Thesaurus responsorum ex « Notitiae » - Notitiae Response Database
[Part of Ipsissima-Verba]

Hoc in situ interretiali ordinantur responsiones, explanationes, et decreta ex « Notitiae » aliisque interdum fontibus (ut AAS) desumpta, quae aliis locis modo promptiore haud inveniuntur. Finis est praestare textum originalem, versionem anglicam, et exemplar PDF paginarum pertinentium ex « Notitiae » vel alio fonte. Presens igitur labor opusculum « Ordo Missae locis correspondentibus illustratus » aliquatenus extendit. Est enim labor imperfectus quem, cum operae mihi est, suscipio. Denique domino Daniel Gill, domino Radosław Gosiewski, et domino Abram Córdova y Muenzberg, qui nonnullas ex responsionibus transcripserunt, gratias refero, item etiam dominae Crista Mootz, quae in linguam anglicam responsiones quasdam verteri adiuvavit. Exemplaria PDF exstant etiam textuum nondum transcriptorum. This website organizes responses, explanations, and decrees from Notitiae and sometimes from other sources (such as AAS) that are not readily available in other places. The goal is to provide the original text, an English translation, and a PDF scan of the relevant pages from Notitiae or other source. In some ways, the project is a further development of my Cross-Referenced Ordo Missae. This is an ongoing prject which I work on in my spare time. I am also grateful for the help of Mr. Daniel Gill, Mr. Radosław Gosiewski, and Mr. Abram Córdova y Muenzberg in transcribing some of these responses and also to Miss Crista Mootz for helping to translate certain responses into English. PDFs are available even for texts that have not yet been transcribed.
Fac Patrem Dylanum Schrader certiorem si habes proposita vel corrigenda. Contact Father Dylan Schrader with suggestions and corrections.
N.B. In « Notitiae » 1 (1965) et 2 (1966), supra responsa, invenitur monitio: Solutio quae proponitur nullam induit vestem officialem. Solummodo habet valorem orientativum: solutiones enim ex officio publici iuris fient, si casus fert, a competenti Auctoritate in « Acta Apostolicae Sedis ». N.B. In Notitiae 1 (1965) and 2 (1966), this notice appears above the responses: The solution which is proposed takes on no official character. It has only an orientative force; solutions will be published officially, if the case warrants, by the competent Authority in « Acta Apostolicae Sedis ».

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TextUnofficial English TranslationCitationTagsPDF of the original document

7. Utrum liceat altare in medio ecclesiae exstruere, ut Missa semper celebretur versus populum?

Resp.: Instructio non loquitur de « centro mathematico » ecclesiae, sed tantum de « centro ideali », uti dicitur, « quo totius congregationis fidelium attentio sponte convertatur » (n. 91).

7. Whether it is permitted to erect an altar in the middle of the church so that Mass can always be celebrated facing the people?

Resp.: The Instruction does not speak of the « mathematical center » of the church but only of the « ideal center », as it is called, « to which the attention of the whole congregation of the faithful is spontaneously drawn » (n. 91).

Notitiae 1 (1965), 137–138, n. 7altar, location, versus populumPDF of Notitiae 1 (1965), 137–138

8. Utrum liceat, donec ecclesia opportune reficiatur, collocare altare portatile, forma simplicis mensae, ante altare maius fixum ex marmore pretioso confectum, ut adhibeatur pro celebratione Missae versus populum?

Resp.: Affirmative, dummodo a) spatium vere notabile inter utrumque altare intercedat; b) optandum vero est ut altare portatile extra sanctuarium ponatur, quo autem in casu, circa se habeat spatium sufficiens ad modum presbyterii, ab aula ecclesiae opportune distinctum.

8. Whether it is permitted, until the church can be properly renovated, to place a portable altar in the form of a simple table in front of a high altar which is fixed and made of precious marble so that it might be used for the celebration of Mass facing the people?

Resp.: In the affirmative, as long as a) a truly notable space intervenes between each altar; b) but it is to be preferred that a portable altar would be placed outside the sanctuary, in which case it should have a sufficient space around it, after the manner of the sanctuary, properly distinct from the nave of the church.

