Ordinary for Advent Sundays
  • We have a small schola for a weekly 1962 Missal Latin mass here in southern Louisiana. Since mid-September, we've been singing all propers from the Liber (yes, graduals too!), using the Missa de Angelis for the ordinary. My question: which ordinary to use for Advent? Both the Liber Usualis (pp. 60ff.) and the newer Gregorian Missal (pp. 129ff.) recommend the same settings (Kyrie salve etc.), but these will be completely new to the congregation come Sunday. How flexible can one be with the chant settings for the ordinary? I'm thinking of Orbis factor ...

    Jonathan
  • We've pretty much used anything that seems more or less fitting in tone -- but, more importantly in these early stages, is accessible to the congregation. By accessible I mean vaguely singable after two or three experiences. But we are always under the gun at some level, so your situation might be different.
  • Pes
    Posts: 623
    Mass XVII with Kyrie C is nice, and it's quite easy to pick up. I think you'd be safe, there.

    I'd also like to know more about why certain Ordinaries are associated with certain seasons. My guess is that the classifications are more conventional than principled, but that's just a guess.

    It's tempting to register some impressions: I Lux et Origo is "fresh" sounding, spring-like, with all its major thirds; IV Cunctipotens genitor Deus is dark and mysterious; VIII is cheerful and melodic; XVIII is so barren and spare; etc.

    I've never understood why Mass IX - Cum iubilo - is "jubilant." Maybe it's on account of its Sanctus and Agnus Dei. The Kyrie certainly sounds penitential with its descending lines and minor thirds. The Gloria is really superb.

    I'd go with IX before Orbis Factor (XI). I've always thought the latter sounded more like Lent.
  • Jan
    Posts: 242
    Our schola & congregation sing the Mass Ordinary Dominator Deus XV. I find the Ordinary VIII De Angelis too melismatic for the congregation. "Mass De Angelis" was very popular in the 1950's & sung poorly by many
    small parish choirs. (My guess is some 'old timer' remember the days of 'badly sung chant'!)
  • Aga
    Posts: 38
    In our church we sing "De Angelis" usually. But for Advent and Lent we use "Orbis Factor".
    We cannot change more often because ordinary is sung by all (not only by our schola - they are concerned with propers).
    It would be difficult to teach the congregation more Masses now.
  • A number of contemporary Catholic hymnals have been including a selection of Latin Ordinaries. The most "popular" seem to be the "De Angelis" (Missa VIII, usually with Credo III), and Missa XVIII. I have always liked XVIII, especially since it is also used in the Requiem Mass. I think it is the easiest to learn, and Advent is a good time to introduce a new setting since you can skip the "Gloria" till another season.

    In my previous positioin at Our Lady of Walsingham, Houston, TX, we instituted an early Sunday morning Mass many years ago, with only a single female Cantor to lead the Congregation in the Latin Ordinary. Now, this is the Anglican Use Parish in that Diocese, so the rest of the Mass was "Rite I" English. I chose the following combination:

    Kyrie: XVI
    Gloria: XV (although in a different mode from the Kyrie, it starts on the same note the Kyrie ends on.)
    Sanctus: XVIII
    Agnus Dei: II ad lib

    The last I heard, she was considerin teaching both the Ambrosian "Gloria" and "Credo" in the near future. And the congregation has also sung both Kyrie XVIII and XI-B.

    Something else for people to consider is that former Anglican have about a 50% chance of having sung the "Communion Setting 4" in "The Hymnal 1940". For those not familiar, this is an English (NOT I.C.E.L.!) translation of Missa cum jubilo (IX) with the exception of the "Gloria - Alme Pater" (X). IMO the "cum jubilo" is one of the most beautiful Masses in the Kyriale - and it's not really all that difficult.
  • mahrt
    Posts: 508
    The more familiar Kyrie is C under Mass XVII (in the Gregorian Missal and the Graduale Romanum 1974; ad libitum in the Liber Usualis). A small group of us sang for a weekly Latin Mass with a somewhat inexperienced congregation. They knew the Missa de Angelis well and sang it year round. Then we introduced Mass XVII (with Kyrie C) on the Sundays of Advent and Lent—that gave ten Sundays of the year to absorb the new ordinary. By Lent, they were singing it moderately well, and by the end of Lent, almost as well as the de Angelis. The next year we introduced Mass I for the Sundays after Easter; that took a bit more time, but eventually it was sung well also.

    I would not use Mass XVIII for the very reason that it does belong to weekday Masses and Requiems—the occasion for the most sparse music of the year. The Sundays of Advent and Lent, while penitential, are still Sundays and bear some solemnity. Mass XVII really does convey that, while being quite distinct from those of the rest of the year.

    An alternative is Mass XI (Orbis Factor). The Kyrie is a real classic (see my article in Sacred Music, 133:1). If you are using de Angelis on the Sundays of the year, Mass XI would provide the contrast and the solemnity for Advent and Lent. Still, even better would be to alternate de Angelis and Orbis Factor during the Sundays of the year and use XVII for Advent and Lent. It all depends upon the reception by the congregation. But that reception might be judged on a fairly long-term basis, over several years.
  • We started singing Mass XVII for Advent, this year. With a gentle accompaniment
    an assembly can more easily sing the Kyrie C, Sanctus and Agnus Dei than most of
    the fare from CCM publishers. Within a couple of weeks the assembly will have a
    good solid setting for 10 Sundays of the year! Then next year learn XI in the fall,
    or try for Mass I for the following Easter season. Don't forget Pope Paul VI's little
    "Jubilate Deo" booklet. These selections are within the reach of most assemblies
    and will serve as a solid foundation on which to build a good chant repertoire.
  • I'm grateful for this discussion. It gives me a better understanding of which Mass ordinaries would be appropriate.

    On a related, but slightly off topic: My lay Carmelite group meets once a month, and the Carmelite monk who is our spiritual advisor, Fr. Donald Kinney, asked me and a man in the group to introduce more singing. The man in question is indifferent. He said something like, "Latin or not, it's all good."

    On this topic, I remember hearing Prof. Mahrt explain the different levels of singing at Masses. When I asked about what to do at the Carmelite Mass, I recall that he told me that adding more music should start with the priest singing his parts. I haven't been able to broach the subject with the priest of his singing the priest parts, so I don't know whether that means that we as a congregation should not sing any Mass ordinaries until and unless the priest takes his part.

    The only other clarification I have gotten from Fr. Donald is that he doesn't want our monthly Mass to become known as the "Latin" Mass. And he reminded me that I have to get the approval of the lay Carmelite council for what I do, which is indifferent to the notion of reintroducing chant.

    The only clear mandate I have is to lead the Alleluia. Anyone have any suggestions about which one would work (sans the Gradual), which I am not up to leading, yet?

    Would it break any rules to add the singing of the Our Father in Latin, if that was the only Latin I could introduce? I have a copy of Prof. Mahrt's version and it is very easy to learn.

    When I joined, they already ended every Mass with the Salve Regina. I have added the novelty of leading Alma Redemptoris at our December Mass. And Regina Caeli for the Easter season.

    Advice about where to go from her would be welcome.
  • I forgot to comment on what SamuelDelorque wrote
    > an assembly can more easily sing the Kyrie C, Sanctus and Agnus Dei than most of
    the fare from CCM publishers.

    Amen to that. That music is very odd and hard to follow. And you don't end up with something that sounds lovely after all your effort.