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Meeting Christ in the Liturgy
Instruction of the Roman Missal

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  • 50. OFFERTORY SONG
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50. OFFERTORY SONG

The choice of texts for the offertory song is governed by the same rule as the entrance song, with the several options described above (no. 26). If there is no offertory song, the offertory antiphon is omitted.

With regard to texts not from the psalter that may be used as the offertory song, the following criterion was adopted by the National Conference of Bishops in November, 1969:

The offertory song need not speak of bread and wine or of offering. The proper function of the offertory song is rather to accompany and celebrate the communal aspects of the procession. The text, therefore, may be an appropriate song of praise or of rejoicing in keeping with the season. Those texts are not acceptable that speak of the offering completely apart from the action of Christ.

In general, during the most important seasons of the Church year, Easter time, Lent, Christmas and Advent, it is preferable that most songs used during the offertory be seasonal in character. During the remainder of the Church year, however, topical songs may be used during the offertory procession provided that these texts do not conflict with the paschal character of every SundayConstitution on the Liturgyarts. 102,106).

With regard to the offertory song, the statement of the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy of 1968The Place of Music in Eucharistic Celebrations») gives additional comments:

The procession can be accompanied by song. Song is not always necessary or desirable. Organ or instrumental music is also fitting at this time. The song need not speak of bread or wine or offering. The proper function of this song is to accompany and celebrate the communal aspects of the procession. The text, therefore, can be any appropriate song of praise or of rejoicing in keeping with the season. (See approved criterion above.) The song need not accompany the entire preparation rite. (The song, if any, continues at least until the priest has placed the bread and wine on the altar, while saying the accompanying prayers quietly; see no. 50 of the «General Instruction», nos. 19 - 21 of the «Order of Mass».)

If there is no singing or organ or instrumental music, this may be a period of silence (see no. 23 of the «General Instruction»). In fact, it is good to give the assembly a period of quiet (that is, while the gifts are prepared and placed on the altar, until the introduction to the prayer over the gifts: "Pray, brethren. . .") before demanding, at the preface, their full attention to the Eucharistic prayer.

 




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