Notitiae 1 (1965), 138, n. 8altar, location, versus populumPDF of Notitiae 1 (1965), 138

9. Aliqui sacerdotes putant optimum locum pro celebrante et ministris esse retro, in abside; sed ne altare illos celet, dicunt sedem debere esse in alto positam, saltem tribus gradibus, ut populus eos videre possit et appareat celebrantem vere praeesse. Potestne haec opinio sustineri, praesertim si in ipsa abside ponatur thronus ad exponendam SS.mam Eucharistiam?

Resp.: Ad primam partem, affirmative, iuxta Instructionem n. 92. Ad alteram partem: si in abside exstat tabernaculum, vel ponitur thronus ad exponendam SS.mam Eucharistiam, sedes praesidentialis ponatur, parumper elevata, ad latus altaris.

9. Some priests think that the best place for the celebrant and the ministers is back in the apse, but, so that the altar does not obscure them, they say that the seat should be placed up high, at least three steps, so that the people can see them and to make it obvious that the celebrant is truly presiding. Can this opinion be sustained, especially if a throne to expose the Most Holy Eucharist is placed in the apse itself?

Resp.: To the first part, in the affirmative, according to the Instruction, n. 92. To the second part: if the tabernacle is in the apse or if a throne to expose the Most Blessed Eucharist is placed there, the presidential seat should be placed, slightly elevated, to the side of the altar.

Notitiae 1 (1965), 138, n. 9location, presider's chairPDF of Notitiae 1 (1965), 138

10. Cum celebratur Missa in altari, posito inter altare maius et populum, potestne asservari SS.ma Eucharistia in altari maiore, etsi celebrans terga vertat SS.mae Eucharistiae?

Resp.: Affirmative, dummodo a) spatium vere notabile inter utrumque altare intercedat; b) tabernaculum in altari maiore sit tali altitudine collocatum, ut caput celebrantis, qui stat ad pedes altaris intermedii, superet.

10. When Mass is celebrated on an altar placed between the high altar and the people, can the Most Holy Eucharist be reserved on the high altar, even though the celebrant would turn his back to the Most Holy Eucharist?

Resp.: In the affirmative, as long as a) a truly notable space intervenes between each altar; b) the tabernacle on the high alter is placed up high enough that it rises above the head of the celebrant who stands ad the foot of altar in the middle.

Notitiae 1 (1965), 138, n. 10altar, location, tabernaclePDF of Notitiae 1 (1965), 138

11. Utrum tabernaculum in latere sinistro altaris versus populum poni possit et in alio latere crux vel liber sacrae Scripturae?

Resp. Negative. Attendendum est potius ad art. 95 Instructionis, secundum quem « in casibus peculiaribus ab Ordinario loci probandis » tabernaculum poni potest « etiam in alia ecclesiae parte vere pernobili et rite ornata » v. gr. dextera parte sanctuarii, aut in abside.

11. Whether the tabernacle can be placed on the left side of an altar facing the people and a cross or a book of sacred Scripture on the other side?

Resp. In the negative. Attention should be given, rather, to art. 95 of the Instruction, according to which « in particular cases approved by the Ordinary of the place » the tabernacle can be placed « even in another truly noble and suitably decorated part of the church » e.g., on the right part of the sanctuary or in the apse.

Notitiae 1 (1965), 138–139, n. 11altar, location, tabernaclePDF of Notitiae 1 (1965), 138–139

48. Vidi Missam lectam « versus populum » celebratam, in qua Epistola lecta est a dexteris celebrantis, Evangelium vero a sinistris. Quaeritur, utrum talis modus sit correctus, an procedere debet sensu opposito, sicut fiebat in antiquis basilicis?

Resp.: Si unus tantum habetur ambo, omnes lectiones ex eo proferantur. Unicus autem ambo a dexteris vel a sinistris altaris collocari potest, prout, iuxta ecclesiae et presbyterii structuram, magis opportunum videtur.

Si ecclesia duos habet ambones ita quidem extructos ut unus maior pro Evangelio, alter minor pro Epistola sint constituti, lectiones ex iisdem ambonibus proferantur iuxta cuiusque destinationem.

