Entrance Antiphon for Lent
  • ncicero
    Posts: 38
    Hello all,

    I'm feeling a little disillusioned with the "4-hymn sandwich" lately. While I've been using the communion proper every week in some form in Latin or English (Lumen Christi Missal), we still are using hymns for the other slots where propers should be used. I've been thinking Lent would be a good time to experiment with restoring at least the entrance antiphon, but I would still like to maintain congregational participation. Therefore, I thought it might be nice (if the option even exists) to have one common responsorial entrance antiphon in English that is used throughout Lent, to build familiarity among the congregation. In general, it's the metrical hymn "style" I'm trying to stay away from as well- I've used the Christoph Tietze Introit Hymns before to great success, but I'd like to introduce a new sound to the people's ears and hopefully raise their comfort level in singing in a non-metrical style. (Currently it's pretty low)

    Is this a licit practice? To use one common entrance antiphon?
    Any recommendations for resources? I have access to the Lumen Christi Simple Gradual and By Flowing Waters, but I'd be open to any other chant resources, accompanied or not.

  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,640
    LCM is my favorite

    Why the concern about the congregation’s ability to sing along? Do a hymn first and then chant the Introit. Those who want to sing along will, and those who would prefer to listen to the chanted scripture can do so.

    A seasonal antiphon is licit, but if preceded by a familiar hymn, why skimp on the texts? Especially during a short season and where each week has a distinctive “flavor” (I wouldn’t sing Laudete all season but I wouldn’t ever omit it in favor of another chant!) Is your focus on presenting the proper texts or on introducing a new musical aesthetic not necessarily tied to the text?

    I would consider also the alternative of beginning it during a festive rather than penitential season. As discussed here on several occasions, those who are less charitable towards chant can make the association that this newfangled chanty stuff is just a Lenten penance to be endured, and they’ll push for its removal when happier times have come. On the other hand, if introduced during a festive time there is a better chance of it being received as a joyful addition of a previously missing element of the liturgy. This of course all depends on how the congregation is educated about the changes being made.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,936
    I think that the Richard Rice "Entrance Antiphons for Congregation and Schola or Cantor with Organ Accompaniment" would be outstanding. See this thread, which has the collection for Lent, as well as the Congregational responses. The entire collection is available from Lulu.
  • Ncicero,

    May I encourage you to think of the right time to introduce these changes you're contemplating as any time at all during the liturgical year. If you choose this stuff for the "penitential" seasons, chant will get a reputation as only penitential. Anyone who has sung an Alleluia's jubilus knows that such is utter nonsense.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,051
    Certainly it is licit, see GIRM #48, there are plenty of options (too many perhaps). Perhaps, if the congregation is not used to even simple Gregorian chant, it would be worth looking at The Choral Graduale Simplex. You can find links to all parts of that through the CMAA Music PDFs page. That is chant, but not in the Gregorian mould.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,674
    I have used entrance chants as preludes immediately before the hymn. I don't do it all the time, but no one complained. I use communion chants every week. Offertory gets in the way so I haven't been willing to include it, especially since "preparation" has replaced offertory and has more activities included in it.
  • The repeated common antiphon is probably not as important to participation as you think. A consistent use of a style or motif is more important. The congregation will pick up on it. My favorite tool is the Meinrad Psalm tones. For many reasons regarding rhythm, tone and rhetoric, I could say they are perfect for English. I use these tones for all verses, no exceptions. I use them for easy antiphon settings too. The congregation can sing them well ( now after several years) and therefore knows how to listen to them well. I started the propers at communion 10 years ago. We have been singing introits and communions for many years, a hymn at offertory and at the end I usually lighten things up a bit and we sing a old favorite. maybe even " Here I Am"

    - I said maybe.
    These are the programs we use
    Thanked by 2Salieri CharlesW
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,090
    Ralph: I like your adaptation of the Lament from Gorzkie Zale---Do you do this during one of the Holy Week Masses?

    We sing Gorzkie Zale every Sunday of Lent here. There's nothing quite like hearing a bunch of people of French and Irish extraction slogging their way through verse after verse of 18th Century Polish!