How much should the congregation sing?
  • tomjaw - You are so right!
    I could (should?) have written carols as well as hymnody and such. You are so right. I think that there are many today who sing carols at Christmas and Easter (the OBC does contain Easter carols, too, doesn't it!), but, probably, far fewer who sing family-wise as a matter of course throughout the year.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,674
    Look at the trail of bankrupt piano manufacturers to realize how home music has changed. Nearly everyone took piano lessons and homes often had pianos supporting family singing. Now music is provided electronically. It is a listening rather than participatory experience. Why would anyone be surprised at that same attitude carrying over to Sunday morning?
  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 377
    The Catholic music publisher Vincent Novello produced volumes of sacred music specifically for people to sing at home round the piano. But that was back in the 19th century, can't see it happening now.
    A post from a recently resurrected 2008 thread addresses the reasons why I started this one.
    I think we're asking people to do more than they want to. Sure, the musicians can and will get up and sing the Entrance, Gloria, Responsorial Psalm, Gospel Acclamation, etc.,etc., etc., but the PIPs just don't want to learn all of it and make the effort (and it IS an effort, if you're not a musician). Throw out the 4 hymn sandwich and bring in Propers, though, and the situation is reversed, both musically and psychologically: now they don't sing everything, and the things which they do sing (the Ordinary and the Dialogues) are the same week after week: no learning the latest ditty that someone saw performed at the workshop.
    I think there's a lot of truth in that.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,674

    My predecessor, when I took the job in 2001, had often selected more modern hymns that rambled from page to page, had impossible leaps, saccharine tunes and were otherwise unsingable. Every week, some new song was thrown at the congregation. I found they never really learned anything and they didn't like those newer "hymns." No wonder they wouldn't sing.

    I selected 30 traditional hymns - no Haugen/Haas, no mixed meters, no doctrinally fuzzy texts - and we started using them exclusively. They started singing. Over time, I added more hymns, always very slowly and made sure they heard the tunes multiple times before asking the congregation to sing them. Today they sing well and rock the rafters on those traditional hymns. They also sing the Ordinary. Catholics CAN sing if you go about it right.
  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 377
    Th Catholic publisher Vincent Novello produced books of sacred music for people to sing at home round the piano, or harmonium. But that was back in the 19th century; can't see it happening now.
    Actually the following post from a recently resurrected thread from 2008 goes a long way to address the reasons why I started this thread.
    I think we're asking people to do more than they want to. Sure, the musicians can and will get up and sing the Entrance, Gloria, Responsorial Psalm, Gospel Acclamation, etc.,etc., etc., but the PIPs just don't want to learn all of it and make the effort (and it IS an effort, if you're not a musician). Throw out the 4 hymn sandwich and bring in Propers, though, and the situation is reversed, both musically and psychologically: now they don't sing everything, and the things which they do sing (the Ordinary and the Dialogues) are the same week after week: no learning the latest ditty that someone saw performed at the workshop.
    There's a lot of truth in that, I think.