Marian Music during Ordinary Time
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,473
    Hello, I am pretty aware that on Marian feasts singing Marian chants are part of the liturgy. And many parishes and monastaries sing the four Marian antiphons year round. But I have heard various opinions and rulings concerning singing Marian music during ordinary time or during such months of May...Please enlighten.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 1,039
    During Ordinary Time, I have my NO parish chant the Ave Maria during the purification of vessels after Communion on the first Sunday of each month and the Salve Regina on the third Sunday of each month.

    There's probably not more than a flimsy basis for that practice, but if I didn't do that then my parishioners would otherwise not be able to hear, learn, or sing those chants. They won't be learned if they are never or seldom sung.

    During the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter we chant the appropriate Marian antiphon during the purification of vessels every Sunday.
    Thanked by 2LauraKaz Fletcher
  • Liam
    Posts: 5,003
    This is one of those things that is so at the tip of one's nose that one may miss it:

    I will bleat my usual that the Magnificat is the model of an apt non-Propers text for singing during Communion, but also any time a general hymn of praise of gratitude for receiving the blessing of God's very presence and loving-kindness would be apt. It would be difficult to have too many settings of it (and worthy metrical paraphrases of it set to worthy tunes*) in the choral/congregational repertoire.

    Examples from Hymns Psalms and Spiritual Canticles (2nd ed. 1983) - a setting with a refrain is easier to adapt for use during Communion, of course:

  • Liam
    Posts: 5,003
    PS: I wouldn't squint too hard if I found myself as a congregant being asked to sing the Regina Caeli on the Sunday between 15 Aug and 22 Aug.
    Thanked by 1Roborgelmeister
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,069
    I personally don't mind an Ave Maria or similar chant (motet) sung at the offertory or even during at communion. Cardinal Arinze had a preference that this not be done at communion; he seemed to think that more explicitly eucharistic or Christocentric music was required, based on something that he said at my home parish of St Martin of Tours in Louisville years and years ago.

    You'll probably hear more in May and in August, October, and December even when it's not a Marian feast. I suppose that "green Sundays" are good to pull out an Ave at the last minute.
  • Liam
    Posts: 5,003
    "more explicitly eucharistic or Christocentric music"

    The joy of the Magnificat is that it is explicitly both, though it's not a derivative didactic text *about* the Blessed Sacrament but precedes such: it's the very act of giving thanks for the very presence of the Body of Christ in our midst.
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 1,039
    I've been known to schedule Marian music or a hymn when a Marian feast happens to fall on a Sunday, even if it's not celebrated liturgically. For example, the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady, Sept. 8, falls on a Sunday this year.
  • In our community we tend to use Marian hymns/ Antiphons for the Recessional all year round. I think it is a good option because the Mass has already ended, so those who are picky about those things wont get upset.
    Thanked by 2Bri DavidOLGC
  • trentonjconn
    Posts: 571
    I was once chastised in seminary for programming a Marian hymn on a green ferial day.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,069
    I didn’t say that the cardinal was right or that any one text named here would be excluded. However, Trenton observes what people will do when armed with this preference — and some of the chastisers are otherwise orthodox, so it’s not the same as in the 1970s.
    Thanked by 1trentonjconn
  • @trentonjconn that's ridiculous. Those people should learn to have a little more love for the Virgin Mother of God. I don't love my Mother just on her birthday or on Mother's day, I love her everyday. Why should we have to wait for a "marian feast" to do the same?
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,069
    For example, the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady, Sept. 8, falls on a Sunday this year.


    A shame: up until 1960 (I believe 1960, and not 1955) this was the case. While the redundant feast is actually the September one, which was kept in 1960 over the Passiontide feast, the same is in any case true on September 15; in fact, the feast was originally on a Sunday and can be kept as an external solemnity in virtue of this (and given that it's "Ordinary Time" it's not that big of a deal to do so in the NO).
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Liam
    Posts: 5,003
    "(and given that it's "Ordinary Time" it's not that big of a deal to do so in the NO)"

    Not sure what you mean by that. If it's a proper solemnity (e.g., the title of the church) in the table of precedence, then it would take precedence, and if that proper solemnity fell during the week, it could be celebrated on Sunday per No 58 of the norms of the calendar - but not otherwise:

    58. For the pastoral good of the faithful, it is permitted to observe on Sundays in
    Ordinary Time those celebrations that fall during the week and that are agreeable to the
    devotion of the faithful, provided the celebrations rank above that Sunday in the Table
    of Liturgical Days.
    Thanked by 1Roborgelmeister
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,069
    This is in fact one of those where rule-following is not for the good of the faithful — who will never celebrate the Nativity of the BVM even when they are required to go to Mass and would otherwise be perfectly fine to not go out of their way to do so. I'm certainly not going to harangue the priest and report him for this if he did celebrate the Mass of Our Lady on September 8, even in the NO.

