The General Principles of Ceremonies for the Roman Rite (For Inferior Ministers)

The General Principles of Ceremonies for the Roman Rite (For Inferior Ministers)
The General Principles of Ceremonies for the Roman Rite (For Inferior Ministers) by Louis J. Tofari  92 pages

Original year of publication: 2008

Just completed! This 92-page softcover book covers the general principles of the Roman Rite, the foundation of all rubrics. This abridged edition treats specifically of the principles that affect the inferior ministers (altar servers) when fulfilled by laymen. Though the serving of the ceremonies by laymen is done virtually the same as by clerics, there are some minor exceptions (e.g., wearing the biretta or receiving and giving the Pax) which were omitted from this edition.

Don’t let the title of this short, but valuable book confuse you! Though primarily intended for those who are involved with the sacred liturgy, nonetheless The General Principles of Ceremonies of the Roman Rite (For Inferior Ministers) actually has an even broader application.

This book can impart to the average lay person a better appreciation and understanding of the Romanitas of the Roman Rite, a unique characteristic that only the namesake liturgical rite of the Eternal City possesses! Tragically, to many modern-day Catholics, the solemn pageantry of the official worship of God appears as meaningless ritualistic actions. The average Catholic can defeat this liturgical ignorance by reading about the “hows” and “whys” of the Roman Rite, thereby making the formerly inscrutable gestures and reverences suddenly recognizable for their complete devotional worth and purpose! If Catholics desire to draw more from the sacred well of the Roman Liturgy, then the reading of this short book is one way in which to affect this: through education and thereby comprehension.

Of course this book is a boon for the liturgically or rubrically minded, as it solely concentrates on the systematic exposition of the foundation for all rubrics of the Roman Rite, and not any mere particular ceremony. It is in fact the first of its kind to treat of the general principles in this manner, as previously, they were merely expounded (to some degree or another, and usually inadequately) in relation to various ceremonies. Since the principles that this book treats are basic to every ceremony of the Roman Rite, it is of great use to anyone who is involved in ceremonies, be it the laymen who serves (especially as the master of ceremonies), seminarians who are studying the liturgy, and priests who want to more fully understand the demands of the rubrics, and thereby the Roman spirit of the liturgy.

To facilitate the explanations on the general principles, 18 pictures, 2 expository tables and 11 diagrams have been included, while 183 footnotes provide valuable sources of authority, further explanations and various tips. Other features include a table of contents and two glossaries of terms (sanctuary-related and rubrically-related) used within the book.

Printed in easy-to-read text, this 5½" x 8½" booklet is packed with essential knowledge for any Catholic interested in better understanding the ceremonial intricacies of the ancient Roman Rite, but especially for master of ceremonies, adult servers (ages 12 and up) and clerics (even priests).

This booklet is a prelude to an upcoming comprehensive edition that will include even more information regarding incensations, matters that affect clerics who fulfill the various offices of inferior ministers, general principles for sacred ministers and some general items about pontifical ceremonies.

If you desire 10 or more copies, price is $7.00 each. Please contact us at for bulk inquiries.

Out of Stock. Order from

[Update 1/19/09- Read this review on Fr. Z's Blog]


PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!

Shopping Cart
PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online! PayPal