Msgr. James Patrick Moroney Executive Director, Secretariat for the Liturgy United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The English. Latin GIRM (Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani) — Roman Missal, 3rd Edition in GIRM (in English) • Preferred Version from MR3. Ed.) (Liturgy Documentary) [Usccb] on The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), from the Roman Missal, Third December 9,
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Decree of Confirmation Decree of Publication. C The Liturgy of the Eucharist 72 – No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright holder.
This text is confirmed for use in the Dioceses of the United States of America. Persons from other nations should consult the local Episcopal Conference regarding the appropriate text for their nation. Effective immediately, this translation of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal is the sole translation of the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani, editio typica tertia for use in the dioceses of the United States of America. Most Reverend Wilton D.
When he was about to celebrate with his disciples the Passover meal in which he instituted the sacrifice of his Body and Blood, Christ the Lord gave instructions that a large, furnished upper room should be prepared Lk The current norms, prescribed in keeping with the will of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, and the new Missal that the Church of the Roman Rite is to use from now on in the celebration of Mass are also evidence of the great concern of the Church, of her faith, and of her unchanged love for the great mystery of the Eucharist.
What the Council thus teaches is expressed constantly in the formulas of the Mass. Further, the nature of the ministerial priesthood proper to a Bishop and a priest, who offer the Sacrifice in the person of Christ and who preside over the gathering of the holy people, is evident in the form of the rite itself, by reason of the more prominent place and office of the priest.
The meaning of this office is enunciated and explained clearly and at greater length in the Preface for the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday, the day commemorating the institution of the priesthood. The Preface brings to light the conferral of the priestly power accomplished through the laying on of hands; and, by listing the various duties, it describes that power, which is the continuation of the power of Christ the High Priest of the New Testament.
In addition, the nature of the ministerial priesthood also puts into its proper light another reality, which must indeed be highly regarded, namely, the royal priesthood of the faithful, whose spiritual sacrifice is brought to completeness through the ministry of the Bishop and the priests in union with the sacrifice of Christ, the one and only Mediator. In this way greater consideration will also be given to some aspects of the celebration that have sometimes been accorded less attention in the course of time.
It is a people called to bring to God the prayers of the entire human family, a people giving thanks in Christ for the mystery of salvation by offering his Sacrifice. Though holy in its origin, this people nevertheless grows continually in holiness by its conscious, active, and fruitful participation in the mystery of the Eucharist. In setting forth its instructions for the revision of the Order of Mass, the Second Vatican Council, using the same words as did St.
Furthermore, if the inner elements of this tradition are reflected upon, it also becomes clear how outstandingly and felicitously the older Roman Missal is brought to fulfillment in the new. In a difficult period when the Catholic faith on the sacrificial nature of the Mass, the ministerial priesthood, and the real and permanent presence of Christ under the Eucharistic species were placed at risk, St. Pius V was especially concerned with preserving the more recent tradition, then unjustly being assailed, introducing only very slight changes into the sacred rite.
In fact, the Missal of differs very little from the very first printed edition ofwhich in turn faithfully follows the Missal used at the time of Pope Innocent III. For following the publication first of the Sacramentary known as the Gregorian incritical editions of other ancient Roman and Ambrosian Sacramentaries were published, often in book form, as were ancient Hispanic and Gallican liturgical books which brought to light numerous prayers of no slight spiritual excellence that had previously been unknown.
In a similar fashion, traditions dating back to the first centuries, before the formation of the rites of East and West, are better known today because of the discovery of so many liturgical documents.
Moreover, continuing progress in the study of the holy Fathers has also shed light upon the theology of the mystery of the Eucharist through the teachings of such illustrious Fathers of Christian antiquity as St.
Cyril of Jerusalem, and St. Moreover, this broader view allows us to see how the Holy Spirit endows the People of God with a marvelous fidelity in preserving the unalterable deposit of faith, even amid a very great variety of prayers and rites.
