Questions on the sequences and the Sacramentary
  • Mark M.Mark M.
    Posts: 632
    (1) Are the sequences for Easter and/or Pentecost (Victimae paschali laudes and Veni Sancte Spiritus, respectively) included in the Sacramentary — either the text and/or the music? In English or Latin? (Jeffrey T. had mentioned that there's an English version of the Improperia in the Sacramentary.)

    (2) These sequences are required on those respective feast days, right? (I see the GIRM says so. Is there any other authority which would also confirm or refute this?) Is there ever any "okay" reason to omit one or another?

    (3) If not sung, may they be spoken? (If not sung, should they be spoken?)
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,183
    The Ordo cantus Missae introductory norms give an exception: "If the Alleluia is not sung with its verse, the sequence is omitted." The OCM norms are binding for Masses celebrated in Latin. (This is all in the context of the Ordinary Form, of course.)

    The texts of the sequences are not in the Missale Romanum 2002, so I expect they are in the Lectionary (as well as in the Graduale.)
  • dvalerio
    Posts: 341
    You can only ommit the Alleluia (and hence the Sequence) if there is only one reading before the Gospel. On Easter and on Pentecost there are two, so there is no way the Sequence can be ommitted on these days. If not sung, they must be said.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,183
    @dvalerio: Would you cite a source for those rules, to help us all understand how the various documents relate to this question? Thanks.
  • Mark M.Mark M.
    Posts: 632
    Richard, your wonderful translation of the "introductory norms" seem to assume that the Sequence would be sung after the (Gregorian) Alleluia, which would be the most traditional approach. (I seem to recall an article which explained, I think, that the Sequence was an extension of the Alleluia.) Nowadays, it's usually sung before the Alleluia (i.e., the shorter, "triple" Alleluia); see GIRM 64. (I'm sure you know this very well.)

    My "real" question is this: If no version of Victimae paschali laudes was heard this morning — neither Latin nor English, neither sung nor spoken — is this a problem (as I sure feel it is)?
  • I have wondered the same thing (about where the texts of the Sequences are actually found) after looking through the leaked upcoming Missal and being surprised not to find them. I guess someone, somewhere along the line, decided to omit the "Amen. Alleluia"? That's official?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,183
    Well, I'm not a trained expert, but from a superficial reading of GIRM #64, it does seem contrary to omit the Sequence on Easter. (I'm assuming that the Alleluia was sung.) It's a pity.

    If the Sequence is designed to be interpolated between the two proclamations of Alleluia, then the final Alleluia after the Sequence makes sense, but that arrangement seems to be ruled out by the OCM and the GIRM. The OCM says explicitly to omit the Amen, so the authors of that document seem conscious that they were changing something about the structure.
  • godfrey
    Posts: 21
    If I am not mistaken there has been extensive debate about when the Sequence is actually supposed to be sung in the revised Roman Rite.

    The 2000 edition of the GIRM had is sung after the Alleluia. The 2002 edition changed that to before the Alleluia.

    This thread discusses it in more detail.
  • Steve CollinsSteve Collins
    Posts: 1,021
    As the Sequence and the Alleluia were historically linked, they should remain musically/melodically linked, IMO. The EF Mass has the traditional "Alleluia. Alleluia. (insert verse) (omit final Alleluia) Sequence ending with "Amen. Alleluia." The way we do it in the OF is chanting the Sequence seated, flowing IMMEDIATELY into the Gospel Acclamation. I mean no looking for any sacred minister to stand as a signal to begin, or anything else. There is no organ introduction to the Alleluia. The cantor goes from the final note of the Sequence, without hesitation, in rhythm, to the first note of the Alleluia, treating the two pieces as one complete performance piece. The people do stand when they hear "Alleluia".
  • dvalerio
    Posts: 341

    Ordo Cantus Missae § 8: The sequence, if there should be one, is sung after the last Alleluia (...). If the Alleluia with its verse is not sung, the Sequence is ommitted.

    Ordo Cantus Missae § 9: Whenever there is only one lesson before the Gospel, either the Gradual Responsory or the Alleluia with its verse is sung thereafter. But during Easter Time one of the two Alleluias is sung.

    General Instruction of the Roman Missal § 64: The Sequence, which (save on Easter and Pentecost) is ad libitum, is sung before the Alleluia.

