Thursday, March 7, 2019


As everyone knows (not) the penitential act of the Ordinary Form Ash Wednesday Mass is moved from the Introductory Rite to after the homily with the blessing and imposition of ashes.

Except for this year, because I forgot, I have asked that the Kyrie by itself (as in the EF) be chanted after the Greeting of the OF Mass, since technically this is not a penitential act.

So, at our Ash Wednesday Mass, I greeted the congregation with "The Lord be with You" and then went directly into "Let us Pray". It is a bit jarring.

Am I the only one in the world, up until yesterday's Ash Wednesday Mass, who has the Kyrie chanted without the penitential act during the Introductory Rite?

I believe also, that the Kyrie should not be omitted when the Rite of Sprinkling Holy Water is use. It should be chanted after the "absolution."

What say thee?


Charles G said...

Completely agree, Father. The Kyrie should be an ordinary part of every mass, including celebratory ones like wedding masses. It's awkward not to have it, and it is not a vain repetion. It's never a bad thing to ask for mercy.

John Nolan said...

The Kyrie (GIRM 52) is separate from the Penitential Act (GIRM 51). it is only omitted when option 3 of the PA is used, since this consists of what is in effect a troped Kyrie.

The rite of Sprinkling may replace the PA 'from time to time' but only on Sundays. It does not include the Kyrie so is followed by it.

Ash Wednesday is an anomaly since the blessing and imposition of ashes is regarded as a penitential act (although there is no general confession or absolution, so arguably it shouldn't be) and takes place after the Gospel. The interpolation of sacraments and sacramentals at this point in the Mass was first used in 1955 with the pedilavium on Maundy Thursday and in the 1960s was extended to include Baptism, Confirmation and Matrimony.

So the Kyrie is sung in its usual place on Ash Wednesday.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Thank you John, but I don’t think it is chanted in the OF in any parishes, but it should be.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

It was not chanted at the papal Mass.

Fr Martin Fox said...


I have followed your example. We used it on Wednesday. I will have the musician do it when we do a sprinkling rite in the future.

John Nolan said...

The last time I attended an OF Mass on Ash Wednesday was at the London Oratory circa 1985. I don't recall whether the Kyrie was sung, but a glance at the current music list suggests that it isn't; it gives the Sanctus and Agnus in a setting by Palestrina but doesn't mention the Kyrie.

However, unless the rubrics have 'Kyrie omittitur' there is no reason why it should not be used. The Novus Ordo is by its very nature a protean rite with a plethora of options. I would be tempted to include the usual PA anyway, just to cover all bases.