Post Consecrationem

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: When was the Post Consecrationem used? I was in grade school pre-Vatican II but don’t recall hearing or singing this. A pastor here is using a Latin Mass setting for Lent. Sadly, most parishioners never took Latin ( I had 3 years in high school) and are lost. 

Thank you for all of your helpful direction. I love your sense of humor and pastoral responses.


A: Thanks for your comment on my blog.

In the past the priest recited the canon of the Mass in Latin in a low voice, inaudible to the faithful and the choir. It became a custom at times to split the Sanctus into two parts, the second beginning with “Benedictus,” or “Blessed is he who comes…” After singing the first part, the choir remained silent until the consecration had taken place. Then, “post consecrationem,” that is “after the consecration,” they’d resume singing with the Benedictus. There was a similar custom at Masses without a choir; the organ would play softly after the consecration.

Today, people are asked to pay attention to the entire eucharistic prayer, offered in their vernacular language, to pray along with the priest, and to sing or recite the acclamations: the complete Sanctus, then the memorial acclamation after the consecration, and the amen that concludes the prayer.