The Four-Hymn Sandwich
  • Pax,

    Both-And has limits, and I would argue that sometimes needs more definition to be helpful rather than Optionfourish.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,608
    If you have capable cantors, there is another solution to the desire to have the people singing propers. As now structured they consist of antiphons and psalm verses, so your cantor can tackle the complex antiphon, and let the congregation sing the psalm verses. Provided you choose the appropriate mode, if you are using English it is possible to choose a genre, GR, GS, Anglican, Bevenot, Gelineau, ..., which suits the congregation. Purists might not like it, but I can't see anything in GIRM that would prohibit it, I would say you are simply treating the whole congregation as the schola.
  • Another book the OP may find useful: Catholic Music Through the Ages by Edward Schaefer.
  • I think that this pernicious notion that chant and other music of our heritage is beyond the 'common man', that 'modern' Catholics no longer identify with it, that it is foreign and strange to most Catholics because of and since Vatican II, and on and on, is a convenient lie concocted by people who (obviously) have banished our heritage in music from ordinary usage and have seen to it that it is perceived to be a relic of the past.

    Even the average non-Catholic man or woman knows that chant and polyphony is Catholic when they hear it. So does the average Catholic, who has been taught, who has had it drummed into him and her, that these things are relics of the past and no longer speak to us, are foreign to us, and anyway, we can't learn them. This is absolutely false.

    Even the illiterate peasant of the middle ages knew the chants that he heard the monks sing. This average peasant or townsman did in fact have a certain knowledge of the chants of feast days and ritual occasions throughout the year. Sundays were known by the common man by their introits. Latin and chant often found themselves mirrored in folk song and seasonal carol. If a mediaeval person could have this cultural grasp of our heritage, then certainly the oh-so-advanced and educated (or even uneducated) modern person could do likewise. We are being fed deliberate lies by a coterie whose burning desire is the banishment of our heritage and will not be deterred in their efforts to dumb our people down to their own level. We must not let them succeed. Chant and our musical heritage is for all to love and to sing as they are able.

    Credo III is not easy. It has an unusually wide (nearly an octave and a half) tessitura. It has intervals and neumatics that are challenging. It is not easy. We introduced it at Walsingham last summer. You should hear our three hundred people at high mass singing it now. You would think that you were hearing a choir of Benedictine monks. (We also sing an Englished version of the cum jubilo mass on Marian feasts.) Chant is beyond Catholics. They can't sing chant. That is a pernicious lie! Don't believe it and don't repeat it!
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,337
    Amen to MJO.

    Another ruse I often hear is, “We’ll learn the simple English propers for now and eventually move to Gregorian Chant.”
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,765
    I was 13 in 1960, heard the music firsthand, and most have no idea how bad it was. There wasn't much golden about it, with sappy Marian hymns, and Montani arrangements out the wazoo.


    We're the same age. Sorry your parish sucked. Mine didn't (except for the sappy Marian hymns used by the school music teacher, a lovely soul with absolutely no taste.) No Montani, chant done right, good++ choir, 25 voices, very good selection of motets.
    Thanked by 1StimsonInRehab
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,765
    seeking the participation of the faithful


    The theological definition of "participation" is 'conforming oneself to Christ in self-sacrifice.' Try running that past your liturgy committee, or even the pastor. In all likelihood, none of them EVER heard that definition.

    But it resolves a lot of questions about "singing," ain'a?
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,608
    dad29: Could we have a source for that, please. I would like to pursue it further.
  • I have never played for a 'four hymn sandwich'. I have played and directed at many masses which were graced with three or four hymns, but these masses were not 'hymn sandwiches'. The very thought is a denigration of my offering of music and the very value of the mass itself. And, it suggests one who does not take his or her work seriously. Of course, one chooses genuine hymnody of past and present, hymnody whose texts are worthy as literature, and music that deserves to be heard and offered. A mass with hymnody is a thing with its own particular beauty, and it is quite legitimate. So, if you use hymnody in your parish, choose genuine hymns, play them well, and be sure that they make sense with the lectionary. Don't be one of those silly adolescent people who play for a 'four hymn sandwich'. This is a very stale signifer which is neither cute nor smart.

    Of course we all would wish for the mass to be graced with the propers which are inherent in it. Unfortunately, and sadly, these are out of favour with the vast majority of our men in holy orders (as well as too many men and women who direct our music) and aren't likely soon to become general or normal - though they are, technically, 'normative'. We would all wish to wake up tomorrow in a world in which a proper-less mass was a strange curiosity, but it isn't likely that we will.

    Which means that hymnody is here to stay in the Catholic Church, and the wise and creative ones among us will make a beautiful thing out of it. There is no stigma attached to hymnody. It is nothing to be embarrassed about or ashamed of - providing that what one is referencing is genuine hymnody, is played well, and sung well. And while we perform hymnody well we can continue to work with patient, respectful intelligence for the returning of the propers to their rightful place. Someone who is always talking about a 'four hymn sandwich' is someone not to take very seriously.

    Ideally we would have only the propers to grace the Roman rite.
    Secondly we might settle for propers and hymnody.
    Thirdly we might (have to) settle for hymnody only.
    All three are, unfortunately, valid choices for the OF of the Roman rite at this point in history.

    (In the Ordinariate Use the following is normative: 1) Processional hymn followed by introit, 2) Psalm in directum to Anglican chant, 3) Alleluya and Verse from AUG, 4) Offertory Antiphon followed by anthem, 5) Communion Antiphon followed by anthem and hymn.)

  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,162
    We're the same age. Sorry your parish sucked. Mine didn't (except for the sappy Marian hymns used by the school music teacher, a lovely soul with absolutely no taste.) No Montani, chant done right, good++ choir, 25 voices, very good selection of motets.



    Dad29, glad your parish was "... where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average."


    I think mine was more the norm in this country. That is so dependent on the aspirations of the pastor and the quality of musicians the church is willing to pay for. We had about 25 years following the above-mentioned period, of excellent music until 1985 or so, then the DM/Organist retired. The following 8 or so years had a good choir director, good choir, but they did what I would call often inappropriate. Then for the next 8 or 9 years they had a Baptist DM/Organist. Mediocre organist but great choir director. But you can imagine Baptist tastes in liturgical music. I took the job in 2001 and have tried to improve things. Not perfect, as in your area dad, with all the exceptional and above average people. But things are looking up. What happens when I retire is anybody's guess.

    That school music teacher is still employed here, and still doing the same stuff.
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,765
    Actually, I'm the only good-looking man.
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,765
    Could we have a source for that, please.


    Sure. I heard that from Fr. Robert Skeris, former President of CMAA. Where HE got it, I don't know, although he is a serious liturgical theologian.
    Thanked by 2a_f_hawkins CharlesW
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,608
    Since human beings are made up of both body and soul, the actuosa participatio of human persons is necessarily internal as well as external: the interior element is the "heart" of the matter, which must be expressed in the exterior participation. Since the object of liturgical worship is to promote the self-oblation of the faithful as a spiritual sacrifice in union with Christ, 31 a constantly more profound transformation in Christ is required, in the sense of the Pauline admonition, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus"
    PARTICIPATIO ACTUOSA IN THEOLOGICAL AND MUSICAL PERSPECTIVE. DOCUMENTARY CONSIDERATIONS
    (Reprinted from Divini Cultus Studium,
    by Robert A. Skeris. Altotting: Verlag Alfred Coppenrath, 1990.)

    31. A -M. Roguet, Participation in the Mass - the theological principles:
    V. Ryan (ed.), Studies in Pastoral Liturgy 2 (Dublin 1963) 120/37, here 127

    More in a link from this page.
    Thanked by 1CeciliaJulia
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,765
    Thx, A_F!
  • Also, at this link you'll find a book published by CMAA that offers essays I think you will find helpful, based on what you said you are looking for:
    https://www.scribd.com/document/12699133/Sing-Like-a-Catholic

    You should be able to download the book and read it on your preferred device. I'd recommend not reading that book cover to cover to begin with: look at the table of contents for essays on the topics you're most interested in, and read those first.

    WOW!!! Thank you for this. I have saved a copy and linked it as well in the Library's catalog.

    This discussion has been beneficial and enriching to me, for certain, I am grateful to all of you for the candor, the education, as well as the mutual respect shown, throughout.
    Tommy
  • Blaise
    Posts: 438
    Re: "Four hymn sandwich"

    M. Jackson Osborn,

    The hymns we sing at Walsingham are not the stuff sung in most parishes of the Roman rite I have been in. We have high quality hymns. I also like how our hymnals are printed in four parts, though at my old parish, I was able to follow the organ and sing the bass line even if all we had was the lyrics posted in the bulletin.

