Inaudible Canon in Novus Ordo

In one of the churches that I have visited, I have experienced a Novus Ordo Latin Mass whose Canon goes as follows. The preface is sung as usual. Then while Sanctus is sung in a polyphony tone by the choir (while the people are still standing) the priest started to pray the Canon inaudibly. He stops right after the blessing of the bread and wine (in which he stretches his hands over the bread and wine). Then the choir ends at the first Hosanna in excelsis. The people then kneel and the priest continues the next part of the Canon, which is the consecration, audibly, until the Mysterium Fidei. The people then sing Mortem tuam annuntiamus Domine as usual, but after that, the remaining part of the Canon is again said inaudibly by the Priest, while the choir sings the rest of the Sanctus (Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini, Hosanna in excelsis) and the people are still kneeling. The priest stops right before the Per ipsum and wait for the choir to finish, and sings the Per ipsum, audibly, at the end of which the people responds Amen.

Does this actually a common practice? And is this actually allowed? I have never seen this practice before, but I think this is a beautiful blending of the Novus Ordo’s Eucharistic Prayer and the way the Canon is prayed in the Old Rite of the mass, which I personally preferred. Inaudible prayers of the Canon, especially after the consecration, gives us a perfect solemn moment to pray from our hearts to Jesus who is truly present in front of us. Also, I feel that the rest part of the Canon does not need to be heard by the people, anyway.

It’s called the “Ordinary Form”. Novus Ordo is not preferred

The Offertory even in the OF is said inaudibly in many churches. I don’t think it was ever forbidden to say the canon inaudibly. In fact, per Council of Trent:

And whereas such is the nature of man, that, without external helps, he can not easily be raised to the meditation of divine things; therefore has holy Mother Church instituted certain rites, to wit, that certain things be pronounced in the mass in a low, and others in a louder, tone.

Canon IX.—If anyone saith, that the rite of the Roman Church, according to which a part of the canon and the words of consecration are pronounced in a low tone, is to be condemned; or, that the mass ought to be celebrated in the vulgar tongue only; or, that water ought not to be mixed with the wine that is to be offered in the chalice, for that it is contrary to the institution of Christ: let him be anathema.

I have experienced this in a few places (with good choirs), sometimes with an anthem / motet sung after the declaration of the mystery of faith.

I love it! It’s a beautiful experience and allows the mind, heart and soul to rise up to God on waves of music. (All sounds very flowery I know but it truly is lovely.)

GIRM 78
Now the center and high point of the entire celebration begins, namely, the Eucharistic Prayer itself, that is, the prayer of thanksgiving and sanctification. The Priest calls upon the people to lift up their hearts towards the Lord in prayer and thanksgiving; he associates the people with himself in the Prayer that he addresses in the name of the entire community to God the Father through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, the meaning of this Prayer is that the whole congregation of the faithful joins with Christ in confessing the great deeds of God and in the offering of Sacrifice. The Eucharistic Prayer requires that everybody listens to it with reverence and in silence.

GIRM 218 (on Concelebrated Mass)
*The parts spoken by all the concelebrants together and especially the words of consecration, which all are bound to say, are to be said in such a way that the concelebrants speak them in a very low voice and that the principal celebrant’s voice be clearly heard. In this way the words can be better understood by the people.

It is a praiseworthy practice for the parts that are to be said by all the concelebrants together and for which musical notation is provided in the Missal to be sung.*

Are these sufficient to say that it is unlawful in OF Masses to say the Canon inaudibly? If the Canon is inaudible, then how can it be listened, and even understood, by the people?

The Offertory even in the OF is said inaudibly in many churches.

In OF, it is normal (and lawful) for a priest to say the offertory prayers inaudibly (see, e.g., GIRM 141-145), but this does not mean that the Canon can also be said inaudibly.

I have experienced this in a few places (with good choirs), sometimes with an anthem / motet sung after the declaration of the mystery of faith.

I love it! It’s a beautiful experience and allows the mind, heart and soul to rise up to God on waves of music. (All sounds very flowery I know but it truly is lovely.)

I would agree that it is beautiful. But since the Mass is the public prayer of the Church, then in the way it is offered, we should not disregard lawfulness for the sake of beauty. Everyone may have an opinion to decorate the Mass and make it more beautiful (to him/her), but it is not always in line with the official rules.

Silvergrasshopp, you need to check dates and only post on current threads and not resurrect old ones. This is the 3rd one I have seen you on today…You might want to reread the forum rules. :slight_smile:

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