Corpus Christi Watershed overshoots

Lalemont Propers is available from Corpus Christi Watershed, either for purchase or free PDF download. It provides extremely simple chant settings of English propers, as a sort of useful fall-back if more difficult propers (in Latin or English) are not possible.

Fine. But get this: the foreword to the Lalemont Propers claims:

Since the 1970s, many Catholic publishers have not been in compliance with clear directives from legitimate Church authorities, refusing to print the “Gradual prayer” in any of their publications. In the Reformed Rite of the Mass, the Gradual is a valid option to be sung after the First Reading. At this time, we urge all publishers to please consider following the directives of the Church. The Gradual (and all Mass Propers) must be printed in any books that will be used by the faithful.

Now that’s one whopper of a claim! Almost everyone is in noncompliance?!

It didn’t sound right to me – not least because a whole raft of books and booklets have just been issued for use with the new English Missal by publishers such as Liturgical Press, OCP, WLP, GIA, and all the rest. None with the “Gradual prayer” (or other proper texts), but all with official approval.

A quick email to Msgr. Rick Hilgartner at the Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship of the USCCB confirmed that Lalemont is overstating things.

When the USCCB said this in 2009,

No publication should limit, directly or indirectly, the breadth of choice open to the priest and other ministers, the leaders of song, parish and community worship committees, or others who participate in planning liturgical celebration.

it was in reference to the Order of Mass. You don’t get to decide, for example, that you only like the first Eucharistic Prayer and will leave the rest out. Or that there shouldn’t be so many options for the dismissal so you’ll include only the first ‘traditional’ one.

There’s no obligation to include proper texts in congregational materials. Certainly not for the gradual after the first reading – as Msgr. Hilgartner pointed out to me, there is no official translation of the gradual, so the church can’t very well require that you include such a text.

Some folks are rather zealous in the promotion of Mass propers and the campgaign against strophic hymns. The church allows both. (For the record, I support both and have greatly increased the use of propers in Latin and English at the abbey.) I suspect such uber-zeal for propers, plus a bit of misplaced legalism, is behind the inaccurate claim in the Lalemont Propers.

To promote propers is one thing. To accuse every major Catholic liturgical publisher in the US of noncompliance with Church directives is another. Best to get the fact straight first.

awr

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33 comments

  1. A commentator on my website this morning described an Ignatian principle involved in persuasion which seems to fit here. When in a dispute, first, do no harm. One might think that the first thing would be to “do good.” But this isn’t often the case.

    People who promote the propers wish to “do good,” but in their zeal, they manage to insult the people they wish to convert. They seem blind to the good work, some of it even published, in this area over the past two generations. Especially good work done by people they criticize the most harshly. The harm they render is noticed. It creates alienation and division in the Church.

    It seems insufficient to present their music alongside everything else in the modern repertoire. They often engage in the hermeneutic of subtraction, desiring to elbow away all other considerations.

    The texts of the propers, especially the psalms, have informed my music planning for years. They are a good resource, but flawed in some ways. Settings of these psalms and even antiphons are already found in hymnody and the contemporary repertoire. I keep the CMAA-affiliated stuff bookmarked on my office computer. But except for Paul Ford’s BFW, I never use it. I don’t need the political overtones, which, in many ways, overshadows the worst of the political liturgical music of the 60’s through 80’s. The day is too short.

    Additionally, I’m not a fan of a congregational repertoire for a Sunday community that specializes each weekend’s selections without regard for quality, the liturgical seasons, and especially the introduction of “new” music every single week.

  2. When the USCCB said this in 2009,

    No publication should limit, directly or indirectly, the breadth of choice open to the priest and other ministers, the leaders of song, parish and community worship committees, or others who participate in planning liturgical celebration.

    it was in reference to the Order of Mass. You don’t get to decide, for example, that you only like the first Eucharistic Prayer and will leave the rest out. Or that there shouldn’t be so many options for the dismissal so you’ll include only the first ‘traditional’ one.

