Communion for Good Friday liturgy?
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    I know this is a subject that has been discussed in print. Some feel that because there is no communion song listed in the GR that there should be silence during the reception of communion on Good Friday. Others feel that there may be singing but that there is no specified text. (I don't have it in front of me, but I feel like there might be a communion song in the GS, which would support this theory). In my situation, however, it is the pastor who insists that there be music at this time. He of course would be happy with instrumental music, but the organ will have been switched off after the Gloria the night before. So my question is, if we have to sing something at communion on Good Friday, what chant or polyphony would you suggest? Communion can take a long time on Good Friday since it is one day that people actually come, and of course there is only one service instead of six.
  • RobertRobert
    Posts: 343
    The document "Paschales Solemnitatis" from the CDW which was issued in 1988 contains instructions for this:

    "During the distribution of Communion, Psalm 21 or another suitable song may be sung."
  • Any suggestions on a beatiful (and not too difficult) English setting of this psalm?
  • Heath
    Posts: 895
    I'd like to revive this thread, as I'm putting the finishing touches on our Good Friday liturgy . . .

    What is everyone doing for Communion time on GF? If I recall, isn't the new Sacramentary going to call for a "Stabat Mater" option? I thought there was something else as well . . .

    Oh yes, I had thought about doing the "Stabat Mater" text in English (maybe with Kathy's excellent translation), but I've never been a huge fan of the "traditional" metrical melody associated with it, and the GR chant is loooong, and a bit too difficult for the time period that I have. Any other options out there?

    One more: what is everyone doing for Veneration of the Cross, music-wise?
  • We sing at a Novus Ordo parish, so since my schola is pretty new at all this, I often use a seasonal Communion chant in any case. For Good Friday, I was planning to use again the Communion proper from Palm Sunday, Pater si. I think it fits quite well there.

    We are singing the reproaches from the GR for Veneration. It is really pretty simple if you have the schola only do the Popule meus and the Hagios... let a soloist(s) do the verses.
  • Heath
    Posts: 895
    Found it.

    "The Missale Romanum gives specific directions as to the music used during the adoration. The antiphons We worship you, Lord, the reproaches, the hymns Faithful Cross, or other suitable songs are sung. Totally new is the indication: “According to local circumstances or traditions of the people and pastoral appropriateness, the Stabat Mater may be sung, according to the Graduale Romanum, or another appropriate chant in memory of the compassion of the Blessed Virgin Mary” (GR, no. 20). " (Veneration of the Cross)

    "Mention is made that Psalm 22 (21) may be sung during the distribution of communion or another appropriate chant (GF, no. 28)." (Holy Communion)

    And I checked . . . "suitable song(s)" in Graduale Simplex as well.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    This is the first time our schola is singing on Good Friday, and the MD asked us to do the following.

    General Intercessions (followed by the Collection)
    Vexilla Regis Prodeunt (schola, during collection)

    Veneration; (Congregation sings English hymns)
    Ecce Lignum Crucis (schola)
    437, Behold the Wood (refrain only; three times)

    Ecce Lignum Crucis (schola)
    435, O Sacred Head, Surrounded

    Ecce Lignum Crucis (schola)
    438, Were You There?
    614, What Wondrous Love
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,921
    At communion on Good Friday, if you sing Psalm 22(21) or any psalm, it would be appropriate to sing rather sparely: on a psalm tone, unaccompanied, with no antiphon.

    If needed (and it probably will be needed), you can add additional psalms: e.g., from Vespers (Ps. 115 and 142) or the midday Office (Ps. 39, 53, 87).
  • Carl DCarl D
    Posts: 992
    Reproaches (English)
    Stabat Mater
    Ave Verum Corpus
    Jesus, Remember Me

    When I survey the wondrous cross
    Pange Lingua (St. Thomas)

    The congregation will have copies of all the music.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    I have usually used Stabat Mater in English for the veneration and "Were You There?" for the communion.

