Not singing Lord Have Mercy
  • Typical sung Sunday Mass : four hymns or even a Communion antiphon, sung Glory, sung Psalm, sung Holy Holy, sung Lamb of God, maybe even sung Preface dialogue.

    But at the penitential rite, said Lord Have Mercy.

    This is my usual experience. Anyone else, or is it just me? If not just me, then why does this happen?
  • Bobby Bolin
    Posts: 377
    The only time I really hear it sung is during Advent or Lent... sometimes
  • rollingrj
    Posts: 267
    It also depends on which option of the Penitential Rite is used.

    Option C is the "norm" at my parish with Option A (Confiteor/Kyrie) usually during Advent and Lent. The congregation knows the revised Confiteor well enough, so adding a sung Kyrie is possible with this option. However, no one knows which option will be used until the priest begins the rite.

    Is it because of the structure of Option C (priest/congregation dialogue) that it is an "either/or" proposition (the whole rite is either sung or spoken)? While the priest's lines could be spoken and the Kyrie could be sung (cantor/congregation), is that method aesthetically pleasing?
  • bkenney27bkenney27
    Posts: 444
    We make a point to chant it in Greek during Lent, so all the priests use the Confiteor. I am interested in exploring the use of Option B, either during Lent or Advent in the future.
    We have one priest that, without fail (unless there is a Deacon), uses the Confiteor. When the Gloria is sung, we sing the Kyrie from our Mass (Heritage - Alstott). If the Gloria is not sung, but recited (Ordinary Time), we will not sing the Kyrie.

    Bottom line is that when Option A is used and the Gloria is to be sung, we usually sing the Kyrie. I know this is not always the case in many parishes, so I don't think it's out of the ordinary at all.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Confession first, sung Kyrie/Lhm after, save for an Asperges.
  • donr
    Posts: 942
    We always sing the Kyrie. During the Easter season we uses The Lord Have Mercy from the Heritage Mass. During ordinary time we are singing the ICEL chant Mass, with organ acc from CCWatershed.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,615
    3/4 of our Deacons chant the Kyrie (and tropes) if Form C is used.

    If Form A is used a Deacon, Priest or Cantor will always lead the singing of the Kyrie.

    So 90% of the time, yes.
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,410
    Men lead the singing of the Kyrie all year long at our Mass.
  • Ally
    Posts: 223
    Lent and Advent - yes (Deacon or Priest)
    Rest of year - only if we have a visiting priest
    (Pastor's choice)
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,100
    We sing the Kyrie all year, except when the pastor has a memory lapse. It usually corrects itself at the next mass. :-)
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,907
    At our church, it's spoken except in Advent and Lent.

    So many priests imagine that it would make the Mass longer, when really a sung Kyrie can be shorter than a spoken one.

    For example, the time of a spoken Confiteor-and-Kyrie is longer than the ICEL English Kyrie, sung; maybe longer than some of the Gregorian Kyrie settings.

    And a spoken Kyrie with improvised tropes is longer than a sung simple Kyrie.
  • Earl_GreyEarl_Grey
    Posts: 810
    Depends on the priest, but when the Confiteor is said, I make a point to jump in with a Kyrie (typically just the simple Missal version in OT) but perhaps a more elaborate setting when it is a coordinated effort for Advent/Lent when the Gloria is omitted. Rarely do we sing both the Kyrie AND Gloria--maybe Christmas and Easter choir Mass. Most of the time, the Deacon recites form C as the norm. The congregation sang the Deutche Messe Kyrie quite well when we did it during Advent.
  • We also sing the Kyrie all year.
  • I shouldn't want to give anyone the impression that singing the kyries is a particularly lenten or adventian thing (and the same goes for Gregorian chant itself). The kyries are appropriate throughout the year. It is my experience that the various options are used purely incidentally by a particular priest who decides to use them at a given mass, not necessarily as seasonal parish customs. Being robbed of the joy of singing the kyries is, to me, saddening. (And never, ever, sing them in English unless you are commanded so to do).
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Gavin
  • Heath
    Posts: 833
    And never, ever, sing them in English unless you are commanded so to do


    ???
  • It looks like not singing the Lord Have Mercy is common, though not as common as I thought, and brought about because unlike the other ordinary parts it requires reliable prior agreement between the celebrant and the musicians.
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,087
    Sadly, we never sing it. We sing everything else but no Kyrie.
  • marajoymarajoy
    Posts: 781
    We (I) sing it basically every week.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,154
    The kyries are appropriate throughout the year. ... Being robbed of the joy of singing the kyries is, to me, saddening.

    Amen, amen, and amen.
    Thanked by 2kevinf Gavin
  • Ally
    Posts: 223
    MJO, I agree so much with you! I wouldn't want to give the impression that chant is Lenten/Adventian either, but I have to do what the boss says... :)
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    IIRC, the actual meaning and application of "Kyrie eleison" predates Christian approbation, and was used in antiquity as a formal expression in both secular and religious applications. In that it was thus subsumed into the Christian culture would seem to elevate its importance as a sung element in our rites.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    That seems to be a general problem with chant. Some people use it for lent and advent only ( or worse, lent only).

    If you ask me, this sends a horrible message, and it would almost be better not to use it at all than to get people to think that chant is supposed to be penetential (like you're giving up the "good music" for lent).

