Instruction Regarding Low Masses
20 October A.D. 2012
1. In accordance with Can. 77 Secs. 1-4, a Low Mass (without
solemnity) is celebrated by a priest or bishop only, without any
other Sacred Ministers. There should be no more than two servers in
general, and two candles on the altar. If a bishop celebrates, then
there should be four candles, but at least two should be present if
the mass is of semi-double or lower rank. At a low mass celebrated by
the Patriarch, there may be six candles, but at least four if the
mass is of double rank, and at least two if the mass is of
semi-double or lower rank. Bishops do not use Deacons of Honor or an
Assistant Priest, or anything else reserved for masses with solemnity.
2. A Low Mass with Solemnity follows the rules of the sung mass,
except that the portions of the mass appointed to be chanted by the
priest or other ministers, or sung by the choir are not sung. Hymns
may be sung as usual. Six candles are used, and incense may be used.
3. At a Pontifical Low Mass with Solemnity, the mitre, crosier, and
dalmatic are used, and the gloves may be used. Six candles are used,
but the seventh Pontifical Candle is not used. The bishop may have
Deacons of Honor and/or an Assistant Priest according to his rank, as
well as the usual clerks. All is otherwise as for a Pontifical Sung
Mass, but, as for a Low Mass with Solemnity as celebrated by a
priest, the propers and prayers are not chanted. The Pontifical Low
Mass with Solemnity may be celebrated from the throne, faldstool, or
the altar, except when said in the presence of a great prelate who is
presiding from the throne, in which case, as is the case for a high
mass or a sung mass, it is celebrated from the altar only.
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