Sunday XXVI (Year A), Introit and Gradual
  • This Sunday's Introit and Gradual (in the Graduale Romanum) are based on Phil 2:6-11, which is the Second Reading. But, yet again, the Missal and the Lectionary don't reflect this. Can someone refresh my memory as to why? I seem to recall the rationale being that sometimes (for some reason!) "propers for spoken Masses" (as per the Missal and Lectionary) are different from "propers for sung Masses" (as per the Graduale Romanum).

    Usually I find that the Lectionary Psalm closely matches the Gradual... but I guess not this time, since the Gradual isn't a Psalm.

    Why is this? Why do missalettes like "Breaking Bread" -- which give music for the Responsorial Psalm -- following the Lectionary when it differs so widely from the Gradual?

    This is such a foul-up. It's like the Missal and Lectionary are actively working against the Graduale.
  • I often find that the lectionary Psalm and gradual don't correspond. Yes, I do believe the MR and LfM are working against the Graduale Romanum, or rather the compilers of the MR and LfM were. GIRM 61 says, "The responsorial Psalm should correspond to each reading and should, as a rule, be taken from the Lectionary." Whereas the GR and GS contain the first option for the entrance chant, such is not the case for the Responsorial Psalm, and I don't think that such is the case for spoken masses only. Missalettes follow the LfM. Although I have complaints against the N.O. lectionary, the inclusion of the responsorial psalm at the expense of the gradual isn't one of them.
  • Jevoro
    Posts: 108
    Please have a look at:

    "Graduale or Missale: The Confusion Resolved" By Christoph Tietze in: Sacred Music Volume 133.4, Winter 2006

    You may download the content on
  • RobertRobert
    Posts: 343
    Although the official rationale has to do with the distinction between sung and read Masses (see the Tietze article), I think there's more to the story here.

    Bugnini, in his memoir of the reform, recounts the process by which this change came about. (I don't have the book in front of me, just going by memory). A number of council Fathers were polled for feedback on whether certain proposed reforms to the missal were desirable. One of the questions they were asked was whether the Missal should include a selection of entrance and communion antiphons to be recited at read Masses "for spiritual fruit". Most of them responded that it sounded like a good idea. I imagine many of them were confused by the question, though. Bugnini also states that part of the intention was that these new texts would be the basis for musical compositions in the vernacular.

    Here's my pet theory on what was going on behind the scenes: At the time with the new lectionary, there was a mismatch between the Graduale propers and the readings much of the time. The Ordo Cantus Missae, let's remember, didn't emerge until a few years after the Missal had been assembled. The compilers of the missal probably felt that there would never be a way to make the propers fit into the new lectionary, so they made their own propers to be models for translations, thinking Latin celebrations would be rare anyway. This was all put together rather hurriedly, though. When the Ordo Cantus Missae emerged (the work of Benedictine monks, I think), it turned out that the compilers of that work had done an excellent job arranging the antiphons in the existing repertory to fit the new lectionary -- often, particularly in the case of the Communion antiphons, they fit better than what the compilers of the Missal proposed!
  • The Sunday propers in the 1974 Graduale are, for the most part, simply "lifted" from the 1962 missal (where "sung and "spoken" texts were identical) and resorted to new liturgical calendar. Hence there is no real relation (as far I can tell) between the Gregorian propers and the new lectionary (with the exception of some Communion antiphons, which were newly selected with the revised lectionary in mind). The old propers had been intact for each Sunday, for centuries and were (naturally) in no way related to the new lectionary. In particular, the texts of the Gradual have no relation to the responsorial psalms. For one thing, the resp. psalms are n a three-year cycle, whereas the Graduals are not.

    Perhaps this is yet another reason why chant, particularly the proper mass chants, fell into such disuse after the Council. Besides the delay in the issuing of the new Gradual, as Robert mentioned, the propers don't seem to make a lot of sense vis-a-vis the new lectionary, as they were originally intended for a different set of readings.

    Sam Schmitt
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    I would be very interested in learning who assigned the Gregorian Propers to the New Mass.
  • So it seems that about 2/3 of the propers match and about 1/3 do not.

    Someone said that all of this is confusing. Yes, it is, so confusing in fact that the translators of the GIRM clearly did not understand it. The confusion is still there in the English. Actually, the text as it stands make no real sense.

    Someone is going to have to fix all this at some point.
  • Has anybody else noticed that this year, the chant propers for ordinary time (1970 Missal) and after Pentecost (1962 Missal) seem to be in synch? I just noticed it last week, when the propers for the 25th Sunday of Ordinary time are the same as those for the 19th Sunday after Pentecost. Comparing the older and newer Roman Graduals, there's a long stretch of Sundays where they match. I wonder how often that happens? Maybe it has to do with this year's very early Easter? I did know that the propers for the newer Mass uses sets of propers from the older in many cases.

    This Sunday, the correspondence is less complete than last Sunday, because both the Introit (In nomine Domini)and Gradual (Christus factus est) for year A use texts from the Philippians epistle read in year A. In years B and C, the 26th Sunday OT and 20th Sunday after Pentecost match.
  • I found a connection (between propers and readings) in this year's 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Hopefully not too contrived.
  • Am I wrong in thinking that the readings from the 1962 missal have a better chance of being left in place during cycle A than the other two Sunday cycles? I haven't made an exhaustive comparison, but that may be a reason that the propers seem to be fitting the readings this year? Let me know civily if I'm making an unintelligent comment.
  • mahrt
    Posts: 517
    The premise that the gradual or responsorial psalm should match the lessons is not justified historically. The graduals of the Gregorian repertory for the sundays after Pentecost show evidence of having been based upon a cycle of pieces in psalm-number order, thus an independent cycle throughout the Sundays after Pentecost. The same is true of the Alleluias, where this organization is more systematic. If you compare the lessons with the graduals of the EF you will not find a systematic coordination of lessons with chants. For the major feast days, the chants focus upon the theme of the feast, but for the ordinary Sundays, they exhibit a variety of themes, a much better way to do it than hammering on the "theme of today's Mass."
  • Even when the old lectionary was in use, any connection between the proper chants and the readings assigned to the Sundays after Pentecost was coincidental.

    The introits, for example, consist largely of extracts from the psalms arranged in numerical sequence (with gaps, of course). This arbitrary sequence partly survives in the Ordo Cantus Missae scheme on which the 1974 GR is based.

    Even when the proper chants reflect the "theme" of the day (e.g., at Christmas) they are seldom related directly to the readings.

    Throughout the year direct connection between chants and readings has primarily been confined to communion antiphons and alleluia verses. OCM probably increased the number of occasions when a connection between a chant and a reading is evident.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    At least according to Fortescue, a lot of Introits were chosen (often with great skill) for their direct connection to the feast, but this is not always easy to see nowadays, because we no longer sing the whole Psalm, but just excerpted verses. Sometimes, the original verse that made them choose that Psalm is not even sung, because the Introit has been truncated.