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Forth in Praise

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The Forth in Praise Organists' Blog

The personal views of a Catholic parish organist

February 1, 2016

Greeting the Gospel in Lent (2)

evelyn @ 5:11 pm

Our Lenten Gospel Acclamations for Year C are now available for free download on the Forth in Praise Publications page.

Here’s an excerpt from last year’s post about this project:

  • The experiment concerned the Lenten Gospel acclamations which replace the usual Alleluia. There are four different texts for the people to sing, all of which appear in no apparent sequence in missals and Mass sheets the year. It can’t just be a form of Lenten penance, surely?

    However, you don’t have to stick to what is in the missal for any particular week. It is acceptable to select another of the four instead, and in the heady but confusing times following Vatican II, many parishes took the easy way out and adopted the custom of singing the same Gospel Acclamation – music and words – all the way through Lent. The most popular choice for this purpose was an acclamation which had originated in Glasgow shortly after Vatican II, but soon became known everywhere. Priests especially liked it, because it was easy to lead the people with when there wasn’t an organ.

    It is still widely used, and our parish tended to go in for it quite a bit. But this year, parish priest Father Paul Kelly demanded a change. He was very precise about it. He wanted a chant, which the popular tune wasn’t. He knew which chant he wanted:


    and he wanted it used for the cantor’s versicle as well.

    This was an opportunity to address something that had always bothered me: the fact that if the same acclamation was used for every week in Lent, there was only a one in four chance of the words in the people’s hands coinciding with those which they would actually sing. So the acclamation was duly arranged each week in this form.

At first, the people were a bit wary, but by about Week 3 they had got the idea. Using the cantor to introduce the people’s line helped them to see how the words fitted.

Here’s an example for Lent 2016. This one is for the first Sunday in Lent:


The rest can be freely downloaded from our Publications page, together with easy organ accompaniments and chords.

I know it’s all very boring, but Lent isn’t supposed to be fun, is it?

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