    This is, of course, very dangerous ground. Any missalette that only includes EPs I-IV is automatically limiting the presider’s option to use the Eucharistic Prayer for Various Needs and Occasions in its various incarnations, for example. I am convinced that this is why, although presiders may have discovered this EP (these four EPs) and those for Reconciliation in the appendix to the Roman Missal, and have even noted how much more user-friendly they are than the “Big Four”, they will in practice not use them very often or at all because those people who like to follow along do not have the text in front of them. (That in turn, of course, also begs the larger question of whether missalettes actually make a positive contribution or a negative contribution to the celebration, except in times of transition from one translation to another…)

  3. CCW I think is overstating things, but so is Msgr. Hilgartner.

    When the USCCB said this in 2009 … it was in reference to the Order of Mass.

    It’s not actually limited to the Order of Mass in the document and is stated as a general principle. This is consistent with its “legislative history,” for instance the 1998 “Guidelines for the Publication of Participation Aids” which applies the principle to variable texts:

    When several options exist for the readings (i.e. Christmas, the vigil of Pentecost, etc.) no preference may be indicated unless such a preference is printed in the Lectionary for Mass. When more than two options are given for a reading, only one reading must be printed in full. All other optional readings should be listed by their biblical references and tituli.

    When there are various options in the Lectionary (e.g., in the Commons where responsorial psalms are grouped together rather than related to specific first readings), a selection may be made of at least one responsorial psalm, but there must be an indication that there are other options.

    Other parts of 2009 the document talk about the inclusion of options as well and not forming one pattern for celebrations, e.g. with hymnals, which the exclusion of all graduals, for instance, certainly does.

    1. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #3:
      Yes and no.
      “Order of Mass” came from me, not Rick Hilgartner. I hope I haven’t muddied the waters by using that by way of setting up examples.

      But HIlgartner from the USCCB is certainly is the one to say what the USCCB directives mean. I’d go with him, not you, when he says that there is no obligation to include gradual texts. To exclude all graduals is not contrary to the USCCB document – at least not in the opinion of the USCCB. In fact, excluding all the graduals is the standard practice. Again, there is no official English text for the graduals that one could insist upon.

      awr

      1. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #6:

        This is now very confused. A simple negative from Msgr. Hilgarter regarding the inclusion of the Gradual makes sense given the totality of the legislation. It’s obviously impractical to include every option all the time.

        To exclude all graduals is not contrary to the USCCB document – at least not in the opinion of the USCCB.

        It seems that a close examination of the USCCB documents suggests that they are not internally consistent.

        Never including graduals or other propers seems inconsistent with the principles the documents set forth that legitimate options should not be entirely excluded so as to set forth one way of celebrating.

        Those principles are clearly not just about the Ordinary, because the USCCB has required the inclusion of or reminder about options regarding other proper texts (longer or shorter readings, options for the readings, and the responsorial psalm, for example.)

        Again, there is no official English text for the graduals that one could insist upon.

        That seems to me an entirely moot point. There’s a text even if it’s not in English. The USCCB has at times required the inclusion of the Greek text of the Kyrie. Proper texts that haven’t been officially translated could be included with an unofficial translation not for liturgical use. This has been done many times in the past (the Gregorian Missal, the Parish Ritual in the ’60’s, etc.)

      2. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #9:
        Except that Fr. Krisman doesn’t really respond to my points.

        Furthermore, he is mistaken when he says “When particular liturgical texts are included in these participation aids, all the options for a particular ritual element must be included.”

        This is the very thing that is under discussion. The USCCB guidelines write that this is the general principle (which the CCW people incorrectly extended), but in concrete cases they do not require it (as seen in guidelines for participation aides).

        I don’t know of a single parish in which the entire assembly sings Latin Gregorian chant propers from the Graduale Romanum. So why would they be included in a people’s hymnal or missalette?

        Because if it were, in fact, the case that “When particular liturgical texts are included in these participation aids, all the options for a particular ritual element must be included” (which it is not), they would be an option for the chant between the readings.

      3. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #13:
        “Except that Fr. Krisman doesn’t really respond to my points.”

        Let me suggest this as a way to bridge the gap here.

        If I understand your point correctly, it is that, when a liturgical item with several options is included in a worship aid such as a hymnal or missalette, all of the options should be included.

        Fr. Krisman’s point seems to be that not every liturgical text “belongs” to the people, and there is no requirement that everything not intended for the people (such as presidential prayers) be provided to the people.

        Following Todd’s and Paul’s hints, I turned to the Lectionary Introduction. Paragraph 114 says this:

        “The texts for the chants are always to be adjoined to the readings, but separate books containing the chants alone are permitted.”

        This would seem to tie in with Fr. Krisman’s point that the Graduale Romanum and the Graduale Simplex are books, not for the people but for the choir.

        In addition, it would seem noteworthy that the Lectionary for Sunday Mass itself doesn’t contain the Gradual texts, but does contain the Responsorial Psalm texts. There is nothing on the pages for each Sunday of the year that indicates what the Gradual should be, and I don’t believe there is even a separate table/appendix anywhere in the Sunday Lectionary that lists what the graduals would be for each Sunday of the year.

        And so, is the Lectionary somehow not compliant with the spirit or letter of the requirement that, when one of several options are given, all other options must also be given? I think the response to that question would be that, pursuant to paragraph 114 of the Lectionary Introduction, those options are in fact given, but not given in the Lectionary; they are given in the separate Gradual books – which each parish or worshiping community is free to use, or not, according to liturgical law and pastoral judgment.

      4. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #13:
        Samuel, I’m sorry to be so late in responding to you. I was on the road from Atlanta to Orlando today. (I nodded to Fr. Allan and St. Joseph’s Church when I skirted around the west side of Macon, GA.)

        I was not writing in response to your comments #3 and #7 when I posted my own comment #8 last evening. Also, I did not have any resources with me, and so I was responding somewhat off the top of my head.

        I had the opportunity to read through the BCDW’s 2009 Guidelines for the Publication of Liturgical Books this afternoon after arriving back in Orlando. From that reading, I agree with you that my comment #8 contained this misstatement: “When particular liturgical texts are included in these participation aids, all the options for a particular ritual element must be included. ”

        On the contrary, no. 6 of Part C (Participation Materials) of the 2009 Guidelines, states: “The arrangement or selection of liturgical texts must not result in the suppression of alternatives and options for the congregation (or for the celebrant and other ministers, as applicable). When a difficulty arises, namely, when the number of options is large, the selection of the minimal options to be included will be made by the Committee on Divine Worship, which should be consulted beforehand. The publisher does not have the authority to make unilateral selection of liturgical texts among the options available.” I imagine that the staff of the DCDW used that particular guideline in requiring publishers that include the texts of eucharistic prayers in their publications to include only Eucharistic Prayers I-IV, and not the other six approved Eucharistic prayers.

        Several other comments about your comments #3, #7, and #13:

        1. You certainly know enough about laws and “guidelines” to realize that the 1998 guidelines were replaced by those of 2009. So your trying to build an argument based on the 1998 guidelines is, at the very least, strange.

        2. Jim Pawels’…

      5. @Fr. Ron Krisman – comment #16:
        Dang! You should have stopped by and I would have taken you to lunch or supper, that would have been fun! Did you run into the movie company making a “Need for Speed” movie with a high powered Mustang–they were using the interstate on the 24th and shutting down traffic.

      6. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #13:

        (continued)

        2. Jim Pawels’ comment #13 addresses the issue of the gradual chant and the Lectionary for Mass. Undoubtedly the CDWDS considers that chant as belonging to choirs, not the assembly. The CDWDS has never required that the music for, or even the words of, the gradual chant be included in vernacular lectionaries. Nor does the CDW’s own Latin Lectionarium include references to those gradual chants after all the first readings in the book. Rather, the texts for all responsorial psalms (antiphons and verses) and gospel acclamation verses are included.

        3. Finally, Part C of these 2009 guidelines are about participation aids. The BCDW does not require that scripture readings be included in such publications. It does not even require that liturgical texts be included although, as I stated in #8, I cannot believe that a hymnal or missalette would be commercially viable if it included none of these texts. I’m pretty sure that the BCDW did not even require publishers to include the ICEL Roman Missal chants in participation aids. And the BCDW certainly would never require that something not approved for liturgical use by the conference of bishops with the requisite confirmatio of the Apostolic See be included in participation aids. The texts used for the antiphons in the Lalemont Propers may well bear the imprimatur of some bishop, but you know as well as I that such does not constitute approval for use in the liturgy. I will bite my tongue and say no more either about the literary quality of those texts or the Carlo Rossini approach to the musical settings.

