Where did refrain Glorias even come from?
  • I'm puzzled in many ways by the existence of refrain Glorias in both of the ways I've seen them used.

    When the "verses" are performed by a cantor alone and the congregation only joins in the refrain: This seems like the worst of both worlds to me - the simplicity of a more congregational setting without actual congregational participation. The choir might as well just perform their own, more florid setting. I'm unsure how this would have developed in the wake of V2.

    When the entire Gloria is performed by the congregation as well as any cantors and choirs: This just seems pointless to me and further drags on the service, and seems to have no liturgical backing in other areas of the Ordinary.

    So where did these even come from?
  • MarkB
    Posts: 226
    I don't know where the practice came from, but I especially loathe Christmas Glorias that use "Gloria in excelsis Deo" from "Angels We Have Heard on High" as the refrain with verses for the Gloria loosely sung to the rest of the Christmas carol's melody. It's like setting the Gloria to the jingle of a Coke commercial. It's not clever nor cute; it's just dumb and boring, and it lengthens the Gloria unnecessarily.
  • [Charitable rewrite of previously conceived comment]:

    I don't know if the refrain Gloria comes actually from the pit of Hell, or if it is merely sponsored by such. Instead of singing the text the Church assigns, a distraction is employed, and people become the focus instead of God.

    Yes, I know people like Alexander Peloquin's refrain Gloria, and I've used it once -- years ago -- but I must respectfully insist that the entire genre should be consigned to a DNR recycle bin.
  • I couldn't possibly improve on what has been said by Mark and Chris - particularly the part about the pit of (Hades).

    I had thought that the bishops had banned these abominations, but have been told that that was wishful thinking.
  • In the current (since 2011) Canadian officially approved Mass settings (Celebrate In Song) there are four choices. One is the Missal chants including the “Canadian Gloria”. The other three all have refrain Glorias. In the CBW IV when it comes out, this proportion will remain: I think there will be seven choices, of which two (the chant, and Alstott's Heritage Mass) have a through - sung Gloria.

    It may well be, though, that Schönbergian has described the origin of this practice correctly. Start with the older and still current tradition of alternating between choir and people during the Gloria. But then the choir may be more inclined to sing the complicated bits and the people happy or more responsive singing the repetitive bits. Just like a Responsorial Psalm! Gresham's Law for liturgy, in action.

    But let's have some historical digging now, and find out. The CBW I (1972) has a Latin chant Gloria and an English Gloria (by TB Armstrong, 1971) which indeed has composed alternation between choir and people. But it isn't a refrain Glora.). The CBW II (1980) has four English Glorias and none of them is refrain formed. But Glory And Praise (NALR 1987) already has Foley's much sung refrain Gloria in F, written in 1978.

    So did the St Louis Jesuits popularize this? That would be in keeping with MJO's insights expressed above.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,390
    The Lourdes Gloria is/was popular in the UK. It is credited to Jean-Paul Lecôt, who became organist at Lourdes in 1969. I don't know when he wrote it, but he (and Deiss I think) were trying to get people to sing simple things in large pilgrimage crowds.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,113
    Alexander Peloquin's famous and popular 'Gloria of the Bells' was copyright in 1972, By GIA, which makes it perhaps the earliest refrain Gloria.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    The ubiquitous Peloquin certainly presaged the trend, but for the folkies I would cite the "Jim Anderson (aka Owen Alstott)" GLORIA (clap clap) published by OCP in the mid-70's as the harbinger of doom, later to be eclipsed, of course, by MOC.


    PS- to be fair, though- our own Aristotle E. proffered an arrangement in these hallowed CMAA halls of the de Angelis, using the incipit as a refrain punctuating the verses. It was, I think, conceived as a gateway back to chanting back then.
  • Charles,

    You raise a fascinating point when you say that Aristotle was
    using the incipit as a refrain punctuating the verses. It was, I think, conceived as a gateway back to chanting back then.


    Some well-meaning efforts at hybrids fail because they please no one. One can't graft chant onto the music which finds its home in the Ordo of Paul VI.
  • In some parts of Europe (I have heard this done at N-D de Paris, the Sistine Chapel, and St Peter's, among other places) Gloria is sung alternatim betwixt choir or cantor and people. It is very well done and is obviously an ingrained cultural practice. This is, of course, a far cry from the refrain method, borne undoubtedly of a mind bloated by one of those hubristic fevers that always give birth to something base posing to its perpetrator as genius.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Carol
    Posts: 463
    My husband composed a Gloria in 2008 that had the "refrain." When he reworked it for the new translation he also changed it so that it is now sung straight through except that the original phrase comes back at the end, "Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth."
  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 313
    The ICEL chant Gloria in English works well in alternatim
  • It was thought that the long Gloria would be too difficult for a congregation. So the refrain Gloria ensured instant success. It became too successful. I would stretch this conversation to include the Responsorial Psalm. Why interrupt the flow of the Psalm every two verses with a refrain? At St Paul, Harvard Square, and other places, the refrain is sung only at the beginning and ending of the Psalm. IMO, this would respect the integrity of the Psalm text. I would have no problem of, at the end of the Psalm, singing the refrain twice--first cantor then congregation. (They may have forgotten the tune by that time.)
  • I think that the refrain Gloria was a well intentioned effort. But, it was not the right solution.
    Thanked by 2MarkB hilluminar
  • The Responsorial Psalms in the Simplex, whose origins are quite different from the familiar (Gelineau-styled) Responsorial Psalms we usually hear, they (in the Simplex) show that "interrupting the flow" can work very well. Also, real responsorial psalmody has a long past both east and west, although not in the Roman (Latin) Mass within documented history.
    Thanked by 2Marc Cerisier MarkB
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,757
    1975 GIRM 31: The "Gloria" is an ancient hymn in which the Church, assembled in the Holy Spirit, praises and entreats the Father and the Lamb. It is sung by the congregation, or by the congregation alternately with the choir, or by the choir alone. If not sung, it is to be recited either by all together or in alternation.

    2011 GIRM 53. The Gloria in excelsis (Glory to God in the highest) is a most ancient and venerable hymn by which the Church, gathered in the Holy Spirit, glorifies and entreats God the Father and the Lamb. The text of this hymn may not be replaced by any other. It is intoned by the Priest or, if appropriate, by a cantor or by the choir; but it is sung either by everyone together, or by the people alternately with the choir, or by the choir alone. If not sung, it is to be recited either by everybody together or by two choirs responding one to the other

    ***

    " . . . by the [congregation/people] alternately with the choir" is where the idea found equivocal foundation in the documents. The UK Liturgy office, for example, follows its quotation of that part of the GIRM with the following interpretive gloss: "The Gloria may be sung in directum (straight through) or with a refrain(s) for the people."

    (In practice, there is one situation where the refrain approach seems to work: as "training wheels" when introducing a new setting of the Gloria over a period of time while the rest of the setting becomes aurally familiar to the congregation/people. In time, remove the training wheels refrain.)
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 188
    At the first church I attended only the refrain of the refrain Gloria was sung, because singing the rest 'took too long'.
  • Catherine,

    Did you (all) speak the rest of the text, or omit it?
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,064
    @CatherineS -- FACEPALM
  • I'm not in favor of the refrain-settings of the Gloria, mainly because they involve, in essence, an alteration of the text. True, no new words are (one hopes, sometimes in vain) introduced, but the mash-up of the refrain with the rest of the text is a disruption of the prayer that I find...disruptive.

    What other reasons do people here have for this preference? Mostly what I've seen in this thread are complaints about the dreadful music, which does seem to be a 'feature' of many refrain-settings, but of course can be found elsewhere as well, and is not, presumably, essential to a refrain-setting.

  • ...about the dreadful music...
    Complaints are certainly about the very concept of the refrain Gloria, which savages the text of the 'Angelic Hymn'. This goes without saying. It is this very savagery of text that invites the 'dreadful music' and, therefore, compounds the sin. Gloria is a hymn, a contimuum of thought and praise, NOT a responsorial fun and games.
    Thanked by 1MichaelDickson
  • Michael,

    Some people justify the use of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion on the grounds that without them, Mass will take too long. Adding refrains to the Gloria will extend the Mass.

    Alteration of the text is, for what it's worth, a valid and serious objection.

    When the congregation sings about how wonderful it is (which is what it does when it sings this sort of thing) it draws attention away from the proper worship of God.

    Refrain Glorias glorify choirs and cantors, too, at the expense of the "assembly", since anecdotal evidence suggests that most pew-sitting Catholics don't actually sing this stuff.


    This sort of thing limits congregational participation by limiting the words which the assembly can sing. (I once had a CCD teacher insist that the first Communicants would sing Schubert's Ave Maria, or no one would, but cooler heads prevailed.)
    Thanked by 1MichaelDickson
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 188
    The rest of the Gloria was just skipped entirely! I was a new convert at the time and didn't know the difference, until I went to a friend's parish...
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 188
    Just to the original topic, the Gloria is quite long, which some might see as a problem (see parish #1, above). But the adding of repeated refrains just makes it longer (unless one then offends God by dropping the 'verses'!).

    If the problem was no one can remember the words to sing it all, then I think there's no solution, since it is written down and is sung every week. Either you pick up on it or not, right?

    I'd say anecdotally, by 'overhearing' when I'm in the congregation, that most regular attendees can recite the Creed and Gloria in common, but most don't sing. Even if a popular/non-Gregorian melody is used for the Gloria, no one knows it very well because it doesn't get repeated the same way each week, and most people are rather shy singers and don't sing along heartily no matter what is being sung. At best they mumble quietly.
    Thanked by 2Carol toddevoss
  • fcbfcb
    Posts: 265
    For a while it was thought in some quarters that the Gloria should simply be recited (or even omitted) except on special occasions (something about competing with the opening hymn and making the entrance rite too complicated). So that means that the Gloria was used only at the Christmas and Easter seasons, which in turn means that nobody knows the Gloria, which in turn means "let use one that has an easy refrain everyone can sing along with."
    Thanked by 1Liam
  • Solution to that: use polyphonic settings. Then nobody (except the choir) has to remember anything, except to listen to the beautiful music.
    Thanked by 2CatherineS cmb
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,757
    Deacon Fritz

    " . . . making the entrance rite too complicated"

    And, of course, refrains just *lengthen* the text and thereby prolong the entrance rite.
  • Deacon Fritz, can you elaborate as to when and what quarters? For I have heard that story too, even not so very long ago ("They're saying in Rome the Gloria should be omitted in the summer" said a priest of a certain age.)
  • That's the practice that a parish where I used to sing follows. No Gloria and no Creed in the summer.
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,398
    That's the practice that a parish where I used to sing follows. No Gloria and no Creed in the summer.


    At the first church I attended only the refrain of the refrain Gloria was sung, because singing the rest 'took too long'.


    Please remind me why we go to Mass again?
    Thanked by 2CharlesW CHGiffen
  • Carol
    Posts: 463
    Do you mean they leave the Gloria out entirely or just that it is spoken rather than sung during the summer? I suppose if it was stifling hot and humid in a church with no air conditioning, there might be a reason to omit things that are not done in a daily Mass, but how many days are that bad?
  • Choosing willy-nilly to eliminate things from Mass is a very bad idea.

    Simplifying the opening rite, probably, was part of someone's idea of "noble simplicity". Since the "opening hymn" [a.k.a. "Gathering song", aka "Processional hymn", ] isn't actually part of the rite (but only one option to replace what is actually part of the rite) why not replace the 2-verses of the opening song with the Introit?
  • Whilst we are jettisoning stuff, don't forget the homily - or what passes for a homily in most churches.

    (I cannot comprehend what a cranial vacuum it takes to leave out ritual parts of the mass.
    It seems to me that only someone with the intelligence of a cow or the sensitivity of a baboon would do this.)

    (Someone please correct me if I am mistaken, but I have a reasonable certitude that it would occur to no one, ever, to omit parts of a ball game because of time constraints or summer temperatures.)
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,764
    Liam, did the actual (Latin) text of the GIRM change notably at that passage, or is the difference due to the differing approaches to translation in 1975 and 2011?
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,390
    The 1998 ICEL draft Missal had proposed :-
    OUTLINE OF THE ORDER OF MASS
    INTRODUCTORY RITES
    Entrance Procession
    Greeting
    Opening Rite
    Rite of Blessing and Sprinkling of Water
    or
    Penitential Rite
    or
    Litany of Praise
    or
    Kyrie
    or
    Gloria
    or
    Other Opening Rite *

    Opening Prayer

    There was/is a widespread view among liturgists that the opening rites have accreted over time and could do with pruning back.
    * "Other opening rites are used on particular occasions and follow the prescriptions of the respective liturgical books. These rites occur on certain special feasts, or when the liturgy of the hours is combined with the Mass, or when special rites are celebrated during the Mass, for example, baptism or funeral rites. Sometimes the general structure of the introductory rites is modified, for example, on Passion Sunday or on the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, when an entrance procession forms part of this opening rite."
  • I think its about time we just eliminated the inconvenience of having to travel to mass. Everybody has internet these days. If the new internet mass were well designed, we could get the whole thing done in about 10 clicks.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,757
    Chonak

    Offhand I don't know. There were definitely substantive changes between the editions, not just translation oddities. One could consult the Library of Google, but in this case I was just illustrating the tenure of the equivocal language in question.
  • I can simplify the opening rite, as described in the 1998 ICEL.

    Remove each and every instance of the word "or".
  • The Gloria and Creed are altogether omitted at this parish in the "summer mode". Also, if the psalm is long, some verses are cut. Max 4 short verses, I think. It'll be interesting when we get to the 6 verse long reading of Psalm 34 in August.
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 188
    I would not want to stand before Christ and try to explain why I wanted people to spend less time praising Him in the sacramental rite He gave us...
  • Let me be clear that I abhor these abbreviations, but I seriously doubt that those who suggest them do so under the intention of reducing the time spent in worship. I suspect that they believe that they are maximizing the number of people who come to mass in the first place.
  • So they are trying to optimize total people-worship hours by varying the hardness parameter over time? There should be a MATLAB toolbox for that...
    Thanked by 3eft94530 CHGiffen Gamba
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 188
    The argument being 'if we make this boring loathesome time spent with Our Lord who loves us beyond all comprehension shorter, maybe more people will bother to stop by'??? It's like avoiding lunch at your unpleasant relatives' house or something, no? (Sorry, I still have convert's zeal. May I never lose it.)
  • In case it wasn't clear: I don't defend the argument. I do suspect that something like it is behind these practices.
    Thanked by 1CatherineS
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,390
    The ICEL draft is going too far IMO. But it is true that over the centuries there has been a build-up of elements in the opening rite. One thing about which I strongly agree with (then)ICEL is that the troped Kyrie option is NOT penitential, it is a rejoicing in the love of God, Litany of Praise is a much better description. [Hobby horse alert]Kyrie eleison is not succinctly translateable, that is why it has been left in Greek, having a bad translation in the English is harmful. Unfortunately I do still occasionally hear (not from my pastor) "For the times we have offended you, Lord have mercy", which is not allowed.
    Thanked by 1melofluent
  • Certainly not (purely) penitential, @a_f_hawkins, but not of praise, rather of petition or supplication. For the peace of the whole world, for the well-being of the Church of God, and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord, Lord have mercy!
    Thanked by 2Liam CHGiffen
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,390
    I agree that Kyrie has often/usually been used in litanies like that, but option 3 is: Invocations naming the gracious works of the Lord may be made, as in ..."You were sent to heal the contrite ..."
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,007
    Today is hot and humid: Lord have mercy
    Tomorrow may be hotter: Christ have mercy
    But Saturday it will rain: Lord have mercy
    Thanked by 1cmb
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 188
    I was reading an article just now which cites this in a footnote:

    "...in many places, the Credo and Gloria are neither sung nor heard by the people on festal days, on which they are ordered not to be sung so that reeds and harmonies may be heard instead...Moreover, [off topic but humorous] many organists, in order to make a display of their skill and be heard at greater length, pound away so long...that sometimes they draw the Mass out a whole hour longer than is proper."
    Gerbert, De Cantu et musica sacra, 1724, cited in "Church Music and the Council of Trent" by K.G. Fellerer and Moses Hadas, The Musical Quarterly, vol. 39, No. 4, October 1953
  • toddevoss
    Posts: 74
    What CatherineS said: "Even if a popular/non-Gregorian melody is used for the Gloria, no one knows it very well because it doesn't get repeated the same way each week..." You don't need to simplify down to a refrain to get PIPs to sing if you just give the PIPs a chance to learn one setting. This is my own 2 cents as a PIP.
  • In answer to Chonak’s question: the Latin changed between 1969 and 2000, but that accounts for only part of the change in the English version. Additions to the Latin of 2000 are in bold, as are the corresponding passages in its English translation. Other variations in the two English versions are mainly due to changes in the style of translation.

    GIRM 1969
    Gloria in excelsis

    31. Glória est antiquissimus et venerabilis hymnus, quo Ecclesia, in Spiritu Sancto congregata, Deum Patrem atque Agnum glorificat eique supplicat. Cantatur vel a coetu fidelium, vel a populo alternatim cum schola, vel ab ipsa schola. Si non cantatur, recitandum est ab omnibus simul aut alternatim.

    Cantatur autem vel dicitur diebus dominicis extra tempus Adventus et Quadragesimae, necnon in sollemnitatibus et festis, et in peculiaribus celebrationibus sollemnioribus.

    31. The Gloria is an ancient hymn in which the Church, assembled in the Holy Spirit, praises and entreats the Father and the Lamb. It is sung by the congregation, or by the congregation alternately with the choir, or by the choir alone. If not sung, it is to be recited either by all together or in alternation.

    The Gloria is sung or said on Sundays outside Advent and Lent, on solemnities and feasts, and in special, more solemn celebrations.



    GIRM 2000
    Gloria in excelsis

    53. Glória est antiquissimus et venerabilis hymnus, quo Ecclesia, in Spiritu Sancto congregata, Deum Patrem atque Agnum glorificat eique supplicat. Huius hymni textus cum alio commutari nequit. Inchoatur a sacerdote vel, pro opportunitate, a cantore, aut a schola, cantatur autem vel ab omnibus simul, vel a populo alternatim cum schola, vel ab ipsa schola. Si non cantatur, recitandum est ab omnibus simul aut a duobus choris sibi invicem respondentibus.

    Cantatur autem vel dicitur diebus dominicis extra tempus Adventus et Quadragesimae, necnon in sollemnitatibus et festis, et in peculiaribus celebrationibus sollemnioribus.

    53. The Gloria is a very ancient and venerable hymn in which the Church, gathered together in the Holy Spirit, glorifies and entreats God the Father and the Lamb. The text of this hymn may not be replaced by any other text. The Gloria is intoned by the priest or, if appropriate, by a cantor or by the choir; but it is sung either by everyone together, or by the people alternately with the choir, or by the choir alone. If not sung, it is to be recited either by all together or by two parts of the congregation responding one to the other.

    It is sung or said on Sundays outside the Seasons of Advent and Lent, on solemnities and feasts, and at special celebrations of a more solemn character.


    As to the original question about the origins of the responsorial Gloria:
    The best known advocate of the responsorial form is probably Joseph Gelineau. (See his Voices and instruments in Christian Worship, published in French in 1962, English translation 1964). Gelineau’s book dealt only with responsorial forms of the Propers.

    However, he and others who promoted this form tended to consider it a characteristic of the “utility” music, or “pastoral” music they advocated. They also tended to believe that the liturgy should be, in Gelineau’s phrase, “a permanent workshop,” with a constantly changing musical repertoire. But if musical settings of the Ordinary texts were constantly changing, it would be difficult for people to learn different settings of long texts like the Gloria. Setting the Gloria in responsorial form, then, probably seemed to be a reasonable application of their principles.

    Even when used for the Proper (as in the Graduale Simplex) the responsorial form was controversial, provoking opposition from more traditional advocates of sacred music. The responsorial form was defended by its advocates as a more ancient form.

    It is interesting that Romano Guardini had already discussed the responsorial (or “responsive”) form in his Spirit of the Liturgy, first published in 1918. He did not see it as pastorally useful nor as necessarily the more ancient form. In Chapter I he asks what the form of prayer in common should be. “We may put it like this: What method of prayer is capable of transforming the souls of a great multitude of people, and of making this transformation permanent?” He takes the Divine Office as the best model for common prayer. He insists all must take an active part, but rejects the simple repetition of a refrain, as in a litany, as the best practice for liturgy. He admits that it is helpful for devotions, and is even used sometimes in the liturgy itself.


    But the liturgy does not employ this method of prayer frequently; we may even say, when we consider divine worship as a whole, that it employs it but seldom. And rightly so, for it is a method which runs the risk of numbing and paralyzing spiritual movement.10 The liturgy … divides those present into two choirs, and causes prayer to progress by means of dialogue. In this way all present join the proceedings, and are obliged to follow with a certain amount of attention at least, knowing as they do that the continuation of their combined action depends upon each one personally.

    Here the liturgy lays down one of the fundamental principles of prayer, which cannot be neglected with impunity.11 However justified the purely responsive forms of prayer may be, the primary form of prayer in common is the actively progressive--that much we learn from the "lex orandi."


    It is worth considering the footnotes. Note 10 basically rejects the responsorial form as violating the prohibition of useless repetition. Note 11 says:

    11. In earlier ages the Church practiced by preference the so called "responsive" form of chanting the Psalms. The Precentor chanted one verse after the other, and the people answered with the identical verse, or the partially repeated verse. But at the same time another method was in use, according to which the people divided into two choirs, and each alternately chanted a verse of the Psalm. It says much for the sureness of liturgical instinct that the second method entirely supplanted the first. (Cf. Thalhofer-Eisenhofer, "Handbuch der katholischen Liturgik," Freiburg, 1902, I, 261 et seq.)


    So it seems that Guardini, 50 years or so before anyone heard of a responsorial Gloria, made a case against it.