More on the Exsultet

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I belong to a deacon page on Facebook.  The question was posted concerning the Exsultet and proper preparation.  This lead to a multitude of other comments, suggestions, and questions.  So

A) Does the deacon have to perform the Exsultet if he is present or can it be delegated to a more capable cantor or layperson?

B) Does the Exsultet have to be sung according to the music in the Missal (or some lectionaries), or can the music be modified to match the deacon’s ability?  Can it be chanted in a simple form?

C) Can the Exsultet simply be proclaimed?

As usual, thank you for your willingness to share your knowledge.


A) The Exsultet may be assigned to a lay cantor.
B) A simpler musical setting may be used
C) Yes, it may be proclaimed.

The ideal, of course, is for the deacon to sing the notes in the missal. But the church makes allowances for situations that make any of those three factors difficult.