A letter on the requirement of the liturgical books to stand for the Kyrie and Gloria in the Roman Catholic Mass.


About John Lilburne


Sitting for Gloria 30 June 2002

Everyone stood for Gloria, 23 June 2002

Archbishop Hart says "Please sit" on 28 April 2002

A discussion with Archbishop Hart on standing of 29 July 2001


Letter on standing for Kyrie and Gloria

[My address and phone number were given]

23 April 2002

Most Reverend Denis J. Hart
James Gould House
228 Victoria Parade
East Melbourne 3002

Your Grace,

I am writing about the requirement to stand at Mass for the Kyrie and Gloria.

A new Roman Missal was officially made public on 22 March 2002. It has been announced that its instructions came into force with its publication.

The General Instruction has a new final chapter which makes it clear that an individual bishop cannot make changes to the postures given in the Roman Missal. From the Study Translation, n. 390:

390 It is up to the Conferences of Bishops, once their acts have been given the recognito of the Apostolic See, to define for introduction into the Missal itself the adaptations which are indicated in this General Institutio and in the Order of Mass, such as:
- the gestures and posture of the faithful (see nos. 24, 43);

The Latin text in the 2002 Roman Missal, page 83 is:

390. Conferentiarum Episcoporum est aptationes definire et, actis a Sede Apostolica recognitis, in ipsum Missale introducere, quae in hac Institutione generali et in Ordine Missae indicantur, uti sunt:
- fidelium gestus et corporis habitus (cf. supra, n. 43);

The 2000 Institutio Generalis, n. 43, required continuation of the custom of kneeling from the end of the Sanctus to the end of the Eucharistic Prayer. The 2002 Institutio Generalis, n. 43, adds to this the custom of kneeling for "This is the Lamb of God".

But there is no justification for sitting for the Kyrie and Gloria. The Study Translation of the Institutio Generalis has:

43 The faithful should stand from the beginning of the opening song or when the priest enters until the end of the opening prayer or collect;

The 2002 Roman Missal text for this is:

43. Fideles stent ab initio cantus ad introitum, vel dum sacerdos accedit ad altare, usque ad collectam inclusive;

That everyone should stand for the Gloria is emphasised in the Ceremonial of Bishops (Liturgical Press, 1989, page 53) n. 135: "During the Gloria all stand." This is a translation of Caeremoniale Episcoporum (Liberia Editrice Vaticana, 1984, page 45) n. 135 which has: "Dum canitur hymnus, omnes stant."

I hope this letter gives you a better understanding of the instructions for standing for the Kyrie and Gloria in the Third Edition of the Roman Missal.

Yours sincerely,

John Lilburne

Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 28 April 2002. Last updated 30 June 2002.