    Deviating from the Mass of the day in this case is probably not a mortal sin, especially if you can justify it beyond "Father says so": "the good of the parish requires fostering devotion to the BVM, we are not bound to the Mass of the day to fulfill other obligations, the parish priest only need to say one Mass pro populo which can be any of the Sunday Masses, and in our grandparents' lifetime this would be patently uncontroversial."

    Shoot, so long as the day was not a Sunday, a double feast or otherwise privileged, and so long as they didn't have a conventual or other obligation, priests didn't have to say the Mass of the day (I personally think that you ought to do so, if you are the lone priest, but even then, I concede that the Rorate Mass on ferias of Advent is not that big of a deal even on privileged ferias where you're not impeding a proper Mass).

    On a similar note, are the monks of Clear Creek wrong for saying as a votive Mass of the BVM a Mass which can't be used as such, instead of offering the permitted ones under that devotion of the other Mass (e.g. a Mass of the Holy Name of Mary isn't allowed, technically, but is it really that bad? Of course not.)
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,923
    Queen Before Green, is all I’m sayin’.
  • Liam
    Posts: 5,003
    "I'm certainly not going to harangue the priest and report him for this if he did celebrate the Mass of Our Lady on September 8, even in the NO."

    Neither am I, but I am in no way going to commend it either*; if you are already heading down the "is probably not a mortal sin" road, there's not much else to say about it other than it's not at all as if using the propers of the impeded Marian feast were *required* to foster devotion to Our Lady.

    * Neither did I report the pastor of a nearby parish in 2012 when he (and the lector, presumably at his instruction) simply elided the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart and celebrated the Mass of the Friday in the Nth Week of Ordinary Time, but it sure threw me for a loop.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,181
    It is always the right season for Our Lady. The Church requires that we sing a Marian antiphon every night after Compline, so to honor her is never foreign: the "Salve Regina" is not only for priests' funerals!

    The purists who would minimize references to Our Lady would probably have a heart attack if they ever attended a Byzantine Divine Liturgy in an Eastern Catholic church, because in the Byzantine rite the congregation enters -- I would even say, interrupts -- the Eucharistic Prayer itself to sing in honor of the Mother of God:

    It is truly right to call you blessed, O Theotokos.
    You are ever-blessed and all-blameless, and the Mother of our God.
    Higher in honor than the Cherubim
    and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim,
    you gave birth to God the Word in virginity.
    You are truly Theotokos, you do we exalt.


    If someone wants to downplay Marian hymns, claiming that they are less liturgically appropriate than some average hymn in the missalette, then let me out-pure the purists: maybe it's time for them to really think about what the Church gives us, and sing the proper chants.

    Those proper chants are genuine liturgical music, a setting of the text of the Mass; anything else that a parish sings for the entrance, offertory, or communion is a substitute for it. Such things are rightly described as devotional music, and should be secondary. But if they want to open the door for some devotional music, why not sometimes include Marian hymns, as most of them fit into the category of devotional music.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,409
    IGMR46 ... Adhiberi potest sive antiphona cum suo psalmo in Graduali romano vel in Graduali simplici exstans, sive alius cantus, actioni sacræ, diei vel temporis indoli congruus, cuius textus a Conferentia Episcoporum sit approbatus.
    Another chant appropriate to the character of the day or season.
    Thanked by 1Paul F. Ford
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,069
    if you are already heading down the "is probably not a mortal sin" road, there's not much else to say about it


    Complaining that the rubrics don’t allow it is already heading down that road. But obviously, as you ignore that it’s not just whimsy but is for a good (enough) reason and would not apply to carelessly omitting the Sacred Heart, we can’t have a discussion.

    And I didn’t say that they’re required. But the current, very modern liturgical precedence is detrimental when you omit virtually all of the Apostles and several major Marian feasts among others in order to promote a Sunday which will be said virtually every year.
  • Liam
    Posts: 5,003
    FWIW, the Nativity of the BVM is one of two intermediate feast of our Lady impeded in the current Roman Calendar. Three solemnities are not (except when Immaculate Conception falls on The Second Sunday of Advent), and the Nativity of the BVM comes within roughly 3 weeks of one of them - the other impeded feast of the BVM that comes in May and would rarely occur on an Nth Sunday of Ordinary Time - that is, only if Easter fell on its earliest possible date, 22 March. Basically, the current norms of precedence treat all Sundays *at least* as feasts of the Lord, and that seems immensely sensible to me. (I don't have a hankering for preconciliar praxis in this regard.)

    I don't report pastors for their liturgical delicts because, in my experience, chanceries actively resist suborning such reporting, even for pastors with very different liturgical sensibilities from their bishops. Clericalism. In practical terms, disobedient mucking around with Mass propers for days of precept (Sundays and Holydays of Obligation) has the added negative of confusing congregants who are required to be present, which does not apply to Masses on other days (though for myself, I was mighty fried in my pew on that observance of the Sacred Heart - I was already in a mood because my ability to offer my prayers of reparation became distracted by the very loud and rapid-fire group recitation of the Rosary that dominated the acoustic entirely - while I also pray the Rosary, that's not a way I can engage it).
    Thanked by 1Roborgelmeister
  • francis
    Posts: 10,707
    Mom loves hearing her children sing hymns of love and adornment. And her son would never discourage it.
  • In the end its not a problem of liturgy, its a problem of the spiritual life. If one is really so upset over that kind of thing, there is prob. something interior going on. I dont know how many priests I have heard who have said that they were "discouraged from praying the rosary in seminary because its a medieval liturgical practice". They are just using the liturgy as an excuse to promote their anti-marian culture which is so present in America due to a highly protestant influenced society which has effected even the Catholic Church. Why are our church with minimal statues, minimal adornment etc? There is something more serious than liturgy going on here. After the "Eucharistic revival", could we have a Marian revival?
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,069
    Basically, the current norms of precedence treat all Sundays *at least* as feasts of the Lord, and that seems immensely sensible to me. (I don't have a hankering for preconciliar praxis in this regard.)


    That's just the problem, and you're being dismissive: the Twelve Apostles with the exception of Saints Peter and Paul and the grandparents of Our Lord (to whom there is fairly great and widespread devotion even in our time) also get short shrift, and it's profoundly unecumenical. The Nativity of the BVM is a big deal in the East, and while it's a lesser deal in the West, letting it trump Sunday is a good thing. Plus, they messed with the Purification twice, both times to ensure that it trumps Sundays…

    Also, in 2013, the CEI got permission to keep the Immaculate Conception on Sunday the 8th, which is eminently sensible and what people expect, and it is the case in the pre-55 and in the 1960 rubrics, although somehow not in the 1955 transitional rubrics.

    Clericalism. In practical terms, disobedient mucking around with Mass propers for days of precept (Sundays and Holydays of Obligation) has the added negative of confusing congregants who are required to be present, which does not apply to Masses on other days.
    Except that either people don't care, or they expect the feast day, not the Sunday… and again, it's totally different to somehow not check the ordo or to decide to omit a major feast of Our Lord than to be like "well, maybe our ancestors had it right after all."

    If nothing else, I think that acknowledging the profound rupture in 1962/1969 and everything before would be helpful!

    This is also doubly important since most of these feasts (1962 II class, "feasts" in the new calendar) used to be holy days, but no longer are, so you need them to trump Sunday if you want the faithful to have even the most minimal exposure!
    Thanked by 2tomjaw ServiamScores
  • Liam
    Posts: 5,003
    "well, maybe our ancestors had it right after all" doesn't cut it at all to commend deliberate disobedience. (The new old Catholicism perhaps smacks a bit of Protestantism in that regard, though what's more at work is consumerism.) What it is is an argument to petition to change the governing legislation, nothing more; when asking a question, one has to be prepared for the answer to be No.

    And, fwiw, my speculative impression about that pastor I mentioned is that it was somehow deliberate as well, not merely thoughtless in the instance. They more easily got away with it because there was no order of worship or missalette-like thing in the pews for weekdays, so it would only have confused those who knew the calendar and/or had hand daily missals (me on both counts).

    To get back to the topic: I think there's plenty of room for singing "Marian music" during Ordinary Time (and priests who've insisted otherwise to me have not met with agreement on my part, even if they had the effective power to override anyone else), but helps mightily to choose thoughtfully instead of merely inserting without regard to the character of the day. The BVM is the exemplar par excellence of Christian discipleship, and most of the readings and character of Ordinary Time is a course in engaging habits of discipleship.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,069
    OK, so you admit that this priest was probably malicious and did something gravely sinful and yet it's equal in your book to doing the religion of our ancestors.

    So, thanks but no thanks: I don't need to be attacked from people inside the church. I don't need conservatives or whatever you wish to call yourself comparing us to Protestants or dismissing us for consumerism — I mean, if that's the case, then the CMAA should close tomorrow, and the people who are DMs or whatever should quit tomorrow, because clearly, we're not winning on that front.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,778
    I will forever find it odd when people argue in favor of novelty, and against tradition.

    It's one thing if you want to do the new thing (rightly or wrongly), but it's another entirely to speak against those seeking to do the thing that has always been done. When in doubt, it is always safe to honor what came before the novelty, even if it is not the "default" in current praxis.

    I will cling to this quote until my dying breath:
    “What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place.”

    —His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
    in the accompanying letter to Summorum Pontificum, 2007