Music - Different Parts of Mass


     General Liturgy of the Eucharistic
     Advent and Lent      Preface
Liturgy of the Word      Sanctus
     Opening Song      Eucharistic Prayer
     Kyrie (Lord have mercy)      Doxology (Through Him, with Him...)
     Gloria      Our Father
     Responsorial      Agnus Dei (Lamb of God)
     Sequence      Communion Song
     Gospel Acclamation      Post-Communion Song
     Creed      Recessional

General:

32 The nature of the presidential texts demands that they be spoken in a loud and clear voice and that everyone present listen with attention. While the priest is speaking these texts, there should be no other prayer or liturgical song, and the organ or other instruments should not be played.

39. The faithful who gather together to await the Lord's coming are instructed by the Apostle Paul to sing together psalms, hymns, and inspired liturgical songs (see Colossians 3:16). Liturgical song is the sign of the heart's joy (see Acts 2:46). Thus Saint Augustine says rightly: "To sing belongs to lovers." There is also the ancient proverb: "One who sings well prays twice."

40 With due consideration for the culture and ability of each liturgical assembly, great importance should be attached to the use of singing in the celebration of the Mass. Although it is not always necessary to sing all the texts that are of themselves meant to be sung (e.g., in weekday Masses), nevertheless, the complete absence of all singing by ministers and people—which by law accompanies celebrations which take place on Sundays and Holy Days of obligation—should be particularly guarded against.

In choosing the parts actually to be sung, however, preference should be given to those that are more significant and especially to those to be sung by the priest or deacon or reader, with the people responding or by the priest and people together.

41 All things being equal, Gregorian chant should hold a privileged place, as being more proper to the Roman liturgy. Other kinds of sacred music, polyphony in particular, are not in any way to be excluded, provided that they correspond with the spirit of the liturgical action and that they foster the participation of all the faithful.

Since the faithful from different countries come together ever more frequently, it is desirable that they know how to sing at least some parts of the Ordinary of the Mass in Latin, especially the profession of faith and the Lord's Prayer, set to simple melodies.

It should be noted that the 3rd edition of the Missale Romanum provides more musical notation for the common texts than the second edition (found in the present US Sacramentary), so that the Mass can be more easily sung in its entirety, including the Eucharistic Prayer. For greater solemnity it is possible even to sing the readings, though this is rarely done, since few know how anymore. 

103. The schola cantorum or choir exercises its own liturgical function among the faithful. Its task is to ensure that the parts proper to it, in keeping with the different types of chants, are carried out becomingly and to encourage active participation of the people in the singing. What is said about the choir applies in a similar way to other musicians, especially the organist.

104. There should be a cantor or a choir director to lead and sustain the people in the singing. When in fact there is no choir, it is up to the cantor to lead the various liturgical songs, and the people take part in the way proper to them.

312 In relation to the design of each church, the schola cantorum should be so placed that its character as a part of the assembly of the faithful that has a special function stands out clearly. The location should also assist the exercise of the duties of the schola cantorum and allow each member of the choir complete, that is, sacramental participation in the Mass. [Musicam sacram 23]

313 The organ and other lawfully approved musical instruments are to be placed suitably in such a way that they can sustain the singing of the choir and congregation and be heard by all with ease when they are played alone. It is appropriate that the organ be blessed before its designation for liturgical use. This should be done according to the rite described in the Roman Ritual. [De benedictionibus 1052-1054]

Advent and Lent:

313 ... During Advent the organ and other musical instruments may be used with moderation, corresponding to the character of the season, but should not anticipate the full joy of the Nativity of the Lord.

During Lent the use of the organ and musical instruments is permitted for accompanying sustained singing. Nevertheless, exceptions are made for Laetare Sunday (the fourth Sunday of Lent), for solemnities and feast days.

Opening Song:

47 After the people have gathered, the opening liturgical song begins as the priest with the deacon and ministers come in. The purpose of this liturgical song is to open the celebration, intensify the unity of those who have assembled, lead their thoughts to the mystery of the season or feast, and accompany the procession of priest and ministers.

[US Adaptation] 48. The opening liturgical song is sung alternately either by the choir and the people or by the cantor and the people; or it is sung entirely by the people or by the choir alone. In the dioceses of the United States of America there are four options for the cantus ad introitum: 

(1) the antiphon and Psalm from the Roman Missal as set to music by the Roman Gradual or in another musical setting; 

(2) the seasonal antiphon and Psalm of the Simple Gradual; 

(3) a song from another collection of psalms and antiphons, approved by the USCCB or the Diocesan Bishop, including psalms arranged in responsorial or metrical forms; 

(4) a suitable liturgical song chosen in accordance with GIRM, no. 48. If there is no singing for the entrance, the antiphon in the Missal is recited either by the faithful, by some of them, or by a reader; otherwise, it is recited by the priest himself, who may also incorporate it into his introductory remarks (see n. 31).

121 During the procession to the altar, the opening liturgical song is sung (see nos. 25-26).

Kyrie:

52. Then the Kyrie always begins, unless it has already been included as part of the penitential rite. Since it is a liturgical song by which the faithful praise the Lord and implore his mercy, it is ordinarily prayed by all, that is, alternately by the congregation and the choir or cantor.

As a rule each of the acclamations is repeated twice, though it may be repeated more, because of different languages, the music, or other circumstances. When the Kyrie is sung as a part of the penitential act, a trope may be inserted before each acclamation.

Gloria:

53. The Gloria is the ancient and venerable hymn in which the Church, assembled in the Holy Spirit, praises and entreats God the Father and the Lamb. The text of this hymn is not to be replaced by any other. The Gloria is begun by the priest or, as needs dictate, by a cantor or a choir, but is sung by everyone together, or by the people alternately with the choir, or by the choir alone. If not sung, it is to be recited either by all or by two parts of the congregation responding to each other.

The Gloria is sung or said on Sundays outside Advent and Lent, on solemnities and feasts, and in special, more solemn celebrations.

Responsorial Psalm:

61. After the first reading comes the responsorial psalm, which is an integral part of the liturgy of the word and holds great liturgical and pastoral importance, because it promotes meditation on the Word of God.

The responsorial psalm should correspond to each reading and should customarily be taken from the Lectionary.

It is appropriate that the responsorial psalm be sung, at least as far as the people's response is concerned. Hence, the psalmist or cantor of the song sings the verses of the psalm at the ambo or other suitable place. However, in order that the people may be able to join in the responsorial psalm more readily, the people remain seated and listen, but also as a rule take part by singing the response, except when the psalm is sung straight through without the response. If the psalm cannot be sung, then it should be recited in a way more suited to fostering meditation on the word of God.

[US Adaptation] In the dioceses of the United States of America, the following may also be sung in place of the psalm assigned in the Lectionary for Mass: 

either the proper or seasonal antiphon and Psalm from the Lectionary, set either in the manner of the Roman or Simple Gradual, or, in another musical setting; or, 

an antiphon and Psalm from another collection of the psalms and antiphons, including psalms arranged in metrical form, providing that they have been approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop.

Songs or hymns may not be used in place of the Responsorial Psalm. 

102. The psalmist or cantor of the psalm is to sing the psalm or other biblical song that comes between the readings. To fulfill their function correctly, these psalmists should possess the ability to sing and an aptitude for correct pronunciation and diction.

Sequence:

64 The Sequence is optional, except on Easter Sunday and Pentecost. It is sung before the Alleluia.

 

Gospel Acclamation (Alleluia):

62 After the reading which immediately precedes the Gospel, the Alleluia or another song indicated by the rubrics is sung, according to the liturgical season. An acclamation of this kind constitutes in itself a rite or act, by which the assembly of the faithful praises and welcomes and greets the Lord who is about to speak to them in the Gospel and professes its faith in liturgical song. The Alleluia is sung by all standing, led by either the choir or a cantor, and if appropriate, it may be repeated. The verse itself is sung either by the choir or by the cantor.

a) The Alleluia is sung in every season outside Lent. The verses are taken from the Lectionary or the Graduale.

b) During Lent in place of the Alleluia the verse before the Gospel is sung, as indicated in the Lectionary. It is also possible to sing another psalm or tract, as long as it is found in the Graduale.

63 When there is only one reading before the gospel reading:

a) during a season calling for the Alleluia, there is an option to use either the psalm with Alleluia as the response, or the responsorial psalm followed by the Alleluia with its verse;

b) during the season when the Alleluia is not allowed, either the psalm and the verse before the gospel or the psalm alone may be used.

c) The alleluia verse before the Gospel may be omitted if it is not sung.

Creed:

67 The symbol or profession of faith serves as a way for all the people gathered together to respond to the word of God proclaimed in the readings taken from Sacred Scripture and explained in the homily, and so that, by professing the rule of faith in a formula approved for liturgical use, the great mysteries of the faith may be recalled and confirmed before their celebration in the Eucharist is begun.

68 The profession of faith is to be sung or said by the priest together with the people to respond and to give their assent to the word of God, heard in the readings and through the homily, and for them to call to mind the truths of faith before they begin to celebrate the Eucharist.

