Priest Scolded me for doing the Introit
  • I decided I would have a cantor sing the Introit for mass today directly following the processional hymn, but Father didn't like that and told me that "the Introit can only be sung when there is no opening hymn". I just had to walk away. Can't believe that even happened. I wish I could actually do what is prescribed.
  • Noeisdas,

    I'm not sure whether I agree with you or your pastor here. The procession into the church is a separate action from the Introit, but I've seen parishes, for example, when there was to be no Asperges me, sing the Introit during the procession. I've always thought that rushing the Introit, squeezing it in between a processional hymn and the Kyrie didn't quite work, on the premise that nothing at Mass should be rushed, even as it should not be un-necessarily prolonged.
  • Ah I see what you are saying. I tried to get it in, but that did unfortunately have to involve cramming. Had there been incense, I probably wouldn't have had to cram it in.

    I guess you could say it was better than no Introit at all. Father would have killed me if there was no processional hymn.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,899
    I assume we're talking about an Ordinary Form Mass.
    Was this the first time you've sung the Introit? If so, it would have been best to get the pastor's OK first. No surprises.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,816
    While it's often true that it's better to ask forgiveness than permission, church musicians usually don't get to employ that reliably. A pastor gets to surprise, but not the musicians.
  • Elmar
    Posts: 143
    Hmmm ...
    Maybe I am just lucky? I proposed to the men of my 'new' choir to volunteer for singing the Introit and the Communio at the Pontifical Mass (OF) at the reopening op our church in September; in addition to the opening hymn that is, and after getting pastor's OK, to be sure!

    While hoping to get at least three or four (there were two of whom I was pretty sure), I saw all the hands go up in the second row! Last week we had our first rehearsal. They were eager, but (exept for the two mentioned) we started essentially at zero. So I asked them when they had sung any mass propers for the last time (except for some of the Requiem propers, which they do quite regularly). Their reply was: in 1970!

    Looks like we can make a new start after 46 years ... thanks to all of you who (in many different threads of this forum) continue to share their experiences about re-introducing true sacred music in their parishes!
    Thanked by 1GerardH
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,224
    Well, he’s wrong, and he’s backwards. The hymn replaces the Introit, not the other way around. Technically you can’t read the Missal text if there is a hymn, but it takes a strict liturgist (of the liberal variety, I think) to care if one does.
  • Father is right by the letter of the (novus ordo of course) rubrics. The entrance song is one thing, which opens the celebration when the priest "enters", after the people have "assembled". It can be the introit from the Gradual, or something else. There is no provision for a processional entrance followed by another entrance.

    Also, chonak is surely right that making a change like that require the pastor's approval.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,224
    In practice though both are often done. He’s also, from what it sounds, against the Introit in general… :/
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • Matthew, it would be a good practice, I wish it were allowed, but apart from when chanting Ordinariate masses, I've never seen it done, not here (Canada) nor England nor Poland. (Singing the introit chant as a "prelude" before Mass starts: that I've seen, and done.)

    Where are both done often as part of the Initial Rites?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,899
    I often hear both at cathedral Masses with long entrance processions: the introit first, then a hymn; though there's no rule against singing the hymn first.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,224
    St. Martin of Tours in Louisville has done it for several years now. I’ve heard of it done in English (LC or SEP) in many places.
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,079
    We have a long aisle and incense every Sunday, and we have plenty of time to do a full hymn and the SEP introit. We do both, in that order, every week.
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,099
    We do Introits only as preludes, never for the entrance. Communion Propers we have done every Sunday for years.
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,746
    I'll take IrishTenor's method for $200, Alex. The Introit, strictly speaking, IS the accompaniment to the entrance procession (see Mahrt on 'music to move by.') But the "must-have-it-or-it's-not-'church' entrance hymn is better titled and used as a 'gathering song.' So gather first, process next. Voila!!
  • I was told the Introit was not allowed to be sung even before mass. That is weird, since we already sing a hymn or anthem before the mass.
  • Noeisdas,

    At this point, I would ask to understand Father's reason, so you can apply his rule and avoid overstepping bounds further. Don't be even slightly snarky about it: you want to understand, to become lower maintenance, to think with your pastor. It sounds to me as if he's simply opposed because, well, just because.....um...... beats the heck out of me, but you'd rather hear him tell you his reason than have me fumble around to find a rational justification for what you describe.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,337
    So gather first, process next.

    According to the sense of the GIRM, it is not possible to gather before the procession, since the gathering is described as being hierarchically-ordered. And there can be no hierarchical ordering of the gathered assembly until the liturgical ministers - both ordained and non-ordained - are present.
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,746
    Well, then, let's shine a searchlight on the score, as Lukas Foss would say:

    47. When the people are gathered, and as the Priest enters with the Deacon and ministers, the Entrance Chant begins. Its purpose is to open the celebration, foster the unity of those who have been gathered, introduce their thoughts to the mystery of the liturgical time or festivity, and accompany the procession of the Priest and ministers.

    48. This chant is sung alternately by the choir and the people or similarly by a cantor and the people, or entirely by the people, or by the choir alone. In the Dioceses of the United States of America, there are four options for the Entrance Chant: (1) the antiphon from the Missal or the antiphon with its Psalm from the Graduale Romanum, as set to music there or in another setting; (2) the antiphon and Psalm of the Graduale Simplex for the liturgical time; (3) a chant from another collection of Psalms and antiphons, approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop, including Psalms arranged in responsorial or metrical forms; (4) another liturgical chant that is suited to the sacred action, the day, or the time of year, similarly approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop.


    Looks a lot like the sense of the instruction is that the chant is sung during the procession.

    Your interpretation may vary, but I'll stick to the plain English.
    Thanked by 2Jahaza CHGiffen
  • Until they are present? When would they not be present? Processing from the sacristy is still praying and present.

    Also- purple bold- if we waited until all of the faithful were present... well that's not until the Credo!! ;)
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,410
    I'm in Canada, not far from you, and we sing an opening hymn (short - sometimes only two verses) and the Introit at every mass. Along with that we sing a hymn followed by an Offertory Proper (often chanted in Latin) and we sing the Communion Proper followed by a hymn as well.

    We are an OF Parish.

    We have a mass which is labelled the "Gregorian Mass." All of the propers are chanted in Latin. Last week the Offertory Proper was so long that there was no hymn.

    But, these are all initiatives of our Pastor. I would not do these without his explicit approval.

    Also- purple bold- if we waited until all of the faithful were present... well that's not until the Credo!! ;)


    Ain't that the truth.
  • JahazaJahaza
    Posts: 467
    "According to the sense of the GIRM, it is not possible to gather before the procession,"


    Are you looking at something other than what dad29 posted, because his quote seems to say the opposite with it's suggestion that the priest and ministers enter "when the people are gathered"
  • At Walsingham we always sing the introit following the Entrance Hymn. We also always sing all the propers either to AUG, or, during festal seasons, Palmer-Burgess.

    I do agree with those above who counseled not springing surprises such as this at mass. I disagree with the priest's opinion (and it is just that: opinion), but neither he nor the people should have been treated to a surprise of this sort - or any sort - at liturgy, by musicians OR anyone else.
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,569
    Is the Pluth Option an option?
    Thanked by 1Caleferink
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,099
    Here in this place the hippies are gathered.
    Ready to sing their gathering song.
    They can not sing chant cause their memories are failing.
    Plus it would make the mass too long.
    tra-la-la-la-la-la-la (interlude).
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 230
    My opinion is this, you should have asked or checked with the priest before Mass and informed him of your decision to play the introit after the processional hymn. More than likely he would have corrected you and kept you from doing this and thus not have to scold you later.
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,895
    He may, as it was in my case, be scolded for even suggesting it, complete with a stern "the Church doesn't do that anymore!"
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • @ClergetKubisz I wish that could be purple...
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,895
    More than likely he would have corrected you told you what he wanted and kept you from doing this and thus not have to scold you later.


    Fixed. No correction is necessary because it is entirely legitimate to sing the Introit as the processional, as indicated in the above quotation of the GIRM. It is also entirely legitimate to omit the Introit in favor of a congregational hymn, also indicated by the above quotation of the GIRM. So, neither option is more correct than the other for the OF. The priest does have the right to choose from those options for the liturgy. FWIW, I don't see any possible legitimate reason to suppress legitimate practices, especially if you have musicians who are willing and able to implement them.
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • Caleferink
    Posts: 297
    This is probably why, if needing to reintroduce Propers at a more gradual (pardon the pun) rate, to start with the Communion antiphons. They're usually the easiest to sing, you'd have more time to do it and still get in a hymn or motet, and, especially during Lent and Easter, are often intricately connected to the lectionary readings (if that must be the primary consideration).

    As to this particular situation, I like the idea of asking if Ms. Pluth's texts or perhaps Tietze's "Introit Hymns" would be an option. If so, you and your pastor are each getting in some what what you want - you, the introit (albeit in a paraphrased and non-Gregorian way) and he the hymn as he would like. If the pastor says no to even that, then you know exactly where he stands on the issue and can go from there. If you then plan "All People that on Earth Do Dwell" and he demands "Gather Us In" instead, then I'd start floating my resume around.
  • Settefrati93
    Posts: 173
    It is commonly done this way at the vatican:
    1) Processional Hymn or Polyphony (often Tu Es Petrus) followed by;
    2) Introit when the Holy Father reaches the altar.

    Who is to say that we cannot do the same??

    I've been a member here for a bit but never actually posted anything. Thought I would throw in my two cents.
    Thanked by 1ClergetKubisz
  • Settefrati93,

    The Holy Father also washes Muslim women's feet. Then, he changes the law to make his action valid. Most recently, he avers that "ultra-Conservative Catholics" say no to everything........

    Could you cite a specific timeframe for claiming "it is commonly done this way at the Vatican"?
  • I don't consider myself an ultra-conservative Catholic, but more an ultra-conservative liturgist. I don't like happy clappy liturgies which seem unsolemn and inappropriate for worship.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,065
    I think the key is still to work under your pastor.
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,895
    I'd be walking away from a lot of pastors, then.
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,006
    An idea...how 'bout consider yourself a "Catholic" liturgist...it will save you a lot of pain and heartache, and is probably what the Holy Spirit wants anyway!

    I don't consider myself an ultra-conservative Catholic, but more an ultra-conservative liturgist. I don't like happy clappy liturgies which seem unsolemn and inappropriate for worship.
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • Noeisdas,

    I don't like happy clappy liturgies which seem unsolemn and inappropriate for worship.


    Neither does the Church. Pius X explicitly forbade anything which, regardless of its musical quality, was unsuitable for the august worship of the Trinity.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,816
    But that doesn't apply to the July worship.
  • And so the lowly capital letter re-asserts its significance.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,899
    I don't like happy-clappy church music either.

    The catch, though, is that one can't improve the practice of church music in a parish if one isn't involved. Really reforming the music in a parish (building toward a fully sung Mass) takes several years -- and that's if the pastor is enthusiastically for it.

    When the pastor isn't for it, the only sensible aim is to *improve* the music by a process slow enough to resemble the evolution of species. :-)
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,297
    OK
    ...

    I am chiming in once again...

    An idea...how 'bout consider yourself a "Catholic" liturgist...it will save you a lot of pain and heartache, and is probably what the Holy Spirit wants anyway!
    Be careful what you attribute to the wishes of the HS

    The catch, though, is that one can't improve the practice of church music in a parish if one isn't involved. Really reforming the music in a parish (building toward a fully sung Mass) takes several years -- and that's if the pastor is enthusiastically for it.
    Chonak, that may be your experience, but my experience has been that if the pastor is against 'correct' sacred music, it doesn't matter how many years you spend 'trying to coax him (or them, or the parish) 'over' to the 'correct' form... You either have a priest who harkens back to tradition or do you don't... it's doesn't take long to find out... and worse, when the 6 year tenure is up, it's fair game for whatever the next pastor has a liking to put in place... no stability, no consistency, no promises and no guarantees that the years you struggle to put authentic music in place will last beyond yours (or the pastor's) tenure. A few years back I interviewed with the most conservative Bishop in the U.S. in terms of 'sacred music', and in the middle of the interview I found out he was 'being moved'. Nothing is predictable.

    Use your "parachute clause" and put yourself where you will be appreciated for supporting actual Catholic Tradition.

    I spent about a year working in a parish that was slowly migrating AWAY from authentic sacred music (Gregorian Chant which had been long established in the parish) and toward singing the SEP as a "bridge" back to the VII ideal of vernacular liturgies and the presidential (not celebrant) form of celebrating the Mass.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,899
    Francis, who said anything about coaxing the priest or the parish into anything? Maybe you're reading that into my comment above.
    Thanked by 2francis BruceL
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,297
    Chonak...

    OK... I digress... my apology... I just think we need to tell it like it is... there is no 'building' steadily toward an authentic music program in the U.S. as far as I am concerned.... Just saying. The changing of the guard means anything is possible, and anything can change for better or for worse. I guess my 55 years of experience with the NO shows me to be a curmudgeon. Well, so be it... at least when I stand before God I will have told it straight from the heart.
  • Settefrati93
    Posts: 173
    Chris...

    "Could you cite a specific timeframe for claiming "it is commonly done this way at the Vatican"?"

    I have seen it done this way under pope Benedict (almost regularly processed to Tu Es Petrus and introit began when he reached the altar) and also continued under Francis though the "hymn or song" used is not always Tu Es Petrus. He has been using the Hymn for the Jubilee Year of Mercy very often.

    My sources are the Vatican YouTube channel.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,899
    I take Settefrati93's word for it, but wasn't able to find any videos of full Masses prior to Pope Francis on the Vatican YouTube page. If you find some, please post a link or two. Thanks!
  • Ok. I'm not doubting that a thing happened at the Vatican's liturgies, only that the fact that something took place at a Vatican liturgy should be automatic justification to do it elsewhere.

    By way of analogy, Mass could be celebrated on the front of a jeep in wartime, but that doesn't argue for the installation of a jeep in every parish, or that the faithful should kneel in the mud specially placed around the altar, or that every altar should now have the realistic appearance of a jeep.
    Thanked by 1mmeladirectress
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,899
    Isn't this pointless quibbling? Chris, nobody is requiring you to like the practice of singing a hymn and an introit. But you haven't cited any _rule_ against it, or any _reasons_ against it. Let's get out of this rabbit hole.
    Thanked by 1Spriggo
  • JesJes
    Posts: 514
    @Noeisdas I must say I feel great sympathy that you were scolded and I don't know that there was anything I would say you did wrong (I'm guessing OF?) what I can give you is some small words of wisdom I learned to do the hard way. Priests like to be included in discussions I think part of the problem is that it may have been sprung on him. He might say okay, but let's do the Asperges me instead of the Hymn and then you find a compromise to the situation. I've seen hymn followed by introit done but only very rarely. Regardless priests like to know what is going on so brief him beforehand instead of doing it and waiting to be scolded. Good luck, I want to know how you go with this. Sounds fascinating.
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • Caleferink
    Posts: 297
    Keep in mind most papal liturgies (at St. Peter's or elsewhere) usually feature a very lengthy procession due to nave length, number of servers/deacons/priests/bishops in procession, the Holy Father's entourage, etc., so there usually is time within the procession to do both a hymn and the proper Introit.
  • Chonak,

    I'm sorry for the confusion. I'm not arguing that there is a rule against it, and I doubt I could cite a rule anyway. The argument was put forward (I forget who did it) that if it had been done in a Vatican liturgy, therefore it was ok to do it. This I reject. I'm not even arguing whether I approve of the idea or not, only that citing a Vatican liturgy as a justification, when the Vatican's own documents say otherwise, which they occasionally do, is no justification at all.
    Thanked by 1eft94530
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,615
    The USCCB responded to a question on this practice just a few years ago, which answers the question of whether this practice should/can be done. That being said the OP shouldn't have done it without consulting their pastor first.

    Dubium: A Major Catholic Basilica in America has the following practice: as the priest processes to the altar, they sing an opening hymn. Then, as the Bishop incenses the altar, they sing the Proper Introit in Gregorian chant. Is this practice licit?

    Responsum (Feb 14, 2012 at 7:29 AM): Thank you for your question. Why would you think it illicit to sing both a hymn and the antiphon during the entrance, especially at a more solemn liturgy involving the bishop when the procession and the incensation of the altar might require more music to accompany the action? This is, in fact, the practice in many cathedrals, especially at stational masses of the bishop which include the whole presbyterate of a diocese (such as the Chrism Mass or ordinations).

    Executive Director, Secretariat of Divine Worship, USCCB, 3211 4th St. NE, Washington, DC 20017