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Scott P. Richert

Reader Question: What Should Replace the Alleluia During Lent?

By February 15, 2008

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In response to my post "Reader Question: When and Why Is the Alleluia Omitted From Mass?" a reader writes:

What do Catholics say instead of Alleluia when we stand for the Gospel reading?

I suspect most Catholics probably think that they know the answer: It's "Glory and Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ," right? You might be surprised to learn that this acclamation, widely used during Lent, is not prescribed in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), the Church document that instructs priests on how to say Mass.

Instead, Chapter II, Section II, Part B, Paragraph 62b of the GIRM states:

During Lent, in place of the Alleluia, the verse before the Gospel is sung, as indicated in the Lectionary. It is also permissible to sing another psalm or tract, as found in the Graduale.

The Graduale Romanum is the official liturgical book that contains all of the chant that are proper for each Mass throughout the year--Sunday, daily, and feast days.

So, in fact, the GIRM indicates that the only thing that is sung before the Gospel is the prescribed verse (which can be found in a missal or missalette, as well as the official Lectionary that the priest uses) or another psalm verse or tract (a biblical passage) that is found in the Graduale. Nonbiblical acclamations should not be used, and the verse (according to paragraph 63c of the GIRM) can be omitted altogether.

In case you're wondering, "Glory and Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ" is drawn from a biblical passage (cf. Philippians 1:11) and found in the Graduale. So while it is not prescribed as the replacement for the Alleluia, it is an acceptable substitute.

For more information on this topic, check out "Why Don't Roman Catholics Sing the Alleluia During Lent?"

If you have a question that you would like to have featured in our "Reader Questions" series, send me an e-mail. Be sure to put "QUESTION" in the subject line, and please note whether you'd like me to address it privately or on the Catholicism blog.

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March 31, 2010 at 2:26 am

i like this plat form real teach me about my my faith. keek going.

March 6, 2012 at 3:50 pm
(2) J C says:

When was this practice introduced by Rome?
Alleluia, which as you will know means ‘praise the Lord’ so why omit it during lent? Then, as it seems, replace it with a phrase that means the same thing!

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