Musical accompaniment on Good Friday

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IncenseTom
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Musical accompaniment on Good Friday

Post by IncenseTom » Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:24 pm

Trying to get ahead with planning for Easter this year, and I'm toying with the idea of doing everything unaccompanied on Good Friday.

Sorry if this has been discussed before. (I've a feeling it has been, but couldn't find it. If people would rather send me a link to previous topics that's fine.)

I know there is no requirement or specific recommendation to do this, but I understand it is a long held tradition in some places. Indeed, I know some don't accompany anything from after the Gloria of Maundy Thursday until the Gloria of the Easter Vigil (but that might be a step too far even for me!). I'm also keen on giving the Good Friday liturgy as much drama/starkness/out of the ordinary/etc as possible.

I think accompanying the hymns but having everything else (psalm, Gospel Acc, response to the intercessions, short choir bit during veneration of the cross) unaccompanied could work, although, I think if you're going to do something you might as well go all out for it.

I don't anticipate it will do much to affect the level of singing in the congregation.

Does anyone have any experience of doing this or any strong feelings either way?

(I haven't spoken to the PP about this yet!)

Southern Comfort
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Re: Musical accompaniment on Good Friday

Post by Southern Comfort » Wed Jan 06, 2016 2:09 pm

Paul Inwood wrote an M&L "Sound Reflections" column on this in 2011, entitled When Can We Use the Organ?. The text ran:

Every year there is debate about whether or not the organ may be used during Advent and Lent, and especially regarding its use during the Sacred Triduum. It is interesting to see how legislation on this controversial subject has varied over the years.

Traditionally, it has been thought that the organ has been forbidden during Advent and Lent. However, the position has never been nearly as clear-cut as that.

For example, in 1673 the Sacred Congregation of Rites confirmed that the organ could be used on Gaudete and Laetare Sundays (the 3rd Sunday of Advent and the 4th Sunday of Lent). This was confirmed again in 1839, when it was stated that the then prohibition in the Ceremonial of Bishops did not hold. Other exceptions were also noted in 1741 (it was permissible for the organ to be played on the Sundays of Septuagesima, Sexagesima and Quinquagesima, even if the liturgical colour is already a Lenten violet, because, according to the Congregation, the organ could be played at every Mass where the deacon and the subdeacon at the altar wore the dalmatic and tunicle [sic]) and in 1753 (the organ could be used during Votive Masses of the Blessed Virgin and at Vespers during the Litany of Loreto, which took place every Saturday, including Advent and Lent).

However, in 1847, 1868 and 1883 the Congregation confirmed the prohibition on the Sundays of Advent and Lent except Gaudete and Laetare Sundays.

This was broadly the position up to the Congregation’s Instruction De Sacra Musica et Liturgia of 1958, which clarified as follows:

a prohibition on use of the organ during all liturgical actions (except Benediction) during Advent and Lent, plus from Septuagesima to Quinquagesima, with the following exceptions:
(a) “on feasts of obligation and holidays (except Sundays), as well as on the feast of the principal patron of the place, of the titular or dedication anniversary of the particular church, or of the founder of the religious congregation; or if some extraordinary solemnity is being kept”.
(b) Gaudete and Laetare Sundays and the Chrism Mass.
(c) “The music of the organ or harmonium is also allowed at Mass and Vespers solely to support the singing.” [my emphasis] This is the first c-hink in a suit of armour that was to be subsequently demolished altogether within 30 years.

Nothing is said in Musicam sacram (1967), but in England and Wales an important but little-known document is Music in the Mass (Bishops of England and Wales, 1970). Paragraph 37 states quite clearly: “The organ may be used to lead the singing at any time, even on Good Friday.” Interestingly, another document of the same Bishops’ Conference, Music in the Parish Mass (1981), is completely silent on this point. Perhaps its authors saw no need to vary the previous provision.

England and Wales’s lead was reluctantly followed in 1986 by the document De concentibus in ecclesiis (Instruction on Concerts in Churches, Congregation for Divine Worship, 1987), whose paragraph 7 states: “In accordance with tradition, the organ should remain silent during penitential seasons (Lent and Holy Week), during Advent and Liturgy for the dead. When, however, there is real pastoral need, the organ can be used to support the singing.