    EDIT: I just looked over my past music lists. Veneration typically took a VERY long time, so I used a variety of things. Last time I did Good Friday, the choir sang "Crucem tuam", and then the congregation sang Stabat Mater while the choir approached to venerate the cross. Then there was a choral anthem, a few I've used are the setting of the Reproaches from The New English Hymnal; and Drop, Drop, Slow Tears by Richard Shepherd. If I still needed more time, I would sing Crucem Tuam again with verses of a psalm.
  • Resp. Psalm as in Respond and Acclaim
    Gosp. Acc/Gradual Christus Factus Est
    Adoration Crucem Tuam and Reproaches (Grad. Simp.)
    Communion Adoro Te
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,927
    Crux Fidelis - chant version and king of portugal (polyphony)
    Despectum st Novissimum
  • congregation: Schutte “Behold the Wood” (no griping, folks—this one is quite good)
    choir: Croce “In monte Oliveti”
    congregation: Joncas “Take and Eat”
    (either this or Taizé “There Can Be No Greater Love”....can’t recall)
  • At St. Edward, Newark CA, because of space constraints we do the Solemn Liturgy of Good Friday at 1 PM and again at 7:30 PM. Our Diary is the same for both:
    Psalm 31 ... Arrg by Fr. Jeff Keyes ... Tone 4
    Gradual: Christus factus est ... Tone V
    Veneration of the Cross: Ecce lignum; Crucem tuam ... Chant; Improperia ...
    de Victoria with chant verses; Crux fidelis w/ Pange Lingua ... Tone 1
    Communion: Adoramus te, Christe ... Du Bois; Psalm 22 ... (English) tone 4; Ave verum ... Byrd; "O Bone Jesu" ... Marco-antonio Ingengeri
  • Richard R.
    Posts: 747
    Somewhere (and someday I'll remember where) I read a passage from Cardinal Ratzinger that mentioned, and seemed to encourage, the custom of abstaining from holy communion on Good Friday, which seems a noble spiritual exercise. Even if our sensibilities won't allow that, couldn't we at least abstain from communion music on this day, in commemoration of our Lord's entombment? After hyping the singing all year long, wouldn't NOT singing send a particularly powerful message on this day?
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,927
    Very good Richard. We in America seemed to have lost the sense of being without to further appreciate what we have. My spiritual director once told me that is good to refrain from going to communion once in a while at the appropriate moment to further discipline the soul to understand how it so thirsts for God. There is no better way to fully appreciate food than going without it for a good while before one eats again. I have even used a very sparse organ registration for music during lent (Prin 8+4) to help drive the same sense through the music.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,674
    We have one large cross with a relic of the true cross in it. Everyone venerates that cross only, so it takes quite some time. The choir will sing the Stainer, "God so Loved the World," then go downstairs for veneration and stay there. A cantor will chant the "Reproaches." Communion is much shorter. The congregation will sing, "O Sacred Head," then I will play a bit - I am leaning toward "Aus tiefer Not ..." by Reger. As soon as the communion procession is over, there will be silence.
  • marajoymarajoy
    Posts: 781
    I have noticed that there is no proper Communion for that day, but I've never thought about how that might mean maybe there should be no singing that's an interesting idea that I think I am going to consider for next year.

    O Sacred Head
    When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
    My Song is Love Unknown
    Adoramus Te (by Marty Haugen. everyone will be happy, with it being by him, yet in latin!)
    Were You There

    possibly Pater, Si Non
    Sing My Tongue (Picardy)
    Glory Be To Jesus (Viva Viva Jesu)
    Ah, Holy Jesus
  • benedictgal
    Posts: 798
    I would stay away from Were You There and anything by Schutte. Were You There is just not solemn.

    I would rather do this:

    Stabat Mater
    O Sacred Head Surrounded
    Perdon a Tu Pueblo, Senor (this goes on for quite some time and is actually a loosely paraphrased version of the reproaches in Spanish)
    At the Name of Jesus

    Sing My Tongue the Song of Triumph (Picardy)
    What Wondrous Love is This
  • Chrism
    Posts: 831
    Communion for the faithful on Good Friday was introduced, I believe, in the 20th Century. The 1961 Liber Usualis, p. 749, says, "While Holy Communion is being distributed, Psalm 21, Deus, Deus meus may be sung, or else one or other of the responsories from Matins of Good Friday." The tone prescribed for Psalm 21 is simpler than a Psalm tone, probably one of the simpler prayer/reading tones.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    "I would stay away from Were You There and anything by Schutte. Were You There is just not solemn."

    Thanks Benedictgal. I agree. I used like this song, full of emotion. Now I see it in a different level. I'll sing it at home, when I like to sing it.
  • "Were you there...?" No, I wasn't; do I look that old?

    "What child is this...?" It's Jesus, dummy (as I heard one child say one Christmas).
  • marajoymarajoy
    Posts: 781
    I don't like "Were You There," either.

    However, some of us work in real churches, with real people in the congregation who don't read musicasacra or NLM all day, and who happen to have real favorite songs that they only get to sing once a year and don't happen to be in Latin.

    Obviously, "Were you there..." is a rhetorical question.
    But there is nothing theologically incorrect about the song, and I would certainly argue that even from a musical standpoint it is *not* irreverent in any way. And I would say that the level of solemnity which it attains can only be judged based on things like its tempo, accompaniment, harmonizations, etc. (Not something you can make a blanket statement about.)

