I am trying to find source material listing all of the required gestures and prayers during Mass. I have checked the GIRM, but I don’t see what I’m looking for in there.
Here is an example: Before the Gospel Reading, I was taught that we make the Sign of the Cross with our thumb over our forehead, mouth and heart while silently saying something to the effect of asking for help receiving the Gospel into our minds, our lips and our heart. Everyone seems to know this is required, but I can’t find the documents stating it is required.
Why I am asking: During the liturgy of the Eucharist, when the priest says, “This is My Body,” and, “This is My Blood,” my mother will lightly strike her chest twice (beat her breast), and I think she is saying “mea culpa.” I don’t know if this was something that was required pre-Vatican II but would like to find out.
Also, when people enter Mass and kneel to pray before the Procession begins, I know that they are, to a large extent, making personal prayers, but I am wondering if there are one or two specific Catholic prayers that we are supposed to be saying during that time, like the Act of Contrition? And these two things make me wonder what else I might not be aware of, actions that are not specifically mentioned in the Missal but are either required or suggested.
Also, as to the mention of the possible pre-Vatican II gesture, while I wholeheartedly believe in the validity of Vatican II, I also admire the beauty of the pre-Vatican II liturgy. So, if there are gestures and prayers that were required then but are no longer required now, yet which are not prohibited, I would be interested in adding them for myself in Mass.
So as I said above, can anyone point me to any documents that discuss these type of requirements, both pre- and post-Vatican II?