Liturgy & Liturgical Law Forum: Singing of the Gospel Acclamation
Singing of the Gospel Acclamation QUESTION from Jeffery BeBeau May 26, 2001
Welcome to the Forum Mr. Slavek, its always nice to see others out there who are well versed in liturgucal laws.
I know that this forum attempts to provide as accurate answers as possible and so I just wished to help clarify an answer that you gave in regards as to whether or not the gospel acclamtion must be sung.
In citing liturgical law you noted the n. 39 of the GIRM states that if the Alleluia is not is it may be omitted, leading to the conclusion that the acclamation may be recited if it is not sung. However I refer you to Introduction to the Lectionary for the Mass n. 23 which states that the Alleluia must be sung. Since this introduction was published in 1981, after the 1975 edition of the GIRM the new instruction clarifies the old one. In conjunction with n. 39 of the GIRM I would submit that the alleluia is to be sung but if it not sung it is to be omitted. Thank You.
ANSWER by Mr. Jacob Slavek on June 1, 2001
Dear Mr. BeBeau,
Thank you for bringing this up. Here is the complete text of the relevant portion of n. 23 from the General Introduction to the Lectionary from 1981:
The Alleluia or the verse before the Gospel must be sung, and during it all stand. It is not to be sung only by the cantor who intones it or by the choir, but by the whole of the people together. I find this text problematic, because it makes it ILLICIT to omit the allulia. The Alleluia must be sung However, both the 1975 AND the GIRM 2000 give EXPLICIT permission to omit it, and BOTH imply (but not explicitly state) that it may be recited.
So, either one of two possibilities follow. First, there is something that we have missed. Perhaps the obligation to sing the Alleluia only exists at the Missa Cantata. (sung Mass) This is unlikely because it is not stated. Second, the laws are simply unclear, in which case a clarification is in order to properly interpret.
In the meantime, in order to satisfy the requirements of both documents, the Alleluia would need to be sung at all Masses.
Thank you for the clarification.
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