    This attitude drives me insane. I'd you're going to chant for lent, you better chant for the easter season.
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    We sing it every week.

    I've never gotten all intensely bothered by places that use chant more for Advent/Lent. Not that I think that's the ideal, and we use chant all year long at my parish, but for most typical places, that's the times of the year when they will tolerate it, since those are the "get serious" times, and chant is "serious music." It's just the way that it is at this moment in our history in many places. Take it or leave it. Real church music, or serious music, sounds penitential to many, sacro pop sounds "joyous." If my options were never use chant or use it during advent and lent, I'll take using it during advent and lent. Fortunately I don't have to make that choice.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,816
    I know there are music directors who are loath to have 3 sung pieces during the introductory rites, believing it overweights what should not be overweighted, and triage accordingly: the entrance chant is by its nature sung, and so is the Gloria (as a hymn), whereas the Kyrie as a litany is less so. So they only sing the Kyrie when there is no Gloria to sing.

    The rationale for this practice arose from paragraph 44 of the old and now superseded Music in Catholic Worship, and paragraph 21 of its also superseded sequel, Liturgical Music Today. Habits outlive documents.
    Thanked by 1Andrew Malton
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,895
    Yeah, for Advent and Lent, we sang the Kyrie, but then to my surprise (and with no warning), the priests started reciting again when Easter came around. If it was up to me, I would have it sung year round.
  • While I agree that singing chants for Advent and Lent only gives the impression that it should be used for pentitential rites only, the fact remains that so many church musicians are up against pastors and congregations who are opposed to chant in any season. I've learned the hard way that baby steps with chant is the way to go, although I don't always "practice what I preach" in that regard and use chants throughout the year. I am also going to try instrumentals at Offertory during Ordinary Time which will most probably result in more complaints from my congregation.

    I've started another thread asking for assistance with finding good instrumental music for Offertory. If anybody can help me there, I'd be most appreciative.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,100
    Some years ago, I dropped the offertory hymn. Either the choir sings at the choir mass, or I play something on the organ at the other masses. No one expects a hymn at that point in the mass any more, so the subject doesn't come up.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,895
    Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'd be run out of town if I dropped a hymn from Mass.
  • That's the mentality of the 4-hymn sandwich mentality. Be being concerned that we'd be "run out of town" by dropping one of the hymns, we become slaves to the mentality of the people, and do not serve the liturgy. In my parish, it is going to be a major change to have instrumentals played at Offertory, but I am going to try it.

    Sorry for stealing this thread.....going on to Offertory Hymns now......
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,100
    Actually, the pastor became convinced that people tend to give more when they are not fumbling with hymnals. Wonder where he got that idea?
    Thanked by 3Gavin marajoy veromary
  • The music should enhance the liturgy, not become such a vital part of it that it distracts from the mass. When people are fumbling with hymnals, the focus is on finding the correct number, not on the altar itself. That's why, during Ordinary Time, especially during the summer months, I've decided to just play something. My other thought is that when people aren't so focused on singing the hymns, they will be more apt to sing the mass ordinaries, which are more important anyway.
    Thanked by 1ClergetKubisz
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    MT56, I'd suggest that, if it is your custom, you offer something by way of explanation of what you're doing, whether in the bulletin, Mass leaflet, or even announcement at Mass. Put it in practical terms: "to reduce the burden of singing during summer, we will prepare for the Eucharistic Prayer by means of a voluntary, rather than our customary hymn."

    Stupid as it sounds, I can just imagine someone responding, after a Boyce voluntary, "I couldn't figure out the tune to that hymn!!"
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • You've got a point, there. Thanks for the suggestion, although I know my pastor well enough to know he won't give me the space in the bulletin and does not allow for extra announcements from the music ministry at mass. It would be a lot easier on me if he did. So, I will have to deal with questions when they come up.

    And what you're suggesting is not "stupid", as I know many people who would think exactly that. Or......some people in my parish would want to sound knowledgeable to others and insist that the Boyce voluntary was a hymn with a familiar melody that they "remember as a child"!
    Thanked by 1ClergetKubisz
  • Ignoto
    Posts: 126
    Back to the "Lord, Have Mercy"...

    I love it when the priest sings "Lord, Have Mercy" and the congregation responds! It is so prayerful when he sings it. However, I just realized that GIRM 52 does not mention the priest leading it:

    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.


    Unlike GIRM 53 which specifically mentions the Gloria being intoned by the priest, I see that GIRM 52 doesn't mention the priest at all!

    I am really hoping that the words "everyone" and "usually" in #52 provide enough leniency that will allow the priest to sing the first "Lord, Have Mercy," etc. -- however, I do not want my personal preference to incorrectly influence my reading of the GIRM!

    I see that the instructions within the Penitential Act of the Order of Mass specify: "The Priest, or a Deacon or another minister, then says the following or other invocations with Kyrie, eleison (Lord, have mercy)," so I'm thinking it is still okay if the priest continues the Order of Mass #7 by intoning the Lord, have mercy/Christ, have mercy/Lord, have mercy invocations when they were not already present in the formula of the Penitential Act.

    Basically, I'm going to continue thinking it's okay for the priest to intone "Lord, have mercy," etc. (as opposed to a cantor intoning it) unless someone has information to the contrary.

    Thoughts? Thanks.