ERE’S A QUESTION I would have gotten wrong until a few days ago: “Is it allowed for the entire congregation to recite the Mass Propers along with the priest at Low Mass?” My answer would have been, “Such a practice is absolutely forbidden in the 1962 Missale Romanum. Nor is it allowed for the congregation to join in praying the Pater Noster, except on Good Friday.”
However, as I’ve already said, I was dead wrong. The 1958 Instruction by Pope Pius XII allows the entire congregation to recite the Introit, Gradual, Offertory, Communion, and Pater Noster along with the priest during Low Mass. Never in my life have I seen this done, but here’s the proof:
Translation No. 1:
(31) d. The fourth and final degree is that in which the faithful also recite with the celebrant parts of the Proper of the Mass: the Introit, Gradual, Offertory, and Communion. This last degree can be practiced with fitting dignity only by select and well trained groups.
(32) In read Masses, the entire Pater Noster, an appropriate and ancient prayer in preparation for Communion, may be recited by the faithful, but only in Latin and with all joining in the Amen. Its recitation in the vernacular is forbidden.
Translation No. 2
31. d) Fourthly, the congregation may also recite with the priest parts of the Proper of the Mass: Introit, Gradual, Offertory, Communion. Only more advanced groups who have been well trained will be able to participate with becoming dignity in this manner.
32. Since the Pater Noster is a fitting, and ancient prayer of preparation for Communion, the entire congregation may recite this prayer in unison with the priest in low Masses; the Amen at the end is to be said by all. This is to be done only in Latin, never in the vernacular.
You can download the entire “1958 Instruction” in two translations:
* * 1st Translation, De musica sacra et sacra liturgia (1958) [pdf]
* * 2nd Translation, De musica sacra et sacra liturgia (1958) [pdf]
Let me repeat, I have never seen this practice followed. Nor have I ever seen a commentator used during Mass, but I believe Pope Pius XII also allowed that practice.
Just to give a little background, Pope Pius XII died on 9 October 1958, and Pope John XXIII announced his plans to convoke the Second Vatican Council on 25 January 1959.