Wednesday, 6 October 2010

"Hymns of some sort" ~ an alien feature of the Mass of the Roman Rite

"As regards the entrance, offertory, and communion, the usual choice is a hymn of some sort, perhaps one thematically tied to the season. The other option that I and many others have promoted is the ideal, that is the Gregorian antiphon: introit, offertory, and communion chant. The problem here is that there is a world apart between them. One is metric with a beat, and the other is free rhythm. One rhymes, and one does not. One is in modern notes, the other in neumes. One is in English, and the other is in Latin."

[GREAT follow-up comment from Ted K: "What makes it so difficult to sing the Propers at an OF Mass is that this Mass does have some unfriendliness to them on the parish level. The Propers as found in the Graduale Romanum are meant for a schola and cantors, not in keeping with the pastoral nature of active participation as commonly interpreted.
With the loss of the prayers at the foot of the altar it was no longer possible to have a processional vernacular hymn followed by the Introit as the priest entered the sanctuary. The only place for the Introit was as the entrance song but which the people could not actively participate in if sung from the Gregorian books.
Bugnini's Consilium was very proud that now the Responsorial psalm would in practice replace the Gradual because with it the people had an opportunity to actively sing.
The Alleluia became a Gospel acclamation for everyone to sing rather than a as time for reflection while the choir sang to fill the air with beautiful sound and mask distracting noises.
The Offertory text is not in the Missal, so there was never any need felt to sing it.
The Communion antiphon now being placed before communion became recited by the priest because the faithful were busy preparing for communion, and by then there were few choirs to sing it in any case.
Hymns generally replaced the Propers because of the catchphrase "active participation", which entailed that the people had to sing all the songs, which meant these had to be on the level they were familiar with, usually on the lowest common denominator making for the most banal music. Active participation became more important than the sacred.
There is no question that new even good music could have been composed for vernacular Propers, but I do not see many music publishers making money on this when the text is the same for all the publishers, so the financially successful one would have to be the one with the best music.
Changing 45 years of this ingrained practice is not easy, and I thank you for trying so hard to put into practice what the Council had wanted."]

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