Memorial Acclamation Questions
  • I see there has been some discussion on this topic here in the forum and on the web, but I suppose it never really answered my questions. I can assume the answers from what I read, but I seems this topic hasn't been visited in several years.

    I play for one Polish mass every weekend (I do not speak) in addition to my English mass load. When it comes to the memorial acclamations, I know which one to play because of which "preface" (sorry don't know the correct term) the priest chants. Here are the Polish acclamations:

    Acclamation #1: Oto wielka tajemnica wiary.
    Głosimy śmierć Twoją, Panie Jezu, wyznajemy Twoje zmartwychwstanie i oczekujemy Twego przyjścia w chwale.

    Acclamation #2:
    Wielka jest tajemnica naszej wiary.
    Ile razy ten chle spożywamy i pijemy z tego kielicha, głosimy śmierć Twoją, Panie, oczekując Twego przyjścia w chwale.

    Acclamation #3:
    Uwielbiajmy tajemnicę wiary.
    Panie, Ty nas wybawiłeś przez krzyż i zmartwychwstanie swoje, Ty jesteś Zbawicielem świata.

    Acclamation #4:
    Tajemnica wiary.
    Chrystus umarł, Chrystus zmartwychwstał, Chrystus powróci.

    The most common is #1, followed by #2. I have never had to do #'s 3 and 4. As you can find out from a basic Google translation, the responses are similar to the old 4 in English. (EDIT - I guess not THAT similar) Yet what remains the same as then and now in English is the single "preface" before the responses. Here they are all different. You can see from the translation that each preface is slightly different.

    As I am attempting to compose my first mass setting, I obviously know in English that there is only the single "preface" - allowing whoever makes those decision to sing whatever response. So my first question is WHY? Why have multiple responses to choose from, with no real guidance on which one is correct?

    Which leads to my second question. Is there any way to make a truly educated decision on which English acclamation to do? (Please no, "well this is my favorite", or "I only do this during advent", kind of nonsense.)

    These are questions that would help me understand what to do, but these are also questions that I would like to have answered on any sort of worship aid that I would make for my mass setting once completed. Education for the congregants appears in a great opportunity here.

    Thank you for any guidance!
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,409
    Why have multiple responses to choose from, with no real guidance on which one is correct?
    I would love to know how this grotesque violation of liturgical principle has survived.
    Google translate provides this fairly clear indication of how the Poles have solved the problem
    This is the great mystery of faith.
    We proclaim your death, O Lord, we proclaim your resurrection; we await your return in glory.
    Great is the mystery of our faith.
    How many times this brea eat and drink this cup, we proclaim your death, O Lord, until you come in glory.
    Adore the mystery of faith.
    Lord, You redeemed us by your cross and resurrection, You are the Saviour of the world.
    The mystery of faith.
    Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.
  • @a_f_hawkins - Thanks for putting up a translation. I see I left out a few letters - fixed it in the original post.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,181
    As far I know, there is no distinction among the three Memorial Acclamations: no rule about using any of them under some particular circumstances.

    If you are composing a Mass setting in English, at least you can bring some order to the three texts by giving them different melodic introductions. People who attend spoken Masses are out of luck on this point.

    Even though the Polish-language missal has some invented material (the fourth acclamation; and the distinctive invocations preceding the respective acclamations), it did get rid of the ambiguity. At some point, there will probably be a new edition of the Missal in Poland, as was implemented here a few years ago, and when that happens the invented material may have to go away.
  • I find it curious that the appropriate (accurate translation of the Latin, that is) introduction is associated with the invented acclamation.
  • Just do the first one. All the time. And only to the Missal’s melody.

    The multiple MAs are the single biggest “user-friendliness” flub of the post-V2 Missal: the congregation has no indication, liturgically, of which response is to be used, so either there has to be a printed indication of which to use, or (more typically, IME) the priest has to recite the MA along with the congregation, which is just clunky.

    This is not a long text. There’s little point in providing it with significant accompaniment because it’s over almost as quickly as it begins.

    Also because of the shortness of the text, there’s little point in having multiple texts “in play”.

    The first one has the advantage of being the only one with a notated melody in Latin. The melody used is a sensible one, derived from the “Crucem tuam” antiphon from the Good Friday liturgy.
  • There’s little point in providing it

    Perhaps you should ask the late Abp Bugnini why these were created in the first place?
  • I don’t have my copy of his “magnus liber” handy, but, yes, his would be a relevant perspective.

    I would *guess* that it had something to do with Eastern praxis; in my experience of such ritual there have been various congregational acclamations throughout the Canon.
  • johnmann
    Posts: 175
    The oddity and unknown origins of the mysterium fidei in the institution narrative + moving it to the end + mo' participation + Eastern acclamations + mo' options = Memorial Acclamation

    The first option is from the Syrian Liturgy of St. James. The second is the priest's part in the Byzantine Liturgy of St. James. The origins of the third is a mystery to me.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,409
    My guess is that along with the composing the fourth anaphora, which "... is ... broader exposition of the economy of salvation, ... better done in the language of the bible" [Bugnini p458] they chose 1 Cor 11:26 as a biblical exposition of the mystery.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,473
    I thought that the third one was composed by Paul VI, but that could be a rumor. I have never understood the entire reason for it, as it seems to have nothing to to with the historic Latin rite and seems to be pretty much made up of wholecloth.
    I think the whole sign of peace this is kind of a joke as well, durung ordination masses, there are two "sign of peaces".
    We I guess we do need a lot of peace.
  • Thank you all for your input! It's been a busy week, so I'm just getting back to this now.

    I find it funny that when it comes down to the nitty gritty details, the whole "universal" thing just isn't so.

    at least you can bring some order to the three texts by giving them different melodic introductions.

    Yes! This makes sense - and seems to be what most decent composers have done (built in) with their settings. Of course it's not difficult to come up with your own introduction to whatever setting.

    Thanks everyone for helping clear the air a little bit. This will help! I take it upon myself to educate the congregation whenever I do something "new" or change something. For one, I find that it stifles complaining. Also, I find that the folks are generally open to learning more about their religion and traditions.

    Back when I first started, I did "Agnus Dei" instead of the "Lamb of God" during Lent. I was asked by many people what "Angus Dei" (ahg-noos dee-eye) even means. After I picked my jaw up from the floor, I explained. From then on, I knew it would be prudent to write in any worship aid or the bulletin explaining "new" things, however "old" they may really be.
  • >> "The mystery of faith. Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again."

    this pious statement (which has been put in the mouths of the people) has always puzzled me about the Novus Ordo Missae.
    in the Mass of all times the priest, in the person of Christ, says, for this is the chalice of My blood, the mystery of faith

    I have never understood how it could have morphed from that to this.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,697
    What makes the most sense to me is to sing it as a dialogue - always using Form A from the Missal. This seems to me to be the most pastoral approach - and after 3 years of doing this it is one of the most vocally present responses at our Masses at the Cathedral.

    If the celebrant doesn't, won't, or can't sing or is ill we recite Form A in response to his spoken part.
    Thanked by 1hilluminar
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,777
    This could easily be fixed with a modest rewrite: "Let us proclaim the Mystery of Faith beginning…"
  • In the Ordinariate (which is really not germane here) we have but the one acclamation: 'O Savior of the world, who by thy Cross and Precious Blood has redeemed us, save us and help us, we humbly beseech thee, O Lord'. It's sane having only one. Why on earth there needs to be a choice is a mystery indeed.

    Perhaps, actually to be done with any doubt or question, each parish should use the same one all the time. In the midst of the canon all should be spontaneous - the mind in a profoundly contemplative state should have nothing to question about, nor any distracting decision to make, just spontaneous and familiar adoration and prayer.

    I apologise for the following not being precisely focused on the subject of this thread, but -

    I was looking in my documents for the music to the Memorial Acclamation that we use at Walsingham but can't seem to find it. Here, though, is an alleluya verse that two members of my schola sang at St Basil's Chapel UST last Trinity vigil. It may give some of you ideas. (Take note that schola and people sang a real mass Alleluya, jubilus and all!) We have composers on our forum whose work is as far above mine as Bach's is above everyone's. It should be put to use in setting the complete propers and relevant ritual texts of the mass. (We don't need more mass ordinaries! We need complete sets of propers and ritual texts.)

