Hymns and Propers - Part 2
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    This has been discussed here before ... But I need clarification from others.

    I was thinking of chanting the Communion propers during the Easter Season, followed by the congregational Communion hymn. But after reading the GIRM, it does not seem to allow for two options to be used, i.e. proper chant AND "another liturgical song". The GIRM seems to presuppose ONE option being used for the entire Communion Rite.

    Would you say that what we are considering is licit in light of the GIRM?
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    There is a venerable tradition of singing a motet (which could just as easily be a congregational song) after the communion chant when it is necessary. Unnecessarily prolonging the communion rite for the sake of doing a second song would not be consistent with this practice. There is also the option for a song or hymn after communion (GIRM 86), which does not begin at any specific time. The GIRM says only that when there is one, the communion chant should end "in a timely manner." I personally would be careful to say that we were going to sing "a" communion hymn, and not "the" communion hymn (and likewise, or contrariwise, "the" communion).
  • Donnaswan
    Posts: 585
    Our congregation is too big to just do one Communion Hymn. The communio has never been done here, altho' I'm planning to try it soon. (Logistics intervenes here) We often sing one complete hymn from Ritualsong, part of another and then sing a Eucharistic motet. Unless you want to hear 'Gift of Finest Wheat' repeated ad nauseum. Yuck!
    Donna
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    We currently sing a hymn or song. Sometimes said hymn/song is actually based on the proper, sometimes not. Then at the end of Communion the choir sings a motet. My plan is to chant the proper, sing a hymn/song, then sing the motet.
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    PGA, I'd be careful with the approach you suggest. Unless the congregation is still receiving communion while you sing the motet, it could appear to be a performance - even if it is a polyphonic setting of the proper. The GIRM gives the option for the whole assembly to sing a psalm or hymn after communion, and for the choir to sing alone during communion. There is, however, no option for the choir to sing alone after communion.

    Some have tried to sneak an extra piece of music in by calling it a "communion meditation," but no such thing exists. The choir is not giving a concert when they sing the communion during the communion rite, they are carrying out their ministry. However, to ask the congregation to sit and listen to the choir sing something that is not part of the Mass, but has been added to it, while they sit and have no ritual action in which to participate is another story. If you really want to sing an additional choir piece (before adding something to the liturgy I always ask myself "are all the actual parts of the Mass already being exquisitely rendered?") then after Mass might be a good time. There is wide room for a variety of types of music after the blessing and dismissal.
  • PGA,
    I am not convinced that the heirarchy of options in the GIRM clearly articulate an "either/or" versus "both/and" mandate. There are so many ramifications and situational circumstances that I tend to think the GIRM authors presaged a document that provides authoritative instruction that also can accomodate a constellation of "challenges" during processions. (Of course, I'm talking off the cuff.)
    Masses at my church have so many communicants at each of the 9 Masses that even the use of all verses of Richard's COMMUNIO as printed would be insufficient to serve as the singular processional that is the ideal. With hymns and other "suitable songs" there are precious few that also could meet that ideal. But our situation is certainly not identical or similar elsewhere.
    Therefore, I program the Communion Proper, either chanted or Rice's choral version, a congregational hymn that is immediately taken up at the Communio's final cadence, and a motet. What I try to scrupulously manage is to insure that music ceases when the celebrant either sits (which they do generally for silence) or intones the Communion prayer. And of course, the textual content of each piece must have some coherence to the others.
    As in all things, YMMV
  • I recall from various sources not completely available to me at the moment, that Psalm 33(34) — either in part or in full, through-sung or responsorial — is encouraged as an option for Communion at all times.
  • Donnaswan
    Posts: 585
    I should have added that this Lent I have scheduled Psalms only for at least the first Communion hymn. Guimont or Gelineau settings of Ps 34, 42-Like a Deer, 63, 116 or #908 In RS, which is a plainsong setting of Ave verum with a refrain inserted bet. vss.
    Donna
  • mahrt
    Posts: 510
    Incantu: I think that a motet can become a very effective communion meditation; we sing the communion chant for the duration of the receiving communion, and then immediately a motet, which lasts about the time of the purification of the vessels, so it is not without any action. I am confident that our congregation is praying through hearing of the motet and that it is not thought of as a performance. Here, I think it is useful to check reception: ask a few members of the congregation how they view such a motet.

    In other contexts, this might not work; the communion sometimes requires quite a bit of time. Where there are numerous communicants, after singing a few iterations of the communion chant with verses, the organ can also be played.
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    Mahrt, what you describe is completely in line with my understanding of the options for the communion. If the purification of vessels is to be done during Mass, I think that's a good indicator of when it's time to wrap things up, and when it's too late to begin another piece. What I caution against is the singing of an additional choir piece after the conclusion of the communion rite. If the people are still engaged in silent prayer, or the Eucharist has not yet been reserved, I see no problem with having a choir motet. If, however, the people have already sung a hymn, as suggested above, one has to assume that they had already received, returned to their pews (unless its a congregation that has a communion hymn committed to memory, in which case - bravo!), and concluded their silent prayers. At that point, a choir piece becomes "extra."