Penitential Act, Form 3Penitential Act has four parts. The Roman Missal, Third Edition, providesthree forms for the Penitential Act within the Introductory Rites for Mass. All threeforms follow the same four-part pattern: (1) invitation to the faithful by the Priest, (2)a pause for silence, (3) the prayer, and (4) the absolution by the Priest.Form 3 texts found in two places. As is the pattern with the new translationrules of Liturgiam Autheniticam: Fifth Instruction for the “Right Implementation ofthe Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council” (2001), theadditional sample invocations for the Penitential Act form 3 are only found inAppendix VI for the Diocese of the United States.Form 3 may be freely composed. Although the Missal provides patterns forform 3, the first in the Order of Mass and the remaining seven samples in AppendixVI, the rubrics permit local composition. This allows the local community to invokethe Risen Christ in particular ways suited to the day, the season, and the needs ofthose who gather on a given day for prayer. This litany, however, is not like anexamination of conscience for sacramental Penance. It is not a listing of specific sins.It is always acclamation to Christ who is full of mercy.So, don’t get in a rut. Use the freedom that the Missal provides. Carefullychoose from the examples of the Missal a text to suit the occasion. Carefully writeother invocations to suit local need.Who is the minister of the tropes for form 3? It does not belong to theDeacon as does the Gospel, the Prayer of the Faithful, and the Dismissal. The rubricreads: The Priest, or a Deacon or another minister, then says the following or otherinvocations * with Kyrie, eleison (Lord, have mercy). It may also be sung.The Mass and Its Parts – Navigating the Roman MissalThe pastoral effectiveness of a celebration will be greatly increased if the texts of thereadings, the prayers, and the liturgical chants correspond as aptly as possible to theneeds, the preparation, and the culture of the participants.GIRM, no. 352. Diocese of Springfield in Illinois Office for Worship and the Catechumenate 1615 W. Washington St. Springfield IL 62702-4757(217) 698-8500 www.dio.org Eliot Kapitan, 28 November 2016 Penitential Act, Form 3 – page 1 of 11.
Resources to ConsultGeneral Instruction of the Roman Missal [GIRM], nos. 51-52 – on the generalstructure, the option of the blessing and sprinkling of water, and the use of“Lord, have mercy”.Note: GIRM Chapter IV, The Different Forms of Celebrating Mass is silent onwho sings or recites the tropes of form 3.Introduction to the Order of Mass: A Pastoral Resource of the Bishops’Committee on the Liturgy (2003), nos. 71-73 – treats the concerns raised inGIRM, no. 51; addresses forms 1 and 2; addresses the Kyrie but is silent onform 3.Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship (2007), nos. 145-146 – particularlyaddressing form 3 and the Kyrie.Paul Turner. Let Us Pray: A Guide to the Rubrics of Sunday Mass, revised.Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2012. Nos. 212-226 – on the invitation by thepriest, on silence, on each of the three forms. No. 219 notes the samples inAppendix VI, others may be freely composed, however, “they should beacclamations to Christ who is merciful, not a litany of sins for which thefaithful seek mercy.”Texts from the Roman MissalExcerpts from The Roman Missal 2010, International Commission onEnglish in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.Penitential ActThird FormPenitential Act, Form 3 – page 2 of 11.
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