Required to sing the Responsorial Psalm from the ambo?
  • JKWJKW
    Posts: 27
    I'm a bit unclear about the absolute requirement to sing the responsorial psalm from the ambo.

    The Introduction to the Lectionary, article # 22 states:
    The responsorial psalm is sung or recited by the psalmist or cantor at the ambo.

    Seems quite clear.

    However the General Instruction for the Roman Missal states in article # 61:
    Hence the psalmist, or cantor of the Psalm, sings the Psalm verses at the ambo or another suitable place...

    "at the abmo or another suitable place"

    Seems a bit less clear now.

    It seems from the GIRM that another location would be acceptable...however this appears contrary to the explicit instruction in the Lectionary.

    Help!
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,957
    I do it from the loft which is another suitable place. It prevents ham cantors from acting up in front of an audience, eliminates a 1/2 block long walk to the ambo, then 1/2 block back to the loft. Too much of a time lag from organ to front so we would never be together with that arrangement.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,715
    The current GIRM is later than the current GIL(M), and would likely be interpreted to modify the latter accordingly.
    Thanked by 1hilluminar
  • JKWJKW
    Posts: 27
    For clarification, the GIRM is more recently updated than the GIL? My thought was initially that the GIRM would be the more authoritative of the two. I believe both documents I am working from are the most recent publications available.

    Our cantors currently sing the Psalm from a small stand in the sanctuary on the opposite side from the ambo. It seems an appropriate location. I was trying to figure out if I needed to make an official change to follow the instructions for the Liturgy.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 205
    Some related things for discussion:
    1. The responsorial psalm is the Word of God, whose proper place of proclamation during Mass is the ambo. I think the GIRM affirms that.

    2. But since the psalm should be sung, musical considerations might result in another suitable place being chosen. For example, if a choir sings the psalm's verses, they can't all stand around the ambo, so the choir loft/area would be a suitable place.

    3. If a sole cantor/psalmist sings the responsorial psalm's verses, I think it should be sung from the ambo unless distance between organ and psalmist makes coordination of tempo and entrances difficult. But if that is a problem, why not chant the psalm from the ambo a cappella? Consider the ambo the preferred place according to the GIRM, all things being equal, and another suitable place to be a less preferred option B.

    4. Should the psalmist carry music to the ambo with him? Should the psalmist chant from the Lectionary (having memorized the chant's tone or melody), as the readings are proclaimed from the Lectionary? Should there be music already at the ambo for the psalmist to use instead of carrying a folder to the ambo?
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,349
    Westminster Cathedral has the same arrangement as JKW at Masses with just cantor and organ. One argument for this might be the cantor would otherwise need to move across the sanctuary between psalm and acclamation. It seems that the Gradual is called that because it is sung 'from the steps', not traditionally from the ambo.
    OTOH MarkB's first point has great weight with me. In the OF the verses of the Responsorial Psalm are important, unlike the verses of the Introit etc.
  • Why, it's as clear as 'in these or similar words'. - isn't it?
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,349
    And on the third hand, a pause for reflection before and after the psalm would accord with GIRM, during which the cantor could reverently proceed across the sanctuary.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,715
    JKW

    Yes. The GIL(M) is from 1981, the most recent GIRM is a generation younger than it.
  • At Thomas Aquinas College (where I've attended a very few Masses) it appears that the choir sings from the choir loft (appropriately) and the cantor executes his duty as part of the choir, from the loft. The psalm had no visual cues in it. Somehow we all managed. On the other hand, "or another suitable place" ought to occasion a discussion of "suitable for...." the text, the music, the building in which we're having our community supper get together …. or whatever else is relevant.

    Part of the problem in the original question, it seems, is that it assumes that the psalm must be proclaimed facing the people, which is an OF sort of problem.
    Thanked by 2canadash CHGiffen
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,175
    Nothing is clear. That is the objective.
    Thanked by 1Ioannes Andreades
  • Francis,

    Elaborate (briefly)… How can a lack of clarity (and consequently of precision or sureness) be the objective of liturgical instructions?
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,401
    CGZ: Not to usurp Francesco Non Papa's response, but:

    Unclear rubrics are a hallmark of the Novus Ordo:

    "From the ambo or another suitable place"
    "In these or similar words"
    "The priest makes a sign over the water" (without specifying what the 'sign' is)
    "The priest makes a gesture" (without specifying)
    "The priest makes the customary gestures" (without elaborating on what the customary gestures are: one needs to go to the 1962 Missal or Ritual to find out what they are)
    "Or another suitable liturgical chant"

    It all leads to pandemonium where nothing is consistent between one parish and the next a hundred yards away, and lack of unity in liturgical cult, and hence, lack of unity of faith (lex orandi, lex credendi, after all).
  • [freak accident]
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,722
    What ritual has a rubric "The priest makes a sign over the water"? Is that a real quotation? From what?
  • ...From what?
    The Easter vigil?
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,401
    I remember reading it somewhere: either it the Rite of Baptism or in the Book of Good Wishes. I assume it means Sign of the Cross.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,349
    "The priest makes a sign over the water" (without specifying what the 'sign' is)
    "The priest makes a gesture" (without specifying)
    "The priest makes the customary gestures" (without elaborating ... )
    None of these in the current missal.
    "In these or similar words" is only in relation to an initial address by the celebrant to the congregation, for example in explanation or exhortation at the Easter Vigil (or by the bishop at the Chrism Mass).
    FWIW my recollection is that one of the earliest liturgical directions we have is a Stational Mass where when the Pope arrives at the altar he makes an unspecified gesture (to the cantors to bring their singing to an end).
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,107
    ... an unspecified gesture (to the cantors to bring their singing to an end).

    I can't get rid an the image of the Pope extending his index finger and passing it horizontally across his neck ... as in "Cuttttttttttttt!!!"