      7. @Fr. Ron Krisman – comment #17:
        1. You certainly know enough about laws and “guidelines” to realize that the 1998 guidelines were replaced by those of 2009. So your trying to build an argument based on the 1998 guidelines is, at the very least, strange.

        Not so, because these 1998 guidelines are incorporated into the 2009 guidelines in revised form as Appendix II as the 2009 guidelines state in number 33:

        In addition, publishers of participation aids are to observe the special requirements noted in Appendix II: Guidelines for Publication of Participation Aids, also approved by the Committee on Divine Worship of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

        The part I quoted above is reproduced verbatim in Appendix II and is currently in force.

        The texts used for the antiphons in the Lalemont Propers may well bear the imprimatur of some bishop, but you know as well as I that such does not constitute approval for use in the liturgy. I will bite my tongue and say no more either about the literary quality of those texts or the Carlo Rossini approach to the musical settings.

        Indeed, I think an English translation of the Graduale not approved by the bishops for liturgical use and given the recognitio of the Holy See is probably illicit for liturgical use.

        But the Graduale itself is an approved option.

        I think the idea that participation aides should actually include all the options is a mistake. Indeed, even the idea that approved liturgical books for presiders. It would be useful to have books like travel missals or books for particular communities with their own proper liturgical customs (e.g. religious orders or personal prelatures) that select the options their particular group uses so as to make the books more useful for their celebrations (less page flipping, etc.) But if you’re committed to the principle be committed to it.

      8. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #18:

        Indeed, I think an English translation of the Graduale not approved by the bishops for liturgical use and given the recognitio of the Holy See is probably illicit for liturgical use.

        I should clarify… this is in reference to the Graduals in the Graduale Romanum. Using unapproved English translations of the Introit, Offertory, and Communion is, I think, permitted (as alius cantus aptus). I’d have to look more closely at the options for the Alleluias, I don’t remember off the top of my head. (The permission required for publishing the translation of a liturgical book, even one not intended for liturgical use would be a separate question, I think it might require an imprimatur but not conference approval/recognition.)

        Perhaps where the graduals are taken directly from the psalms you could licitly take the text from the approved for liturgical use versions of the psalms?

      9. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #18:

        “Not so, because these 1998 guidelines are incorporated into the 2009 guidelines in revised form as Appendix II as the 2009 guidelines state in number 33:”

        Oops, my bad – once again. I noticed the reference to Appendix II when I read through the 2009 guidelines, but I could not locate that particular text online, and then the whole matter slipped my mind.

        Your point about published excerpts from approved liturgical books is a good one. We struggled with that questions when I was at the then-BCL Secretariat 20 years ago. Sounds like it’s still a problem.

        I’m not arguing for participation aids containing all the options for a particular element, and I think the 2009 guidelines are good to allow the BCDW secretariat to make that call – hopefully in dialogue with publishers. As I stated previously I’m not in favor of including the texts of eucharistic prayers in participations aids, but if they are included, why shouldn’t the eucharistic prayers for Masses for various needs and occasions be included at least in the ordinary time issues of missalettes, and the ones for reconciliation in the Lenten issue?

        And, yes, the gradual chant is an option after the first reading. I don’t think it makes much sense any more because the responsorial psalm is more geared to the first readings in the revised Lectionary for Mass. Still, the Gregorian gradual belongs to the choir, and there is no need to include it in participation aids (hymnals or missalettes) intended for the assembly.

  4. What Todd said. It’s one thing to say it would be nice if we all did [insert phrase here], but it is an entirely different thing to say not doing it violates a law that does not exist.

  5. In my experience, oftentimes those who advocate for chant/ritual music resort to damning all other paradigms of music as “against Church directives,” “contrary to liturgical principles,” etc. They go on to present a narrow quoting of some document or another that they feel proves their claim.

    Once in an intro to chant workshop I heard the presenter say that chant and polyphony are the “true music of the Roman rite” and that any other form of music (hymns, songs) must be “removed immediately.” After the class I privately suggested to the presenter that he might have more success by persuading rather than commanding. He did not seem interested in my point.

