Religion Past and Present

Get access

(485 words)

[German Version]

I. Liturgy – II. Music

I. Liturgy

Historically, the gradual (graduale) was responsive singing using a psalm text, which followed after the first Scripture reading (Epistle) in the liturgy of the Roman mass. This was followed by a second chant, the Alleluia, sung directly before the Gospel reading. On certain penitential days and during Lent, the Alleluia was replaced by the singing of a psalm text known as the tract. The word gradual referred to the steps (Lat. gradus) of the ambo (Lectern) where the singer stood. In the 1970 …

Cite this page
Mitchell, Nathan D., “Gradual”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 08 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

▲   Back to top   ▲