Carols at Midnight Mass

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Nick Baty
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Re: Carols at Midnight Mass

Post by Nick Baty »

Southern Comfort wrote:I beg to differ. SoP has been responsible for the introduction of choruses, "praise and worship" music, Kendrickiana, and much else into a Catholic liturgy...
No it hasn't. Parish music directors have been responsible for such things. Last year I watched three choirs sing Elton John's I'm still standing sung superbly by the finalists in Last Choir Standing. Can I introduce it on Sunday and blame the BBC?

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musicus
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Re: Carols at Midnight Mass

Post by musicus »

Well, of course, you're both correct (in different ways).

But let's not drift away from the topic.
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VML
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Re: Carols at Midnight Mass

Post by VML »

Most years, we sing 'Come, come, come to the manger,' for the entrance procession to the crib. Adeste, English or Latin, comes during Communion or at the end of the preceding carols. We have finished with it once od twice, but more usually use Joy to the world or Hark the herald. Those two are so triumphal.

John Ainslie
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Re: Carols at Midnight Mass

Post by John Ainslie »

Now here's a question. In the interests of injecting some variety, even originality, into the annual and apparently eternal repetition of the old chestnuts, I have tried inserting into the Christmas Midnight programme carols that folk will have heard elsewhere, like 'Mary's Boy Child' - with very negative results. People who have heard a 'modern' carol, even a well-known one, may never have actually sung it. And if they haven't, they don't.

Any other bright ideas for developing (within a liturgical context) the one bit of genuine English folk-song tradition that we still have? Or are all such attempts left for the choir to sing and for the people to listen to?

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Re: Carols at Midnight Mass

Post by alan29 »

John Ainslie wrote:Now here's a question. In the interests of injecting some variety, even originality, into the annual and apparently eternal repetition of the old chestnuts, I have tried inserting into the Christmas Midnight programme carols that folk will have heard elsewhere, like 'Mary's Boy Child' - with very negative results. People who have heard a 'modern' carol, even a well-known one, may never have actually sung it. And if they haven't, they don't.

Any other bright ideas for developing (within a liturgical context) the one bit of genuine English folk-song tradition that we still have? Or are all such attempts left for the choir to sing and for the people to listen to?

I think people expect what they know at midnight mass, so are resistant to change. The nearest I ever got to broadening the repertoire was "While shepherds watched" to the proper tune.

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VML
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Re: Carols at Midnight Mass

Post by VML »

Folk and carols: Now there's a thought.
I've been involved in a website collating the many carols from oral tradition in Gloucestershire:

http://www.gloschristmas.com/

I've sung some of them out and about, but not yet in church. As it says, the well known Holly and Ivy was collected in Glos.
But there are also many others totally unknown these days. Some of them have been transcribed from field recordings or from Cecil Sharp's notes. It is a work in progress, and fairly simple, just with the idea of getting local songs out there to be sung. I particularly like 'O grand and O bright'.

As far as Midnight carols go, we have sung Gaudete more or less as Steeleye did it but acapella, for nearly 20 years, also, 'I wonder as I wander,' which is in the hymn books but unattribited. It comes from John Jacob Niles, and although many songs he claimed were ones he had heard, he did actually write most of this one. He was an accomplished musician and dulcimer maker from Kentucky.

londonchurchman
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Re: Carols at Midnight Mass

Post by londonchurchman »

Talking of Carols, are most of you also planning a Carol service based losely on the Nine Lessons tradition? My local chuch made a valiant attempt last year, and are doing the same this year on the evening of the 23rd.

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Re: Carols at Midnight Mass

Post by keitha »

I have introduced a few items from Decani's Veni Emmanuel and they went down quite well (alongside the old favourites!). Particular successes were Child of Mercy by David Haas, Song of Consolation by Peter Jones, Carol of the Advent by John Bell and God's Surprise, also by John Bell.

Hark the Herald always comes at the end! I would never have Joy to the World - it, and a rather 'swing' version of the Hallelujah chorus were on a constant loop of canned muzac that put me right off my breakfast in a Miami hotel some years ago!
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contrabordun
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Re: Carols at Midnight Mass

Post by contrabordun »

londonchurchman wrote:Talking of Carols, are most of you also planning a Carol service based losely on the Nine Lessons tradition? My local chuch made a valiant attempt last year, and are doing the same this year on the evening of the 23rd.

If only....
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Re: Carols at Midnight Mass

Post by quaeritor »

alan29 wrote:The nearest I ever got to broadening the repertoire was "While shepherds watched" to the proper tune.

Which would that be then? - out of so many? - I rather hope you mean the one usually heard to "Ilkley Moor" :D

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VML
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Re: Carols at Midnight Mass

Post by VML »

We did the one to 'O for a thousand tongues' one year.
But now what remains of our choir don't have time to practise.
I am finding it hard to be enthusiastic. I will play and the congregation, a sixth the size of the one at the 'children's' vigil Mass five hours earlier, will plod through the usual. To me Midnight Mass is Christmas, but so many now simply don't have that experience.
We started looking for people willing to join us in September. But the only replies have been from seven of us who sang at Midnight Mass in 1987. Plenty of musicians in the parish will cover the other three Masses, but we used to do that as well as Midnight, not instead. We were then in our thirties and forties with growing families. That age group now like to get Mass sorted earlier on in the proceedings. They don't know what they are missing.
Last edited by VML on Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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TimSharrock
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Re: Carols at Midnight Mass

Post by TimSharrock »

we keeping hoping to fit in Wake Up with our Children's group, but as we are always singing on Christmas Eve evening the timing seems wrong...

alan29
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Re: Carols at Midnight Mass

Post by alan29 »

quaeritor wrote:
alan29 wrote:The nearest I ever got to broadening the repertoire was "While shepherds watched" to the proper tune.

Which would that be then? - out of so many? - I rather hope you mean the one usually heard to "Ilkley Moor" :D

Q


Thats the one - the men in the congregation sang the echoes with relish.

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Re: Carols at Midnight Mass

Post by JW »

alan29 wrote:
quaeritor wrote:
alan29 wrote:The nearest I ever got to broadening the repertoire was "While shepherds watched" to the proper tune.

Which would that be then? - out of so many? - I rather hope you mean the one usually heard to "Ilkley Moor" :D

Q


Thats the one - the men in the congregation sang the echoes with relish.


Yorkshire relish, presumably?
JW

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Re: Carols at Midnight Mass

Post by pdsfd »

More than likely we'll start off with Away in a Manger for the procession to the Crib, followed by O come all ye faithful as the opening hymn, that's what we've done the last few years. Have to say I'm not a fan of Away in a Manger, I cringe a bit whenever we sing it - we usually sing it a couple more times over the season which compounds things. Since at least 12 years ago we've always sung Hark the herald angels sing at the end and I don't expect that to change this year. Probably Silent Night/Once in Royal David's City for Communion and O little town of Bethlehem for the Offertory. In past years we've sung Angels we have heard on High/in Heaven in place of the Responsorial Psalm (nowadays we just say it) and God rest ye merry gentlemen has also made at least one appearance in the last 10 years.

For a couple of years around 2007-2008 we didn't sing O come all ye faithful until Christmas morning (when all 4 verses were sung) and instead we started off with Come to the Manger (which I really like) one year and It came upon the Midnight clear the next. I think we did it well these two years - O come all ye faithful doesn't need to be sung on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, what's more I do like the slightly more obscure carols such as the two I've mentioned above. Our PP in the mid-late 90s also liked Come to the Manger, hence it was our 'Midnight Mass' processional hymn for a few years at the time.

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