Si vero duo ambones aequales sunt, aut duo sunt extruendi, Epistola legatur in ambone, qui est ad sinistram, Evangelium in ambone, qui est ad dexteram celebrantis stantis ad sedem in abside ecclesiae, retro altare.

48. I saw a Missa lecta celebrated « versus populum » in which the Epistle was read at the right of the celebrant and the Gospel at the left. It is asked whether such a practice is correct or whether it should be done in the opposite way as it was in the ancient basilicas?

Resp.: If there is only one ambo, all the readings are proclaimed from it. A single ambo can be located either at the right or the left of the altar, as seems more opportune according to the structure of the church and the sanctuary.

If the church has two ambos that are constructed so that one is greater for the Gospel and another less for the Epistle, the readings are proclaimed from the same ambos according to each one's purpose.

If the two ambos are equal, however, or if two are to be built, the Epistle should be read from the ambo which is at the left, the Gospel from the ambo which is ad the right of the celebrant standing at the seat in the apse of the church behind the altar.

Notitiae 1 (1965), 187, n. 48ambo, epistle, gospel, location, orientation, versus populumPDF of Notitiae 1 (1965), 187

3. In casu quo presbyter qui, parvo adstante coetu, celebret, sine sede celebranti destinata ac sine loco proprio pro Liturgia verbi peragenda, potestne sacerdos:
a) ad altare permanere durante ipsa Liturgia Verbi?
b) ponere Missale in latere dextro vel in medio altaris
c) quodnam latus sinistrum vel dexterum altaris nuncupatur?

Resp.
a) Normae liturgicae vigentes, plane distinguunt ab altari locum verbi proclamandi (IGMR, 257-272). Si loca nondum aptata sunt iuxta instauratam Liturgiam — quod sine mora fieri debet — opus est saltem sedem pro celebrante et pluteum mobilem pro lectore disponere. Ubi ipse celebrans lector esse debeat, praesertim pro Evangelio, proclamet ex pluteo mobili. In casu perraro, quo ne scamnum quidem poni possit, presbyter potest ad altare consistere, Missali et Lectionario super altaris « legile » exstantibus.
b) Hoc « legile » manifeste collocari debet in loco aptiore ad celebrantis lectionem, verbi gratia in medio altaris. Usus collocandi « legile » in latere sinistro pervenit ab aetate qua calix ab initio Missae erat in medio altaris. Quod quidem nunc, post instaurationem liturgicam, minime obtingit, cum calix collocetur in abaco, extra altare.
c) Nuncupatur altaris latus sinistrum quod a sinistra, dextrum quod a dextra celebrantis est.

3. In the case where a priest celebrates with a small group assisting, without a seat designated for the celebrant and without a proper place to carry out the Liturgy of the word, can the priest:
a) remain at the altar during the Liturgy of the Word itself?
b) place the Missal on the right side or in the middle of the altar
c) which side of the altar is called the left or the right?

Resp.
a) The liturgical norms in force plainly distinguish the place for proclaiming the word from the altar (IGMR, 257-272). If places have not yet been rendered adequate as regards the reformed Liturgy — which should be done without delay — it is necessary to set up at least a seat for the celebrant and a movable lectern for the lector. Where the celebrant himself has to be the reader, especially for the Gospel, he should proclaim [the reading] from the movable lectern. In the case given in which not even a bench can be set up, the priest can remain at the altar with the Missal and the Lectionary on a « book stand » on the altar.
b) This « book stand » should manifestly be located in a place more suitable for the reading of the celebrant, for example, in the middle of the altar. The practice of setting the « book stand » on the left side of the altar has come to us from the age when the chalice was in the middle of the altar from the beginning of Mass. But now, after the restoration of the liturgy, this is hardly necessary, since the chalice is placed on the credence table away from the altar.
c) The side that is on the left of the celebrant is called the left side of the altar, the right that which is on his right.

Notitiae 14 (1978), 302, n. 3altar, ambo, lectionary, location, readingsPDF of Notitiae 14 (1978), 302