Only 20 hymns

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Hare
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Re: Only 20 hymns

Post by Hare » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:38 pm

alan29 wrote:
Hare wrote:
alan29 wrote:
When I was taught liturgy in the seminary decades ago, we were told that the Mass is uniquely adressed to the Father, through Christ our Lord the great high priest. From start to end, that is.
Hymns and prayers to Mary and the saints have their place in the Office and at novenas etc.
Has something changed?


Are we still talking specifically about The Assumption? If so, and hymns are used in place of the Antiphons, which as part of the Propers are relevant to the theme of the day, what is wrong with Marian hymns at mass?


Who are the proper antiphons adressed to? Are they petitioning Mary?
I was thinking especially of Pentecost this year where the Mass ended with a Marian hymn. I will own up to actually being shocked that the Holy Spirit had been displaced.


From memory, the Entrance Antiphon is taken from the 1st Reading (Apocalypse, I think) and the Communion Antiphon from The Magnificat.

May is a VERY difficult question. In most parishes there would be a riot if Marian hymns were not sung. (Some years ago, I resisted; there were complaints; I had to either "toe the line" or the music choices would have been taken away from me) This year, on Pentecost, we closed with "Sing we of the Blessed Mother" which talks about Pentecost in v.3 so we were all happy! Likewise, on Trinity we ended with "Hail, Queen of heaven" as the last verse is Trinitarian!

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keitha
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Re: Only 20 hymns

Post by keitha » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:41 pm

I suppose if we are going to have a repertoire of only 20 hymns most of our liturgical niceties would have to go out of the window. The Entrance Antiphons for the Assumption vary from "Glorious things are spoken of you, O Mary, who today were exalted above the choirs of Angels into eternal triumph with Christ" (Vigil Mass), through "A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon beneath her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars" (Option 1, day mass) to "Let us all rejoice in the Lord, as we celebrate the feast day in honour of the Virgin Mary, at whose Assumption the Angels rejoice and praise the Son of God" (Option 2).

If we are having a list of 20 which Marian hymn might cover all of these bases? And then we get to the Prayer over the Offerings and the Communion Antiphon...
Keith Ainsworth

Hare
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Re: Only 20 hymns

Post by Hare » Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:06 am

keitha wrote:I suppose if we are going to have a repertoire of only 20 hymns most of our liturgical niceties would have to go out of the window. The Entrance Antiphons for the Assumption vary from "Glorious things are spoken of you, O Mary, who today were exalted above the choirs of Angels into eternal triumph with Christ" (Vigil Mass), through "A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon beneath her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars" (Option 1, day mass) to "Let us all rejoice in the Lord, as we celebrate the feast day in honour of the Virgin Mary, at whose Assumption the Angels rejoice and praise the Son of God" (Option 2).

If we are having a list of 20 which Marian hymn might cover all of these bases? And then we get to the Prayer over the Offerings and the Communion Antiphon...


No point dwelling on it - the idea of a 20 hymn repertoire is laughably ludicrous any way!! There are times I despair of this forum.

IncenseTom
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Re: Only 20 hymns

Post by IncenseTom » Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:40 pm

"Go, the Mass is ended"
"Thanks be to God"

Loud, crashing organ music while the priest processes to Our Lady's Altar

All sing 'Regina Caeli' in Eastertide, or 'Salve Regina' if we get back to Ordinary time whilst still in May and during October.

Loud, crashing organ music as the ministers process out.


That's my approach to "The Mary Problem".

High Peak
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Re: Only 20 hymns

Post by High Peak » Wed Aug 31, 2016 6:39 pm

Hare wrote:May is a VERY difficult question. In most parishes there would be a riot if Marian hymns were not sung. (Some years ago, I resisted; there were complaints; I had to either "toe the line" or the music choices would have been taken away from me) This year, on Pentecost, we closed with "Sing we of the Blessed Mother" which talks about Pentecost in v.3 so we were all happy! Likewise, on Trinity we ended with "Hail, Queen of heaven" as the last verse is Trinitarian!


