Singing the 'Proper' of the Mass in the Ordinary Form

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

Moderators: Dom Perignon, Casimir

Post Reply
Dom Perignon
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:50 pm
Parish / Diocese: SSG Moderator

Singing the 'Proper' of the Mass in the Ordinary Form

Post by Dom Perignon » Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:42 pm

In another thread, Tom_Neal wrote:

"The Proper of the Mass must always be said or sung, in English or Latin. The Entrance Antiphon, Alleluia verse, Offertory Antiphon, and Communion Antiphon are essential components of the liturgy. If you’re going to replace the Entrance Antiphon with a hymn, then why not do the same with the Epistle Reading or the Gospel? It simply doesn’t make sense. The liturgy comes first, whether said or sung; music (e.g. hymns) must always take a back seat. Again: while hymn-sining is a long-standing, laudable, and pious tradition in Mass, it has never been and could never be a part of the liturgy. The Ordinary and Proper of the Mass are liturgical; hymns, choir anthems, motets, and organ voluntaries are extra-liturgical. Mass can continue without hymns; it cannot continue legitimately without the Ordinary or Proper.

On that note, I was delighted to see John Ainslie introducing the idea of a ‘hierarchy’ of liturgical music (Sun May 31, 2015 10:27am). But let’s remember that hymns are a long way down on the list; whereas the Proper is right up at the top.

My point: if the Society of St. Gregory wishes to be seen as a leading authority in matters of liturgy and music, it must lead, not follow. In matters such as the Proper of the Mass, where it is clear there have been widespread omissions and liturgical abuses for several decades, it should be the role of the SSG to point out the mistakes calmly and charitably, and then work towards rectifying the situation. Groups such as the Church Music Association of American have been doing this for a few years now, with great success (and, let’s face it, the liturgical abuses in the USA have always been worse than those in the UK, so there really is no excuse for us not to engage in this battle).
"

Southern Comfort Responded:

"Tom_Neal wrote:
'The Proper of the Mass must always be said or sung, in English or Latin
.'

- This is simply not true. GIRM gives more latitude than you think. To take the most obvious example, settings from the Graduale Simplex are permitted. But they are not "the Proper". Other settings approved by the Conference of Bishops may also be used. They are not "the Proper" either.

Tom_Neal wrote:
'The Entrance Antiphon, Alleluia verse, Offertory Antiphon, and Communion Antiphon are essential components of the liturgy.'


- Actually they're not. The Offertory Antiphon doesn't even exist in the Roman Missal any longer. The Entrance Antiphon and Communion Antiphon may be replaced by other settings (see above), so they are in no way "essential" components of the liturgy. Even the Alleluia verse is not always mandatory (see, for example, GIRM 63c ). We live in a different age now, Tom, where the straitjacket of preconciliar times has been relaxed. There is more flexibility in choice.

Tom_Neal wrote:
'If you’re going to replace the Entrance Antiphon with a hymn, then why not do the same with the Epistle Reading or the Gospel? It simply doesn’t make sense.'


- There is a hierarchy of importance in liturgical elements. Not every element or component has the same value. Some things may not be omitted. Others can be. Some things may be replaced by others.

Tom_Neal wrote:
'The liturgy comes first, whether said or sung ... <snip> ...Mass can continue without hymns; it cannot continue legitimately without the Ordinary or Proper.'


- You're using "The liturgy" to mean certain texts. As already demonstrated, those texts do not always have to be used.

Tom_Neal wrote:
'I was delighted to see John Ainslie introducing the idea of a ‘hierarchy’ of liturgical music (Sun May 31, 2015 10:27am). But let’s remember that hymns are a long way down on the list; whereas the Proper is right up at the top.'


- The "list" does not have priorities. It has a number of options. Not the same thing.


Contributors are very welcome to continue this thread
Forum Moderator

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests