Extract from the Circular from Bishop Bosco Penha,

President, Commission of Word & Worship, Archdiocese of Bombay.

Some Points to be borne in mind for the celebration of the Eucharist.


I wish to focus on certain aspects of the Eucharistic Celebration which were considered at our meeting of Deanery Liturgical Co-ordinators, and have the approval of the Bishop’s team. I request that all parishes pay careful attention to them.  The relevant numbers of the General Instructions of the Roman Missal (GIRM) are indicated after each point.


1.       With a view to nurturing the contemplative dimension of the liturgy, the following five moments of silence are to be maintained in the liturgy.


·         Before the “I Confess,” so that people can think about their sins, and evoke in themselves the spirit of repentance.

·         A minute of silence after the first reading.

·         A minute of silence after the second reading on Sundays.

·         A couple of minutes of silence after the homily, so that people can reflect on the homily.

·         Some minutes of silence from the end of the Communion procession to the post-Communion prayer.  (GIRM 45)


2.     A constant effort to be made to get the people to participate in the Eucharist by joining in the prayers and singing.  In particular, attention must be given to congregational singing, rather than solo singing by the choir.  The choir must be reminded that their success depends on how well they get the people to sing.  It is sometimes observed that people do not have the words of the hymns.  Some parishes now display the words with the help of an overhead projector, and it makes a tremendous difference to community singing. (GIRM 4 & 19)

3.      No special introduction to the Eucharist is necessary.  The priest can make his own introduction, which is to be brief. If at all the Parish Liturgy Team (PLT) feels the need of an introduction, this is to be brief and should precede the entrance of the celebrant.  The PLT must also ensure that what they prepare by way of introduction is in co-ordination with what the priest wishes to say in his introduction.  (GIRM 25 & 29)

4.       The Prayers of the Faithful may number about 4 or 5 approximately and must be brief. (GIRM 45& 46)

5.         For Offertory, only bread and wine and gifts for the poor should be offered.  There should be no other gifts and all “Catechesis” should be avoided at this part of the Mass.  (GIRM 53)


6.       The Communion hymn is to be sung while people receive Communion, and should end when the Communion is completed, after which there is to be an appropriate silence, till the post-Communion prayer.  All announcements to be kept after the post-Communion prayer.  There is no need of any additional prayer of thanksgiving.  (GIRM 56, i, j, k)


If the above norms are maintained, the Mass should move smoothly and briskly, and yet have the prayerful and reflective dimension that is so essential.