Q: Our pastor has asked that we sing the entrance antiphons from the Roman Missal as our processional. He’s implied that the Church prefers that to a processional song. It becomes further complicated since the entrance antiphons from the Roman Missal aren’t always the same as the ones from the Roman Gradual. At least not that I can find.
Could you help me clarify that this is indeed the Church’s position? If not, what document(s) could I reference that indicate that a processional song is acceptable? Is there a resource for scored entrance antiphons from the Roman Gradual?
A: GIRM 48 gives four options for the entrance antiphon. Traditionally, options are listed in preferred order, but that is not always the case, and nothing else makes one better than another. All are acceptable.
Most parishes have been using the fourth option for the last fifty years, partly because we haven’t had a good collection of published antiphons. More and more of these will be set to music in the years ahead, but this is clearly a time of transition.
You’re right that sometimes the missal antiphons don’t match those in the Gradual.
For musical resources of antiphons you may contact your local NPM chapter chair.
There’s nothing wrong with a song at the entrance.