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A theorist, organist, and conductor, Jeff Ostrowski holds his B.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas (2004), and did graduate work in Musicology. He serves as choirmaster for the new FSSP parish in Los Angeles, where he resides with his wife and children.
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“I still haven’t made up my mind whether I shall publish it all. Some people are so humorless, so uncharitable, and so absurdly wrong-headed, that one would probably do far better to relax and enjoy life than worry oneself to death trying to instruct or entertain a public which will only despise one’s efforts, or at least feel no gratitude for them. Most readers know nothing about canon law. Many regard it with contempt and find everything heavy going that isn’t completely lowbrow. Some are so grimly serious that they disapprove of all humor. Others come to different conclusions every time they stand up or sit down. They seize upon your publications, as a wrestler seizes upon his opponent’s hair, and use them to drag you down, while they themselves remain quite invulnerable, because their barren pates are completely bald, so there’s nothing for you to get hold of.”
— St. Thomas More to Peter Gilles, 1516

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Is the Kyrie part of the Penitential Rite?
published 24 February 2014 by Jeff Ostrowski

777 Deacon ANY PRIESTS BELIEVE the Kyrie Eleison (“Lord, have mercy”) to be part of the Penitential Rite, but that’s incorrect.  The only time the Kyrie is part of the Penitential Rite is when the priest chooses Option C 1 — the one that begins:

“You were sent to heal the contrite of heart: Lord, have mercy … etc.”

The first proof is GIRM #46. Notice how the Kyrie is distinguished from the Penitential Act:

The rites that precede the Liturgy of the Word, namely, the Entrance, the Greeting, the Penitential Act, the Kyrie, the Gloria in excelsis (Glory to God in the highest) and Collect, have the character of a beginning, an introduction, and a preparation.

The second proof is GIRM #52. Obviously something that comes after the Penitential Rite is not part of that Rite:

After the Penitential Act, the Kyrie, eleison (Lord, have mercy), is always begun, unless it has already been part of the Penitential Act.

The third proof is the Ceremonial of Bishops #255, which says on Ash Wednesday:

The introductory rites of the Mass and, as circumstances suggest, also the Kyrie are omitted, and the bishop immediately says the opening prayer.

The fourth proof is GIRM #125. The Kyrie is once again distinguished from the Penitential Act:

The Penitential Act follows. After this, the Kyrie is sung or said, in accordance with the rubrics (cf. no. 52).

The fifth proof is the Roman Missal, Third Edition, which says for Ash Wednesday (Stational) and Palm Sunday:

Omitting the Introductory Rites and, if appropriate, the Kyrie, he says the Collect of the Mass, and then continues the Mass in the usual way.

WHY, THEN, is the Kyrie so often wrongly omitted? Especially at Weddings (Nuptial Mass) the Kyrie is wrongly omitted. I don’t know the answer, but my guess is that most priests believe the Kyrie is part of the Penitential Act.


See also Andrew’s treatment.

UPDATE :

More opinions on this matter are given by the Bishop’s Committee on the Liturgy.



NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:

1   If “Option B” is used, the Kyrie is still said, even though Option B begins with Miserére nostri, Dómine (“Have mercy on us, O Lord”).