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Meeting Christ in the Liturgy
Instruction of the Roman Missal

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  • III. INDIVIDUAL PARTS OF THE MASS
    • A. Introductory Rites
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III. INDIVIDUAL PARTS OF THE MASS

 

A. Introductory Rites

24. The parts preceding the liturgy of the word, namely, the entrance song, greeting, penitential rite, «Kyrie», «Gloria», and opening prayer or collect, have the character of a beginning, introduction, and preparation.

The purpose of these rites is that the faithful coming together take on the form of a community and prepare themselves to listen to God's word and celebrate the eucharist properly.

ENTRANCE

25. After the people have assembled, the entrance song begins as the priest and the ministers come in. The purpose of this song is to open the celebration, intensify the unity of the gathered people, lead their thoughts to the mystery of the season or feast, and accompany the procession of priest and ministers.

26. The entrance song is sung alternately either by the choir and the congregation or by the cantor and the congregation; or it is sung entirely by the congregation or by the choir alone. The antiphon and psalm of the «Graduale Romanum» or «The Simple Gradual» may be used, or another song that is suited to this part of the Mass, the day, or the seasons and that has a text approved by the conference of bishops.

If there is no singing for the entrance, the antiphon in the Missal is recited either by the faithful, by some of them, or by a reader; otherwise it is recited by the priest after the greeting.

VENERATION OF THE ALTAR AND GREETING OF THE CONGREGATION

27. When the priest and the ministers enter the sanctuary, they reverence the altar. As a sign of veneration, the priest and deacon kiss the altar; when the occasion warrants, the priest may also incense the altar.

28. After the entrance song, the priest and the whole assembly make the sign of the cross. Then through his greeting the priest declares to the assembled community that the Lord is present. This greeting and the congregation's response express the mystery of the gathered Church.

PENITENTIAL RITE

29. After greeting the congregation, the priest or other qualified minister may very briefly introduce the faithful to the Mass of the day. Then the priest invites them to take part in the penitential rite, which the entire community carries out through a communal confession and which the priest's absolution brings to an end.

KYRIE ELEISON

30. Then the «Kyrie» begins, unless it has already been included as part of the penitential rite. Since it is a song by which the faithful praise the Lord and implore his mercy, it is ordinarily prayed by all, that is, alternately by the congregation and the choir or cantor.

As a rule each of the acclamations is said twice, but, because of the idiom of different languages, the music, or other circumstances, it may be said more than twice or a short verse (trope) may be interpolated. If the «Kyrie» is not sung, it is to be recited.

GLORIA

31. The «Gloria» is an ancient hymn in which the Church, assembled in the Holy Spirit, praises and entreats the Father and the Lamb. It is sung by the congregation, or by the congregation alternately with the choir, or by the choir alone. If not sung, it is to be recited either by all together or in alternation.

The «Gloria» is sung or said on Sundays outside Advent and Lent, on solemnities and feasts, and in special, more solemn celebrations.

OPENING PRAYER OR COLLECT

32. Next the priest invites the people to pray and together with him they observe a brief silence so that they may realize they are in God's presence and may call their petitions to mind. The priest then says the opening prayer, which custom has named the "collect." This expresses the theme of the celebration and the priest's words address a petition to God the Father through Christ in the Holy Spirit.

The people make the prayer their own and give their assent by the acclamation, «Amen».

In the Mass only one opening prayer is said; this rule applies also to the prayer over the gifts and the prayer after communion.

The opening prayer ends with the longer conclusion, namely:

 - if the prayer is directed to the Father: «We ask this (Grant this) through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever»;

 - if it is directed to the Father, but the Son is mentioned at the end: «Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever»;

 - if directed to the Son: «You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever».

The prayer over the gifts and the prayer after communion end with the shorter conclusion, namely:

 - if the prayer is directed to the Father: «We ask this (Grant this) through Christ our Lord»;

 - if it is directed to the Father, but the Son is mentioned at the end: «Who lives and reigns with you for ever and ever»;

 - if it is directed to the Son: «You live and reign for ever and ever».

 




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