While every Low Mass served has the condition of in
coram sanctissimo  occurring for a short length
of time ,
there are certain times when this special condition lasts until the end
of Mass (partially), or for even the entire period of Low Mass (i.e.,
from the beginning until the end). These times
- After the distribution of
Holy Communion until the end of Mass on these feast days [ partially
- Corpus Christi (for
[hereafter SSMO] procession).
- Christ the King (for
the SSMO procession).
- Holy Thursday (for the Translation
of the SSMO to the Altar of Reposition).
- During the Forty Hours Prayer [entirely].
During these times  the SSMO is either:
- In a monstrance on the Altar.
- In a pyx or luna on the Altar.
- In a ciborium on the Altar (after the
Tabernacle has been closed).
Solita oscula 
Out of respect for the SSMO, all extraneous
reverences that are not considered necessary to the Mass are omitted.
Hence, all solita oscula usually performed by the
servers are omitted.
If there are two servers, they still continue to
turn inwards when
they are shoulder to shoulder. However, this action is slightly
modified when descending the Altar steps. The servers turn slightly
towards each other, and then almost sidestep their descent to the
Foot. In this way they do not turn their backs to the SSMO when leaving
the Predella or the Altar steps.
When standing, all prescribed bows for a word or
phrase that regards a Person of the Holy Trinity , are directed to the SSMO and
not to the Tabernacle or Altar Cross.
The special rules for genuflecting while the SSMO
is exposed are as follows:
- Single knee genuflection:
A single knee genuflection is made:
- When crossing the center of the Altar in
actu functionis .
- Upon arriving at or leaving from the center
of the Foot.
- Before an Acolyte ascends
to the Predella (made at the Foot in
- After an Acolyte descends
from the Predella (made at the Foot in
- If the Acolyte is standing when a word or
phrase is said that requires a genuflection, then he does so towards
- Double knee genuflection:
A double knee genuflection is only made:
- When entering or leaving the Sanctuary .
- When leaving the view of the Altar (e.g.,
when going to the Communion Rail to turn
over the cloth) .
SERVING LOW MASS IN CORAM SANCTISSIMO
WITH TWO SERVERS
Low Mass is served as usual with these
- Upon arriving at the Foot, Ac1 does not give
the solita oscula when taking the biretta from C.
- The Acolytes then make a double knee
genuflection in unison with C.
- After depositing the biretta at the Sedilia
(or the Credence), Ac1 does not genuflect again upon returning to the
Switching the Missal for the Gospel
- After the Epistle,
when Ac2 goes to switch the missal, he
genuflects in the center as usual and goes to the Foot on the Epistle
side of the Altar.
- When C moves away from the missal, Ac1 turns
towards the Altar, genuflects in plano, ascends and
picks up the missal, goes per breviorem
without turning his back to the SSMO (Ac2 almost sidesteps his way
down), genuflects, ascends to the Gospel corner of Altar and puts the
- He then takes his usual position within the
Altar edges. If the
Holy Name is mentioned, Ac2 turns (and Ac1 too) in unison with C and
bows towards the SSMO exposed. Ac2 then turns
right, descends to the Foot in plano,
turns towards the Altar, genuflects and returns to his position facing
the Gospel as usual.
At the Offertory
- The Acolytes proceed to the Credence and
obtain their cruets as usual.
- Before immediately ascending, both Acolytes
genuflect in plano
and then ascend to stand inside the edges of the Altar as usual. Bows
are performed as usual, but the customary kisses to the cruets are
- When the Acolytes have finished serving C for
the Offertory, they bow to C, and then facing each
other, descend to the floor, turn to face the edge of the Foot,
genuflect in plano, turn inwards and then return to
Lavabo Performed In Plano
- The Lavabo is performed
by C in plano at the
Epistle side of the Foot, facing the people.
- When the Acolytes have their Lavabo
items ready, they
proceed shoulder to shoulder to the Epistle edge of the Foot, but then
swing around to turn and face the back Sanctuary wall (their backs are
to people). When finished with this movement, the Acolytes must ensure
there is sufficient room between the wall and them for C.
- C then descends to the floor and the Lavabo
is performed as usual with bows.
