Liturgy Corner

The purpose of the Liturgy Corner is to provide education to parishioners about liturgy in brief and easy-to-understand articles, while encouraging people to be critical and think more carefully about the issues surrounding the celebration of the liturgy. Liturgy Corner articles are primarily written by Father Paul Turner, pastor of St. Munchin Parish in Cameron, Missouri. Fr. Paul holds a doctorate in sacramental theology from Sant’ Anselmo University in Rome. Other articles will be written by numerous liturgists and priests from around the United States, and even some within the Diocese of Orlando.

El propósito de la Esquina Litúrgica es proporcionar educación a los feligreses sobre la liturgia en artículos breves y fáciles de entender, a la misma vez anima a la gente a ser críticos y pensar con más cuidado sobre los temas relacionados con la celebración de la liturgia. Los artículos de la Esquina Litúrgica están escritos por el Padre Paul Turner, pastor de la parroquia St. Munchin en Cameron, Missouri. El P. Paul tiene un doctorado en teología sacramental de la Universidad Sant 'Anselmo en Roma. Otros artículos serán escritos por numerosos liturgistas y sacerdotes de todo los Estados Unidos, e incluso algunos dentro de la Diócesis de Orlando.

The Pallium

08-12-2018Liturgy CornerFr. Paul Turner © 2005 Resource Publications, Inc.

The pallium is a special collar worn by metropolitan archbishops over the chasuble at Mass. This narrow white woolen band circles the neck and drops black-tipped pendants down the chest and back. The pallium is decorated with six black crosses and pierced with three decorative pins.


The Cinture

08-05-2018Liturgy CornerFr. Paul Turner © 2002 Resource Publications, Inc.

The cincture is a rope worn around the waist of a liturgical minister wearing an alb. (An alb is the long white vestment that covers the minster from neck to ankle.) The cincture functions like a belt. It is sometimes called a girdle, but because that word refers to another type of garment in English, it is rarely used. The cincture is not the same as the fascia, a wide belt worn over a cassock.



07-29-2018Liturgy CornerFr. Paul Turner © 2004 Resource Publications, Inc.

The alb is the fundamental vestment for any liturgical minister. It covers the body from neck to ankle like a light, close-fitting robe with sleeves. It is white. The vestment takes its name from the Latin word for this color.

When a priest or deacon vests for Mass, he wears an alb beneath his stole and chasuble or dalmatic. If the alb does not conceal his other clothing at the neck, he wears an amice beneath the alb. If the alb is too long, he ties a cincture around it, binding the vestment at his waist.



07-22-2018Liturgy CornerFr. Paul Turner © 2004 Resource Publications, Inc.

The amice is a liturgical garment that may be worn around the shoulders under the long white alb. It is a rectangular or oblong linen cloth worn lengthwise. Two strings or tapes dangle from adjacent corners of the top, where a cross is sewn in the middle.

Not only the priest but the deacon and even the servers may wear the amice, alb and cincture (the belt that holds the alb in place). While vesting before Mass, the minister traditionally kisses the amice at the cross and then places it around the back of the head at the neck. The two long strings are crossed around the waist in the front, in back, and then in front again, where they are secured with a knot. The word is related to the Latin word amictus, meaning “wrapped.”


Vestures for Ministers

07-15-2018Liturgy CornerFr. Paul Turner © 2000 Resource Publications, Inc.

The diversity of vestments shows the diversity of ministries. At almost any Eucharist the priest's attire differs from the server's. A deacon also wears vestments pertinent to his ministry. Readers rarely do. The assembly wears no liturgical vesture. Communion ministers in some communities wear something to distinguish their role; in other communities they do not. There is no universal rule governing this choice.


New Topics

07-01-2018Liturgy Corner

As the Liturgy Corner has just passed its first year in the bulletin, we would like to take this opportunity to ask parishioners if there are any burning questions that you have about Liturgy or liturgical items in the Church that have not been addressed. Have you had a question about the way we worship and never know what the answer was or why we do it? If so, you can send your questions to Jonathan Branton, Director of Music & Liturgy, by calling the Parish Office or by email at

If you wish to approach him while at Mass, please do so after Mass and have your question written down to give to him. All inquiries will be anonymous when published. As new topics for discussion come in, you will see them in the upcoming Liturgy Corner articles. Please feel free to submit as many questions as you wish.


The Mensa

06-24-2018Liturgy CornerFr. Paul Turner Copyright © 2000 Resource Publications, Inc.

The top of the altar used at Mass is called the mensa, the Latin word for “table.” A more precise translation would be “tabletop.” When a new altar is first put into use, the bishop anoints the mensa with chrism. It becomes holy, and it is to be respected at all times.

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal says the mensa is traditionally made of stone, but in the United States wood may be used (301). It should be covered with a white cloth (304), and the only objects set on top of it are to be the books, vessels, and linens necessary for the Mass (73, 306). Even floral decorations should be set around the altar, not on top of it (305). And when the collection is brought forward at a typical Sunday Mass, it is to be set near the altar, but not on the mensa (73).



06-17-2018Liturgy CornerFr. Paul Turner © 2000 Resource Publications, Inc.

Quinceañera is a Mexican celebration of a young woman's 15th birthday. It began as a simple ceremony signaling one's public acceptance of the responsibilities for womanhood. The Catholic Church has adapted it to celebrate a young woman's public profession of faith and readiness to accept the challenges of the church's mission to family and community. The Quinceañera is still an important ceremony in Latino communities because it affirms their rich cultural identity as Catholics, celebrates the handing down of faith to a new generation, extols the sacred role of women as leaders of faith, accents the gifts of women in society, and strengthens the bonds of family. Godparents are an integral part of the Quinceañera.


Wedding March

06-10-2018Liturgy CornerFr. Paul Turner © 2001 Resource Publications, Inc.

The music that opens a Catholic wedding sets the tone for the celebration. Although many couples cannot imagine beginning the ceremony with any other music than the traditional wedding march, the church suggests that this is the time for the same kind of hymn that opens the celebration of Mass. Most people know the traditional wedding march by its popular title, "Here Comes the Bride." Some parishes specifically ask couples not to use it. Many couples have assumed that this march is as necessary as the bride's white dress and the white cake at the reception, but none of these customs is absolutely essential.


Scripture for Weddings

06-03-2018Liturgy CornerFr. Paul Turner

The Scriptures you hear at weddings usually come from a collection of texts specially chosen for the occasion. These passages appear in the lectionary. Often the priest or deacon witnessing the marriage has invited the bride and groom to select the Scriptures they wish to hear. On some occasions, the Scriptures should be drawn from the Mass of the day. For example, if the wedding Mass takes place on a Saturday evening during Lent or Easter, the Scriptures will be those of Sunday. Even on those days we may substitute one of the readings with one form the wedding lectionary.