Liturgy & Liturgical Law Forum: Another abuse of the Liturgy of Mass?
Another abuse of the Liturgy of Mass? QUESTION from A. Basto on June 3, 2002 I have observed that in recent years, an increasing number of parishes have been promoting changes to the hymns sung during Holy Mass.
Lately, I have been attending Sunday Mass in a territorial Abbey where the Graduale Romanum is used, so that there is no problem there.
But, of course, in normal parishes ruled by the Achdiocese, there has been always a great freedom for the priest to choose the hymns for the Entrance, Offertory and Communion Antiphons.
Of course, that freedom is somewhat limited by the fact that the Mass leaflets distributed by the Achdiocese already contain a sugestion for each Antiphon. And since many priests gave in for the liturgical abuse of reading the Liturgy of the Word not from the Lectionary but from the leaflet, they tend to accept the musics proposed there also.
But that is by far not the problem, because there is some freedom with regard to the Entrance, Offertory and Communion.
The problem is that, lately, SEVERAL priests have started to replace hymns of the Ordinary of Mass for other hymns. It has become very popular, for instance, to replace the Gloria with another similar hymn of praise.
Recently, a pop-star Priest, who appears a lot in the Catholic TV, commiting dozens of abuses per Mass, started selling a CD in which he sings a music called Our Father, that is very similar, in the first verses, to the Prayer of the Lord, although using more informal language. But this music becomes considerably different from the actual Our Father in the last verses.
And, thanks to the influence of this Pop-star Priest, who drags crowds to his pop-music Masses at squares and TV studios, his version of the Our Father is now being used by several priests in the place of the Prayer of the Lord.
For me, all those things are abuses, but I may be wrong.
Are these changes accepted by Rome or are they abuses?
Also, in the territorial Abbey in which I attend Mass, we use the Nicene Creed, but in the surrounding Archdiocese everybody uses the Apostle's Creed, even in the Cathedral. Is this perhaps an indult, or is this an abuse? I understand that the universal rule is to use the so-called Nicene Creed.
ANSWER by Mr. Jacob Slavek on June 11, 2002 Dear Mr. Basto,
There is more freedom given in selecting the hymn and its text for the beginning and end of Mass. There is no official text provided unless you choose to sing the antiphon given in the Missal. Otherwise, the Missal simply calls for a song at these points in Mass.
However, the Gloria, when it is used, must be used exactly as it appears in the Missal since it is an official liturgical text. Also the Lord's prayer, even when sung, may not be tampered with.
The Apostle's creed may only replace the Nicene Creed at Masses for Children. At any other time, it is an abuse.
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