Religion Past and Present

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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 th…

Cite this page
Mitchell, Nathan D., “Gradual”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 31 July 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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