General Instruction of the Roman Missal
Indeed, when the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council reaffirmed the dogmatic pronouncements of the Council of Trent, usxcb spoke at a far different time in world history, so that they were able to bring forward proposals and measures of a pastoral nature that could not have even been foreseen four centuries earlier. 201 Council of Trent already recognized the great catechetical value contained in the celebration of Mass but was unable to bring out all its consequences in regard to actual practice.
Therefore, when the Second Vatican Council convened in order to accommodate the Church to the requirements of her proper apostolic office precisely in these times, it examined thoroughly, as had Trent, the instructive and pastoral character of the sacred Liturgy. Indeed, since the use of the vernacular in the sacred Liturgy may certainly be considered an important means for presenting more clearly the catechesis regarding the mystery that is inherent in usccn celebration itself, the Second Vatican Council also ordered that certain prescriptions of the Council of Trent that had not been followed everywhere be brought to fruition, such as the homily to be given on Sundays and holy days  and the faculty to interject certain explanations uscdb the sacred rites themselves.
Moved by the same desire and pastoral concern, the Second Vatican Council was able to give renewed consideration to what was established by Trent on Communion under both kinds. And indeed, since no one today calls into doubt in usvcb way the doctrinal principles on the complete efficacy of Eucharistic Communion under the species of bread uscb, the Council thus gave permission for the reception of Communion under both kinds on some occasions, because this clearer form of the sacramental sign offers a particular opportunity of deepening the understanding of the mystery in uxccb the jsccb take part.
Accordingly, a part of the new Missal directs the prayers of the Church in a more open way to the needs of our times, which is above all true of the Ritual Masses and the Masses for Various Needs, in which tradition and new elements are appropriately harmonized.
Still others, such as the prayers for the Church, the laity, the sanctification of human work, the community of all peoples, and certain needs proper to our era, have been newly composed, drawing on the thoughts and often the very phrasing of the recent documents of the Council.
Moreover, on account of the same attitude toward the new gjrm of the present world, uscccb seemed that in the use of texts from the most ancient tradition, so revered a treasure would in no way be harmed if some phrases were changed so that the style of language would be usccn in accord with the language of modern firm and would truly reflect the current discipline of jsccb Church. Thus, not a few expressions bearing on the evaluation and use of the goods of the earth have been changed, as have also not a few allusions to a certain form of outward penance belonging to past ages of the Church.
Finally, in this manner the liturgical norms of ysccb Council of Trent have certainly been completed and perfected in many respects by those of the Second Vatican Council, which has brought to realization the efforts of the last four hundred years to bring the faithful closer to the sacred Liturgy especially in recent times, and above all the zeal for the Liturgy promoted by St.
Pius X and his successors. The celebration of Mass, as the action of Christ and the People of God arrayed hierarchically, is the center of the whole Christian life for the Church both universal and local, as well as for each of the faithful individually. This will best be accomplished if, with due regard for the nature and the particular circumstances of each liturgical assembly, the entire celebration is planned in such a way that it leads to a conscious, active, and full participation of the faithful both in body and in mind, a participation burning with faith, hope, and charity, of the sort which is desired by the Church and demanded by the very nature of the celebration, and to which uaccb Christian people have a right and duty by reason of their Baptism.
It is therefore recommended that the priest celebrate the Eucharistic Sacrifice even daily, if possible. Because, however, the celebration of the Eucharist, like the entire Liturgy, is carried out through perceptible signs that nourish, strengthen, and express faith,  the utmost care must be taken to choose and to arrange those forms and elements set forth by the Church that, in view of the circumstances of the people and the place, will gim effectively foster active and full participation and more properly respond to the spiritual needs of the faithful.
This Instruction aims both to offer general guidelines for properly arranging the Celebration of the Eucharist and to set forth rules for ordering the various forms of uscbc. The celebration of the Eucharist in a particular Church is of utmost importance.
