Try not to laugh at this rendition of the Exsultet
  • MarkB
    Posts: 456
    I can't believe this was actually done.
    https://youtu.be/NDZ4HoaE5zM?t=680

    It's like a crooner ad-libbing. When he gets to the dialogue the congregation has no idea how to respond because he doesn't sing the familiar, standard tone.

    What a train wreck. Comedy.
    Thanked by 1tandrews
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,396
    MarkB - no - Tragedy.
    If well done the Easter Vigil is the 'source and summit' of the whole (OF) liturgical year. They collectively put a lot of effort into this. But you need an MC who has given time to think through how every detail works, and authority to direct it all.
  • CatholicZ09
    Posts: 72
    Unfortunately, that’s not the worst I’ve seen.

    The Easter Vigil is *the* liturgy of the year, and sadly, it makes some people think they need to get creative with it.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,877
    Definitely different. I don't know where this is but maybe he was stuck with something he was ill prepared to sing. Who knows?
  • KARU27
    Posts: 129
    Our deacon just read it last night. In spite of the fact that there was lots of singing and chanting the rest of the time.
    Do you think temporary deacons get instruction in chanting it in seminary?
  • trentonjconn
    Posts: 99
    Hah! Teaching clergy to sing!? Why would our seminaries need to do that!?! It's not like singing is integral to the Mass and the entire priesthood itself or anything like that.
  • TCJ
    Posts: 711
    Two years ago I helped our deacon with some of the difficult passages, but he mostly learned it himself by listening to a recording I linked him to. He's not perfect on every single note, but he does a pretty good job. It also gives me a little break for the Easter Vigil, so I'm thankful for that.
  • LarsLars
    Posts: 30
    I can't believe this was actually done.


    I can believe:

    https://youtu.be/8TcibGkQvnQ
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,845
    With all due respect to Florence Foster Jenkins, she could have done much better, far better - but then of course there would be the question of gender. The saddest part of it was that the people actually sat through it without so much as a raised brow, a cough, a white eye, or a pained stare at neighbour. They just go to mass and whatever happens happens - so long as it isn't chant, anthems, and Latin.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,877
    FFJ was entertainment and humor for charitable causes. She always donated ticket sales to charity. It was never an act of worship, although I have been to many churches where FFJ would have shown better musical taste.

    So many parishes put so little in the way of resources into music, it reminds me of the old saying in the early days of computer science. Garbage in, garbage out.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • PaxMelodious
    Posts: 342
    I think this thread is in extremely poor taste.

    Pandemic response means that many priests are agreeing be live streamed to YouTube etc, because it's the only way that many people can participate at any level at all - even though they are well aware that they don't have the talent or resources to do a broadcast-quality job.

    We have NO idea what else is going on for the people involved.

    But I know another parish, with the liturgy on YouTube, where the Exultet sounded worse. The priest who chanted it is old (semi-retired), ill, and currently covering for three parishes. He is allowed attendance of about 20% of the building capacity (it's complicated). He cannot afford a professional music director. He knows the tune better than the man in the video linked above - but his voice wavers and he simply cannot produce it so well any more. But he did the best he could. If viewers find it "hilarious" - well that says more about the viewers than it does this priest.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 627
    At least Florence would have attempted to sing the real thing...
  • MarkB
    Posts: 456
    The parish is in Ladera Ranch in South Orange County, CA, one of the wealthiest areas in the state. They have a brand-new $12 million church. If they have lousy music it's because they've chosen to have lousy music, not because of hardship.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • Mark,

    Having lots of money doesn't make one a good singer. Neither does penury make one an unskilled rube.

    At least, not necessarily.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • vansensei
    Posts: 151
    Exsultet as composed by Leonard Cohen
    Thanked by 2MarkB canadash
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,466
    I think the priest or deacon may have been trying to sing from the notation, but just didn't have the intervals right.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen CCooze
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,396
    https://holytrinityladera.org/serve/liturgical-ministries/music/
    Instrumentalists of all kinds are needed to serve at the weekend liturgies at Holy Trinity. If you possess a level of mastery of an instrument, have both music-reading and improvisational skills and love to play in a band setting, then please consider using your skills to serve the Holy Trinity parish community.
    Nuff said.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW CCooze
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,877
    I had the experience of a priest who mangled the Exsultet. I even played softly under him so he could stay on pitch. Didn't work and he blew a substantial number of the notes. But...get this...he thought he did an excellent job of singing it and was looking forward to doing it again the following year.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • Carol
    Posts: 660
    I was thinking about the Exsultet this weekend. I think the most important thing is for the priest/deacon to sing confidently what they can manage well rather than to worry about singing something more complicated and correct that they are not confident about singing successfully. I am still uncertain what the true value of recto tono chant is over well spoken reading except to be able to say it was "sung." I will now retreat to a safe bunker.

    Also, the Mass at my parish is now available for online viewing. I have not listened to myself because if I did I might never go into the choir loft again.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW Elmar
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,877
    I would agree that if you can't sing it, don't. It will turn out badly.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 921
    This year, the choir did a new version of the Easter Sequence, so no one was able to sing along because we didn't know the melody.
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,463
    Our Deacon sings it as it should be sung. And he is GOLD!
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,328
    Somehow, at 11:59, he managed a mode IV ending on "gloom and darkness."


    Pandemic response means that many priests are agreeing be live streamed to YouTube etc, because it's the only way that many people can participate at any level at all - even though they are well aware that they don't have the talent or resources to do a broadcast-quality job.


    "No" is a complete sentence. There are other parishes streaming, catering to every level of mediocrity and, occasionally, goodness and beauty, so there's no need for a pastor to agree to stream anything, let alone everything, particularly when something like this is going to be a problem.


    Do you think temporary deacons get instruction in chanting it in seminary?


    My dislike for the terminology employed notwithstanding, some do. If not officially, then they find it.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,877
    Agreed on the live streams. Most of them aren't that good or professionally done.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,396
    What do we want from a live stream?
    As I am currently in lockdown, I want the nearest thing to attending Mass, audibility and a static view (I do not take opera glasses to Mass).
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen MarkS
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 580
    Mass isn't a concert. Surely everyone does their best under the circumstances. Circumstances which might include poor mental or physical capabilities, poor training, lack of quality materials, etc etc. If Jesus appreciated the widow's mite surely He appreciates a bumbling liturgy, even if it can't compare to another parish' more brilliant effort.
    Thanked by 1PaxMelodious
  • MarkB
    Posts: 456
    From Sing to the Lord:
    23. In accord with their abilities, deacons should be prepared to sing those parts of the Liturgy that belong to them. Deacons should receive training in singing the dialogues between deacon and people, such as those at the Gospel and at the dismissal. They should also learn to sing various invitations in the rites, the Exsultet, the third form of the Act of Penitence, and the Prayer of the Faithful. If they are capable, deacons should be trained in the practice of chanting the Gospel on more solemn occasions. Programs of diaconal preparation should include major and compulsory courses in the chant and song of the Liturgy.


    If deacons have not received good training, training that enables them to sing the chants as they are written in the Missal, then the bishop has been negligent in his duty as the chief liturgist of the diocese.

    Also from Sing to the Lord:
    35. Persons designated for the ministry of psalmist should possess “the ability for singing and a facility in correct pronunciation and diction.” As one who proclaims the Word, the psalmist should be able to proclaim the text of the Psalm with clarity, conviction, and sensitivity to the text, the musical setting, and those who are listening.


    The standards for someone to chant the Exsultet should be at least the same as those for a psalmist. I think we can agree easily that not everyone has the ability for singing needed to chant or sing solo the Word of God or the chants of the Missal.

    Look, parishes these days have very strict policies for "safe environment" about who can and cannot teach or supervise children. Maybe the USCCB should come up with "safe liturgy" policies that ensure no one unqualified to sing has a liturgical leadership role. After all, we should want to avoid abusing the ears of God's children. Yes, "safe liturgy" programs in every diocese to avoid aural abuse.

    The bishops care earnestly about "safe environment" because they got sued for lapses in the past and don't want to be sued again.

    I think if bishops could be sued for liturgical abuse as well as sexual abuse, the Church's liturgy would be celebrated with much more solemnity and reverence and beauty.

    If liturgy is celebrated poorly, it's because the bishops have decided to accept poor liturgy, and if they have accepted poor liturgy, it's because they don't care about liturgy celebrated well, and if they don't care about liturgy celebrated well, what does that say about their faith?
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 580
    It says their faith is frail or erratic or weak or poorly developed. I'd hate to be a bishop. Such things surely put on at risk of hell.
  • Carol
    Posts: 660
    My husband has been heard to mutter "musical malpractice" at Mass. Fortunately, I am the only one who could hear him. We have a new & better organist so he hasn't been provoked to that point lately.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,396
    CatherineS - unfortunately for bishops they are personally accountable to God for every soul in their diocese, and similarly a pastor for his parish.. And in particular for every soul that is led astray by their action or inaction. A dreadful responsibilty.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • Jehan_Boutte
    Posts: 137
    At the very least, this is the Exultet. I know many parishes who sing paraphrases of it, with congregational refrains (some of them being even officially approved by the bishops, in France).
    But yes, that's still silly.
  • Hawkins,

    Is this why you're campaigning not to be made a bishop?
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,877
    moved to another post
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 627
    I know many parishes who sing paraphrases of it, with congregational refrains (some of them being even officially approved by the bishops, in France).


    Horrifying. Then again, this shouldn't surprise me. I am aware of parishes still using Glorias with refrains. sigh.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • Elmar
    Posts: 313
    Horrifying. ...parishes still using Glorias with refrains. sigh.
    Pssssst!!! (I don't want our pastor to become a bishop)
  • PaxMelodious
    Posts: 342
    There are other parishes streaming, catering to every level of mediocrity and, occasionally, goodness and beauty, so there's no need for a pastor to agree to stream anything, let alone everything, particularly when something like this is going to be a problem.


    The logical conclusion of this is that in every main language and time zone, the entire church should offer only ONE livestreamed liturgy, which is the epitome of goodness and beauty. People do not need any connection with their local parish, so if its offering is at a lower level than this gold-standard, it should not be on-line.


    At the moment, once Google knows you are watching a Mass, then the suggested next viewing at certain times of the day/week take church-shopping to a whole new level!
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,328
    In fact, I basically think that for as much as livestreaming is interesting, particularly when it is of high-quality, though that does not mean perfect or highly stylized: I'd rather watch Saint-Eugène-Sainte-Cécile than the suburban parishes with AV experts and a TV-style broadcast, we nevertheless need to rethink it, because the disciplina arcani might not be enforced, but broadcasting the Mass in a more or less permanent way seems off to me. The Divine Office is aalso sincerely neglected.

    I don't mean to downplay connections to parishes, but this is why the pope ordered Roman churches to remain open, and I'm glad that in France they mostly did during the second lockdown; there were unfortunately many closures in March 2020, but that depended on the local priest more than anything else.