"We should never sing the Lord's Prayer" and half a sung preface.
    Posts: 175
    Has anyone ever heard these before? I was told by a priest that he was taught in seminary that the Lord's Prayer should never be sung. The rational: 1. it is the prayer which should have participation by the greatest number of those present, and, 2.some people will not sing - therefore, since some won't sing, it should never be sung.

    I know that this idea is not in any documents nor espoused by right or left liturgical points of view. This was a new one on me after 38 years in the field.

    I have also experienced for the first time prefaces sung for the first few phrases and then continued spoken. This is a particularly jarring practice. It is also new to me.

  • 1. The vocal participation in the Lord's Prayer by "the greatest number of those present" can hardly be called absolutely essential, for in the Roman rite this prayer was sung by the celebrant alone until about 45 years ago.

    2. The people's vocal participation in the liturgy traditionally took the form of SINGING. Their vocal participation in the rite of low mass (distinct from singing hymns at low mass) is a modern phenomenon, traceable only to the 19th century, if that far back. "Choral speaking" of liturgical texts was an Anglican/Protestant innovation, introduced very sparingly at the Reformation and extended only in the 19th and 20th centuries. I think it is unedifying. Keeping together in speaking is much harder for a congregation than keeping together in singing. Not long ago someone posted a query to the Association of Anglican Musicians listserv asking for advice about ways to improve his congregation's communal recitations. I suggested that teaching them to sing their parts would be easier.

    3. In Roman Catholic churches I have visited the Lord's Prayer has often been the one sung part of the liturgy in the which most people participated. Those who made no effort to sing the hymns or parts of the ordinary usually belted out the Lord's Prayer.

    4. I cannot imagine what rationale could possibly be offered for singing the first few phrases of the preface and then reciting the rest of it without note. Perhaps the priest suffered from a respiratory disorder.
    Thanked by 2Gavin CHGiffen
  • Hi watson,

    As far as I know this was never the case. Even before the current translation there was at least in the appendix music for the Lord's Prayer in the Sacramentary. In the 3rd Ed. of the Roman Missal there are multiple musical settings of the Lord's Prayer. If the Vatican or the American Bishops did not want the Lord's Prayer sung the music would not be there for the priest to sing. The argument is silly, people can say it as others sing it.

    As for the Preface:

    It is an option to sing the introductory dialogue only but the Church encourages priests to sing the preface prayer as well. Again, the different prefaces along with their musical settings of the Preface Tone, are included in the body of the New Translation, not in an appendix as was in previous translations of the Mass.
    Posts: 175
    Thanks Bruce and Ruth,

    I know that neither practice makes any sense. I really am asking if anyone else has run into them. I thought I had seen just about everything.
  • Watson,
    You can cite the Roman Missal 3rd ed., General Instruction # 41, which prescribes not only that the Lord's Prayer be sung, but that it should be in Latin:

    Since the faithful from different countries come together ever more frequently, it is desirable that they know how to sing together at least some parts of the Ordinary of the Mass in Latin, especially the Profession of Faith and the Lord’s Prayer, according to the simpler settings.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • Does your parish sing the Entrance and Communion? The Offertory? Alleluia?

    If the answer is "yes" to any of the above, then according to Musicam Sacram you should be singing the Lord's Prayer, too.


    (See #28-31)
  • Paul_D
    Posts: 133
    Andrew -- pardon my particularity, but your comment is not a correct reading of Musicam sacram, and I think it is critical to make a distinction here.

    The "degrees" are not inteded to be levels of priority for singing, but are degrees of participation of the congregation in a sung Mass. Read no. 28.

    What is means is that, given a sung Mass, your priority is to get the people to join in on the parts listed in no. 1. For a greater participation in the singing, they can join in on the parts listed in no. 2, provided that you have ensured that they are joining in the parts listed in no. 1. ,etc.

    It's was a different ball game back in 1967. It helps to see that this part of MS was lifted from the 1958 Instruction on Sacred Music.

    There really isn't a clearly spelled-out hierarchy of what is to be sung vs. said in a hybrid Mass, though priorities can be inferred from hither and yon (i.e. the GIRM etc.) One can argue from the list in MS to where priorities lie, but it isn't a clear list as such. There doesn't seem to be an official list, which helps explain the current general confusion when chosing what is to be sung if the Mass is not a complete Missa cantata.
    Thanked by 1eft94530