Introit + Processional Hymn
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,996
    One of the techniques that I (and others) use to introduce propers to a hymn-loving parish is a somewhat questionable layering effect: an introit, followed by a hymn. Some may reverse the two.

    I say it's questionable because the GIRM presents it as a choice, an either-or. So I was wondering if this practice is justifiable, and in particular if it can be justified by the legislation (OF).
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    I liked the idea I read somewhere (I think it was Arlene's), sing a Hymn as a gathering song then sing the Introit as the priest process. I think it makes a good sense.
    And I would like the Communion Proper sung by the choir when the priest takes the host, then the hymn. (I believe you can have a silence in between the two, if that' the good time for the choir to go to the communion.)
  • The practice (Introit followed by hymn) certainly has the force of some custom, and is practiced at St. Patrick's, DC, and elsewhere. It does tend to reduce the Introit from its intended purpose to something like prelude music.
  • Yes, absolutely right, Richard, about the Introit versus Communio. Right after Coll.07 I started using your Communio antiphons/psalms. I did "inform" the pastor this would be implemented with an informed, respectful attitude that this decision really was in "my province." No problem. However, at the same conversation I petitioned him to consider the practice that is Kathy's issue. He did express his understanding and discomfort with his stated belief that the options were based upon either/or, rather than both/and. So, I retreated from that intent for a year and a half.
    Recently, in Advent, when Bruce's option became available, we did start using those Introits, in fact, as preludes that replaced the organ preludes. We've continued that since. However, my radar tells me that using the Introit as such _with_ a subsequent entrance hymn achieves the shifting the congregations' diverse behaviors towards a solemn focus; an outcome which the form of chant seems to naturally possess.
    None of our clerics have expressed any negativity over this "embellishment." So, maybe we're closer to "intended purpose" by incremental baby steps. Does this constitute an abuse, really?
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    So why the priest doesn't like the idea of the Gathering Hymn then porper place of singing Introit? You are not eliminating the hymn, it's both,. But the gathering hymn is being a prelude, which makes sense and preparing the congregation before the mass with a song. I don't understand why it's hard to see this simple concept. Our parish reads antiphone on weekdays when the priest enters. So I believe people know that Introit is not a prelude. When I think about it, it's strange that we have proper antiphones on weekdays, both introit and communion, but not on Sundays at all.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,996
    I suppose one part of the question is, does the procession accompany both the introit and the hymn? Could it?
  • dvalerio
    Posts: 341
    This would be similar to what often happened (happens?) at the Offertory and Communion of what is now the Extraordinary Form of Mass: first sing the antiphon demanded by the Liturgy, then sing some other suitable piece of Sacred Music. This was not done with the Introit (which lasts longer because of the verse, Gloria Patri, and repeated antiphon, and the Introit was normally begun only when the priest reached the sanctuary anyway; Offertory and Communion verses disappeared from use a long time ago till recently). I have seen that method implemented in a couple of occasions when there are looooong processions (e.g. ordinations, diocesan celebrations...), both at the Introit and at Communion, since it is more refreshing to sing two (or even three) different things in succession rather than singing the same verses again and again and again for a quarter of an hour (especially if you do not have a good organist who can improvise some fine interludes). This brings me to the question: why do you do that with the Introit rather than with the Communion, where precedents are clearer?
  • I hardly know what might constitute an abuse (per se) these days. However, I would guess that, so long as this method becomes ingrained, the Introit-as-prelude will remain extraneous, never integral to the liturgy itself. But I wouldn't want to discourage your "baby steps".

    There has (apparently) always existed the option to sing more verses at the Introit (a la Communio), but the practice was dropped fairly early. The principal Sunday Mass also demanded the Asperges, which follows the entrance procession, but precedes the Introit, thus limiting the time needed for singing the Introit (and leaving the procession open for the customary singing of a vernacular hymn... which is probably how all the confusion got started).

    The communion verses were more demonstrably restored in the last century because the communion rite itself had been restored, with Pius X's encouragement of congregational communion (which is, also apparently, when we got the second Confiteor, Ecce Agnus, and congregational Domine non sum dignus). A couple Colloquiums back, someone asked that a collection of these Introit verses be notated. I (and my tired eyes) say: It's high time you all learned to point the psalmody for yourselves, if you need it that bad...

    And if somebody can find a small but readable Latin Psalter to put on the CMAA resource list, I'd appreciate it.
  • For the last three years now, for the Entrance Procession we have been singing a hymn in procession to the steps of the sanctuary. Then the choir intones the appointed Introitus as the celebrant incenses the altar and goes to the chair. If the
    introit has not been completed when Father reaches the chair, he sings the rest of the introit with the choir. It works very
    well; and being sung at this point, the introit still fulfills its its ancient purpose.
  • What is a good Latin/English Psalter to put online? Can someone point to one? Surely we can scan something
  • dvalerio
    Posts: 341
    > the second Confiteor, Ecce Agnus, and congregational Domine non sum dignus

    All these come from the Rituale Romanum, and are quite older than Pius X. (See e.g. this 1847 Rituale Romanum.) The idea is that that was the rite to distribute Holy Communion to the people---outside Mass or during Mass. Mass, by itself, implied that the priest would communicate, but not anyone else. So if Communion was actually given during Mass you'd just stick in the very same prayers you'd use at any other occasion whatsoever.
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,573
    The Parallel Latin/English Psalter
    Latin text of the Book of Psalms from the Vulgate
    English text of the Book of Psalms from Challoner's revision of the Douay translation

    http://www.medievalist.net/psalmstxt/home.htm
  • Yes, thanks for clarifying. I should have said: "...when we got the second Confiteor, Ecce Agnus, and congregational Domine non sum dignus as a regular part of Mass", or somesuch.
  • Kathy,

    Here's the appropriate Latin text from the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani:


    48. Peragitur autem a schola et populo alternatim, vel simili modo a cantore et populo, vel totus a populo vel a schola sola. Adhiberi potest sive antiphona cum suo psalmo in Graduali Romano vel in Graduali simplici exstans, sive alius cantus, actioni sacrae, diei vel temporis indoli congruus, cuius textus a Conferentia Episcoporum sit approbatus.


    The words used for "or" are consistently vel (the "Inclusive or") and sive ("or if"), not aut (the "exclusive or"). Unless I miss my guess, I'd presume there's no problem with singing both the proper introit and a hymn.
  • Thanks, Chris, big time!
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Surely the Church is giving lots of options, which seem to be becoming more necessary in Today's liturgy. And the responsibility of MDs' decisions on those options is getting heavier.
  • I don't think that compilers of the GIRM envisioned the use of two entrance songs.

    Whether the practice is "legal" or not, I think it ought to be avoided. The "Initial rites" in the Roman Liturgy need paring, not expansion. In many cases they overshadow the Liturgy of the Word.

    The classic Roman rite began with introit, Kyrie, and Gloria, sung in succession, followed by the salutation and collect. (The Prayers at the Foot of the Altar were the private affair of the ministers.) The new rite consists of introit or other entrance song, salutation, allocution, confession, "absolution," Kyrie, Gloria, and collect. Adding a second entrance song tips the scale even further out of balance.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,996
    Chris, that helps a lot--thanks!

    Thanks, everyone.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,996
    (Sorry, duplicate comment)
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,043
    If you have a long church there may be time to have both an introit and a hymn. In our parish, we have been singing the English Introit from the Anglican Use Gradual and then a hymn.
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 746
    In the extraordinary form, the entrance hymn would precede the introit, and for good reason. The hymn (often in English) is not part of the liturgy; the introit is - so the former is sung before the mass begins, the latter is sung as part of the liturgy. I don't see any reason (all things being equal) for changing this in the ordinary form, given you want to have both.

    At the same time, I see Bruce Ford's point - the true ideal would be to have a single song at the opening: the Introit.

    Sam Schmitt
  • G
    Posts: 1,387
    Oh, thank you all SOOOOOO much now I have to go to confession....:oP

    A priest like Fr Keyes who can join in on the Introit? a celebrant who doesn't look at his watch if the 2nd verse of a 5 verse hymn isn't over and the organ silent the moment he reaches his chair? a pastor who leaves musical decisions to musicians?

    I don't think envy should be one of the 7 Deadlies, who should I petition to have that changed?

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)