    I wasn't aware that this thread called for song choices to be criticized/critiqued.
    It would be great if someday the "trads" could be a little more positive and strive to encourage one another in the constant uphill battle of rebuilding a music program from scratch, especially keeping in mind those who are introducing things like the "Reproaches" and Latin communion chants (things which would have been unheard of at my parish just a couple years ago...)
    Oh, but I forgot. Nothing is acceptable except a Solemn High Tridentine Mass. We must criticize everything less than that!
    Thanked by 1Gaudium
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,927

    Forgive us if we are offensive in our babblings. It is not intended. Yet, it is painfully a fact that when truth, clarity, and direction are presented to our own sensibilities that we all tend to take offense. We are all human. It happens often here, but that is because we constantly challenge each other's sensibilities and personally, I invite the challenge. It stretches us to grow, and everyone here, I take liberty to say, probably wants that the most for ourselves, our community and our Church.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,927
    Now as for "were you there?"

    I just sat through the Neville stations.

    Nope. I weren't there! (and I am still wondering if God was either)

    WYT is performed from beginning to end of that particlar very loose attempt at the SOTC. It really is nothing but an attempt to stir emotions as does the hymn. And think about it: textually, this piece focuses mainly on "number 1"; ME. We need to be less concerned about ME and more concerned about THEE. I think it is interesting that this piece was used to reinforce this thinking.

    This is a typical Protestant approach to spirituality that many many Christians get sucked into (and most saddly has wormed it's ugly head into the Mass itself), and I speak from past experience of having had spent way to much time in those kind of services. I always thought I was doing God and his wayward world a great favor by being a part of that activity only to learn later in my life that God wished I had spent much more of that time with him in adoration of His Blessed Sacrament or in the Confessional. Truth be told, those ARE the places he is actually crucified and where he is nailed to the tree. For real.

    Musically? It is the perfect marriage of the elements of melody, harmony and "trembling" that evoke the shallow resolve of sentimental affection.

    So, we should stop worshipping our feelings in our music and in our self focused liturgical distortions and get back to worshipping in "spirit and in truth".

    Fad gone Trad
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Marajoy, I used to like this song. But I'm learning so much here, because people in this forum tries to find the truths in music. I know it's hard in the local churches to change all those 'favorite' songs. Our schola will be singing with others this song and chants on Good Friday. (as the MD instructed)
    We are learning and trying to help each other here and the others in our churches to experience the true joy of having sacred music in our liturgy, whether it's OF or EF.
    Francis, I really enjoy reading your post. Learning so much from your writings of humility and faith.
  • Marajoy, I apologize for not being constructive and for being clearly on the shallow end of "civil and intelligent." You are right that the song isn't irreverent, and you are also right that the music can be evocative; it is certainly the best part of the song. I simply find the content to have little theological insight and the continuous barage of the rhetorical questions of little artistic, emotional or intellectual impact. We've all been in places where we had to sing songs that we wish we didn't have to sing.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,921
    Agreed. I find the "barrage of rhetorical questions" annoying, as if the singer were a fellow believer reproaching me sanctimoniously.

    Our Lord is entitled to reproach us for our sins and failings -- and this appears in the Good Friday reproaches -- but some other believer is not entitled to do that.
  • dvalerio
    Posts: 341
    > Communion for the faithful on Good Friday was introduced, I believe, in the 20th Century.

    Yes, in Pius XII's Holy Week Reform. There is an on-going series about those reforms at The New Liturgical Movement.
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    Since I started this thread oh so long ago, I should let you know that I've decided to sing "In manus tuas" in an alternatim setting by Juan Pujol during communion and, if we have to do something, Guerrero's "Per signum crucis" during the collection. Likewise, if we have to do a recessional on Palm Sunday it will be "Vexilla Regis" in Dufay's alternatim setting.
  • The 1955 rite prescribed the singing of Psalm 22 (21). The Solesmes "Ordo Hebdomadae Sanctae" set this psalm to Tonus In directum.

    Daily communion antedates daily mass. In earliest times the people took the sacrament to their homes and communicated themselves. Later communion was given from the reserved sacrament in churches on days when mass was not celebrated. In the West mass came to be celebrated every day except Good Friday Holy Saturday. Distribution of communion from the reserved sacrament continued on Good Friday. Later communion on Good Friday was restricted to the celebrant alone. The 1955 rite restored communion to the people. Jungmann favored eliminating the Good Friday communion but held that if the celebrant was to receive communion, the people should also.
  • marajoymarajoy
    Posts: 781
    An interesting note from the Sacramentary/Roman Missal (regarding whether or not it is even appropriate to having a Communion song since there is no chant in the GR):
    from #25 from Good Friday
    "Then communion is distributed to the faithful. Any appropriate song may be sung during communion."
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,921
    Is that the lame-duck English version?

    The 2002 Latin version has (para. 28 for Good Friday):
    "Durante Communione cani potest psalmus 21 vel alius cantus congruus."
    "During Communion Psalm 21 or another suitable chant (song) can be sung."