If it is sung, it is begun by the priest, or, as necessary, by a cantor or the choir. It is sung by all together, or by the people alternating with the choir.

If not sung, it must be recited by all together or by two parts of the congregation responding one to the other.

Offertory Song:

74. The procession bringing the gifts is accompanied by the liturgical song for the preparation of the gifts, which continues at least until the gifts have been placed on the altar. The rules for this liturgical song are the same as for singing the entrance antiphon (see n. 48). The liturgical song may always be associated with the offertory rites.

48. [US Adaptation] The opening liturgical song is sung alternately either by the choir and the people or by the cantor and the people; or it is sung entirely by the people or by the choir alone. In the dioceses of the United States of America there are four options for the cantus ad introitum: 

(1) the antiphon and Psalm from the Roman Missal as set to music by the Roman Gradual or in another musical setting; 

(2) the seasonal antiphon and Psalm of the Simple Gradual; 

(3) a song from another collection of psalms and antiphons, approved by the USCCB or the Diocesan Bishop, including psalms arranged in responsorial or metrical forms; 

(4) a suitable liturgical song chosen in accordance with GIRM, no. 48. If there is no singing for the entrance, the antiphon in the Missal is recited either by the faithful, by some of them, or by a reader; otherwise, it is recited by the priest himself, who may also incorporate it into his introductory remarks (see n. 31).

Preface:

216 The preface is sung or said by the presiding priest celebrant alone; .... 

Sanctus:

216 ... the Sanctus is sung or recited by all concelebrants with the congregation and the choir.

Eucharistic Prayer:

May be sung by the celebrant. See note under General, 41, above.

32. The nature of the presidential texts demands that they be spoken in a loud and clear voice and that everyone present listen with attention. While the priest is speaking these texts, there should be no other prayer or liturgical song, and the organ or other instruments should not be played.

Doxology:  ["Through Him, with Him, in Him...]

236 The concluding doxology of the Eucharistic Prayer is said solely by the principal priest celebrant together with the other concelebrants, but not by the faithful.

Our Father:

81 In the Lord's Prayer, daily food is prayed for, which for Christians means preeminently the Eucharistic bread, and for the forgiveness of sin, so that what is holy may be given to those who are holy. The priest offers the invitation to pray, but all the faithful say the prayer with him; he alone adds the embolism: Deliver us, which the people conclude with a doxology. The embolism, developing the last petition of the Lord's Prayer, begs on behalf of the entire community of the faithful deliverance from the power of evil. The invitation, the prayer itself, the embolism, and the people's concluding doxology are sung or are recited aloud.

Agnus Dei (Lamb of God):

155 The priest then takes the Eucharistic bread and breaks it over the paten. He places a small piece in the chalice, saying inaudibly: May this mingling. Meanwhile the Lamb of God is sung or recited by the choir and congregation (see no. 56:5).

366 It is not permitted to substitute for the chants found in the Order of Mass, e.g., at the Agnus Dei.

Communion Song:

86. During the priest's reception of communion, the communion song is begun. Its function is to express outwardly the communicants' union in spirit by means of the unity of their voices, to give evidence of joy of heart and to highlight more the "communitarian" character of the communion procession. The song continues while the Sacrament is being ministered to the faithful. But the communion song should be ended in good time whenever there is to be a hymn after communion.

Care must be taken that cantors are also able to receive communion conveniently.

[US Adaptation] 87. In the dioceses of the United States of America there are four options for the Cantus a Communionem: 

(1) the antiphon and Psalm from the Roman Missal as set to music in the Roman Gradual or in another musical setting; 

(2) the seasonal antiphon and Psalm of the Simple Gradual; 

(3) a song from another collection of psalms and antiphons, approved by the USCCB or the Diocesan Bishop, including psalms arranged in responsorial or metrical forms; 

(4) a suitable liturgical song chosen in accordance with GIRM, no. 86.

If there is no singing, the communion antiphon in the Missal may be recited either by the faithful, or by a group of them, or by a reader. Otherwise the priest himself says it after he has received communion and before he gives communion to them.

Post-Communion Song:

88. After communion, the priest and people may spend some time praying silently. If desired, either a psalm or other canticle of praise or a hymn may be sung by the entire congregation.

Recessional:

193. After the celebration of Mass, the acolyte and other ministers return in procession to the sacristy with the deacon and the priest in the same way and in the same order in which they entered.

A recessional hymn is not explicitly mentioned; however, it is customary to accompany a procession with song in the Latin Rite.

44. ... Such movements and processions should be carried out becomingly in keeping with the norms prescribed for each while the liturgical songs proper to them are being sung.


Answered by Colin B. Donovan, STL

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