When to sing an Offertory antiphon?
  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 318
    Ok, I know the answer is 'at the Offertory, stupid!' but I'd be really grateful for more detailed advice please, as we are currently having a heated debate about this.
    To fill in:
    This is OF, we sing in English.
    we sing the entrance antiphon after the first hymn, as the clergy go on to the sanctuary.
    We start the Communion antiphon at the priest's Communion and follow it with a Communion thanksgiving hymn or a motet.
    At the moment we have an Offertory hymn or sometimes a motet if we know an appropriate one. We have organ music during the collection, and during the incensing that follows the Offertory procession. We've been asked to introduce the Offertory antiphon, but where exactly? Before or after the hymn? During the collection has been suggested, but surely not?

    Help would be appreciated, thank you!
  • Steve CollinsSteve Collins
    Posts: 1,003
    It seems to me that an "Offertory" hymn would accompany the procession of the gifts - a liturgical action, like the Entrance and Communion. If time is taken for the collection baskets to make their rounds, that might be a time. Otherwise I could see during the incensing, but probably the given melismatic chant from the GR.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Viola
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 734
    There's always this:
    "74. The procession bringing the gifts is accompanied by the Offertory Chant (cf. no. 37 b), which continues at least until the gifts have been placed on the altar. "

    We begin our offertory chant immediately following the Prayers of the Faithful. A motet and/or hymn usually follows. Sometimes you could put the Gregorian Offertory after the English one.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,224
    I would switch organ music & sing the antiphon, because if you wish to sing, it’s harder to cut out sung music in media res than it is to stop the organ.
    Thanked by 1Viola
  • Steve CollinsSteve Collins
    Posts: 1,003
    Which book is the #74 from? The English language Sacramentary doesn't even have an Offertory Chant. I think that would be great - if you can convince the congregation that they're not being robbed of a hymn that is "theirs" to sing!
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 734
    GIRM, Chapter II: The Structure Of The Mass, Its Elements, And Its Parts

    About 2 thirds the way down the page, under "The Preparation of the Gifts"

    Steve, that's one of the nice things about the St. Isaac Jogues Missal (and others, I'm sure), is that it contains the propers. The people see them in the order they belong, if they're following along. It even shows the Gradual and Alleluia as options to replace the Responsorial + Gospel Acclamation.
    It definitely makes integrating chant into the Mass something that is clearly "correct," because it's right in front of their faces for every day that is included in the missal.
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,006
    A seminarian (and fellow musician) of our diocese pointed out that, if using BOTH a hymn and antiphon, it is important to "point out" the preparation of the altar with the antiphon. Then, the congregation can watch the preparation of the altar. So, one would do hymn first, then antiphon.

    I believe it depends on the hymn and antiphon in question, personally, but as a general starting point this is great advice and something I'd not thought of before.
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,406
    A seminarian (and fellow musician) of our diocese pointed out that, if using BOTH a hymn and antiphon, it is important to "point out" the preparation of the altar with the antiphon. Then, the congregation can watch the preparation of the altar. So, one would do hymn first, then antiphon.


    This is what we do and it works very well. I also like the idea of singing the Communion Chant before a hymn and in this way the Eucharistic Prayers are "bookended" by the chants.
    Thanked by 1Andrew Malton
  • LenaH
    Posts: 31
    We chant the Offertory proper (SEP) first, followed by a congregational hymn, same thing during Communion. If time doesn't allow for both the proper and hymn at Offertory, I would rather the chant be sung in entirety. It is easier to cut off the hymn than shorten the chant. Communion usually allows us to chant the antiphon and verses and one or two additional hymns.
  • We typically have a choir motet followed by the offertory antiphon as can be seen in the attached worship leaflet. (But there's usually incensing of the altar involved, so the motet and the antiphon is usually enough music to cover the liturgical action.) At the Masses with cantor and organ only the cantor will sing an English version of the antiphon with psalm verses during preparation. No hymn whatsoever.
  • Count yourself blessed to have such a problem. We were told, NO antiphons, after we had been singing them for two years. In "those days", the congregation sang a hymn until the gifts reached the altar, then we began the antiphon. It was beautiful.
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,895
    Since reading this thread, I've wondered about the origins and purpose of the modern "offertory procession," since before it wasn't a procession down the nave as we know it today. I imagine I have some good reading ahead of me on the subject.
  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 318
    Thanks for all the helpful suggestions. I am inclining to the hymn or motet then antiphon, as I like the 'bookend' comment from canadash.
    Also a problem with having the antiphon first is that, the way things are here, it would accompany the collection and people milling about, rather than the preparation and incensing of the altar.
    I'm sure we'll receive a few negative comments from the usual sources, but hey.
    (And it would be interesting to find out more about the Offertory procession per se. My brother, a priest who worked in Africa, said that there live chickens and all sorts of things were brought up, accompanied by dancing. He finds things rather tame back in the UK.)