About this blogger:
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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“In spite of what it is currently called, the music of these songs is not modern: this musical style is not new, but has been played in the most profane places and surroundings (cabarets, music halls, often for more or less lascivious dances with foreign names). The people are led on to rock or swing. They all feel an urge to dance about. That sort of “body language” is certainly alien to our Western culture, unfavorable to contemplation and its origins are rather suspect. Most of the time our congregations, which already find it hard not to confuse the crochets and the quavers in a 6/8 bar, do not respect the rhythm; then one no longer feels like dancing, but with the rhythm gone to pieces, the habitual poorness of the melodic line becomes all the more noticeable.”
— Unnamed choirmaster (Northern France) circa 1986

Victoria Alleluia • Extraordinary & Ordinary Form
published 26 July 2016 by Jeff Ostrowski

VEN THOUGH VATICAN II COUNCIL mandated that Latin be preserved—inserting specific language that was no mere “recommendation”—many priests have forbidden their choir directors from singing in Latin, which means 98% of the sacred treasury mentioned by Vatican II can’t be used. Cardinal Antonelli, the first secretary of the Consilium, has affirmed that Latin should have been preserved.

Inexplicably, these same priests usually do permit other foreign languages to be used at Mass, such as Greek (Kyrie Eleison) and Hebrew (Alleluia, Hosanna). Cardinal Antonelli’s successor, Archbishop Bugnini, tried to eliminate AMEN, which he described as a “meaningless sound.” However, in a very unusual move, the Sacred Congregation of Rites overruled the Consilium, and AMEN was retained in our liturgy. 1

To summarize, musicians need not worry about their priest getting angry when they sing ALLELUIA before the Gospel. Here’s a beautiful version based on the “Ave Maris Stella” plainsong:

    * *  PDF Download • ALLELUIA by Fr. Tomás Luis de Victoria

EQUAL VOICES : YouTube   •   Mp3 Audio

SOPRANO : YouTube   •   Audio

ALTO : YouTube   •   Audio

TENOR : YouTube   •   Audio

BASS : YouTube   •   Audio

At our EF Mass, we always sing a polyphonic Alleluia, then our ladies sing the verse, then we repeat the polyphonic Alleluia. The same could be done in OF Masses, but some priests might insist upon having the congregation sing “Alleluia.” If that’s your situation, do it like this:

(1) Cantor intones the following (from the Graduale Simplex):

289 Graduale Simplex ALLELUIA

(2) Entire congregation repeats the Alleluia.

(3) Choir sings the verse, according to the mode in the polyphonic score (see above).

(4) Everyone repeats the Simplex Alleluia, but at the end, the choir sings the polyphonic “extension” where the blue arrow is.


1   One of the letters sent in opposition said: “Furthermore, the proposal to change the AMEN is illogical, because those who wish to translate AMEN into the vernacular wish to maintain intact the word ALLELUIA.”