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CNP Feedback -
Wedding Gloria during Lent?

Q. Dear CNP:

I am an organist with a liturgical question. I am playing at a wedding Mass on March 17 [during Lent]. According to the new wedding guidelines, any wedding Mass must include the Gloria. Is this true during Lent? I think I know the answer, but would like confirmation. I believe that since weddings are considered as Feasts, we should sing the Gloria.

Gloria Q. Jesimale

A. Dear GQJ:

The Roman Missal (Latin 2000 / English 2010) holds the Ritual Masses in high esteem. These include Baptism, Confirmation, Ordination, Marriage, Blessing of Abbots/Abbesses, Religious Profession, Consecration of Virgins, Church Dedication. These all include a Gloria (although not a Creed, unless it is prescribed otherwise, as on a Sunday). This situation puts them on a similar liturgical level as a Feast.

As such, even during Lent, there will be a Gloria (as there would on February 22), the altar may be decorated with flowers, and the organ may be played as a solo instrument (not just to accompany singing, as otherwise in Lent). No "Alleluia" is sung, as this is forbidden on all days from Ash Wednesday through Good Friday, with no exceptions made even for Solemnities and Feasts. Another acclamation ("Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ..." or others) is sung instead. Hymns or acclamations containing "Alleluia" are to be avoided as well.

The Ordo in my possession makes this statement:

If marriages are to take place during Lent, couples are to be reminded that wedding plans should respect the special nature of this liturgical season; they should refrain from too much pomp or display [see Order of Celebrating Matrimony #32].

Fr. David Friel, in the blog Views from the Choir Loft [09 February 2014], writes:

Under the new rubrics, the nuptial Mass is treated like a Feast, which means that the Gloria is to be sung. The matter is treated in an article appearing in the NewsLetter of the Secretariat (Volume XVLIII, January 2012):

3. What are the new rubrics in the Missal regarding the Gloria? In the Roman Missal, Third Edition, the rubrics call for the Gloria more frequently than before. Nine out of the ten Ritual Masses prescribe the Gloria, the only exception being the Mass for the Institution of Lectors and Acolytes. These Masses are all treated as if they were Feasts, and the Gloria is used for them even when celebrated during Advent or Lent. Thus, for example, Masses for Confirmation, Holy Orders, or Marriage would include the Gloria even when they occur during Advent or Lent. (It should be noted, though, that Ritual Masses are prohibited on Sundays of Advent and Lent.)

So, in summary, the Gloria is to be sung at every nuptial Mass, regardless of the season, but it is never used at a wedding ceremony outside of Mass.

Gary Penkala
CanticaNOVA Publications
Article written 22 January 2018

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