Q: Over the years as a Presider, I have really come to love praying the Communion Antiphon at Weekday Mass. In my experience, it often touches the imagination the way a hymn would at Sunday Mass. The Missal seems to place the Communion Antiphon before the Communion Procession. Is that the only place it can be recited or chanted? I’ve recited it after Communion on occasion, once everyone is seated, followed by silent prayer, and it has felt especially powerful there. Do you think that’s a permissible use of the Communion Antiphon?
A: Check GIRM 87 for the uses of the communion antiphon. If there is singing at communion, it replaces the antiphon from the missal (or uses it). “However, if there is no singing, the antiphon given in the Missal may be recited either by the faithful, or by some of them, or by a reader; otherwise, it is recited by the Priest himself after he has received Communion and before he distributes Communion to the faithful.”
The antiphon is intended to accompany communion more than follow it. It is one source of the unity that the sacrament perfects. Often you’ll find it refers back to the gospel of the day, which links the liturgies of word and eucharist and supports the evangelical mission that follows receiving this communion.