The gospel acclamation is a high point of celebration in the assembly. It is the assembly’s opportunity to welcome the reading of the gospel in its midst, to rejoice for the great gift of God’s word, and to gather around the reading. It is an anticipation of the gospel reading to come and a response to the word it has already heard. The choir may have a role in leading the acclamation, providing a descant or singing the proper verse. However, on most days it is not advisable for the choir to sing the entire acclamation in the assembly’s place (the days of Lent and Holy Week may be an exception, when the proper acclamations are less easily sung by an assembly). This is the assembly’s response, and at least the alleluia needs the entire assembly’s voice.
Usually the gospel acclamation contains an alleluia, our most basic word of praise. In the Lenten season, we sing a less festive text without an alleluia, “Let your steadfast love come to us, O Lord. Save us as you promised; we will trust your word,” or another suitable text. In all other seasons, we may simply sing the alleluia or we may pair that singing with a proper verse for the day.
—From Using Evangelical Lutheran Worship: The Sunday Assembly, Lorraine S. Brugh and Gordon W. Lathrop (Augsburg Fortress, 2013).
Gospel Acclamations for Lent through Holy Trinity (Augsburg Fortress, 2006) offers choral gospel acclamations for Lent through Holy Trinity with one per Sunday or festival day in the church year, years A, B, and C. Download content for any Sunday instantly in Prelude simply by searching “Gospel Acclamations” and the calendar date of the Sunday you would like.
Grace and peace to you and your music ministry this Lenten season.