Singing Alleluia?

Question: 

Is it OK to just recite the "Alleluia?" If it's not sung can it be omitted?
-- Puzzled in Perry

Answer: 

The revised Lectionary for Mass: Introduction [1981] states in number 23:

The Alleluia, or as the liturgical season requires, the verse before the gospel, is also a "rite or act standing by itself." It serves as the assembled faithful greeting of welcome to the Lord who is about to speak to them and as an expression of their faith through song.

The Alleluia or the verse before the gospel must be sung and during it all stand. It is not to be sung only the by the cantor who intones it or by the choir, but by the whole congregation together.

In light of the revised General Instruction on the Roman Missal, 2002 [GIRM]:, canon lawyer John Huels remarks (used with permission of Professor Huels) on the distinction in law between the Lectionary and third edition of the GIRM:

GIRM 63c must be read together with Lectionary for Mass 23:

The Alleluia or, as the liturgical season requires, the verse before the gospel, is also a 'rite or act standing by itself. It serves as the assembled faithful's greeting of welcome to the Lord who is about to speak to them and as an expression of their faith through song. The Alleluia or the verse before the gospel must be sung and during it all stand. It is not be sung only by the cantor who intones it or by the choir, but by the whole congregation together.

Canon law does not presume the revocation of law (canon 21), so it must be presumed that this norm of the Lectionary is still in force. It must be harmonized as much as possible with GIRM 63.GIRM 63 refers only to Masses with one reading before the Gospel, which excludes Sundays, solemnities, feasts of the Lord, certain ritual Masses like weddings, etc. So, the norm on these occasions is that the Alleluia or verse before the gospel must be sung; otherwise it is omitted.When there is only one first reading, the norm is still that the Alleluia or verse before the gospel, if used, should be sung, since by nature it is "an expression of faith through song." However, an exception is allowed when it is not sung (e.g., a private Mass with only a priest and one person in attendance, neither of whom can sing). In such cases it may be recited, provided there is only one first reading. There is no way to interpret the law to say that recitation is preferred over singing. The opposite is clearly the case.

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