You more than likely noticed that we have actually been singing a brand-new Kyrie at our weekend Masses. This Kyrie originates from a book dubbed the Kyriale which contains a repertoire of Gregorian Chants. The repertoire includes eighteen settings of the Mass Ordinary (texts such as the “Divine, Holy, Holy” that perform not readjust from Mass to Mass). The book says that each establishing be sung at various times in the church year. The Kyrie we’ve been singing originates from Mass XI, or “Missa Orbis Factor”. Though the composer is unknown, the tune was more than likely based on a devotional hymn “Orbis variable, rex aeternae eleison” (“Creator of the world, Eternal King, have actually mercy”). The exercise of borrowing and adapting melodies for liturgical use is as ancient as chant itself. Many type of of the Gregorian melodies that have been passed down via the ages started as hymns or also secular tunes. St. Gregory the Great (Pope Gregory I) is frequently attributed through notating and also standardizing these melodies, periodically illustrated as taking dvery own musical dictation from a dove. However modern-day scholarship tells us that the standardization of chant didn’t come till around 300 years after Gregory I’s death. The term “Gregorian” probably came around as a way to honor a contemporary pope, Pope Gregory II. Nonetheless, the term Gregorian Chant stuck and also has come to explain the entire genre. Below is a recording of the Kyrie from Mass XI that we will sing throughout Lent.




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Each line of text is repetitive 3 times, which is slightly various than the call and also response format we have actually become provided to in the contemporary liturgy. This ancient practice stems from the regard of the number 3 as a scared number. Since there are three line of text, and also each is repeated three times, this nine-fold plea for mercy is intended to bfinish the ear of the Divine. I have actually favored to re-introduce this practice in Lent to emphasize the penitent nature of the seakid.

You might likewise have noticed that though it is ‘new’, it probably sounds familiar… that’s bereason we have actually actually been singing this melody for about 5 years, however via various words. The Lenten Gospel acclamation that we’ve sung for several years is actually based on the melody of this Kyrie. Have a look at them side by side:


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Though we are utilizing a various Lenten Gospel acclamation this year, you will hear this melody later on in the Mass, as soon as we sing “Save us Savior of the World…” and also the Great Aguys before Communion. Both are modern adaptations of an old melody, however they follow in the long heritage of ‘borrowing’ acquainted melodies for use at Mass.

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Want to learn more about Gregorian Chant? Click right here for a much more in depth write-up.