Kyrie when Penitential Rite is omitted?
  • Is the Kyrie part of the Penitential Rite, or on those occasions when the OF Missal says the Penitential Rite is omitted, can the Kyrie still be sung?

    I encounter this problem mostly on Ash Wednesday and at Nuptial masses. Is there any definitive position on this topic?
  • Someone else can cite the GIRM specifically, but the gist of your answer is:

    -The Kyrie is a part of the Penitential Rite. If there's not Penitential Rite (now called Penitential Act), no Kyrie.
    -At Nuptial Masses under RM3, there is no Penitential Act but the Gloria is said/sung.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,113
    I've actually found that the GIRM is quite clear that the Kyrie is after the penitential rite (which means it would NOT be part of the penitential rite).

    It's not quite clear, but I'd argue that the kyrie should be done in cases when the penitential rite is omitted, since it was not included in the non-existent penitential rite.
  • Though I agree with Ben, it's rather ambiguous, and I can see either course being justified as the correct one.

    Here's an example from the Vigil of Pentecost:
    "a) If First Vespers (Evening Prayer I) celebrated in choir or in common immediately precede Mass, the celebration may begin either from the introductory verse and the hymn (Veni, creator Spiritus) or else from the singing of the Entrance Antiphon with the procession and greeting of the Priest; in either case the Penitential Act is omitted (cf. General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours, nos. 94 and 96).
    Then the Psalmody prescribed for Vespers follows, up to but not including the Short
    Reading.
    After the Psalmody, omitting the Penitential Act, and if appropriate, the Kyrie (Lord,
    have mercy)
    , the Priest says the prayer Grant, we pray, almighty God, that the splendor, as at the Vigil Mass."

    The Kyrie is part of the Penitential Act, however, if option C (with the tropes) is used.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,560
    Somebody get Pope Benedict to celebrate a Nuptial Mass and we'll take notes...

    Or perhaps we should just look and see what he did last Ash Wednesday.
  • I always thought the Kyrie was part of the Penitential Act and therefor would not be sung if the Penitential Act is omitted. That is how we do it at the seminary and the priests there are pretty savvy when it comes to the liturgy.
  • From the GIRM:
    "The Penitential Act
    51. After this, the Priest calls upon the whole community to take part in the Penitential Act, which, after a brief pause for silence, it does by means of a formula of general confession. The rite concludes with the Priest’s absolution, which, however, lacks the efficacy of the Sacrament of Penance.
    From time to time on Sundays, especially in Easter Time, instead of the customary Penitential Act, the blessing and sprinkling of water may take place as a reminder of Baptism.

    The Kyrie, Eleison
    52. After the Penitential Act, the Kyrie, eleison (Lord, have mercy), is always begun, unless it has already been part of the Penitential Act. Since it is a chant by which the faithful acclaim the Lord and implore his mercy, it is usually executed by everyone, that is to say, with the people and the choir or cantor taking part in it."

    Like I said, it seems either interpretation has merit, so without further clarification, go with what the Priest says, I guess. I know I've certainly done it both ways.
    Thanked by 1Cailín Ceol Naofa
  • What did the Pope do on Ash Wednesday, by the way?
  • Thanks for the "clarification" ClemensRomanus.
  • RobertRobert
    Posts: 338
    ClemensRomanus: there was no Kyrie at the Papal Mass for Ash Wednesday in 2012; the Collect immediately followed the Introit.

    http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/libretti/2012/20120222.pdf

  • Thanks to all.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    52. After the Penitential Act, the Kyrie, eleison (Lord, have mercy), is always begun, unless it has already been part of the Penitential Act. Since it is a chant by which the faithful acclaim the Lord and implore his mercy, it is usually executed by everyone, that is to say, with the people and the choir or cantor taking part in it."

    Can somebody settle this once and for all?

    It seems like this discussion has popped up again and again.

    unless it has already been part of the Penitential Act

    Is this not how the Kyrie can occur inside the Penitential Rite?

    image
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,636
    I have a rule I follow. Ask the pastor. If in doubt, ask the pastor again. JMO, my understanding is that the option you have posted is correct and allowed.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,011
    JMO and ClemensRomanus are correct. It is possible that the Kyrie (Lord, have mercy) is included in some forms (ie. those with troped Kyries), but not all forms, of the Penitential Rite. GIRM 52 covers the cases where the Kyrie has not been incorportated into the Penitential Rite.

    If it ain't been sung already, then sing it!!
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,113
    Yes, Jeff, the kyrie with tropes can appear within the penitential act, but the standalone kyrie, without the tropes, is not part of the penitential act, the GIRM seems pretty clear.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,577
    But what's not clear is whether the occasional instructions to omit the penitential act was necessarily intended to be read restrictively to refer to only #6 in the Missal or more broadly to both ##6&7 in the Order of the Mass.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,113
    That's where the question lies.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,011
    Why is it not clear? Instructions to omit the Penitential Rite refer only to the Penitential Rite and not to the Kyrie (if not sung before). Sections 6 and 7 of the Missal are, respecitvely, the Penitential Rite and the Kyrie, and the omission instructions refer only to section 6, not to section 7. Good grief, what's the problem?
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,281
    CHG-
    The problem is that it's the Novus Ordo. We all know that none of the rubrics are clear in the Novus Ordo. You can do whatever you want in the Novus Ordo- so many options, it's just too confusing.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,011
    Actually, this one seems quite clear when read at face value. The real problem is that far too many priests, liturgists, and musicians think they can get away with anything, just to suit their fancy.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,577
    Because, substantively, #7 partakes of the character of #6, that's why.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,011
    What does the Roman Missal have to say about this?

    From the GIRM (emphasis mine):
    52. After the Penitential Act, the Kyrie, eleison (Lord, have mercy), is always begun, unless it has already been part of the Penitential Act. Since it is a chant by which the faithful acclaim the Lord and implore his mercy, it is usually executed by everyone, that is to say, with the people and the choir or cantor taking part in it.

    From the Order of Mass (emphasis mine):
    7. The Kyrie, eleison (Lord, have mercy) invocations follow, unless they have just occurred in a formula of the Penitential Act.

    Character or not, subtantively or not, it is abundantly clear and very specific from what is written in the Roman Missal that the "Kyrie eleison (Lord, have mercy) invocations" are not part of the Penitential Act (sorry for mislabelling it Rite instead of Act previously). Moreover, unless the Roman Missal explicitly says that both the Penitential Act and the Kyrie are to be omitted, as in the Vigil of Pentecost following First Vespers (Evening Prayer), then any instruction omitting just the Penitential Act cannot refer both to the Penitential Act and the Kyrie.

    The Kyrie is not some tail that is pinned on the donkey, not some moustache that is painted on a poster, not frosting on a cake nor sprinkes on an ice-cream sundae, not some attire put on to dress up an occasion. No, the Kyrie was there before the Penitential Act was ever formulated and made a part of the Mass, and the author(s) of the Roman Missal have been very explicit in taking care not to make it seem as if the Penitential Act is some sort of "holy swiffer" that sweeps up the "holy dust" of the Kyrie and carries it away whenever the Penitential Act is omitted. End of metaphors.

    To hem and haw about and excuse omitting – or, worse, to make it ones agenda to omit – the Kyrie whenever the Penitential Act is omitted is wrong, irrespective of whether it has been (and is being) done, illicitly or through misunderstanding.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,560
    Edited..

    Perhaps my message was a bit testy :)

    That being said... typically when the documents aren't clear (and they aren't in this case), I look at what Pope Benedict is doing and use that as my guide. This isn't World Youth Day in the 90s - Papal liturgies are well thought out and respect the Missal and GIRM. If the Papal MC thinks that the Kyrie is to be omitted on Ash Wednesday, I tend to follow his example.
  • Let's not be testy, Matthew. The above are simply parsing what the documents actually say. The liturgy isn't necessarily normative only because the pope has celebrated it a certain way.

    The GIRM, as well as the text of the Missal itself, sets the Kyrie apart from the Penitential Act (both are part of the Introductory Rites). GIRM 46 names it as a separate rite, and #52 is not only its own section, but specifically says that it comes "after the Penitential Act."

    Something that comes after the Penitential Act is not the Penitential Act.
  • Thank you all for clarifications regarding my initial answer to the OP. Here I was thinking I understood the liturgy....
  • That's quite true, Andrew. I recall reading that even after the 1955 Holy Week changes, Pope John XXIII still used aspects of the pre-1955 Good Friday liturgy, preferring to retrieve the Sactissimum himself rather than allow the deacon to retrieve it (I know it's not a perfect analogy by any means).
  • Thank you all for the help. I buy the argument that the Penitential Act and Kyrie are separate. But how can I convince my priest in 1 minute or less that I should sing the Kyrie at the wedding this Saturday?

