From a reader:
Several years ago, our new husband & wife (talented but very Haugen/Haas loyal) music directors introduced/replaced the familiar English version of the Exultet at the Vigil with a modern(Haugen?) version sung as a duet by male (Deacon) & female (Mrs music director) voices. I am told that this is now also (performed) at all regular Easter Masses by male non-deacon & female voices. Is any of this stipulated pro or con?
PS. Would it be improper to listen to a more traditional version (say,
yours) with earphones & an iPod while this is going on? It’s still quite dark in the Church at this point.
That version of the Exultet sounds dreadful. I believe there is some provision for an lay person to sing the Exultet, but my being recoils at the idea of a woman doing it. That’s just wrong. A female substituting for a deacon, or sharing in the singing of the text which means substituting for deacon. No. The rubric concerning what goes on with the Paschal candle explains that when it is not a deacon it is another minister, alius minister idoneus, which is masculine. Also, concerning the lines to be omitted from the Exultet when sung by a non-deacon we find ab alio qui , which is masculine. People might try to performed a philological fan dance in support of the obviously male language really including females. I would respond “Piffle. It is obviously foreign to the Roman mind to have a woman do any part of the deacon’s greatest liturgical moment of the whole year in the most sacred of our Holy Church’s liturgies.
As far as a duet is concerned… I don’t think that is permitted. Even if it were two deacons, it should not be done.
And, I don’t think it is proper to listen to anything else during the sacred action of liturgical worship, even though what is happening is … sub-optimal.