dmu3tem wrote:This suggests to me that my assertion that most Catholic congregations came to singing mainly through hymnody does have something going for it. You could though, counter by pointing out that most modern Catholic Hymnals also incorporate Mass settings and some have many Responsorial Psalm and Gospel Acclamation settings. The question then is 'which came first? - hymns or Mass settings or something else. This again is something that is very hard to answer statistically; but there is a pointer in the fact that in terms of notice-boards many Catholic churches are only set up to give hymn numbers. When other items (Mass settings, Antiphons, Psalms etc) are used they are either announced verbally, or inserted in the weekly newsletter, or the hymn number system is adapted in some fashion or other. What this suggests is that, subliminally at least, many people still think of singing as connected first and foremost with hymnody.
I think your suggestion that hymns came first would be supported by the preface in the 1968 edition of "The Parish Mass Book" written by Cardinal Heenan which says that "soon we shall have vernacular settings of the Mass in new musical settings but we shall not have satisfactory words and music for the Mass until after a long period of experiemnt. Meenwhile the English tradition of hymn-singing will be preserved by singing at Mass." The publishers' preface also refers specifically to hymns appropriate to the different parts of the mass.