Singing the Prayer of Consecration

The priest at my local parish (O.F.) likes to sing, and he does have a good voice. He likes to sing the Prayer of Consecration on special locations, such as Midnight Mass this Christmas.

BUT:
Is there a problem with him singing the Prayer of Consecration?

My preference is to assist at a Tridentine Mass whenever possible where the Prayer of Consecration is done quietly. So I find this rather distracting and even a little unsettling.

It’s the usual custom in Eastern Liturgies, at least for the Words of Institution. The local Melkite priest chants almost all of the Anaphora aloud. This is the more and more frequent custom of Orthodox Churches in the USA as well.

I understand that the Pian Missal called for the Canon to be said in a low voice by the Celebrant, and I’m saying nothing against this centenary Latin tradition.

But I do think that the Anaphora has great devotional value when said, or better, chanted, aloud. I prefer chanted, as this is in keeping with the pre-Christian Jewish tradition of not saying holy words (prayers or scripture readings) in an ordinary speaking voice at worship.

In fact, the greatest force for catechesis the Church has is the Holy Liturgy reverently celebrated.

BTW–read this thread where the poster found it odd that the Extraordinary Form has the Canon said in a low voice!
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=410491

I don’t believe OP is asking about Eastern rites, but yes it is the norm for the priest to chant the Eucharistic prayer in the ordinary form of the Mass. not sing it according to some modern tune, and with no musical accompaniment, but to chant the entire Eucharistic prayer, or at least the portion that includes the words of consecration. btw if you love the traditional Latin Mass with chant you will love Eastern rite liturgies so by all means attend if you ever get the chance.

The most solid answer for this is that in the official Sacramentary itself, the Church provides musical notations for chanting the Eucharistic Prayers. If there were anything wrong or improper about this, we wouldn’t have it in the Sacramentary; so, it’s not at all a problem when it’s done in the Novus Ordo.

Just to add a little point of information to what Fr David said, while the priest may certainly chant the entire Eucharistic Prayer, there are clear instructions saying that the prayer is to be proclaimed by the priest alone and all musical instruments are to be silent:

GIRM: "32. The nature of the "presidential" texts demands that they be spoken in a loud and clear voice and that everyone listen with attention.44 Thus, while the priest is speaking these texts, there should be no other prayers or singing, and the organ or other musical instruments should be silent."

Redemptionis Sacramentum: "52. The proclamation of the Eucharistic Prayer, which by its very nature is the climax of the whole celebration, is proper to the Priest by virtue of his Ordination. It is therefore an abuse to proffer it in such a way that some parts of the Eucharistic Prayer are recited by a Deacon, a lay minister, or by an individual member of the faithful, or by all members of the faithful together. The Eucharistic Prayer, then, is to be recited by the Priest alone in full.

[53.] While the Priest proclaims the Eucharistic Prayer “there should be no other prayers or singing, and the organ or other musical instruments should be silent”, except for the people’s acclamations that have been duly approved..."

I only know of one priest in my diocese who regularly chants the Eucharistic Prayer in its entirety, but I think it adds enormously to the beauty of the prayer. If nothing else, chanting of the E.P. could slow down some priests who would otherwise have a tendency to rush through it!

Where I attend Mass the entire Eucharistic Prayer is chanted every day. It’s a benedictine monastery and they are very fussy about getting the liturgy exactly right.

\I don't believe OP is asking about Eastern rites, but yes it is the norm for the priest to chant the Eucharistic prayer in the ordinary form of the Mass.\

My point is that chanting the Anaphora is not without precedent.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.