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CHAPTER VIII: MASSES AND PRAYERS FOR VARIOUS NEEDS AND OCCASIONS AND MASSES FOR THE DEAD

I. MASSES AND PRAYERS FOR VARIOUS NEEDS AND OCCASIONS

326. For well-disposed Christians the liturgy of the sacraments and sacramentals causes almost every event in human life to be made holy by divine grace that flows from the paschal mystery. [116] The eucharist, in turn, is the sacrament of sacraments. Accordingly, the Missal provides formularies for Masses and prayers that may be used in the various circumstances of Christian life, for the needs of the whole world, and for the needs of the Church, both local and universal.

327. In view of the broad options for choosing the readings and prayers, the Masses for various needs and occasions should be used sparingly, that is, when the occasion requires.

328. In all the Masses for various needs and occasions, unless otherwise indicated, the weekday readings and the chants between them may be used, if they are suited to the celebration.

329. The Masses for various needs and occasions are of three types:

a. the ritual Masses, which are related to the celebration of certain sacraments or sacramentals;

b. the Masses for various needs and occasions, which are used either as circumstances arise or at fixed times;

c. the votive Masses of the mysteries of the Lord or in honor of Mary or a particular saint or of all the saints, which are options provided in favor of the faithful's devotion.

330. Ritual Masses are prohibited on the Sundays of Advent, Lent, and the Easter season, on solemnities, on days within the octave of Easter, on All Souls, on Ash Wednesday, and during Holy Week. In addition, the norms in the ritual books or in the Masses themselves also apply.

331. From the selection of Masses for various needs and occasions, the competent authority may choose Masses for those special days of prayer that the conferences of bishops may decree during the course of the year.

332. In cases of serious need or pastoral advantage, at the direction of the local Ordinary or with his permission, an appropriate Mass maybe celebrated on any day except solemnities, the Sundays of Advent, Lent, and the Easter season, days within the octave of Easter, on All Souls, Ash Wednesday, and during Holy Week.

333. On obligatory memorials, on the weekdays of Advent until 16 December, of the Christmas season after 2 January, and of the Easter season after the octave of Easter, Masses for various needs and occasions are per se forbidden. But if some real need or pastoral advantage requires, at the discretion of the rector of the church or the priest celebrant, the Masses corresponding to such need or advantage may be used in a celebration with a congregation.

334. On weekdays in Ordinary Time when there is an optional memorial or the office is of that weekday, any Mass or prayer for various needs and occasions is permitted, but ritual Masses are excluded.

MASSES FOR THE DEAD

335. The Church offers Christ's paschal sacrifice for the dead so that on the basis of the communion existing between all Christ's members, the petition for spiritual help on behalf of some members may bring others comforting hope.

336. The funeral Mass has first place among the Masses for the dead and may be celebrated on any day except solemnities that are days of obligation, Holy Thursday, the Easter triduum, and the Sundays of Advent, Lent, and the Easter season.

337. On the occasions of news of a death, final burial, or the first anniversary, Mass for the dead may be celebrated even on days within the Christmas octave, on obligatory memorials, and on weekdays, except Ash Wednesday and during Holy Week.

Other Masses for the dead, that is, daily Masses, may be celebrated on weekdays in Ordinary Time when there is an optional memorial or the office is of the weekday, provided such Masses are actually offered for the dead.

338. At the funeral Mass there should as a rule be a short homily, but never a eulogy of any kind. The homily is also recommended at other Masses for the dead celebrated with a congregation.

339. All the faithful, and especially the family, should be urged to share in the eucharistic sacrifice offered for the deceased person by receiving communion.

340. If the funeral Mass is directly joined to the burial rite, once the prayer after communion has been said and omitting the rite of dismissal, the rite of final commendation or of farewell takes place, but only when the body is present.

341. In the planning and choosing of the variable parts of the Mass for the dead, especially the funeral Mass (for example, prayers, readings, general intercessions) pastoral considerations bearing upon the deceased, the family, and those attending should rightly be foremost.

Pastors should, moreover, take into special account those who are present at a liturgical celebration or hear the Gospel only because of the funeral. These may be non-Catholics or Catholics who never or rarely share in the eucharist or who have apparently lost the faith. Priests are, after all, ministers of Christ's Gospel for all people.

This translation of the GIRM is not based on the Latin text accompanying the 1969 Ordo Missae, but rather that in the 1975 editio typica altera of the Missale Romanum. Three versions of the GIRM preceded that accompanying the editio typica altera: 1) The GIRM issued with the new Ordo Missae promulgated 6 April 1969; 2) The GIRM as emended in the editio typica of the Missale Romanum, promulgated 26 March 1970; 3) The GIRM as emended by the variations published by the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship 23 December 1972, following the suppression of the diaconate and minor orders by the motu proprio Ministeria quaedam, 15 August 1972.


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