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Music Settings of the Lord's Prayer
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In my parish, particularly at weddings and funerals, but also at times during the Sunday liturgy, the Melotte Our Father is used. This disturbs me because it is different from the text used in the parish worship aid and because there is no place for the priest's prayer before the words: "For thine is the kingdom...." Is this version approprioate for use in the liturgy?
In determining the suitability of sung settings of liturgical texts, a threefold judgement must be made: musical, liturgical and pastoral (see Music in Catholic Worship, number 25). While the musical and pastoral appropriateness of this particular piece of music is debatable, strictly liturgical considerations are very clear.
Regulation of the liturgy and approval of liturgical texts is clearly described by the Constitution on the Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council (see Sacrosanctum Concilium, paragraph 22). All liturgical texts used in the dioceses of the United States of America must be approved by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and subsequently confirmed by the Holy See.
In keeping with these norms, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops approved the current text for the Order of Mass in 1973, a decision which was confirmed by the Holy See the following year. These texts, including the text of the Lord's Prayer, may not be changed by anyone except the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, and then only with confirmation by the Holy See. There is no provision for dropping the prayer "Deliver us..." except at a Wedding Mass, and, therefore, any musical setting of the Lord's Prayer that is used at Mass must provide for the doxology to be sung after the "Deliver us, Lord..."
 

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Committee on the Liturgy
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
3211 4th Street, N.E., Washington, DC 20017-1194

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