Propers AND Hymns? Propers OR Hymns?
  • I was told by a visiting priest at my parish that the Propers are to be sung only in exclusion of (not in addition to) "another suitable hymn or song." Previously when we sang a Proper we would sing it (without psalm verses) immediately preceding the other suitable hymn. My reading of GIRM 48 fails to clarify the issue, as between options 3 and 4 there is neither "and" nor "or"; and even then the word "or" can be applied exclusively or inclusively. Thoughts? What am I to do when he visits again?
  • Sing the proper, followed by hymn. Proper supersedes hymn, so if in doubt use the proper, but so long as the music doesn't overstay its welcome, do both.
    Thanked by 1Andrew Malton
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,227
    church's first preference

    proper in latin with appropriate psalm verses.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,761
    Don't these priests know by now they should be being so rigid? :-)
    Thanked by 2CCooze tomjaw
  • At Walsingham we sing a processional entrance hymn followed by the introit at the censing of the altar. This makes the most sense because the introit's appropriate place is preserved directly preceding the Trinitarian invocation and the beginning of mass. An Entrance hymn, while nice and not to be sneered at (and consistent with Anglican tradition), is an ornamental extra.

    Of course, your priest may be correct in his understanding of GIRM, which clearly states the introit OR another suitable song. Since Walsingham does not follow the Roman missal we are not necessarily bound by the GIRM.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 728
    Clearly, it is being looked at completely wrong, as the propers are not "in addition to" the hymn. If anything, a hymn may be used if there is a so-called "need" for an extension of music during the proper('s) place.

    If he doesn't want both, then there's no reason to include a hymn.
  • It hurts me to say this, but...

    In spite of Miss Cooze's tidy reasoning (which I would love to affirm) the GIRM, by which you all are bound, clearly says that the introit OR another suitable song may be sung. This implies that whichever is sung, hymn or introit, it is a part of the mass, but that only one or the other should be sungen.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,761
    The expression used in IGMR 48 to list the possibilities is not
    aut A aut B (an exclusive either-or)
    but
    sive A vel B, sive C (an inclusive indication of options)

    I doubt the Church really intends to forbid the use of both cases if the action of the entrance is long enough. If such a prohibition is intended, then someone will have to tell my archbishop, because at an ordination Mass last week, an antiphon and verses and a hymn and some organ improvisation were all done during the entrance.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 728
    Emphasis being mine:
    USCCB: GIRM:

    44. Among gestures are included also actions and processions, by which the Priest, with the Deacon and ministers, goes to the altar; the Deacon carries the Evangeliary or Book of the Gospels to the ambo before the proclamation of the Gospel; the faithful bring up the gifts and come forward to receive Communion. It is appropriate that actions and processions of this sort be carried out with decorum while the chants proper to them are sung, in accordance with the norms laid down for each.

    Also,
    The Entrance
    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.


    I apologize for quoting things you have clear access to, but I don't (read: no longer) see the words "hymn" or "song" at all in 48.


    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. The norms on the manner of singing are the same as for the Entrance Chant (cf. no. 48). Singing may always accompany the rite at the Offertory...

    (But, you do get to do "both," if you want to ADD a hymn, at Communion:)
    86. While the Priest is receiving the Sacrament, the Communion Chant is begun... However, if there is to be a hymn after Communion, the Communion Chant should be ended in a timely manner.

    88. When the distribution of Communion is over, if appropriate, the Priest and faithful pray quietly for some time. If desired, a Psalm or other canticle of praise or a hymn may also be sung by the whole congregation.



    Technically, it looks like Communion is the only time a hymn is specifically offered to the congregation.
    (A search for "song" in this book of the GIRM returns only that songs are not permitted as replacement to the responsorial psalm.)
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,761
    The musical terminology in the Latin texts doesn't map to the English terminology on a one-to-one basis. We say "hymn", "chant", and "song", but the liturgical documents sometimes don't clearly distinguish these three.

    Here's where there's some overlap:

    In the old form of Mass, people were (and are) permitted to sing congregational hymns/songs at certain times in a low Mass; and this permission is stated in the 1958 document "De musica sacra", para. 33. The term used is "cantus populares religiosi".

