Offertory hymns

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

User avatar
Gwyn
Posts: 1122
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2003 3:42 pm
Parish / Diocese: Archdiocese of Cardiff
Location: Abertillery, South Wales UK

Re: Offertory hymns

Post by Gwyn » Sun May 07, 2017 8:40 am

Iirc, the tune known as Mozart by some, and Nottingham by others is part of the Kyrie from Mozart's Twelfth Mass.
I'm open to fraternal correction of course. :)

blackthorn fairy
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:36 am
Parish / Diocese: Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Wellingborough Northamptonshire

Re: Offertory hymns

Post by blackthorn fairy » Sun May 07, 2017 1:30 pm

I don't know about the Kyrie from a Mozart Mass, but Nottingham (77 77 metre) is found in Common Praise (number 581) and is ascribed to Wenzel Müller (1747-1835). As I learnt it at school, I went first to Songs of Praise (our school hymn book) but was surprised to find that Nottingham is not there. I expect our enterprising music mistress (NB Welsh, Gwyn!) knew it from elsewhere and decided it was better than the one on offer in SOP - which was pretty dire I must admit.

IncenseTom
Posts: 194
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:50 pm
Parish / Diocese: Diocese of Leeds

Re: Offertory hymns

Post by IncenseTom » Wed May 10, 2017 3:51 pm

My only contribution to this topic is to consider the length of the Offertory hymn.

Can you get through the whole thing before the priest is ready to carry on with the liturgy or are you going to hold things up to fit in all 8 verses for the sake of it, thus making the liturgy the servant of the music, rather than music servant of the liturgy???

If you go for a short hymn are you able to 'cover' what's going on once it's finished by improvising during the incensing, etc?

And a step on from that, are you able to modulate, include other fireworks and conclude your improvisation so it's perfectly timed with the incensing of the congregation?

I find timings and length of hymns impact on choice much more than I realise........

High Peak
Posts: 151
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:49 pm
Parish / Diocese: Diocese of Nottingham
Location: Derbyshire

Re: Offertory hymns

Post by High Peak » Wed May 10, 2017 9:25 pm

IncenseTom wrote:
Wed May 10, 2017 3:51 pm
My only contribution to this topic is to consider the length of the Offertory hymn.

Can you get through the whole thing before the priest is ready to carry on with the liturgy or are you going to hold things up to fit in all 8 verses for the sake of it, thus making the liturgy the servant of the music, rather than music servant of the liturgy???

If you go for a short hymn are you able to 'cover' what's going on once it's finished by improvising during the incensing, etc?

And a step on from that, are you able to modulate, include other fireworks and conclude your improvisation so it's perfectly timed with the incensing of the congregation?

I find timings and length of hymns impact on choice much more than I realise........
All very good points, IT!

dmu3tem
Posts: 250
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 3:11 pm
Location: Frozen North

Re: Offertory hymns

Post by dmu3tem » Fri May 26, 2017 9:43 am

Here are some more possibilities - some very old! I hope I am not duplicating other suggestions:

O Bread of Heaven, beneath this veil : Originally in the Crown of Jesus Music. Brilliant tune by Hemy! However it has a tendency to sound a bit slushy and sentimental if it is not performed cleanly and only a minimum of rubato. No swooping onto the notes either!

Let us break bread together on our knees (in Hymns Ancient and Modern) - nice revivalist tune

Lord, accept the gifts we offer - text is a bit creaky but very much to the point with its enunciation of the doctrine of transubstantiation! Tune is the old Tantum Ergo setting adapted by Samuel Webbe the elder.

Bring flowers of the rarest: really a May hymn in honour the BVM; but the theme of 'offering' might render it suitable. The music needs to be rearranged so that it clicks along at a light fast waltz type pace (its really a folk tune collected by Hemy). This is a good exercise in arranging a hymn for melody instrument and vamp style keyboard.

Don't forget hymns that focus on a devotional attention as well e.g. 'Be Still for the presence of the Lord' (excellent tune by Evans - I think) or 'Be Still My Soul' (tune is an adaptation for Finlandia by Sibelius. I don't like this very much; but in my experience congregations enjoy it very much.

There is quite a nice setting by Dom Gregory Murray of 'Reap me the earth'. Also on a related theme 'Now the Green Blade Riseth' (not strictly an offertory hymn but will certainly do during and immediately after Easter).
T.E.Muir

User avatar
VML
Posts: 674
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2004 12:57 am
Parish / Diocese: Clifton Diocese
Location: Glos

Re: Offertory hymns

Post by VML » Fri May 26, 2017 1:06 pm

Thanks for these t.e.m, certainly I have never used O Bread of Heaven at prep of gifts, but may do now.

User avatar
Nick Baty
Posts: 2067
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2006 11:27 am
Parish / Diocese: Everton, Liverpool
Contact:

Re: Offertory hymns

Post by Nick Baty » Fri May 26, 2017 10:24 pm

IncenseTom wrote:
Wed May 10, 2017 3:51 pm
Can you get through the whole thing before the priest is ready to carry on with the liturgy...
But why would you want to? Just select the verses/section which (1) best fit the feast and (2) are the right length for the job.

alan29
Posts: 1062
Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 8:04 pm
Location: Wirral

Re: Offertory hymns

Post by alan29 » Sat May 27, 2017 9:53 am

At our main Sunday Mass we sing during the collection and stop when the kiddies return from their liturgy of the word and are asked by the priest what they did and learned. Then the priest goes on to the preparation of the gifts while I and a guitarist (excellent) quietly improvise on the hymn just sung, bringing it to a close as people stand for the "pray brethren....." invitation. Seems to work well.
If there's a hymn with a link to the gospel, we sing that. If not it is one of the standard offertory or seasonal hymns.

IncenseTom
Posts: 194
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:50 pm
Parish / Diocese: Diocese of Leeds

Re: Offertory hymns

Post by IncenseTom » Sat May 27, 2017 6:41 pm

Nick Baty wrote:
Fri May 26, 2017 10:24 pm
IncenseTom wrote:
Wed May 10, 2017 3:51 pm
Can you get through the whole thing before the priest is ready to carry on with the liturgy...
But why would you want to? Just select the verses/section which (1) best fit the feast and (2) are the right length for the job.
Because who bothers to try and get the congregation to do verse 2, 3 and 6?
Most parishes use hymn book rather than weekly liturgy sheets which can be bespoke

Getting folk to pick up a hymn book, open it at the right page at the right time and join in is tricky enough without randomising which verses are going to be used.

Better to just start and finish at the appropriate moment regardless of how far through you are.

User avatar
Nick Baty
Posts: 2067
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2006 11:27 am
Parish / Diocese: Everton, Liverpool
Contact:

Re: Offertory hymns

Post by Nick Baty » Sat May 27, 2017 10:02 pm

IncenseTom wrote:
Sat May 27, 2017 6:41 pm
Getting folk to pick up a hymn book, open it at the right page at the right time and join in is tricky enough without randomising which verses are going to be used.
Totally agree. One of the many reasons we never use hymn books.

Southern Comfort
Posts: 1792
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 12:31 pm

Re: Offertory hymns

Post by Southern Comfort » Sun May 28, 2017 1:49 pm

IncenseTom wrote:
Sat May 27, 2017 6:41 pm
Because who bothers to try and get the congregation to do verse 2, 3 and 6?
Any self-respecting song leader can and does announce which verses of the opening (or final) hymn we're going to sing. And then sing with the people, making sure that you sing the correct ones yourself!

Peter
Posts: 239
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 6:05 pm

Re: Offertory hymns

Post by Peter » Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:44 pm

dmu3tem wrote:
Fri May 26, 2017 9:43 am
Here are some more possibilities - some very old! I hope I am not duplicating other suggestions:

O Bread of Heaven, beneath this veil : Originally in the Crown of Jesus Music. Brilliant tune by Hemy! However it has a tendency to sound a bit slushy and sentimental if it is not performed cleanly and only a minimum of rubato. No swooping onto the notes either!

Let us break bread together on our knees (in Hymns Ancient and Modern) - nice revivalist tune

Lord, accept the gifts we offer - text is a bit creaky but very much to the point with its enunciation of the doctrine of transubstantiation! Tune is the old Tantum Ergo setting adapted by Samuel Webbe the elder.

Bring flowers of the rarest: really a May hymn in honour the BVM; but the theme of 'offering' might render it suitable. The music needs to be rearranged so that it clicks along at a light fast waltz type pace (its really a folk tune collected by Hemy). This is a good exercise in arranging a hymn for melody instrument and vamp style keyboard.

Don't forget hymns that focus on a devotional attention as well e.g. 'Be Still for the presence of the Lord' (excellent tune by Evans - I think) or 'Be Still My Soul' (tune is an adaptation for Finlandia by Sibelius. I don't like this very much; but in my experience congregations enjoy it very much.

