DOP CIRCULAR NO. 2017-078

25 July 2017

TO: ALL CLERGY IN THE DIOCESE OF PARAÑAQUE
RE: PROPER LITURGICAL VESTMENTS

Dear Monsignori and Fathers:

Can. 284 Clerics are to wear suitable ecclesiastical garb according to the norms issued by the conference of bishops and according to legitimate local customs.

Liturgical vestments are considered sacred since they carry the dignity and sanctity of the true source and summit of our priesthood and liturgy, Jesus Christ. We wear them not in our own representation but IN PERSONA CHRISTI. They are also of great instruments to inspire devotion and attract priestly vocation as the lay faithful see in us Jesus Christ, our High Priest. Hence, priests are expected to wear the proper vestments, to make the liturgical celebrations more meaningful for the faithful.

In this connection, we would like to remind all the clergy of the Diocese of Paranaque, Incardinated, religious and guest priests, that the proper vestments for the celebrations of the Eucharist and other sacraments and sacramentals, according to the liturgical policies and practices of the Church, should be strictly observed. Hence, the following guidelines are hereby presented;

 

  1. “The vestment proper to the Priest celebrant at Mass, and in other sacred actions directly connected with Mass unless otherwise indicated, is the chasuble, worn over the alb and stole. Likewise, the Priest, in putting on the chasuble according to the rubrics, is not to omit the stole. All Ordinaries should be vigilant in order that all usage to the contrary be eradicated.” (Redemptionis Sacramentum #123). The dignity and sanctity of these vestments should always be preserved with utmost reverence, since they are essential in the celebration of the Eucharist which is the font and the summit of our life of faith. They also attract the faithful to love and appreciate even more the beauty of the liturgy.

As main celebrants, we should always be in our best and proper appearance during the Eucharistic Celebration, since we represent Christ Himself in front of the faithful. Hence, we prohibit the practice of putting on the stole over the casual shirt and even the alb by the main celebrant. This practice does not only violate the dignity and beauty of the liturgy but also demean our priestly identity as expressed in our liturgical vestments.

  1. “The Concelebrants put on the sacred vestments they customarily wear when celebrating Mass individually. Should however, a good reason arises (e.g. a large number of concelebrants or a lack of vestments), concelebrants other than the principal celebrant may omit the chasuble and simply wear the stole over the alb” (GIRM 209). This is only applied on exceptional cases as stated, but should not be made as an excuse for ordinary cases.

Chasuble alb as approved by the Sacred Congregation of Divine Worship in April 3, 1973 may also be used even without the alb underneath with the stole on top of it, only for special occasions like concelebrations or masses outside the sacred place (such as BEC masses). (cf. Canon law Digest of the Philippine Catholic Church, The Use of Chasuble Alb, pg. 174)

  1. The proper vestment for blessings (houses, offices, cars, funerals, anointing of the sick etc) and during the Rite of Confession is the stole over the alb cassock.
  2. However, on emergency cases for funeral blessings, anointing of the sick and confession (Kumpisalang Bayan), the stole may be worn above the clerical shirt.

We hope that the dignity and sacredness of the celebrations of the sacraments and sacramentals are maintained through our faithful observance of the sacred liturgical vestments.

 

Thank you so much.

 

Respectfully yours in Christ,

REV. FR. CARMELO O. ESTORES

Chancellor