If attempts were made to impose such editorial controls upon me......................then I'd be off. :wink:

JW
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Re: Only 20 hymns

Post by JW » Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:04 pm

Hare, High Peak, I'd actually be quite happy if someone else chose the music. I could moan about their choices then instead of having people moan about mine!!!

Seriously though, in general, priests seem to have delegated the choice of music to musicians. I've never been sure if this is entirely appropriate. Surely music should be chosen jointly by the celebrant and musicians? Of course, this would require a planning meeting. but would that be such a bad thing?
On the other hand, if we are serious about giving Music Directors the responsibility of choosing music, then the parish, including the clergy, need to trust the judgement of the Music Director. Sadly, this doesn't always happen.

I'm not paid on a Sunday, and I've manouvered myself into playing for a Mass where I 'm much appreciated. Having stepped away from directing music from our main Mass three years ago, they know I'll simply resign if I get too uncomfortable with what I'm asked to do. Life's too short and I'm too old for the stress. As the only trained organist operating in my deanery, the clergy at least have become aware of the need to retain the talent they have.

The reason I'd suggest that our bishops pronounce on musical issues, e.g. Marian hymns during Mass, is that it would give Music Directors an argument for doing the right thing, even though a parish might choose to ignore what the bishop says. For example, Westminster have stipulated that every parish should know the Missal Tone and the St Anne's Mass, so episcopal oversight of music isn't entirely unknown.

The biggest problem in my experience is strong-willed people with little liturgical knowledge, including musicians and singers, complaining to Father when they disagree with the direction that the music is taking, but they aren't prepared to do the work to choose music themselves.
JW

IncenseTom
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Re: Only 20 hymns

Post by IncenseTom » Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:05 pm

JW wrote:Seriously though, in general, priests seem to have delegated the choice of music to musicians. I've never been sure if this is entirely appropriate. Surely music should be chosen jointly by the celebrant and musicians?


My PP leaves it up to me, because he know's I'll choose the thing he would choose himself, and I know that he wouldn't hesitate to have a quiet word if we ever did anything he wasn't happy with.
It's always very collaborative for Christmas, Easter, First Holy Communion, etc.

JW wrote:The biggest problem in my experience is strong-willed people with little liturgical knowledge, including musicians and singers, complaining to Father when they disagree with the direction that the music is taking, but they aren't prepared to do the work to choose music themselves.


Spot on.

Southern Comfort
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Re: Only 20 hymns

Post by Southern Comfort » Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:50 pm

I worked in a parish once where I was told "Oh yes, the people know lots of hymns". I soon discovered that they didn't know ANY. Not a single one. The music had been ruled by a choir that did ghastly Victorian Mass settings (think Turner in E flat, etc) and motets, and NOTHING else.

So I started with Gospel Acclamations, then acclamations during the E.P., then penitential rites and Communion psalms and responsorial psalms..... gradually expanding the repertoire, much of it call-response initially or songs with refrains. Not a single standard hymn, and no one noticed or seemed to mind. After six months, we had a couple of simple Mass settings under our belt (only one Gloria), and only at Christmas did we starts to sing carols and hymns.

So perhaps we need a different thread entitled "No hymns at all" !

oopsorganist
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Re: Only 20 hymns

Post by oopsorganist » Sat Sep 03, 2016 7:06 pm

Seconded.
uh oh!

justMary
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Re: Only 20 hymns

Post by justMary » Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:22 pm

Hare wrote:No point dwelling on it - the idea of a 20 hymn repertoire is laughably ludicrous any way!! There are times I despair of this forum.


While I'd like to be agreeing - I'm also aware that for some places it may be a reality. I'd hope that at least it's 20 hymns plus some settings of the Ordinary. But you never know. Not everyone has the services of a trained musician, or the liturgical and musical sensibilities that people posting here have.

