Mass for Our Lady of Guadalupe in St. Peter’s Basilica

Pope Francis will preside at Mass this Friday for the celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Misa Criolla will be sung, as Pray Tell earlier reported.

Here is the leaflet for the service. The Latin introit Salve, sancta Parens (“Hail, holy Mother”) is sung – interestingly, after the vernacular congregational hymn. The schola is singing the proper offertorium, Diffusa est gratia (“Grace has been poured out”). And the Latin communio Gloriosa dicta sunt (“Glorious things are said”) is the first piece at communion, followed by “Pescador de Hombres.” (No copyright permission is indicated for that, btw!) Apart from these three weighty Latin propers, the entire Mass is in Spanish, both spoken and sung elements.

All the movements of the Misa Criolla are being sung at the Mass with Pope Francis – the choir is singing the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei.



  1. Sounds good to me. As a high church Catholic, I couldn’t be happier. Solemn yet joyful, as this feat should be. And I like Misa Criolla too. I know, there will be some naysayers who will bemoan what they perceive as a lack of congregational participation, but how many people really participate when attending one of these large papal masses?

  2. It says that the phrase “for many”(por muchos) will be used at the consecration. Is this normal for Spanish masses?

    1. @Stanislaus Kosala – comment #2:
      I too was surprised that the phrase “for many”(por muchos) will be used at the consecration. The words of institution, as printed, also use the formal imperatives (tomen, coman, beban, hagan) instead of familiar forms. Perhaps these are changes in the “unified text” (texto único) which are in the new Spanish Sacramentary from Argentina?

      I also noticed that “la” is not included before “tentación” toward the end of the Lord’s Prayer. It will be interesting to see if the CDWDS will allow additional variants in the “unified text” (texto único). Heretofore, since the mid-1980’s they have been rather adamant that no variations would be approved for individual conferences of bishops. But perhaps plans are afoot that these slight changes we see in this program will be imposed on all Spanish speaking conferences in the future, as they revise their liturgical books? It would be good to know what the CDWDS’s intentions are in this matter.

  3. I almost wonder if this is going to play out as sometimes happens in parish settings… Music people plan things they think the pastor will like, overlooking the fact that he also likes participation. Not thinking it through clearly enough to see it coming, he approves the plan. But then, in the event itself, he is surprised and concerned that there are so few opportunities for the people to sing. Afterwards, depending on the personalities involved, the music planners catch heck or are kindly told this “needs to be different” next year.

    1. @Rita Ferrone – comment #3:

      … this “needs to be different” next year.

      Different how? How would you plan things differently, within the setting of Misa Criolla, if you were in charge?

      1. @Elisabeth Ahn – comment #10:
        I think you may have missed my point, Elizabeth. I am not commenting on this piece of music per se but on the question of the singing assembly. It’s the question of proportion between the parts of the Mass have been given to the assembly to sing, and those they only to listen to. As has been said before, the Missa Criolla is most often performed as a concert piece. There are three things one can do: use a different setting, adapt this one to include parts for the people to sing (not impossible), or accept that no one but the choir will sing these parts of the Mass and incorporate more communal singing into the rest of the occasion.

        If I were in charge I would commission an adaptation of the concert piece to include parts for the assembly.

      2. @Rita Ferrone – comment #12:
        P.S, Bach wrote hymn tunes into his concertos, and it’s presumed that people ran through those hymns in their heads and perhaps even sang along with the chorales. I know I sing along with parts of the Missa Criolla when I play a recording… it’s based on folk music, isn’t it?

      3. @Rita Ferrone – comment #12:

        Hi Rita,

        I did get your point, and really was curious to hear your thoughts.

        As to the three possibilities you listed, given the fact that this occasion, as Pope Francis has said himself in his La Nacion interview, is intended as a celebration of “the road walked by the Latin American Church… as well as well as the 50th anniversary of Misa Criolla,” the first option would have been a no-go.

