Kneeling in the (English) Sung Creed
  • emac3183
    Posts: 31
    We started singing the Creed in English (ICEL Creed I) this summer, and I'm a little fuzzy on one logistical detail that I want to get smoothed over by the (belated this year) mass for the Annunciation.
    What is the best way to have the congregation kneel at "and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate?" on Christmas and Annunciation without having a very musically funky moment?

    Semi-related: I've seen (online) renditions of the Latin Creed at Midnight Masses where polyphony was added to the kneeling moment at "Incarnatus Est." Hope I get to the point of doing that very soon!

    Meanwhile, for the English Creed:

    1. Do I pause the music briefly (on a mediant cadence) and hope people see in their worship aid "all kneel"? Awkward, but more likely to catch the PiP's attention.
    2. Or should Father quickly and clearly say "please kneel" in that pause?
    3. Or do I just keep the music flowing, trusting in the people's ability to read "all kneel" in the worship aid?

    To me, option 1 seems best...I completely forgot to put "all kneel" in the ordo at Christmas and everyone missed it, other than the priest.
  • In our parish the priest gives a heads up about this either 5 minutes before mass or during the introduction right before the act of contrition, music flows as usual and all the altar boys kneeling serves as a final reminder to the congregation.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,947
    Definitely do not interrupt the Creed (at all). The priest should announce it during the sermon, probably at the end (I think that is better than before Mass or at the beginning) lest it go in one ear and out the other entirely.

    I lean towards (3), but I have never, ever seen this go well at the NO, even though I know that there are parishes used to doing this correctly. Sometimes the priest forgets. Sometimes everyone but he forgets… anyway, if they don't kneel, but the words are right in front of them, it's on them, and this goes for all communities; there are a lot more situations in the TLM where kneeling is done at an unusual point (the first verse of some hymns, a middle verse of others, during some of the propers, etc.) and even then it can be a struggle if it only happens once per year.
    Thanked by 2trentonjconn tomjaw
  • In the Ordinariate we kneel without interrupting the flow of the creed. Everyone just kneels and there is no interruption.

    When I attend an NO mass no one (including the priest!) bothers to bow or to kneel, and if I bow or kneel I am likely to get stares or funny looks.

    I guess one should follow the old rule, 'when in Rome do as the Romans do' even if the Romans do nothing and have not been taught any better.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Chaswjd
    Posts: 254
    You could interrupt the chant Creed using a polyphonic setting of the Et Incarnatus Est to cover the kneeling. The GIRM allows the Creed to be sung alternating between the people and the choir. This would be the choir part. There is a lovely setting of the text in the DesPrez Missa Pange Lingua. It’s about a minute long. It starts at about 2:49.

    If you need precedent, here is Pope Francis at Midnight Mass where the Et Incarnatus insert was the soprano solo from Mozart’s C Minor Mass.

    The Mozart results in a significantly longer kneel than the DesPrez.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,942
    MJO: There's an easy Roman context for that - you worship in community that has gathered around a deeply desired and shared liturgical praxis. That's much less likely to be the liturgical culture of any individual territorial parish whose only commonality is denomination and geography - and this was also true long before Vatican II (and of course before Vatican II there were no rubrics as such for what people in the pews did or didn't do). My parents families came from very different liturgical cultures in their parish churches in the same city (my father's paternal grandfather was one of the founding trustees of the German national parish; my mother's family worshipped in a very Irish parish that eventually became the city's cathedral) and loved to discuss how different the sensibilities of clerics and pewsitters were, and also the schools' nuns and students.)