Order of Mass
The Order of Mass also called the Ordinary of the Mass, is the set of texts of the Roman Rite
Roman Rite
The Roman Rite is the liturgical rite used in the Diocese of Rome in the Catholic Church. It is by far the most widespread of the Latin liturgical rites used within the Western or Latin autonomous particular Church, the particular Church that itself is also called the Latin Rite, and that is one of...

Mass (liturgy)
"Mass" is one of the names by which the sacrament of the Eucharist is called in the Roman Catholic Church: others are "Eucharist", the "Lord's Supper", the "Breaking of Bread", the "Eucharistic assembly ", the "memorial of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection", the "Holy Sacrifice", the "Holy and...

 that are generally invariable. This contrasts with the proper
Proper (liturgy)
The Proper is a part of the Christian liturgy that varies according to the date, either representing an observance within the Liturgical Year, or of a particular saint or significant event...

, which are items of the Mass that change with the feast or following the Liturgical Year
Liturgical year
The liturgical year, also known as the church year, consists of the cycle of liturgical seasons in Christian churches which determines when feast days, including celebrations of saints, are to be observed, and which portions of Scripture are to be read. Distinct liturgical colours may appear in...

. The Order of Mass is printed in the Roman Missal
Roman Missal
The Roman Missal is the liturgical book that contains the texts and rubrics for the celebration of the Mass in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.-Situation before the Council of Trent:...

 as a distinct section placed in the middle of the book, between the Mass of the Easter Vigil
Easter Vigil
The Easter Vigil, also called the Paschal Vigil or the Great Vigil of Easter, is a service held in many Christian churches as the first official celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus. Historically, it is during this service that people are baptized and that adult catechumens are received into...

 and that of Easter Sunday in pre-1970 editions, and between the Proper of the Seasons and the Proper of the Saints thereafter.

Traditional choral texts

The following texts, if not sung by the whole congregation, are traditionally sung by a choir. The texts are invariable except for the Tridentine Mass
Tridentine Mass
The Tridentine Mass is the form of the Roman Rite Mass contained in the typical editions of the Roman Missal that were published from 1570 to 1962. It was the most widely celebrated Mass liturgy in the world until the introduction of the Mass of Paul VI in December 1969...

 Agnus Dei.
  1. Kyrie eleison
    Kyrie, a transliteration of Greek κύριε , vocative case of κύριος , meaning "Lord", is the common name of an important prayer of Christian liturgy, which is also called the Kýrie, eléison ....

     ("Lord, have mercy")
  2. Gloria
    Gloria in Excelsis Deo
    "Gloria in excelsis Deo" is the title and beginning of a hymn known also as the Greater Doxology and the Angelic Hymn. The name is often abbreviated to Gloria in Excelsis or simply Gloria.It is an example of the psalmi idiotici "Gloria in excelsis Deo" (Latin for "Glory to God in the highest")...

     ("Glory to God in the highest")
  3. Credo
    A credo |Latin]] for "I Believe") is a statement of belief, commonly used for religious belief, such as the Apostles' Creed. The term especially refers to the use of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed in the Mass, either as text, Gregorian chant, or other musical settings of the...

     ("I believe in one God"), the Nicene Creed
    Nicene Creed
    The Nicene Creed is the creed or profession of faith that is most widely used in Christian liturgy. It is called Nicene because, in its original form, it was adopted in the city of Nicaea by the first ecumenical council, which met there in the year 325.The Nicene Creed has been normative to the...

  4. Sanctus
    The Sanctus is a hymn from Christian liturgy, forming part of the Order of Mass. In Western Christianity, the Sanctus is sung as the final words of the Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer, the prayer of consecration of the bread and wine...

     ("Holy, Holy, Holy"), the second part of which, beginning with the word "Benedictus" ("Blessed is he"), was often sung separately after the consecration, if the setting was long. (See Benedictus
    -Music:* Benedictus , the canticle sung at Lauds, also called the Canticle of Zachary.* The second part of the Sanctus, part of the eucharistic prayer* Benedictus , a song by Simon and Garfunkel...

     for other chants beginning with that word.)
  5. Agnus Dei
    Agnus Dei (liturgy)
    In the Mass of the Roman Rite and also in the Eucharist of the Anglican Communion, the Lutheran Church, and the Western Rite of the Orthodox Church the Agnus Dei is the invocation to the Lamb of God sung or recited during the fraction of the Host...

     ("Lamb of God
    Lamb of God
    The title Lamb of God appears in the Gospel of John, with the exclamation of John the Baptist: "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" in John 1:29 when he sees Jesus....


