Litany of Saints - Singing a Different Arrangement than the Congregation
  • TeresaW
    Posts: 42
    I am a new Music Director at a Catholic Church in Southern Minnesota. We are singing the Litany of Saints on Tuesday, and I wanted to have it accompanied, so I purchased Tony Alonso's harmonization of this chant for both me and the cantors. Then I went to for a generic chant version.

    I know normally if I print out the music, I'm supposed to reference the version I'm playing as opposed to a generic, but I don't have that many copies. I'm guessing I should purchase more copies for the entire choir, then I could call and see if I can reprint the Alonso version. I kind of want to use what my license already provides for, though...

    To add to this, all the people are responding with is the litany responses, such as "Lord have Mercy." I don't really want to spend tons of money to give them music they're going to barely need.

    I'm trying to do this legally without breaking the piggy bank, so to speak.

    Any ideas? Thoughts? Experiences? Thanks in advance.

  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,308
    If your cantors, choir, and people are all singing the standard chant-based melody, I don't think it makes any sense to cite the WLP version in your program.

    For what it's worth, here's a copy of the litany at the ICEL web site; it's for the Easter Vigil, so you might have to cut out some bits if you're not singing all of that on Tuesday.
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,142
    What do you expect the congregation to sing? You should put that, and only that, in their hands. Anything else will only confuse and distract.
  • May I respectfully suggest that accompanying the Litany of the Saints is a bad idea for a number of reasons?
    1) Doing so will Slow DOWN the singing of the Litany.
    2) Doing so will reduce the ability of the congregation to hear itself sing.
    3) Doing so will highlight, rather than reduce/mitigate any oddities in the pitching of some parts of the congregation b/c of #2.
  • I agree that a capella is generally the way to go - but I'm concerned that would freak out the congregation more than going it with music and some oddities in pitching.

    Also, the cantors would sing the WLP version but everyone else is holding plainchant. Does that make any sense? The WLP version is basically accompanied chant.
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,142
    Are the words or pitches of the WLP version different from what you'll be showing the congregation?
  • The words are slightly different, but it is pitched the practically all the same just in different keys. I've decided we'll go a capella though, I checked with our Pastor and he said that either way was fine with him.
  • Solution: Dump the WLP version.
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,142
    Do not give them different words than you are singing. It's a recipe for disaster. They'll be nothing but confused.

    Either you want them to participate or you don't. If you do, print for them exactly what you want them to do. If you don't, and you want to just sing it chorally, then don't worry about it.

    Don't be afraid to do things a cappella. I know I was when I was a young director. If you need to lead things yourself to ensure they stay in tune, then just lead 'em yourself. If you ever want to do anything a cappella, then there's no better time to start.
  • TeresaW
    Posts: 42
    We ditched the WLP version ;)
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist