QUAERITUR: May the pascal candle be used at EF baptisms?

NB: In a comment below, a participant posted some points about when the paschal candle may be used in the Extraordinary Form.  Don’t just read my answer and then move on without also reading that comment.  You will know which it is.

From a priest:

May the pascal candle be used at EF baptisms?

Well… sure! Why not?

The older Rite doesn’t say anything about it. But, hey! Nice candle! Let’s light it!

At a certain point a lighted candle is handed over. Why could it not be ignited from the big pretty paschal candle?

The paschal candle in the older Rite is plunged into the Baptismal water.  Other candles are set to burn from it.

BTW… the maniple can be used during for Mass with the Novus Ordo too.

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  1. Rellis says:

    A-ha! Proof that the 1964 transitional rubrics ARE being imposed on the EF in 2013. This will be the smoking gun. The dog whistle has been sounded. [Relax and breathe deeply. Use a paper bag if you must.]

  2. TMKent says:

    BTW – Our new priests are now using the maniple at our N.O. parish :-)

  3. Father K says:

    I think it could also be used at funerals, standing at the head of the coffin, as well as the six candles surrounding it. ‘Rellis’ try not to be so suspicious. Not all developments are per se negative.

  4. Father K says:

    Also, as the Pope himself has never worn the maniple since 1968 [And since he has only heard confessions publicly one a year since being Pope, therefore all priests should only hear confessions once a year. Piffle.] I hardly think it is appropriate for ‘new priests’ to take it on themselves to start wearing it. [FAIL!] Are they more ‘Roman rite’ than the Pope? [PUHLEEZ!] I think they will soon tire of this fad; [Dead wrong.] the maniple is awkward and cumbersome to wear. [Only if you don’t know what you are doing.] Anyway as more than 40 years have passed since ‘the maniple is no l,onger required’ the custom of not wearing it has force of law – to wear it in the OF would be at least praeter legem. [Ridiculous.]

  5. The old Rite had something to say about the use of the Paschal Candle. It gave a (short) list of when the Paschal candle could be used/lit.

    Besides S.R. C. decree #3697, n. 11, and the Ritus Simplex for the new Holy Week of Pius XII (section 3, #15), we have the following from “Matter Liturgical” : [It is therefore probable that these points were in effect in 1962.]

    b) The paschal candle shall also [besides when it is lighted in Holy Saturday] be lighted at solemn Mass and Vespers on the following days: Easter Sunday and the two days following; the Saturday after Easter; all Sundays and feasts of precept up to the Ascension on which day it shall be extinguished as soon as the Gospel has been sung.

    c) On other days and solemnities during the paschal season the paschal candle may not be lighted except where there is an already established custom. On this condition therefore the candle may be lighted during the entire octave of Easter, on the Anniversary of the Consecration of a church, on the titular feast of a church, on other feasts of the Lord or Saints, during a low parochial Mass celebrated on Sundays or Holy Days (S.R.C. 235, XI; Eph. Lit.: LVII , p. 72 ad 3). [I would say that “established custom” does not mena to start one because it has been done in a specific way in the New Order].

    d) The candle may **never** be lighted at Masses celebrated in violet or black vestments, except where this is the custom in the case of a conventual Mass (S.R.C. 3697, XI). Neither shall it be lighted during Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, except as noted in n. 414, l. [When Benediction takes place immediately after Mass or Vespers when the lighting of the candle is allowed for such Mass or Vespers].

    e) On the vigil of Pentecost the candle shall be brought out and lighted for the blessing of the baptismal font only and not for the Mass following (S.R.C. 4048, X).

    Once the paschal candle was extinguished ceremonially, why light it again? Baptisms, in the past, did not typically take place within the context of Mass (or Vespers), so it was not used for Baptisms.

    It was the established (traditional) custom (as per the Rubrics) that the paschal candle was not really used after Ascension, and that it was not used for Baptisms. Not using it at funerals was also the established (traditional) custom.

    [Interesting and instructive.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  6. wolfeken says:

    Out of curiousity, does anyone know where the candle would generally be placed after Ascension Thursday prior to the reforms?

    The TLM rubrics simply state it is extinguished after the Gospel, then removed from the sanctuary after Mass. But I am wondering if it was a custom to place it in the baptistery before the 1960s. (Or was it only visible for 40 days?)

  7. Geoffrey says:

    I wondered about this myself. It seems that the Paschal Candle gets a lot more “use” in the Ordinary Form than in the Extraordinary Form. Perhaps this is one of the cases where the new can properly influence the old?

  8. It might seem “reasonable” to think that the more you use something the more/better it is.

    However, in the past, the Church did not want the Paschal Candle to be thought of as just “another candle” that adorns the Sanctuary. During Easter Vigil ceremonies , it is solemnly blessed, it is given the veneration of a genuflection because it represents Christ, the Light of the world, the Exultet is sung facing it, it is also incensed, etc.. All the other candles used throughout the year do not have the same meaning/purpose. In the old days, also, the Paschal Candle was very beautifully decorated, this again so as to not think of it as just another ordinary candle to be used for Mass.

    As nothing is ever really “new” in the Church (that has not been asked or attempted before), here is a question sent in to the “American Ecclesiastical Review” in 1910 regarding the Paschal Candle and what to do with the issue of having a new one each year:
    Question. Would you be kind enough to give some information on the law requiring a new Paschal Candle annually? If there is such a law, it seems to me to be a good means of swelling the manufacturers’ profits. Sent in by J. E. M.

    Answer: Whilst there is some disagreement among the liturgists as to the obligation of renewing the Paschal Candle for the annual blessing on Holy Saturday, the character of the ceremonial seems to indicate the propriety of having each year a new and unblessed candle for the Paschal celebration.

    Coppin, in his “S. Liturgiae Compendium,” seems to have no doubt of the obligation: “Cereus paschalis debet esse (i) novus seu non benedictus, vel saltern totaliter refectus; (2) totus ex cera, et non ex ligno depicto; (3) ex cera albi coloris; (4) ornari potest depicta Crucis effigie ad loca clavorum, deinde effigie Christi resurgentis aliisque insignibus.”

    A writer who signed his communication “J. F. S.,” commenting on this subject in the “Review,” some years ago, made the following pertinent suggestion: The Paschal Candle is lighted on five Sundays of the Paschal time, and from the beginning of Mass until the end of the Gospel on Ascension Day. It burns for about two hours during the solemn Mass, and for about an hour during Vespers; that is to say, altogether sixteen hours. Let the candle manufacturers put “sixteen hour” wicks in their candles, and we will have a new candle each year … If the pastor will explain to the people the meaning of the Paschal Candle, he will easily find someone in his parish who will be anxious to have the honor of donating it each year.

    The old Paschal Candle could also be melted and with it the new one for next year could be made, or new candles to be used as regular candles (since once it is melted the solemn blessing will be lost.

  9. Father K says:

    Father Z – what a torrent of non-sequiturs. I used to know someone who had great difficulty in doing joining the dots puzzles. It seems you may have a similar disability. Why then has no Pope or bishops in union with him when celebrating the OF and the overwhelming majority of priests since 1968 not worn the maniple? When someone disagrees with you gentle Father, there is no need to, in your words, ‘throw a nutty.’ If I were you I would take my own advise given to the first person who made a reply. Maniples de facto and de iure are no longer worn in the OF; so just get over it. And yes, I do celebrate the EF so I know what I am doing and furthermore I know what I am talking about.

  10. dominic1955 says:

    Father K

    Why is the practice of the Pope the Canon of Orthopraxis? I thought tradition dictated such things, not the whim of the Bishop of Rome? Have you not seen all the liturgical enormities cooked up in Papal liturgy since Vatican II? After the last 40 years or so, I would never recommend the liturgical practices of the Pope as a good example of proper liturgy-especially during the reign of Pope John Paul II (God rest him).

    Things get ditched for no good reason . Just think of the biretta. It was never abolished, but de facto it has pretty much been chucked into the garbage. Only recently has it come back to some tiny degree outside of the EF world. Or think about women covering their heads. It was no longer required since the end of the CIC 1917 but no where was anyone commanded to stop.

  11. Father P says:

    When the Vigil truly lasted from sundown to sunrise the Paschal Candle would have burned burned all night not just a couple of hours (why we sing in the Exultet …May the Morning Star find this flame STILL BURNING). Probably not much of candle left after that and so the practical custom (codifed and unified by rubric) that the Candle was lighted only at specific times during the Season (as noted above)

    Later, in some places, the Paschal Candle burned continuously for the 40 days til Ascension.

    Practically speaking neither of these would leave much of a candle after the Ascension.

    Once the reality changed the rubics actually caused a problem that the new rubrics try to solve. The problem is that with the candle lit so infrequently the end of the Season left a rather large “stub”. (Remember the Paschal Candle must be renewed each year it is not to be reused)
    Using the candle daily throughout the Season and then throughout the year for Baptisms and Funerals ensures that the Candle will be almost completely consumed by the following Holy Saturday.

    I would agree that the use of the Paschal Candle in Baptisms in the EF is probably a good place where the new can inform the old but whether one should take it on themselves to mix…is another question.

    On the issue of the maniple… I would not say its use is a major in the OF but…. the list of vestments to be worn does not include it (even as an option) so I would say that it should not be worn. [Wrong. Tie one on, everyone!]

  12. Father P says:

    Sorry, that should be a “major abuse”

  13. I remember when I was a student at Subiaco (a senior at the time) I was in the sacristy of the abbey church, and a monk (who, naturally, left the monastery later) came in with a big box. He went through every vestment set removing the maniples. They were later put in the ground at the next monk’s burial. So much for being optional. I’ve found out through the years that “optional” translates to “forbidden” in people’s minds. The use of the maniple was never supressed.

  14. robtbrown says:

    Father K says:
    Anyway as more than 40 years have passed since ‘the maniple is no l,onger required’ the custom of not wearing it has force of law – to wear it in the OF would be at least praeter legem.

    Are you saying that the law is now that it cannot be worn?

  15. acardnal says:

    My 42 year old parish priest (LC) often wears a maniple while celebrating the Novus Ordo/OF especially if it is a Solemnity, and he is wearing a Roman style chasuble.

  16. Fr.WTC says:

    The use of the maniple at the N.O. Should become the universal symbol of the restoration movement in the Roman Rite. The maniple my friends is a BIG brick lets make sure it’s well cemented in.

  17. Rellis says:

    In case it didn’t come through (and it appears not to have), I was being VERY sarcastic in my comment above. More a mocking of the nutters who think that the 1964 Inter Oecumenici rubrics are coming to an EF near you.

  18. BMB says:

    My wife and I are OF attendees. We aren’t anti-EF it just hasn’t seemed right for us. We are both in our 20s. That being said our wedding was last month in the OF. The Nuptial Mass was celebrated ad orientem. We selected music for congregational singing, included the Gloria, faced our kneeler toward the altar, and our priest wore a maniple. You know what happened? Nothing. Our day was wonderful. The maniple in no way inhibited his ability to celebrate Mass. One of our close Lutheran friends spontaneously commented how beautiful our service was. People didn’t storm out. The world didn’t come to an end. Oh we also worked with our priest to develop a clear easy to follow program that allowed non-Catholic and Catholics alike to follow along and encourage participation. Anyway, my point is the two forms can influence each other without causing heartache and making people divide into “sides.”

  19. Dan says:

    Other than in the “Tie One On” graphic, is there a place in the Ordinary Form where the maniple is a rubric? What are the boundaries of “Say the Black, Do the Red”?

  20. Father K says:

    Good, well said, Rellis!I guessed it was just that but used it as a way of drawing things out- how successful were both exercises? [but I think Fr Z needs to take his own advice]. Fr. WTC – scarey – I think your comment demonstrates the crux of the case. [ ‘big brick’ Why? What a strange focus! I don’t recall the Pope, pre and after his election ever mentioning the maniple as as a ‘big brick’] On an outing this afternoon with fellow canon lawyers we discussed this incredibly important matter – [canon lawyers love doing this] and in no way could we see why the proposal that maniples can be used in the OF would be legitimate. If you are so into maniples then just use them in the EF.

    Dan – no, absolutely not: do not let those who are maniply-minded convince you otherwise. Otherwise we can introduce whatever we like hey – ‘read the red, say the black,’ after all…

  21. Father K says:

    Rotbrown – yes – Canon 26.

  22. Father K says:

    robtbrown to clarify, I was just saying it is a long time, in fact about 44 years. But in canon 26 it is in canonical terms 30 years – already being observed by the Pope, all Bishops, most, if not all priests, and not objected to, except by nutters, [after all the New Evangelisation depends upon the maniple?!], so yes, what I say is the answer. But then, those who disagree are not canon lawyers…

  23. Fr.WTC says:

    Fr. K relax no need to be scared. The BIG BRIKE is trady triumphalist humor. One question. Before July of 2007 would you have been of the opinion that Pope Paul VI’s Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum did away with older rites of Mass? Did you believe that the sacramental rites had been replaced by the newer rites?

  24. Fr.WTC says:

    Did you believe that the sacramental rites had been replaced by the newer rites?

    I’m sorry that should read: “Did you believe that the OLDER sacramental rites had been replaced by the newer rites?”

  25. robtbrown says:

    Father K says:

    Rotbrown – yes – Canon 26.

    Actually, no, Canon 26 doesn’t jibe with your interpretation.

