"I would love to drop the communion hymn if I could get away with it."
  • Let's talk about this.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,955
    It's kind of ingrained and expected, and would agitate several people if I dropped it. Although the hymnal selection of communion hymns is worse than awful. I think there are two traditional hymns in the communion section of RitualSong. I have already dropped the offertory hymn, so perhaps with a little more time...
  • What do others find difficult when making changes?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,955
    I think it's change itself that is difficult. Many folks have gone through so many changes, they are tired of it and want things left alone.
  • I would be fired instantly if we did not offer a communion hymn with a refrain. I always fiollow it with a choir number
  • We dropped the communion hymn at my previous 'reform of the reform' parish, with excellent results.
    The silence (after the communion antiphon and around the choir motet) was wonderful.
    The pastor refers to communion hymns as 'singing with your mouth full'.
    After the ablutions and a small period of silence, everyone then stood to sing a hymn of praise.
    This was all extremely well received.
  • The existing structure of how music appears in the ordinary form in the U.S. is largely a result of Music in Catholic Worship. This is why there is communion hymn for people to sing and why the choir can do the offertory hymn alone. This document is the controlling tradition. The amazing thing is that this document was contrary to tradition, contrary to the structure of the Mass, made all kinds of unsupportable assertions, and was essentially made up in a committee that was not educated about the structure of the Mass. It is appalling that it ever existed. Now it is defunct, repealed and gone forever. But the ghost of this thing will continue to exist -- precisely for the reason mentioned above: people are sick of changes. It is a terrible tragedy.
  • Choir number?

    That's not even an Episcopalian term for a motet!

    STTL says the people should sing AFTER they receive, surely you cannot be fired from a Cathedral for following STTL? After all it is the intent of the Bishops.

    (LITH} stands for Laughter In The Halls.
  • Dan F.Dan F.
    Posts: 205
    I hate singing a hymn during communion. Even thought I love singing at mass, if I am in the congregation I do not sing the communion hymn, no matter how easy the "refrain" is. I maintain that it is not a good time to sing. First, it is a time of final recollection and preparation before receiving our Lord. I have my own prayers to think about. Second, it is awkward for many people to sing while kneeling. And third, it is difficult to sing and move at the same time, especially for a person who is not a confident singer.

    I pitched the idea of waiting to sing a hymn once everybody had returned to their pews during the ablutions, but our director of music is sticking to the old format out of habit. I would love more silence.
  • Carl DCarl D
    Posts: 992
    Based on discussions with my CMAA friends here, I unilaterally decided to change our communion hymn to a "meditation", and often the congregation doesn't have music for it. That way we're not restricted to the content in Breaking Bread, and can sing something in Latin. When people have finished with taking the Eucharist, THEN we sing a hymn where everybody can participate.

    Neither our previous priest, current priest, or director of music have expressed any concern about this change. But I didn't ask permission, I just decided to do it and see what happened. Being a volunteer has its advantages. ;-)

    Part of my approach in how I express things to the congregation is not to highlight that there's any change at all. "Here's where to find the (Latin) ordinaries. Here's the translation of the Gospel Acclamation. Here's the songs we're doing." I make no comparison to what other Masses are doing, or other music groups. Mind you, I haven't been courageous enough yet to replace the entrance hymn with the Introit - THAT would require a serious discussion with the priest, for sure.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Just do it. Drop it like a sack of potatoes and don't bring it back. Challenge anyone complaining to give a good reason why it's practical. I say all you need is one question to the complainer: "Do you sing it?"

    Mind you, I am a BIG fan of congregational song at communion. It's very important to me (and arguably to the Church). BUT I always say that congregational song at communion should be in the form of a repetitive refrain. At my last church (Catholic), I implemented using a psalm in responsorial format. At my present church (Episcopalian), we use a Taize refrain.

    But it makes NO pastoral (yes, I used the dirty word!) sense to make people sing something they need to look at during a time when they should be kneeling, walking, and eating.
  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    What's wrong with having a song to sing during communion? I agree with Gavin, though: a simple song that everybody knows.

    In the Orthodox church, we sing "receive the Body of Christ; taste the fountain of immortality" as the people go up to receive communion. Usually those in line don't sing, although some do. No one ever sings with their mouth full.
  • Noel- LOL- I knew that 'choir number' would elicit a response. Of course, it's a motet- this past Sunday was 'Esca viatorum.' And the preparation was 'Lo He comes with clouds descending' the Rutter arr., VW harmonization of the 2nd verse. 'Salve regina' was also in there as a prelude to Mass. I do love those 2nd coming readings in Mark