GIRM translation question
  • Hi folks.

    GIRM 2002 has the following phrase:
    86. Dum sacerdos sumit Sacramentum, inchoatur cantus ad Communionem, cuius est spiritualem unionem communicantium per unitatem vocum exprimere


    … which the U. S. GIRM translates thus:

    While the priest is receiving the Sacrament, the Communion chant is begun. Its purpose is to express the communicants’ union in spirit by means of the unity of their voices,


    My question concerns the pronoun “their” in the English translation. Does the Latin necessitate that the voices are those of the congregants? i.e., could the same passage be translated, “by the unity of voices”?
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,620
    Is that version really better ;-) ? If this is really instruction rather than interpretation I guess the letter is often fulfilled by the unanimous silence of congregants...
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,298
    The only persons mentioned in GIRM 86 are the priest (sacerdos) and the communicants (communicantium). So I fail to see why "congregants" would be suggested as a substitute for those receiving communion. And there is nothing in the Latin text which would lead one to introduce further unnamed persons into the norm, such as, choir, cantor, soloist, organist, oboist, or serpent virtuoso.

    There is a wonderful parallel in the Latin between "unionem" and "unitate." The spiritual union of those receiving communion is expressed in the unity of their voices in song.

    Had the OP included the last part of the sentence he quoted, the communitarian nature of the communion song would have been reinforced by the words of the norm itself.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,395
    As Fr. Krisman has observed, the official English translator substitutes "the congregants" for "those communicating". None of the other languages I checked (FR, DE, IT) makes that assumption. Also, none of them says specifically that it is "their" voices.

    IT:
    Mentre il sacerdote assume il Sacramento, si inizia il canto di Comunione: con esso si esprime, mediante l’accordo delle voci, l’unione spirituale di coloro che si comunicano, si manifesta la gioia del cuore e si pone maggiormente in luce il carattere “comunitario” della processione di coloro che si accostano a ricevere l’Eucaristia.

    FR:
    Pendant que le prêtre consomme le Sacrement, on commence le chant de communion pour exprimer par l´unité des voix l´union spirituelle entre les communiants, montrer la joie du cœur et mettre davantage en lumière le caractère « communautaire » de la procession qui conduit à la réception de l’Eucharistie.

    DE:
    Während der Priester das Sakrament empfängt, beginnt
    der Gesang zur Kommunion. Seine Aufgabe ist es, die geistliche
    Gemeinschaft der Kommunizierenden im einheitlichen Zusammenklang der Stimmen zum Ausdruck zu bringen, die Herzensfreude zu zeigen und den Gemeinschaftscharakter der Prozession zum Empfang der Eucharistie deutlicher sichtbar zu machen.


    In any case, that sentence is just an *explanation* of what the chant is for. The *directive* in the next paragraph (#87, adapted for the USA) specifies what may be sung and who is to sing it:

    87. In the Dioceses of the United States of America, there are four options for singing at Communion: (1) the antiphon from the Missal or the antiphon with its Psalm from the Graduale Romanum, as set to music there or in another musical setting; (2) the antiphon with Psalm from the Graduale Simplex of the liturgical time; (3) a chant from another collection of Psalms and antiphons, approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop, including Psalms arranged in responsorial or metrical forms; (4) some other suitable liturgical chant (cf. no. 86) approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop. This is sung either by the choir alone or by the choir or a cantor with the people.

  • Actually, all, the confusion between “congregants” and “communicants” was mine alone. Apologies.

    Ok, so it does seem safe to say that the English of #86 is a bit more “presumptive” that it be the congregation who sings than the Latin—or, for that matter, French, Italian, or German.

    But, devils’ advocate, then: what of the apparent tension between #86 (“communitarian” nature of the communion procession) and the idea in #87 that the choir sing the chant alone? How does having the choir sing the chant alone relate to #86?
  • JahazaJahaza
    Posts: 464
    Since the priest is also a communicant and also part of the unity of the communicants it can't be that all of them have to sing... since the priest is not singing and receiving simultaneously.
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • Right, but a communion minister (ordained or not) has a particular role in the procession that by its nature precludes singing.

    When I worked in a suburban parish I used to be very gung-ho on trying to get the congregation to sing. More recently, it strikes me as awkward to expect people to sing while they’re dealing with the mechanics of the communion procession and actually ingesting stuff. I’ve come to regard #86 as more or less impractical, its idea of highlighting unity much more pragmatically, and only slightly less ideally, expressed through the thanksgiving hymn than through trying to get communicants to sing during the actual procession.

    But, I’m looking for alternative interpretations, counterexamples, etc. before I just give up on implementing #86 as it’s written.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,468
    My congregation has told me they are busy during communion and singing is not something they plan to do. I keep noise going during communion to try and satisfy a really impractical requirement of GIRM. However, it is impractical and is one of the things in GIRM evidently done by a committee divorced from the realm of the practical. It sounds like one of those things put together by a group of crazy liturgists - "now the faithful will stand on their heads naked while holding a pennant in one hand and a heavy hymnal in the other, emphasizing the unity of the overloaded and freezing body..."
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,298
    one of the things in GIRM evidently done by a committee divorced from the realm of the practical

    That's a useful contribution to this discussion.

    Henceforth, whenever anyone on this Forum begins bemoaning the fact that perhaps 99.44% of Catholic parishes throughout the world do not celebrate authentic liturgy, since their Masses are devoid of propers, and instead include liturgical dancing and "sacro-pop" music, female altar servers, and a presiding priest who seems to go into some kind of standup comedy routine as soon as the opening procession with kite puppets gets to the front stage presbyterium, we shall be able to turn to your words of wisdom with blessed assurance that the so-called and so-thinking "true believer's" rant is really about nothing important, just another "one of the things in GIRM evidently done by a committee divorced from the realm of the practical."

    Actually, similar words will work equally well to justify any non-adherence to Church norms. Simply make the appropriate substitution, such as, "Oh, that's another one of the things in the 1983 Code of Canon Law evidently done by a committee divorced from the realm of the practical."

    Will it work to justify violations of the moral law? I'm still pondering that question.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,298
    As Fr. Krisman has observed, the official English translator [sic] substitutes "the congregants" for "those communicating".

    Well, that's certainly not what I "observed" in my initial comment. So I'm beginning to wonder if there's some internet site which erroneously has the word "congregants" instead of "communicants" in no. 86 of the approved English translation of the 2002 GIRM. My copy from the 2010 RM (Liturgical Press edition) has "communicants."

    [Sorry for the misinterpretation on my part. In the meantime, Felipe has clarified the discrepancy.--chonak]
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,468
    Will it work to justify violations of the moral law? I'm still pondering that question.


    I wouldn't put what USCCB committees come up with on the same level as moral law. That being said, the singing throughout the communion procession by the faithful, is one of those things that just doesn't work. I keep noise going by singing the communion chant then the hymn, but that doesn't always cover the entire procession. At the choir mass, singing stops while they receive communion. At other masses, the cantor may or may not leave the loft to receive. I have to play to cover those. The congregation does not sing communion hymns. One of my predecessors deliberately did not use communion hymns for nearly an 18 year period. Now, the congregation doesn't want to sing at that time, and refuses to do so.

    I can't really complain, though. The congregation has been pretty good about everything else.
  • I have colleagues on “the NPM side” who assure me that they have good congregational singing at communion in their parishes.

    I’ve tried very hard to foster this previously and just not had success: kept things familiar and well-written, made sure it had a refrain, announced the selection, etc. If indeed there is something that makes it work that I’ve not tried, I’d be very interested to know.

    When I suggest to the aforementioned colleagues that congregational singing during communion is impractical, they are unreceptive, to put it mildly.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,468
    When I suggest to the aforementioned colleagues that congregational singing during communion is impractical, they are unreceptive, to put it mildly.


    I have decided that those NPM types are where they are, and I am where I am. Maybe it is best to not worry about what they are doing and do what works best for my folks.
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • My experience (though limited) has been exactly what you are all stating: the congregation does not wish to sing before they receive Communion in most cases. They will, however, pick their hymnal up when they return to their seats if the music is still going, and try to come in at the right place, and they will also sing a post-Communion congregational hymn if one is offered. It would be better to do the Communion Proper while the PIPs are receiving the Sacrament, and then switch to hymnody afterwards. The issue with that in my church is that Fr. wants complete silence after Communion, so when, then is the congregation going to get an opportunity to sing? The only answer, as forced by his wish for complete silence afterwards, is during the procession. However, it is not practical to do so, as my assistant has observed: "...people put their Music Issues down (we have OCP) when they go up for Communion..."
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,468
    I have decided the singing during communion is a no-win situation. I suspect that was not thought through very well when the GIRM was put together. That sacred silence after communion is highly desired in my place, so I do it, too. Now I know we are not showing unity with our oompa loompa brothers and sisters by not singing, but I can live with that. ;-)
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Fr Krisman - point taken about not glibly dismissing the GIRM as a committee hack-job (this can be an intellectually weak "easy out" for people all over the liturgical spectrum). At the same time, when there is a clear tension in the document, one does wonder if competing ideologies found their way, unresolved, into the final draft.

    I agree with those who see tension between #86 and #87. But what does the tension mean? Does it mean that we can ignore both paragraphs? Or, as some say (e.g. Paul Inwood), that 86 means we must ignore 87? Or does it mean that an ideal is balanced by practicality?

    Personally, I see 87 as an important practical corrective to the idealized (and wonderful) notion of 86. IN other words, the ideal is for the communicants to sing a communion chant together as they receive - although, presumably not when their mouths are full :). However, the options in 87 all fulfill this goal to some degree. Why? because even the choir is a part of the communicating assembly, and thus even if the choir sings "alone" (some of) the communicants are unifying their voices during communion. And those not physically singing can, in a real sense, participate in the singing of the choir internally. It is also important to remember that the GIRM covers the entire spectrum of communities, up to and including small intentional communities, seminary communities, and Roman Rite monastic communities that may very well chant the propers together without any congregation/choir dichotomy.

    If not for a theology of the choir as a part of the community, singing prayer on behalf of the community, and with the interior participation of the community, there would be little use for choirs in liturgy, period. And some do see any solo choral music as "liturgical wallpaper" to quote one example. But with a theology of choral music in mind, it is possible to read 86 and 87 without seeing complete contradiction.

    Having said all that, I feel no guilt about taking one legitimate option from the church's current liturgical legislation, and having the choir sing alone at communion. However, I am also composing and using, every week at most masses, simple english congregational communion antiphons with cantor or choral verses, taken from the Graduale and from the Roman Missal. I believe I hold both the ideal and various practical solutions in balance in my own cathedral music program.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • We can also balance the singing at Communion by having the choir sing the Proper, and then having a congregational hymn afterwards. It doesn't even have to be that long, just a couple of verses to sing, and then some silence. All three can be accommodated, if the attitudes are willing (DM, priest, etc).

    What I have found effective is having the choir sing the Proper (perhaps not even the full Communion Proper so that the choir can be dismissed in a timely manner to receive Communion: skip some verses) then doing a congregational hymn that is well known so that the congregation can sing by themselves without the assistance of the choir. The choir is released from their duties so that they can receive Communion, and the congregation gets their hymn. Of course, the choir members are welcome to join in the singing when they return, but I do not require them to sing at that time.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,298
    @JaredOstermann: Fine post. Yes, there is a tension between nos. 86 and 87 of the GIRM. I'm glad you are providing a practical solution to that tension. The use of psalms, with only the response sung by all the communicants, has always been my preferred genre of song for the communion procession. In addition to the psalms given in the Graduale, the Simple Gradual, and the Roman Missal, there are always the standbys from long-standing liturgical practice, such as, psalms 23, 34, 63, 84, 145.

    My usual experience over the past 50 years or so is that strophic hymns usually do not work well for the communion procession. Some people may carry a hymnal to communion, but most probably won't. Perhaps some commentators on this thread have concluded that the communicants' singing during the communion procession is impractical because the strophic hymn is the only type of song ever attempted. If so, I hope they will give the matter further attention, using psalm responses, and beginning with ones the folks are quite familiar with.

    This past Sunday, at the Mass at which I presided, psalm 84 was sung throughout communion. The organist at times added an instrumental interlude after the singing of the response and before the next verse was sung by the psalmist. The music lasted from my own communion through the entire procession. As I am still not able to stand long enough for the duration of the entire procession to administer holy communion I was able to observe from the chair that the great majority of those in the procession were singing the response each time it came around, and most were not looking up toward the projected image of the notation.

    Regarding the GIRM itself, what is printed in the front of the USA editions of the Missal includes both universal norms (from the CDWDS) and particular norms (approved by the USCCB). I hope that the decision to fold the two into one document will be rethought by the CDWDS when it is time for MR4 to appear. I think it better to have the universal norms in one document and particular ones in another. If for no other reason, that will clarify which norms are universal, and which ones are particular to a certain episcopal conference.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen rich_enough
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    I'm not intellectual endowed enough to sift through all these deep thoughts (maybe just lazy.) I also get Fr. Krisman's annoyance about cognitive dissonance, but I also wonder if there's a tad amount of mirrored "Well, if we're going to be all licit with these matters, we ought to be licit about all these other issues too." Reminds me of my bro' Todd cherry picking where the nexus of an argument is so he can take easier pot shots at it.
    Seems rather simple to me (always has)- all politics are _ _ _ _ _. On one hand, the Communio is to start (absolutely) upon the communication of the celebrant. If the music that accompanies that action can or will be taken up by all is a secondary concern it seems to me. If 100% vocal participation is desired and directed to signify some sort of metaphysical unity, then why queue up and proceed to receive the Real Presence. That's the important sign as far as I can see. So do we want the horse in front, or the cart? There's no guar-an-teed silver bullet solution to all logistics.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,468
    My usual experience over the past 50 years or so is that strophic hymns usually do not work well for the communion procession.


    This!

    Some people may carry a hymnal to communion, but most probably won't.


    None of them carry hymnals.

    Perhaps some commentators on this thread have concluded that the communicants' singing during the communion procession is impractical because the strophic hymn is the only type of song ever attempted.


    Actually, we have tried other things without better results. The majority of our people tell us they want to pray, meditate, and/or give thanks during communion and that singing is a distraction. I am not convinced that singing is so important we must do it and nothing else. After all, no one can make them sing when they don't want to.

    Thanked by 1ClergetKubisz
  • Some things really are different depending on where you go.

    We always use responsorial pieces during the Communion procession; They do sing them, quite well usually. If we sing something like "Ubi Caritas" they won't sing it at all.

    If we omitted singing at Communion, I know that they would actually complain. Someone DID complain once when the cantor got sick during mass and couldn't go on anymore, resulting in me playing an instrumental piece during Communion that day.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,298
    If 100% vocal participation is desired and directed to signify some sort of metaphysical unity, then why queue up and proceed to receive the Real Presence.

    Oh, but neither the GIRM nor Catholic doctrine says that. Rather, the communion song expresses the spiritual union of the communicants, it does not signify or cause it. It is the sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ which is both the sign and effective cause of that spiritual union.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Well, I didn't mean to suggest it as an either/or prime mover scenario. I think we're actually more in accord than not. My commentary, bereft of citations such as it is, only suggests we spend an inordinate amount of time looking over our neighbors' parish fences and then freely offering how "it ought to be done correctly." That an okay analogy?
    Thanked by 2Adam Wood Gavin
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,281
    we spend an inordinate amount of time looking over our neighbors' parish fences and then freely offering how "it ought to be done correctly."


    Quite.

    On the other hand, no one ought to be offended when someone says, "This has never worked for me in any parish I've attended or served."

    I *DO* think that the parishes that employ the HABITUAL MUSIC OF THE ROMAN RITE™ tend to have better results with singing at Communion (assuming people are singing anytime else), because it's likely to be one of 5 or 6 songs that everyone knows (IATBOL, One Bread One Body, Gift of Finest Wheat, Song of the Body of Christ, etc.).

    (That is not a reason to sing this repertoire, I'm just sayin'.)

    Most of the parishes I've been a part of, the singing at communion was exactly like the singing at the other hymn/songs - whether good or bad.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • I've been private messaged about my communion antiphons - I'm attaching a couple for group perusal if anyone is curious. I know Andrew Motyka has a complete set - anyone else composing these regularly?

    The attached ones here have choral tones, which could be sung 4-part a cappella or just melody with organ accompaniment. The markings for the text are my way of splitting syllables into 2 or 3 to facilitate group singing with a minimum of rehearsal. The tilde indicates a downbeat (making the following syllable an upbeat to the next "measure" of text). After a couple weeks getting used to the text marking, my choirs can pretty much sight-read psalm texts to a tone with a great deal of unity in the textual rhythm. These are 'beta' if you find any errors :)
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,468
    Most of the parishes I've been a part of, the singing at communion was exactly like the singing at the other hymn/songs - whether good or bad.


    I guess we are the parish that is different. The singing is robust on entrance and recessional hymns. The singing at communion is done, for the most part, by choir or cantors. I will hear the occasional stray voice from the congregation, but most are silent. With us, they sing when they want to sing, and don't when they choose not to.
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • Henceforth, whenever anyone on this Forum begins bemoaning the fact that perhaps 99.44% of Catholic parishes throughout the world do not celebrate authentic liturgy, since their Masses are devoid of propers, and instead include liturgical dancing and "sacro-pop" music, female altar servers, and a presiding priest who seems to go into some kind of standup comedy routine as soon as the opening procession with kite puppets gets to the front stage presbyterium, we shall be able to turn to your words of wisdom with blessed assurance that the so-called and so-thinking "true believer's" rant is really about nothing important, just another "one of the things in GIRM evidently done by a committee divorced from the realm of the practical."

    Well, I'd like to think there's an apples and oranges thing going on here: not all the items on the GRIM are created equal.

    The abuses mentioned above are really detrimental to the liturgy and contradict the tradition of the Church, while the congregation not singing during communion, while not ideal according to the GIRM, does not undermine the liturgy in the way that joking around, changing the words, or liturgical dancing does. I also would not put these abuses in the same category as the priest leaving out the silent prayers before the gospel, not beating his breast at the "I confess" or bowing at the Creed. These also violate the GIRM, but I suspect "true believers" don't lose much sleep over them.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • Most of the abuses discussed here and elsewhere aren't really real anyway. Sure, you can find them here and there across the country. But I don't actually see many presiders who do a "talk show routine." Maybe they go into saying a few words about the liturgy or the day, but it's really not irreverent or totally damaging to the liturgy.

    And I couldn't name a single parish in this diocese who does liturgical dance regularly. I know one or two who have a troupe that does it for extra-liturgical things here and there, any MAYBE they do it once a year on their patronal feast or some such thing. But it's hardly widespread.
  • That's pretty much what I see in my area, too PGA. However, I do know some Pastors who are quite adamant when it comes to music, and will not allow anything close to what we would term "sacred music."
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,298
    @rich_enough: Well, in case you missed it, let me say it clearly: my words, which you quoted, were a very extreme form of hyperbole. Of course, not every norm in the GIRM is of the same weight. But, instead of saying "I don't lose much sleep" over not following some particular norms, it would be far better to ponder the reasons the Church proposes for those particular norms one does not consider very important.

    If the PIPs sing other parts of the Mass but refuse to sing at communion because they consider communion solely as a "me and Jesus" moment, I'd say - without hyperbole - that such a liturgical spirituality is incomplete and not reflective of the doctrinal content of GIRM no. 86.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    I agree. But I'd venture a guess that 99% of such recalcitrants, cradle or convert, have never heard a single soul, ordained or otherwise, provide them an articulate and compelling rationale that would change that "hardened" heart. Si?
    Thanked by 2Paul F. Ford Spriggo
  • That's pretty much what I see in my area, too PGA. However, I do know some Pastors who are quite adamant when it comes to music, and will not allow anything close to what we would term "sacred music."


    Sure, and we have some of those types too. But at the end of the day, I don't really find "Gift of Finest Wheat" or "We Walk by Faith" to be totally damaging to worship and totally unfit for mass, and those things they would probably be just fine with.

    The gold standard it's not, but most of the so called "middle of the road" music isn't as bad as it's made out to be either.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,298
    @Melo: You're correct that liturgical catechesis is an ever-present need. Folks sometimes say that such catechesis was not adequate when the majority of changes was introduced in 1970. I was still a music director at that time and I remember just the opposite: the priests in the parish in which I served spent several months preaching on the liturgical reforms. We sometimes forget that there have been two generations since that time. They need catechesis too -- lots of it.

    Wouldn't it be great if every diocesan bishop were to suggest strongly that there be catechesis on at least one element of the Church's liturgy in every Sunday homily?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,468
    I think another factor is that people can get overloaded and can only do so many things at one time - I won't say they can't do more, they probably don't think it worth the trouble to juggle several things simultaneously, especially if one item is clearly more important than another.

    Or, as Henny Youngman could have said had he been Catholic, "Take our bishops - please." LOL.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,193
    Maybe I'm just mellowing in my dotage, but: Two quotations came to mind while reading this thread:

    1:
    You might think [...] that here is a congregation which does not which to sing, since it very rarely does so. [...] The congregation reserves the right to sing or not, whether it can or does or not, and it is prepared to spill blood for this right, .... your blood. - Gordon Reynolds, Full Swell, Novello, 1972


    2:
    There is one Christ, Jesus, one faith. All else is dispute over trifles. - Elizabeth I
  • I love Full Swell! Just got my copy in the mail the other day. Great book.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Wouldn't it be great if every diocesan bishop were to suggest strongly mandate that there be catechesis on at least one element of the Church's liturgy in every Sunday homily?

    Fixed, that's better now.
    Fr. Ron, Dr. Paul, can you get a memo to Serratelli or someone else who's paying attention in Baltimore. They currently seem awfully confused about ICEL translation of the Rites of Blessing a Church as I type! Maybe we can sneek in a motion to the floor via Cordileone and Vigneron.?

    Seriously, I have time and again said to various pastors and vicars that "liturgical catechesis" doesn't have to be delivered didactically within a homily. The lessons and the rituals themselves provide an overwhelming abundance of opportunity to "teach" the manners and meaning of ritual actions that are, at least, rife in the gospels. But they, priest and deacon alike, opt and revert back to the comfort zone of scriptural cud chewing in general, in my experience.
    I wouldn't want to know what percentage of homilists actually delve into both scriptural and seasonal fields looking for how and why certain vintages are obviously richer and superior, and edify the faithful as to WHY we DO WHAT WE DO. YMMV
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    These guys are having cows about using "Forebears" instead of "fathers" in ritual ICEL language!
    Puhleeze. And they can't agree and giggle after voice voting. I think this also about a document on exorcism, so it is about the coming parousia! Now we're onto "Children of Men"
    Katy bar the door! I'm gonna switch soon to Fox News, less stress.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,468
    A good time for forbearance.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,193
    CK: get Organo Pleno, too.
  • But, instead of saying "I don't lose much sleep" over not following some particular norms, it would be far better to ponder the reasons the Church proposes for those particular norms one does not consider very important.

    Fair enough. I'm not sure which norms I don't consider very important, since I agree with you that it is important to follow them all. However, since you agree with me that not all the norms are equally important, I was merely suggesting on what basis one might distinguish the more important from the less important, or, as you say, pondering the reasons for the norms. It's true that I came up with a different conclusion, but fundamentally I think we agree more than we disagree.

    And yes, I realize you were employing hyperbole. But there are other less extreme violations of the GIRM which, in my humble opinion, fall into the "serious" category (even though I'm assured that they "aren't really real.")
    Thanked by 1ronkrisman
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 994
    Robust and good commumion singing by the congreation can certaianly happen... it happens every day at our seminary. I think it works because the students are 1.Instructed to sing, the understanding being that that is part of our Eucharistic Theology. And 2. They are taught the hymns and antiphons every week.
    So the combination of "this action of singing matters because it is what we believe" and "I can sing fhis tune, we learned it last week." Is what works for us.

    Apply to your situation as you wish.
    GH
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • GH: Can you expound on what you mean by “they are taught the hymns and antiphons every week.” How much time outside the liturgy does this take?

    Another thing occurs to me: generally the act of singing in the liturgy does not coincide with a significant amount of physical motion (otherwise); e.g., the priest does not sing the Agnus Dei because he’s busy doing other things. He does sing the Gloria, a moment where he’s not busy doing anything else.

    Is congregational singing at communion the only instance where GIRM envisions singing by a “player” in the liturgy that is “significantly in motion”?
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,281
    it happens every day at our seminary


    I just acted as Precentor for a Sarum-esque liturgy at CDSP, where a crowd of mostly hostile-to-Romish-tradderie Protestants sang the roof off of a bunch of Latin Ordinary chants.

    All I'm sayin' is: Seminaries are not like normal parishes.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,395
    I don't actually see many presiders who do a "talk show routine." Maybe they go into saying a few words about the liturgy or the day, but it's really not irreverent or totally damaging to the liturgy.


    I know a few of them.

    At one parish in the next town, I don't get there often enough to say it happens routinely, but I've witnessed it. The deacon started the Mass with an opening spiel that introduced all the servers, readers, and EMHCs, and even welcomed the priest as though he didn't live in the rectory next door.

    At another parish, two or three of the elderly weekend assistant priests can't stand to remain at the ambo to preach, but itch to wander down the aisle, to the point where they end up behind most of the congregation. One of them sometimes is overcome by curiosity and addresses personal questions to individuals.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,281
    The parish I grew up in occasionally suffered from spontaneous Priest-Musician comedy routines.

    I won't go into details, because the priest in question is now of blessed memory, and the musician in question is now my mother-in-law.
  • gregpgregp
    Posts: 632
    We had one priest who refused to read the Gospel; every Sunday he would stand behind the altar and 'tell' it as closely as he could remember it (which was, at times, not too closely).

    Another priest would be pretty decent, liturgically speaking, until after Communion, at which point he would go into a 5-10 minute monologue, asking if there were visitors, and if so, where they were from, and then doing a "this week in Lake Wobegon" presentation. And another one would spend about 5 minutes after the opening Prayer telling everyone what the Readings for that day were, and what they meant, so we would be prepared when we actually heard them less than 10 minutes later.

    So, yes, they are still out there, and in significant numbers.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,468
    When no one is in charge, or the people in charge won't do their jobs, the inmates run the asylum.
  • Yes, those types are still out there. But I don't find them to be that prevalent.

    As to gregp's comment, I'd have to hear the whole "Lake Wobegon" monologue to form an opinion as to how bad it is; welcome and calling out visitors might not be my cup of tea, but it's also not some major abuse IMO.

    As for the one who talked about the coming readings, again, not my cup of tea, but it's also not without precedent. There are instances in the Missal, I believe, where rubrics actually state that it might be optimal for the priest to do this.

    The guy who would just recite the gospel "in similar words?" Well, yeah, there's bound to be a few crackpots out there. But I wouldn't call that representative of what one would find in the average parish in Anytown, USA on a typical Sunday.
  • Divergences from the GIRM are annoying, but by themselves they don't bother me that much unless they jeopardize the integrity of the mass itself. What gets me is the "message" they convey: that the liturgy is really at the mercy of the priest (or the liturgy committee). The faithful are being deprived of all that the liturgy has to offer by what is left out or distorted.

    Put another way, the liturgy is formative, and the people are either being formed (at best) in a "true liturgical spirit," or (at worst) in Fr. Pastor's personal spirituality or hobby horses.
    Thanked by 1gregp