The Kyrie eleison was traditionally sung in Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

, the others in Latin. But the use of other languages, once a rare privilege only given to the Slavs of Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

 (in present day Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

) who used Old Church Slavonic written in Glagolitic characters, is now more common than the use of Latin and Greek.

Prior to the Council of Trent
Council of Trent
The Council of Trent was the 16th-century Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. It is considered to be one of the Church's most important councils. It convened in Trent between December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563 in twenty-five sessions for three periods...

 the Kyrie was frequently troped
Trope (music)
A trope or tropus may be a variety of different things in medieval and modern music.The term trope derives from the Greek τρόπος , "a turn, a change" , related to the root of the verb τρέπειν , "to turn, to direct, to alter, to change"...

; indeed English renaissance composers seem to have regarded the Sarum rite
Sarum Rite
The Sarum Rite was a variant of the Roman Rite widely used for the ordering of Christian public worship, including the Mass and the Divine Office...

 Kyrie as part of the propers
Proper (liturgy)
The Proper is a part of the Christian liturgy that varies according to the date, either representing an observance within the Liturgical Year, or of a particular saint or significant event...

 and begin their mass settings with the Gloria.

The Kyrie, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei are part of every Mass. Until the 1970 revision of the Roman Missal, the Agnus Dei was modified for Requiem
A Requiem or Requiem Mass, also known as Mass for the dead or Mass of the dead , is a Mass celebrated for the repose of the soul or souls of one or more deceased persons, using a particular form of the Roman Missal...

 Masses, and prayed not miserere nobis (have mercy on us) and dona nobis pacem (grant us peace), but dona eis requiem (grant them rest) and dona eis requiem sempiternam (grant them eternal rest).

The Gloria is reserved for Masses of Sundays, solemnities and feasts, with the exception of Sundays within the penitential season of Lent
In the Christian tradition, Lent is the period of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer – through prayer, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial – for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and...

 (to which, before 1970, were added the Ember Days
Ember days
In the liturgical calendar of the Western Christian churches, Ember days are four separate sets of three days within the same week — specifically, the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday — roughly equidistant in the circuit of the year, that were formerly set aside for fasting and prayer...

 occurring four times a year, and the pre-Lenten season that began with Septuagesima
Septuagesima is the name for the ninth Sunday before Easter, the third before Ash Wednesday. The term is sometimes applied also to the period that begins on this day and ends on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. This period is also known as the pre-Lenten season or...

), and the season of Advent
Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. It is the beginning of the Western liturgical year and commences on Advent Sunday, called Levavi...

 (when it is held back as preparation for Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

). It is omitted at weekday Masses (called Feria
A feria was a day on which the people, especially the slaves, were not obliged to work, and on which there were no court sessions...

s) and memorials, and at requiem and votive Masses, but is generally used also at ritual Masses celebrated on occasions such as the administration of another sacrament, a religious profession or the blessing of a church.

The Credo is used on all Sundays and solemnities. Until simplified by Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XII
The Venerable Pope Pius XII , born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli , reigned as Pope, head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City State, from 2 March 1939 until his death in 1958....

 in 1956, the rules (some 400 words in Section XI of the Rubricae generales Missalis) were much more complicated, listing, among other Masses, those of Doctors of the Church, those celebrated during octaves and certain votive Masses.

During the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 it was common in certain uses of the Roman Rite (such as the Sarum Use) to add tropes
Trope (music)
A trope or tropus may be a variety of different things in medieval and modern music.The term trope derives from the Greek τρόπος , "a turn, a change" , related to the root of the verb τρέπειν , "to turn, to direct, to alter, to change"...

 to the Kyrie. The tropes were essentially texts particular to a specific feast day interpolated between the lines of the Kyrie. The 1970 revision of the Roman Missal has extended the availability of this practice to all Masses (though in a different way.)

It was at one time popular to replace at a Solemn Mass
Solemn Mass
Solemn Mass , sometimes also referred to as Solemn High Mass or simply High Mass, is, when used not merely as a description, the full ceremonial form of the Tridentine Mass, celebrated by a priest with a deacon and a subdeacon, requiring most of the parts of the Mass to be sung, and the use of...

 the second half of the Sanctus (the Benedictus) with hymns such as the O Salutaris Hostia
O Salutaris Hostia
O salutaris Hostia, "O Saving Host", is a section of one of the Eucharistic hymns written by St Thomas Aquinas for the Feast of Corpus Christi. He wrote it for the Hour of Lauds in the Divine Office. It is actually the last two stanzas of the hymn Verbum supernum prodiens, and is used for the...

