Thursday, May 3, 2012
THE ORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS SHOULD HAVE A MORE RIGID GRADATION OF THE VARIOUS TYPES OF MASS WITH CHANTS OR NO CHANTS OR SOME CHANTS BASED UPON SOLEMNITY OR FESTIVITY
The trouble is that for all the pomp and circumstance, unless the celebrant sings his part (and it's in the missal in front of him) we still have a low Mass with musical add-ons. Mgr Wadsworth and ICEL have spent a lot of time and effort trying to achieve (over 40 years on) what was always intended, and bishops really need to lead by example.
It might mean putting Franz Schubert and Marty Haugen on the back burner (In the latter case you can turn off the gas altogether as far as I'm concerned)and concentrating on the missal chants until everyone, bishops, priests, deacons, cantors and congregations are familiar with them.
Two things in particular need to be discarded immediately - responsorial Glorias and overblown memorial acclamations.
May 3, 2012 5:58 AM
John, I wholeheartedly agree about the Mass itself being sung as being the main problem with the OF Mass--it isn't being sung by the majority of priests and this is where ongoing liturgical renewal in the OF must take place.
However, I do think that there should be an official gradation of the Mass in the Ordinary Form according perhaps to a progressive solemnity for example:
1. Low Mass--all parts are spoken and no singing of additional songs or hymns.
2. Middle Mass: The laity's parts are sung: Introit, Kyrie, Gloria, Creed, Offertory Antiphon, Sanctus, Mystery of Faith, Great Amen, Our Father Agnus Dei and Communion Antiphon--nothing else is sung
3. High Mass: Everything is sung as in the Middle Mass but the priest's parts are sung: Collect, Prayer over the Offerings, Preface,"through Him..." Post Communion Prayer. In addition, there could be an additional Offertory Anthem, Communion Anthems.
4. Solemn High Mass: everything is sung as in the High Mass, including every part of the priest's parts, including the Sign of the Cross, greeting, introduction to the Penitential Act, Orate Fratres with laity's response, Eucharistic Prayer (at least the epiclesis and consecration), Embolism after Our Father; "Peace I leave you", "Behold the Lamb of God...with laity's sung response,Solemn Blessing and dismissal.
In addition, the Gospel must be sung and the other readings if possible.
For both the High and Solemn High Mass, a recessional hymn could be sung.(And I'm not opposed to a processional hymn as long as it doesn't replace the official Introit. In my parish the simple official Introit is always chanted by the cantor as the procession begins and then the processional hymn follows as a unit. I'd really love for our choir and schola to chant the Introit, Offertory and Communion antiphons with the verses that are available in the gradual, but we as a parish are not there yet.
The decision to have the High Mass or the Solemn High Mass should be decided in terms of the degree of the Solemnity or festive occasion. Our Clergy Conference Mass was the most festive occasion our parish has had in a long time and it was our new bishop's first time to Macon with his priests for a clergy conference, so the music chosen was obviously eclectic but the Gloria, Sanctus, Mystery of Faith, Great Amen are known to most in our diocese including the laity. However, we only have tympani and trumpet for the most festive of times and no more that three or four times a year.
In terms of the style of music, I agree that the chants of the missal or something similar should be learned first, however I wouldn't throw out more festive settings for more festive occasions, even "concert" Masses are allowed in the EF for Festive occasions, but no one would want that each Sunday in a normal EF parish, at least I don't think. The "refrain" Gloria is in realty a choir piece that allows some participation of the congregation with the refrain, but in general I don't like it except for the most festive of occasions. The only other Gloria our parish now knows is Proulx's Missa Simplex which is very chant-like and easily sung by the congregation. However, our priests at the clergy conference and visiting laity for the Mass would not have known it.
In terms of the gradations of the Mass above, I think the High Mass should be the norm for the principle Masses of Sunday, with the Middle Mass for early and late Masses on Sunday (a Mass with some chants should always be the norm for Sunday). A Mass with no Music should be allowed for weekdays, but the Middle Mass for weekdays is easily done although the Introit, Offertory and Communion Antiphons would probably need to be spoken if a cantor or priest can't lead it.