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How the new translation affects Holy Week

posted Apr 1, 2012, 2:34 PM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Apr 1, 2012, 2:37 PM ]

The celebrations of the Paschal Triduum stand at the hearts of the Church’s year.  The third edition of the Roman Missal offers a new translation of these liturgies, and introduces a number of small changes, mostly for the priests and deacons, but a few for us:

On Good Friday – The Celebration of the Passion of the Lord – the chant to be sung during the Adoration of the Holy Cross has a new translation:

And even though the chant is to be sung three times, no mention is made of raising the pitch each time; as was indicated by notation in the former Sacramentary.
 
At the Easter Vigil in the Holy Night, the processional chant is now “The Light of Christ” instead of “Christ our Light”.  We still respond with “Thanks be to God”, and though it’s sung three times, once again no mention is made of raising the pitch each time.  But, during the Liturgy of the Word, “After the Epistle… the Priest [or psalmist] solemnly intones the Alleluia three times, raising his voice by a step each time, with all repeating it.”  Interestingly, though this has long been standard practice, the former Sacramentary made no mention of the Alleluia being sung three times, or that each started on a higher pitch.
 
For a more comprehensive study, read Glory in the Cross: Holy Week in the third Edition of The Roman Missal by liturgist Fr. Paul Turner.  He charts the current rubrics and prayers paragraph by paragraph; explaining the historical development of individual components; how and why post-Vatican II liturgical reform made revisions; and where the Roman Missal, Third Edition has added nuances. 

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