Offertory Hymn?
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,384
    It was brought to my attention that the Offertory Hymn is not a liturgically correct title. I have always thought that the propers were titled the Introit, Offertorio and Communio. But perhaps this is only appropriate with the old rite? Cantica Nova has an article on this confusing issue also. Has anyone else run into this?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,197
    Yeah, now it's called "Preparation of the Gifts," or something similar. I dropped the hymn at that point in the liturgy, some years ago. Four hymns are, I think, too many.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,384
    Here's the Cantica Nova article: It never occurred to me that Offertory could be incorrect nor has anyone ever brought it to my attention in all my years as a church musician.

    http://www.canticanova.com/articles/feedback/artei1.htm
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    So the offertory has a sung antiphon in the Graduale Romanum. This antiphon text is not in the Missale because the Missale contains material pertaining to the celebrant(s) only. The Offertory antiphon is for the schola. This presents a very serious problem because most priests have no idea that such a thing even exists. Nor of course do most Catholic musicians know anything about an Offertory antiphon. The language about the "Presentation of the Gifts" - designed to highlight the innovation as opposed to the tradition - only confused matters further. As if to underscore the point, when ICEL set out to revise translations, this one was never in their field of vision. I too wonder what the new Missale will say about this.
    Thanked by 1Eric D. Williams
  • G
    Posts: 1,388
    I had a small, amicable run-in with a liturgist about this.
    I saw no reason to dictate to the cantors I inherited from my predecessor exact wording for the (too multitudinous,) announcements they were required to make, and while most of them continued to announce "the song for the preparation" some began to imitate me, (I usually referred to it as the "offertory hymn,"at rehearsals.)

    The liturgist took issue with me over this and I said that I did not really think it important to give specific wording for the announcements, but if I were being asked to begin doing so, I would probably type out, "Our offertory song is number XX, Bla-bla-bla."
    The liturgist informed me that it had been called the "song for the preparation" for decades.

    After a couple weeks of being badgered I suggested the liturgist consult the GIRM, (I did not add, "rather than hand-outs from workshops",) and there was no further fuss.

    While "Offertory Hymn" may not be a "liturgically correct title," when you get down to it, "Communion Hymn" and "Entrance Hymn" aren't either, since they are simply substitutes for the more correct option.

    The current English trans of the GIRM:
    74. The procession bringing the gifts is accompanied by the Offertory chant (cf. above, no. 37b), which continues at least until the gifts have been placed on the altar.
    My guess is that the "prep. song" terminology was part of the Good? New! Old? Bad! mind-set of those desperately attempting to sing a new Church into being...
    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
    Thanked by 1Eric D. Williams
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,007
    Yes, in the OF, I've always encouraged that people call the liturgical action the "Preparation of Gifts" (or whatever the missal calls it), but call the chant/song/etc. "Offertory", as the GIRM says above. It's tough to argue with that.

    Also, for consistency's sake, we are strict about call the entrance "Entrance Hymn" or whatnot, rather than Processional, since the books at this time indicate so. Otherwise, the "gathering song" people can't be countered on grounds of fidelity to the books...
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,384
    Oh wow!

    That's right there is also "the gathering" hymn. I have heard of that one. Must be in the same category as the "preparation hymn"? Perhaps these are particular to the OF of VII? So the final hymn is then called...?
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    The Great Scattering
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Americans are sometimes very funny. (most times American jokes are hard to understand for me.)
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    The only "offertory hymn" I can think of is Ubi Cartias on Holy Thursday. Otherwise, the Offertory is an antiphon, whether or not you use the verses (which are not included in the current Graduale).

    If I program a hymn or motet in place of the Offertory, I list it in the program as "Hymn: [title]" or "Motet: [title]." If you're announcing at Mass, I see no reason to say "Our offertory hymn is..." since there is no danger at that point in the Mass of confusing it with an entrance hymn or a recessional hymn (terms I also don't use). There is a danger, however, in confusing liturgical texts with extra-liturgical hymns and song if they are called by the same name. We just say "Ley us sing number..."

    The only time I can imagine it being necessary to use a term like "offertory hymn" would be before Mass when coordinating with choir, cantors, and priests, as a sort of shorthand. Hopefully, those people will know what you mean. Even still, I might say "a hymn during the preparation of the gifts." That is to say, the hymn itself is not called "the preparation of the gifts" (as the Offertory is properly called the Offertory), but it it not incorrect to say that it will be sung during that ritual action.

    This weekend when we sang a motet on "Veni Creator" in place of "Confirma" I made a point of telling the choir, "This is a rare event but today in place of the Offertory, we will sing the motet "Veni Creator," the text of which is not technically a part of the Mass, but is borrowed from Vespers. By the way, the familiar tune on which it is based is one of the 30 or so selections that Pope Paul VI designated as part of a "minimum repertoire of Gregorian chant" for Catholics all over the world, some ten years after the close of Vatican II."
  • Donnaswan
    Posts: 585
    I wonder why 'Veni Creator' tune is NOT in Ritualsong? There is a chant for Pentecost, but not as well-known and not nearly as beautiful and one I didn't know when I came here. Mode I #981

    Donna
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,384
    Good JT...

    Mia... You have to dismiss (ignore) us at times. It's all in jest.

    I also call Taize pieces "tased" chant.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    I know. But this time I got it, and it was really funny.
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 986
    I think it's a distraction to have the congregation singing when they should be writing checks and peeling large bills out of their wallets.

    Besides, I hate singing sitting down. You just can't support your voice properly. (Maybe that's why they're not singing?)

    In my Protestant youth, the Offertory belonged to the choir which sang (or "rendered," depending on the quality of the singers) an anthem.
  • Charles in CenCA
    Posts: 2,416
    I believe we should have TWO processions at the Offertory:
    1. Procession, the First- just like Communion, except the Ministers of Hospitality (umm, ushers) replace EMC's at the border of the nave/sanctuary, standing in matching blazers and bow ties (think Nation of Islam) with glass or plexiglass Kool Aid pitchers formerly used for consecrating wine. Each congregant, to a man, woman and child must enter procession line and as the choir lustiliy sings manly versions of Palestrina motets one after another, drop the largest denomination of paper currency into the pitcher for all to see. If there is a clink/clank of coin, the Minister of Hospitality's minion (an alter server?) gives the offending donor a whack on the wrist with a switch cut from a grapevine, and the person has to go to the end of the line and find or borrow a paper bill from a kind soul and repeat the donation publicly.
    This should still be the protocol for any and all second collections as well.
    Donors who use their parish supplied envelopes are required to not seal their envelopes and, eyes cast downward in humility, pull their large bills out of the envelope for those in the front pews to inspect (as well as the Ministers of Hospitality,) replace the bills in the envelope and with pinky finger extended, drop the envelope into the pitcher while maintaining a serene demeanor on their countenances. Upon assessment of the celebrant that all congregants have fulfilled their obligation, the Ministers meet at the center of the Nave, raise their pitchers like the sons in David's "Oath of the Horatiae" and place to the side front of the altar.
    2. Procession, the Second: An appointed married couple (discerned and culled from those who rountinely drop C-notes into the pitchers) graduation-step/march the elements to be received by the celebrant, who will whisper to them, "Hello, I'm Father _____, I'll be your celebrant this (vigil, morning, afternoon, evening.") The congregation will then sing Sebastian Temple's "Take My Hands" or Jack Miffleton's "Take our Bread," or for progressive parishes, any song from "Guys and Dolls."

    I got this all from a liturgy committee how-to book by Hannibal Bugnati.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,384
    Charles

    Wow, Charles... You are employed in the wrong field. Have you considered Hollywood?
  • Charles in CenCA
    Posts: 2,416
    Thank you, Francis, but I am already employed in Right Field, to be exact, though some have offered that I appear to be coming out of Left Field! In any case, I would like to remain employed in my field of dreams. I've never considered Hollywoodland for a number of reasons starting with Mulholland's theft of water from the Owen's Valley and Hetch Hetchy, and that LA ruined the image of Raiders fans forever.

    Now that I've totally embarrassed and alienated myself, I have a thought about the use of the proper Offertorio. Simply put, if there is an moment other than the dismissal hymn/song/postlude/whatever to reserve for the fourth option "another suitable hymn," this might just be that moment. Noticing that there seems to be a dialectical consistency among the processional Propers' texts, it could be argued that some measure of redundancy is built into the reverberant texts. I've found that programming a hymn, song or choral motet whose resonance is more attuned to the scriptural texts of the day often evokes and concretizes the mystery and meaning of those texts with an effectiveness equal to or superior to a homily. I believe some call this type of programming the "Hymn of the Day" moment. Yes, I am aware that "hymns" are foreign to the true liturgy per se. Whatever.
    But I would be hardpressed to agree to sequester the people from singing during the collection/offertory procession with the schola or choir alone singing the Offertorio. Singing a Rice choral setting and then a hymn would be a solution. I don't know if it's pure or licit. But it would remedy the dilemma.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,115
    I agree with the very last thing Charles said: the Offertory is a good place to sing a hymn-of-the-day.

    The rest of what he said, the money part sounds oddly good to me. People believe in what they're forced to invest in. Look at the Mormons.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    To me this is a good place to start the Propers in the parish where they are used to 4 sandwich hymns. This is where you enter into the deeper level of Holy Sacrifice, Litrugy of Eucharist, which we can participate with humility. And we can share His humility through the music that the Church desires.
    The 4th option the Church allows is when the other three options are not available, and have a great obstacle of having offertory chant. The Church's instruction is still consistent with the tradition in Her preferences. I don't see why average parish choirs cannot sing something like R Rice or other English chant, at least, if Gregorian chant is not easy to introduce. You can of course add other motets or hymns, if there's enough time.

    In the "Heart of Chirsitian Life" by Pope Benendict XVI reminds us that we coudn't even offer 'bread and wine' if God didn't help us with rain and sun and so on. This is a reminder of humility on our part to obey the Church's teachings. I believe we use our intellect to help in understanding what the Church teaches but not to go outside the Church's instructions, even in selecting the music.
    Thanked by 1Eric D. Williams
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,384
    We have been singing offertory and communion propers since the beginning of Lent, but we also include hymns since the proper takes about 30 seconds (AUG)
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,115
    I think the best place to start propers is at the Communion Procession. The Communios are easy antiphons. People are busy anyway. And we certainly should be singing a Psalm at that most sacred time.

    Then I would introduce the introit.
  • Charles in CenCA
    Posts: 2,416
    Kathy, your suggested strategy is precisely how I proceeded with our parish after Colloquium 07. The "money" post was a channeling of my inner "Wilde" mirth.
    Mia, if you re-examine my last paragraph, you'll find that our opinions are in concert. I am in no way advocating ignorance or unfaithfulness to liturgical legislation and Mother Church. But as a DM of a huge 4 (soon to be 5) parish cluster inwhich our mother parish inherited a myriad of differing liturgical "traditions" and practices, one cannot re-cast those political realities on the turn of an executive dime. That's why the motto "brick by brick" can be a psychic salve in this era.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Thank you Charles. I am with you on 'brick by brick.' To me introducing "Introit" is the hardest. I just have to wait and help people get used to other Propers. I did one time; Introit with vs 1 and and gloria Patri (in English). It was wonderful and more dignified. But it was a very special occasion. Hopefully there will be more occasion like this and become ordinary.