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A Year’s Worth of Gospel Acclamations

31 July, 2012

The great liturgical musician, Margaret Daly-Denton, used to say that if you were to sing only one thing during the Liturgy of the Word, then it should be the Gospel Acclamation. It is the musical and ritual highpoint, as it anticipates and prepares the proclamation of the Gospel. To honour this principle the Cloyne Commission for Liturgical Formation has produced a book entitled “A Year’s Worth of Gospel Acclamations” with words and musical settings. There is also a set of two accompanying CDs which demonstrate how easy it is – with one tuneful voice – to use the acclamations to deliver effectively the Gospel message.


Bishop John Magee
Index for the Seasons of the Liturgical Year


  • For the Season of Advent
  • For the Season of Christmas
  • For Ordinary Time after Christmas
  • For the Season of Lent
  • For the Easter Triduum
  • For the Season of Easter
  • For Ordinary Time after the Season of Easter


  • For the Rites of Christian Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, First Eucharist)
  • For the Rite of Marriage
  • For the Rite of Penance


  • For the Feasts and Memorials of Saints
  • For the Solemnities, Feasts and Memorials of the Blessed Virgin Mary


  • For the Order of Christian Funerals


Extra Gospel Acclamation Texts Not Recorded
Index of Gospel Acclamation Texts (alphabetic list)
Index of Musical Settings
Mass Settings according to Liturgical Season

 204 pp. To purchase this book, email: [email protected]



A Year’s Worth of Gospel Acclamations has three elements: A leader’s handbook, a leader’s box-set of two CDs and a musician’s accompaniment edition. When a liturgically-formed cantor, choir or musician is unavailable to lead the Gospel acclamation of the day, another person can be trained to carry out the role, using this resource as a start-up kit. He/she would sing from their place in the congregation.

The principles underlying this resource are, namely:

  • A single Gospel acclamation text can be used on most days of a liturgical season, instead of using the text of the day.
  • One musical setting is used for an entire liturgical season. While two / three settings are given for most seasons, one setting is chosen. It is used exclusively throughout the particular season. When the liturgical season changes, a different selection of musical settings is provided. Again, select and use only one throughout (see page 204)!
  • You must know the particular liturgical day being celebrated and which liturgical season it is. You must also know if texts specific to marriage and funerals, for example, can be used on this day. The Liturgical Calendar for Ireland tells you which liturgical day and season it is and if marriage and funerals texts, etc., are permitted.

How to use A Year’s Worth of Gospel Acclamations:

  1. Consult the Liturgical Calendar for Ireland and confer with the presider.
  2. Having identified the liturgical season, day, and celebration, go to the Index for the Seasons of the Liturgical Year of this handbook (pages 9 – 23). Here, in the section for the relevant season, you are directed to a designated text according to your musical setting. Open this page. Note the CD information.
  3. Listen to the track and, if necessary, a track of the same Mass setting that includes the refrain. Practice aloud the refrain, refrain, verse, refrain sequence.

In Church, lead a Gospel acclamation as follows:

As leader, sing the Alleluia (or Lenten) refrain. If available, use a mobile microphone – be careful not to shout! The assembly repeats this refrain. You, alone, sing the two-line verse. The assembly repeats the refrain.

For more information on how to conduct the Liturgy of the Word correctly, see: The Word of the Lord and The Ministry of the Word: A Compilation of Sources. These books are published by the Cloyne Commission for Liturgical Formation.

Committee for Liturgical Music:
Fr. Gerard Coleman, Dominic Finn, Carmel Gleeson, Sr. Emmanuel Leonard, Mary Mc Sweeney, Fr Jeremiah O’ Riordan, Mary Pedder-Daly, Mairéad Shannon.



A Year’s Worth of Gospel Acclamations is a resource to help parishes meet the requirement of liturgical law, namely:

The Alleluia or verse before the Gospel must be sung. General Introduction to the Lectionary, 23;

An acclamation of this kind constitutes a rite or act in itself, by which the assembly of the faithful welcomes and greets the Lord who is about to speak to it in the Gospel and professes their faith by means of the chant. It is sung by all while standing and is led by the choir or a cantor ( … ). The verse, however, is sung either by the choir or by the cantor. General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 2002, 62.

Given this obligation to sing rather than merely recite the Gospel acclamation, especially in celebrations of the Liturgy with a congregation, I warmly welcome A Year’s Worth of Gospel Acclamations – as a tuition handbook, accompanying CD and instrumental edition. I trust it will prove itself an accessible, practical and enriching support where pastors and parishioners collaborate for an authentic and more fruitful celebration of the Church’s Liturgy.

It is with deep gratitude that I recommend this latest resource of the Cloyne Commission for Liturgical Formation. Using it, may you have cause for gratitude too the liturgical assembly newly at ease with its song and so greeting the Lord Jesus with a more wholehearted expression of faith!

+ John Magee
Bishop of Cloyne
Chairperson of the Irish Episcopal Commission for Liturgy

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