There is quite a nice setting by Dom Gregory Murray of 'Reap me the earth'. Also on a related theme 'Now the Green Blade Riseth' (not strictly an offertory hymn but will certainly do during and immediately after Easter).
As with some of the suggestions made earlier in this thread, I would question the suitability of most of these for the Offertory.

O Bread of Heaven could be used for Communion as it refers to "feeding", though to me it's really a Eucharistic Adoration hymn (and that's where Laudate places it). At the Offertory, though, it's not appropriate, as the bread is still just that and doesn't "conceal" anything until after the Consecration.

Let us break bread together is open to a lot of nit-picking quibbles. We don't break anything "together" as it's the priest who does it for us and whether we are "on our knees" at the time depends on how strictly we're following the GIRM (though "all as one" is an alternative text that gets round this point). Also, while the fraction rite is called the "Breaking of Bread" it does come after the Consecration and what we are subsequently "drink[ing] together" (in verse 2) is no longer wine.

Lord accept the gifts we offer is the only one on this list that is a true Offertory hymn in that it clearly refers to the gifts before the Consecration, though to be strict they are not about to be "transformed" but "transubstantiated".

I don't agree that the "theme of offering" in Bring flowers of the rarest makes it suitable for the Offertory: the words are directed totally towards Mary and not the Mass, so it's a completely different offering in a completely different context.

I posted my objections to Be still for the presence as an Offertory hymn earlier on this thread at viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1975#p26713. Be still my soul has no particular relevance to the Offertory, though as it doesn't conflict with it, it could be used there if it fits with the readings of the day, feast or other context. The same applies to Now the green blade riseth, especially, as dmu3tem says, during Eastertide.

Reap me the earth is a text I did not know, though having looked it up I agree it could be used at the Offertory.

Last week as I set off on a sunny morning for my niece's wedding, Gilbert and Sullivan's Brightly dawns our wedding day sprang to mind. However, later parts of the text and particularly its context in The Mikado make it unsuitable for use at a wedding. Similarly, the first lines of hymns are not necessarily reliable guides to their suitability for a given purpose: as noted earlier Gifts of bread and wine looks like an Offertory hymn but it's really a Communion one.

Southern Comfort
Posts: 1792
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 12:31 pm

Re: Offertory hymns

Post by Southern Comfort » Sun Jun 11, 2017 2:24 pm

I think there's a fundamental misunderstanding going on here.

Hymns sung at the Presentation of the Gifts (let's stop calling it the Offertory) don't have to mention bread, wine, gifts..... And they certainly shouldn't mention the fact that we offer, because we don't actually do that until later on, during the Eucharistic Prayer (that's why we need to stop calling it the Offertory).

The best hymns for this time are actually those that reflect back upon the Liturgy of the Word we have just celebrated, which means that they will relate to the scriptures of the day. We celebrate the Liturgy of the Eucharist in the light of what we have celebrated in the Liturgy of the Word. The bread that we will break and share is a response to the Word that has been broken open for us.

That being so, the Song during the Presentation of the Gifts is like a kind of hinge, joining the two Tables together.

So — why do some "Offertory Hymns" talk about bread, and wine, offering gifts, etc? Because they were introduced at a time when people did not understand so clearly what was happening at this point in the Mass (perhaps that is still the case!) and so were to some extent catechetical in nature. I think we have moved on from there. The Mass is not primarily an occasion for catechesis.

User avatar
Nick Baty
Posts: 2067
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2006 11:27 am
Parish / Diocese: Everton, Liverpool
Contact:

Re: Offertory hymns

Post by Nick Baty » Sun Jun 11, 2017 4:19 pm

Southern Comfort wrote:
Sun Jun 11, 2017 2:24 pm
That being so, the Song during the Presentation of the Gifts is like a kind of hinge, joining the two Tables together.
It' also the third of the four processions during Mass and, as the other three all take their theme from the Gospel, so should the Presentation of Gifts. I like Southern Comfort's "hinge" idea – but I also think of it as the Act Two overture in a musical show – that usually reminds us of what's gone on in the first half. I don't think we've ever (well, 13 years in present parish) used anything from the Offertory section in a hymnal. After all, there is so much more to choose from.

User avatar
Nick Baty
Posts: 2067
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2006 11:27 am
Parish / Diocese: Everton, Liverpool
Contact:

Re: Offertory hymns

Post by Nick Baty » Sun Jun 11, 2017 4:29 pm

PS. Can we save this item until the Presentation of Gifts, rather than ploughing through it during the collection? (Although that's exactly what I did this morning! :? )

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests