Ite, missa est / Benedicamus Domino



Mass/Office: Mass

Ordinary/Proper: Ordinary

Text Setting: Neumatic/Melismatic

Form: AA (melody often taken from Kyrie)


The first phrase, "Ite, missa est" (Go, this is the dismissal), is sung by the priest celebrating the Mass. The choir (and in older practice, the congregation) responds with "Deo gratias" (Thanks be to God).

NAWM 3k is an example of an Ite, missa est in mode 1. Note that the melody is the same as the first statement of the Kyrie, NAWM 3b. It is characteristic of Masses in the modern chant books to use the Kyrie melody for the Ite, missa est. In the Middle Ages, other melodies were also used.

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The second edition of NAWM has an example of a Benedicamus Domino (see NAWM 3m) instead of an Ite, missa est. Benedicamus Domino ("Let us bless the Lord") is substituted for the Ite, missa est during the penitential seasons of Advent (before Christmas) and Lent (before Easter). The melody of this Benedicamus Domino is taken from that for the Kyrie of this same cycle of Mass Ordinary chants, but there were many other Benedicamus Domino melodies in the Middle Ages.
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Last updated: 19 August 2006
URL: http://www.music.indiana.edu/som/courses/m401/Ite.html
This page was created by Patrick Warfield and is maintained by J. Peter Burkholder
Copyright © 1997-2006 by J. Peter Burkholder and Patrick Warfield