I thought the Gospel Acclamation was required when there are two readings before the Gospel and hence required on Sundays. Today at Mass it was omitted. There was no singing at this Mass, everything was spoken, so I’m not sure if that makes a difference. I appreciate any enlightenment on this matter.
The Gospel Acclamation is to be sung. Reading GIRM 63 does seem to make it clear that omitting is not an option when there are two readings prior but Our Canadian Lectionary used to say “If not sung it is omitted.” Not sure if the revised Canadian Lectionary says the same.
After the initial readings, we stand to greet the Gospel with a sung or spoken acclamation.
It would be a shame to omit this important part of the Mass. However, GIRM says:
63c. the Alleluia or verse before the Gospel may be omitted if they are not sung.
This effectively makes the Gospel Acclamation optional.
The GIRM 63c is under the heading for only one reading before the Gospel. It doesn’t apply to Sundays. Here’s the GIRM.
- After the reading that immediately precedes the Gospel, the Alleluia or another chant laid down by the rubrics is sung, as the liturgical time requires. An acclamation of this kind constitutes a rite or act in itself, by which the gathering of the faithful welcomes and greets the Lord who is about to speak to
them in the Gospel and profess their faith by means of the chant. It is sung by everybody, standing, and is led by the choir or a cantor, being repeated as the case requires. The verse, on the other hand, is sung either by the choir or by a cantor.
a) The Alleluia is sung in every time of year other than Lent. The verses are taken from the Lectionary or the Graduale.
b) During Lent, instead of the Alleluia, the Verse before the Gospel as given in the Lectionary is sung. It is also possible to sing another Psalm or Tract, as found in the Graduale.
- When there is only one reading before the Gospel:
a) during a time of year when the Alleluia is prescribed, either an Alleluia Psalm or the Responsorial Psalm followed by the Alleluia with its verse may be used;
b) during a time of year when the Alleluia is not foreseen, either the Psalm and the Verse before the Gospel or the Psalm alone may be used;
c) the Alleluia or the Verse before the Gospel, if not sung, may be omitted.
I, too, was under the impression that the rubric “omit if not sung” was independent of the readings, so now I’m puzzled. It was certainly applied that way prior to the 3rd edition of the Missal translation/corresponding GIRM implementation.
(In other words, throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, I know we skipped it at Sunday Masses without music - it was even printed as an instruction in the missalettes.)
I read somewhere that it is required when there are more than one reading before the Gospel. However the GIRM doesn’t explicitly state that.
I read the GIRM just now, so I see what you’re referring to, hence my comment about being puzzled. I can only elaborate on what practice was, as it’s been ages since I’ve been to a truly no-music Sunday Mass of any regularity, and even those missalettes are no longer in use around here.
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