I had a chat today with our associate pastor. He reported that at a diocesan workshop, the clergy were discouraged from singing the Mystery of Faith with the people. That got me thinking about the rubrics in the Order of Mass. Is the presider supposed to join in the singing or not? The dialogues are pretty clear: “the priest says” and “the people reply.”
- The general confession (Confiteor) is “recite(d) together.” And the people “reply” to the absolution that follows. All of the other forms of the Penitential act involve a “reply” by the people.
- The Gloria is “either sung or said.” GIRM 53 suggests different ways of rendering it, but the priest seems to be included in the directive “sung by everyone together.”
- The dialogues before and after the Gospel also involve “replies.”
- The Creed is “sung or said.”
- At the Preparation of the Gifts, the people’s parts are the response, “Blessed be God for ever,” which the people may “acclaim.”
- In the Sanctus, the priest’s involvement is directed: “with the people, singing or saying aloud.”
- After the institution narrative, the instruction after the priest sings, “The mystery of faith,” is “and the people continue, acclaiming:”
- Same term for the concluding Amen, “The people acclaim.”
- The Lord’s Prayer is prayed “together with the people.” The “people conclude the prayer, acclaiming.” (For the kingdom …)
- The Agnus Dei is “sung or said.”
As we implement MR3, it might be a good time to review this sort of liturgical practice. We have an opportunity to clean up a few rough spots. It’s also illustrative to look at the commonality in the Gloria, Creed, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei, but that other elements involve “replies” or “acclamations.” For the Mystery of Faith, how do you read the word “continue?” Priest drops out? Big fuss about a trivial matter? Sit in the armchair and render judgment.