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:
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):
(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.
NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:
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.”