- After the Lavabo is
performed, the Acolytes return the Lavabo items
to Credence. Ac1 picks up the bells at this time too. Both Acolytes
lastly turn inwards and return to their normal positions as usual.
The Ringing of the Altar
Bells and the Consecration Action
The bells are rung as usual, and the Consecration
actions are the same as described for a regular
Low Mass with this exception:
- After ringing the bells for the Hanc
igitur, Ac1 picks up the bells, both Acolytes stand,
genuflect in plano from their positions (the
Acolytes are not required to genuflect at the center) and
then ascend to the Predella.
- When the Tabernacle door has been closed, the
Acolytes proceed to
the Credence as usual, retrieve their cruets and proceed to the Foot.
- When C tilts the chalice, both Acolytes
genuflect in plano, ascend to
the second Altar step (Ac1 to the Predella)
and perform the Ablutions as usual with bows to C
- When the Ablutions have
been finished, both bow to C and descend from the Predella facing each
other, genuflect in plano at the Foot, turn
inwards and return to the Credence.
Changing the Missal and Veil/Turning Over the
Communion Rail Cloth
- After returning their items to the Credence,
both Acolytes turn
inwards, proceed to the center of the Foot as usual, genuflect and then
proceed per longiorem to their respective sides
of the Foot.
- When both Acolytes are facing each other, they
genuflect in plano, ascend to
the Predella, pick up the missal and the veil, descend per
breviorem facing each other, genuflect [for descending and
switching sides], and ascend to the Predella.
- After both have deposited their items, they
turn outwards and descend per longiorem as usual,
but having reached the floor, both Acolytes turn to face each other
across the Predella, genuflect in plano,
then proceed to the center of the Foot, make a double-knee
genuflection, and then go to turn over the Communion Rail Cloths as
- Upon returning to the Foot, both Acolytes make
double-knee genuflection again, switch sides and then return to their
Leonine Prayers to the Recessional
- After the Leonine Prayers,
Ac1 (without genuflecting) retrieves the biretta.
- When C has descended to the Foot with the
Chalice, C and Acolytes
make a double knee genuflection, Ac1 gives the biretta to C without the
solita oscula and then all recess
out as usual.
in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament (exposed);
hereafter referred to as the SSMO.
 I.e., from
the Consecration until the end of the Distribution
of Holy Communion
(which usually terminates with the closing of the Tabernacle). This is
why the servers are required to follow the special rules of
genuflecting in plano at
every Low Mass when descending from the Predella immediately after the Consecration
action and upon ascending and descending from
the Predella before and after receiving Holy Communion.
 Cf. L.
O’Connell, pg. 38, ff. 18, sections a, c and d.
 with the usual (or
customary) kisses; solita
= customary; oscula = kisses.
the Holy Name or a Doxology.
during or in the act of the function.
Outside of the ceremonies, one always makes a double knee genuflection
to the SSMO, as every approach is considered an accessus.
Cf. L. O’Connell, pg. 38.
is the special rule for inferior ministers, as they do not have the
privilege to genuflect on the Predella, as the Sacred Ministers do.
also prescribed by SRC 39751 , SRC 41353
, and found in L. O’Connell, pg. 38, ff. 18, d,
J.B. O’Connell, pg. 364; Callewaert, pg. 28 & 35. Cf.
also the General Principles of
Ceremonies sheets for more details.
 However, "if the place
of genuflection and kneeling would be exactly the same, the
genuflection would be omitted."23
L. O’Connell, pg. 40 with ff 23 citing: "Callewaert,
p. 35." (emphasis in the original text). I.e.,
a server always genuflects on the floor, and so
if he were to kneel immediately in plano
for some reason instead of the first
Altar step, he would omit the genuflection.
 "One is not said to
leave the (sight of) altar when one goes to the
credence table, to the sedilia…at such time a double genuflection is
not required." L.. O’Connell, pg. 38.
 Be aware that C has the option
to remain in the center for all parts of the Ablutions.
If this is the case, Ac2 simply ascends to the Predella with Ac1 and
performs his part of the Ablutions there.
Copyright © 2007. Louis J. Tofari.
All rights reserved.