Ash Wednesday Childrens Mass
  • Good day all.
    Any recommendations for a Responsorial Psalm for Ash Wednesday, suitable and appropriate for young people? Your help will be greatly appreciated.
    Br. Reece Heuvel SDB.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 430
    The Respond and Acclaim psalm setting is pretty good. Congregation should pick up the response easily, and it's simple enough for a child to sing the verses at the ambo too.
  • Brother Reece,

    What are the criteria you have (or have been handed) to consider something appropriate for young people?
    Thanked by 1CCooze
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,430
    Since the heading mentions a "Children's Mass", I assume that means something for children under age 10. Is that about right?
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 991
    Is there something unsuitable about the "standard," "Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned?"
    Or are you talking about musically "appropriate/accessible" for children.
    There are a bunch of settings here, and they're pretty easy for a child to sing back.
  • Chonak,

    Maybe I've worked with some precocious 10 year olds, but most of them don't object to being asked to shoulder adult responsibilities musically, and a fairly large portion of them object to what calls itself 'kid-friendly' music, at least for the worship of God.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,430
    Agreed. The Psalm from CMAA's a cappella collection "Parish Book of Psalms" might be suitable. Incidentally, I see from the net that Br Reece is from South Africa, so I assume he's serving there too.

    https://musicasacra.com/pbpmedia/PBPLENT0WED.pdf
  • Good day all.
    Thank you all for your feedback. I've been based in Zambia since the start of the pandemic, but my home province is South Africa. One of my many duties here in the community is Holy Childhood director. For the Childrens Online Mass on Wednesday, one of the young cantors, had asked if she could lead the psalm. I was ecstatic. We managed to find one written and composed by Charles L. Abing, 'Be merciful O Lord'. The kids are familiar with the musical styles of composers such as Sarah Hart, Aaron Thompson, Curtis Stephan, Marty Haugen etc. So I was just open to your suggestions on psalms that would be suitable given the time frame and that it would appropriate for the children as well, the majority of whom are 13 years and younger. It is a Childrens Mass after all, and the mass will follow the specific formats and rubrics for it. Thank you CCooze for your great help. You must know, Salesians aren't known to be the most liturgical people. Chris Garton, I apologize for not specifying and being very vague, I guess I was just in a hurry. Thank you all for your help.
    Br. Reece SDB
  • Br Reece, what specific rubrics are you referring to for the children's mass?
  • Nathan_the_Organist, theres a specific book that we use and follow when celebrating mass for children. The texts and rubrics we take from there. We mainly use it during the Preface and Eucharistic Prayers. Its wonderful. I'll get the name of it. I know it was published by Pauline's Africa.
  • Brother Reece,

    I don't think that there are too many around here who will recommend the work of Marty Haugen and company.

    If your young cantrix is really interested in leading the psalm, may I encourage you to use one of the simple English Propers because anything else may be a bridge too far this time, but to think in terms of using Latin as soon as possible. Children don't carry the baggage of their grandparents, and will stick with the faith more diligently (rather than obsequiously) if they're helped to learn the grownup forms.

    [Hi, Chris: just to avoid confusion, the SEP book does not include Responsorial Psalm settings.--RC]
  • Thank you Chris Garton. It's a tough job. I've been fortunate to have worked with many young people through the many schools, parishes and centers that we run. I think the closest the children have been to singing latin may have been Mike Anderson's Clap, clap gloria and Jubilate Deo. That's about it. But as they say in Afrikaans, stadig, stadig (slowly, slowly).
  • Be Reece, how is that licit to substitute text and rubrics from another book in place of the Roman Missal just because you are celebrating mass with children? Is there some special indult that was given to the African countries?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,430
    If the Paulines published it, I'll trust that it has approval from the relevant authorities.

    The current Roman Missal book does not include the eucharistic prayers for Masses with children that appeared in the second edition of the Roman Missal, but an interim edition has been published. Here, for example, is the US version: https://store.usccb.org/eucharistic-prayers-for-masses-with-children-p/7-233.htm
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Elmar
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,277
    As usual Felix Just has relevant resources
    https://catholic-resources.org/ChurchDocs/EPC1-3.htm
    I can imagine CDWDS not wishing to draw attention to these by including them in the current Missale Romanum, but AFAIK they have not withdrawn them from the very limited use they are allowed (a congregation predominantly of pre-adolescent children). These texts were authorised for that specified use, together with other adaptations to lectionary, and sermon.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • I had never heard of this book. I thought it was something that some liturgical innovator came up with. I'm glad to know that it has at least been approved by the CDWDS, even if they are not advertising it.
  • Elmar
    Posts: 282
    relevant resources https://catholic-resources.org/ChurchDocs/EPC1-3.htm
    I can imagine CDWDS not wishing to draw attention to these by including them in the current Missale Romanum, but AFAIK they have not withdrawn them from the very limited use they are allowed (a congregation predominantly of pre-adolescent children).
    Any idea if there is an official (international) follow-up in preparation?
    Just for curiosity... in my home & residence countries even the new translation of the missal itself isn't ready yet, and I haven't heard of any progress in years.

    Rather than worrying about approval of our 'mass for children' books, I'd worry if we over here will ever have "a congregation predominantly of pre-adolescent children" again.

    God's blessing over your work, brother Reece!
    Thanked by 1CatherineS
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,265
    For what it's worth, I've found a lot of people used to things like the composers mentioned can handle an antiphon based on the Gregorian psalm tone just fine, and they're easier than most composed settings in my humble opinion.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • Thank you Elmar. I really appreciate you all.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • Chonak,

    I didn't know that the book Simple English Propers lacked Responsorial psalms, althougth I can't say I'm surprised, but my confusion rested on this point: is there more than one collection of English Propers, intended for easy learning, which would therefore be called (lowercase) simple (capitalized) English Propers?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,430
    There are numerous projects offering propers in English:
    https://musicasacra.com/music/english-propers/

    They vary in their simplicity or sophistication. A few of them do offer responsorial psalm settings. So there's where to find info on them.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,430
    Elmar writes:
    Any idea if there is an official (international) follow-up in preparation?

    The English version of the Eucharistic Prayers for Masses with Children is available in some other countries besides the US. For example, the Pauline sisters have published an edition in Africa, as Br. Reece mentioned.

    I don't know if there has been any effort to update these prayers in other languages, but as Elmar indicated, the main work of publishing a new Roman Missal is probably higher in the queue of tasks.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,277
    In England&Wales the Catholic Truth Society published an edition in 2014, with concordat and imprimatur, subtitled "for use with the Roman Missal, Third Edition"
    Thanked by 1Elmar