Novus Ordo: Singing Introit & Kyrie BEFORE the priest begins
  • TRR
    Posts: 4
    I’ve searched all around the forum and internet in general, but I haven’t found an answer.

    Is it possible, as we do in the TLM, to sing the introit and kyrie during the procession and insence of the altar, i.e. Before the priest begins the Mass with the sign of the Cross and ‘the lord be with you’. And then, since we of course have to follow the rubrics, let the ‘real’ Kyrie only be said by the priest and congregation – like at a low Mass.

    When we sing requiems (mozart / bruckner etc) the introit and kyrie are always one piece, and it really destroys the music to seperate them like we have done in the past. And also when we sing a choral, medium length Kyrie, it’s always a drag because the priest is waiting at the altar for it to be over, and the congregation is standing in their pews doing the same. It’s never an organic / dynamic thing to sing even the most beautiful polyphonic Kyrie at the new Mass. It’s like «the lord be with you. Lets confess our sins and then stand and listen to a Kyrie together».

    If we could’ve sung both the introit and kyrie during the procession most of the ‘waiting’ would’ve disappeared. And I’m not saying that Mass in general is a drag and goes on for too long. I play the organ and sing the tlm once a month in a hideous modernist church, with a tiny congregation, and a priest who struggles both with latin and with singing, and a simple Missa cantata with a short communion line always takes 1,5h+. But it’s never a drag, because I sing WHILE the priest is praying. Introit and Kyrie during the priests introibo and insence. Partly the Gradual while the priest is reciting it, allthough there’s a little wait (but the gradual is made to be a melismatic meditative piece anyways) Offertory, Sanctus and Agnus Dei are also sung while the priest is praying / doing stuff. The priest’s work and my work are in harmony, and it’s all just very very beautiful, even at this ugly church with a tone deaf celebrant! Now, in the Novus Ordo the priest always has to wait for the chants to be over before he continues. And it just makes it all very horizontal and staccato, especially when we sing, as I mentioned, 200 year old requiems.

    Sorry for my rambling by the way. I hope someone has an answer to my question! Thanks.
  • PaxTecum
    Posts: 313
    - At a Novus Ordo funeral (ie: with the body present) there is no "penitential act" so there is no need for anyone to recite anything afterward, however you can sing the introit followed by kyrie (it is permitted by the rubrics) as you describe

    -At a regular Novus Ordo Mass you could not do that

    -At a Novus Ordo "Mass for the Dead" which is not a funeral (ie: without the body present) you could also not do that
  • MarkB
    Posts: 1,040
    Perhaps what you are beginning to realize is that some of the music composed for the preconciliar liturgy is not suitable for use in the reformed, postconciliar liturgy.

    It is not ideal to use musical settings of the Mass ordinary that the congregation will stand and listen to instead of sing. That worked and was acceptable in the preconciliar liturgy because the singing of the schola was parallel to the liturgical action instead of being the liturgical action.

    Now, in the reformed liturgy, the sung ordinary is not parallel to the liturgy, the sung ordinary is the unified liturgical action at that moment. If you are using settings of the Mass ordinary for which "the priest is waiting at the altar for it to be over, and the congregation is standing in their pews doing the same," instead of the priest and the congregation singing those texts, which belong to them to sing at Mass, then you have chosen an unsuitable musical setting for the postconciliar liturgy.

    "Now, in the Novus Ordo the priest always has to wait for the chants to be over before he continues." That's because the sung ordinary is the unified liturgical action at that moment. Musical settings of the ordinary should be sung by all, as a general rule and as an ideal. If a musical setting of the ordinary cannot be sung by all, it is probably unsuitable for frequent use in the new Mass.
    Thanked by 1hilluminar
  • FSSPmusic
    Posts: 253
    in the preconciliar liturgy because the singing of the schola was parallel to the liturgical action instead of being the liturgical action
    As though the celebrant sitting at the sedilia were the liturgical action rather than the sung proclamation of a sacred text...
    If a musical setting of the ordinary cannot be sung by all, it is probably unsuitable for frequent use in the new Mass.
    I have never attended a Catholic funeral where this "ideal" was realized. The substitute for real congregational singing is typically an amplified cantor and a mostly silent congregation, which they call active participation.
  • CantorCole
    Posts: 47
    @FSSPmusic

    According to the Tridentine rubrics, I would say the actual liturgical action is the quiet recitation of the ordinary by the celebrant, since, due to complex historical processes, the rubrics of the low Mass were inserted into the Solemn High Mass and became the norm.
    Thanked by 2a_f_hawkins MarkB
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,081
    it's both, obviously, in the 1570 as such, keeping in mind that what was going on elsewhere and much later is not the same thing.

    I agree with Patrick though about the ideal versus, err, reality.

    To Mark's point, I hate to be rude, but the Gloria is explicitly permitted to be polyphonic according to the GIRM, but even beyond that: the priest stands around for the Sanctus, and priests, particularly bishops, are not only not musically skilled as they perhaps ought to be, but they don't need to be. Yes, i've run into many who are musically trained with beautiful voices and who sing beautifully at the altar, but why do they in particular need to sing the Sanctus before beginning the Canon (anaphora)? You also have to, in the US at least, sing, stop, fuss with the kneeler, and then the priest can continue aloud (or sung, but probably aloud). The rubrical ban on the fluidity present in the TLM is a problem — it's not like we'd miss the consecration anyway, since you have to wait in case the choir doesn't finish before you get to that point, which is rarely a problem with chant but may happen with polyphony.

    Plus, even as I don't even like the whole repertoire (I've made my point here and elsewhere about the Mozart and Fauré Requiem masses, to the great displeasure of some), I do think it absurd to just trash, in particular, the Renaissance masters… and I don't even like that week in and week out or even on the major feasts (but not Sundays unless those coincide). I'm too much in the Ward-Bellin-Lebon school of chant for that. But once in a while, maybe a few times a year, I really enjoy a polyphonic Mass, and I hope that Our Lord is worshipped properly when we sing these settings. It's ridiculous that we can't use even the Kyrie, Gloria (when there is one in the given setting), Sanctus, and Agnus without someone accusing us of trying to shoehorn it in or feeling like we're being naughty, and it's doubly ridiculous when people say that this isn't an argument, that we have to prove that it's ridiculous.

    I mean, I can read VII, and it says that there is a treasury of sacred polyphony that has a special place, but apparently we can't use it.
  • NihilNominisNihilNominis
    Posts: 997
    Perhaps what you are beginning to realize is that some of the music composed for the preconciliar liturgy is not suitable for use in the reformed, postconciliar liturgy.

    It is not ideal to use musical settings of the Mass ordinary that the congregation will stand and listen to instead of sing. That worked and was acceptable in the preconciliar liturgy because the singing of the schola was parallel to the liturgical action instead of being the liturgical action.

    Now, in the reformed liturgy, the sung ordinary is not parallel to the liturgy, the sung ordinary is the unified liturgical action at that moment. If you are using settings of the Mass ordinary for which "the priest is waiting at the altar for it to be over, and the congregation is standing in their pews doing the same," instead of the priest and the congregation singing those texts, which belong to them to sing at Mass, then you have chosen an unsuitable musical setting for the postconciliar liturgy.

    "Now, in the Novus Ordo the priest always has to wait for the chants to be over before he continues." That's because the sung ordinary is the unified liturgical action at that moment. Musical settings of the ordinary should be sung by all, as a general rule and as an ideal. If a musical setting of the ordinary cannot be sung by all, it is probably unsuitable for frequent use in the new Mass.


    It’s not “parallel” to the “real” liturgical action. Indeed, without a choir there can be no Solemn Mass. Even Vatican II, which did not know the Missal of 1970, says this. Rather, the liturgical actions are layered. Yes, the priest also reads texts, but that’s not creating a “real” and “fake” Gloria or Credo or what have you... ask Pius X!

    The treasury of sacred music is not some foreign import to the liturgy to be tolerated but awkwardly. It existed at the time of the reform and was explicitly valued by the conciliar documents. Congregational song is also valued. These values do not need to be in tension — they were placed in tension by narrow-minded rubricists with an agenda.

    I direct at a TLM where the congregation more often than not sing the whole Ordinary in plainsong. But we can use polyphony too, without any difficulty. Congregational singing and polyphony are served equally well by the old rubrics. Thus I can realize the musical vision of Vatican II, a vision crafted with the old Mass in mind.

    We go from a liturgy in which the Consecration can be surrounded entirely by sublime music receding into prayerful silence, leveraging the artistry of the music to focus on the centrality of the Eucharist, to a liturgy in which that same work of religious art becomes awkward while everyone waits for it to stop, so we can resume the act of reading prayers through a microphone, making best use of exactly none of the resources at hand to craft a moment that is neither aesthetically satisfying, consistent, nor inducing inward prayer.

