What are the "directives" of the Mass?
  • VilyanorVilyanor
    Posts: 383
    SC says "the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended. This will apply in the first place to the readings and directives [Latin: 'admonitionibus']"

    What are they?
  • Paul F. Ford
    Posts: 813
    Here is the chart I distribute to my students.
  • Carol
    Posts: 625
    I found it interesting that it PF Ford's file quotes the GIRM 105; Music in Catholic Worship §13 said: “How the people are invited to join in a particular song may be as important as the choice of the song itself.”

    My pastor does not want anything other than the name and number of the hymn to be announced. He does not want the Communion Hymn announce. They are posted on the board. Obviously I will not go against my pastor's wishes, but I am interested at the leeway implied in the above quote.
    Thanked by 1MarkB
  • I must confess I cannot see how the quoted assertion can possibly be true. Even allowing for the "may be as". A song/cantus at Mass, which in the NO is chosen, rather than proper to the Mass, is then part of the sacrifice of praise. Since lex orandi lex est credendi, the song then becomes part of, an expression of, the faith of the local Church.

    Granted the “invitation” to sing, or to participate well in other ways, is pastorally important at the right moment. But it can't be the same order as the actual content of the rite, surely?
    Thanked by 2melofluent Carol
  • MarkB
    Posts: 414
    At one time the liturgical fad was for cantors to enthusiastically encourage and request assembly singing. Some cantors' shtick and arm movements to be encouraging were ridiculous and off-putting. Now the most recent liturgical fad is that the cantor shouldn't invite people to sing, especially not with words such as, "Please join us in singing," because it implicitly communicates that the choir are performers and the primary liturgical actors, relegating the assembly to observers who might want to join the primary actors in their activity if they feel like it. It also turns something that should be expected (assembly singing) into a request, meaning it's not expected. An announcement and invitation are also completely unnecessary. There are hymnals or handouts, there are lyrics projected (yuck), there are numbers displayed. People have been going to Mass for years and know how it works. Nobody is going to say to himself, "Oh, do they expect us or want us to join in the singing?" in the absence of an explicit invitation. They don't need to be asked to sing every song, every week, month after month, year after year. The people know how it works.

    If any sort of announcement is necessary, title and number should suffice. People know it's the entrance/gathering song, so no need to say it is. People know its the preparation/offertory song, so no need to say it is. People know it's the Communion song and they know it's the recessional. No need to say what they are.

    Title and number. That suffices. In some cases, even that much is an unnecessary intrusion into the liturgy's solemnity and flow.

    What is completely inappropriate is the sort of nonsense such as the cantor saying, "Good morning, Church! We all know this song really well so join us in singing the gathering song, 'All Are Welcome,' as we lift up our voices in joyful praise to our awesome God! Let's now stand and sing!!"

  • I can see it now:

    "Howdy y'all. Y'all get out yer music books an' tern to y'ole nummer ______, and sing out real good"

    …. will be the required "invitation" in some parts of the country, except where the following is the norm:

    "Please click on the link provided on your pew screen to access the YouTube lipsync of the song the choir and I are about to sing for you in real time."

    or perhaps this:

    "Since St. Francis on the Hill Catholic Community is dedicated to eradicating climate change and speaking truth to power, please sing whatever comes to mind that helps you commune with Mother Earth, while the choir sings this recycled song from the 1960s."

    Thanked by 1Carol
  • MarkB
    Posts: 414
    Paul Ford's handout omitted the remarks made by the priest: "Do we have any visitors with us today? Oh, great! Where are you from? [Insert off-the-cuff remark by the priest about the visitors' home town, such as referring to football teams or weather or distance travelled. Then insert good-natured and warm laughter, especially if the preceding remark was sarcastic.] Do we have any other visitors? [Continue until every visitor has been acknowledged.]"

    Gosh, how I hate when a priest does that at the beginning of Mass. It's even worse when the task is assigned to the cantor/announcer during pre-Mass announcements.
    Thanked by 2Carol Settefrati93
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,659
    We don't announce Sunday hymns and expect the congregation to see the numbers on the hymn board - 4-inch-high numbers that are easily seen. The only time hymns are announced is at funerals where half or more of the attendees may be Protestants or family members who haven't darkened a church door in years.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • Carol
    Posts: 625
    I usually say " OUR Entrance hymn is..." trying to imply that participation is expected without cajoling, etc. as mentioned above. I did notice that the hymn number board was hard to see from the back of my church. CharlesW, I will have to measure the height of our numbers! I haven't sat in the back for a long time, but I must confess I slinked in a minute late this weekend as I was a mere parishioner this time.

    At another Mass in my parish, they announce "songs" not hymns.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,178
    "Good morning and welcome to St. David of Wales on this 11th Sunday of Ordinary Time. Our opening hymn is [optional glance towards hymn board] is number three hundred and one, "Praise my soul the King of heaven". Please rise as you are able for the procession and lift your voices in song: hymn three (pause) oh (pause) one." And I tell cantors to smile when they say that.
  • Good morning. Please remember to silence your devices. Now, before we begin our celebration, please turn to greet people in each pew and rise as we greet our presider, Fr. Jambalaya......
  • Carol
    Posts: 625
    That phrase "rise and greet our celebrant/presider," always seemed out of place to me. I was glad when it fell out of favor in my parish. I am sure there are sound reasons why that bothers me which someone can offer if they are not too busy in that political debacle in another discussion topic. Over time I have learned to trust my gut &/or discernment on these types of things.
  • Chaswjd
    Posts: 130
    Here, many local churches simply print Orders of Worship which either have the score in them or contain a reference to the number in the hymnal where the score for the particular music being sung can be located. Ergo, no need to announce anything.
    Thanked by 2Carol CHGiffen
  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 366
    We don't normally announce anything, but once when someone forgot to put the hymn numbers up I had to announce them from the choir loft. I noticed that far more people than usual picked up their hymn books and opened them. Maybe they even sang.
    Thanked by 2Carol CHGiffen
  • Lights come up. Introit. Sacistry bell. Then the organ starts. During Lent: lights up, bell, and the introit plays its proper role. IMHO cantors are for singing, not talking. This opinion is not a judgment, just an opinion.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • ...just an opinion.
    That 'cantors are for singing, not talking' is an objective fact - not any mere 'opinion'. You were right to say it, not right for backing down.
    Thanked by 3Carol CCooze CHGiffen
  • Carol
    Posts: 625
    I have never been in a parish where on a typical Sunday, there is a printed Order of Service, so that rules that out for most places. Maybe no announcement is best, but practically speaking, I think announcing the hymns in a way that does not call attention to oneself isn't so bad. It signals the congregation that singing is part of their role. We had one cantor who announced the hymns so dramatically, I expected him to finish with "Let's get ready to RUMBLLLLLLE!" That is why our pastor got so specific what should be said and I give him credit for that.

    If you sing choral anthems and you don't have an order of service printed up, how do the PIP know when to join in and when to "actively" listen? If announcing vs. not announcing hymns is the biggest controversy we have, we are not that bad off.
    Thanked by 1hilluminar
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,659
    One of the huge problems I have with visible cantors is that they all think they are at the Met singing Wagner. The dramatic gestures are unbearable. And they SOOOO like to call attention to themselves. I have them in the loft where they can be heard and not seen.

    With our giant hymn board and predictable order from week to week, I think the congregation is bright enough to know what is happening and what comes next. Amazingly, they have the presence of mind to get to the church unaided, can read, and realize where they are and what they are doing.
    Thanked by 2hilluminar Carol
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 815
    What MarkB said. All this announcing and treating people like they've never been to mass before (with the mentality of a not-so-bright third-grader) is a holdover from the 1960s when changes were happening every week. How can there be a reason to tell people to stand up at the beginning of mass when at least 90% of the people there have been doing that very thing for years?

    And welcoming people to their own parish is weird when you think about it. I realize there may be some visitors there, but just let the mass be the mass without a lot of explanation, directions, and hand-waving. People might just figure it out if you give them the chance to think.
  • they all think they are at the Met singing Wagner


    Not to derail things but...I hate Wagner. There. I said it. When I was an orchestral player my heart always died a little when I saw that we had Wagner on for the season.

    To those who like Wagner, I don't judge you. Just play it quietly, OK?
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 873
    Oh wow! Just wow! Now you are expecting people to think?!?!?!? These are the same people who forget what to do for the rest of the Mass when a Sequence is added. Or sprinkling with Holy Water.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,659

    To those who like Wagner, I don't judge you. Just play it quietly, OK?


    No way! Wagner has to be loud, have 300-lb sopranos and tenors, a quartet of tubas and elaborate stage sets, and Viking horns, of course. It's theater, not just for listening. I wouldn't use it for church, other than the Virgil Fox edition of "Fanfares from Parsifal." I have used that.
  • I know. It was a naughty thing of me to say. My son once suggested we buy a 'race car'. I told him sure, but we'd never drive it faster than 25mph.
  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 366
    Wagner 'not just for listening' ?
    Apparently Bruckner used to attend Wagner operas and sit there with his eyes shut throughout.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,659
    I love Wagner operas. Someone once called them six hours of delicious agony. But I would agree that taking the music out of a theater setting is not the same as watching and hearing it at the same time.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen