Pange Lingua and Procession to Altar of Repose on Holy Thursday
  • The singing of the Pange Lingua* is normative for the procession with the Blessed Sacrament to the altar of repose at the conclusion of the mass on Holy Thursday evening. I have a scenario and would appreciate thoughts about how this might be done:

    The procession is going to exit the church and go down the block to another building, and the congregation, and choir, is expected to join the procession. The choke points of the doors are significant enough that the head of the procession will have already entered the other building before the tail of the procession has made it out of the church.

    So, how, if one were to attempt such a thing, might you go about singing the Pange Lingua during this particular procession under these circumstances, with any hope of keeping people singing together?

    Anyone faced a similar or other challenging circumstance for music in procession?

    We once just had the procession go to the side chapel in the Church, but our current pastor thinks that we should have a longer procession ending in a place other than where the normal tabernacle is located. (About which I have my opinions, but that decision has been made, most I may be able to do is nudge the musical aspect slightly.)

    *Fun fact I probably learned from this forum, there are 2 different Pange Lingua texts, and all too often they are mixed up in some form.
    Thanked by 1IWonder
  • Chaswjd
    Posts: 65
    Some suggestions: First, I would try to keep your choir together as a body. Let them lead the singing and everyone else follow them. If the choir leads, the rest should be able to follow. Second, I would see if you can pause the procession outside to regroup before entering the second building. This should everybody to get together on the same page before entering the second set of doors.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 488
    "Fun fact......" - on the Pange Linguae
  • Caleferink
    Posts: 213
    We have a similar situation at my parish. What I do is I send the full choir ahead, immediately behind the Blessed Sacrament, so that at least once the people start entering the hall where the altar of repose is set up they can pick the hymn up from there. I actually bring up the tail of the procession, singing from there (we usually have at least one person in the choir who is able to keep the rest of them at least close to starting pitch, and then I can just adjust myself when I get there). When I get there is the cue to end the Pange lingua after the current stanza and then go into the Tantum ergo. In our situations there's really no fool-proof way I have found to keep everyone together throughout, but I found this to be better than what had been done before, when the choir was split half and half.
    Thanked by 1StephenMatthew
  • donr
    Posts: 916
    As soon as the Communion is over, I have the choir go down to the front doors of the church where they wait for the end of Mass. I start the Pange Lingua then join the choir on 1/8 mile journey to where we repose the Lord until Midnight.
    I instruct the Ushers to hold the congregation back until the choir is directly behind the Knights of Columbus Color Guard.
    We repeat the Pange Lingua until the priest Kneels at the place of repose, then we begin the Tantum Ergo.
    its a long procession so the people at the back of line can't hear what the choir is singing. It just is what it is.

    Someone told me to use a small carry along amp so they could hear in the back. I just said NO!
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 488
    We do the same as @donr.
    Of course, the same issue arises at Corpus Christi during the public procession, outdoors.
    Thanked by 1StephenMatthew
  • Liam
    Posts: 2,992
    Why not mix the choir amid the congregation so long as the choir is within view of the precentor, as it were? That seems to seed the procession with singers who (1) know the melody cold and only need occasionally to refer to text, if at all, and therefore (2) are free to watch and keep up with the speed of light rather than the speed of sound, as it were.