Q: In At the Supper of the Lamb you cite Barba and speak of Study Group 10 who “wanted the people to have some verbal participation in the Preparation of the Gifts” (pg 53).
Am I correct in understanding your further comment “The voice of the people is intended to be heard in some way during the Preparation of the Gifts” (pg 53) to mean at every Mass – that you are not just saying Study Group 10 wanted to add an option into the Mass for the voice of the people and isn’t this an interesting historical fact, but rather now the intent is if the people aren’t singing, then they participate in the spoken text?
What does this mean in a parish where from September to June the choir sings a piece at this time that does not involve the voice of the assembly?
Thank you for your consideration of this question.
A: As you cite, I believe that the intent of the postconciliar reform of the Preparation of the Gifts was to include the voice of the people either in song or in the dialogue. But the Order of Mass didn’t turn out that way. The priest has the option of reciting the dialogue aloud or in a low voice – with or without the people. I maintain that the best practice is to involve the voice of the people, but the rubrics in force do not require it.
It’s hard to argue with the beauty of a choir that sings every Sunday. That sounds lovely, too. But maybe on occasion they could share the aural space during the Preparation of the Gifts.