For the diocesan Bishop, the chief steward of the mysteries of God in the particular Church entrusted to his care, is the moderator, promoter, and guardian of the whole of its liturgical life.
For this reason, the solemn celebration of Masses of this sort must be an example for the entire diocese. The Bishop should therefore be determined that the priests, the deacons, and the lay Christian faithful grasp ever more deeply the genuine meaning of the rites and liturgical texts, and thereby be led to an active and fruitful celebration of the Eucharist.
To the same end, he should also be vigilant that the dignity of these celebrations be enhanced. In promoting this dignity, the beauty of the sacred place, of music, and of art should contribute as greatly as possible.
Moreover, in order that such a celebration may correspond more fully to the prescriptions and spirit of the sacred Liturgy, and also in order to increase its pastoral effectiveness, certain accommodations and adaptations are specified in this General Instruction and in the Order of Mass. These adaptations consist for the most part in the choice of certain rites or texts, that is, of the chants, readings, prayers, explanations, and gestures which may respond better to the needs, preparation, and culture of the participants and which are entrusted to the priest celebrant.
In addition, certain adaptations are indicated in the proper place in the Missal and pertain respectively to the diocesan Bishop or to the Conference of Bishops, in accord with the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy  cf. As for variations and the more substantial adaptations in view of the traditions and culture of peoples and regions, to be introduced in accordance with article 40 of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy because of benefit or need, the norms set forth in the Instruction On the Roman Liturgy and Inculturation  and in nos.
For in the celebration of Mass, in which the Sacrifice of the Cross is perpetuated,  Christ is really present in the very liturgical assembly gathered in his name, in the person of the minister, in his word, and indeed substantially and continuously under the Eucharistic species. The Mass is made up, as it were, of two parts: These, however, are so closely interconnected that they form but one single act of worship.
When the Sacred Scriptures are read in the Church, God himself speaks to his people, and Christ, present in his own word, proclaims the Gospel. Among the parts assigned to the priest, the foremost is the Eucharistic Prayer, which is the high point of the entire celebration. Next are the orations: These prayers are addressed to God in the name of the entire holy people and all present, by the priest who presides over the assembly in the person of Christ.
It is also up to the priest, in the exercise of his office of presiding over the gathered assembly, to offer certain explanations that are foreseen in the rite itself. Where it is indicated in the rubrics, the celebrant is permitted to adapt them somewhat in order that they respond to the understanding of those participating. However, he should always take care to keep to the sense of the text given in the Missal and to express it succinctly.
The presiding priest is also to direct the word of God and to impart the final blessing. In addition, he may give the faithful a very brief introduction to the Mass of the day after the initial Greeting and before the Act of Penitenceto the Liturgy of the Word before the readingsand to the Eucharistic Prayer before the Prefacethough never during the Eucharistic Prayer itself; he may also make concluding comments to the entire sacred action before the dismissal. The priest, in fact, as the one who presides, prays in the name of the Church and of the assembled community; but at times he prays only in his own name, asking that he may exercise his ministry with greater attention and devotion.
Prayers of this kind, which occur before the reading of the Gospel, at the Preparation of the Gifts, and also before and after the Communion of the priest, are said quietly. Some constitute an independent rite or act, such as the Gloriathe responsorial Psalm, the Alleluia and verse before the Gospel, the Sanctusthe Memorial Acclamation, and the cantus post communionem song after communion. Others accompany another rite, such as the chants at the Entrance, at the Offertory, at the fraction Agnus Deiand at Communion.
In texts that are to be spoken in a loud and clear voice, whether by the priest or the deacon, or by the lector, or by all, the tone of voice should correspond to the genre of the text itself, that is, depending upon whether it is a reading, a prayer, a commentary, an acclamation, or a sung text; the tone should also be suited to the form of celebration and to the solemnity of the gathering. Consideration should also be given to the hsccb of different languages and the culture of different peoples.
Great importance should therefore be attached to the use of singing in the celebration of the Mass, with due consideration for the culture of the people and abilities of each liturgical assembly. Although it is not always necessary e. In the choosing of the parts actually to be sung, however, preference virm be given to those that are of greater importance and especially to those to be sung by the priest or the deacon or the lector, with the people responding, or by the priest and people together.
All other things being equal, Gregorian chant holds pride of place because it is proper to the Roman Liturgy. Other types of sacred music, in particular polyphony, are in no way excluded, provided that they correspond to the spirit of the liturgical gir, and that they foster the participation of all the faithful.
The gestures and posture of the priest, the deacon, and the ministers, as well as those of the people, ought to contribute to making the entire celebration resplendent with 20011 and noble simplicity, so that the true and full meaning of the different parts of the celebration is evident and that the participation of all is fostered.
A common posture, to be observed by all participants, is a sign of the unity of the members of the Christian community gathered for the sacred Liturgy: The faithful should stand from the beginning of the Entrance chant, or while the priest approaches the altar, until the end of the collect; for the Alleluia chant before the Gospel; usccb the Gospel itself is proclaimed; during the Profession of Faith and grm Prayer of the Faithful; from the invitation, Orate, fratres Pray, brethrenbefore the prayer over the offerings until the end of Mass, except at the places indicated below.
They should, however, sit while the readings before the Gospel and the responsorial Psalm are proclaimed and for the homily and while the Preparation of the Gifts at the Offertory is taking place; and, as uscfb allow, they may sit or kneel while the period of sacred silence after Communion is observed.
In the dioceses of the United States of Gitm, they should kneel beginning after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer, except when prevented on occasion by reasons of health, lack of space, the large number of people present, or some gigm good reason. Those who do not kneel ought to make a profound bow when the priest genuflects after the consecration.
Ucscb faithful kneel after the Agnus Dei unless the diocesan Bishop determines otherwise. With a view to a uniformity in gestures and postures during one and the same celebration, the faithful should follow the directions which the uxccb, lay minister, or priest gives according to ysccb is indicated in the Missal.
Among gestures included are also actions and processions: It is appropriate that actions and processions of this sort be carried out with decorum while the chants proper to them occur, in keeping with the norms prescribed for each.
General Instruction of the Roman Missal (PDF)
Sacred silence also, as part of the celebration, is to be observed at the designated times. Thus within the Act girrm Penitence uusccb again after the invitation to pray, all recollect themselves; but at the conclusion of a reading or the homily, all meditate briefly on what they have heard; then after Communion, they praise and pray to God in their hearts. Even before the celebration itself, it is commendable that silence to be observed in the church, in the sacristy, in the vesting room, and in adjacent areas, so that all may dispose themselves to carry out the sacred action in a devout and fitting manner.
The rites preceding the Liturgy of the Word, namely the Ysccb, Greeting, Act of Penitence, KyrieGloriaand collect, have the character of a beginning, introduction, and preparation. In certain celebrations that are combined with Mass according to the norms of the liturgical books, the Introductory Rites are omitted or performed in a particular way. After the people have gathered, the Entrance chant begins as the priest enters with the deacon and ministers.
The purpose of this chant is to open the celebration, foster the unity of those who have been gathered, introduce their thoughts to the mystery of the liturgical season or festivity, and accompany the procession of the priest and ministers. The singing at this time is done either alternately by the choir and the people or in a similar way by the cantor and the people, or entirely by the people, or by the choir alone.
If there is no singing at the entrance, the antiphon in the Missal is recited either by the faithful, or by some of them, or by a lector; otherwise, it is recited by the priest himself, who may even adapt it as an introductory explanation cf. When they reach the sanctuary, the priest, the deacon, and the ministers reverence the altar with a profound bow.
As an expression of veneration, moreover, the priest and deacon then kiss the altar itself; as the occasion suggests, the priest also incenses the cross and usdcb altar. When the Entrance chant is concluded, the priest stands at the chair and, together with the whole gathering, makes the Sign of the Cross.