This brings us to the General Instruction on the Roman Missal [GIRM] (E&W edition, 2005), where we find in paragraph 313:

“In Advent the organ and other musical instruments should be used with a moderation that is consistent with the season’s character and does not anticipate the full joy of the Nativity of the Lord.

In Lent the playing of the organ and musical instruments is allowed only to support the singing. Exceptions are Laetare Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Lent), Solemnities, and Feasts.”

(These provisions are reiterated in paragraphs 86-7 of our Bishops’ Conference 2005 commentary on GIRM, Celebrating the Mass.)

This seems to indicate that the prohibition during Advent has now disappeared altogether, a recognition that Advent is no longer considered as a penitential season as such (it has an Alleluia, though no Gloria) but as a season of expectant hope, in accordance with modern liturgical thought.

But the real point is that those who wish to continue to ban the organ during the seasons of Advent and Lent are not only working in a different direction from the changing thrust of the Church’s pastoral wisdom, as evidenced in the documents quoted above, but have failed to recognize that we now have a different kind of liturgy from that of preconciliar days.

Before the Council, when the organ was normally the only instrument and a proportion of the music used was unaccompanied, ceasing to use the organ made sense and provided seasonal contrast. These days, in a world of instrumental groups as well as organ, and when singing is predominantly accompanied, it makes rather less sense to remove all accompaniment for the sake of a principle which is no longer required by legislation and which runs counter to the kind of participatory liturgy that we now enjoy. There are other ways of demonstrating the different nature of the liturgical seasons.


The bulletin board's auto-censor beeped out one word in the above, presumably thinking it to be a term of abuse, so I had to add a hyphen to c-hink....!

IncenseTom
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Re: Musical accompaniment on Good Friday

Post by IncenseTom » Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:32 pm

Thanks, SC. That's obviously the article I was thinking of.

Had a chat with the PP about it today. At the minute it looks like we'll be using the organ for the hymns but not for the chanted psalm, Gospel acclamation, and two short choir pieces during the veneration (Adoramus te by Giffen and Crucem Tuam by Berthier - both in two parts).

I think that might be quite nice.

dmu3tem
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Re: Musical accompaniment on Good Friday

Post by dmu3tem » Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:47 pm

Why not use other instruments as well as the organ? A mixed ensemble of voices and instruments offers exciting possibilities - and I do not mean Taize, St Thomas More or 'Folk' approaches.
Also, why not also experiment with different types of keyboard - re-arrange the music so that you play to the particular keyboard's 'strengths'.
See also if you can come up with effective ways to combine keyboards (especially Pipe Organs) with Guitars - really difficult but not insuperable.

A point to notice is that the Choir-Organ nexus (while very effective) is comparatively recent as the dominant church music form: it took over at parish level from the early C19th. Before then composers like Haydn and Mozart used orchestral instruments with voices; and such traditions go right back to Monteverdi and earlier.

Currently - at the request of my brother - I am arranging a whole set of Easter Triduum Hymns for Cor Anglais, Violin and single manual pipe Organ. If I get the energy I may also extend this to Responsorial Psalm, Gospel Acclamations and Mass settings!
T.E.Muir

Southern Comfort
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Re: Musical accompaniment on Good Friday

Post by Southern Comfort » Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:12 pm

dmu3tem wrote:Why not use other instruments as well as the organ? A mixed ensemble of voices and instruments offers exciting possibilities - and I do not mean Taize, St Thomas More or 'Folk' approaches.


What is the "St Thomas More" approach?

oopsorganist
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Re: Musical accompaniment on Good Friday

Post by oopsorganist » Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:12 am

SC asks
"What is the St. Thomas More Approach?"

Let me guess. Try not to stick your neck out but get your head cut off anyway?
(Imagines Incense Tom supporting the early days of truly Catholic but pre Reformation critical thinking, being just and , diplomatic but then dying for his faith, or being so problematically English Catholic that it takes hundreds of years for the church to recognise his sanctity).

