Do the Easter and Pentecost (and optional Chorpus Christi) sequences need to be sung?

Does the sequences for those feast days have to be sung? I am asking this because last Pentecost they read out the Pentecost sequence, they didn’t sing it. For years we have sung “Come, Holy Spirit”, a musical setting for the Pentecost sequence. For Easter we sing “Christ, The Lord, Is Risen Today”, a musical setting to the Easter sequence, and for Chorpus Christi we don’t do it. Now, do they have to be sung? The reason I’m asking is because (like I state above) they read, didn’t sing, the Pentecost sequence last year. I swore that those need to be sung. Typically, the Easter sequence is sung at my parish, and I don’t know what they’ll do this year because the Pentecost sequence wasn’t sung last year. I just like singing it because it adds more joy into the feast day. Having it just read by the lector is dull.

From the GIRM:

The Vocal Expression of the Different Texts

  1. In texts that are to be spoken in a loud and clear voice, whether by the priest or the deacon, or by the lector, or by all, the tone of voice should correspond to the genre of the text itself, that is, depending upon whether it is a reading, a prayer, a commentary, an acclamation, or a sung text; the tone should also be suited to the form of celebration and to the solemnity of the gathering. Consideration should also be given to the idiom of different languages and the culture of different peoples.

In the rubrics and in the norms that follow, words such as “say” and “proclaim” are to be understood of both singing and reciting, according to the principles just stated above.

The Importance of Singing

  1. The Christian faithful who gather together as one to await the Lord’s coming are
    instructed by the Apostle Paul to sing together psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (cf. Col 3:16). Singing is the sign of the heart’s joy (cf. Acts 2:46). Thus Saint Augustine says rightly, “Singing is for one who loves.” There is also the ancient proverb: “One who sings well prays twice.”

  2. Great importance should therefore be attached to the use of singing in the celebration of the Mass, with due consideration for the culture of the people and abilities of each liturgical assembly. Although it is not always necessary (e.g., in weekday Masses) to sing all the texts that are of themselves meant to be sung, every care should be taken that singing by the ministers and the people is not absent in celebrations that occur on Sundays and on holy days of obligation. In the choosing of the parts actually to be sung, however, preference should be given to those that are of greater importance and especially to those to be sung by the priest or the deacon or the lector, with the people responding, or by the priest and people together.


  1. The Sequence, which is optional except on Easter Sunday and on Pentecost Day, is sung before the Alleluia.
    It seems to me that it should be sung. It’s a hymn, actually… it’s a “proper hymn” of the Roman Rite.

Spot on. I want to add also that “Christ the Lord is risen today” is not a version, nor even a paraphrase, of Victimae paschali laudes. It’s a fine hymn by Charles Wesley, but it bears no resemblance to the Sequence except in its subject matter.

The hymn in question is Christ, The Lord, Is Risen Today, is not the one by Charles Wesley but was ascribed by Wipo of Burgandy and translated by Jane E. Leeson, the name of the tune is Victimae Paschali

Yes, that is the one I was talking about. Thank you for making that clear. I didn’t get back to this thread.

To the user who thought it was the Carles Wesley adaptation, this is the hymn I mean:

The hymn is called “Christ, The Lord, Is Risen Today” the same title as Charles Wesley’s version, but it’s a musical rendition of the Easter Sequence, also called Victame Paschali (its hymn tune name). For this reason I think the hymn’s name should be changed to something other than “Christ, The Lord, Is Risen Today” because it makes people think it’s Wesley’s version.

Christ, the Lord, is ris’n today; Christians hast your vows to pay;
Make your joys and praises known at the Paschal Victim’s throne;
For the sheep the Lamb has bled,
Sinless in the sinner’s stead; Christ, The Lord is
ris’n on high; Now he lives, no more to die!

Christ, the Victim undefiled, God and sinners
reconciled; when in strange and awesome strife Met together
dead and life; Christians, on this happy day
Haste with joy your vows to pay; Christ, the Lord is
ris’n on high; Now he lives, no more to die!

Say, O wond’ring Mary, say what you saw along the way.
“I beheld two angels bright, empty
tomb and wrapping white; I beheld the glory bright
of the risen Lord of light; Christ, my hope, is
ris’n again; Now he lives, and lives to reign!”

Christ, who once for sinners bled, now the first-born
from the dead, throned in endless might and pow’r, lives and
reigns forevermore. Hail, eternal Hope on high!
Hail, our King of Victory! Hail, our Prince of
Life adored! Help and save us, gracious Lord!

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