Sunday, July 24, 2011

GIRM 2002: Chapter 2: Structure, Elements and Parts of the Mass

LatinMy TranslationCanada’ Approved Version
Caput IDe Structura Missae Eiusque Elementis Et PartibusI. De Generali Structura Missae27. In Missa seu Cena dominica populus Dei in unum convocatur, sacerdote praeside personamque Christi gerente, ad memoriale Domini seu sacrificium eucharisticum celebrandum.[37] Quare de huiusmodi sanctae Ecclesiae coadunatione locali eminenter valet promissio Christi: «Ubi sunt duo vel tres congregati in nomine meo, ibi sum in medio eorum» (Mt 18, 20). In Missae enim celebratione, in qua sacrificium crucis perpetuatur,[38] Christus realiter praesens adest in ipso coetu in suo nomine congregato, in persona ministri, in verbo suo, et quidem substantialiter et continenter sub speciebus eucharisticis.[39] 28. Missa duabus partibus quodammodo constat, liturgia nempe verbi et liturgia eucharistica, quae tam arcte inter se coniunguntur, ut unum actum cultus efficiant.[40] Siquidem in Missa mensa tam verbi Dei quam Corporis Christi paratur e qua fideles instituantur et reficiantur.[41] Quidam autem ritus celebrationem aperiunt et concludunt. II. De Diversis Elementis MissaeDe lectione verbi Dei eiusque explanation29. Cum sacrae Scripturae in Ecclesia leguntur, Deus ipse ad populum suum loquitur et Christus, praesens in verbo suo, Evangelium annuntiat. Ideoque lectiones verbi Dei, quae elementum maximi momenti Liturgiae praebent, cum veneratione ab omnibus sunt audiendae. Quamvis autem verbum divinum in lectionibus sacrae Scripturae ad omnes homines cuiusque temporis dirigatur iisque intellegibile sit, eius tamen plenior intellegentia et efficacitas expositione viva, id est homilia, utpote parte actionis liturgicae,[42] fovetur. De orationibus aliisque partibus ad sacerdotem pertinentibus30. Inter ea quae sacerdoti tribuuntur, primum locum obtinet Prex eucharistica, quae culmen est totius celebrationis. Accedunt deinde orationes, idest collecta, oratio super oblata et oratio post communionem. Hae preces a sacerdote, qui coetui personam Christi gerens praeest, ad Deum diriguntur nomine totius plebis sanctae et omnium circumstantium.[43] Merito igitur «orationes praesidentiales» nominantur. 31. Item ad sacerdotem, munere praesidis coetus congregati fungentem, spectat proferre quasdam monitiones in ipso ritu praevisas. Ubi a rubricis statuitur, celebranti licet eas aliquatenus aptare ut participantium captui respondeant; curet tamen sacerdos ut sensum monitionis quae in libro liturgico proponitur ipse semper servet eamque paucis verbis exprimat. Sacerdoti praesidi etiam spectat verbum Dei nuntiare, necnon benedictionem finalem impertire. Ipsi insuper licet, brevissimis verbis, introducere fideles in Missam diei, post salutationem initialem et ante ritum paenitentialem; in liturgiam verbi, ante lectiones; in Precem eucharisticam, ante Praefationem, numquam vero intra Precem ipsam; necnon universam actionem sacram, ante dimissionem, concludere. 32. Natura partium «praesidentialium» exigit ut clara et elata voce proferantur et ab omnibus cum attentione auscultentur.44 Proinde dum sacerdos eas profert aliae orationes vel cantus non habeantur, atque organum vel alia instrumenta musica sileant. 33. Sacerdos vero, tamquam praeses, nomine Ecclesiae et congregatae communitatis preces effundit, aliquando autem nomine dumtaxat suo, ut ministerium suum maiore cum animi attentione et pietate adimpleat. Huiusmodi preces, quae ante lectionem Evangelii, in praeparatione donorum, necnon ante et post sacerdotis communionem proponuntur, secreto dicuntur. De aliis formulis in celebratione occurrentibus34. Cum Missae celebratio natura sua indolem «communitariam» habeat,[45] dialogis inter celebrantem et fideles congregatos necnon acclamationibus magna vis inhaeret:[46] etenim non sunt tantum signa externa celebrationis communis, sed communionem inter sacerdotem et populum fovent et efficiunt. 35. Acclamationes et responsiones fidelium salutationibus sacerdotis et orationibus illum participationis actuosae gradum constituunt, qui in omni Missae forma a fidelibus congregatis praestandus est, ut actio totius communitatis clare exprimatur et foveatur.[47] 36. Aliae partes, ad actuosam fidelium participationem manifestandam et fovendam valde utiles, quae universo coetui convocato tribuuntur, sunt praesertim actus paenitentialis, professio fidei, oratio universalis et oratio dominica. 