Guide for Accompanying Mass

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quaeritor
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Re: Guide for Accompanying Mass

Post by quaeritor »

JW wrote:Well, we don't know if it's a he or a she :!: :wink: :lol:

My point exactly - but we do know he or she is just one, and not a "they" (whatever one of those might be).

Q

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contrabordun
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Re: Guide for Accompanying Mass

Post by contrabordun »

quaeritor wrote:
JW wrote:The issue with the musician who plays by ear is easily resolved if that musician can provide a list of hymns to the committee that they can accompany.
- ? - as in "if you lot want any of these you can jolly well play them yourselves!" :twisted: Ah the holes we dig with the politically delicate use of the third person plural to avoid implicitly hinting at gender! :lol: Q

No, because committee is a singular noun, hence "they" would be equally as ambiguous as Q implies if it were referring to the committee. ("A list of hymns to the members of the committee that they can accompany" would be a different matter and the more natural reading would be the :twisted: version).
Paul Hodgetts

Southern Comfort
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Re: Guide for Accompanying Mass

Post by Southern Comfort »

It might be worth pointing out that, until the scholastics got hold of our language in the 18th century and started to insist on agreements between number of subject, etc, it was in fact perfectly good English to say, for example, "If anyone loves me, they will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we shall come to them." That has once again become accepted usage over the past 30 years, and I have no problem with it. It saves a heck of a lot of s/he, he or she, him or her, his or hers, etc, etc, and is reasonably elegant, once you are used to it.

Some people have even invented new word forms: e.g. "If anyone reads this, they themself will...." where the combination pronoun "themself" is enabling linguistic shortcuts. I think I would still say "themselves" in that context.

We have also adopted practices from across the Atlantic. Typically people in the US will refer to a publisher in the plural, as in "GIA have the following resources available", whereas in the past we would have tended to say "McCrimmons has the following....", although I find that many people in England these days now use both singular and plural verbs, but normally refer to a publisher as "they" and not "it". It would be the same for a committee which, though a singular noun, incorporates several persons. It seems acceptable to say both "the committee has decided" and "the committee have decided".

And now back to the topic of accompaniment!.....

justMary
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Re: Guide for Accompanying Mass

Post by justMary »

JW wrote:I'm not sure that choosing hymns by committee is a brilliant idea, given the entrenched differing views that there are.

I notice that JustMary doesn't mention Mass settings, psalms and Gospel Acclamations. Are these not sung - or are they sung unnaccompanied e.g. Missal Chants?


Indeed part of the problem: a liturgy that even vaguely resembles "what the Church does" requires far more than four hymns - as all of you here know. A wicked voice in my head suggested that we should only sing four hymns for a week, and see how they like it. My my mature adult self told it to be quiet: playing political games with liturgy is Just Not On.

Here, whoever works with the musician for the week needs to tell them exactly what's wanted: psalm, accalamtions, gloria, holy-holy etc ... the hymns are actually the easiest bit. I will be using page 18 of Fr Gareth's document to make this point. And virtually all our musicians need encouragement / support, not just a list from the secretary!

Even for hymns, 20 minutes to "do" a month means 5 mins per week. That's barely enough time to read the readings, much less prayerfully consider what materials will help the parish to hear and pray the readings. It's certainly not enough time to make careful choices weighing up what other events are happening that week, what we need to start learning for the future, when to introduce new material, etc etc.

Personally I'd far rather choose material by committee: it's the best way I know to get over individual blind spots and preferences, think up creative ideas and solve problems, and keep egos in check. But it needs to be a committee where everyone has at least some musical aptitude, and which keeps asking itself "what does our little corner of the body of Christ need at this time?". Otherwise it just turns into an ignorant "what do we like", which does no good for anyone.

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VML
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Re: Guide for Accompanying Mass

Post by VML »

justMary wrote:

I'm dealing with a music co-ordinator stepping down from the role, and a PP who had said that our solution is that
- the liturgy committee will pick four hymns for each Mass at each monthly meeting (sure there's only 4 weeks, it will only take us 20 minutes!),
- we give the selections to the parish secretary who tells the rostered musician what the hymns are in enough time for them to learn any they don't know.

The proposal is so ludicrous that all I could say was "ok, that's an approach, let's tryt it for February". :shock: Especially once you know that our most faithful and helpful musicians plays by ear only, and generally cannot manage minor keys! And probably only two on the liturgy committee know what a key (major, minor or any other flavour) is.


What exactly is your role in this, justMary?

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Nick Baty
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Re: Guide for Accompanying Mass

Post by Nick Baty »

justMary wrote:Personally I'd far rather choose material by committee: it's the best way I know to get over individual blind spots and preferences, think up creative ideas and solve problems, and keep egos in check.
You can't plan each week or month individually: they slot into an overview for the year or the season and fit into a longer-term plan for developing the assembly's repertoire. "We'd like to sing a new hymn this week because it fits with the Gospel...." Yes, but what value is there in singing it for one week when it is unfamiliar? Better to find a stretch of two or three weeks where it fits well followed, fairly soon after, by a week when it can be revisited.

And besides, how can this fit into the scheme which, presumably, everyone has at the moment of developing repertoire for the newer texts? I really think each community needs someone with an overview.

By all means, share the planning with others – nothing better than feedback, constructive or otherwise – but given the jigsaw-like complexities of planning music for a year or a season, I just don't see how a committee approach could possible work.

Hare
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Re: Guide for Accompanying Mass

Post by Hare »

Nick Baty wrote:
justMary wrote:Personally I'd far rather choose material by committee: it's the best way I know to get over individual blind spots and preferences, think up creative ideas and solve problems, and keep egos in check.
You can't plan each week or month individually: they slot into an overview for the year or the season and fit into a longer-term plan for developing the assembly's repertoire. "We'd like to sing a new hymn this week because it fits with the Gospel...." Yes, but what value is there in singing it for one week when it is unfamiliar? Better to find a stretch of two or three weeks where it fits well followed, fairly soon after, by a week when it can be revisited.

And besides, how can this fit into the scheme which, presumably, everyone has at the moment of developing repertoire for the newer texts? I really think each community needs someone with an overview.

By all means, share the planning with others – nothing better than feedback, constructive or otherwise – but given the jigsaw-like complexities of planning music for a year or a season, I just don't see how a committee approach could possible work.


Well said - a copy of this should be sent to every "Liturgy Committee" in existence!

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FrGareth
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Re: Guide for Accompanying Mass

Post by FrGareth »

justMary wrote:FrGareth, do you plan on adding a copyleft notice to your equally-helpful "Celebrant’s Guides: Mass Planning a Mass: an A to Z for the Perplexed" found at http://www.drgareth.info/MassPlan.pdf?


I'll do that when I get round to updating the document you mention in the light of the 2011 Missal. In the meantime the document on-line may be freely used by anyone who finds it useful, on the understanding that all the RM references in it are to the now-superseded Missal.
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Revd Gareth Leyshon - Priest of the Archdiocese of Cardiff (views are my own)
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