    You’re right that praeter legem would refer to wearing the maniple even though liturgical law did not require it. The canon, however, says nothing about prohibiting any such praeter legem practice that was once required. That would be like saying that abstaining from meat on Friday is now prohibited because it is no longer required.

    If canon 26 were to be applied to the contemporary situation with the maniple, it could be said that it, assuming wearing it were to have been the custom of the past 3o years, it would acquire the force of law and be obligated. No one above argued that. The argument was that it is still an option. And there is nothing in canon 26 that would support the argument that it is not.

  26. robtbrown says:

    Father K,

    Where did you study canon law?

  27. robtbrown says:

    Father K says,

    Dan – no, absolutely not: do not let those who are maniply-minded convince you otherwise. Otherwise we can introduce whatever we like hey – ‘read the red, say the black,’ after all…

    There is an obvious distinction between a celebrant introducing something on a whim and introducing something that has a long, long history but is no longer required.

  28. Father K says:

    robtbrown – I really do not think your argument/interpretation is correct.

    Fr WTC – prior to 2007 most people would have answered in the affirmative, however Pope Benedict has clarified the matter and he is the Legislator. However, until the indult was first introduced in 1984 it would have been wrong for a priest, solely on his own authority to celebrate Mass using the 1962 Missal. [Until 2007 a priest needed the permission of his Ordinary – that was one of the main purposes of the Motu proprio – to eliminate that necessity]. There was always provision for elderly and infirm priests to celebrate Mass using that Missal, having sought permission, not off his own bat]. So, this also supports my argument that a priest should not, on his own authority re-introduce the maniple when using the OF. The GIRM makes it quite clear what vestments are to be used for Mass – nowhere does it even hint that the maniple despite its ‘long, long history’ can be used at the choice of the priest. If the Legislator had wanted to make the maniple optional, he would have said so. That is all I am arguing – an individual priest should not just start wearing the maniple because he wants to. There is no legal theory to support such an action.

  29. robtbrown says:

    Father K says:

    robtbrown – I really do not think your argument/interpretation is correct.

    1. You seem to have forgotten to say why you think it’s not correct.

    2. The custom of not using the maniple is obviously attached to the Novus Ordo. When I first went to France in 1972, friends and I attended Sunday mass at the Royal Chapel of Versailles and during the week at a chapel in Paris. Both used the 1962 Missal, and both were diocesan approved (two different dioceses). Of course, Fontgombault followed the same practice. The French bishops did not suppress the 1962 Missal until c. 1975, after which Fontgombault and Randol adopted the Novus Ordo. Of course, with Quattuor Abhinc Annos in 1984 the indult mass arrived, and Fontgombault returned to using the 1962 Missal. The point is that the 30 year custom to which you refer didn’t exist in France.

    Further, there are only 18 years between the promulgation of the 1970 Missal and the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei Adflicta, 20 if you use 1968 (cf maniple-less pope) as your starting point.

  30. BLB Oregon says:

    That which is not compulsory is forbidden, and that which is forbidden is compulsory? Can we not agree that this interpretation goes beyond “The Spirit of Say The Black–Do the Red”?!?

    (Did I really say that? “Do not fear those who would tie one on, but do protect yourselves from the incorrigible”…)

  31. BLB Oregon says:

    I meant (of course):
    That which is not compulsory is forbidden, and that which is not forbidden is compulsory.

    (I’m not entirely incorrigible.)

  32. Father K says:

    Oh dear, robtbrown – no further comments from me on your replies I am afraid, ‘The custom of not using the maniple is obviously attached to the Novus Ordo’nuff sed.

  33. PostCatholic says:

    Could someone refresh my memory about the use of the Paschal Candle during the Lucernarium? I read the interesting rubrics which Latinmass1983 posted above, but in the current custom, is the paschal candle lit outside of the Easter season for Vespers with the service of light? Or indeed, is that vespers even sung outside of Easter? I don’t remember.

  34. robtbrown says:

    .Father K says:

    Oh dear, robtbrown – no further comments from me on your replies I am afraid, ‘The custom of not using the maniple is obviously attached to the Novus Ordo’nuff sed.

    Yes, but the fact that the custom is that it is not worn within the Novus Ordo doesn’t mean it is now proscribed.

  35. Michael Wanta says:

    I was recently serving at a Mass which my Bishop celebrated, while wearing a maniple. During the Homily he explained why he was wearing it, saying that it is not a required vestment but that its symbolism is useful to himself. That a maniple is a reminder of the tears and sufferings that come along with following Christ and the necessity of the Christian to accept those sufferings.

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