    - I found the music to Walsingham's Memorial Acclamation, so here it is.
    2237 x 2988 - 1M
    1896 x 456 - 200K
    Thanked by 3MarkS CHGiffen afries52
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,409
    I have never understood how it could have morphed from that to this.
    As I understand it, there are two elements
    a) the translators have never agreed on how to translate the complete text Hic est enim calix ... in remissionem peccatorum. Particularly where mysterium fidei should go.
    b) the liturgists wanted to include an acclamation by the people, which many Eastern liturgies have.
    After considerable dispute among the experts, Blessed Paul VI imposed the solution of the priest saying Mysterium fidei to prompt the people.
    I like Christ has died, ..., it actually is an acclamation, and expresses what We proclaim ... says we do, but directly and, with the missal tune, emphaticly. I regret its suppression.
  • I agree fully with Mr Hawkins. He is correct that most of our 'acclamations' are really not acclamations at all. Most are rather lengthy (too lengthy) commentaries which, far from potently and succinctly acclaiming the present Christ, have the effect of interrupting the flow of the most sacred prayer of the mass with what, in context, is an effectually turgid explanation of the redemptive aspect of the Passion. "Christ has died...', as Mr Hawkins asserts, was the only real acclamatory interjection. An acclamation, by definition, is a compact and potent exclamation in awe of greatness, not a maudlin reflection or entreaty.

    'Hail Caesar! Glory to Caesar!' is an acclamation. 'O Caesar, who by your victories has made our empire great, give us bread and fill our needs' is commentary-entreaty, not acclamation.

    Perhaps we should just stop calling what isn't an acclamation an acclamation.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen eft94530
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,577
    Why on earth there needs to be a choice one at all is a mystery indeed.

  • many thanks, eft94530.
    speaking for myself - I put no value on what liturgists and translators want.
    what was codified in the 1500s should not have been made to give way to their want list. The teachings of the Church stand the test of time.
    (what on earth is "the great Amen" doing in the Catholic Mass. but ... I digress.)

    Thanked by 1eft94530
  • johnmann
    Posts: 175
    From Vagaggini's The Canon of the Mass and Liturgical Reform (1966):

    The third important defect in the way it relates the instituting of the Eucharist is the insertion of the phrase mysterium fidei in the midst of the words said over the chalice. This has no parallel in any other liturgy, and within the Roman rite itself its origin is uncertain and its meaning debatable. However, it is obvious that in its present form at least the insertion mysterium fidei serves to break up and interrupt the words of institution.

    He proposed omitting it altogether, which in some ways was a more modest proposal than what we ended up with.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,409
    Vagaggini proposed omitting mysterium fidei, and Paul VI insisted on retaining it in some way, as I understand what Bugnini records on p365 of his account.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,181
    On the other hand, Louis Bouyer claims that Bugnini made false claims to the Consilium about what Paul VI wanted, and to Paul VI about what the Consilium wanted.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,473
    As Father Ralph March used to say: " the great amen? What's so great about it?"
    Thanked by 2mmeladirectress Ben
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,577
    what Paul VI wanted

    A Vatican version of "Father said".
  • KyleM18
    Posts: 150
    MJO: Just looking at the multiple ordinariate pew missals on the web, doesn't the ordinariate have 3, the first two being the ICEL acclamations using thy and thou? Or are these wrong?

    Judging by what I see, I would use the 1st during Christmas and Easter, the second during ordinary time, and the third during Advent and Lent. However, in my personal opinion, a better Memorial Acclamation are the words said by the priest: "My Lord and My God." as it is, many in my choir and parish say it softly as the priest genuflects. Also, is the benedictus still an option as a "Memorial Acclamation"? I seem to have read somewhere that it is...
  • Kyle -
    I can't be certain of what you have seen in various Ordinariate pew missals. They may or may not reflect legitimate options. I am rather certain (but will check on it to be more certain) that our only acclamation is the one noted above. I rather agree with you about 'My Lord and My God', or some equally succinct ejaculation. Such would be a more genuine acclamation than the lengthy commentary-entreaties (some of which, as 'acclamations', are rather maudlin) that are offered us as 'acclamations'.
    Thanked by 1KyleM18
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,409
    The Irish bishops, who had already insisted on having "My Lord and My God" as an option, managed to retain it in the current missal.
    Thanked by 1KyleM18