Go for it, Incense Tom. Be a martyr to church music!
uh oh!

IncenseTom
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Re: Musical accompaniment on Good Friday

Post by IncenseTom » Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:33 pm

:lol:

PhloridaPhil
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Re: Musical accompaniment on Good Friday

Post by PhloridaPhil » Fri Jan 08, 2016 4:52 pm

I am waiting for an explanation from Thomas Muir of his spurious allusion to St Thomas More Group.

oopsorganist
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Re: Musical accompaniment on Good Friday

Post by oopsorganist » Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:13 pm

While we are waiting can I ask ITom if he has used This is the Wood of the Cross by Paul Inwood? It is a great piece for Good Friday. A best.
It might be in Laudate.
Paul Welicome has composed the entrance antiphon for Thursday which is great and singable too. We Should Glory in the Cross,etc. Not sure where you would find that now.
I am not near any hymnals at the moment.
uh oh!

Peter
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Re: Musical accompaniment on Good Friday

Post by Peter » Sat Jan 09, 2016 12:39 am

oopsorganist wrote:... can I ask ITom if he has used This is the Wood of the Cross by Paul Inwood? It is a great piece for Good Friday. A best.
It might be in Laudate.

It isn't in Laudate but it is in Music for the Mass 2. I've also got it in a book called Lord by your Cross ... and Resurrection: Celebrating Holy Week published by – the St Thomas More Centre!

Music for the Mass 2 also contains a setting of the Reproaches by Paul Inwood, including some optional instrumental descants.

PhloridaPhil
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Re: Musical accompaniment on Good Friday

Post by PhloridaPhil » Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:55 am

try Resurrexit by decani music Ltd

alan29
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Re: Musical accompaniment on Good Friday

Post by alan29 » Sat Jan 09, 2016 10:47 am

oopsorganist wrote:While we are waiting can I ask ITom if he has used This is the Wood of the Cross by Paul Inwood? It is a great piece for Good Friday. A best.
It might be in Laudate.
Paul Welicome has composed the entrance antiphon for Thursday which is great and singable too. We Should Glory in the Cross,etc. Not sure where you would find that now.
I am not near any hymnals at the moment.


Wouldn't that count as a paraphrase under the new "only these exact words" dispensation, and thus be ruled off-side?

oopsorganist
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Re: Musical accompaniment on Good Friday

Post by oopsorganist » Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:39 pm

I don't think it would be ruled offside if it is used as an Entrance Hymn - in fact it is a lot nearer the text than say for example There is a green hill faraway and other such cross hymns.
It would be good for a non accompanied service.
The offside rule is sometimes ignored.
Off topic but for example, the use of the chorus for O Come all Ye Faithful as the Profession of Faith. That might be offside. It was certainly a surprise.
uh oh!

alan29
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Re: Musical accompaniment on Good Friday

Post by alan29 » Sat Jan 09, 2016 6:34 pm

oopsorganist wrote:I don't think it would be ruled offside if it is used as an Entrance Hymn - in fact it is a lot nearer the text than say for example There is a green hill faraway and other such cross hymns.
It would be good for a non accompanied service.
The offside rule is sometimes ignored.
Off topic but for example, the use of the chorus for O Come all Ye Faithful as the Profession of Faith. That might be offside. It was certainly a surprise.

We use "O come let us adore him" as a consecration acclamation in these parts.
Not sure about entrance song on Good Friday. We start in silence. Its very powerful when the first thing heard sung is "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me."

IncenseTom
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Re: Musical accompaniment on Good Friday

Post by IncenseTom » Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:32 pm

We'll be starting in silence, singing the psalm unaccompanied, and the hymns will probably be something like:

When I Survey, O Sacred Head and O Come and Mourn during the veneration plus Crucem Tuam (in Ladate) for the choir.

My Song is Love Unknown or The Royal Banners during communion.

Behold the Wood of the Cross will be as in the Missal.

pP's not keen on having any singing during the Intercessions as he feels it makes it go on a bit too long (but I might be able to talk him round!)

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