Good Friday Solemn Intercessions: Invitations to kneel/stand
  • soarmarcsoarmarc
    Posts: 42
    In the Solemn Intercessions for Good Friday, the missal contains the optional sung invitations, "Let us kneel -- Let us stand". (See here for reference: http://www.icelweb.org/musicfolder/openpdf.php?file=GoodFriday1.pdf)

    The accompanying comments say "Before the Priest’s prayer, in accord with tradition, it is permissible to use the Deacon’s invitations "Let us kneel -- Let us stand", with all kneeling for silent prayer."

    Does anyone know what "in accord with tradition" is referring to? Is it the singing of the invitations, or is it the kneeling for silent prayer?

    Is it just me, or does singing "Let us kneel" and "Let us stand" sound very odd? What does your parish do?
  • JonathanKKJonathanKK
    Posts: 536
    It's no odder than "Let us pray", to which all are accustomed.

    See LU 732 or the 1962 Missale p. 167 to see how this fits in in the EF liturgy.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,259
    Our parish does, in fact, have those parts sung.
    "let us kneel..." (do, do, la) "let us stand" (la, ti, do). (Nobody is confused or trying to get up early or not notice everyone else kneeling, when the postures are "announced."

    Many of them are just about the length of the genuflection during The Angelus, while some are about the length of that of the Credo.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,012
    soarmarc: the 'tradition' referred to is to kneel in silent individual prayer after each intention.
    It is indeed no odder than 'Let us pray', what is really odd is that mostly celebrants don't seem to mean it, they seem to mean 'Let me read a prayer on your behalf'. In theory, 'let us pray' should always be followed by a silence for the people to do so. As here, in the case of the intercessions in the Prayer of the Faithful each intention is followed by just that, silent prayer of each of the faithful.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,646
    For those still able to kneel, let us kneel. For those who can stand unaided, let us stand.

    We sing those parts, too.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,012
    Chanting is always right and fitting.
  • Ali
    Posts: 31
    I have what is probably a very stupid question, but I really need clarification because the person before me in my position seems to have spelled this out incorrectly in our pastor's notes. Does it go: Invitation, "Let us kneel", few moments of silence, "Let us stand", priest's prayer? Or do I have it totally wrong?
  • RevAMG
    Posts: 156
    Ali, the traditional order is:
    1. The deacon sings/says the invitation in which the intention is expressed.
    2. The deacon sings/says "Let us kneel."
    3. All kneel and pray in silence for a while.
    4. The deacon sings/says "Let us stand."
    5. The priest sings/says the prayer.
    Repeat for each intercession.
  • Ali
    Posts: 31
    Thank you, RevAMG!
  • "...it is permissible to use the Deacon’s invitations..."

    Does this mean that a deacon must be the one to sing them? If (in the absence of a deacon) a (vested, male) lay cantor is singing the petitions from the ambo, with the priest singing the collects, may the lay cantor intone "let us kneel, let us stand"?
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 436
    From the Missal, the rubrics for the Solemn Intercessions:

    11. The Liturgy of the Word concludes with the Solemn Intercessions, which take place in this way: the Deacon, if a Deacon is present, or if he is not, a lay minister, stands at the ambo, and sings or says the invitation in which the intention is expressed. Then all pray in silence for a while, and afterwards the priest, standing at the chair or, if appropriate, at the altar, with hands extended, sings or says the prayer. The faithful may remain either kneeling or standing throughout the entire period of the prayers.

    12. Before the priest’s prayer, in accord with tradition, it is permissible to use the Deacon’s invitations Let us kneel — Let us stand, with all kneeling for silent prayer.


    "The Deacon's invitations" would seem to be permitted by this rubric to be sung by the person who is singing the rest of the Deacon's part. However, I wonder whether they have the same character (commanding the assembly) as the dismissal at Mass, or other times when the deacon directly addresses the people.

    I, a layperson, have done it three ways with the same very good priest, Fr. A.:

    1) A deacon who sings is present, and sings all the Deacon's parts, or else a second priest sings the Deacon's parts. Fr. A sings the collect.
    2) A deacon who sings very badly is present. I sing the long invitations, he sings "Let us kneel/Let us stand."
    3) No deacon is present; only me and Fr. A. I sing the invitation, Fr. A sings "Let us kneel," the collect, "let us stand."
  • Once on Good Friday, at my last parish, I had an incredible space cadet moment.

    Deacon chants: “Let us kneel!
    I (thinking for a second it’s a dialogue) immediately chant back: “Let us stand!

    That poor congregation.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,646
    Hah! That is funny. I stayed at the organ console during those prayers for the sake of my aging knees.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,569
    The period of silence between the kneeling (once everyone who is able has knelt) and the standing (ditto) should be at least as long as an Our Father prayed silently at a stately pace, as it were (if you think suitable, one can lengthen 2x or 3x, or the length of an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be, for example) That period is actually when the prayer "happens", as it were.
  • Aside from the common sensicallness of your observation, can you lend rubrical or sanctoral support for the idea?
    Thanked by 1WGS
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,569
    No (I assume by "sanctoral" you mean the black part of the Missal), which is why I cited none. Just a tool I've had directors use to explain expected durations of silences so that people are prepared, and in my experience those directions turned out to be wise and fruitful. The one thing I would say is that the period being the prayer is counterintuitive because of a running assumption that the talking bits are what happen, and the period is given short-shrift for pragmatic purposes.

  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,012
    The rubrics say
    316 FRIDAY OF HOLY WEEK [GOOD FRIDAY]
    The Solemn Intercessions
    11. the Liturgy of the Word concludes with the Solemn intercessions, which take place in this way: the Deacon, if a Deacon is present, or if he is not, a lay minister, stands at the ambo, and sings or says the invitation in which the intention is expressed. then all pray in silence for a while, and afterwards the priest, standing at the chair or, if appropriate, at the altar, with hands extended, sings or says the prayer. the faithful may remain either kneeling or standing throughout the entire period of the prayers.
    12. before the priest’s prayer, in accord with tradition, it is permissible to use the Deacon’s invitations Let us kneel — Let us stand, with all kneeling for silent prayer.

    [EXTENDED my emphasis]
    Thanked by 1Liam