letter about "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,007
    Hello all,

    I got a bit of an angry letter from a parishioner via email this morning. They were unhappy that I did not use "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" at the beginning of Mass. Evidently it is a tradition here, although past records did not indicate it. I'm pasting the text here.

    "I was very disheartened to begin the season of Advent today without the traditional "Oh, come, oh come Emmanuel". Instead there were four songs that obviously no one in the congregation knew at all. Even the musical responses were unfamiliar to everyone. This directly contradicts the quote on the last page of today's worship aid. "We hope to help the parish realize the goal of 'full, conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations' desired by the Second Vatican Council." If no one has ever heard the music, there cannot be full, active participation."

    The quote she is referring to was used to explain why the choir is singing the Propers for Advent (although we're still following it with a hymn, so the people don't revolt). We also switched Mass parts today (and no, they weren't Latin, just a reasonably dignified vernacular.) How would one respond to this? I don't like to argue, but wouldn't mind meeting them in person to hear them out. Ideas?
  • BruceL:

    First of all, if they didn't sign the e-mail, and you can't identify the sender by their address, ignore it. It was cowardly, uncharitable and demonstrates that they haven't clue one how to prepare their hearts and minds for the second coming. If they did ID themselves, and if you have the patience, the arteries and the stomach to meet with them, more power to you. I've had people "complain" third-hand, and put it into perspective by realizing that on any given weekend we have about 3,000 souls (or more) in the pews, and not everyone is going to "like" what's used at Mass (including homilies and the like). I tend to ignore this kind of petty sniping unless it comes from someone for whom I have respect. Still, if you do choose to meet with them, ask your pastor to be in on it, or at least be available to help.

    Which leads me to my second point, do you have the backing of the pastor? If so, you could e-mail this person back and suggest they raise this with him. With any luck he'll blow it off, which is what I recommend you do.

    Finally, we don't sing "O Come" at least until the third or even fourth week of Advent.

    When I was a Presbyterian we sang "O Come" on Advent I, but then again we started singing Christmas carols about week three.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Bruce, as someone who studied the liturgical norms of the Roman Rite and familiar with the western musical tradition, I am disgusted that you didn't use a Latin ordinary. I demand you change your church's practice, effective next Sunday!

    That was a joke, BUT now Bruce can say his hands are tied because he got complaints contrary to that person ;) Do what I do, and e-mail back the old T-shirt/coffee mug motto: "I can please one person per Sunday. Today wasn't your day. Next week isn't looking good either."

    I find these arguments ridiculous. Honestly, when I've dealt with this, I suggest to people that if they don't know, say, a hymn tune after 6 verses, the problem isn't with the hymn. Why are people so incredibly dense that they think "I don't know it" is a VALID criticism of a hymn??

    If you don't have the bad judgment (I can loan you mine if need be) to insult or lie to the complainer, I recommend a bland form letter:

    "Dear concerned parishioner,

    Thank you for your input about our liturgical music at (parish). We are proud of our music program here and strive towards excellence in the Latin Rite musical tradition. I take much into consideration when planning music for the liturgies, including local traditions and beloved hymns, and most importantly the liturgical norms of the Roman Rite. I appreciate your input and will keep your suggestions in mind as I pursue planning in the future. Please be aware that there are a high volume and wide range of requests, varying in suitability, so while your opinion is appreciated, I have many more to also consider. Thank you again for your input, and I invite you to speak to me further about participating in (parish)'s music program, whether in the choir, cantoring, or through a charitable donation.

    Thank you,
    (sign your name here and forget about the worthless comment)."
  • My experience has been that the loudest complainers about the music at Mass are people who are significantly ticked off about something else and, having been rebuffed when they lodged their complaints, then are on the lookout for something else to complain about.

    It's that simple. Rarely do I find valid complaints about the music coming from people who are known to love everything else about the parish and its functions.

    But the worst are the people in the parish who are, or think that they are, musical because they sing in some sort of secular singing group. This then gives them the right to complain about the choice of music, the way the cantors sing, the shortcomings of the choir while not participating themselves. It is easy to identify them because they often only participate in elite groups within the secular group, being above the level of ordinary people.

    I always tell them, if I can get a word in edgewise, that I'll make the changes they want once they have joined and established themselves in the music program at the church. That solves it for me.

