The two things you sang at Mass today are part of what is known as the “Ordinary” of the Mass – that is, the parts that never change. I assume you knew what the words meant because you know the Mass in English:
Sanctus: Holy, holy, holy, Lord God . . .
Agnus Dei: Lamb of God . . .
The Kyrie is also frequently sung by the congregation: Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison (Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy).
Less frequently, the Gloria and the Creed are sung.
Sacrosanctum Concilium, the first document published by the Second Vatican Council stated that pastors should see to it that the people under their care learn at least these parts of the Mass since they are such a deep part of our heritage.
It is sad that today, a Protestant choir member is more likely to know these parts of the Mass in Latin and in several different musical settings than the average Catholic in the pew . . .
Welcome to a wonderful, rich world of music in worship!
Thanks, Mercy Gate!
I’ve heard it said that of all the Church’s Art, it’s music is supposed to be the cream of the crop.
Sadly, I didn’t know what the songs were until after Mass as I am just beginning to get the Mass in English. ( I didn’t know what they were in Latin, that is. )
I find it odd that if the Average Joe/Jane Catholic should know these songs in Latin, that so few do. ( From what I can tell most in my parish knew the songs. ) We seem to only use Latin in the daily mass, but not on the Vigil or Sunday masses.
Overall, I thought it was very beautiful and reverent, however.
One of our RCIA ’ Field Trips ’ will be to a Latin Mass, so I’d like to know what to expect song wise.
Yours in Christ,