Q: We are using the Confiteor for all the Sundays of Lent. It always seemed strange to me that we recite it, the priest says, “May almighty God…” and then we sing/recite the Kyrie. The flow seems to make most sense with the the Kyrie immediately after the Confiteor and the priest concluding it with the “May almighty God…”? After reading the Roman Missal, it appears to indicate the Kyrie should be sung/recited after the “May almighty God have mercy on us…” Though, who said the Roman Missal is always right? 🙂 Thank you for clarifying.
A: We’re so accustomed to the third form of the penitential act that we think of the Kyrie as part and parcel of it. But structurally it follows the penitential act, and sometimes the Kyrie may be sung even when the penitential act is omitted.
Think of the first two forms as the normal way, and the third form as the exception, and you’ll get a sense of it. The third form came into being because it was thought to emulate an earlier practice.