• RobertRobert
    Posts: 343
    The following note appears on page 13 of the 1974 Graduale Romanum: "In omnibus Missis de Tempore eligi potest pro opportunitate, loco cuiusvis cantus diei proprii, alius ex eodem tempore." I won't try to translate that, but the gist is that it is permitted to replace a proper chant for a given Sunday with another one from the same season.

    I haven't read much discussion of this option. It seems to me to open up a lot of possibilities for chant in the Ordinary Form. For example, a beginning schola can sing, say, "Da pacem" every Sunday for most of the fall while preparing introits for Christ the King, Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. And then after Epiphany, maybe it's "Adorate Deum" for a while as they get Holy Week organized. And why not "Resurrexi" for a few weeks in a row during Easter while preparing introits for Pentecost, Trinity and Corpus Christi? This beginning schola will be glad to have at least some of the seven "ad libitum" Communios (see Graduale p. 391) in their repertoire.

    A more experienced schola, capable of handling a new introit and communio every week and maybe even an offertory, could make use this option as a way of starting to replace the responsorial psalm and the simple-triple Alleluia with Graduals and melismatic Alleluias.

    Sure, there is something to be said for the EF's glorious inflexibility with the propers, and we may want to take this as an model for the OF. But if this admiration leads us to start using Rossini-style psalm-tone "propers" (a regrettable development that emerged from that inflexibility) when we could be singing real selections from the treasury, something is wrong.

    So, my question is, in light of this option, which of the chants of the Graduale should beginning scholas learn first? I have some ideas, but I'm interested to hear what people have to say. It would useful to have suggested three-year plans (or five year plans) for working up to the ideal of the assigned propers every Sunday.
  • When our schola started out (in the OF), we focused on the ad libitum Communios and selected Introits in year one; we added additional Communios and Introits in year two, followed by Offertories. Lastly, the schola learned the Alleluias and the Gradual antiphons, while more skilled chanters would handle the melismatic verses. Since we were in the OF, we would use hymns at the points of the Mass where we didn't have a proper antiphon prepared. If we started out in the EF, Rossini-style reductions would have been employed.
  • WJA
    Posts: 237
    For purposes of selecting "seasonal" propers, is all of Ordinary Time considered one "season"? I ask because our group is scheduled to sing 8 Sundays in Ordinary Time througout the year, and it would be nice to focus on one set of propers for the introit, offertory, and communion from the Graduale Romanum for that chunk of our schedule.

    And assuming Ordinary Time is one "season," any suggestions for which of the many Ordinary Time propers would be good choices for a "seasonal" introit, offertory, and communio?

    WJA
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    This is "option 3" in the GIRM. There's no reason you can't do any antiphon and psalm from the Graduale (or any polyphonic setting of the same text) on any given Sunday. I think you're wise not to use this option as an end unto itself, however (as the "option 4" folks usually do) but as a means of working toward the ideal of full sung propers every week. You could also look at the antiphons and psalms from the Graduale Simplex as a guide, but use the fuller melismatic versions (when available) from the Graduale Romanum. I think this would be "option 2 - PLUS" or "option 1.5."
  • Ok, I'll asked the question. We can agree that real propers are best, and seasonable propers not as good but still permitted and praiseworthy. but given that the GIRM allows the propers to be replaced by any suitable song, why is there a special mention of seasonal propers at all? I mean, isn't it true that singing just about anything anytime is permitted? I don't mean this question in a smart-pants way, and I'm not one to trash the OF rubrics at every opportunity, but isn't there something odd about a permission to do anything when in fact anything is permitted?

    What am I missing here?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,331
    The mention of seasonal "propers" does indicate a preference for that over any 'suitable' song, based on the order of the options.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    I second Jeffrey's question.

    And by the way, why is there a "Seasonal" Responsorial Psalm for the Easter Vigil Mass? (I still am not sure on this one, even though some really smart people have told me their thoughts)
    Thanked by 1Ioannes Andreades
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Why is there mention of anything besides option 4? Why not say "any suitable song" and be done with it? Preference. I think we're risking looking at things too much as "Proper or hymn" Any psalm is better than any suitable song. The seasonal proper is better than any psalm, and it's better than any other suitable song. And the actual propers of the Mass are better than all of those.

    I suspect it's about steps as well as options. You can't do the propers in your church? Then do a seasonal proper. Can't do those? Do some familiar psalm. Can't do a psalm? Find some other song which is suitable and do it. And meanwhile get your rear in gear to be able to do something other than a "suitable song".

    And yet, other options ought to be used where possible. I would say, as a matter of my private opinion, that "Adeste, Fideles" is just peachy for Christmas Morning Mass at the Entrance. I would say that a psalm chanted in the Anglican manner would be great for an occasional offertory. I would say, again as a personal preference, that getting the congregation to sing the proper of the Mass is a fine reason to start them with the seasonal proper. And maybe you want to use the chants from the old Gradual at the OF Mass - you can technically do that. Now these are my opinions, and I won't be surprised if others don't share them. And I'm not here to fight about why I'm a heretic for each any every one of those ideas - surely you can find better evidence than that. But surely, with good pastoral judgment the options can be exercised well. And at the same time I think an "either/or" approach is flawed and the use of multiple options can be effective too.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    It seems that the Church gave us lots of choices, in almost everything including music in liturgy, trusting that we will make 'good choices' according to sound judgments, profound knowledge and concience. When the rules were all given, we just followed, now we really have to work hard to make good choices and get better each time. Although some people seem to abuse the freedom that the Church gave us, or became lazy to know what is right, and just resort to feel good approach, becase it's easy and feel good.

    Too many choices can be very confusing. Can I say if I keep EF as the highest model for music in liturgy (as Gregorrian chant is the highest model for any sacred music,), and when I'm confused about which one is better, choice 1, 2, 3, 4 in OF, I start with the choice within our ability but strive toward the one that is closest to the EF?
  • Gavin, what you say makes sense on paper (screen?) but something goes wrong in practice. If there are four options, most difficult to least difficult, it becomes crucially important that there be one additional ingredient: the institutional conditions that inspire everyone toward the ideal that is most difficult. That is what is completely missing today in the Catholic music ethos. Even at Vatican Masses, no matter how beautiful things might be otherwise, it is devastating when the choirs do not sing the Gregorian propers. If even the Vatican routinely chooses 4, there is something wrong with the structure of the options and the dynamic they set up.