St. Mark's in Venice: A Liturgy Without Hymns
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473

    This has been online for a few years, but I just recently revisited it.

    The author makes the eloquent point that the choir should sing the propers and the congregation the ordinary, since by definition, the ordinary is the most stable part of the mass and can be learned by the congregation.

    I have to admit that I find this to be a bit of a challenge for me; in my parish I often have done the opposite. We've used te Tietze introit hymns, By Flowing Waters, Andrew Motyka's Communion Antiphons, etc. for the propers. We've often used polyphonic or other choral settings of the ordinary, namely the Kyrie, Gloria, and Agnus Dei. But it would seem that according to this article, this is a bit backwards.

    Now I'm rethinking my music plans ... Although it seems very hard to find polyphonic settings of the Introits especially. These must have simply been chanted.

    What is your take?
  • Yes Paix, they should be chanted and can be found along with all of the other Proper chants in the OF Mass in various books in Latin or in English. From the Simple English Propers to the psalm tone Latin Propersor if you like, the full Latin Propers. Polyphonic settings can be very nice as well!
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    If the OF, you have several options, so I wouldn't worry too much about chant vs. polyphonic vs. congregational Propers.

    As far as your last statement about how the Propers "must have simply been chanted": the history of Propers performance practice is complex. You are correct that there are fewer polyphonic settings of them, but this absence isn't enough to conclude very much. There is a great new book published by Brepols on this very topic.