We use processional candles instead of the processional cross at our church to escort the gift-bearers to the altar. I have read commentary that using the candles for this action is not proper, but I have been unable to find the rubric anywhere in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM). Is it absolutely forbidden to use the processional candles?
Dan Centurioni, Alta Loma, CA
Fr. Rocky: Let’s start with the GIRM. While entrance, recessional, and Communion procession are addressed in the GIRM, the only mention of a crucifix and candles to be used in a procession is at the entrance. Nevertheless, it is common practice, and in fact the custom, that the servers also carry the processional cross and candles when they exit in the recessional.
So, as for the use of processional candles and processional cross as a way to escort the gift-bearers to the altar during the offertory, if it is not specifically prohibited by the GIRM, it could be difficult to make the case that it should not be done.
In answer to your question, from the document I have studied, it is not “absolutely forbidden to use the processional candles during the offertory.”
“Monday Morning Short Answers to Big Questions” by Rev. Francis J. Hoffman