Hymnal and Lectionary Frustrations -
  • This matter has been dealt with numerous times on other threads. However, I am just experiencing frustration at finding an Entrance, Offertory, and Dismissal hymn for next week at St Basil's Chapel, UST, where I'm playing for the summer whilst the choir and the magister chori are on summer recess. (Because of the heartfelt participation and singing [not to mention expressed gratitude] I am quite en-joyed to play there, even though I miss being at Walsingham where I'll play later when our choirmaster travels to Massachusetts to visit family.) Our hymnal at St Basil's is Worship IV, which we've had for about a year. It is so much better than the one that we had before. Marvelous tunes. Some very fine texts and all. But - this brings me to the topic of this thread: matching hymn (or 'hymn') texts to the lectionary. It was not too difficult this morning. We did Darwall, Wareham, (I sing Gregorian hymns during communion) and Duke Street. Next Sunday, though, is more challenging. God's forgiveness of sin is what the lectionary is all about. Well, there are quite a slew of songs with forgiveness as a theme in Worship IV and not a one of them is appropriate for mass. Usually the first stanza will be eye-catching. But then we look at the following stanzas and they leave off from any theology of forgiveness, or note God's compassion. They, every one of them begin singing about me, my faults, us, and our wickedness, and so on. These songs (not hymns!) might be appropriate for a bible study in the parish hall. They are utterly un-useful for mass. We do not go to mass to sing about ourselves and indulge in 'self-help' mottos. We sing of God's merciful acts in history, the world, and towards us - but, we do not sing about ourselves. I thought for a moment that 'Draw us in the Spirit's Tether' might work. But no. There's that unfortunate bit about us being sacraments. This is heresy, isn't it. We are not at any time in any fashion 'sacraments'. We may, at times, be' sacramentals'. But all good Catholics know the difference between the one and the other, don't they! For these reasons, not a single hymn in Worship IV's section on forgiveness or penitence is usable as a text at mass. I've settled on 'Praise, my soul...' for an offertory and am mulling over others that reference God's mercy and forgiveness, but it's difficult, isn't it. We deserve better from our what-would-be Catholic publishers - especially that big one that was embarrassed about and uninterested in being the Gregorian Institute of America, so, after true American big business paradigms, turned itself into GIA. Now, GIA really sounds like something an American would do business with, doesn't it. And that's what they are all about. (That goes for most of the others, too.)

    This morning's offerings at St Basil's were -

    (Ordinary - The Belmont Mass)

    Voluntary - (in C, Paris MS 1122, pp. 98-100) - - - Thomas Tomkins
    Entrance Hymn - 'Rejoice, the Lord is King' - - - Darwall's 148th
    Psalm Responsory - - - mode III responsory and verses: improvised chant by Osborn (all a capella)
    Alleluya and Verse - - - a 3-fold Alleluya in D, verse in improvised chant by Osborn (all a capella)
    Offertory Hymn - 'O Jesus, Joy of Loving Hearts' - - - Wareham
    Communion Hymn - 'Most High, Omnipotent Good Lord' - - - Assisi*
    Dismissal Hymn - 'Jesus Shall Reign Where're the Sun' - - - Duke Street
    Voluntary - Fantasia on Duke Street - - - Improvisation

    *The communion hymn was sung solo by me. I always sing Gregorian hymns at this time. The people are very appreciative.
    This particular hymn may be found at no. 307 in The Hymnal 1940, to the tune Assisi. This tune, sort of mode I, is very chant-like, and has always been beloved by children of all ages. I commend it to all for a variety of uses in and out of liturgy.

    (Oh! And about that 3-fold alleluia - I'm only here on Sunday mornings during the summer, so I would not try to make any major changes in that short time. Otherwise I would have them singing a real mass alleluia, and I know that these people would rise to the challenge! I would also introduce more chant, which I know would be appreciated. Next week I think that I'll sing the Gregorian Communion Antiphon. I know that they will have nice things to say about it.)
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,927
    But - this brings me to the topic of this thread: matching hymn (or 'hymn') texts to the lectionary.

    Sometimes you can't match the two. When the hymnal contains a hymn unknown to us, or not worth using, I substitute a generic hymn, usually one praising God. I figure you can't go wrong praising God.

    GIA: I confess, I can get as irritated with them as anyone can. In their defense, I think that confronted with the reality after Vatican II that hardly anyone would buy Gregorian materials, they changed. It likely was a business decision determined by their market. Their choice was to change or go out of business. I was there during that time, and you couldn't give traditional chant and polyphony away, even if you offered free coffee and pastries with it.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,822
    We were discussing the collapse of Benzinger Bros. yesterday. How wicked and callous of prelates to make reforms which would push Catholic publishers out of business and would lead to decades of junk. Benzinger was bought and is publishing materials but nowhere near the Missale Romanum. Burnes & Oates in England is now owned by a big firm, Bloomsbury. They still publish Reid’s version of Fortescue, reclaimed from Farnborough Abbey.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,382
    God's forgiveness and human sin is like love and marriage. You can't have one without the other.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,382
    MJO, I suggest you check Worship 4's topical index under "Mercy."
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Jackson,

    I don't have your lectionary at hand, so let me put some admittedly unusual hymn ideas before you. I don't know if even one is in Worship IV.