    (That is the only thing somewhat useful I have to say here; otherwise, I will take a back seat and return this thread to the experts.)

    Congratulations on introducing Credo III. A challenging one to learn, sure, but a marvelously beautiful one to match the Healey Willan Gloria.

    I have some experience singing Credo III (VIII) & Kyrie & Gloria VIII - it is used in Latin for the evening Ordinary Form in Latin Mass at Our Lady of the Atonement, San Antonio, TX, whence I came - at least the Credo and Gloria were still used when I was last there. It is marvelous to hear the Credo in beautiful English translation and in the worship I am accustomed to, namely the Divine Worship or Ordinariate Form of the Roman rite.

    Paul
    Thanked by 1CeciliaJulia
  • Paul -

    Take heart. There are numerous OF parishes and cathedrals which offer music and liturgy of appropriate dignity. So, I think that we must have some company. We, after all, number only about forty-eight or so parishes, some of which are fledgling. In the vastness of the OF there are, I should think, numerous churches and cathedrals which have music and liturgy that is fitting. And, they do have several excellent hymnals, The Lumen Christi Hymnal being, in my opinion, the best. It is, because of its contents, in a class by itself.

    Our Credo III is getting better each week. While I agree with you that it is beautiful, I really regret that we are singing it instead of Credo I, which is the only one ever sung at Sarum. Credo I is the Sarum Creed.
    Thanked by 1CeciliaJulia
  • MarkB
    Posts: 271
    Back to the topic of the original post, this is also a good article to read:
    https://www.crisismagazine.com/2009/the-hidden-hand-behind-bad-catholic-music

    Really lays into OCP about its pernicious influence on liturgical music. It succeeds as a business largely because of the ignorance and laziness of so many priests and Catholic musicians.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,608
    It is curious that although OCP has the Archbishop of Portland as Chairman of the Board, and some of them are regarded as 'conservative', OCP are allowed to spread this degraded liturgy. Cdl Levada has gone on to chair the Ecclesia Dei Commission, among other duties.
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,765
    It is curious


    No, it's not.

    It makes money.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 271
    Well, Archbishop Sample of Portland, who is OCP's chairman, recently promulgated a new Archdiocesan Liturgical Handbook. If you haven't gotten a file of it, click on the link below. It's very thorough and probably the best compilation of liturgical guidelines in print:
    https://archdpdx.org/documents/2018/6/ALH First Edition REV - 3 June 2018.pdf

    Some quotes that pertain to music:
    1.4.1 Given the surpassing value of the Sacrifice of Holy Mass, the fount and summit of the whole of Christian life, its celebration is always prepared attentively. Texts and rites are selected with care, the prayers and readings from the Word of God are properly proclaimed, and where possible there is dignified and appropriate sacred music. All this is ensured in a setting where the church building, sanctuary, sacred vestments and other sacred furnishings are dignified, proper, clean and safeguarded by habitual good practice.


    1.46.2 In the course of her two-thousand-year history, the Church has created, and still creates, music and chants which represent a rich patrimony of faith and love, and this heritage must not be lost. Mere improvisation or the introduction of music which fails to respect the meaning of the liturgy should be avoided. Everything - texts, music, and execution - ought to correspond to the meaning of the mystery being celebrated, the structure of the rite, and the different times of the liturgical year.


    1.47.3 It is the right of the community of Christ’s faithful that especially in the Sunday celebration there should customarily be true and suitable sacred music.


    3.1.6 For their part, the faithful people, by reason of their Baptism into the Catholic Church, have a right to a Sunday celebration of the Eucharist that is carefully prepared beforehand in accordance with the liturgical and canonical norms of the Church, so that the texts and rites are selected with care, there is suitable and truly sacred music, the Word of God is properly and efficaciously proclaimed and explained, their faith is duly safeguarded and nourished by the words pronounced and sung in the celebration....


