Penitential Rite (Kyrie) on Easter Sunday
  • (Ordinary Form)

    Ok, I know the sprinkling rite doesn’t happen during the intro rites on Easter Sunday, but nonetheless, doesn’t it seem odd to be doing a penitential rite on Easter??
  • Richard R.
    Posts: 714
    What, like you can't sin Easter morning? There seems to be something of a mania for dropping the Penitential Rite whenever possible (like at funerals when the body is received... the Requiem Introit without its Kyrie? Please!), and I suspect there are plenty of places that will drop it on Easter Sunday. But the rubric is not in my Sacramentary. As for the Rite of Sprinkling (that must have a classier name), it appears to follow the Renewal of Baptismal Promises (which replaces the Creed), which places the Sprinkling mid-way through Mass -- a very odd place indeed.
  • While I was planning music for the Easter season, it occurred to me that Easter Sunday would be the only time during the entire Easter season that we will sing the Kyrie... since Sprinkling will take the place of the penitential rite for the rest of the time. I'm glad we get at least one Kyrie in... on the other hand, it is nice to sing the Vidi Aquam, too...
  • rogue63
    Posts: 410
    I gotta say, that's one major musical thing about the EF that I love; you get to keep all those friends we love so much (Asperges, Vidi aquam, since they are not part of Mass) and sing the Kyrie too. Sure it has its accretive elements, and the Novus Ordo celebrated well reflects the "noble simplicity", but I hate it when NO parishes drop the Kyrie at the slightest provocation. The Kyrie was dropped from Ash Wednesday Mass at the school where I teach---makes no sense at all.

    @Felipe: I think a Penitential Rite is appropriate everywhere at all times and places, whether it's Mass, an hour of Adoration, or your own morning devotions, or just before supper. Why not Easter? Joy and sorrow should go hand in hand for Christians. I'm reminded of Tolkien's lines from "The Return of the King", after all is won, evil vanquished, and a new King is crowned:

    "And all the host laughed and wept, and in the midst of their merriment and tears the clear voice of the minstrel rose like silver and gold, and all men were hushed. And he sang to them, now in the Elven-tongue, now in the speech of the West, until their hearts, wounded with sweet words, overflowed, and their joy was like swords, and they passed in thought out to regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness."

    Just a thought.
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  • dvalerio
    Posts: 341
    > which places the Sprinkling mid-way through Mass

    It's always been there in the middle of Easter Vigil. But actually in the EF it precedes Mass, since the Mass only begins after the sprinkling, the litany, etc. In the OF the whole Easter Vigil is a Mass, and Gloria, Epistle and Gospel precede the sprinkling.
  • I know that in the Novus Ordo the Kyrie MAY be incorporated into the penitential rite. Nevertheless, it is not, in se, penetential. Indeed, it antedates the penitential rite (a Novus Ordo innovation) by about fifteen centuries.

    Jungmann points out that Christians borrowed the Kyrie from the secular domain, where "Kyrie eleison" was used as a greeting for the emperor. (Compare "Heil Hitler!")

    The Kyrie entered the Roman Mass as a response to a litany, the so-called Deprecatio Gelasii, placed between the introit and the collect by Pope Gelasius as a replacement for the intercessory biddings and collects that from time immemorial had followed the homily. (These survive, altered, in the Good Friday liturgy.) By the time of Gregory the Great the litany had been dropped and only the response had been retained.

    Some liturgists argue that because the Kyrie in the Mass is a vestige of a long-forgotten litany, it ought to be eliminated from the Mass. They forget that it was used as an acclamation (in the secular sphere, at least) before it was used as a litany response. In the traditional Roman Mass the Kyrie serves very suitably as the "opening acclamation."

    The entrance rite in the Novus Ordo is intolerably cluttered, but the Kyrie is not one of the elements that ought to be pruned from it. The entrance rite of the traditional ordo (exclusive of the private prayers of the ministers) ought to be revived: introit, Kyrie, (Gloria), salutation, collect. A penitential petition added to the Prayer of the Faithful could very satisfactorily replace the whole "penitential rite"--the only precendent for which is found in Reformation liturgies. In 1960 H.A. Reinhold suggested that the sprinkling be incorporated into the entrance procession. (He specifically recommend that the procession make a station at the baptistry, and that there the celebrant should sprinkle the ministers and people.) In my (Episcopal) parish we have followed his suggestion for twenty-five years.

    When I visited the Roman Catholic cathedral in Denver in January 1982, Asperges me was sung as the introit. The celebrant sprinkled the people on his way to the altar, and the Kyrie followed immediately. What was done was, of course, "illegal,"
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