Thursday, April 02, 2009

Question on the Scrutinies

I just received a question from someone in a parish where the option of the "Gospel Scrutinies" are being used with music that involves antiphons that the people sing with piano accompaniment. The people sing, the piano plays, the priest speaks, the people sing, the choir sings, and so on, all during these scrutinies. His question is: is all this licit?

He asked the parish liturgist who says: "GIA, a Catholic Music Publisher, has produced these settings to make the stories of the Gospel come alive, be heard in a new way for congregations hearing them each Lent. The refrain invites people to participate in the story, put themselves with the Woman at the Well, the man Born Blind, and Lazarus at the tomb."

Well, looking in the GIRM: "Therefore, all must listen with reverence to the readings from God’s word, for they make up an element of greatest importance in the Liturgy" and a reference how the faithful hear the Gospel, "standing as they listen to it being read." There is nothing in the GIRM about some sort of a congregation singing in this part of the Mass.

It's a free country and a publisher (GIA has no official connection to or status within the Catholic Church, no more so than Barnes and Noble) can publish anything it wants, but this doesn't somehow bind the Roman Rite.

And yet I admit that I'm a bit confused about the Gospel scrutiny option. In the comment box, can someone explain where they came from and what all this is about?