        I agree with you that that the second option — an adaptation of the piece — would have been the best, but that didn’t happen. At least not this time around, but who knows, someone, following Bach, somewhere down the road may take up the challenge.

        Which brings us to the third option, which I wonder is what people who put this together had in mind, whoever they are. Sure, there could have been more communal singing, but even as is, I still thought there was plenty singing on the people’s part. But, I’m not a liturgist nor am of the opinion that one must sing extensively throughout in order to fully participate, so there’s that.

        As to your comment #12:

        My mother does that too, singing and/or humming along to the choir’s singing during mass, that is. You know, perhaps that’s what will happen on Friday: the people, moved by the Spirit, might just start to sing along when the Missa Criolla is sung. And how wonderful that would be!

  4. Interesting that they’re not going to use the Psalm response from Judith “Tu eres el orgullo de nuestra raza”, translation “You are the highest honor of our race”. I’m sure hymn text critics would go crazy analyzing the last song, but it’s an absolute must on 12 de diciembre. Probably why they programmed it after Mass officially ends. I liked the inclusion of indigenous language during the prayer of the faithful.

    1. @Carlo Argoti – comment #4:
      In the Mexican Lectionary, the psalm is Psalm 66, as it appears in this Papal Mass. Same refrain. Just like the first reading is the same in the Mexican Lectionary (Sirach). But the US lectionary has Zechariah or Revelations and Judith 13 for the “psalm” response. Let’s not even go into the 2nd reading or the gospel.

      As a bilingual parish, this is the one disconnect between the Mexican lectionary and the US lectionary drives me crazy.

  5. Just curious here – how common is it to have feast days special to particular countries celebrated in that country’s vernacular in St. Peter’s? It seems a little odd to me to have a Spanish vernacular Mass in St. Peter’s, rather than an Italian one. Unless there is a large Spanish-speaking community in Rome that this liturgy is primarily meant for?

  6. Perhaps the temple police will regard this as a liturgical aberration and report it to the CDW. We’ve all known that Francis is not a liturgist and now we have further proof. But, then, its his basilica and he can do what he wants to. From those who know this Mass it should make for a wonderful concert of sacred music. Long live the pope!

  7. I was once told that Pescador de Hombres was not suited for Catholic liturgy. Now I’m the one “gently smiling.”

  8. And they are using the “ustedes” form in the dialogues as well as in both phrases at the consecration instead of “vosotros.”

  9. There are also some errors in the music engravings. In the opening song (Mejía’s setting of the Magnficat) there should not be the changes in time signatures. Also, the pickup to the verses should be on beat 4 instead of beat 3. This latter error results in the music for the verses being off by one beat throughout.

    In the closing hymn (Desde el Cielo) repeats are missing from two lines of the refrain; and the verse “Su llegada…” should come before “Junto_al monte…” Finally, the two verses referring to Mexicans and Guadalupanos/as have not been included.

  10. Re comments about the Spanish:

    1. The missal in use in Argentina has “por muchos,” and Cardinal Bergoglio said the Mass that way. (It’s not called a “Sacramentary,” by the way.)

    2. As far as I’m aware the missals in use in all Latin American countries use the ustedes form instead of vosotros. It should hardly be surprising that this Mass would use the Latin American rather than the Iberian version of the text.

    3. In Argentina, and I’m pretty sure elsewhere, the text of the Padre Nuestro has “caer en la tencación.” But the version “caer en tentación” also has a lot of currency, and I would guess that it was purely a oversight to include one instead of the other.

    1. @Dwayne Bartles – comment #14:

      1. The sacramentary (altar book) is but one part of the complete Roman Missal. “Missale Romanum” also includes the Lectionary for Mass, the Ordo Cantus Missae, and the General Roman Calendar. It’s perfectly OK to refer to the altar book as a sacramentary.

      I have asked numerous knowledgeable persons whether the episcopal conference of Argentina has published a Spanish edition of MR3. Not a single person was aware that they had. So if you own a copy or have seen one I certainly would like to know that.

      2. Priests have had the license for a few decades now to change the “vosotros” forms in prayers in the sacramentary to “ustedes” in those countries where that is the ordinary speech of the people. But the Apostolic See has always resisted having those changes made in the published text itself. Of course, being able to make the grammatical changes is no help whatsoever to priests who celebrate Mass in Spanish but really do not know the language well enough to be able to make the changes on the spot. So I’m happy that those changes IN PRINT are coming, if indeed they are coming. Of course, Spaniards who attend the Guadalupe Mass in St. Peter’s are going to find those changes strange. (BTW, not all Latin American countries use the “ustedes” forms. And even Argentina still uses the direct object form of the pronoun – “os” – as will be seen in the prayer for peace after the Lord’s prayer.)

      3. I don’t know how much currency “caer en tentación” has. I Googled that phrase this morning and found that it is used in sone online prayerbooks. But the Lord’s Prayer in Spanish had perhaps the most variants of all prayers used in Spanish-speaking countries at the time the “unified text” was imposed in the mid-1980’s. In fact, that was given by the CDW as the principle reason for the texto único, namely, that the Holy Father wanted ONE form of that prayer worldwide. It was understood that the liturgical text would also find its way into popular piety. Perhaps it hasn’t.

      Or, as I suggested in my previous post, perhaps there is going to be another change in the Lord’s Prayer which will be mandated for all Spanish-speaking countries – dropping that “la” before “tentación.”

  11. Any thoughts about the “Universal Prayer” aka “Prayer of the Faithful”? In recent Papal Masses (and here as well), the intentions are prayers addressed to God/Christ, unlike the sample texts in the Appendix to the Roman Missal. There the intentions are invitations addressed to the people (as is the general practice in the Byzantine rite, for example). Also, the response in the libretto is addressed to Mary, like the intercessions of Evening Prayer in the Common of the BVM, but unlike the samples in the Roman Missal. For my taste, they seem a bit on the long side, whereas GIRM 71 suggests “The intentions … should be sober, … and in few words.” On the other hand, this is a special occasion!

  12. Fr. Krisman: The book is called “Misal Romano.” I’m not very familiar with the ecclesiastical history of Argentina, but, if memory serves, a revised translation was issued and approved for Argentina something like ten years ago. Whether it’s based on MR3 or an earlier version I can’t say. I think I can check on Sunday though — maybe even snap a couple of pictures. As to ustedes vs. vosotros, it’s definitely ustedes in the missal in use in Argentina. In fact, I heard a visiting abbot from Spain once awkwardly switch between the two styles depending on whether he was going by memory or reading from the missal.

    Incidentally, Argentines do not use the pronoun “os,” whether in speech or in the Mass, including the prayers after the Lord’s Prayer (“La paz les dejo; mi paz les doy.”)

  13. The website of the liturgy commission of the episcopal conference of Argentina (CEA) has a 2009 decree (signed by Cardinal Bergoglio) promulgating a Spanish version of the third typical edition of the Missale Romanum and also a new lectionary.

    This edition of the Misal Romano also seems to have been adopted in Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uraguay. It is available for purchase from the CEA Oficina del Libro.

    1. Re: comments #20 and #21:

      Thanks to both of you for the added information.

      I assure you, Dwayne, that I know the titles of liturgical books, both in English and in Spanish. The point I was trying to make was that we don’t always refer to or call a book by its title and that there is nothing wrong per se about doing that.

      Thanks also for the information about Argentines not using the pronoun “os.” If the intention of those who assembled the libretto booklet for tomorrow’s celebration was to avoid Castilianisms – which seems to be the case – then they missed that one.

  14. Jared, he’s not presiding at a feast in a foreign vernacular–he’s presiding at a solemnity in a foreign vernacular. 🙂 For that matter I guess Italian is itself a foreign vernacular in the Vatican.

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