Offering Mass in Front of Blessed Sacrament?(1941 Reference)

I was reading a neat old book from 1941 The Externals of the Catholic Church: Her Government, Ceremonies, Festivals, Sacramentals and Devotions by the Rt. Rev. John F. Sullivan, DD. It carries an imprimatur and I was reading about the number of candles placed on the altar for Mass – low Mass (2), sung high Mass (6), bishop’s private Mass (4), bishop’s pontifical high Mass (7.) it also said:

“…and when the Holy Sacrifice is offered before the Blessed Sacrament exposed, at least twelve different candles are used on the altar…”

Is the Mass ever celebrated in front of the exposed Blessed Sacrament from the outset? I have never heard of this, but this book has proven itself to be accurate in the past and now I’m curious.

Yes, it was known as a Mass coram sanctissimum. Nowdays I think it is not allowed (ES, 83) It was generally restricted to very special public Masses requiring the consent of the Ordinary, the Octave of Corpus Christi and the Forty Hours ( for the Forty Hours, the Mass of Exposition was not coram sanctissimum until after the communion) And there was another limiting at the time of Pius XII but I’ve forgotten what it is was.

Generally this Mass had slightly different rules - genuflections instead of bows, more candles, occasionally a change in the colour of the vestments, and often, the privilege of solemn Votives of the Blessed Sacrament

A picture from the Anglo-Catholics at St. Clement’s

Does the “at lest 12 candles” ruberic still have force?

I don’t know. 12 candles was supposed to be the standard* when the Sacrament was exposed in the monstrance The current NO rules is 4-6 when the Sacrament is exposed (6 as previously allowed for “private” Benediction with the monstrance) but in any case the NO doesn’t have Mass in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.

** The 12 candles rubric also depends- for the Forty Hours, for example, the Instr. Clementina says 10 candles in the night times.

Another picture of such a Mass via the ICRSS (:tiphat: NLM) during the 40 hours

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