• GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    I would like to associate myself with Jeffrey's comments at NLM, The Problem with Options. I don't totally agree that non-proper music should be stricken from the Mass (and Jeff doesn't make that point) but I agree that people treat the music of the Mass as something to be reinvented and not something handed down, and the fourth option, as well as the Low Mass, is to blame.

    But I read this and I question the practicality of Jeff's call for this option to be rescinded. Not only that, but I question the likelihood of it. Further than that, I would bet anything that the change Jeff calls for will not happen in my lifetime, but for now I wish to address the practicality. How would this work? What would the legislation look like? What would be the common experience at parishes after the "repeal of four"?

    Here is my proposed alteration to the GIRM in keeping with Jeffrey's call for the propers and preservation of the honored tradition of extra-liturgical music at Mass:
    47. After the people have gathered, the Entrance chant begins as the priest enters with the deacon and ministers. The purpose of this chant is to open the celebration, foster the unity of those who have been gathered, introduce their thoughts to the mystery of the liturgical season or festivity, and accompany the procession of the priest and ministers.

    48. The singing at this time is done either alternately by the choir and the people or in a similar way by the cantor and the people, or entirely by the people, or by the choir alone. If the text of the Entrance chant may not be sung, it shall be recited by the cantor or congregation.
    [I am assuming some hierarchy of who should recite the introit, this is just thrown out there] This chant may be prolonged through the singing of multiple verses of the appointed psalm in the Graduale Romanum. If good liturgical order allows, the chant may be followed by another psalm or another suitable psalm appropriate to the nature and day of the liturgical celebration. Any following chants may be sung either alternately by the choir and the people or in a similar way by the cantor and the people, or entirely by the people, or by the choir alone.

    I trust that, although the specifics may vary, this is what many of us would prefer in the legislation, no? But how would this work? Note that I put in the option to have it read; I think this is only fair. Would it not be unfair to force congregations to sing the antiphons? Not every congregation has a priest who can sing, a cantor who can do recto tono well, or even a congregation that can sing. Or could every single congregation afford the necessary training. It's only fair to allow the minor propers to be read, as we do with the lessons. Ah, but as with the lessons, I suspect this would be abused. Reciting the propers in a hurried manner so as to get to "Gather Us In" would likely be the norm, would it not? It would seem strange and inorganic to many to begin Mass with a text and then follow with a hymn.

    And if we mandated these texts sung? I suspect we would find that shrine to convenience, the Folk Mass, replaced by recto tono rambling of propers along with a guitar or organ accompaniment. At best, I wouldn't anticipate this leading to anything much better than a return to the days of Rossini High Masses.

    Lest I be totally defeatist, I think this shows we have to lead by example. It means we have to err on the side of too much propers. We need people to visit my former church, Mara's church, Jeff's church, hear these propers AS PART OF THE MASS, go back to their parishes, and demand to hear the Mass. This can't be fixed by legislation, but only by facilitating a culture of excellence in the Church so strong that the hideous musical abuses prevalent today become intolerable to Joe Pewsitter.
  • The problem is that not every Mass has assigned chant propers; the RCIA presentation Masses are an example.
  • Gavin your wording seems good to me.

    People ask, do you really think any good is accomplished by singing one line of text at say the offertory, to be followed by a hymn?

    The answer is yes. Try it. It changes everything. It underscores the fact that the liturgy hasn't stopped, that music is PART of Mass, that music is controlled by the liturgical requirements, etc. I really think that this requirement would change more than we think. Bring it on!
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    I don't see anything wrong with having just the first three options, with option 3 being reserved for serious pastoral or practical considerations only (i.e. not as a preference). Honestly, if you do not have the resources to sing even the texts from the Simplex, even in English, and even to a psalm tone, it would be better to have no singing at all. Or to have the aniphon read. I don't see this revision as out of the realm of possibility for B16's papacy. Save "Gather Us In" for your bible study or prater meetings, and at Mass sing music for the Mass.
  • At every daily Mass in my parish, people recite the communion and entrance antiphons. On Sunday, they are still printed but no one pays attention to them. I suspect we are not alone in this regard. Anyone else have this issue?
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Our schola sings on Saturday morning Mass. We are not ready to sing any Propers yet (and I don't even know whether our pastor will even allow us to sing them, in Latin, anytime soon ), so I insist reading proper antiphones instead of any random songs in English at the beginning. (which my pastor would prefer) And a group of ladies lead reading the communion antiphone when the priest takes the host, and the schola sings a Gregorian hymn, which I think is much better this way.
  • I do like the idea of forcing the point about the propers, even if it means Psalm tones.