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Choir and the Great Amen QUESTION from Shirley O'Connor October 19, 2000 First let me say God Bless you for your faithfulness and truth!
I sing in the choir in my parish and we in the choir stand to sing the Great Amen.
I feel bad about this as I feel that I should remain kneeling - after all Jesus Christ is present! I love Jesus and I love to adore Him. After all, time in church, for me anyway, seems all too brief.
I was told by a good friend that I should stand as part of the choir but if I were in the congregation I would of course remain kneeling until after the Great Amen.
Could you please clarify this for me and perhaps advise me as to what document(s) I could refer to
Thanks so much for your work.
Your friend in Christ
ANSWER by Mr. John Miskell on October 19, 2000 Dear Shirley,
Thank you for your kind words.
It seems that your good friend is right. While the posture for the congregation at the Great Amen is indeed kneeling, the choir is not part of the congregation. The choir performs an extremely important liturgical function of their own away from the congregation.
In the General Instruction of the Roman Missal we find;
23. According to the design of the particular church, the place for the choir is to be such that: a. its status as a part of the community with a special function is clearly evident;
b. the performance of its liturgical ministry is facilitated;
None of the liturgical documents (to my knowledge) specifically say that the choir should not be kneeling during the Great Amen but this conclusion is easy to draw. The normal posture for any choir (liturgical or otherwise) is to stand. In the same way the normal posture for an organist is to sit. Just imagine the organist trying to kneel while playing the notes for the Great Amen at the same time and you'll see what I mean. Thank you for being part of your choir and for your obvious care for the Mass.
Yours in Christ,
John Miskell
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