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Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Where has the Offertorium gone?


Fr Ray Blake's post What has happened to the Offertory? struck a chord with me (or perhaps prompted a melisma or something.) The Offertorium is a part of the "ordinary form" but is rarely sung outside monasteries. It is included in the revised Graduale Romanum and is a part of the Mass. Unfortunately it has never been included in the Missal of Pope Paul VI either in the Latin editio typica or in the English translation.

In my parish, a small choir of children sing at the 9am English Mass. At the beginning of Mass, they sing the Introit to a simple psalm tone: I am talking about children of six to eight years old. It would not be a problem for them to sing the Offertorium in English and follow it with a hymn; but we simply do not have the texts. It would be a good service for the Sacred Liturgy if someone had the time to translate the Offertories from the Graduale Romanum and post them in a file on the internet. Since we do not appear to have an official translation, such an exercise should not be considered an abuse. After all, it would replace or at least precede the random hymn that is sung at the Offertory with an attempt to follow the Liturgy of the Church.

Incidentally, Fr Blake was surprised by the size of his congregation for the usus antiquior Mass on Monday, despite the fact that he had celebrated All Saints at the English Masses on the Sunday. We found the same at Blackfen. In fact, the congregation for the "optional" usus antiquior Mass was as large, if not larger, than we have for days that are actually Holydays of Obligation.
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