    He is very conservative and wants to do things by the book, but from his reading, "no Penitential Act" also means "no Kyrie."
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,511
    Maybe you can make a deal to do it his way for now, and for the next time check with the diocesan Office for Worship to get guidance.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,560
    I'd be willing to bet most Diocesan Offices of Worship will say not to do the Kyrie.
    Thanked by 1marajoy
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,511
    Either way, it resolves the question; if they tell you to do the wrong thing, at least you have permission.
  • Paul_D
    Posts: 133
    1. To definitively answer one of cantorconvert’s points – on Ash Wednesday, the Kyrie may be sung (as you have phrased it). It may also be omitted. No ambiguity in the Missal (preamble to Ash Wednesday.) Do it or don’t do it, it’s up to the priest, who is custodian of the liturgy in the parish. Perfectly licit either way. No sense arguing over it.

    2. If Mass begins with the Rite of Blessing and Sprinkling of Holy Water (as it may on any Sunday,) there is no Kyrie. Period. Missal is clear (Appendix II.) No Kyrie, straight to the Gloria afterwards (in season.)

    3. If part of Vespers is combined with Mass, replacing the Penitential Act, the General Instruction on the Liturgy of the Hours says that “at choice” the Kyrie is omitted (GILH n.94). Clear: do it or don’t do it; the priest, who is custodian of the liturgy in the parish, gets to decide. Perfectly licit either way. (How often are you going to do this anyway?)

    4. For the Rite of Marriage, ... I think there is a revised edition in the works, and I would expected some clarification of this issue, so wait and see.

    The wording of the rubrics in situ before the Kyrie in the Order of Mass is probably a little vague because it’s not really the best place to list all the specific circumstances at that point in the Missal.

    I don’t get the grousing about choices in the Novus Ordo. There are a small, finite number of choices, allowing for legitimate variety; a much better way than having the “liturgy committee” come up with their own “creative” variations that are not legitimate. That’s really been the source of problems, not the use of legitimate and worthy ritual variety.
    Thanked by 1ClemensRomanus
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,011
    4. For the Rite of Marriage, ... I think there is a revised edition in the works, and I would expected some clarification of this issue, so wait and see.
    And if you can't wait and see, then follow the Rite of Marriage rubric currently given:
    The Penitential Act is omitted. The Gloria in excelsis (Glory to God in the highest) is said.
    And, because the Penitential Act does not include the Kyrie, the Kyrie is said. Of course "said" means "said or sung".
  • Paul_D
    Posts: 133
    On the other hand, The Kyrie follows the penitential act. Therefore, no penitential act, no Kyrie. (A hard act to follow, evidently.) Therein lies the problem – someone’s interpretation is required.

    Claiming that the Kyrie is an independent ritual element, not dependent on what precedes it, is an interpretation which does not necessarily follow from the rubrics or any magisterial source. On the other hand, the rites themselves indicate that the Kyrie is related to whatever precedes it. Consider it a “penitential doxology”. Like the Gloria Patri, it is a ritual culmination and local climax of a liturgical element (in this case a corporate penitential act.) Like the Gloria Patri, it is also a prayer with its own internal logic. (One could pray the Gloria Patri on its own, though this does not occur in the liturgy. All analogies limp, but this is not intended to be a definitive analogy.)

    The black-and-white conclusion that the Kyrie always stands on its own loses the nuances of its relation to what precedes it.

    Final point: an interpretation of this nature is beyond the competence of an episcopal conference and requires clarification from the Congregation. Anyone want to send the letter? Until then, it is NOT a free-for-all. A temporary clarification must at least be requested from your local ordinary. This sort of thing should not vary from parish to parish.
    Thanked by 2marajoy hilluminar
  • Looking at the rubrics for the ritual Mass for the conferral of baptism apart from the Vigil, one reads "the Penitential Act, the Kyrie, and the Creed are omitted." Compare that with the ritual Mass for marriage, which says that the Penitential Act is omitted, and the Gloria is said. Both rubrics say to skip the Penitential Act. The first rubric explicitly says to skip the Kyrie, while the second does not. I think the simplest interpretation is best. The Kyrie is always said (or sung), unless included in the Penitential Rite, or explicitly excluded by special rubric.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,113
    Paul, I'm not sure if that follows logically. The GIRM presents the kyrie as quite separate from the penitential act. Indeed, it always follows the penitential act, but if the penitential act act is skipped, then one would just move on to the next part of the Mass, the kyrie.
    Thanked by 1E_A_Fulhorst
  • mahrt
    Posts: 504
    It is a good policy to follow what the priest wants, but there is another good policy: remind the priest what the rubrics require. There has been a lot of down-playing of the Ordinary of the Mass; very often the Kyrie or the Gloria or the Creed is omitted at a normal Sunday Mass, and often priests just think that this is how to do it; a polite reminder of the rubrics can serve a good purpose.

    I believe, however, that the rubrics are contradictory. Several days show rubrics on the proper pages for the day that say after a special ritual action, the collect is then said, implying that both the penitential rite and the Kyrie are omitted. I would hold that at least rubrically the Kyrie is a separate item from the penitential act; in the GIRM they are both numbered separately, and thus the rubric saying that the Kyrie is always said should be taken seriously.

    Moreover, in the context in which one is attempting to cultivate congregational singing of the Ordinary, what sense does it make to omit the Kyrie?
  • Paul_D
    Posts: 133
    There is a subtlety here that is being missed: the Kyrie has an identity of its own, but it is not independent of what has preceded it.

    Ben claims, “The GIRM presents the Kyrie as quite separate from the Penitential Act.”

    No, look at the whole picture: the Missal and GIRM present the Kyrie as an element which is incorporated into a Penitential Act, or follows a Penitential act, or is omitted entirely when the sprinkling rite is used; and in the funeral rites when the body is greeted at the door; and (likely) in the rite or marriage; and sometimes when the office is incorporated.

    The rite of sprinkling is a guide: it “takes the place of the usual Penitential Act.” It does not include the Kyrie. This is perhaps the best ritual reference, because it is not drawn from another ceremony, but is part of the Mass itself.

    The rites express our theology of worship. Whenever the Kyrie is used, there is some kind of related preparation. One does not just “up” and sing the Kyrie. One prepares by reflection (i.e. penitential act or the psalmody of the hours).

    Likely this is why it does not say “The Kyrie is said;” rather, the Kyrie “follows”. It is interesting to note the use of this term elsewhere in the Missal, usually where a string of elements are grouped together.

    Therefore, I am not convinced of your assertion that the Kyrie is said when the penitential act is omitted (unless specified otherwise). I think all the rites point to the contrary.

    Per Dr. Mahrt’s comments, yes by all means remind priests of rubrics, but if you dealing in the realm of opinion as in this case, be sure to admit that. And by using the sprinkling rite, for example, what an excellent opportunity for all to sing the Vidi aquam or Asperges me!

    HOWEVER, finally, I would not be surprised if the eventual revised rubrics for the Rite of Marriage says, “The Penitential Act is omitted, and, at choice, the Kyrie.” But until then, someone in authority needs to be consulted.

    Thanked by 1hilluminar
  • The thing that frustrates me most about this whole conversation is that the missal itself doesn't seem to take the rubrics seriously. Or at the least, it seems like something new that doesn't yet have the kinks ironed out - not exactly what you might expect from the book of ceremonies of a two thousand year old organization. Why should lay musicians even be having this conversation?

    All other Vatican II discussion aside, the old missal was a systematic approach to how to celebrate mass. I long for that level of organization as I plan music and deal with brides-to-be.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,281
    cantorconvert:

    1. I am of the opinion that the Rubrics are clear in the current Missal (at least on this matter- but also on most others), as are other people. I find many of the above comments to be reading way too far into the instruction, trying to infer confusion where none exists.

    2. The age of our venerable organization is likely to create more confusion, rather than give it time to settle down. In software we call this "cruft," and it is always in greater abundance on "legacy systems."

    3. Have you had a great deal of experiencing planning weddings (and other liturgies) in accordance with the 1962 Missal? I don't know you at all, so I would not suggest that you don't have the credentials to call the older missal a "systematic approach to how to celebrate mass," and (in so doing) declare it to be drastically easier to understand and implement as compared to the current Missal. But at least some part of me thinks that perhaps if you did have such credentials, you wouldn't make such a statement.