    (My translations; I apologise for errors and mistakes.)
  • Aidan
    Posts: 8
    Does anyone know if the whole of the Ordo Cantus Missae available online anywhere?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,183
    I don't know of any on-line source for the whole OCM, but it doesn't matter much. The main body of the book is just a *list* of which chants (taken from the 1961 Graduale) go with which days in the new calendar. The 1974 Graduale was made according to that list (with a few trivial exceptions), so if you have a 1974 Graduale, there's no extra benefit to getting the OCM.
  • Just got the Ordo Cantus Missae. It also contains a list of chants from the old Gradual (1908) that may be used ad libitum with the new missal. These are usually the same propers that are in the 1962 missal but are not referenced as such in the 1974 Graduale. Also the OCM is editio typica altera (1988) so presumably there were some changes made since the first edition (1972). Also of interest is that some of the citations (particularly in the officium defunctorum) are of the Graduale Simplex.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    I'm sure we're all aware the Gregorian Missal specifically calls for the Sequence to be sung AFTER the Gregorian Alleluia Verse.

    This (appears) to be an option.

    It also seems to be an option to sing the Sequence BEFORE the Gospel Acclamation (cf. GIRM).
  • Here is one of many examples of the instability of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite. It seems to be the case that the sequence (by its very nature) should follow the Alleluia. The oddity in the usus antiquior was the singing of Dies irae at Requiem masses which did not have the Alleluia. Now the Alleluia has been restored to the Requiem and the sequence suppressed.

    Ordo Cantus Missae (editio typica altera) is consistent with tradition in all places where the sequence is mentioned:

    8. Sequentia, si casus fert, cantatur post ultimum Alleluia alternatim a cantoribus et a choro, vel a duabus partibus chori, omisso Amen in fine. Si non cantatur Alleluia cum suo versu, omittitur Sequentia.


    78 Ad Missam in die

    Ut in Grad. Rom.
    Post Alleluia, Sequentia Victimae paschali; in diebus infra octavam ad libitum dicitur.
    Ad comm.: ps. 117*, 1. 2. 5. 8. 10. 11. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 28. 29

    Ad Missam in die
    Ut in Grad. Rom.
    Post Alleluia 2, Sequentia Veni, Sancte Spiritus
    Ad comm.: ps. 67*, 2. 4. 5abc. 5d-6. 8. 9. 20. 21. 29. 36
    Ad dimittendum populum: Ite missa est, alleluia, alleluia

    Similarly for the days which have optional sequences: SS.mi Corporis et Sanguinis Christi and B. Mariae Virginis Perdolentis (15 September)

    Now the Missal:
    Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani (3rd edition) (2000, but circulating on the internet as the current version):

    64. Sequentia, quae praeter quam diebus Paschae et Pentecostes, est ad libitum, cantatur post Allelúia.

    And in the printed (2002) copy of the Missal:

    64. Sequentia, quae praeter quam diebus Paschae et Pentecostes, est ad libitum, cantatur ante Allelúia.

    The question, then, is whether the current rubrics of the Missal absolutely supercede the provisions of OCM and, by implication, Graduale Romanum. The only practical reason for the change is to allow the priest, ministers and people to remain seated for the sequence, since standing is the prescribed posture for the Alleluia. Bruce Ford's suggestion of following the traditional order when the proper melodies are sung from the Gradual and otherwise following the Missal seems to me a reasonable solution. I did encounter a further problem with this some years ago when my choir sang Arvo Pärt's Berliner Messe in the context of a Mass on the Day of Pentecost. The setting precluded anything other than the traditional order, although the music was newly-composed for the traditional texts.

    There is much to be said about the stability of the EF and the continuity it has enjoyed over the centuries, organic development notwithstanding.
  • I don't see how anyone can argue that singing the Sequence after the Alleluia is presently an option in the OF. The 2002 GIRM supersedes and overrides older documents like the OCM or the Gregorian Missal (1990) on issues where they differ ("All things to the contrary notwithstanding"). There are very good reasons, I'm sure, why it would be nice to have the option to do it the old way, but those concerns are proper fodder for a letter to the CDWDS or a petition for an indult.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592

    I wouldn't be too quick to disregard the Gregorian Missal. My understanding is that the Solesmes monks have been the OFFICIAL editors of Gregorian chant for the Roman Rite since 1918.