    This kind of behavior reeks of insecurity. It’s a scorched-earth technique that does more harm to their cause than good.

  6. There have been 3 or 4 versions of the USCCB’s Guidelines for Publishers of Participation Aids since the 1970’s. They treat both missalettes and hymnals. They do not treat “orders of worship” prepared weekly for use in some parishes or occasionally for use at special diocesan celebrations.

    A point which some are missing in this discussion is that the subject of the USCCB’s guidelines is popular or “people’s” participation aids. I think it is accurate to say that none of these participation aids MUST include approved liturgical texts. If someone wanted to publish a hymnal containing no liturgical texts whatsoever, they are free to do so. Such a hymnal probably will not be adopted by many parishes, since most folks will want to have some liturgical texts, such as the Order of Mass, included.

    When particular liturgical texts are included in these participation aids, all the options for a particular ritual element must be included. I’ve never liked the inclusion of presidential prayers in these kinds of publications, but if the editors want to include, for instance, the texts of the eucharistic prayers, the guidelines state that all must be included.

    Hymnals are usually for the liturgical assembly, not the choir. There may be choir editions which include verses and harmonies not presented in the people’s “pew” eduition, but even if that is so, everything is still for the entire assembly. One of my favorite hymnals from the 1950’s is the Pius X Hymnal. It includes a number of polyphonic 3- and 4-part motets not intended for the assembly. Most hymnals these days would not include such material.

    I don’t know of a single parish in which the entire assembly sings Latin Gregorian chant propers from the Graduale Romanum. So why would they be included in a people’s hymnal or missalette? If the choir sings these propers, purchase multiple copies of the Graduale Romanum for their use.

    CC Watershed is not correct in its statements of liturgical law. Propers intended for the use of a choir do not need to be included in participation aids intended for the use of the liturgical assembly.

  7. Apart from the specifics of the post, the missalette we use only has the readings for the entire year beginning the first Sunday of Advent and is published by JS Paluch. It contains no presidential prayers but does have the order of Mass at the beginning and has the four primary Eucharistic prayers but not the additional ones. And the Order of Mass does not include the Greek Kyrie or the Latin Sanctus, Pater Noster or Angus Dei which is in the Roman Missal. So it seems that there is flexibility in what is included and what isn’t based upon the publishers’ whims I suspect.
    In the readings section it does include the Entrance Antiphon and Communion Antiphon from the missal for Sunday and weekdays.

    What I find interesting and somehow missed it over the years is that the Gradual is even an option for the Ordinary Form of the Mass. I didn’t realize it was and only learned that within the last couple of years. I wonder why these haven’t been translated and how the Gradual would be fit into the modern lectionary either in Latin or the vernacular.

    1. @Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #10:

      What I find interesting and somehow missed it over the years is that the Gradual is even an option for the Ordinary Form of the Mass. I didn’t realize it was and only learned that within the last couple of years. I wonder why these haven’t been translated and how the Gradual would be fit into the modern lectionary either in Latin or the vernacular.

      They haven’t been translated because the norm for the Ordinary of the Mass in the vernacular is the responsorial psalm, not the Gradual chant, as the General Introduction to the Lectionary makes clear. You’d normally only use the Gradual in an OF celebration in Latin.

      What is a more debatable point is the chants between the readings in the Graduale Simplex. There is an argument that these were intended primarily for use in Latin as an alternative for smaller parishes that could not handle the full Latin chants of the Graduale Romanum, in which case it is also possible to say that there is no useful purpose served by translating them into the vernacular (though Paul Ford has done precisely that in By Flowing Waters).

      Whether or not you agree with that opinion, if CC Watershed are going to insist on the Gradual and other proper chants from the Graduale Romanum because they are a legitimate option, they ought logically to insist also on the proper chants from the Graduale Simplex in Latin or in an English translation. But somehow they have not done that… Their position is therefore inconsistent.

  8. This excellent discussion brings to mind one of my favorite expressions:

    “They’re both 100% half-right!” 🙂

    Gaudete in Domino Semper!

  9. Good grief, some folks have only a passing interest in the truth. Thanks to this blog for pointing out people’s agendas.

