Q. When is the proper time to stand for the singing of the Alleluia that precedes the Gospel reading? Is it at the start of the singing or when the priest stands? Here’s the background on my question. In the past, we always stood at the beginning of the Alleluia! chorus — as does every other church I’ve ever attended (Catholic or not). Starting several years ago, however, our priests do not stand until the second singing (the cantor sings by him/herself first, then the priest and congregation stand as it is sung a second time).
N.W., via e-mail
A. Here is a reply from Father Francis Hoffman, J.C.D.:
We can find the answer to your question in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM). “The faithful should stand . . . for the Alleluia chant before the Gospel” (No. 43). Later, we read: “It [Alleluia] is sung by all while standing and is led by the choir or a cantor, being repeated if this is appropriate” (No. 62). So, the GIRM tells us to stand for the Alleluia, and makes no distinction about first verse, second verse, or to stand only when the priest stands. As soon as you hear the word “Alleluia,” you should stand up.
My understanding is that everyone should stand for the Alleluia, as soon as the music starts.
The missalettes currently in use, as well as the Roman Missal on the altar, and the personal copies of daily Roman Missals, all indicate the same thing: stand for the Alleluia.