    Now, in the 2002 Missale Romanum, the Latin version of IGMR 48 allows for a certain kind of sung piece during the entrance: "alius cantus ... congruus" ("another 'cantus' suited ...." to the feast, season, etc. )

    That sounds pretty broad: if a congregational hymn is one kind of 'cantus', then it's hard to rule it out from qualifying in IGMR 48 (if it's approved, etc.)

    Now, the US GIRM adds the qualifying word "liturgical": the last option is not just "another chant that is suited...." but "another liturgical chant that is suited...."

    Does that provide a basis for contending that metrical hymns and verse/refrain songs are not qualified because they aren't chants on liturgical texts? I will leave it up to the experts in liturgical law (Fr. Krisman, wherever you are) to offer expert guidance about that.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 728
    But,
    1) I think that in the US we abide by the USCCB translation of the GIRM, and
    2) doesn't cantus=chant and canticum=song? If so, I don't think that there is as much ambiguity as one may think, as the Latin version does specify between the two.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,761
    Ultimately, liturgical law is interpreted by those in authority. If they agree that "liturgical chant" excludes ditties on non-liturgical texts, I will say hurrah with you.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,383
    At the moment "or the Diocesan Bishop" is apparently interpreted as justifying anything published by a diocesan controlled publishing house being available anywhere in the USA. I doubt whether this would stand up in a court of law - unless USCCB has formally stated that it is so. Even worse from my viewpoint, in England&Wales (where the bishops have never faced up to their responsibility for regulating musical texts) there is a general presumption that 'if it's ok in the States it's ok here'.
    Thanked by 1BrianSennello
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,754
    If cantus/chant were read restrictively, no polyphonic motets could be used. I can't locate it, but if memory serves, the USCCB CDW commented that "chant" in the GIRM was not intended to be read restrictively and it did not exclude hymns.
    Thanked by 2a_f_hawkins CHGiffen
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,383
    Back to the OP's question. Bear in mind that in the OF the processional chants are supposed to be subordinated to the action, they are an accompaniment. At the same time we are supposed to respect the integrity of the text sung, vide GS#19 :
    ... But there is an option regarding versicles, even including omission of some of them, provide the versicles retained express a complete thought ...
    They are also supposed to continue throughout, but not beyond, the action. This is stated explicitly for the Communion. Does this mean that if you run out of text, you should sing something else? (eg. part of a hymn, respecting the integrity of the thought)
    Given the hierarchical nature of the church, the celebrant has the responsibilty for selecting texts, which of course he can delegate but he is still responsible for the decisions of those to whom he delegates. He is answerable to the rector of the church, and beyond him to the Ordinary. Unless he is overuled, I think you should abide by his decisions (when licit), even if they are manifestly based on faulty reasoning.
    Thanked by 1BrianSennello
  • hilluminar
    Posts: 109
    To be sure, some hymns are as beautiful as a Bouguereau painting of the Blessed Mother, but are not chant. A Bouguereau cannot be described as an icon either. The technique is different and the result is different. A hymn too is not chant. It takes a great imagination to describe a hymn as being a chant.
  • An aptus comparison.
    One might offer, as well, the certitude that an icon of the Blessed Mother is likely without doubt a truer likeness of her than the Bouguereau painting - or any other western art of her.
    Thanked by 1hilluminar
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,754
    It takes little imagination. The potential for a restrictively binding reading of "chant" in the USA's GIRM died in infancy just 2 months after the new edition of the Missal came into effect in the USA. It's been a dead letter ever since, unless and until a given ordinary decides to legislate a restrictive reading within his diocese (which would fall into the category of be careful what you ask for, because it could end up eliminating paid DM positions if many parishes simply decide to do recited Masses...).

    http://www.chantcafe.com/2012/03/chant-doesnt-really-mean-chant.html
  • If the Offertory chant is directly listed in the GIRM as being proper to the celebration of Mass, why is it so difficult to find either the appropriate proper text or the music for the text, or both????
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,754
    To put it very succinctly albeit counterintuitively, it's effectively because there's no obligation to either recite an offertory antiphon in a recited Mass (whereas, in a recited Mass, there is an obligation to recite the introit and communion antiphons).
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,895
    If he doesn't want both, then there's no reason to include a hymn.


