QUAERITUR: Elevation of chalice, paten during concelebrations.

From a reader:

At a concelebrated Mass without a deacon, is it permitted / required / impermissible for one of the concelebrants to elevate the chalice while the main celebrant elevates the paten?

First, allow me to say that concelebration should be safe, legal and rare.

Second, I assume we are talking about the doxology at the end of the Eucharistic Prayer.

That said, I read in the Newsletter of the USCCB’s Committee for Divine Worship, the response to a dubium sent to the CDW in Rome.

My brother priests who are interested in concelebration may be interested in this:

Role of Concelebrating Priests at the Doxology of the Eucharistic Prayer

In this dubium, the question concerned the role of concelebrating Priests and whether they were permitted to take up the various chalices from the altar before the final doxology of the Eucharistic Prayer. Quoting from the General Instruction [Institution] of the Roman Missal, the Congregation emphasized the proper role of the Deacon in holding up the chalice next to the Priest for the final doxology: “At the final doxology of the Eucharistic Prayer, the deacon stands next to the priest, holding the chalice elevated while the priest elevates the paten with the host, until the people have responded with the acclamation, Amen” (no. 180).

According to the Congregation’s response, “Therefore, the use is reprobated [a technical term meaning that it is abolished with such force that no claim of custom can be made] where all or many concelebrants at the altar proceed to take up the chalices at the time of the final doxology. Rather, it is the duty of the celebrant, or the deacon, or one concelebrant to elevate the [principal] chalice.” It is presumed by extension that the same could be said regarding the elevation of multiple ciboria or patens by various concelebrants. Given the response and the principles of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, only the main paten and the main chalice are to be elevated by the celebrant assisted by the Deacon, or in the absence of a Deacon, by a single concelebrant.
(March-April 2009, pg. 171)

I think that answers the question.

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  1. FrCharles says:

    This is an error I still see a lot, a species of the general problem of misappropriating the proper role of the deacon. Another expression of this is when a concelebrant approaches the celebrant for a blessing before proclaiming the gospel.

  2. Pledger says:

    One thing I’ve often proposed (but have never seen it done) that would severely cut down on the number of concelebrations would be, when a deacon is not present but other priests are, to have the other priest(s) vest in dalmatics and serve as deacons. They ARE deacons, and doing so would show the very important role that deacons play in the Sacred Liturgy.

    Of course, there are those occasions when you have 3 or more priests who are concelebrating…but I’d venture to guess the majority of concelebrated Masses are with one or two other priests, who could easily vest in dalmatics, as they would while assisting in the Extraordinary Form….now THAT would be mutual enrichment.

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