Chapter VII: The Choice of the Mass and Its Parts
A celebration’s pastoral efficacy will be considerably enhanced if the texts of its readings, prayers, and liturgical chants are tailored as closely as possible to the needs, preparation, and cultural background of those who will be attending it. Achieving this will be accomplished by the right use of the several options discussed below. As a result, when planning the celebration of Mass, the Priest should be more concerned with the spiritual well-being of the entire congregation than with his own personal preferences.
Because there are numerous options for selecting the various parts of the Mass, it is essential that the Deacon, the readers, the psalmist, the cantor, the commentator, and the choir are all well acquainted with the texts that pertain to them and that are to be used before the celebration, and that nothing be improvised in any way during the celebration.
On Solemnities, the Priest is required to adhere to the Calendar of the church in which he is performing the celebration.
On Optional Memorials:a) On the weekdays of Advent from December 17 to December 25, the Priest It is appropriate to commemorate the memorials of saints in their entirety on weekdays during Easter Time.
The weekday Mass may be celebrated, or a Mass commemorating the Saint or one of the Saints whose Memorial is observed, or a Mass commemorating any Saint whose name is enshrined in the Martyrology for that day.
As long as he is celebrating with the people, the Priest will take care not to omit the readings assigned each day in the Lectionary to the weekdays too frequently or without a good reason, because the Church desires that the table of God’s Word be spread before the people with a more substantial portion than is currently available.
- The genuine devotion of the faithful should, nevertheless, be met in cases where the Optional Memorials of the Blessed Virgin Mary or of the Saints are held in high regard by those who believe in them.
- The Selection of Texts for the Masses, Part II It is necessary to adhere to the following rules when selecting texts for the various portions of the Mass, whether for the different seasons of the year or for the different Saints.
- Every day of the week, including Sundays and holidays, has three readings allocated to it, which are taken from a Prophet or an Apostle and a Gospel, through which the Christian people are educated on how to carry on the work of salvation in accordance with God’s great plan.
- Instead of reading from the Old Testament during Easter, the reading is taken from the Acts of the Apostles, according to the tradition of the Catholic Church.
- A third reading is added if, according to the rules, a Feast is elevated to the status of a Solemnity, and this reading is taken from the Common Prayer.
- Occasionally, specificized readings are offered; that is, they are readings that draw attention to a specific feature of the Saint’s spiritual life or activity.
In the Lectionary for Weekdays, readings are provided for each day of every week throughout the entire course of the year; as a result, these readings will in general be used on the days to which they are assigned, unless there is a Solemnity, a Feast, or Memorial that has its own New Testament readings, that is to say, readings in which mention is made of the Saint being celebrated.
- If a Priest is celebrating a Mass for a special group, he or she may pick readings that are more specifically suited to that group’s celebration, as long as the texts are drawn from a Lectionary that has been authorized by the congregation.
- A more appropriate hearing of God’s Word has been recommended for these types of readings in order that the faithful may be guided to a more complete knowledge of the mystery in which they are participating, as well as to a more intense love for God’s Word in general.
- When deciding between these two options, it is important to keep a pastoral criterion in mind.
- Whenever the option of choosing between one or more texts is offered, consideration must be given to the good of the participants.
- When the same text must be read more than once in a short period of time, such as on a Sunday and the following weekday, or when it is anticipated that a specific passage may cause issues for one or more groups of the Christian faithful, such a situation may emerge, among other things.
- Three hundred and sixty-two (362) The adjustments to the Ordo Lectionum Missae as given in the Liturgy for Mass for Use in Dioceses in the United States of America should be strictly adhered to at all times.
Unless otherwise specified, the orations appropriate to the particular Mass are used in all of them.
Unless they are specifically designated as so, the prayers over the offerings and after Communion may be taken from the Common or the current weekday of the calendar year, unless they are specifically designated as such.
Only the Collect from these Masses will, however, be permitted to be used in any given instance.
In the case of the more significant periods of the year, however, preparations have already been made for this by the inclusion of orations appropriate to certain seasons of the year in the Missal on each weekday of the year.
Among the many Prefaces that the Roman Missal is gifted with is one that seeks to bring forth more completely the reasons for gratitude expressed in the Eucharistic Prayer as well as to clarify the many aspects of the great mystery of salvation.
The Eucharistic Prayer II, because to its unique characteristics, is more suited for use on weekdays or in unusual circumstances than the other forms of prayer.
The unique formula provided may be used at the appropriate moment in the Mass when it is being said in memory of a specific departed person, namely, before the portion Remember also our brothers and sisters.
Sundays and holidays should be the days when it is most appropriate to utilize it.
It can be used when a Mass does not have a separate Preface, as well as on Sundays during Ordinary Time.
They are known as the Chants366.
