Vestments & Missals:
Do the ribbon colors have a purpose and specific place in the Roman Missal?
No, the color of the ribbons have no particular importance. They’re just place holders to allow the priest to locate his place quickly and easily.
Are fiddleback vestments required for the celebration of the EF Mass?
There are many styles of vestments that are permitted in the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. For example, the rubric of the 1962 Missal does not prohibit gothic vestments. The history and development of vestments has given the church a heritage of great artistic value and should be treasured and restored. (Examples of Vestments, found at Biretta Books)
Necessary to have the chalice veil & maniple to say the EF Mass?
According to De Defectibus (no. 31) “ Defects may occur also in the performance of the rite itself, if any of the required elements is lacking, as in the following cases… if the priest fails to wear some one of the priestly vestments; if the priestly vestments and the altar cloths have not been blessed.” This includes the maniple, chalice veil and etc.
If an item cannot be found on a particular occasion, this should not prevent the celebration of the Mass. However, all the necessary items for the celebration of Mass should be procured rather than lack them on a habitual basis.
What is the Structure of the Mass in the EF?
The first part of the Mass is a kind of introductory service, made up of chants, prayers and lessons (i.e. readings from Holy Scripture) -- namely, the Introit, the Kyrie, the Collect, the Epistle or Lesson, and the Gospel. On certain days the Gloria and the Nicene Creed are added.
This first part of the Mass is called the Mass of the Catechumens, while the remaining part is called the Mass of the Faithful. These names have their origin in the discipline of the early Church. In the first ages of Christianity, persons desiring to become Christians were obliged to undergo a course of instructions preparatory to baptism. They were called "catechumens," a Greek word meaning "one whose is being instructed." Catechumens, not yet fully initiated in the teachings and practices of Christianity, were customarily dismissed before the Offertory.
Likewise public sinners who had not yet been absolved were ordered to leave the church before the Offertory. The Sacrifice of the Mass was considered too holy for the presence of notorious sinners; likewise, it was thought to be too mysterious for catechumens. Only those who were baptized, -- "the Faithful" -- could take part in the actual Eucharistic Sacrifice. The Church, during the course of centuries, modified her discipline in this regard, and all are now permitted to remain.
The Mass is one continuous action, reproducing in a mysterious way the Life, Passion and Death of Jesus Christ. The structure of the Mass is as follows:
§ The Preparation – beginning with the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, the Introit, Kyrie and Gloria.
§ The Instruction -- including the Collect, the Epistle, Gradual, Alleluia, (or Tract, and on certain feasts the Sequence), the Gospel (usually followed by a sermon), and the Credo.
§ The Offertory -- which includes the Offertory antiphon, the offering of bread, the pouring of water and wine into the chalice, the offering of the chalice, the washing of the hands, the prayer to the Blessed Trinity, the "Orate fratres" and the Secret.
§ The Consecration -- including the Preface and the Canon of the Mass, embracing the prayer "Te igitur," the Memento of the living, the Communicantes and the other two prayers before the Consecration and Elevation, the three prayers after the Consecration, the Commemoration for the Dead, the "Nobis quoque peccatoribus" and the Minor Elevation.
§ The Communion -- including the Pater Noster, the Libera, the Agnus Dei, the three prayers before the Communion, the "Domine non sum dignus," and the Communion of the Priest and the Faithful.
§ The Thanksgiving--which includes the Communion antiphon, the Post- communion prayer, the "Ite missa est," and the Last Gospel.