And it was an interesting exercise to see if there is a list of 20 pieces that give some semblance of cover to the liturgical year - as opposed to "20 hymns I like"



How about ' Hail the day that sees him rise' for Ascension, sung to Llanfair?


A fine suggestion, and I'd love to have it on my list. But the current parish (which is where my list is for) doesn't know it yet, and I'm not sure if it's the sort of thing I could cajole any of the stronger musicians (ones who can so stuff the parish doesn't know yet) into learning.

JW
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Re: Only 20 hymns

Post by JW » Sun Sep 04, 2016 2:53 pm

Picking up on SC's point about no hymns at all. There are many places like Brompton Oratory and Farm Street who don't have hymns at their 11.00 Sunday Masses, but these tend to be Latin affairs and the congregation has no active participation in the music, apart from listening to the choir. In most English parishes, hymns have become so important to people that it would cause serious problems if hymns were to be banished. It means a lot to people to be able to sing God's praises in their own language and using familiar tunes and words. Lutheran chorales were so successful after the Reformation for similar reasons.

Rightly or wrongly, it is generally considered to be more important to sing hymns than Mass settings. In my absence next week, I know the congregation will sing hymns completely unaccompanied, but will not sing the mass parts, even though they know 3 settings very well. When I stepped down from directing our main Mass, I was informed by one of our musicians that "of course this nonsense of singing the Gloria and the Psalm will stop straight away - we'll just do the easy Mass parts". They stopped singing the psalm but still sing the Gloria.
JW

Hare
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Re: Only 20 hymns

Post by Hare » Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:08 am

JW wrote: In my absence next week, I know the congregation will sing hymns completely unaccompanied, but will not sing the mass parts, even though they know 3 settings very well.


Sadly, that is the case at my church too. PP's decision. I don't know why they can't just have a quiet Mass.

Hare
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Re: Only 20 hymns

Post by Hare » Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:10 am

justMary wrote:
Hare wrote:No point dwelling on it - the idea of a 20 hymn repertoire is laughably ludicrous any way!! There are times I despair of this forum.


While I'd like to be agreeing - I'm also aware that for some places it may be a reality. I'd hope that at least it's 20 hymns plus some settings of the Ordinary. But you never know. Not everyone has the services of a trained musician, or the liturgical and musical sensibilities that people posting here have.

And it was an interesting exercise to see if there is a list of 20 pieces that give some semblance of cover to the liturgical year - as opposed to "20 hymns I like"



How about ' Hail the day that sees him rise' for Ascension, sung to Llanfair?


A fine suggestion, and I'd love to have it on my list. But the current parish (which is where my list is for) doesn't know it yet, and I'm not sure if it's the sort of thing I could cajole any of the stronger musicians (ones who can so stuff the parish doesn't know yet) into learning.


^Hail the day" is not exactly new or esoteric. Surely it was known in the parish at some time? How did it (and others) drop out of the repertoire?

justMary
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Re: Only 20 hymns

Post by justMary » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:39 pm

^Hail the day" is not exactly new or esoteric. Surely it was known in the parish at some time? How did it (and others) drop out of the repertoire?


New-ish parish, formed approx 10 years ago. New part of the city, lots of young families, not so many older people, lots of immigrants. Some people will know it - but I don't know how many. I'd not expect much though, based on the middling-to-poor response we get to Holy God we Praise Thy Name, and the total ignorance of When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.

Also, I suspect you under-estimate just how much is simply not in the repertoire of post VII people. I'm in my late 40s, and I'd never consciously been aware of Hail the Day until I started researching hymns. Maybe it was there in my early 70s childhood (I certainly have Holy God / Praise to Lord / All Creatures / When I Survey / Firmly I Believe / etc) but I don't remember it at all.

dmu3tem
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Re: Only 20 hymns

Post by dmu3tem » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:49 am

Should not this entire discussion be reclassified/positioned under the section 'Core Repertoire'?
T.E.Muir

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