The alleluia is sung after the gradual on most festive occasions of both the temporal and sanctoral cycles, and is omitted on penitential dates, most notably during Lent, and on occasions of sorrow such as the Requiem Mass. It is characterized by a great lack of fixity in its liturgical assignments, a phenomenon made much of already by Apel. The alleluias of the Christmas season show an appreciable degree of stable assignment. The internal Roman stability of assignment for both the Christmas and Easter seasons is due to the fact that the Romans succeeded in completing the liturgical assignment of alleluias at some time after the redaction of the Mass antiphoners which were used in the transmission of the cantus romanus to the Franks. Byzantine alleluiarion texts are exclusively psalmic, and it is assumed that Roman alleluias from the phase of Byzantine absorption utilized psalmic verses, several of them, indeed, inspired by Byzantine texts.
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