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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Legitimate and necessary concern for current realities in the concrete lives of people cannot make us forget the true nature of the liturgical actions. It is clear that the Mass is not the time to “celebrate” human dignity or purely terrestrial claims or hopes. It is rather the sacrifice which renders Christ really present in the sacrament.
— Pope Saint John Paul II (20 March 1990)

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.”