Look carefully for a moment at the picture on this page. It is an image of an open Missal. This is the book the priest uses on the altar when celebrating Mass. You will notice that some of the text is written in black and some in red. Black letters are used for words that the priest pronounces. Any text in red is called a ‘rubric’ (Latin for ‘red’). Rubrics are instructions telling the priest what to do and which gestures to make.
For instance, the rubrics shown in the picture here tell the priest what to do after he has said the words of consecration: “HE SHOWS THE CONSECRATED HOST TO THE PEOPLE, PLACES IT ON THE PATEN AND GENUFLECTS IN ADORATION.”
The rubrics in the Missal also tell the people what they are supposed to do and what gestures they are supposed to make. Let’s go through them. <<readmore>>