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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