From the Rector: Order of Mass – Part II
The Reading and Epistle are sung (!) or read by an instituted lector, (or a reader)
The Gospel is sung or read by the deacon, or priest.
The Propers of the Mass are to be sung by the cantor and the choir, and the people may respond to them. You will recall from an earlier article that the Propers include:
-The Introit (Entrance Antiphon)
-The Gradual or Responsorial Psalm (If there is not a psalmist or cantor, this may be read by a Lector or Reader)
-The Alleluia and its verse (sometimes called the Gospel acclamation)
-The Offertory Antiphon
-The Communion Antiphon
The Orations and the Eucharistic prayer with its Preface belong to the priest alone. The priest may say or sing the Orations. At the conclusion of these prayers, the people respond by singing or saying Amen.
The Orations include:
-The Collect or Opening Prayer.
-The Prayer introducing and concluding the Prayers of the Faithful.
-The Prayer over the Offerings
-The Prayer after Communion.
It is surprising that although we are used to the notion that a priest “says” Mass, a very large measure of the text of Mass is sung or said by the people, the choir, the cantor and the deacon. Since all of us have important parts of the Mass to pray out loud, we should take responsibility for learning more about the meaning of these parts, and trying our best to learn to sing or speak them from our hearts as well as our lips.
Cantate Domino (sing to the Lord!)
Fr. Matthew Keller