    I would not be too quick to say they are wrong in giving a possible way to sing the chants.

    If you have doubt, why not simply E-mail the Secretariat? Just write, and say, "Hello: the official chant books say the Sequence can be sung after the Alleluia verse. Are they wrong?"

    I would be willing to bet $5.00 you will be told that they are listing a valid option.
  • No one is saying Solesmes is "wrong." They published the Gregorian Missal in full conformity to the rubrics in force at the time. But the rubrics have since been changed, while the Gregorian Missal is an artifact of 1990. Note that the 2002 GIRM, which has the force of a liturgical law, does not say that the Sequence may be sung before the Alleluia, it says that it is sung before the Alleluia. Oh, a previous book said something to the contrary? Well, "Contrariis quibuslibet minime obstantibus."

    Do you have an email address for the Secretariat? I'd be happy to send them an email. Otherwise, maybe you should email Solesmes, and ask whether the next edition of the Gregorian Missal will be changed to conform to the GIRM or whether it will continue to offer a post-Alleluia placement as an "option." :) Five bucks says they intend to make all changes necessary to harmonize with the third edition of the Roman Missal.

    P.S., does anyone know if they are planning a revised addition of the GM? I'd assume so, given the new translation, but I have not heard anything about it.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592

    I appreciate your comments with regard to the current GIRM, but (in case you are not aware of this fact) the GIRM made many mistakes when referencing and referring to Gregorian chants.

    When I say "mistakes," I mean honest-to-goodness mistakes in terminology. Some of these mistakes make the GIRM truly impossible to understand, if taken literally.

    In cases like these, I highly recommend writing to the Secretariat for clarification. I do not recommend writing to Solesmes, for various reasons (e.g. they probably will not respond). The Secretariat's E-mail is listed on the USCCB's website.

    In light of the fact that the GIRM made serious errors of terminology (which have been treated numerous times on this forum), I say again: it is entirely possible that the intention of the current GIRM was not (necessarily) to abolish the rubric in the Gregorian Missal with regard to the singing of the Sequence.

    I am not putting this forth as "fact" --- I'm saying that, in light of what we know about the treatment of chant options by the GIRM, it is entirely *possible* that the rubric in the Solesmes books is still allowed.

    As a practical matter, it really does work better (in many circumstances) to sing the Sequence before the Gospel Acclamation.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    Incidentally, I am not aware of any "official" translation of the Sequences. I have looked numerous places. I cannot find any. Can anyone (please) provide these?
  • ClemensRomanusClemensRomanus
    Posts: 1,023
    I'm almost positive that the 4 Sequences are found in the Lectionary. Try looking there.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    Would it be possible for anyone to post these four Sequences on this thread?
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,072

    The sequences are ICET translations. I believe they are official...
  • Curiously the USSCB website which contains the readings and responsorial psalms does not publish the sequences.
  • Steve CollinsSteve Collins
    Posts: 1,021
    Not only do they publish the Sequences, neither do they publish the Gospel Acclamations for the weekdays. Their excuse is that "there are too many options for the verses". Yet the published Lectionary DOES have a specified GA for EVERY Mass.

    Maybe the confusion about the placement of the Sequence pertains to the simple fact that, in the NO Latin Mass (using the Graduale or Missal) we chant the "Alleluia" Verse. In the NO vernacular Mass, we sing the "Gospel Acclamation". The latter requires us to stand. Does the former?
  • Mark M.Mark M.
    Posts: 632
    I'm glad that this thread has generated as much discussion and insight as it has. Thanks, everyone, for posting.

    As I mentioned earlier, my main question was simply if it was permissible to omit the Sequence altogether on Easter and/or Pentecost. From all I've gathered here, it seems the answer is a pretty clear "no."

