TLM Question, Separating the Sanctus and Benedictus

I’ve recently read in some traditionalist blogs about the practice of separating the singing of the Sanctus and Benedictus in the TLM. Apparantly, the Benedictus would not be sung until after the consecration. Actually, the only time I’ve heard this was at one Novus Ordo parish in the 1980’s. The priest in question actually tried to keep as many of the TLM traditions going as he could get away with. But that is another story.

I’ve never seen the separation of the two prayers at any of the TLM’s I’ve been to. Nor have I seen it in any of the 1962 missals I have read. Has anyone else ever encountered this at any of the TLMs they have been to? And is there a reference in any missals or other church documents that authorize this as an option?

Thanks in advance for any responses to this inquiry.

Yes, I have seen it done at TLM indults, but it is incorrect. In 1958 the Pope ruled that the Sanctus and Benedictus should be sung together when in Gregorian chant, but polyphonic settings would still be split. I believe the reasoning behind this was too maintain silence during the Consecration itself. (A long polyphonic setting would run into the Consecration if you sang the Benedictus right after the Sanctus.)

It will not necessarily be in the missal since the missal regulates the priest’s actions and the priest will say the entire thing together without separation whatever Mass he is offering- the difference being whether he says it aloud/middle voice* (low Mass) or silently (High Mass). Such practise (regaridng singing) would be regulated by decrees of the former Sacred Congregation of Rites one of the last being, as mentioned by meum334, De Musica Sacra after the encyclical of H.H. Pope Pius XII, of blessed meory, Musicae Sacrae.

  • Difference between 1961 rubrics and previous rubrics on this point.

The Old Catholic Encyclopedia had this to say

At high Mass as soon as the celebrant has sung the last word of the Preface (dicentes) the choir begins the Sanctus, continuing his phrase. They should sing it straight through, including the Benedictus. The custom of waiting till after the Elevation and then adding the Benedictus, once common, is now abolished by the rubric ("De ritibus servandis in cantu missæ, VII) of the Vatican Gradual. It was a dramatic effect that never had any warrant. Sanctus and Benedictus are one text. Meanwhile the deacon and subdeacon go up to the right and left of the celebrant and say the Sanctus in a low voice with him. Every one in the choir and church kneels (Cærim. Episcop., II, VIII, 69). The hand-bell is usually rung at the Sanctus; but at Rome there is no bell at all at high Mass. While the choir sings the celebrant goes on with the Canon. They must finish or he must wait before the Consecration.

Right - and the priest would not allow the choir to delay his schedule.

Usually the Sanctus ends before the “Hanc igitur”. However in some Choral Masses the Sanctus is longer and extends past the point when the priest reaches the “Hanc igitur”.

If this is the case then the choir will pause the singing of the Sanctus until after the consecration and then continue it with “Benedictus qui venit…”

This is so that there is absolute SILENCE at the moment of consecration.


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