Gregorian Chants for Lent

During Lent, we will be singing the parts of the Mass (Holy Holy Holy, Memorial Acclamation, and Lamb of God) in Latin. Why are we doing this? The General Instruction on the Roman Missal (313) states that “in Lent, the playing of the organ and musical instruments is allowed only to support the singing. Exceptions are Laetare Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Lent), solemnities, and feasts.”

We are, therefore, going to try to rely largely on the human voice, trying to create an atmosphere of prayer and reverence, corresponding to the simplicity and sobriety of the Lenten season. This is the same reason why we will not be having a closing hymn at the end of Mass and ask that people leave church in silence or stay in church and make an act of Thanksgiving in prayerful silence. The parish Worship Commission discussed this, and so we are going to see how it goes.

So, why are we singing these chants in Latin? The same instruction (n. 41) says, “All other things being equal, Gregorian chant holds pride of place because it is proper to the Roman liturgy … it is fitting that they (the faithful) know how to sing together at least some parts of the Ordinary Mass.”

Ten years ago, when the Missal was re-translated into English, every parish in the Archdiocese was instructed to learn the chant Mass. The same tones used in Latin also exist in English, and so we, as a parish, should learn these. Once we know the basic tones in Latin, we can sing them in English (and vice versa).  The use of these tones will also help connect us to our own musical heritage.

Below you will find a PDF to follow along in Mass, and four short videos with which you can practice:

Click on the Graphic above to view the PDF.


Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.


Memorial Acclamation

We proclaim your death, O Lord, and profess your resurrection, until you come again.


Holy Holy Holy Lord God of Hosts, Heaven and Earth are full of your glory, Hosanna in the Highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the Highest.

Agnus Dei

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

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