Gradual rollout of new Mass settings in the US (UPDATED 6-17)

The USCCB has approved the gradual introduction of new musical settings in the U.S. beginning in September, if the diocesan bishop approves.

UPDATE 6/17: Here is the USCCB press release.


    1. Great, as a “sinner”, you promise not to throw stones at those who continue to use all or some of the 1973 translation into the future beyond Advent 2011? 🙂

      1. I’m confident, Graham, that–model of true Christian charity as I know him to be–Fr. McDonald will not cast the first stone at those particular sinners you mention, or at any others. Not his way of dealing with sinners, or any others.

  1. Does this mean that the new words and music can be used on a regular basis prior to advent? The Gloria is the biggest hurdle, so can we teach our congregations to sing the new words so that so that they will be able to participate on Christmas Eve? Sounds too good to be true.

  2. Our Diocesan Music Director just looked on the USCCB website and couldn’t find mention of this, and was wondering if there was a specific place on their website for this documentation.


  3. I can imagine this will be a great blessing for music ministers. I recall somone (forgive me, I don’t remember who) mentioning some months ago on this blog the problems we might have if the first implementation of the sung Gloria, for instance, was on Christmas. This ought to alleviate some difficulties and logistical issues.

  4. I’m very glad that the bishops have heard the recommendations of pastors and music ministers. The introduction of the new musical settings should help ease our people into the new translation.

  5. It’s about time they listened to something. I’m sure it’s killing them. We had planned to do this all along.

  6. The permission is granted, however, the final say is up to each individual bishop for his diocese.

  7. Good News especially for parish musicians….now, I would love to know if there is a way to find out what most dioceses of parishes have chosen as their first new mass setting.

  8. Since this permission applies only to the sung texts, does that mean that, at weekday Masses for instance, the current texts must still be used? Just wondering whether to expect a peaceful transition or chaos between spoken and sung.

    1. Yep.

      Though, frankly, it’s typically easier for people to learn first through song and then apply their learning to recitation, so the phase-in probably best practice so far as there would be one.

      1. We also sing the responses at daily Mass, so this will be an excellent way to introduce the Missal Chants in their unaccompanied form in anothcontext. I am hoping that the same will also be true for funerals.

  9. Watching the proceedings, it didn’t seem that there was any “vote” or “official” approval, but rather that this was a recommendation that was made and it was determined that the decision would be left up to individual Bishops.

    A good idea to say the least, although I am sure that publishers would have appreciated the news further in advance.

    1. Well, I would not be surprised that if they had waited until all the major publishers had settings ready for use (cough, cough)…..

      1. What I was implying was that all of the “worship resources” (disposables) are already printed and delivered for September, so the settings will not be in them. We use weekly printed music booklets (worship aids) so this will be a simple transition here.

        Another aspect is that we have a major diocesan wide event scheduled for October 1st, the intention of which was to introduce settings to our Directors and musicians to begin using in November. Now, many will have begun using new settings a month earlier.

  10. The USCCB press release does really say much more or less.

    Sounds like this would work well for parishes that might want to implement a particular Mass, especially in a gradual fashion. Presumably pew cards or bulletin inserts will be available from the publishers.

    PIPs are going to notice and react to changes in their music much more than to changes in the priest’s words.

    The early start on music is an opportunity to get the people’s music done well. People should start in September with one setting; if it does not work out well they should have a backup alternative ready to go for mid-October.

  11. We had a meeting a couple of weeks ago with our Archbishop. His concern is that some parishes would be using new settings with new words, while others would not. We have suggested that this gradual rollout be structured: Sept: Holy, Holy, Holy; Oct: ADD Memorial Acc; Nov: ADD Glory to God (because of the Feasts of All Saints and Christ the King. The Alleluia, Great Amen and Lamb of God can be sung anytime; some parishes have begun using those parts of the Mass from a particular setting. We will see what transpires and what the final instructions are.

    BUT he also cautioned that Nov 27 is a beginning… we are NOT Liturgical Police. We will make mistakes – all of us! We need to be support for one another…

  12. Our music director went to our diocesan meetings with our bishop last Monday and Tuesday. At our last choir rehearsal for the year, last Thursday, our director highlighted some of highlights of the meetings:
    1) No longer can alternate verses be used for the Lamb of God-Lamb of God is to be repeated multiple times until the Fraction Rite is completed then Lamb of God…grant us peace at the final time. I sing in a Mens Ensemble and we put that change into place this week.
    2) Choral or Ensemble Communion Reflection Hymns cannot be sung-if a Communion Reflection Hymn is sung, it must be a hymn the congregation can sing with the choir or ensemble. So, starting in the Fall when we come back if we sing a Communion Reflection, it will be a hymn that otherwise could not have been fit into the plan.
    3) Hymns based on Psalms cannot be sung as Responsorial Psalms-this has been a common practice in my church. From now on, we will be singing OCP Respond and Acclaim more because it more accurately reflects the exact translation of the Psalm.
    4) Presentation of the Gift hymns should be choral-that’s ok because we do choral presentation of the gifts hymns during the Advent/Christmas, Lent/Easter seasons anyway.
    5) In the New Missal- the General Intercessions will be called “The Universal Prayer.”

  13. On Thursday, we started reading through the new ICEL chants for the Gloria and Holy, Holy Holy. I don’t believe we got to the Lamb of God.
    Our director also indicated that initially, our bishop was going to designate four Mass settings that every parish in my diocese will know. After discussion with the music directors, he widdled it down to one. He apparently will announce what that setting is in July.

  14. “Joy is the most infallible sign of the Presence of God” Leon Bloy… there is no joy in any of this. Is the Our Father the only unchanged prayer at Eucharist? Will anyone be able to pray let alone sing? I remember the Latin Mass as a child but all this is not that.
    “Reverence” imposed from without is futile, shallow, and false. Breast beating and groveling before God. Didn’t He hear you the first time? Though from the depths of my being I have prostrated myself before God in prayer.
    I teach Eucharist and make plenty of biblical connections (Moses in Exodus, Emmaus and more) What is needed is good adult faith formation – the biblical connections are easily taught. Eucharist is our most perfect prayer…not a bible study. Rereading some of the new responses tonight Eucharist seemed more like a “study”.
    “Lord, I am not worthy but only say the word…” He HJAS and that Word is Jesus….roofs only confuse…is roof important or the WORD who makes us worthy?
    Who will be accountable for those who leave the Church because they can no longer pray Eucharist? submitted on 24 June…my baptism day, Feast of birth of John the Baptist.

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