Why is the hymn just before the gospel called the Gradual Hymn?
In the early Church the gradual hymn was an anthem sung after the epistle. In Augustine's time (c. 400s AD) it was a whole psalm, later on other canticles were used as well. We continue this ancient tradition of placing songs of praise (psalms or hymns) between the scripture readings in the ministry of the word.
The gradual hymn gets its name from the step (Latin
) from which it was chanted.
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