    Palestrina didn’t change. The rubrics surrounding this moment were revised by narrow-minded activists, and so the music of the liturgy suffers.
  • smvanroodesmvanroode
    Posts: 978
    - At a Novus Ordo funeral (ie: with the body present) there is no "penitential act" so there is no need for anyone to recite anything afterward, however you can sing the introit followed by kyrie (it is permitted by the rubrics) as you describe


    There are two statements for which I would like to see a reference to a source (from the Ordo exsequiarum for instance):
    - that at a funeral there is not supposed to be a Penitential act
    - that it is allowed to sing the Kyrie directly following the Introit, i.e. before the Sign of the Cross
    Thanked by 1irishtenor
  • trentonjconn
    Posts: 575
    Odd as it may seem, alius cantus aptus could be read to permit, if not THE kyrie of the Mass, at least A kyrie during the procession, no?
  • smvanroodesmvanroode
    Posts: 978
    The ‘alius cantus congruus’ (mind the change in wording in the 2002 GIRM) is not an excuse to sing anything you want. ‘Congruus’ means that the alternative chant should at least correspond to the liturgical characteristics of the chant it replaces (without stretching its qualities too much to satisfy arbitrary wishes).
  • trentonjconn
    Posts: 575
    Doesn't replacing a proper text chosen by the Church with something a particular community/individual considers more appropriate always involve a certain degree of subjective/arbitrary decision-making?
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,411
    It’s not “parallel” to the “real” liturgical action. Indeed, without a choir there can be no Solemn Mass. Even Vatican II, which did not know the Missal of 1970, says this.
    Right from Pius X the congregation could, if capable, constitute the schola. SC§50 calls for the elimination of unnecessary duplication, and when the 1965 rubrics applied that to the Gloria etc. Abp Lefebvre wrote
    ... the priest singing in the traditional melodies the Kyrie, the Gloria, the creed with the faithful; these are so many good reforms ...
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 1,039
    Order of Christian Funerals, 158: "if the rite of reception of the body takes place at the beginning of the funeral Mass . . . the usual introductory rites for Mass, including the penitential rite, are omitted." The Kyrie is still sung, however, as provided in the Graduale Romanum. If there is a "rite of reception" (of the body), the Sign of the Cross is done to open this rite, prior to the Introit.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw PaxTecum
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,081
    Reforms which the archbishop was willing to go back on — at least on paper.

    Also, the rubric as applied to the 1962 is problematic because the deacon is doing something during the Credo.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • smvanroodesmvanroode
    Posts: 978
    Order of Christian Funerals, 158: "if the rite of reception of the body takes place at the beginning of the funeral Mass . . . the usual introductory rites for Mass, including the penitential rite, are omitted." The Kyrie is still sung, however, as provided in the Graduale Romanum. If there is a "rite of reception" (of the body), the Sign of the Cross is done to open this rite, prior to the Introit.


    Is the Order of Christian Funerals different from the Ordo exsequiarum? Because in the Latin editio typica, I cannot find this. The Dutch translation also doesn’t have this.

    If there were made adaptations in the English translation, I'm not sure if provisions in the Graduale Romanum, which takes the Latin editio typica as point of reference, still apply.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,411
    The rubric as described in that text is not 'applied to the 1962', the Ordo Missae and Ritus Servandus were changed by decree Nuper edita Instructione, AAS 57 (1965) 408-409, and published in editio typica as detailed in this advert in Notitiae #12 1965.
    LIBRERIA EDITRICE VATICANA
    Ordo Missae
    et Ritus servandus
    in celebratione Missae Editio typica
    In-16°, pp. 72, L. 800 ($ 1,40)
    Recens Instructio de sacra Liturgia quasdam induxit variationes rituales in Missam,
    integra atque immutata manente eius generali structura. Revisio proinde sive Ordinis
    Missae, sive Ritus servandi omnino necessaria erat, ut omnia in cultu divino secundum
    ordinem fiant.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,081
    I understand that. I am fairly irritated by what is a really bewildering misunderstanding of my words. My point is that I don’t especially care for the 1965 practice and that it’d be a bad idea to do it in the 1962. I know that the French monasteries do, but they have always insisted that their practice is sui generis and not to be taken as more than what it is.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Paul F. Ford
    Posts: 860
    smvanroode, you wrote:

    The ‘alius cantus congruus’ (mind the change in wording in the 2002 GIRM) is not an excuse to sing anything you want. ‘Congruus’ means that the alternative chant should at least correspond to the liturgical characteristics of the chant it replaces (without stretching its qualities too much to satisfy arbitrary wishes).


    I just compared the 1969 text with the 2002 text; and they seem to be identical. What is the precise change in wording?

    Thank you.
  • NihilNominisNihilNominis
    Posts: 997
    Right from Pius X the congregation could, if capable, constitute the schola. SC§50 calls for the elimination of unnecessary duplication, and when the 1965 rubrics applied that to the Gloria etc. Abp Lefebvre wrote


    I don’t think that changes the fact that one still needs a schola for a solemn Mass no matter who.

    I have no investment in Lefebvre’s opinions.
    Thanked by 2MatthewRoth tomjaw
  • smvanroodesmvanroode
    Posts: 978
    @Paul F. Ford
    I just compared the 1969 text with the 2002 text; and they seem to be identical. What is the precise change in wording?

    Thank you.


    You are right, the wording didn’t even change between 1969 and 2002. I always assumed that in the 1969 text there was ‘alius cantus aptus’ because everybody is used to talk about it. A reminder for myself: always check the original source!

    Nevertheless: ‘congruus’ links the alternative chant much stronger to the liturgical action or liturgical season and the musical genre than ‘aptus’ does, i.e. you can’t sing a Kyrie before the Sign of the Cross and delude yourself to belief that that’s ok.
    Thanked by 1Paul F. Ford
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,411
    MatthewRoth I can only apologize for reading more into your statement than it said. I have some experience of how infuriating it can be and can only repeat "I am sorry". Especially as I agree with the statement,
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,081
    It’s all good.
  • fcbfcb
    Posts: 336
    I think if I could undo one reform of the 1969 Order of Mass it would be to go back to Introit, Kyrie, [Gloria,], Salutation, Collect. It seems to me that (particularly, but not exclusively, in sung Masses) this allows a sufficient "Godward" momentum to develop before the "horizontal" element enters in with the Salutation.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,081
    You have written elsewhere about the loss of fluidity specific to breaking up the introit and Kyrie, but you hold this position consistently, and this theme comes up here for example.
    Thanked by 2NihilNominis tomjaw
  • NihilNominisNihilNominis
    Posts: 997
    @fcb -

    Most jarringly, at a large diocesan liturgy... huge choir, brass, organ. Nice prelude, magnificent processional hymn, Introit. Last note still hanging in the air:

    Bishop: “Good evening, I’m so glad you all could join us tonight. Before we begin our celebration, I’d like to say a few words [...]”

    Funnily enough, couldn’t tell you why, I had gotten the distinct impression that we *had* begun our celebration already...
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,081
    Yes. I have been lucky that even if the priest won’t sing, they go to the sign of the cross etc. and Confiteor immediately on the occasions in the last decade or so where the NO is the liturgy du jour.
  • trentonjconn
    Posts: 575
    Nice prelude, magnificent processional hymn, Introit. Last note still hanging in the air:

    Bishop: “Good evening, I’m so glad you all could join us tonight. Before we begin our celebration, I’d like to say a few words [...]”


    Makes me shudder...
    Thanked by 2tomjaw LauraKaz
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,411
    Collecta - the prayer said by the presiding bishop when all are assembled and he has arrived.
    Thanked by 2NihilNominis Elmar
  • CantorCole
    Posts: 47
    @NihilNominis

    To be fair, I attended a Byzantine Liturgy once, and the priest gave his introduction before the main part of the Liturgy started (i.e. before the Litanies and readings, but after the introductory rites)*. So such a liturgical flow is not unheard of in other liturgical families. However, I agree the way that some celebrants go about it is not the most ideal...

    *This experience did not seem unnatural or forced
    Thanked by 1NihilNominis
  • trentonjconn
    Posts: 575
    But why is it necessary? We managed to get on just fine without it for ~1900 years.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,411
    trentonjconn - it is a mistake to suppose that liturgical practice before 1570 at parish Masses, or indeed at any Mass with a congregation, had a rule of ignoring the congregation.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,734
    @a_f_hawkins
    trentonjconn - it is a mistake to suppose that liturgical practice before 1570 at parish Masses, or indeed at any Mass with a congregation, had a rule of ignoring the congregation.


    Firstly it is a mistake to assume that the 1570 Missal was a novelty.
    Secondly it is a mistake to suggest that 'ignoring the congregation' as you put it is a bad thing.
    Thirdly it can safely be demonstrated that regulating the devotion and actions of the congregation has been partly responsible for the emptying of our churches. I for one could not stand being elbowed to stand up, sit down, shake hands and sing a silly song by someone who thinks following the actions in time to everyone else is the only way you can participate.
  • trentonjconn
    Posts: 575
    For clarity, I'm not referring to "ignoring the congregation" in general, whatever that might mean. I'm referring specifically to inserting ad libbed announcements/conversation into the beginning of Mass.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,411
    As I already indicated, technically/historically at an event at which the Bishop presides the opening greeting/remarks of the Bishop when he has arrived at his cathedra are the beginning. Regrettably, not all bishops can avoid bathos at this point. Public presiding skills seem not to be automatically infused by episcopal consecration.
  • Liam
    Posts: 5,004
    There may be evidence that such skills may be challenged by such consecration.