    1) Parce Domine

    2) There's a wideness in God's mercy

    3) Come down, O love divine. (Look at what should be the 3rd verse, but is left out far too often: "Let holy charity mine outward vesture be and lowliness become my inner clothing: true lowliness of heart, which takes the humbler part, and o'er its own shortcomings weaps with loathing".

    They're not perfectly about God's mercy and forgiveness, but they might work.

    There's another text, by John Henry Cardinal Newman, which begins "Help Lord, the souls which Thou hast made, the souls to Thee most dear"....which begs God's mercy for the departed.

    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,822
    I was going to suggest “God of Mercy and Compassion,” though I doubt it’s in the hymnal. Also, it is about the vertical aspect of forgiveness, which is the starting point of the horizontal aspect.
  • Let it be reiterated that the Mass Proper does NOT exemplify a strict adherence to the idea of always following the Lectionary. Thus, IMO, neither should our hymnody, particularly during Ordinary Time, when the "overarching theme" is precisely the absence of a single theme.
  • Well, there are quite a slew of songs with forgiveness as a theme in Worship IV and not a one of them is appropriate for mass.

    What's wrong with "There's a Wideness in God's Mercy," #645? And you can't go wrong with the tune SOUTHWELL paired with the text "Have Mercy, Lord, on Us," #966, which is a metrical version of the great penitential Psalm 51.

    There are other fine hymns as well, some in the "Penance/Reconciliation" category.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Good suggestions, all.
    There are, indeed, some suitable texts.
    I tried to interest our group in the Lumen Christi Hymnal, but, somehow, it just didn't have the appeal of the ilk of GIA's slickly calculated 'mass appeal' productions. Not that it should. At least Worship IV is the best of the worst. It was the best I could recommend that had a chance.
  • We sing "God is Love, Let Heaven Adore Him" as well as the Hymn for the Holy Year of Mercy. Is there a way to incorporate that one?
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,445
    I tried to interest our group in the Lumen Christi Hymnal, but, somehow, it just didn't have the appeal of the ilk of GIA's calculated 'mass appeal' productions.

    There was small window of opportunity in which this hurdle could have been minimized.

    Ah, well...
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,902

    Your remark is an example of a reason I would strongly recommend that, if there are future revisions to translations of the Ordo, there is a longer transition period granted for musical settings. An immediate transition will always favor the big players in the marketplace. If there were a 3 year grace period, however, it would allow parishes more time for smaller players to introduce offerings, and for parishes to evaluate them before adopting them.
  • If there were a 3 year grace period, however, it would allow parishes more time for smaller players to introduce offerings, and for parishes to evaluate them before adopting them.

    Given who was assigned to be architect of the renovation, by the U.S. bishops, no less, is the number of years relevant?
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,902
    No, simply illustrative. Could be a different number of years.
  • Caleferink
    Posts: 427
    Getting back to the topic at hand: My first resource for selecting hymns comes not from the Lectionary but from the Roman Gradual and/or Roman Missal antiphons. For example this past Sunday the Introit was "The Lord is my light and my salvation.../Dominus illuminatio mea..." so I actually used a setting of Psalm 27 instead of a strophic hymn, and will use that same setting this Sunday for Communion where the proper antiphon is "There is one thing I ask of the Lord.../Unam petii a Domino..." - I call it trying to sneak in propers (or at least the concept thereof) in hopes to do them more overtly in the hopefully-not-too-distant future. Occasionally this leads me to have to select a less-than-savory piece (e.g. "On Eagle's Wings" for the 1st Sunday of Lent as it comes from Psalm 91 like all the major propers do for that Sunday). If that doesn't work, then I go to the Lectionary - I'm another doing "There's a Wideness in God's Mercy" this coming Sunday. In the case of Communion especially, there are antiphons/psalms that can be done ad libitum as well (e.g. Psalm 34), so if I'm stuck there I can resort to those as well as still try to get a little closer to the idea of singing the Mass, not just singing at Mass.
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,577
    Perhaps we can petition
    to modify their layout so that each
    Graduale Proper / Missal Proper get a list hymns and matching verses
    and the leftover hymns remain in the Hymns section?
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,691
    We're doing SOUTHWELL (Have Mercy Lord on Us, LCH), DETROIT (Forgive Our Sins, W4), and LOBE DEN HERREN (Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, LCH) this coming weekend. Usually it's just one or two hymns, but during the Summer choir recess we usually sing an additional one during the Offertory.
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,072
    On weeks like this, we often defer to "general themes". We have:

    ENTRANCE: O God, almighty Father (GOTT VATER)
    PSALM (Guimont)
    ALLELUIA (Philip Baker, Missa Sancta Maria)
    OFFERTORY: O Jesus, joy of loving hearts (WAREHAM)
    COMMUNION: Antiphon (setting: Motyka)
    CLOSING: Thy strong word (EBENEZER, favorite of past rector)

    Couperin convents Mass for prelude/postlude.