I watched a video of a Mass being celebrated:
To me it seems like a strange way to deal with the singing. I don’t remember hearing the introit and then the Priest sang the parts the choir usually sing. Could you please explain?


It seems to be okay. The priest recites the Introit at the proper place at the Mass so the entrance psalm is just that, albeit redundant.


Are the Priest really allowed to act as a choir? I am not complaining. I am just confused.
And when did he sing the introit?


I’m not sure I understand your concern. The priest can sing the Mass. That is what a Missa Cantata is.

In the video, he sang a processional hymn (might have been the Introit of the day) then sung the Asperges Me, then recited the Foot of the Altar prayers with the servers, then recited the Introit. Seems okay to me.


Let me put it this way: this is a video with a Priest saying the Extraordinary form of the Roman Rite. I have never ever, except for this Priest, seen a Missa Cantata without a choir. It is often said that if there is no choir the Priest have to say a Missa Privata (if that’s the right term). This Priest seem to think otherwise. This video is a bit confusing to me. Could someone who is an expert in this subject explain this to me? Please also give reference to the Church documents concerning this?


A Missa Cantata is a low mass and does not require a choir.

Missa Cantata - incense, four candles, no deacon, no subdeacon. Priest uses Gregorian Chant.%between%


A Low Mass would be a Missa Lecta (“read”) Mass.

A Missa Cantata would be a Sung Mass.


This is what I mean:

High mass (with sacred ministers):

*]Sung: Missa solemnis
*Low masses (without sacred ministers):
*]*Sung: Missa cantata
*]Not Sung: Missa lecta

A sung Mass (missa Cantata) is a modern compromise. It is really a low Mass, since the essence of high Mass is not the music but the deacon and subdeacon. Only in churches which have no ordained person except one priest, and in which high Mass is thus impossible, is it allowed to celebrate the Mass (on Sundays and feasts) with most of the adornment borrowed from high Mass, with singing and (generally) with incense.

Fortescue, A. (1910). Liturgy of the Mass. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved July 20, 2014 from New Advent:


Why is he wearing a cope for mass? – I thought copes were only for non-mass things like benidiction


He changes vestments later.


In this case he was wearing it for the Asperges Me.

Most don’t see it that way. However, since I’ve always found the English word “low” to be troubling, (there is also Low Sunday), I won’t argue the point further.


You argue that a Missa Cantata is a Low Mass. But the website is stating that at such a Mass the Priest should not sing like the Priest in the video! And, btw, is Low Mass even an offial term?

Is there any music, which is not allowed at the Low Mass?


It is not permitted to sing any of the prayers or responses (i.e. “Et cum spiritu tuo,” “Amen,” etc.), nor any of the Proper (i.e. “Introit,” “Gradual,” etc.), nor any of the Ordinary (i.e. “Kyrie,” “Gloria,” etc.), whether in Latin or in the vernacular.


Does the priest sing anything at the Low Mass?


No. The rubrics of the Low Mass do not permit the priest to chant.


I am only quoting from what I studied, from Adrian Fortescue, when I studied the literature in classes. There are three Latin names for those Mass forms:

*]Missa solemnis
*]*Missa cantata
*]Missa lecta
The Missa solemnis is called High Mass and requires sacred ministers. What the New Advent explains is that any Mass without sacred ministers is a form of low Mass. What you mention pertains to Missa lecta.


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