    Those and others indicate that the publishing and educational offerings of OCP are not in harmony with the official standards of the Archdiocese of Portland. There is quite a disconnect. Changing OCP's direction and emphasis won't be easy, but +Sample has put things in place to begin doing just that. First things first?
  • Given that it's a target-rich environment, intelligent people can disagree about which problem to tackle first. When Archbishop Sample either reforms or closes Oregon Catholic Press, there will still be much work to do.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Carol
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,162
    If OCP folds, some other publisher will still sell all the trash music. OCP, even if gone, doesn't eliminate the market for that music. It will still be there.

    No one thinks more highly of Archbishop Sample than I. However, I suspect he may need the money OCP generates.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • Charles -

    True, the market would remain, and, as you say, there will always be those unprincipled publishers who will cater to it. But, one does not have to be one of those publishers, whose business is objectively immoral. One does, after all, have free will in deciding whether to cater to the highest, middlest, or lowest denominator.

    (What a miracle it would be if those who compose all the junk that is sung in our churches couldn't find anyone who would publish it?!)
    Thanked by 2Carol CeciliaJulia
  • [Off-topic warning]

    Middlest


    Are there degrees of middleness?
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,191
    "Middlest" ... bestest new word ever.
  • When is Archbishop Sample going to emphasize the chanting of the Propers? When, oh when, is he going to address this? That would do a lot to alleviate the problem of the 4 hymn sandwich. Unless the Propers emphasized are composed to more OCP drivel, and are not beautiful settings of them at all. But still.... the words of the Propers (which are mainly the psalms), are better suited to the Mass, and more holy, than most hymns are.
  • I wish to speak to the question CeceliaJulia posed earlier:

    "should we be trying to make the liturgy beautiful and majestic, and in that way allow God's presence to enter the hearts of the congregation, or should we focus on "encouraging" them to "participate" in an overt way?"

    That is the BIG question. I used to think that the musical offering at Mass should be as beautiful and majestic as possible, for the raising of hearts and minds to God. And I worked for many years with organ and choirs toward that end. And, then I read something from Pope Pius XI which completely changed my whole focus:

    "Voices...ought to be heard in the church: the voices of the clergy, the choir, AND THE CONGREGATION... (for no instrument)...can surpass the human voice in expressing thought, especially when it is used by the mind to offer up prayer to Almighty God." (Divini Cultus Sanctitatem, 1928)

    The voice of the congregation is important. The faithful must be allowed to participate, to some extent at least, in the Propers. Hymns are substitutions for the Propers; but why can't the faithful chant in some way the actual Propers? The chanting of the Propers by the faithful would deepen their faith, as well as being most excellent heartfelt prayer to Almighty God.

    Our Eastern brethren generally do not have choirs. The entire congregation/assembly is the choir. They sing in praise of the Almighty One in one voice. And King David did not compose the Psalms with the idea that they should be chanted only by a trained, select few singers. He composed the Psalms with the idea of several hundred priests and Levites being involved. Of necessity the melodies had to be, to a certain extent, simple. Can we not again chant the Propers (which mainly consist of psalms) in a beautiful and
    majestic, but simple, way?
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,858
    The singing by the body of the faithful is an eschatological sign. That's why, in the OF, the instructions for the Sanctus in particular call for it.
    Thanked by 1PaxMelodious
  • CeciliaJulia:

    Rather than an overarching theory, I’ll offer a few observations:

    1) GIRM 40’s second paragraph says to prioritize those parts for singing which are shared by all or are in alternation between priest/deacon/lector and people. This implies that we prioritize an awful lot of stuff for singing that, by and large, gets a pass in most places: dialogues, collects, and the Ordinary—which, considering GIRM 41, includes the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. (In Latin, no less!)

    In my experience, most clergy have the opposite conception: hymns are “basic”, then the Ordinary, and for really high solemnity they might chant a bit themselves. Historically, this mindset descends from the pre-V2 “Low Mass with hymns”, rather than the High Mass. (Thomas Day’s discussion in “Why Catholics Can’t Sing”’s of Catholics’ quondam aversion to High Mass is pertinent.)

    2) GIRM gives little room for the choir to sing alone. The only parts where GIRM permits it are the Entrance, the Offertory, Communion—i.e., the processional chants—and the Gloria. The processionals are also—not coincidentally!—about the only parts of the liturgy that don’t fit the above-mentioned criteria from GIRM 40.

    When people fret over something being “taken away” from the congregation if the choir sings alone at the Offertory, Communion, or “even” (shock!) the Entrance, they’re generally coming from a point of reference where singing at those three places (plus a recessional) constitutes the bulk of the congregation’s singing. So a lot of the tension about having the choir sing alone arises from this widespread fault.

    3) GIRM 86 in English has a critical translation error that implies a preference for congregational singing at communion. No other translation makes this mistake. See a previous thread for details: https://forum.musicasacra.com/forum/discussion/11590/girm-translation-question/p1
  • Addendum: GIRM 40’s model proceeds, historically, from the hierarchies of singing for High Mass given in the 1967 and 1958 instructions on sacred music. It’s an eminently practical one because it prioritizes those parts for singing that congregations can most easily learn.
  • Hilluminar,

    The hundreds of Levites you mention were (as Jackson has noted earlier) would not be just any Tom,Dick and Harry, but trained chanters.

    CeciliaJulia,

    If you ask Julie Coll (who, I think, still lurks around here) you'll see that full-throated singing of the Propers does happen some places.

    Liam,

    In some place, the singing of the congregation is an eschatological sign. Whether it's the "Swans sing before they die" kind, or the " 'twer no bad thing, should certain people die before they sing" kind is up for debate.
    Thanked by 1CeciliaJulia
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,162
    I don't know who came up with the term, "four hymn sandwich." It really is kind of idiotic. What would a three hymn sandwich be, a weight watchers sandwich? Or a two hymn? Maybe equivalent to starving third worlders? One hymn, a homeless sandwich? Did anyone ever hear of a four propers sandwich? Totally goofy.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 271
    I think it was intended to be a pun: instead of a ham sandwich.
    Thanked by 1Liam
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,858
    Yes, it was a pun and an inverted metaphor. See my initial comment on the original context at the beginning of this topic.....
  • Charles, join us on the Paleo diet: Gregorian chant and Polyphony. Hymns are a "sometime" thing.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,162
    Stimson, depends on where you work. I do some chant and polyphony, but I wouldn't be allowed to do it exclusively.
  • @hilluminar - I'm not sure how you get from your quotation (Pius XI) to the idea that the congregation "must" sing the propers (to some extent at least). Rather, the Holy Father's enumeration of the clergy, choir, and congregation implies that each has their own role to play, as other popes and Sacrosanctum concilium say explicitly. With the Church proposing Gregorian chant - including the propers - as the music most suited to the Roman rite, I think you would be hard pressed to argue that the complex proper chants should be replaced or even modified with music the congregation is able to sing. The most I can see would be the congregation singing the verses or the Gloria Patri of the Introit, but even this makes little sense liturgically, let alone musically.

    When the mass is properly sung, the clergy, choir, and congregation each have "enough" music that is suited to their role in the liturgy and to their ability. There is no need for the congregation to sing what is best suited to the choir.

    Your original dilemma - "should we be trying to make the liturgy beautiful and majestic, and in that way allow God's presence to enter the hearts of the congregation, or should we focus on 'encouraging' them to 'participate' in an overt way?" - is a false dichotomy. We should - and can -do both. Most parishes have a long way to go on both counts.
  • I was just thinking that it might increase the faith of the people if they were allowed to chant the psalms to simple but beautiful melodies in their own languages. And the easiest way to do that is at Holy Mass. Outside of Holy Mass people tend to be too tied down and fatigued with earthly cares to learn to chant the psalms. (I guess I am just in love with the psalms.) Just chanting the responses to the priest and the Ordinaries is, well, just chanting the responses and the Ordinaries. It just doesn't get the average pew sitter very far. Just forget it. Chanting the psalms at Mass by the faithful will probably never happen. And there are also plenty of people who are determined to see that it never happens.

    Also, as an organist, I must decrease and the clergy, choir, and congregation must increase. The use of the human voice is paramount "in offering up prayer to Almighty God."
  • Thank you to every person who has posted. I find this thoughtful discussion very illuminating. I know I still have a lot to learn, and I'm grateful to you all for trying to instruct me.

    I'll try to respond to specific posts but time has been fleet of late. I wish I could begin and end every day here!
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,191
    I wish I could begin and end every day here!
    A lot of us feel that way, CeciliaJulia!
    Thanked by 2Carol CeciliaJulia
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,608
    should we be trying to make the liturgy beautiful and majestic, and in that way allow God's presence to enter the hearts of the congregation, or should we focus on "encouraging" them to "participate" in an overt way?
    Going back to this fundamental question - it varies, I think, at different points in the liturgy. One important part of liturgy is familiarity and predectability. It is essential to the flow that we know that if the celebrant says 'The Lord be with you' we know that we are expected to respond 'and with your spirit'. The PIPs will, mostly, sing the Ordinary if they are familar and comfortable with the music, and it seems to be expected of them. If there is a bunch of people in the choir loft singing, (even if the most banal simple childish setting) the congregation will largely let them get on with it. OTOH it is difficult to get the congregation to sing during the distribution of the Eucharist, both for logistical reasons and because they want to be focussed on the Sacrament (ok, that's overstating it unfortunately), it is sensible to provide them uplifting meditative music at this point.
    The following was written by Percy Dearmer about the BCP, but the spirit of it applies to the OF
    to the people belong the Psalms, Canticles, Responses, Litany, Kyries, Creed, Sanctus, and Gloria in excelsis, and these should always be sung to music which is suitable for congregational use ; it is a usurpation for the choir to monopolize the singing of any one of them. The practice of singing these, the people's parts of the service, to elaborate music which converts them into anthems, is bad liturgically, has the worst artistic effect (since it cannot be done adequately in a parish church), keeps people
    away from church, and is harmful to true religion because few people can thus worship vicariously. {The Parson's Handbook 6th edn 1907; p216}
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,765
    So the Parson's Handbook decrees! How can Roman Catholics do other??
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,608
    It's a parallel, not a decree, from the Anglican movement to encourage people to partake in Communion, which occurred at the same time as Pius X was pushing it, and as Tra le Solicitudini.
    There is similarly a parallel with the religious visual world in the early part of this discussion of an icon. Simplicity and familiarity are fundamental to worship, though of course high art is also vital.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • "should we be trying to make the liturgy beautiful and majestic, and in that way allow God's presence to enter the hearts of the congregation, or should we focus on "encouraging" them to "participate" in an overt way?"

    That is the BIG question.


    I'm not sure I see it as an either / or. It may sometimes be one; other times the other. It's like saying - should we have Carmelites or Dominicans as the order of religious in the Church?

    If you do your best to incorporate the congregation into what you do musically for the Mass, God bless you and I wish you the best of success in that. If your primary focus is on edification and illustration of the Liturgy through the best that the Church has to offer through its rich musical heritage - even if that largely excludes the congregation - God bless you and I wish you the best of success in that. Ideally, there is some sort of balance to be had, but that balance will likely vary from region to region and even parish to parish... and no one of us is the best judge of all situations and circumstances.

    What I would find more concerning than (potentially) lack of beauty on the one hand or (potentially) lack of congregational involvement on the other is trying to apply a universal rule - that we must always X. Kind of like trying to force Carmelites to be teachers and Dominicans to be contemplatives.

  • Carol
    Posts: 488
    I like your analogy, Incardination, I used to teach with Dominican Sisters in parachial schools. I agree, sacred music should not be either/or but strive to be worshipful and keep focus on the Sacrifice of the Mass in all cases.
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,765
    high art is also vital.


    So. The choir should not be 'monopolizing' the singing of all those parts; that is the part of the PIP's, (etc.)

    Whence comes the "high art"?? Or better put, who performs that?

    That has been the question since VatII closed; it was THE discussion at the Chicago/Milwaukee International Church Music convention (1966), and has been the topic of several gazillion words in Sacred Music journal from the mid-'60's through today.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,608
    Indeed. So - who performs what depends on 1) GIRM, and other directives 2) your resources 3) the pastor (in practice probably the opposite order). Our present resources are a non-catholic pianist, struggling to play our aging simulacrum organ, and four volunteer cantors all rank amateurs (we have been better off in the not too distant past), one priest (who will not sing, and is also responsible for another parish 45 min drive away). I am not involved. 20 years ago I lived in the parish of a Metropolitan Cathedral, and was a member of the parish liturgy committee, when there was one. Resources, aspirations, and achievements were different.
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,765
    I see. Having been actively involved for well over 40 years, I have a different perspective from you.