    If the rubrics for the 1962 Missal were so obvious and clear (as compared to the current), I should think that we would have no need for a specialist class of Latin-reading EF MCs. I would also expect there to be way fewer questions on this board and other places about how to do this or that thing in an EF liturgy.

    4. English or Latin, clear or confusing- there is no rubricist in the world that can wield instruction manuals in a fight with a bride (and her mother) and hope for a victory based on the might of legislation.
  • Adam, #4: Lol, too true.
  • WJA
    Posts: 237
    Paul_D said:
    1. To definitively answer one of cantorconvert’s points – on Ash Wednesday, the Kyrie may be sung (as you have phrased it). It may also be omitted. No ambiguity in the Missal (preamble to Ash Wednesday.) Do it or don’t do it, it’s up to the priest, who is custodian of the liturgy in the parish. Perfectly licit either way. No sense arguing over it.

    When you refer to the preamble to Ash Wednesday, which language are you citing?

    By the way, thanks to everyone for this enlightening thread. This issue has perplexed me from time to time.
    Thanked by 1Paul_D
  • Paul_D
    Posts: 133
    WJA – good catch! I was reading the page before Ash Wednesday note 1 (how to cite?) But in my haste I failed to notice that I was reading the general procedure for a Lenten stational Mass with procession.

    Therefore this does not help answer cantorconvert’s original question as I had proposed. I could go on, but I'm giving up at this point.

    In light of all this, I laughed when I dug up my diocesan Ordo from the past Ash Wednesday. The first “pastoral note” for Ash Wednesday says,

    “It is important to read the Roman Missal, beforehand.”

    I wonder if they meant the whole thing?
  • hartleymartin
    Posts: 1,447
    I had beleived that the "Penitential Act" was either to recite the confiteor or the tropes used by the priest.

    The "Penitential Rite" consists of of the examination of conscience, confiteor, absolution and kyrie.
  • ZENIT's Fr. Edward McNamara weighs in here.
  • SkirpRSkirpR
    Posts: 853
    Judging by some of the logic expressed earlier in this post, if the Kyrie is not intrinsically part of the "Penitential Act" except when you do it with tropes (instead of the Confiteor) then in those cases when the Penitential Act is to be omitted, one must know which form of the Pentitential Act would have been done to decide on whether to omit the Kyrie.

    This is ludicrous. I understand tradition, and see the point in the wording of the documents, but it seems effectively clear to me that the Kyrie (for better or worse) in the OF is now considered part of the Penitential Act.
  • No need to get carried away now. To interpret "Kyrie, eleison (Lord, have mercy), is always begun, unless it has already been part of the Penitential Act" to mean that the Kyrie itself is not part of the Penitential Act is no more "ludicrous" than reading "the Alleluia or the Verse before the Gospel, if not sung, may be omitted" and wondering whether the Alleluia or Verse before the Gospel may be omitted if sung. These instructions are poorly and confusingly worded and need to be rewritten for the next edition of the Roman Missal, whenever that may be.
    Thanked by 1ClemensRomanus
  • SkirpRSkirpR
    Posts: 853
    ...to mean that the Kyrie itself is not part of the Penitential Act is no more "ludicrous" than reading "the Alleluia or the Verse before the Gospel, if not sung, may be omitted" and wondering whether the Alleluia or Verse before the Gospel may be omitted if sung.


    You make my point.
  • Whatever. Both instructions are clear as mud.
  • SkirpRSkirpR
    Posts: 853
    Actually, in the rubric in the Order of Mass in the Missal is a shade clearer than that in the GIRM. It states, "The Kyrie, eleison (Lord, have mercy) invocations follow, unless they have just occurred in a formula of the Penitential Act." Calling them "Kyrie invocations" rather than "the Kyrie" seem to make it part of something greater.
  • I'm not sure what papal masses have done in the past on this issue, but the program for today's papal mass in the Vatican has no penitential rite as per the missal, and yet has the Kyrie printed. Would seem to indicate that the Kyrie is not part of the penitential rite.

    Here's the link: http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/libretti/2013/20130202.pdf
  • Then again, I'm not sure how seriously to take this program. I thought today was a Feast without Creed, yet they have the Credo printed in the program. Maybe Presentation of the Lord has a different status in Rome.