, or, at requiem
A Requiem or Requiem Mass, also known as Mass for the dead or Mass of the dead , is a Mass celebrated for the repose of the soul or souls of one or more deceased persons, using a particular form of the Roman Missal...

s, with a musical setting of the final invocation of the Dies Irae
Dies Irae
Dies Irae is a thirteenth century Latin hymn thought to be written by Thomas of Celano . It is a medieval Latin poem characterized by its accentual stress and its rhymed lines. The metre is trochaic...

: "Pie Jesu
Pie Jesu
Pie Jesu is a motet derived from the final couplet of the Dies irae and often included in musical settings of the Requiem Mass. The settings of the Requiem Mass by Luigi Cherubini, Gabriel Fauré, Maurice Duruflé, John Rutter, Karl Jenkins and Fredrik Sixten include a Pie Jesu as an independent...

 Domine, dona eis requiem."

The phrase Ite, missa est
Ite missa est
Ite, missa est are the concluding words addressed to the people in the Mass of the Roman Rite, as well as the Lutheran Divine Service. The exact meaning of the words is disputed, it has the effect of "Go", or "It is Sent", but the term "Mass" derives from this phrase...

"Go, it is the dismissal" (referring to the congregation) is the final part of the Order of Massa in the post-Tridentine Mass, but is omitted if another function follows immediately. In the Tridentine Mass, it was followed by a private prayer that the priest said silently for himself, by the final blessing, and by the reading of the Last Gospel (usually John 1:1-14), and in some Masses it was replaced by Benedicamus Domino
Benedicamus Domino
Benedicamus Domino is a closing salutation used in the Roman Mass instead of the Ite missa est in Masses which lack the Gloria . The response, said afterwards, is "Deo gratias"...

or Requiescant in pace. These phrases are sung to music given in the Missal, as is the choir's response, Deo gratias or (after Requiescant in pace) Amen. Because of their brevity, the responses have seldom been set to polyphonic music except in early Masses
Mass (music)
The Mass, a form of sacred musical composition, is a choral composition that sets the invariable portions of the Eucharistic liturgy to music...

 such as the Messe de Nostre Dame
Messe de Nostre Dame
Messe de Nostre Dame is a polyphonic mass composed before 1365 by the French poet, composer and cleric Guillaume de Machaut...

 by Machaut). The same holds for other short sung responses, such as Et cum spiritu, Gloria tibi, Domine, Habemus ad Dominum, and Dignum et iustum est.
The texts of the Order of Mass other than the five main choir parts can be grouped as follows:
  1. The Tridentine-Mass Prayers at the Foot of the Altar or, post-1970, the Penitential Rite.
  2. The prayers said in connection with the Scripture readings.
  3. The Offertory prayers.
  4. The Canon of the Mass
    Canon of the Mass
    Canon of the Mass is the name given in the Roman Missal, from the first typical edition of Pope Pius V in 1570 to that of Pope John XXIII in 1962, to the part of the Mass of the Roman Rite that begins after the Sanctus with the words Te igitur...

    , or Eucharistic Prayer, with its opening dialogue and its Preface, the latter of which, in spite of being variable, is included in the Order of Mass.
  5. The Our Father and the following prayers, leading to the priest's communion, to which since 1970 is added the communion of the people, previously not part of the Order of Mass. (The prescribed rite for the distribution of Communion – which Pope John XXIII
    Pope John XXIII
    -Papal election:Following the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958, Roncalli was elected Pope, to his great surprise. He had even arrived in the Vatican with a return train ticket to Venice. Many had considered Giovanni Battista Montini, Archbishop of Milan, a possible candidate, but, although archbishop...

     shortened slightly by omission of the Confiteor
    The Confiteor is one of the prayers that can be said during the Penitential Rite at the beginning of Mass of the Roman Rite in the Catholic Church. It is also said in the Lutheran Church at the beginning of their Divine Service...

    and Absolution – was often printed within or after the Order of Mass in missals for use by the faithful, but not in the Roman Missal of the time.)
  6. The prayer said at the cleansing of the chalice, and the concluding prayers, which in the Tridentine Mass included the reading of what was called the Last Gospel (usually, the first fourteen verses of Saint John's Gospel) as a farewell blessing.

Within these six groupings, there are short phrases (e.g. "Dominus vobiscum" and "Et cum spiritu tuo") that in Tridentine Solemn Mass were sung by priest or deacon and by the choir. If sung in the post-Tridentine form of Mass, the response is usually given by the whole congregation.
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