The Processional

Entrance ProcessionsIt is the Church’s tradition that the processions in the Mass – at the Entrance, Preparation of the Gifts and Communion – are accompanied by antiphons, almost always biblical texts, sung as refrains with psalm verses.

The Roman Missal revised after the Second Vatican Council has retained the tradition, but omits the psalm verses as these are not required when the antiphons are recited rather than sung. The Graduale Romanum, revised after the implementation of both the revised Roman Missal and the new Roman Lectionary, not only retains the psalm verse for the Entrance Antiphon, but proposes a selection of psalm verses for use with an antiphon at the Communion procession; it also retains the Offertory antiphon, which was omitted from the Missal.

Following the Vatican Council’s request for ‘an edition… containing simpler melodies, for use in smaller churches’ (Sacrosanctum Concilium, art 117), the Graduale Simplex was issued in 1967 – second edition 1974. This contains simple antiphons for the Entrance, Offertory and Communion for major solemnities, and one or more sets for use in each liturgical season.

These antiphon and psalm texts have been brought together in English translation in this Processional. In addition, in the absence of psalm verses for the antiphons in the Missal, the verses proposed in the unpublished ICEL Antiphonal of 1997 have been added. The Offertory antiphon has been restored to its original responsorial form from ancient manuscripts edited by Karl Ott and published in Desclée in 1935 (re-issued by Solesmes in 1985). In the few instances where there were no available psalm verses, these have been added editorially.

For the translations, the new ICEL translation of the Missal is the basic resource. Where the Graduale Romanum differs from the Missal, and unless the same text occurs elsewhere in the Missal, a new translation from the Latin is provided – as is the case for all the Offertory songs. For the Graduale Simplex antiphons, the 1968 ICEL translation is used, unless a closer translation of the Latin has been preferred.

This Processional is intended for composers, who are encouraged to use it as a resource. It is not expected that published settings derived therefrom will contain all the given texts, nor is it necessary to use all of a given text, subject to the requirements of the copyright holders. Settings published in England and Wales do not require the approval of the panel set up by the Department of Christian Life and Worship.

The Processional is only obtainable as a PDF file from the Liturgy Office website. Follow the link on the right to download your own copy.

Download the Processional

You can download your own copy of the Processional in PDF format from the Liturgy Office website. Follow the download link here (opens in a new window).

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