Singing at Mass

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Thank you, Fr Paul, for your excellent blog.

I have a query about what is appropriate for singing at Mass beyond the common texts.

A local parish priest is insisting that at every Sunday Mass  there should be sung at least one hymn directed wither to Our Lady or a saint.  Last Sunday (17 March, the 5th Sunday of Lent), he insisted that there should be both a hymn to St Patrick and one to St Joseph.  This is causing a lot of upset, especially with the musicians who were accustomed to pick the music, and who took great pains to choose music which fitted with the readings/liturgical season.


A: There’s no rule requiring a hymn to Our Lady or a saint at Sunday Mass.

Nor is there a rule against it.

But there is a rule of charity. Priests and musicians owe each other respect for their expertise and experience, and the desire to create harmony for all who come to worship.

GIRM 111 says, “There should be harmony and diligence among all those involved in the effective preparation of each liturgical celebration in accordance with the Missal and other liturgical books, both as regards the rites and as regards the pastoral and musical aspects. This should take place under the direction of the rector of the church and after consultation with the faithful in things that directly pertain to them. However, the Priest who presides at the celebration always retains the right of arranging those things that pertain to him.”