  10. This conversation prompted me see what the GIRM says about selecting the psalm.

    The 1975 GIRM, at #36, noted, “The psalm as a rule is drawn from the Lectionary … The psalm when sung may be either the psalm assigned in the Lectionary or the gradual from the Graduale Romanum or the responsorial psalm or the psalm with Alleluia as the response from The Simple Gradual in the form they have in those books.”

    So from 1975 or so until the promulgation of MR v.3, we had options.

    The corresponding paragraph in the current GIRM, # 61, is a bit different: it states: “The Responsorial Psalm should correspond to each reading and should usually be taken from the Lectionary.” — and that seems to be the extent of its universal prescription. Thus, at the universal/global level, it seems that the option to use the graduals actually has been withdrawn.

    … But for those of us who live in the United States, the option is then reinserted in a paragraph that is particular to the US: “In the Dioceses of the United States of America, instead of the Psalm assigned in the Lectionary, there may be sung either the Responsorial Gradual from the Graduale Romanum, or the Responsorial Psalm or the Alleluia Psalm from the Graduale Simplex, as described in these books, or an antiphon and Psalm from another collection of Psalms and antiphons, including Psalms arranged in metrical form, providing that they have been approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop.”

    Whether similar permissions have been extended (or not extended) to other countries would be interesting to know.

    1. @Jim Pauwels – comment #23:

      Jim, below is the actual Latin text. The reference to the gradual response is still there, in the fourth paragraph.

      61. Post primam lectionem sequitur psalmus responsorius, qui est pars integralis liturgiæ verbi et magnum momentum liturgicum et pastorale præ se fert, cum verbi Dei meditationem foveat.

      Psalmus responsorius unicuique lectioni respondeat et e lectionario de more sumatur.

      Præstat psalmum responsorium cantu proferri, saltem ad populi responsum quod attinet. Psalmista proinde, seu cantor psalmi, in ambone vel alio loco apto profert versus psalmi, tota congregatione sedente et auscultante, immo de more per responsum participante, nisi psalmus modo directo, idest sine responso, proferatur. Ut autem populus responsum psalmodicum facilius proferre valeat, textus aliqui responsorum et psalmorum pro diversis temporibus anni aut pro diversis ordinibus Sanctorum selecti sunt, qui adhiberi valent, loco textus lectioni respondentis, quoties psalmus cantu profertur. Si psalmus cani non potest, recitatur modo aptiore ad meditationem verbi Dei fovendam.

      Loco psalmi in lectionario assignati cani potest etiam vel responsorium graduale e Graduali romano, vel psalmus responsorius aut alleluiaticus e Graduali simplici, sicut in his libris describuntur.

      1. @Fr. Ron Krisman – comment #24:
        Fr. Krisman – I don’t read Latin, but just scanning through the Latin original – I’m confused. For the convenience of readers, I’ll paste here the English translation of #61 – this is taken from the USCCB website. Note that the 4th paragraph begins, “In the Dioceses of the United States …”. I’m given to understand that this formula signals that what follows is particular law, i.e. are instructions that were requested by a specific conference of bishops, and approved by Rome for, their particular jurisdiction.

        “61. After the First Reading follows the Responsorial Psalm, which is an integral part of the Liturgy of the Word and which has great liturgical and pastoral importance, since it fosters meditation on the Word of God.

        The Responsorial Psalm should correspond to each reading and should usually be taken from the Lectionary.

        It is preferable for the Responsorial Psalm to be sung, at least as far as the people’s response is concerned. Hence the psalmist, or cantor of the Psalm, sings the Psalm verses at the ambo or another suitable place, while the whole congregation sits and listens, normally taking part by means of the response, except when the Psalm is sung straight through, that is, without a response. However, in order that the people may be able to sing the Psalm response more easily, texts of some responses and Psalms have been chosen for the different times of the year or for the different categories of Saints. These may be used instead of the text corresponding to the reading whenever the Psalm is sung. If the Psalm cannot be sung, then it should be recited in a way that is particularly suited to fostering meditation on the Word of God.