    Often, though, the argument that both cannot be done is used to exclude the Proper.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,383
    Introit, Offertory and Communion texts in English for England&Wales, I'm not sure if all these are allowed elsewhere. And it does not include music.
    [PS the foreword, on behalf of CBCEW, is by Bp. Alan Hopes, now Bishop of Norwich, but formerly an Anglican priest]
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,415
    What authority does the above mentioned "visiting priest" have? If he is not the Pastor and is simply supplying Mass, his job is to shut up and say the Mass. He is not your employer, the Pastor is, and at that point this "visiting priest's" job is to do what he's told to do without meddling in the affairs of the parish. He should not have even brought this up with you. And I agree with ClergetKubisz: he probably doesn't like the propers and wants to use this to foist his personal opinion on you as if it were a dogmatical pronouncement to try to get you to stop using them. And if all he is doing is preaching a "give my religious-order-that-only-has-12-barely-active-members-under-the-age-of-90-and-hasn't-had-a-vocation-in-60-years-so-we-have-to-delegate-all-of-our-work-to-hired-laypeople money -- and look at these expensive, glossy brochures that tell you how well we spend the money you give us" sermon, he has even less right to butt in.
  • ajplafond
    Posts: 25
    I think you guys have it all wrong. The GIRM 48 clearly states that neither chants nor hymns may be sung, only tacky "religious songs," preferably written by one of our Protestant brethren (aut kind or looks like auf which is German.) Cantus actually means guitar, so you have to use that as well and there is a preferred option for a middle aged female who can't sing to sing them (aliis cantus.)
    ;)
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,059
    I'm with Salieri. This visiting priest has absolutely zero authority over you. Smile and nod and then do whatever you usually do.
  • Talk to the pastor. The pastor needs to have the discussion with the visiting priest. If your pastor says do the antiphon and hymn, then do both. If the pastor says do what ever the priest celebrant says, then do whatever the priest presiding at the given liturgy says. If the pastor says that you are replacing all other music with a full congregational kazoo band, then hope he is joking.
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,895
    If the pastor says that you are replacing all other music with a full congregational kazoo band, then hope he is joking.


    Also look for a new position immediately. Especially if he tells you to do what the visiting priest says, contrary to established practice, especially if he himself has approved it.
  • I must categorically cast umbrage and disgust upon the notion that the liturgy is the private domain of the celebrating priest - more especially if he is a visitor. What is most desirable is that there be a parish customary to which all are bound, resident or visiting. 'This is THE way that liturgy is celebrated at St. ___________'s Church. A new pastor doesn't change it without grave consultation and agreement. Certainly mere visiting clergy don't have the terpitude for any presumptuous divergences.

    It seems to me that the idea that liturgy is the sole concern of the celebrating priest is responsible for the gross laxity in liturgics that infect our parishes and seminaries, and, even university chapels and cathedrals. With such a notion in store these men play havoc with Vatican II's precepts about liturgy and music. They forget that they really haven't the authority to alter a single jot or tittle of the liturgy or the council's admonitions - and no one seems to have the moral fibre (backbone) to tell them... not even their bishops, who really don't seem to care at all.

    No one does or ever would be suffered to celebrate mass at Walsingham any other way than in agreement with the cathedral customary - the way mass is done at Walsingham - and that includes both ritual and music.
    Thanked by 2Elmar CHGiffen
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,597
    The same thing can be reversed however.

    Fr. Keyes, a relatively known name around the CMAA, used to do missions around the country and his (I believe sole) request to the parish was that the actual text of the Responsorial Psalm be sung using the actual text of the Psalm - what he found was quite different.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,597
    THIS is the way WE celebrate liturgy at St. Freddy's... Gather Us In, Mass with piano, and lots of warm fuzzies.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,014
    I believe the Holy See's rulings on female altar servers from the late last century are instructive regarding a priest's local authority.

    The Pope permits bishops to prudentially allow women altar servers.

    The bishop is not obligated to do this.

    Nor is he obligated if his bishops' conference colleagues generally allow it.

    Nor, if he permits it, are priests obligated to do so.

    The layering of hymn and proper, which I think is a prudentially very sound pastoral allowance, is still a bit of a departure from the GIRM as written.

    I would follow the priest presider's instructions.
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,059
    Maybe I'm just feeling a bit salty today, but NO. A visiting priest does not have any say whatsoever in the music I have planned and rehearsed. It's his responsibility to accommodate our parish's musical-liturgical praxis, and absolutely NOT the other way around.
  • Maybe I'm just...