37. Demum ex aliis formulis: 1. nonnullae ritum seu actum per se stantem, uti hymnus Glória, psalmus responsorius, Allelúia et versus ante Evangelium, Sanctus, acclamatio anamneseos, cantus post Communionem, constituunt; 2. nonnullae vero, uti cantus ad introitum, ad offertorium, ad fractionem (Agnus Dei) et ad Communionem, ritum aliquem comitantur. De modis proferendi varios textus38. In textibus clara et elata voce proferendis sive a sacerdote vel diacono sive a lectore sive ab omnibus, vox respondeat generi ipsius textus, prouti hic est lectio, oratio, admonitio, acclamatio, cantus; necnon formae celebrationis et sollemnitati coetus. Ratio insuper habeatur indolis diversarum linguarum et ingenii populorum. In rubricis ergo et in normis quae sequuntur, verba «dicere» vel «proferre» intellegi debent sive de cantu sive de recitatione, servatis principiis supra propositis. De momento cantus39. Ab Apostolo monentur christifideles qui in unum conveniunt exspectantes adventum Domini sui, ut una simul cantent psalmis, hymnis et canticis spiritualibus (cf. Col 3, 16). Cantus enim est signum exsultationis cordis (cf. Act 2, 46). Unde S. Augustinus recte dicit: «cantare amantis est»,[48] et iam antiquitus in proverbium venit: «bis orat qui bene cantat». 40. Magni ergo fiat usus cantus in Missae celebratione, attentis ingenio populorum et facultatibus cuiuslibet coetus liturgici. Quamvis non semper necessarium sit, v. gr. in Missis ferialibus, omnes textus cantu proferre qui per se cantui destinantur, curandum omnino est ne desit cantus ministrorum et populi in celebrationibus, quae diebus dominicis et festivis de praecepto peraguntur. In seligendis tamen partibus quae revera canantur, eae praeferendae sunt quae maioris sunt momenti, et praesertim, quae a sacerdote vel a diacono aut lectore, populo respondente, canendae sunt, aut a sacerdote et populo simul proferendae.[49] 41. Principem locum obtineat, ceteris paribus, cantus gregorianus, utpote Liturgiae romanae proprius. Alia genera musicae sacrae, praesertim vero polyphonia, minime excluduntur, dummodo spiritui actionis liturgicae respondeant et participationem omnium fidelium foveant.[50] Cum frequentius in dies fideles ex diversis nationibus inter se conveniant, expedit ut iidem fideles aliquas saltem partes Ordinarii Missae, praesertim vero symbolum fidei et orationem dominicam, modulis adhibitis facilioribus, lingua latina simul cantare sciant.[51] De gestibus et corporis habitibus42. Gestus et corporis habitus tum sacerdotis, diaconi, et ministrorum, tum populi eo contendere debent ut tota celebratio decore nobilique simplicitate fulgeat, diversarum eius partium vera plenaque significatio percipiatur et omnium participatio foveatur.[52] Attendendum igitur erit ad ea quae a lege liturgica et tradita praxi Ritus Romani definiuntur, et quae ad commune bonum spirituale populi Dei conferant, potius quam ad suam propensionem aut arbitrium. Communis corporis habitus, ab omnibus participantibus servandus, signum est unitatis membrorum communitatis christianae ad sacram Liturgiam congregatorum: mentem enim et sensus animi adstantium exprimit eosdemque fovet.[53] 43. Fideles stent ab initio cantus ad introitum, vel dum sacerdos accedit ad altare, usque ad collectam inclusive; ad cantum Allelúia ante Evangelium; dum ipsum Evangelium proclamatur; dum professio fidei et oratio universalis fiunt; necnon ab invitatorio Oráte fratres ante orationem super oblata usque ad finem Missae, praeter ea quae infra dicuntur. Sedeant autem dum proferuntur lectiones ante Evangelium et psalmus responsorius; ad homiliam et dum fit praeparatio donorum ad offertorium; atque, pro opportunitate, dum sacrum silentium post Communionem servatur. Genuflectant vero, nisi valetudinis causa, vel ob angustiam loci vel frequentiorem numerum adstantium aliasve rationabiles causas impediantur, ad consecrationem. Hi vero qui non genuflectunt ad consecrationem, inclinationem profundam peragant dum sacerdos genuflectit post consecrationem. Est tamen Conferentiae Episcoporum, gestus et corporis habitus in Ordine Missae descriptos ingenio et rationabilibus populorum traditionibus ad normam iuris aptare.[54] Attendendum tamen erit, ut sensui et indoli cuiusque partis celebrationis respondeant. Ubi mos est, populum ab acclamatione Sanctus expleta usque ad finem Precis eucharisticae genuflexum manere, hic laudabiliter retinetur.Ad uniformitatem in gestibus et corporis habitibus in una eadem celebratione obtinendam, fideles monitionibus obtemperent, quas diaconus, vel minister laicus, vel sacerdos durante celebratione proferunt, iuxta ea quae in libris liturgicis statuuntur. 44. In gestibus numerantur etiam actiones et processiones, quibus sacerdos cum diacono, et ministris, ad altare adit; diaconus ante Evangelii proclamationem Evangeliarium seu Librum evangeliorum ad ambonem defert; fideles dona afferunt et ad Communionem accedunt. Convenit ut huiusmodi actiones et processiones decore peragantur, dum cantus ipsis proprii fiunt, iuxta normas pro singulis statutas. De silentio45. Sacrum quoque silentium, tamquam pars celebrationis, suo tempore est servandum.[55] Eius autem natura a tempore pendet, quo in singulis celebrationibus occurrit. In actu enim paenitentiali et post invitationem ad orandum singuli ad seipsos convertuntur; lectione autem vel homilia peracta, ea quae audierunt breviter meditantur; post Communionem vero in corde suo Deum laudant et orant. Iam ante ipsam celebrationem silentium laudabiliter servatur in ecclesia, in sacristia et in locis ipsis propinquioribus, ut omnes se ad sacra peragenda devote et rite disponantur. Chapter IStructure, Elements and Parts of the MassI. General Structure of the Mass27. In the Mass or the Lord’s Supper, the People of God are called to meet together with the presiding Priest who acts in Persona Christi, to celebrate the memorial of the Lord, which is the Eucharistic Sacrifice. [37]. This local gathering of the Holy Church validates in an eminent way the promise of Christ: Where two or three gather in my name, I am there among them. (Matt. 18:20). Infact, in the celebration of the Mass, in which is perpetuated the Sacrifice of the Cross [38], Christ is really (truly) present in the assembly gathered in his name, in the person of the Minister(Presiding Priest), in his Word and in the substantial and permanent way under the Eucharistic species. [39] 28. The mass consists of two parts: The “Liturgy of the Word” and the “Liturgy of the Eucharist; they are strictly conjoined that together they form ONE cult act (act of worship). In the Mass, infact the Word of God is set as is the (banquet?) table of the Body of Christ, and the faithful receive from it instruction and restoration (food) [41]. There are some other rites that begin and others that conclude the celebration. II. The Different (Various) Elements of the MassReading the Word of God and Explaining it29. lWhen in (the) church Sacred Scripture is read, God Himself speaks to his people and Christ, present in his word, proclaims the Gospel. For this reason everyone must listen with veneration the readings of the Word of God, that constitute a most important element of the Liturgy. And even though the word of God in the readings of Sacred Scripture is addressed to all men (and women) of every epoch(age) and is intelligible, a fuller comprehension and efficacy is favoured by a living (Italian adds: and actual) explanation, that is by the homily, which is part of the Liturgical action.[42]Prayers and the other parts that is (proper) to the (Celebrant) priest.30. Among the parts proper to the celebrant priest the Eucharistic Prayer occupies the first place, the culmination of the entire celebration. Then follows the prayers, that is: the Opening Prayer (or Collect), the Prayer over the gifts, and the prayer after communion. These prayers, recited by the celebrating priest in his capacity as presider of the assembly in the Persona Christi, are addressed to God in the name of all the holy people and all those present [43]. That is why they are justly called: Presidential Prayers. 31. It is, equally (the duty), of the priest, in his office as presider of the gathered assembly, to make some introductions as is provided for in the rite. When it is provided for by the rubrics, the celebrant is permitted to tailor parts so as to respond to the understanding of the participants (until the participants understand). However, the priest must do it in such a way as to keep the sense of the proposed monition that is in the Missal and explain with a few words. It is also the presiding priest to guide the proclamation fo the Word of God, and to impart the final blessing. He may intervene with very few words, to introduce the Mass of the Day to the faithful, after the intial greeting and before the penitential act; at the Litugy of the Word, before the Readings; at the Eucharistic Prayer, before beginning the preface, naturally NEVER during the course the PRAYER itself; before the dismissal, to conclude the entire sacred act. 32. The nature of the “Presidential”parts exiges that they are proffered in a clear and loud voice and all are to listen attentively.[44] Therefore, while the priest recites, these prayers, they may not be overridden (accompanied)by other prayers or songs, and other musical instruments are to remain silent. 33. The priest, as president, formulates the prayers in the name of the Church and the community gathered together, and sometimes even in his own name, in order to be able to carry out their ministry with greater attention and devotion. These prayers, which are to be proposed before the proclamation of the Gospel, at the preparation of the gifts, before and after the priest's communion, are recited secretly(silently). Other Formulae that occur during the celebrations34. Since the celebration of the Mass has, by its nature, “community” characteristic[ 45], the dialogues and the acclamations between the priest and the gathered faithful assume great relevance [ 46]. In fact these elements are not only the outward signs of the community celebration, but they promote and realize (make real) the communion between the priest and the people. 35. The acclamations the faithfuls’ responses to the celebrant’s greetings and to the prayers, constitute that level of active participation that the gathered faithful must exert (implement) in every form of the the mass to express and revive the action of the entire community [47] 36. Other parts, often used to manifest and and promote the active participation of the faithful, are the responsibility of the entire convened assembly; they are above all the penitential act, the profession of faith, the Universal Prayer (Prayers of the Faithful) and the Lord’s Prayer ( that is the Our Father) 37. Lastly, among the other formulae: 1. Some constitute a rite or an act in itself, like the Gloria (hymn), the responsorial Psalm, the Alleluia and versicle before the Gospel (the Gospel Chant), the Sanctus, the anamnesis, and the post communion chant(hymn) 2.Others, rather, accompany some rite, like the Entrance, Offertory Chants (hymns), and those that accompany the fractioning (Agnus Dei) and the Communion. The manner in which the vaious texts are to be proclaimed38. In the texts which are to be proclaimed in a loud and clear voice by the celebrant or the deason, the Lectors or by all, the voice must correspond to the type of text (it is), according to (whether the text) is a reading, a prayer, and instruction, of acclamation, or a chant( hymn); it must also correspond to the form of the celebration and to the solemnity of the liturgical gathering. It also takes into account the characteristics of the different languages and culture specific to every people. In the rubrics and in the norms(rules) that follow, the words “recite/say” or even “proclaim” must be considered to refer (mean) as much to singing as to reciting, taking into account the principals above espoused/proposed. The Importance of Song(Chant)39. The faithful which gather as they wait for the coming of their Lord, are exhorted by the apostle to sing (together) psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (Cf. Col 3:16). Infact Song is a sign of the joy of the heart (Cf. Acts 2:46) Therefore Saint Augustine said it best when he said “Singing is proper to those who love” [48] and already from antiquity, was formed the saying: (He) Who sings well, prays twice. 40 In the celebration of the Mass singing is given great importance, paying attention to the cultural diversity of the populations and the possibilities of each liturgical assembly. Even if it is not always necessary to sing all the texts that by their nature are intended to be sung, for example in the Masses on weekdays, however, during the Sunday celebrations and feasts of obligation must not omit the singing of the ministers and of the people. In the choice of the parts destined to be sung, preference must be given to the most important, and above all those that are to be sung by celebrant-priest, the deacon or the Lector with the people answering, or by the celebrant priest and the people together [49] 41All things being equal, the preference is Gregorian chant, in as much as it is proper to the Roman Liturgy. The other forms of Sacred Music, especially poluphony, are not at all excluded, provided they satisfy the spirit of the Liturgical action and favours the participation of the all the faithful.[50] Since there are more and more international meetings of the faithful, it is appropriate that they know to sing together, at least the parts of the ordinary of the Mass (proper to them), especially the Sign of Faith and Lord’s Prayer[ 51], in Latin with simpler melodies. Gestures and attitiudes of the Body42. The gestures and attitudes of the body of the celebrant priest, the deacon and the ministers as well as the people, must strive to ensure that the entire celebration shine with decorum and noble simplicity, that will seize the true and full meaning of the different parts and favours the participation of all [52]. (More)Attention must be paid to the rules laid down by this General Instruction (Liturgical Law) and the Secular Praxis of the Roman Rite, which contribute to the spiritual good of the community of the People of God than to personal or arbitrary tastes (styles) The communal bodily attitudes, to be observed by all the participants is a sign of the unity of the members of the Christian community gathered for the Sacred Liturgy: infact is manifests and favours the intention and the sentiments of the souls of those who participate. 43. The faithful stand from the beginning of the introit chant until the celebrant ascends the altar and pronounces the collect (opening Prayer): during the singing of the Alleluia before the Gospel; while the Gospel is being proclaimed; during the recitation of the Profession of Faith and while the Prayers of the Faithful are made; and again at the invitation: Pray Brethren before the Prayer over the gifts until the end of Mass, except as stated below. They sit during the Readings before the Gospel and the Responsorial Psalm; during the Homily and the preparation of the gifts at the offertory, and if opportune, during the post communion silence. The Faithful kneel at the consecration, as long as they are not impeded by health, limitation of space, of large numbers of faithful present, or other reasonable motives. Those who do not (can not) kneel at the consecration; make a profound (deep) bow when the celebrant genuflects after the consecration. It is expected of the Episcopal Conferences to adapt the gestures and attitudes of the body (postures) described in the Rite of the Mass, to the culture and reasonable traditions of the various peoples according to the norms of rights [53]. Nevertheless these adaptations should be made in a manner that such adaptations correspond to the sense and character of each part of the celebration. Where it is the habit that the people remain kneeling from the Proclamation of the Sanctus to the End of the Eucharistic Prayer(Great Amen) and before Communion, when the Celebrant announces the This is the Lamb of God, such a practice is laudably to be conserved. To obtain uniformity in gestures and postures in the same celebration, the faithful follow the instructions of the Deacon, or another lay minister, or the celebrant given according to the established norms of the Missal. 44. Among the gestures there are actions and processions: that of the celebrant that, together with the deacon and the ministers, as they approach (ascend) the altar; that of the deacon when he carries the Evangeliario or the Book of the Gospels to the Ambo before the proclamation of the Gospel; that with which the faithful present their gifts or approach to receive Communion. It is proper that such actions are performed decoriously, while following the appropriate chants (hymns) according to the norms established for each. Silence45. Sacred Silence is also to be observed, at its time, as a part of the celebration [54] Its nature depends on the moment in which it takes place in each (individual) celebration. Such as during the Penitential Act and after the Invitation to Prayer, silence helps to collect everyone together; after the readings or the homily, it is a reminder (a call) to meditate briefly on that which was heard; after communion it favours interior (private prayer of praise and supplication. Even before the same Celebration it is good to observe silence in church, in the sacristy, and in the place where the vestments are assumed (donned), and the annexed places, so that all can prepare devoutly and in the right ways for the sacred celebration. CHAPTER II THE STRUCTURE OF THE MASS, ITS ELEMENTS AND ITS PARTS I. THE GENERAL STRUCTURE OF THE MASS 27. At Mass or the Lord’s Supper the People of God is called together, with a Priest presiding and acting in the person of Christ, to celebrate the memorial of the Lord or Eucharistic Sacrifice.37 In an outstanding way there applies to such a local gathering of the holy Church the promise of Christ: “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in their midst” (Matthew 18.20). For in the celebration of Mass, in which the Sacrifice of the Cross is perpetuated,38 Christ is really present in the very assembly gathered in his name, in the person of the minister, in his word, and indeed substantially and uninterruptedly under the Eucharistic species.39 28. The Mass consists in some sense of two parts, namely the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, these being so closely interconnected that they form but one single act of worship.40 For in the Mass is spread the table both of God’s Word and of the Body of Christ, and from it the faithful are to be instructed and refreshed.41 There are also certain rites that open and conclude the celebration. II. THE DIFFERENT ELEMENTS OF THE MASS Reading and Explaining the Word of God 29. When the Sacred Scriptures are read in the Church, God himself speaks to his people, and Christ, present in his word, proclaims the Gospel. Therefore, the readings from the Word of God are to be listened to reverently by everyone, for they are an element of the greatest importance in the Liturgy. Although in the readings from Sacred Scripture the Word of God is addressed to all people of whatever era and is understandable to them, a fuller understanding and a greater efficaciousness of the word is nevertheless fostered by a living commentary on the word, that is, by the Homily, as part of the liturgical action.42 The Prayers and Other Parts Pertaining to the Priest 30. Among those things assigned to the Priest, the prime place is occupied by the Eucharistic Prayer, which is the high point of the whole celebration. Next are the orations, that is to say, the Collect, the Prayer over the Offerings, and the Prayer after Communion. These prayers are addressed to God by the Priest who presides over the assembly in the person of Christ, in the name of the entire holy people and of all present.43 Hence they are rightly called the “presidential prayers.” 31. Likewise it is also for the Priest, in the exercise of his office of presiding over the gathered assembly, to offer certain explanations that are foreseen in the rite itself. Where this is laid down by the rubrics, the celebrant is permitted to adapt them somewhat so that they correspond to the capacity for understanding of those participating. However, the Priest should always take care to keep to the sense of the explanatory text given in the Missal and to express it in just a few words. It is also for the presiding Priest to regulate the Word of God and to impart the final blessing. He is permitted, furthermore, in a very few words, to give the faithful an introduction to the Mass of the day (after the initial Greeting and before the Penitential Act), to the Liturgy of the Word (before the readings), and to the Eucharistic Prayer (before the Preface), though never during the Eucharistic Prayer itself; he may also make concluding comments regarding the entire sacred action before the Dismissal. 32. The nature of the “presidential” parts requires that they be spoken in a loud and clear voice and that everyone listen to them attentively.44 Therefore, while the Priest is pronouncing them, there should be no other prayers or singing, and the organ or other musical instruments should be silent. 33. For the Priest, as the one who presides, expresses prayers in the name of the Church and of the assembled community; but at times he prays only in his own name, asking that he may exercise his ministry with greater attention and devotion. Prayers of this kind, which occur before the reading of the Gospel, at the Preparation of the Gifts, and also before and after the Communion of the Priest, are said quietly. Other Formulas Occurring During the Celebration 34. Since the celebration of Mass by its nature has a “communitarian” character,45 both the dialogues between the Priest and the assembled faithful, and the acclamations are of great significance;46 for they are not simply outward signs of communal celebration but foster and bring about communion between Priest and people. 35. The acclamations and the responses of the faithful to the Priest’s greetings and prayers constitute that level of active participation that is to be made by the assembled faithful in every form of the Mass, so that the action of the whole community may be clearly expressed and fostered.47 36. Other parts, most useful for expressing and fostering the active participation of the faithful, and which are assigned to the whole gathering, include especially the Penitential Act, the Profession of Faith, the Universal Prayer, and the Lord’s Prayer. 37. Finally, among other formulas: a) Some constitute an independent rite or act, such as the Gloria in excelsis (Glory to God in the highest), the Responsorial Psalm, the Alleluia and Verse before the Gospel, the Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy), the Memorial Acclamation, and the Chant after Communion; b) Others, on the other hand, accompany some other rite, such as the chants at the Entrance, at the Offertory, at the fraction Agnus Dei (Lamb of God), and at Communion. The Manner of Pronouncing the Different Texts 38. In texts that are to be pronounced in a loud and clear voice, whether by the Priest or the Deacon, or by a reader, or by everyone, the voice should correspond to the genre of the text itself, that is, depending upon whether it is a reading, a prayer, an explanatory comment, an acclamation, or a sung text; it should also be suited to the form of celebration and to the solemnity of the gathering. Consideration should also be given to the characteristics of different languages and of the culture of different peoples. Therefore, in the rubrics and in the norms that follow, words such as “say” and “proclaim” are to be understood either of singing or of reciting, with due regard for the principles stated here above. The Importance of Singing 39. The Christian faithful who come together as one in expectation of the Lord’s coming are instructed by the Apostle Paul to sing together Psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles (cf. Colossians 3.16). Singing is the sign of the heart’s joy (cf. Acts 2.46). Thus St. Augustine says rightly, “Singing is for one who loves,”48 and there is also an ancient proverb: “Whoever sings well prays twice over.” 40. Great importance should therefore be attached to the use of singing in the celebration of the Mass, with due consideration for the culture of peoples and abilities of each liturgical assembly. Although it is not always necessary (e.g., in weekday Masses) to sing all the texts that are in principle meant to be sung, every care should be taken that singing by the ministers and the people not be absent in celebrations that occur on Sundays and on Holydays of Obligation. However, in the choosing of the parts actually to be sung, preference is to be given to those that are of greater importance and especially to those which are to be sung by the Priest or the Deacon or a reader, with the people replying, or by the Priest and people together.49 41. The main place should be given, all things being equal, to Gregorian chant, as being proper to the Roman Liturgy. Other kinds of sacred music, in particular polyphony, are in no way excluded, provided that they correspond to the spirit of the liturgical action and that they foster the participation of all the faithful.50 Since the faithful from different countries come together ever more frequently, it is desirable that they know how to sing together at least some parts of the Ordinary of the Mass in Latin, especially the Profession of Faith and the Lord’s Prayer, according to the simpler settings.51 Gestures and Bodily Posture 42. The gestures and bodily posture of both the Priest, the Deacon, and the ministers, and also of the people, must be conducive to making the entire celebration resplendent with beauty and noble simplicity, to making clear the true and full meaning of its different parts, and to fostering the participation of all.52 Attention must therefore be paid to what is determined by this General Instruction and by the traditional practice of the Roman Rite and to what serves the common spiritual good of the People of God, rather than private inclination or arbitrary choice. A common bodily posture, to be observed by all those taking part, is a sign of the unity of the members of the Christian community gathered together for the Sacred Liturgy, for it expresses the intentions and spiritual attitude of the participants and also fosters them. 43. The faithful should stand from the beginning of the Entrance chant, or while the Priest approaches the altar, until the end of the Collect; for the Alleluia chant before the Gospel; while the Gospel itself is proclaimed; during the Profession of Faith and the Universal Prayer; and from the invitation, Orate, fratres (Pray, brethren), before the Prayer over the Offerings until the end of Mass, except at the places indicated here below. The faithful should sit, on the other hand, during the readings before the Gospel and the Responsorial Psalm and for the Homily and during the Preparation of the Gifts at the Offertory; and, if appropriate, during the period of sacred silence after Communion. In the dioceses of Canada, the faithful should kneel at the Consecration, except when prevented on occasion by ill health, or for reasons of lack of space, of the large number of people present, or for another reasonable cause.53 However, those who do not kneel ought to make a profound bow when the Priest genuflects after the Consecration. Where it is the practice for the people to remain kneeling after the Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy) until the end of the Eucharistic Prayer and before Communion when the Priest says Ecce Agnus Dei (This is the Lamb of God), it is laudable for this practice to be retained. For the sake of uniformity in gestures and bodily postures during one and the same celebration, the faithful should follow the instructions which the Deacon, a lay minister, or the Priest gives, according to what is laid down in the Missal. 44. Among gestures are included also actions and processions, by which the Priest, with the Deacon and ministers, goes to the altar; the Deacon carries the Evangeliary or Book of Gospels to the ambo before the proclamation of the Gospel; the faithful bring up the gifts and come forward to receive Communion. It is appropriate that actions and processions of this sort be carried out with decorum while the chants proper to them are sung, in accordance with the norms laid down for each. Silence 45. Sacred silence also, as part of the celebration, is to be observed at the designated times.54 Its nature, however, depends on the moment when it occurs in the different parts of the celebration. For in the Penitential Act and again after the invitation to pray, individuals recollect themselves; whereas after a reading or after the Homily, all meditate briefly on what they have heard; then after Communion, they praise God in their hearts and pray to him. Even before the celebration itself, it is a praiseworthy practice for silence to be observed in the church, in the sacristy, in the vesting room, and in adjacent areas, so that all may dispose themselves to carry out the sacred celebration in a devout and fitting manner.

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Scripture to keep in mind

Six things there are, which the Lord hateth, and the seventh his soul detesteth: [17] Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, [18] A heart that deviseth wicked plots, feet that are swift to run into mischief, [19]A deceitful witness that uttereth lies, and him that soweth discord among brethren. [20] My son, keep the commandments of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother. ***Cf:Douay-Rheims Proverbs 6: 16-20

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