Liturgical Lyrics

Dear Catholic Exchange,

I am currently writing a Mass setting for my parish and I was wondering if you could tell me if these two are liturgically correct. The First is the Sprinkling Rite. I am not sure if there is a specific standard set of lyrics or not, so I made my own.

"Sprinkling Rite Lyrics"
Water of Life,
Rain down on us,
Like blessings from above.
Let God rain his love on us,
Like water to the earth.

Blessed and poured,
The water of life,
Gives strength and refreshment,
To those in need,
It reminds us of our baptism,
And God's in the Jordan.
Let God rain his love on us,
Like water to the earth.

On the Gloria, I have a melody line that I really like stuck in my head. However, the words don't line up with the music, and so I was wondering if the phrase "in the highest." Can be omitted in the refrain? It is in a call-response format. Here are the refrain lyrics I have:

Cantor: Glory!
Congregation: Glory!
Cantor: I'm singin' Glory to God!
Congregation: Glory to God!
Cantor: and peace to His people on earth.
Congregation: and peace to His people on earth.

Thank you so much. I appreciate any help or advice you have!


Dear Dan,

Peace in Christ!

The Rite of Blessing and Sprinkling Holy Water says that while the priest is sprinkling the people, "an antiphon or another appropriate song is sung. I take it that you are composing "another appropriate song." Here are my two cents:

The Rite itself can provide content for your lyrics. (You can find the rite in your parish's sacramentary and a few unofficial sites on the internet have it). The three forms contain phrases you can echo (e.g. "living water") or at least themes you can emphasize in your music. The text of the forms will give you the essence of the rite which, I think, should be in some form expressed in the lyrics. For example, each of the three forms includes saving from sins or cleansing from sins.

The Gloria is a different matter. The text of the Mass as a rule is not to be altered when set to music. Excluding a part of the text that comes straight from Scripture might be pushing it. Ultimately, the result must be approved by the Bishops before use in the Liturgy (cf. GIRM no. 393).

I hope this is helpful.

Please feel free to call us at 1-800-MY FAITH (693-2484) or email us with any further questions on this or any other subject. If you have found this service to be helpful, please consider a donation to CUF to help sustain this service. You can call the toll-free line, visit us at, or send your contribution to the address below. Thank you for your support as we endeavor to "support, defend, and advance the efforts of the teaching Church."

United in the Faith,

Eric Stoutz
Information Specialist
Catholics United for the Faith
827 North Fourth Street
Steubenville, OH 43952
800-MY-FAITH (800-693-2484)

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage