
o They ought not to detract from the profound meaning of their own ministry by corrupting the liturgical celebration either through alteration or omission, or through arbitrary additions.
o The reprobated practice by which Priests, Deacons or the faithful here and there alter or vary at will the texts of the Sacred Liturgy that they are charged to pronounce, must cease. For in doing thus, they render the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy unstable, and not infrequently distort the authentic meaning of the Liturgy


#11

Since “G.I.R.M.” stands for General Instructions of the Roman Missal, I would respond with “What do you think ‘Instructions’ means? Instructions are not suggestions!”


#12

[quote="Phemie, post:7, topic:297583"]
No, he can't. Where he is allowed to change something it is indicated. In fact, at the end of the GIRM it indicates quite precisely what a Bishop can change..

[/left]
[/list]

(In the US the norm as decided by the Conference is kneeling after the Sanctus until after the AMEN for everyone and from "Behold the Lamb of God" until Communion unless the diocesan bishop has decided on another posture. There is no option not to kneel during the Eucharistic Prayer unless one is unable to due to illness, lack of space, etc.)

[/quote]

All you have to do is remove the pews and kneelers, as I saw in one Parish and kneeling is prohibited during Mass, which it was.


#13

[quote="Joan_M, post:11, topic:297583"]
Since "G.I.R.M." stands for General Instructions of the Roman Missal, I would respond with "What do you think 'Instructions' means? Instructions are not suggestions!"

[/quote]

In the normative Latin, however, the "I" stands for "Institutio," which might more closely be said to mean "disposition, arrangement; custom, manner; principles, elements of instruction." General principles, general arrangement -- sounds a bit less absolutist, doesn't it? That's not to say it is, only that one cannot rest one's case on the English title alone.


#14

[quote="MarkThompson, post:13, topic:297583"]
In the normative Latin, however, the "I" stands for "Institutio," which might more closely be said to mean "disposition, arrangement; custom, manner; principles, elements of instruction." General principles, general arrangement -- sounds a bit less absolutist, doesn't it? That's not to say it is, only that one cannot rest one's case on the English title alone.

[/quote]

In French, although the official translation says "Presentation Générale du Missel Romain", the publication containing that document is called "L'art de célébrer la Messe" (The art of celebrating Mass).


#15

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