Kyrie and Penitential Rite

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Two questions connected to the penitential rite: first, is it included at funeral Masses? I have worked for the Church for decades and never experienced this until my new pastor started doing it, a practice he said he adopted after seeing his bishop celebrate funerals this way. 

Second, and this may be a more inside baseball question, but are the “penitential rite” and the “kyrie” responses considered two separate things, or is the kyrie an integral part of the penitential rite? I’ve seen debates online about if and where the kyrie can be used if the missal says the penitential rite is omitted. 

Thanks for all you do


A: The penitential act is to be omitted at funerals (OCF 164).

The third form of the penitential act incorporates the Kyrie, but you could say that in the first two forms the Kyrie follows the penitential act.

The optional preservation of the Kyrie when the penitential act is omitted is clear on a day like Palm Sunday (rubric 11), but I would not extrapolate from that that the Kyrie may be used whenever the penitential act is omitted. The OCF is a case in point, which says simply that, once the people have taken their places, the priest says the collect.