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Leanne Swarts wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have been told that it is inappropriate for the cantor to sing the responsorial psalm and Gospel alleluia from the ambo.

  • What is proper form for a cantor during the Mass?

Leanne

  { Is it improper for the cantor to sing the responsorial psalm and Gospel alleluia from the ambo? }

John replied:

Leanne,

The Psalm needs to be sung from the same lectern from which the readings and the Gospel are read.

The Alleluia can be sung from either the left or right side depending on whether you are looking at the altar or facing out from the altar. I'm not sure if you would call that an ambo. If there is no cantor, then the Priest or Deacon will simply read the Alleluia before he proceeds with reading the Gospel from the lectern or the pulpit.

Now, like anything else there are accommodations that are allowed. For example, if a parish is having an outdoor Mass and there is only one microphone with only one lectern available, it's considered a kind of temporary set up so all this stuff is within reason and isn't something you want to get all hung up on.

Certainly, if they're building a Church, the set up needs to be correct but reasonable exceptions can be made. You might have cantor who has difficulty walking or getting around so he or she stays at ambo. There are any number of acceptable reasons to make exceptions for this rubric.

Most of the time, if something is setup incorrectly and if there is no acceptable excuse, it's simply because they don't know any better — even though they should.

John

Richard replied:

Dear Leanne,

Because the responsorial psalm is a text of Scripture, singing it at the ambo after the first reading is appropriate.

The General Instruction for the Roman Missal, in section 61, names the ambo as the place for presenting the psalm. The same paragraph says that another suitable place may be used.

I hope this helps.

Richard

Leanne replied:

Thank you.

It does help.

— Leanne

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