Congregational singing of hymns

Well it does to the people who post here... dispassionate and reasoned debate, with a good deal of humour thrown in for good measure.

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Gwyn
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Parish / Diocese: Archdiocese of Cardiff
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Re: Congregational singing of hymns

Post by Gwyn »

Another similarly structured hymn (V1 re. God the Father, V2 re. God the Son, V3 re. God the Holy Spirit, V4 doxology) is "Thou, whose almighty word, chaos and darkness heard". "Lead us heavenly Father, Lead us" is another.
:D

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VML
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Parish / Diocese: Clifton Diocese
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Re: Congregational singing of hymns

Post by VML »

'Lead us ..' also mentions ' tempestuous sea' as well as desert. It does come over better as a journey through life hymn rather than just at sea.

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Nick Baty
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Re: Congregational singing of hymns

Post by Nick Baty »

Well this congregation does very well indeed – despite the organist!

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SOP
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Re: Congregational singing of hymns

Post by SOP »

Thanks for that Nick, I needed a good laugh!!

markyboy
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Re: Congregational singing of hymns

Post by markyboy »

Wonderful. Improves the quality of my playing no end!

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VML
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Re: Congregational singing of hymns

Post by VML »

:D
Nick Baty wrote:Well this congregation does very well indeed – despite the organist!


Ours is a reasonably singing parish, but for the last couple of years I have to been unable to get people to commit to practices, and with a prayer leading into 5 minutes silence before Mass, any encouragement or assembly practice is in a nearly empty church. But...
Trinity Sunday morning we had the Peruvian Gloria, with just a hand drum, as the Trinity entrance hymn, then penitential spoken, and the Eldonian Gloria, which the people have absorbed, and there is no hope of stopping them singing any of it!
They always join in the psalm response and Alleluia well. Hymn during Offertory procession was 'Father, in my life I see...' and for the first time in years we had the proper two lines going.
Then I tried the 'proper' way to do the Communion chant, beginning at the priest's Communion. (We had tried before, but it was pretty feeble.) This week it was Taize, Laudate Dominum, and the rest of the choir received as usual straight after the servers, and our one superb choral scholar cantor was there to sing the verses.
I tell you all this because when I went up last, and left the people to sing unaccompanied, the assembly actually carried on singing right through. Result! :D

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Nick Baty
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Re: Congregational singing of hymns

Post by Nick Baty »

After years of knocking my head against the proverbial baked clay superstructure, I too had a breakthrough with communion processionals recently. Perhaps we expect too much, too soon. Your bunch have now accepted singing as they move. A huge step in more ways than one! :D

helen rees
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Re: Congregational singing of hymns

Post by helen rees »

Nick Baty wrote:After years of knocking my head against the proverbial baked clay superstructure, I too had a breakthrough with communion processionals recently. Perhaps we expect too much, too soon. Your bunch have now accepted singing as they move. A huge step in more ways than one! :D


Can you give examples of songs/chants that you have used that have worked. I have a small number of people who sing and could manage 2 parts accompanied by an organ and another group of young singers who are now able to sing in 4 parts accompanied on a piano. But the main emphasis in on finding pieces which the congregation will join in with. We have had some success with some Taize but would be interested in finding what others are doing.

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Nick Baty
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Re: Congregational singing of hymns

Post by Nick Baty »

Nothing too adventurous, Helen – certainly nothing involving choir, just cantor and assembly.

We've used several simple items like:
Like as the deer – Tamié
Where is love – Alan Rees (for specific occasions)

And the others are homespun, taking texts from The Processional, but always with minimal number of words so:
In the house of the Lord I will dwell forever,
I will dwell forever in the house of the Lord.

You who are weary, you who are weary, come to me and I will give you rest.

And, for Advent,
Rejoice and do not fear. The Lord will come to save us.
Rejoice and do not fear. The Lord will come to save us.

JW
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Re: Congregational singing of hymns

Post by JW »

Our congregation seems to enjoy the "Psallite" resource from the Collegeville group, including Paul Inwood & Catherine Christmas, though we don't use them for Communion (we usually do Organ music for Processional followed by a Communion thanksgiving hymn). The Psallite resources are quite expensive but you don't need them for the congregation: a cantor could rehearse them before Mass. Website here:
http://www.litpress.org/Music/psallite/Psallite_info.html
JW

Southern Comfort
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Re: Congregational singing of hymns

Post by Southern Comfort »

JW wrote:Our congregation seems to enjoy the "Psallite" resource from the Collegeville group, including Paul Inwood & Catherine Christmas, though we don't use them for Communion (we usually do Organ music for Processional followed by a Communion thanksgiving hymn). The Psallite resources are quite expensive but you don't need them for the congregation: a cantor could rehearse them before Mass. Website here:
http://www.litpress.org/Music/psallite/Psallite_info.html


UK website here: http://www.magnificatmusic.com/Psallite.htm. While the accompaniment editions are admittedly not cheap, the cantor/choir edition which has everything the singers need is only £16 for the whole three-year cycle, and less than that with bulk order discounts.

helen rees
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Re: Congregational singing of hymns

Post by helen rees »

Thank you for these responses. I think I have to pick up the courage and just do it. The organist at church is very reluctant to keep things simple as she says people get bored. I think she means we singers. How long can you maintain a simple chant without breaking into parts or inserting verses? I will look at psallite and the suggestions you made Nick. I have also invested in Prayers that Rise which seems to have lots of little gems.

Southern Comfort
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Re: Congregational singing of hymns

Post by Southern Comfort »

helen rees wrote:I have also invested in Prayers that Rise which seems to have lots of little gems.


If you're looking at Hear the Prayers that Rise, you'll find lots of other miniature gems in Decani Music's Cantate if you haven't already got it.

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