    I recall a lady who always wanted us to sing the Deutsche Mass Glory To God transcription. When I finally told her that we anticipated it would be sung at the 11:00 Mass in two weeks, she ooked at me and said: "But I got to 9:30."

    Honest.

    You have my permission to tell them that "We hope to help the parish realize the goal of 'full, conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations' desired by the Second Vatican Council." means that you are permitted to enter the church and not be forced to keep silent for the next hour.

    Instead you are expected to sing the Kyrie, the Gloria [when not omitted], the Credo, the Sanctus, the Agnus Dei and....if you are good, we might let you sing them in English. These are the GREAT hymns of the church.

    Once you are really, really good and confident in singing them....words that you were NEVER permitted to sing up until Vatican II...then we can talk about what other parts of the Mass might be sung.And whether we might be able to sing the seasonal Introit, Offertory and Communion....either in Latin from the Simplex....or if you insist, English.

    But best of all....consulting a mind-reading is considered by many to be sinful. And no one expects you to sin to be able to find out what traditions, undocumented as they are, you are failing to carry on.


    Just the other day I showed someone a layout for the choir seating and they were upset that the left and right sections will be facing each other rather than the altar.

    I guess those monks that sat that way for centuries did not realize that they were not fully participating as they HAVE THE RIGHT TO.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,952
    It sounds like I'd love the music you're doing, Bruce! But to play the parishioner's advocate, it does sound like a lot changed in one week: adding four propers by the choir, plus a new vernacular ordinary. I wouldn't be surprised if some people feel overwhelmed. At some level, the e-mail writer is saying, "We need to be taught about all this new stuff." And maybe you all did; I don't know.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,197
    Several years ago, we did "O Come, O Come..." every week during Advent. We were all sick of it by the time Christmas came. Since we display banners for each of the "O" antiphons, adding a couple each week, the antiphons that match the banners are sung and mentioned in the sermons. We didn't do the hymn, "O Come..." today, but the choir and cantors sang the chants matching the first two banners. Next week, the congregation will sing the hymn, but the choir and cantors will sing the appropriate verses from a setting by Gounod. For week three, the familiar hymn will not be sung, but the choir and cantors will chant the next two antiphons to match the newly added banners. On week four, we will sing the hymn, and finish the "O" antiphons using something I haven't decided yet. It all seemed like a good way to sing the hymn a couple of times, yet get the "O" antiphons in, as well. I don't get too many complaints. I had a predecessor who would pitch hymnals at those who irked him. While I am much less volatile, the congregational memory lingers and it serves me well.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Noel, that story about the Deutsche Mass is all too believable. The Convenience Catholics are always at the 9:30 or the 5:00 Saturday. And your response is incredible. I feel the same way; how can people get mad when we're letting them do precisely what their ancestors weren't allowed to? The Low Mass mentality remains with us still!
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 986
    I tried doing "O Come, O Come" every week during Advent a few years ago - and I never wanted to hear it again. Today it was programmed where I'm the organist and I was happy to play it, mostly because there are so many other nasty tunes out there for the Advent season. (They'll probably start to turn up soon and very soon.)

    I was also happy because I remember how much I loved this hymn as a teenager - I liked the tune, the Latin orgins of the text, the associations with the Magnificat. And darned if people don't sing it. But four weeks in a row, even changing the verses, it got real old.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,952
    We sang the spare two-part setting from the New Oxford Book of Carols today (p. 43), and it was nice enough. I wouldn't want to hear it every week, though.
  • Dan F.Dan F.
    Posts: 205
    While I'm merely a singer at my parish and not in charge of any decisions regarding music, I am also a teacher and get the occasional complaint about this that or the other. I second Gavin's "I didn't intend to disturb your sensibilities, thank your for your opinion, I'll take it in to consideration" response. If the person is really just upset about something else then simply acknowledging that you understand that she is bothered can go a long way. Don't feel the need to defend your decision over much to a single complaint. You could put the person off guard by saying when you're available to meet to teach her the new music, perhaps at the next choir rehearsal? Then she'd have no one to blame but himself for being unfamiliar with it.