It is necessary to adhere to the rules put out in their right locations when selecting the chants between the readings, as well as when selecting the chants during the Entrance, the Offertory, and the Communion service (cf. nos. 40-41, 47-48, 61-64, 74, 86-88).
Reference is made to the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, no. 51, of the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican. In 1981, Praenotanda, no. 80, published the Missale Romanum and the Ordo lectionum Missae in an altered edition of the typica typica. Missale Romanum, Ordo lectionum Missae, editio typica altera, Praenotanda, no. 81, 1981. Missale Romanum, Ordo lectionum Missae, editio typica altera, 1981.
Why It is Truly Right and Just to Sing the Preface
HEPREFACE, like other elements of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, can be easily forgotten or tuned out at times, and this is understandable. The Preface, on the other hand, is frequently marked by something particularly distinctive and unusual. The following is found in the “Eucharistic Prayer” section of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM):364. The several Prefaces that the Roman Missal is equipped with have as their objective to bring out more completely the reasons for thanksgiving within the Eucharistic Prayer and to make forth more clearly the various parts of the mystery of salvation that are present throughout the Mass.
- “In addition, it conveys gratitude for the act of salvation…”…
- Like the word “PREFACE,” “ITHANAMELIKE” connotes something less significant.
- In contrast, expressing gratitude for the act of salvation is worthy of higher respect in the presentation of the gospel!
- It is prayed by the entire body once it has been declared by the Head—the priest acting in persona Christi capitis.
In the Nativity of John the Baptist, which took place on June 24, the Preface “laid forth more clearly the various parts of the mystery of salvation” is exemplified in the following way: THEMISSIONOFTHEPRECURSOR We give you thanks for your great glory in the person of his forefather, Saint John the Baptist, for you dedicated him to a position of particular distinction among those born of women.
He was the only one of all the prophets who pointed to the Lamb of God as the source of redemption.
These are excellent words, in my opinion.
The chanted Prefaces for the whole liturgical year (as well as all of the music from the Roman Missal) can be downloaded from this page.
Richard J. Clark is the Director of Music for the Archdiocese of Boston and the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston, Massachusetts. — (Read the complete biography.)
CNP Articles – Understanding the Chant Volumes
- Breviarium Romanum is a Latin phrase that means “Roman Breviarium.” The texts for the Divine Office are contained within a breviary. The present Latin version, Liturgy of the Hours, is divided into four volumes, as is the English translation for the United States, The Liturgy of the Hours, which is also divided into four volumes. Several early Breviaries contained music in addition to the words
- For example, Liber usualis. TheLiber, as this book was usually referred to, was a very handy volume that included chants that were required for the Divine Office and for the celebration of Mass. (ordinaries and propers). Originally produced by the monks of Solesmes Abbey (France), it was a highly popular book that covered everything a singer might possibly need to sing the Office and Mass, as well as principles of interpretation based on the study conducted by the Abbey. When theLiber usualiswas first published, it coincided with the celebration of the Mass of Saint Pius V (also known as the “Tridentine” liturgy), and of course, it would follow the form and date of the liturgy in use before to Vatican II. Although this volume is only officially used in a small number of places today (possibly at permitted Tridentine Masses), it has just been republished by Saint Bonaventure Publications in Great Falls, Montana. Because it is a condensed collection of beloved chant, Antiphonale Romanum, it may be of historical significance. When compared to the Liber ordinaris, which had music for both the Divine Office and the Mass, the Antiphonary featured solely music for the Hours (Divine Office). The Graduale romanum contained the chants for the celebration of Mass. Only the pre-Vatican II edition of this book is currently available
- An updated version (which will include a new calendar and feasts) is now in the process of being put together. Graduale romanum (Roman Yearbook) 1907 Instead of including music for both the Divine Office and the Mass in one volume, The Graduale only included music for the Divine Office. It was in the Antiphonale romanum that one might find the chants for the Office. It will be accessible from CNP in the near future, as a new, updated edition of the Graduale romanum has been produced by the monks of Solesmes.
- Graduale romanum (Roman Graduation) 1979 Yes, this significant volume is now available in its updated version, which corresponds to the calendar and format of the Novus Ordo Mass, which was previously unavailable. CanticaNOVA Publications will begin carrying the newGraduale romanum, published by the monks of the Abbey of Solesmes, in the Fall 2004 Catalog, which will be available for purchase. The book contains all of the “official” chants stated in theGIRM, including the Entrance (Introit), Psalm following the Reading (Gradual), Alleluia or Tract, Offertory (Offertorium), and Communion (Communion) (Communione). According to the GIRM, these are the first-choice selections for what will be sung at Mass on Sundays. The book is extremely valuable as a reference or as a practical volume that a Schola might use to sing some of the “preferred” music of the Roman Rite, such as Graduale simplex (simple progression). TheSimple Gradualis a more “user-friendly” version of theGraduale romanum, including fewer chants and a more straightforward structure. For all of the Sundays and solemnities of the liturgical year, this latter volume provides unique, suitable chants. Simple chants are available for each Sunday throughout Advent, Christmastide, and Lent, but not during the other seasons of the year. The seasons of Easter and Ordinary Time are marked by the offering of a number of “composite Masses.” One can select Mass propers to be sung on any given Sunday from among these options. A copy of the book The Simple Gradualis included in theGIRM’s Option 2 for the Entrance chant (as well as additional musical accompaniment). It is an official, certified book that will be extremely valuable to congregations who seek to incorporate certain Gregorian chant propers into their liturgical celebrations. The Graduale simplex, like the Graduale romanum, will be available from CNP beginning with the Fall 2004 Catalog
- The Missale romanum will be available from CNP beginning with the Spring 2005 Catalog. When we talk about the Sacramentary, we’re referring to a little book that the celebrant uses both on his chair and on his altar, from which he reads (or sings) the prayers that are special to each Mass. It also comprises the “Ordinary” of the Mass (that is, the sections of the service that remain the same from week to week). The General Instruction on the Roman Missal (GIRM) is referred to as the “preface” to the Roman Missal and comprises liturgical guidelines and rubrics for the celebration of Mass. The Missalei is translated into vernacular languages once it has been promulgated in Latin, and these translations are then transmitted to the Holy See for final confirmation. Published in 1965, the first typical edition (which included the changed Mass texts and calendar following Vatican II) was the first of its kind. In 1975, a second typical edition was accepted by the committee. The third typical edition of the Missale Romanum, which was the most recent modification, was authorized in its Latin version in 2002. The GIRM for this third version (which includes directives and rubrics) was translated into English and authorized by the appropriate authorities. There is no certified English translation for TheMissaleitself at this time. The Holy See rejected the translation prepared by the International Committee on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) because it had mistakes and deviated from the original language (perhaps with an “agenda” in mind). Because of this, we in the United States are bound by the guidelines of the GIRM 2002, while continuing to employ prayers and translations from the earlier 1975Missal until an accurate and more eloquent translation can be approved. Missae Ordo Lectionum (Missae Ordo Lectionum) Despite the fact that it is not technically an achantbook, this volume is the other significant book used during Mass. It contains all of the readings (lectionmeans “reading”) that are utilized at Mass each week. Since 1998, the Lectionary has been published in four volumes, each of which contains the official English translation:
- On Sundays, solemnities are observed (Years A, B, and C). During the first year, weekdays were observed
- During the second year, weekdays were observed
- RitualVotive Masses (including wedding and funeral) were observed
All of the readings for the Mass are included within these four volumes. Other publications provide unique extracts for a variety of different situations. For example, a Book of Gospels has been released, which contains exclusively the Gospel readings from the Bible. This is brought in procession by the deacon (or lector) during the Entrance Rite and is put on the altar; it is then carried to the ambo during the Gospel Acclamation and used for the proclamation of the Gospel message. Other ritual books (for example, Baptism, Marriage, and Funeral) may include excerpts from the whole Lectionary that are relevant to the ceremony.
This book, the Kyriale, has just the Ordinary of the Mass, specifically: Asperges me, Vidi aquam, Masses I through XVIII, Credos I through VI, as well as a variety of ad libitumchants and hymns, among other things, Some contemporary publications are small, practical editions of familiar and useful chants:Jubilate Deo– aminimumrepertoire of chant, according to Pope Paul VILiber cantualis– 8 chant Masses, 4 sequences, 40 hymnspsalmsCantus selecti– popular chants for the liturgical yearOther books are useful for reference:Graduale triplexThis is theGraduale romanumset in typical chant notation, while above are printed the neums from the Laon manuscript in black, and below, the neums of the manuscript of the Saint Gall family in red.
The three systems of neums are useful to the scholar and advanced singer for proper interpretation of the chant.Liber hymnariusThis book contains the great chant office hymns of the Liturgy of the Hours.These hymns, in stanza format, are some of the most often quoted pieces in the Gregorian repertoire.Examples:Rorate coeli desuper, Puer natus in Bethlehem, Vexilla regis prodeunt, Ad regias Agni dapes, Veni Creator Spiritus.These selections are the onlyhymnsprescribed in the Roman Rite; note that they occur not at Mass, but in theLiturgy of the Hours, at the beginning of the celebration of each Hour.There are nohymns(i.e.
musical poems with regular, repetitive stanzas) called for during Mass — the current practice in the U.S.
There is no excuse for perpetuating our ignorance of Gregorian chant, which should be given “pride of place” in the Roman Rite.
The choir director and schola should also have at least theGraduale romanumand/or theGraduale simplexfor reference and singing. Check back at the CNP website in August for purchase options.See also CNP’s low-costBooklets of Chant.