Expert Answer Forum
Gospel Canticle Zachariah & the Magnificant QUESTION from Frances Swank March 13, 2000 When our Carmelite community (third order) recites the Liturgy together, I have noticed that when the Canticle's are recited they chant them dividing the prayer first side/second side. When I hear the Carmelite sisters pray this, they recite the Canticle together. I have been to at least three different monasteries and they all say the Canticle together rather than first side/second side. Is either acceptable or is one way the proper way?
Thank you for your answer and I hope that you understand what I am trying to express.
God Bless you. Frances
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on March 22, 2000 Dear Mrs. Swank:
I apologize to you too, for taking so long to answer your question.
The General Instruction on the Liturgy of the Hours, No 122 states:
The psalms (note: and this applies to the Gospel Canticles too) are sung or said in one of three ways, according to the different usages sanctioned by tradition or experience: as a single unit without a break or with two choirs or sections of the congregation singing alternate verses or strophes, or responsorilly. The way we do it if enough people are present is to have two choirs. The psalms are alternated between the two choirs. But for the Gospel Canticles of Mary and Zachariah, and the Gospel Canticle during Compline we sing them in unison.
It can be done in any of the three ways listed in No. 122 of the General Instruction.
So the way your local group is doing it is acceptable and the way you've seen it done in monasteries is also acceptable.
God bless you for your interest and participation in the Divine Office.
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