    Regarding Frogman's approach that "I'll make the changes they want once they have joined and established themselves in the music program at the church," that's exactly what I've been doing the past 6 months at my parish. I joined the choir to help strengthen the tenors and now am in a position to make little suggestions here and there to our DM.
  • priorstf
    Posts: 460
    I would disagree with the idea of sending platitudes. I've received too many "thank you for your comments" letters in my days and realize, correctly, that I'm getting blown off. When a person takes the time to write it's a good sign that this is a person who might accept some learning.

    My recommendation would focus on several areas:

    1) Acknowledge the obvious. "You're right -- today, the beginning of the season of Advent and the new Church year, was filled with change..."

    2) Apologize. "I'm sorry for the confusion and can understand how my decisions regarding the day's music may have contributed to that..."

    3) Explain. "The actual tradition of "O Come, O Come, Emanuel dates back to the O Antiphons, sung the last days of Advent..." (Be sure to include the bit about reading the initial letters backwards. People like to be "in" on things like that.)

    4) Request advice. "Perhaps you can offer a suggestion for helping teach these new pieces to the congregation..."

    5) Show interest. "I'd be happy to hear more of your ideas, and perhaps learn more about the traditions of our parish..."

    6) Invite. "Of course you are always welcome to visit our practice, or even join our choir, every XXX night..."


    And then follow up with an article in the parish bulletin. "When I received a note of concern from one of our parishioners, I realized that it might be a good opportunity to share some things with you about the music ministry here at..."

    Teach them to fish. Don't throw the bones at them!
  • I agree with priorstf to a point. The person probably has not been a big fan of musical changes in the parish. When today came around and there was no O Come Emmanuel, she and her friends gave each other shocked looks and said "This is the last straw!" She would not have written if she didn't feel really put out. Here she was, already to get the Advent season off to a great start and no "Veni". If you write back, sympathize with her loss a little and explain that the hymn will be sung, but that you want to use it where it will be most effective (just before Christmas). If she's anything like some folks I've had to deal with, there may be little hope for conversion, but no one said your job was going to be an easy one. We are all just starting to turn the ship around. As soon as folks understand what's happening, it's going to get much worse before things calm down. Be prepared!

    Funny how we Christians can get so worked up about which melody a prayer is sung to? I guess it just means that worship is important to us and we all want to get it right.
  • I was approached by a 12 year old organist who for at least two years had played one Christmas Mass with her mother as cantor as a gift to the church. She is very proper. I heard:

    "Mr. Jones." I looked down and saw her looking up at me.

    "Yes."

    "I see that you have scheduled Joy to the World as the opening hymn and O Come All Ye Faithful as the closing hymn for Christmas. It has been the tradition at XXX church that we sing O Come All Ye Faithful as the opening hymn and Joy To The World as the closing hymn on Christmas and you have scheduled them backwards."

    "Oh. Ok, I will put them back."

    "Thank you."

    Now, she came to me and asked. If this lady had been so attached to O Come, she SHOULD HAVE MADE SURE YOU KNEW that it was a tradition. She could have come up and asked before Advent. She knew it was a new person. She was wrong, very wrong, to jump on anyone for not being a mond-reader.

    Protestant churches usually keep and even hard-bind an annual set of bulletins and keep them in the office. You inerview as pastor or organist or chori director, you ask to see them and see what they have done...and you can then decide if you want to continue it or take them in a different direction.

    At the last church I got one cantor sheet with hymns for one month and a note on it: "Cantors, I have assigned you dates to sing. If you cannot, don't call me. Find your own replacement."

    That's the total printed history of 20 some years at the parish.

    It is her fault, not yours.

    Send her a note:

    "Dear Mildred,

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention. No one told me of this tradition and I would have seriously considered this in my music planning if I had known. If there are other traditions, including May Crowning music and such, I'd be glad to hear about them. While I have my own views about what music should be sung, I am also interested in being part of the parish, creating tradition as well as recognizing it.

    Advent is the beginning of a new church year and in many parishes it is time to renew the music by changing the responses and music that is sung. Advent and Lent, for example, are the only times in some parishes that the Kyrie Eleison is sung for special emphasis upon the penitential nature of these two season.

    Changing the music under the words we sing over and over again puts emphasis on those words, stopping them from just being an automatic response. I'm pleased that you noticed the change and hope that you will grow to like this music as much as you did the music sung here in the past.

    Please come up after Mass. I'd love to meet and talk with you in person."
  • Cantor
    Posts: 84
    "I was very disheartened to begin the season of Advent today without the traditional "Oh, come, oh come Emmanuel". Instead there were four songs that obviously no one in the congregation knew at all. Even the musical responses were unfamiliar to everyone. This directly contradicts the quote on the last page of today's worship aid. "We hope to help the parish realize the goal of 'full, conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations' desired by the Second Vatican Council." If no one has ever heard the music, there cannot be full, active participation."


    Personally, I agree with chonak, that it sounds like quite a bit of change at one time. Now, maybe that is what was needed; I certainly don’t know.

    Did your pastor sign on off your music choices beforehand? That is a very good thing to mention whenever music choices are questioned, that these were approved by more than just yourself: the pastor, a liturgy committee, or whoever.

    Really, we all need to get past the old line of “full, conscious, and active participation” meaning that musical choices should be made subject to the over-arching concern of whether the congregation will sing them. Moreover, congregations are capable of singing quite a bit. They could sing chant, even Gregorian chant, even Gregorian propers, if they were taught to do so AS THEY WERE BEING TAUGHT in some places before V2. And, if they were simply willing to sing.

    The reality is that most people in a congregation don’t sing because they don’t want to, and no one whose authority they respect tells them they should, or even why they should. I am still waiting for it to be said that, in an ordinary OF parish, someone who attends Mass without singing has selfishly held back from the liturgy what it naturally deserves: the singing voice of each and every last person there.
  • Cantor
    Posts: 84
    That said, I agree that it would be prudent to point out that OCOCE is actually more germane to the latter part of Advent, with the ERO CRAS thing.

    You might also point out that there are other hymns that, arguably, have a stronger place in the Church’s celebration of Advent, especially “Conditor” and “Veni redemptor”. But then, it also is good then to point out that hymns are more germane to the Divine Office than to the Mass. :)
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Noel also has a good point, namely that this should have been brought up sooner. Despite my often harsh responses to criticisms, I do value the traditions of the parishes I work at, even if it's (as with my last church) "Bring Flowers of the Rarest" for the crowning. Heck, if they just HAVE to have "On Eagle's Wings" on Lent I, and no one asks for it any other time, I could maybe live with that. Maybe. Anyway, I tried to make it clear to choristers at my last church, as I will at my next church, that I want to continue whatever traditions they have. As you all know, I'm not a pushover, but often I just don't care about hymns, and I care even less what the closing hymn is. IF it's a situation like the OP describes, I would probably stick to my guns and tell the complainer, "you'll get your hymn at an appropriate time". Or one Ascension Sunday, there was also May Crowning and I fought a battle to exclude Marian music from the Mass itself because there just was no room for another hymn with all the great Ascension hymns and the Introit. Likewise, when a boss complained that the midnight Mass won't have a certain hymn and demanded I put it in somewhere, I told him that we had every Christmas carol we could fit in, including the one he wanted, and that if people wanted it, they can go to all three Christmas Masses.

    My point is, we can be pastoral without being pushovers. It just means respecting valid traditions in the parish and keeping in mind what people's preferences are and how you can aptly fit them in to a program harmonious to the Church's wishes.
  • I think we might be overlooking one very relevant problem here: Most contemporary hymnals and Missalettes contain only a few of the verses for OCOCE! As has been mentioned, these DO represent the "O" Antiphons. There ARE 7 of them - not 3, or 4, or 5. The texts contain therein can be related to the Readings even beginning on Advent I. So, you really need to have all 7 verses available. And you really ought to use whichever verses apply on any given day. If you're just going to program it for the entrance, every Sunday, and you have a short aisle with a fast priest, you will end up singing the same 2 verses every week! This is why many of us are using the computer and creating our own worship aids! Even the fanciest, most expensive hard-cover hymnals are just not worth it!
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 986
    From Frogman:

    "Protestant churches usually keep and even hard-bind an annual set of bulletins and keep them in the office. You inerview as pastor or organist or chori director, you ask to see them and see what they have done...and you can then decide if you want to continue it or take them in a different direction.

    At the last church I got one cantor sheet with hymns for one month and a note on it: "Cantors, I have assigned you dates to sing. If you cannot, don't call me. Find your own replacement."

    That's the total printed history of 20 some years at the parish."

    Read my article on keeping your choir's history in the upcoming "Sacred Music" and make sure you do better for your successors! Sheesh.
  • Pes
    Posts: 623
    Steve C

    Hymnals only print two verses of "O Come"? Hardly surprising. Just a dab of Advent will do ya. No need to get all worked up. Soon they'll be asking for lace, etc.

    I consider myself fortunate to attend a parish that sings all the verses of a given hymn, straight through to the Trinitarian formula.

    We could use a modulation now and then. There's often a button to push for that. :-)

    I was very disheartened to begin the season of Advent today without the traditional "Oh, come, oh come Emmanuel". Instead there were four songs that obviously no one in the congregation knew at all. Even the musical responses were unfamiliar to everyone. This directly contradicts the quote on the last page of today's worship aid. "We hope to help the parish realize the goal of 'full, conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations' desired by the Second Vatican Council." If no one has ever heard the music, there cannot be full, active participation.

    According to this logic, there ought to be no unfamiliar music, ever. No change. Stasis. Frozen tradition. What exists, is right! etc.

    Of course, this doesn't mean it's ever wise to drop changes into the course of things without warning or preparation. The case for sacred music is very strong. Just present the positive case and let time do its work.

    What interests me is the perceived difficulty of eating and digesting a tradition like the O Antiphons. How long does it take for a congregation to internalize them? To miss them?
  • priorstf
    Posts: 460
    Pes writes: What interests me is the perceived difficulty of eating and digesting a tradition like the O Antiphons.

    I don't think there's any perceived difficulty at all. The case presented was a parishioner who believes that singing OCOCE is part of their church's tradition and might well be correct. The folks don't come forward ahead of time because they expect the hymn, and missing it only once triggers a response. I've sung it enough over the years that I've rather grown to be weary of it.

    The problem I see, to keep in your metaphor, is that nobody is serving it properly to be eaten and digested. What percentage of a typical congregation has ever even heard the term "the O Antphons"? I'd be stunned if it's 1% in any parish I've attended. Possibly 2% in the choir, but I'm not holding my breath.

    So my question is simply how many of the DMs and/or choir directors around here have a regular column in their parish bulletin to TEACH the people?
  • Dave
    Posts: 64
    Bruce L:

    I personally wouldn't respond in writing. You don't want a written record of your conversation if it's not necessary. This situation involves emotions (right or wrong) and ideas that can't be communicated in writing. We need to keep in mind that anything we write in response may be judged on its omissions (relevant or not) rather than its content. If the complainer included a phone number, consider giving her a call. Otherwise, consider, if you haven't already, starting an occasional series of bulletin articles on the many influences we all have as music directors on our choices of music.

    I used "Veni" for only one Mass this weekend and heard no complaints from people at the other Masses. That doesn't mean that they didn't complain, but it suggests that their beef wasn't strong enough for them to address it to me.

    Speaking of stories of parishioners with beefs, I recall a former parish where a woman would frequently give musical criticisms and compliments. She was fairly happy with my music selections but every so often she'd come out with a silly remark that told me she'd probably read some unauthoritative liturgical journal or website. One time she beefed that I'd played "orchestral music" on the organ during communion rather than selected a hymn. I suppose she thought it was "orchestral" because I used the Swell oboe for some soloing above some Great or Choir flutes. It was obvious that she didn't know that hymns are nowhere required in the liturgy. I explained this to her and she did back off a bit. The point is, she was one of those who comments on everything and just generally nags the lay and clerical leadership of the parish, but at the same time never participates in music ministry or offers her own time and talent.

    At the same parish, I received a terse letter from a gentleman who included his name but whom I never met and who never introduced himself to me. He complained that I should choose songs "people knew," and included a photocopy of, well, let's say, one of the eminent traditional hymns from an old hymnal. He obviously never visited many Masses I played since I easily used that hymn more than once.

    They say ignorance is bliss, but I prefer to say that reveling in others' ignorance is even better! (Yes, I jest.)
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    According to this logic, there ought to be no unfamiliar music, ever. No change. Stasis. Frozen tradition. What exists, is right! etc.

    Thus my overarching thesis of Sacred Music, namely that what we are battling is NOT liberalism, but rather conservatism.

    And on a practical matter I MUST vehemently disagree with Dave: Make sure you respond in writing! #1, that's the format you received the complain in, so it's only proper. #2, and more important, if you take a more direct response, people WILL twist your words if they are spoken. Just like how my former boss gave a sermon where he said "it's better to pray in Latin." He said nor implied no such ridiculous thing. But that's what he was accused of. I don't think this is anything serious, just sounds like a suggestion to me, but if you SAY something that gets twisted and escalated, it's your word against theirs, and we know how much trust priests have in their musicians...
  • Pes
    Posts: 623
    It's not like they're asking to sing "Jingle Bells." OCOCE at least sounds chant-like.

    So my question is simply how many of the DMs and/or choir directors around here have a regular column in their parish bulletin to TEACH the people?

    I take all your comments, priortsf. You're probably right that only a tiny minority know the phrase "O antiphons." I would be surprised if any larger a percentage could even define "antiphon." That's not casting aspersions, just identifying a reality. My interest lies in how to plant and grow what are essentially new (old) traditions. Will the O antiphons stick?

    A column on sacred music could do much good. To that end, why don't we establish a "weekly column" thread here at Musica Sacra? Public domain. Free information. Copy at will. Etc. Created a few weeks in advance of normal bulletin deadlines. Who could possibly object to a column of good information? I'll create the first thread, and you can all create new threads when appropriate. An online sacred music scriptorium.
  • gregpgregp
    Posts: 632
    I second Pes' (Pes's ? Pedis ?) idea about a weekly column. I've been using the Sacred Music FAQ's in our parish bulletin. One question per week, and I only posted the question - the answer was on the Parish's TLM website, so we could track traffic and maybe get people interested in learning more when they saw the site.
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,007
    Thanks for the many replies.

    Just to clarify: the Propers were only sung by the choir, which in turn only sings at the 11 AM Mass. There were hymns in the usual places (Lo, He Comes to the Helmsley tune, an offertory hymn, vernacular Conditor alme at communion, and O Come, Divine Messiah at the end), and the communion and closing were definitely familiar, from what I heard from others.

    There was the problem of a change in Mass setting, but it is a simple setting, and the Psalm and Alleluia were familiar. We don't sing the Kyrie because the priests want the deacons to do Form C of the P.R.

    I do understand the writer of the note's consternation, but if she could wait a few weeks...then she would see the write up in the worship aid explaining and describing the O Antiphons, etc. By the way, there is an "About Today's Music" blurb in the back of every worship aid, so that people aren't tempted to think the choices are random or just "personal preference"...or so I thought! We will use OCOCE for Advent III and IV; I just don't want it to be "Advent theme song" if possible. That's what it always was in my Protestant upbringing, and I was SICK OF IT by the end of the season!
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    You might consider keeping your new Mass parts through the Presentation of the Lord to give unity to the related Advent and Christmas seasons (with the return of a familiar Gloria and maybe a new Alleluia providing contrast). This will give people more time to learn the new music. If they are as simple as you say (the acclamations, not the people), by the end of January everyone will be wondering what the fuss was all about in the first place.
  • Frankly, when I would plan the music for Advent, I would always have O Come, O Come Emmanuel as the entrance hymn. You only hear this song for a short season. In fact, I look forward to Advent just so I can belt this hymn out with gusto. My pastor is allergic to this song and has had the choir sing something dreadful from the OCP stable.

    Along with having O Come, O Come Emmanuel as the entrance hymn, I would plug in these other songs into the mix. The offertory would either be Creator of the Stars of Night, the Advent of Our King or For You O Lord, My Soul in Stillness Waits (one of the minuscle amount of songs I like from Haugen). For Holy Communion I would use I Received the Living God (for Gaudete Sunday), Draw Near and Take the Body of Your Lord, Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence and Shepherd of Souls. The recessional would be:

    Week one: The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns (eschatological)
    Weeks 2 and 3: On Jordan's Bank
    Week 4: Lift Up Ye Heads, O Mighty Gates

    For the Spanish Masses, we would also have O Come O Come Emmanuel as the entrance hymn. But, we would have different songs following the pattern of the English Mass.

    Inasmuch as it is great to have propers, O Come, O Come Emmanuel is the Advent hymn. Of course, this weekend, I was extremely disgusted with OCP because they changed the wording of O Come, O Come in the Spanish version, rendering the hymn completely unrecognizable. My PV had a fit because the words seemed forced into the music. Furthermore, OCP took out all of the traditional Spanish Advent hymns and replaced them with horizontally trite songs.