The Preparation of the Gifts is not usually an appropriate p

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oopsorganist
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The Preparation of the Gifts is not usually an appropriate p

Post by oopsorganist » Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:30 pm

"The Preparation of the Gifts is not usually an appropriate place for a hymn."

Uh oh. I didn't know that.
I am wondering when the Preparation of the Gifts would be an appropriate place for a hymn. What unusual conditions might warrant this? Can anyone help?
uh oh!

IncenseTom
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Re: The Preparation of the Gifts is not usually an appropria

Post by IncenseTom » Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:57 am

I think the preparation of the gifts can be a seen as a good time for something a bit 'different' - a choir item (if you have a choir), or some reflective organ music, or silence.

To be honest, though, we almost always have a hymn at this point.

alan29
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Re: The Preparation of the Gifts is not usually an appropria

Post by alan29 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:23 am

oopsorganist wrote:"The Preparation of the Gifts is not usually an appropriate place for a hymn."

Uh oh. I didn't know that.
I am wondering when the Preparation of the Gifts would be an appropriate place for a hymn. What unusual conditions might warrant this? Can anyone help?

Says who?

oopsorganist
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Re: The Preparation of the Gifts is not usually an appropria

Post by oopsorganist » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:51 am

Says a Centre of Excellence. :roll: Once of four who actually know what they are doing. :)

The only way in which this time in the Liturgy could seem to be inappropriate in my ex, was in that the congregation are seated and therefore not in a position, literally, to sing. I could never fathom why people sat during that time, if expected to sing. And standing they would have had better access to their pockets too!
uh oh!

alan29
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Re: The Preparation of the Gifts is not usually an appropria

Post by alan29 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:16 am

oopsorganist wrote:Says a Centre of Excellence. :roll: Once of four who actually know what they are doing. :)

The only way in which this time in the Liturgy could seem to be inappropriate in my ex, was in that the congregation are seated and therefore not in a position, literally, to sing. I could never fathom why people sat during that time, if expected to sing. And standing they would have had better access to their pockets too!


Ah, one of them. :lol:

John Ainslie
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Re: The Preparation of the Gifts is not usually an appropria

Post by John Ainslie » Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:20 am

oopsorganist wrote:"The Preparation of the Gifts is not usually an appropriate place for a hymn."

Explain! Would someone please identify the said 'Centre of Excellence' and also quote the entire paragraph or whatever in which this statement occurs?

Now I grant you that an unthinking "we must have a hymn at the Offertory" is also a nonsense. It is - and here the quotation is correct - a time of 'Preparation of Gifts' for the offering of the Mass in the Eucharistic Prayer. The word 'Offertory' is often misunderstood. The time can be used in various ways - as a time for reflection after the Liturgy of the Word, as an interlude between the Liturgies of the Word and of the Eucharist - and indeed, the customary seated position of the assembly expresses nicely this role of interlude. So yes, something instrumental or choral might be appropriate, perhaps more appropriate than a hymn provided it is explained why!

On the other hand, a liturgical rite is taking place - or does so in most churches - i.e. the procession with gifts, which has a symbolic function for the whole congregation present, even if only a few of its number actually process. It may well be appropriate to involve the assembly in this gesture not only with their eyes but also with their voices from time to time. But not as a sine qua non. Their vocal participation in the ensuing Eucharistic Acclamations is much more important.

oopsorganist
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Re: The Preparation of the Gifts is not usually an appropria

Post by oopsorganist » Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:13 am

ADVICE AND MATERIALS - MUSIC FOR THE LITURGY (Leeds Diocese)


.......................The responsorial psalm is usually sung at Mass as part of the Liturgy of the Word, in dialogue between a cantor and congregation. If a hymn or two is included at Mass, it should be chosen with reference to the appropriateness of the liturgical season, with a scriptural (or scripturally based) text and accompanied at a pitch and tempo designed to encourage singing. The Preparation of the Gifts is not usually an appropriate place for a hymn. A choir or instrumental piece is often used instead at this half way point in the Mass...................

It's not a four hymn sandwich. It's a bacon butty!
uh oh!

IncenseTom
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Re: The Preparation of the Gifts is not usually an appropria

Post by IncenseTom » Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:39 am

I wasn't aware of that bit of advice from the Leeds Diocese.

To me, it reads like one person's thoughts on the matter rather than any sort of directive.

I totally can see the point of mixing things up, especially to give people a chance to watch the action of the Mass more closely, pray, reflect, etc rather than always having their face in their hymn book at that point week after week. Presumably, deciding whether or not to have at hymn at the offertory depends on the musical resources of the parish, the 'mood' of the parish with regard to this sort of thing, the thoughts of the PP, the speediness of the PP at this point.

I would view it as an option rather than something I had to do.

oopsorganist
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Re: The Preparation of the Gifts is not usually an appropria

Post by oopsorganist » Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:26 pm

And so
the topic got me googling the Papal Mass in Cuba. As you do.

I found this on the Pray Tell website. A little quote from the commentary.

".....It seems to me liturgy is to find itself implicated in peoples’ lives. That is, its themes, its modes of expression, its attitudes, its prayers, and gestures need to resonate with people in their daily lives. At the same time, people’s lives have to find expression in the liturgy so that the former can take place. Liturgy and its ministers need to be welcoming and inviting as well as prepared and prayerful. We need to find liturgy in life and life in liturgy!"

Rev. Dr. Raúl Gómez Ruiz SDS is Vicar General and General Secretary in the Curia Generalizia of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians) in Rome, Italy.

profound words
uh oh!

oopsorganist
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Re: The Preparation of the Gifts is not usually an appropria

Post by oopsorganist » Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:38 am

Mysteriously unconnected posts there.

I was looking at the Papal Masses in Cuba to see if there was a hymn sung at the Preparation of the Gifts - perhaps an important and holy visitor might be the place where a hymn is appropriate. Or not. I did not have the patience or time to watch the whole Mass. So I looked at the comment on Pray Tell and found more food for thought there as above. Also...

".......The inculturation of the liturgy in the Cuban context as a result was quite limited. Even the music as performed tended to be very controlled and less exuberant than that found in many US Cuban parishes, and I suspect in Cuba itself. Perhaps it was the fact that most of the hymnody, though in Spanish and with Caribbean rhythms, was accompanied by an orchestra. Though well played by the orchestra and well sung by the two choirs, it generally lacked “spirit.” Only on occasion did the Cuban “body and soul” emerge as individuals in the choir began to move to some of the music. More Cuban spirit, spoken about by Francis in his remarks at the end of the celebration, was seen in the final of five communion hymns and in the postludes, especially the beautiful adaptation of the Salve Regina. This was sung after the Pope and clergy around the altar had left the area. Unfortunately, the second postlude with its joyful Cuban instruments, singing, and movement was cut off by CTV as it returned to its usual transmission of St. Peter’s Square."

I like that phrase "body and soul".

So there is some agreement that something might happen at the Preparation of the Gifts. Music ie Hymn, choir bit, organ music or silence. Gather. Praise. Reflect. Anticipate.

Does it make a difference if we name it Offertory Procession? Shuffle of feet and clink of pennies. Movement.

What about dance?

What about inculturation? Is that when it is appropriate to sing a hymn?
uh oh!

Hare
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Re: The Preparation of the Gifts is not usually an appropria

Post by Hare » Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:44 am

At my church we sometimes have a hymn, sometimes a choir motet - and in Advent we do a motet every week. A previous PP insisted on NOT having a hymn as he felt that it "made too much of the Preparation of Gifts" as the Eucharistic Prayer was the focal point.

alan29
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Re: The Preparation of the Gifts is not usually an appropria

Post by alan29 » Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:19 pm

Its quite a busy time at ours. We sing a hymn during the collection then the offertory procession happens with the bread and wine and collection. The children returning from their own liturgy of the word follow the procession down the aisle to the front where the priest asks them what they have been doing and gets them to show what they have been making. It is once they have been sent back to their parents that the Preparation of the Gifts happens while I and a guitarist improvise around the hymn that was sung earlier until the Orate Fratres (but not in foreign.)
Seems to work.
Oh, the guitarist and I have been duetting for almost 30 years so we pretty well know how things will go.

IncenseTom
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Re: The Preparation of the Gifts is not usually an appropria

Post by IncenseTom » Wed Sep 23, 2015 3:03 pm

On the issue of 'timing' at this point, 2 differing situations I have experienced:

1. Large parish, large congregation, offertory collection takes place and then brought forward with the gifts, incense is used, longish hymn plus considerable improvisation time.
2. Small parish, small congregation, priest comes immediately to the front following the conclusion of the prayer of the faithful to receive the gifts, collection takes place throughout the preparation of the gifts, a short hymn like 'All that I am' or 'In bread we bring' only just covers the time up to the 'pray brethren'.

Throwing in a Q&A with the kids too adds further consideration (I've only ever seen it done before the offertory collection/procession takes place, never after)

Clearly, the music ought to be fairly flexible at this point to suit the way a particular parish does this part of the Mass. Obviously, you wouldn't want a 7 or 8 verse hymn for scenario 2 and do the whole lot while the priest is stood there waiting, nor would you want a very short hymn and huge improvisation for scenario 1 (unless Olivier Latry was your parish organist).

oopsorganist
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Re: The Preparation of the Gifts is not usually an appropria

Post by oopsorganist » Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:41 pm

Oh that is helpful.

Situation 1 is what I experienced in our parish - but only after resigning myself to using a keyboard - where I could see what was happening and respond to it...

Situation 2 is what I remember from other times, other parishes, and because I spent about 12 years in the organ "loft" without any idea what was happening or going on - I kind of lost the plot really.....

I don't think I have every played during the Prep though. Just Offertory Procession. Those masses where there is no procession - Good Friday springs to mind, hymns don't fit there well.

I always improvised ! (don't know how that every happened with my lack skills ) until the last child or person, had moved away from the altar. Nothing more unnerving than still being alone at the front when the music ends. Like musical chairs tension.
And also, there is that boom and bust situation that occurs in some parishes between enrolling the kinder for First HC and the fall in numbers after the big day. That has to be factored in as well.

If you only have "a couple of hymns" it would be hard to place them without an Offertory hymn slot. Whilst engaging "body and mind" and all that inculturation as well. Such a lot to consider.
uh oh!

alan29
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Re: The Preparation of the Gifts is not usually an appropria

Post by alan29 » Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:48 am

Its about being responsive to whats going on and flexible in your approach.
I often feel that if we were to draw up a list of skills needed to be a good parish musician, technical musical ability wouldn't be that high on the list, and it would come a couple of places lower than diplomacy.

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