    Three cheers for salty!
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,014
    Three cheers for hierarchy!
  • ajplafond
    Posts: 25
    Hip hip hooray! (For both.)
  • Hierarchs were not immaculately conceived.
    Many of them seem to think that they were,
    or that they became so by virtue of the acquisition of holy orders -
    which only proves that they weren't.
    They do not deserve royalistic deference.
    A relative few merit deep, profound, respect.

    Three more cheers for salty!
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,014
    Ok, I am possibly wrong.
    GIRM 111. There should be harmony and diligence among all those involved in the effective preparation of each liturgical celebration in accordance with the Missal and other liturgical books, both as regards the rites and as regards the pastoral and musical aspects. This should take place under the direction of the rector of the church and after consultation with the faithful in things that directly pertain to them. However, the Priest who presides at the celebration always retains the right of arranging those things that pertain to him.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • Good work, Kathy!

    ...IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE MISSAL AND OTHER LITURGICAL BOOKS...

    I would take this admonition to include the musical and ritual precepts of a certain recent oecumenical council, as recorded in numerous 'other liturgical books'. How the disobedient do insouciantly disregard these whilst expecting slavish obedience to themselves from their underlings is the stuff of many unfortunate tales on this forum and elsewhere in reality. None, hierarch or other, are exempt from the 'fostering, preserving, and cultivating' of our musical patrimony as urged by the vaunted 'Vatican II'.

    ...the right of arranging those things that pertain to him.

    What music should be done does not pertain to him. It pertains to the choirmaster who is doing just what the Church has prescribed. It does not pertain to him to alter and obstruct what popes and the Church in council have urged, prescribed, and commanded. Not in the least degree.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,761
    In an EF context, a priest could inhibit the use of sung propers by choosing to celebrate a spoken ("low") Mass instead of a sung ("high") Mass, and there are certainly legitimate reasons he might do so, depending on circumstances.

    In the OF context, we have GIRM 111 noting his right to arrange "the things that pertain to him." Perhaps we should consider what can be identified within that term, and outside it.

    I don't think anyone would disagree that it includes the selection of texts which the priest is to pray: which eucharistic prayer, which option of the penitential rite, whether there is to be a sign of peace.

    But would it include the selection of music during the Offertory or during Holy Communion, when he is not required to sing anything, but has his own ritual tasks to perform?

    Would it include the selection of music for the singing of the Responsorial Psalm?
    Would it include the selection of music to be performed after the final dismissal?
    Would it include the selection of music to be performed while the priest is entering?

    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • I applaud Chonak's observations.
    Except when they touch on matters musical they seem beyond dispute.
    When, though they touch on music, it is an unfortunate musician (and an unfortunate people!!!) who finds himself 'under the thumb' of a priest who exceeds both his personal competence, and who thinks nothing of ignoring the Church's expectations when they run counter to his own 'taste'. These men seem to think that they are the Church. They are not.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,895
    Or they could just use their booming microphone to talk over the music and shout you down, like the priest in my situation did to our choir...of children.
  • Elmar
    Posts: 133
    MJO,
    It seems to me that the idea that liturgy is the sole concern of the celebrating priest is responsible for the gross laxity in liturgics that infect our parishes and seminaries, and, even university chapels and cathedrals. With such a notion in store these men play havoc with Vatican II's precepts about liturgy and music.

    This can only pe topped by
    - 'liturgical commitees' that do this job;
    - influential parishioners two whom the pastor listens more in these matters than to his musicians (just experiencing this).

    matthewj,
    Fr. Keyes, a relatively known name around the CMAA, used to do missions around the country and his (I believe sole) request to the parish was that the actual text of the Responsorial Psalm be sung using the actual text of the Psalm - what he found was quite different.

    This is what I did almost a year ago. Before we had a read Resposorial Psalm plus a hymn after the second reading. Some people told be that they liked it; others asked why I thought this change was needed, some of whom actually listened two my explanation. I had full support by my precedssor as choir director, as well as by the director of music in the next-door parish in our cluster (who is also my mentor).

    A few months ago our pastor told me that he got complaints about this change, of course without disclosing by whom. My request to ask these people to address their criticism to me went unheard. Now he ordered, based on this criticism, to return to reading the Resposorial Psalm.
  • Tommy
    Posts: 6
    We sing a hymn during the entrance procession and then the proper chant during the incensing of the Altar.

    We sing the Communion proper during communion then a post-communion hymn.

    Sometimes, depending on the difficulty and length of the chants, we just have the propers or just have the hymns
  • JL
    Posts: 158
    If folks want a hymn and a proper, a possible solution might be to sing the hymn before Mass and then the introit immediately after for the procession, with the musical effect more or less what MJO describes but with the walking starting later. It looks rather hairsplitty to me, but might pacify the partisans of your visiting priest.

    Also, Chonak's reading of "aut" versus "sive" is one I wholly endorse.
    Thanked by 1chonak
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,761
    we had a read Responsorial Psalm plus a hymn after the second reading.


    I can imagine how such an arrangement might come about. In some parish, the musicians might start replacing the psalm with a hymn, not knowing that to do so is forbidden in the GIRM. Then the next pastor might recognize that it's wrong to do that, so he might add the spoken psalm to make sure it was included.

    If the people are already bored after the first reading and need *something to do* in order to feel that they are still alive, then there are problems greater than what a musician can fix.

    But perhaps a workaround might be to have the people sing the verses of the responsorial psalm in alternation with a cantor, without the antiphon. Singing the psalm "in modo directo" (without the antiphon interrupting it) is an option indicated in the GIRM.
  • Steve CollinsSteve Collins
    Posts: 1,003
    To attempt to expand on MJO and some others have mentioned, e.g. Entrance Hymn separate from the Introit.

    Just as the Recessional Hymn is technically outside the Liturgy, and is therefore not even mentioned in the GIRM, the Entrance Antiphon is really just the English translation of the Introit. As such, it was sung as the ministers entered the Sanctuary, either from the sacristy or the west door via the center aisle. Anything sung during an extended procession throughout the nave of the church could/should be consider just that: a Procession. The ancient tradition, BOTH Roman and Anglican, was that a procession was a stand alone event. It ended at a location outside the Sanctuary with Versicle, Response, and Collect. Unfortunately, the V/R/C has pretty much been ignored in any and all Processions.

    The Anglican Ordinariate tradition comes precisely from this Procession, followed by the Introit/Entrance Rites. Therefore, if a regular NO Mass used a hymn during the Entrance "Procession", and then chanted the Introit, ISTM this would be totally within the parameters of the GIRM.
  • Thanks for that, Steve -
    This really puts things in their proper perspective. As in so many other ways, the post VII NO praxis shows an utter lack of growth from heritage (more properly, a loss of consciousness of tradition's whys and wherefores), but has resulted in 'paste on' procedures with the barest of liturgical or theological pedigree. To a large, and shameful, degree this is/was purposefully engineered to create a church with cultural or ritual amnesia.

    At Walsingham we do, on occasion, interrupt the procession by having the sacred ministers stop at a 'station' (such as the creche) for V&R plus collect, after which the procession continues to the high altar. The introit is then sung as the altar is incensed.

    Stations may be the statue of an important saint, a particularly notable side altar, an icon, etc., etc.

    This is all derived from the ancient Roman custom of processions through the streets of Rome with stops at particularly important 'stational' churches.
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,895
    the musicians might start replacing the psalm with a hymn, not knowing that to do so is forbidden in the GIRM.


    Another issue is the priests who tell those musicians to do so, knowing full well it's forbidden in the GIRM.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,383
    But unfortunately GIRM give the conference of bishops authority to approve other chants, and the USA version gives this power to any diocesan, who can interpret 'chant' any way he pleases.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 728
    At our basilica, in the Ordinary Form Masses, the entrance chant (though maybe in choral/motet (in this case, usually chanted first, though) form) always accompanies the priestly procession.

    This includes weddings. After the mothers have been seated, the priest (closely followed by the groom, usually) enters, and the cantor sings the chosen entrance chant, adding verses, if necessary.
  • Talk to the pastor. The pastor needs to have the discussion with the visiting priest. If your pastor says do the antiphon and hymn, then do both. If the pastor says do what ever the priest celebrant says, then do whatever the priest presiding at the given liturgy says.


    The pastor is new here, as are the propers. (The first time I sang all 3 propers was during Triduum, and will be singing them again for Ascension and Pentecost.) I'll ask him after Pentecost if he likes how it is going, and if so I'll do them for Trinity and Corpus Christi as well. If not, I'll ask how he'd like to change it. But at all costs I want to avoid causing any hoopla that would prematurely end the experiment -- such as complaints from the visiting priest.