Monday, August 29, 2011

Sin in the Liturgy

One of the things I like about the Older Form of the Mass is that most of the penitential bits are private.

Indeed there is strictly no penitential Rite in the older Form, no "calling to mind our sins". It happens before Mass, the priest and servers, (and the people if they wish to) take part in an act of penance before going up to the altar, before the Mass starts, before the Introit. Thus the Kyrie is not about penance but about praise; us encountering the Eternal King who is the Creator of the World and us almost falling back again and again crying “have mercy”. But even Eleyson is not exactly the same as miserere and breast beating either, it is about the pouring of healing oil. Eleyson is of the same root as elaion, which means “olive tree and the oil from it”. It is about, gasping at God's glory which is too much for us.
Here is an example, it is the troped version of the Orbis Factor:

1. Orbis factor rex aeterne, eleison. Kyrie Eleison
2. Pietatis fons immense, eleison. Kyrie Eleison
3. Noxas omnes nostras pelle, eleison. Kyrie Eleison
4. Christe qui lux es mundi dator vitae, eleison. Christe Eleison
5. Arte laesos daemonis intuere, eleison. Christe Eleison
6. Conservans te credentes confirmansque, eleison. Christe Eleison
7. Patrem tuum teque flamen utrorumque, eleison. Kyrie Eleison
8. Deum scimus unum atque trinum esse, eleison. Kyrie Eleison
9. Clemens nobis adsis paraclite ut vivamus in te, eleison. Kyrie Eleison

It is about God's glory, not us and a preoccupation with our sin, though, the wretched priest continually remembers his sin but in a pious mutter in his heart. Yes, he proclaims his, non sum dignus, again and again but this is because he is encountering God's Glory

The Kyrie flows naturally into the Gloria, which is of course a highly troped version of the Angelic song at Christ’s birth.
Is it legitimate to use the troped Kyries in the Novus Ordo, anyone know?


Bryan said...

Where did you find the Lux et origo trope Fr its lovely?

Father John Boyle said...

GIRM 52: "When the Kyrie is sung as a part of the Act of Penitence, a trope may precede each acclamation."

So you could use this instead of the Confiteor.

GIRM concurs with you that the Kyrie Eleison is not normally part of the Act of Penitence, except when a trope is used.

Beautiful! Where can one get those troped Kyrie's?

Flambeaux said...

Wouldn't it be permissable under the rubric "alius cantus aptus" or whatever the actual text in the GIRM is?

I recall as a child in the 1980s having troped Kyries, Glorias, and Alleluias sung at Mass.

I doubt they were licet and I had not idea that they were "troped", so to speak, but I think you could slip it in under the infamous Option 4.

Pablo the Mexican said...

Attack the Mass.

Attack the Priesthood.

Scatter the Sheep.

Satan is right on schedule.

The Holy Father has granted the Tridentine Mass was never abrogated, that all Priests may say it.

Hold fast to Christ crucified.


Thomas Beyer said...

Exactly! What goes on at Mass doesn't have anything to do with you and your personal sin. You as an individual that is.

Of course, insofar as the Mass is the action of the Church and you are a member of it it involves you, but the Church is not stained by your sin. When you sin, you remove yourself from the Church, which remains ever spotless.

The Church has nothing to confess or recall, only you do. And the place for that is the confessional.

Don Henri said...

Dear Father
In France where I live, it is very common to have a troped Kyrie, because modernist Priests don't like the Confiteor and always delete it from the Mass. In most parishes, the Confiteor is not even said once a year!
One of the most frequent troped Kyrie is this:

Anonymous said...

St Michael come.......Hu?

Tropes were outlawed at the time of St. Pius V, I think largely because they were the origens of the Protestant Kyrielise hymns (there are also Catholic versions of these.)

I think that Girm allows these in Novus Ordo. I know some Glorias have been written with a refraim and so trope the Gloria. Richard Proulx used to write the AgnusDei as a litany which could make a communion hymn. I do not know about legality with all of this, but I think the tropes are worth more than simply titles on Gregoorian Masses.

Mike Forbes+
Rochester, Minnesota

Thomas Windsor said...

The scan is from Laudes Festivae, 1940. It is a Benedictine book, but I am told it was not used by all Benedictines.

It contains at least another 2 Tropes.

N.B. The letters annotating the music are the rhythmic markings! they are explained in the book, which can be downloaded from the Musica Sacra website.

This document above suggests in point 52 that tropes can be sung (In the OF).

Steve said...

"Indeed there is strictly no penitential Rite in the older Form, no "calling to mind our sins". It happens before Mass,[...]"

Quite so. And it's interesting to note that the Divine Liturgy, as celebrated by the Orthodox, also has no penitential rite; the presumption being that if you are going to receive Holy Communion, and should it be necessary, you will have already made your confession prior to the commencement of the service and received absolution and permission to partake in the Holy Mysteries. In some Orthodox traditions, where there is more than one priest present at a service, one of them may be deputed to stand next to the icon of the Theotokos throughout the Divine Liturgy, ready to huddle in the corner of the iconostasis with any latecoming communicants.

AndrewWS said...

Reverend and learned Father, you have posted about something that has been on my mind for some time. Since there is no penitential rite in the EF, is it therefore the case that one cannot receive communion at it unless one has been absolved in the confessional immediately beforehand? Is this the reason for the older rule on this? I have attended several EF Masses before and after being received (recently - I am a member of the Ordinariate) but am rather nervous of the idea of receiving communion at one. Should I be or should I not?

johnf said...

Marvellous sound - a bit like Othodox Singing.

And we recognise the tune from the Kyrie taught at school, many years ago.

I've noticed that the Cantor is singing lines 7 and 8 in the reverse order in which you have written them, Father.
Deum scimus...
Patrem tuum...
Clemens nobis...

Fr Ray Blake said...

Andrew WS,
No, the same rules apply to both Forms.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Fr John,
Yes, but, the options to use any words the celebrant or choir might choose seems to have been removed from the new Missal.

Conchúr said...

For those interested Ensemble Organum was founded by the French musicologist and composer Marcel Peres and specialises in reconstructing Old Roman Chant by means of incorporating elements of Byzantine Chant, most notably the ison (drone note) into plainchant. The trope Fr Blake has linked to is a good example of their work.

. said...

Is there really no penitential rite in the EF? What about "Domine, non sum dignus..."?

Or, for that matter, the Third Confiteor? Doesn't the OF in this instance simply roll all three confiteors into one?

Bryan said...

Well this is what Rupert of Deutz (c. 1075 - +1129AD says (my translation) in the first book of De Divinis Officiis:

De incenso - Book 1 Chapter XX1X:

"Meanwhile the Choir sings the Kyrie Eleison, which signifies all the Universal prayers (petitions) of the Church, which are the true incense: "..and incense was given him in plenty, so that he could make an offering on the golden altar before the throne, out of the prayers made by all the saints." Apocalypse 8:3. (Knox Translation).

The Latin reads:

Interim Chorus concinit Kyrie Eleison, quod significat omnes universales Ecclesia preces, quae sunt incensa vera: "Data sunt ei incensa multa, ut daret de orationaibus sanctorum omniun super altarem aureum, quod est ante thronum Dei." (Apoc. VIII).

Father John Boyle said...

Fr Ray
I do not have the new Missal but a Study Edition I downloaded to my computer some time ago says at no. 6:

"The Priest, or a deacon or another minister, then says the following or other invocations with Kyrie, eleison (Lord, have mercy):"

It would seem that there is therefore the option of using the tropes you refer to. Or is this option not in the final version of the Missal?

John Nolan said...

I cannot understand AndrewWS's concern. The Mass begins in both the new and old rites with the "In nomine Patris ..." What follows is called in the NO the Penitential Rite but is simply an abbreviated version of what happens in the older form. The latter includes the Indulgentiam which was regarded as absolution from venial sins, but was dropped in 1970. Whatever form of the Confiteor is used, the fact that it is said only once by priest and people together in the NO represents a considerable break with tradition.

Bryan said...

Dear Mr Nolan,

The Old Rite Mass begins at the Introit; that is why the the Priest makes the Sign of the Cross as he says the first words of the Introit.

The Prayers at the Foot of the Altar are never said when Mass follows Terce. One never hears them either at N-D de Fontgombault. They are the fore-Prayers and not part of the Mass.

Lee Terry Lovelock-Jemmott said...

Beautiful that thou choosest such a beautiful version of the Kyrie. I would also recommend their Tantum Ergo (Corsican chant). On the nature of 'sin in liturgy', the Old Rite is so much better in terms of dignity, depth and supernatural conveyance of the nature of sin.

Unknown said...

Fr. Blake,

Yes, "making up" tropes is still allowed, for better or for worse.

From the New GIRM (¶ 52):
"When  the  Kyrie  is  sung  as  a  part  of  the  Penitential Act, "trope" precedes each acclamation."

From the New Missal (¶ 6):
"The Priest, or a Deacon or another minister, then says the following or other invocations* with Kyrie, eleison (Lord, have mercy):"

It then goes on to list a set of invocations, but as is clearly shown in "the red," you can use any tropes, not just these.

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