    My question was inspired by a local case where the Sequence was omitted, much to my frustration. I will charitably assume that this was an oversight rather than a willful disregard — but I do feel compelled to point out the discrepancy to our clergy nonetheless. This was, after all, a departure (dare I say a "violation" -- ?) of "liturgical law" (to use MarkThompson's words).
  • Interestingly, after a recent discussion with my pastor, he provided me with a copied page from one of his books on rubrics (sorry, I need to ask him which one, but didn't know this thread was underway). The page he gave me is entitled EASTER SEASON at the top and includes:

    ... * The first eight days of the Easter season make up the octave of Easter and are celebrated as solemnities of the Lord. At Mass, Morning Prayer and Vespers, throughout the octave, a double alleluia is added to the dismissal and its response. The sequence, Victimae paschali, obligatory at Mass on Easter Sunday, is optional on the other days of the octave. Easter Preface I is used ("on this day") through the octave day of Easter, namely, the Second Sunday of Easter. ...

    Since the parish had not ever sung the sequence in recent memory, the discussion came about when I asked the pastor about having the choir sing it for Easter this year. We sang the sequence (in English, using the rather clunky translation provided in our "Breaking Bread" books) before the alleluia on Easter Sunday and also on Monday, which was the date of our parish Confirmation Mass with the bishop.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,711
    wlp has a chant setting of the sequence which we did the last two years. this year we sang the hymn version to christ the lord is risen today with the congregation.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592

    Yes, this is why the Gregorian Missal says (on Divine Mercy Sunday) that the Sequence "may" be sung.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,780
    >>the rather clunky translation provided in our "Breaking Bread" books...

    That would be ofFER thankFul saCRIfice? The opening is best amended thus: "Christians, to the Paschal Victim offer your thankful praises as it always appears in Anglo-catholic and Lutheran hymnals as well as in updated OCP & GIA materials. I'm really not sure what official standing the clunky version has. It's hard to imagine a spoken sequence (as in the many discrepancies between sung and spoken propers), but perhaps it has force as the required form for new settings. I see no justification for making a suhcrifface of the Gregorian tune, but maybe (just maybe) that's because I'm not enough of a literalist.
  • BachLover2BachLover2
    Posts: 330
    Can anyone please provide these texts? I notice that the Glory and Praise, Ritual Song, and Gregorian Missal all use different translations of the Sequence. Can nobody post the official text?
  • ClemensRomanusClemensRomanus
    Posts: 1,023
    Veni, Sancte Spiritus

    Come, Holy Spirit, come!
    And from your celestial home
    Shed a ray of light divine!
    Come, Father of the poor!
    Come, source of all our store!
    Come, within our bosoms shine.
    You, of comforters the best;
    You, the soul's most welcome guest;
    Sweet refreshment here below;
    In our labor, rest most sweet;
    Grateful coolness in the heat;
    Solace in the midst of woe.
    O most blessed Light divine,
    Shine within these hearts of yours,
    And our inmost being fill!
    Where you are not, we have naught,
    Nothing good in deed or thought,
    Nothing free from taint of ill.
    Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
    On our dryness pour your dew;
    Wash the stains of guilt away:
    Bend the stubborn heart and will;
    Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
    Guide the steps that go astray.
    On the faithful, who adore
    And confess you, evermore
    In your sevenfold gift descend;
    Give them virtue's sure reward;
    Give them your salvation, Lord;
    Give them joys that never end. Amen.

    The poetic English translation of the sequences of the Roman Missal are taken from the Roman Missal approved by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops of the United States © 1964 by the National Catholic Welfare Conference, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • ClemensRomanusClemensRomanus
    Posts: 1,023
    Lauda Sion

    Laud, O Zion, your salvation,
    Laud with hymns of exultation,
    Christ, your king and shepherd true:

    Bring him all the praise you know,
    He is more than you bestow.
    Never can you reach his due.

    Special theme for glad thanksgiving
    Is the quick'ning and the living
    Bread today before you set:

    From his hands of old partaken,
    As we know, by faith unshaken,
    Where the Twelve at supper met.

    Full and clear ring out your chanting,
    Joy nor sweetest grace be wanting,
    From your heart let praises burst:

    For today the feast is holden,
    When the institution olden
    Of that supper was rehearsed.

    Here the new law's new oblation,
    By the new king's revelation,
    Ends the form of ancient rite:

    Now the new the old effaces,
    Truth away the shadow chases,
    Light dispels the gloom of night.

    What he did at supper seated,
    Christ ordained to be repeated,
    His memorial ne'er to cease:

    And his rule for guidance taking,
    Bread and wine we hallow, making
    Thus our sacrifice of peace.

    This the truth each Christian learns,
    Bread into his flesh he turns,
    To his precious blood the wine:

    Sight has fail'd, nor thought conceives,
    But a dauntless faith believes,
    Resting on a pow'r divine.

    Here beneath these signs are hidden
    Priceless things to sense forbidden;
    Signs, not things are all we see:

    Blood is poured and flesh is broken,
    Yet in either wondrous token
    Christ entire we know to be.

    Whoso of this food partakes,
    Does not rend the Lord nor breaks;
    Christ is whole to all that taste:

    Thousands are, as one, receivers,
    One, as thousands of believers,
    Eats of him who cannot waste.

    Bad and good the feast are sharing,
    Of what divers dooms preparing,
    Endless death, or endless life.

    Life to these, to those damnation,
    See how like participation
    Is with unlike issues rife.

    When the sacrament is broken,
    Doubt not, but believe 'tis spoken,
    That each sever'd outward token
    doth the very whole contain.

    Nought the precious gift divides,
    Breaking but the sign betides
    Jesus still the same abides,
    still unbroken does remain.

    The shorter form of the sequence begins here.

    Lo! the angel's food is given
    To the pilgrim who has striven;
    See the children's bread from heaven,
    which on dogs may not be spent.

    Truth the ancient types fulfilling,
    Isaac bound, a victim willing,
    Paschal lamb, its lifeblood spilling,
    manna to the fathers sent.

    Very bread, good shepherd, tend us,
    Jesu, of your love befriend us,
    You refresh us, you defend us,
    Your eternal goodness send us
    In the land of life to see.

    You who all things can and know,
    Who on earth such food bestow,
    Grant us with your saints, though lowest,
    Where the heav'nly feast you show,
    Fellow heirs and guests to be. Amen. Alleluia.

    The poetic English translation of the sequences of the Roman Missal are taken from the Roman Missal approved by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops of the United States © 1964 by the National Catholic Welfare Conference, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • ClemensRomanusClemensRomanus
    Posts: 1,023
    Victimae Paschalis

    Christians, to the Paschal Victim
    Offer your thankful praises!
    A Lamb the sheep redeems;
    Christ, who only is sinless,
    Reconciles sinners to the Father.
    Death and life have contended in that combat stupendous:
    The Prince of life, who died, reigns immortal.
    Speak, Mary, declaring
    What you saw, wayfaring.
    "The tomb of Christ, who is living,
    The glory of Jesus' resurrection;
    "Bright angels attesting,
    The shroud and napkin resting.
    "Yes, Christ my hope is arisen;
    To Galilee he goes before you."
    Christ indeed from death is risen, our new life obtaining.
    Have mercy, victor King, ever reigning!
    Amen. Alleluia.

    The poetic English translation of the sequences of the Roman Missal are taken from the Roman Missal approved by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops of the United States © 1964 by the National Catholic Welfare Conference, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • ClemensRomanusClemensRomanus
    Posts: 1,023
    I believe these are the versions used in the Lectionary.
  • Mark M.Mark M.
    Posts: 632
    Thanks for posting those translations, Clemens.

    Does anyone know where good English chant settings of those sequences might be found?
  • noel jones, aagonoel jones, aago
    Posts: 6,606

    English Chant Books - PLainchant Gradual Vol. 1&2, 3&4
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 1,040

    The Complete English Propers (Arbogast 1964) sets the official English texts (as posted above by Clemens Romanus) to the traditional Gregorian melodies.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    Does anyone have any guesses as to why GREGORIAN MISSAL, RITUALSONG, GLORY & PRAISE, etc. all use different translations of the Sequences?
  • I was told by someone who is part of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, US office in Washington, DC, that when it comes to music - when can use ANY translation of the Sequences that we desire.

    Where you MUST use the lectionary translation of the sequence is when it comes to "reciting" them without music. That's the key difference.

    I was also told that the people who approved Dan Schuttes "Baby's Day Out Theme Song" Glory to God setting did it because thought it would be no different than how polyphonic settings have certain words sung a few steps after the others amongst the different voices. Quite intrigueing the excuses people can find, even if not very academically sound.