        In the Dioceses of the United States of America, instead of the Psalm assigned in the Lectionary, there may be sung either the Responsorial Gradual from the Graduale Romanum, or the Responsorial Psalm or the Alleluia Psalm from the Graduale Simplex, as described in these books …”

      2. @Jim Pauwels – comment #28:

        Jim Pauwels : “I’m given to understand that this formula (“In the dioceses of the United States of America”) signals that what follows is particular law, i.e. are instructions that were requested by a specific conference of bishops, and approved by Rome for, their particular jurisdiction.”

        Jim, I would have preferred that the English translation of the Latin GIRM be given in its entirety, with the USA adaptations given in another type face or placed in another document, as they were in the 1985 edition of the Sacramentary.

        I can understand your confusion about the fourth paragraph of no. 61 in the USA’s 2010 MR. Most of that paragraph is a translation of the Latin text (universal law). The only thing that is particular law for the dioceses of the USA is this addition: “or an antiphon and Psalm from another collection of Psalms and antiphons, including Psalms arranged in metrical form, providing that they have been approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop.”

  11. Psalmista proinde, seu cantor psalmi, in ambone vel alio loco apto profert versus psalmi, […]

    “Next the psalmist or the cantor of the psalm proclaims [profert] the verses of the psalm from the ambo or another suitable place.” […] [my addition and ellipsis]

    First, what is a psalmista/”psalmist”? Is this another term for the lector who reads the responsorial psalm after the first reading?

    I wonder how far vel alio loco apto can be stretched. A nearby parish performs the responsorial psalm as follows: the male voices of the choir sing one verse, the female voices another verse, with the refrain sung by the entire choir. While I particularly like this arrangement, I am not sure if the rubrics intend for the choir alone to sing the responsorial psalm.

    At other times the Gradual or a translation of the Gradual is used, which appears perfectly licit.

    1. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #25:
      Jordan, I think that “another suitable place” can be stretched in several directions. I have a cantor who is recovering from a knee operation. He can’t get into the ambo, but can sing the psalm from the cantor podium (opposide side of altar from ambo in my parish). Alternately, I’ve had the cantor begin the psalm as usual from the ambo then alternate verses with the choir (at the rear of the church).

      There are practical and artistic reasons for moving the ‘location’ of the psalmist. As long as we keep “from the ambo” in sight and don’t make a habit of avoiding the ambo, I think we’re OK.

      The Gradual is a different story…If I were to even suggest we use the Gradual, in English or Latin, at even the 7:30 Sunday mass, I’d get flack from ‘da boss.’

      1. @John Ondrey – comment #26:

        Thank you John for your example. Your example has helped me figure out what a “psalmist” is. It appears that this is just another name for a cantor as the soloist for the responsorial psalm. I translated seu as “or”, but the meaning is not a choice between two liturgical roles. Rather, the seu refers to two possible titles for the same role. I did not go to liturgy school, so what is elementary for many on PTB I have to understand by inference.

        The church I’m referring to predominately celebrates the ordinary form, but is so far up the candle that the parish can be seen by air traffic control. The OF Sunday High Mass is extremely tridentinized. This Mass is not at all representative of most parishes.

      2. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #27:
        As a ‘by the by,’ I’ve also seen the cantor/leader-of-song exclude others from the role of psalmist, or canor of the psalm. (Sing to the Lord’s term) The two roles do not have to be carried out by the same person. I’ve seen that at our basillica, in my former parish (esp. at children’s Mass) and my current parish

        In a bit of “pot-calling-kettle-black” from a middle-road RotRer like myself, I suppose we need to be at least a little flexible. Come to think of it, the Church does give us that practical flexibility (Cue music for “Hymn Wars.”)

  12. Regarding universal and particular law, I was told that Rome had now imposed the same GIRM on all English-speaking countries, so that the differences between the USA, England and Wales, Scotland and Australia would be reconciled, although it seems difficult to get hold of this “uniform” version because it does not exist in print or PDF form, the US Roman Missal being already in print and the E&W/S/A Missal so far advanced that it was not possible to “correct” it.

    It may be that this only applies to paragraphs 48 and 87, and not to 61. There are also other paragraphs where differences may have disappeared. For example, Australia has (had?) its own version of paragraph 82.

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