I just finished celebrating our 2:00 PM monthly Sung Extraordinary Form Mass. About 100 people in attendance. After two years of a monthly event, we have developed a culture for Gregorian Chant. Some people think it is impossible to do and they even question if it was done prior to Vatican II. Their version of history is that most parishes only celebrated low Mass and didn't even sing metrical hymns that were allowed for the procession, offertory, communion and recession. They say these were only sung at popular devotions, like Benediction and novenas. I know for a fact that is untrue--we did sing at Mass, hymn and many Marian hymns, sometimes misplaced at processions and communion time.
They believe Gregorian chant, not only plain but the more complex was and is just too hard.They think that scholas and choirs just can't pull it off in the normal, run of the mill parish. If any of you who are old enough to remember accurately what it was like in a typical parish in pre-Vatican II times, please let me know what was the custom in terms of the low and high Mass and the nature of the choirs at that time, in terms of capability. It seems to me that most parishes had a "principal" high Mass most every Sunday, maybe not summer, and then a multitude of low Masses, but even the low Masses had four hymns.
Many thanks to Nelda Chapman, our United Methodist Music Director and organist for her love for the "classics" both the OF and EF Masses! and allowing us to be a Post Vatican II singing parish that includes the complete array of our tradition! Ho-ray!
You should have heard them today! And you should have heard the congregation joining in the Latin Credo, Sanctus, Pater Noster, Agnus Dei and metrical hymns that were sung--who said Catholics don't participate in a full, conscious and intelligent way in our EF Latin Masses--lies, all lies!