Involving visitors - music of First Holy Communion

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sjgc
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Involving visitors - music of First Holy Communion

Post by sjgc » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:33 pm

Involving visitors in the music of First Holy Communion

Thinking ahead to the year’s liturgies, I wonder if anyone has some practical advice borne of experience as to how best to involve the many visitors who join us for First Holy Communion (for example grandparents, aunts and uncles) in singing joyfully and wholeheartedly when not overly familiar with church music.

We already make the music accessible in a welcoming booklet typeset to a good quality. We include just about all the music including the hymns and parts of the Mass, music dots as well as words (ensuring we have the appropriate licences).

I wonder what more we can be doing, perhaps ahead of the day and thinking about how to reach people. So, any pointers? Your thoughts very welcome.

organist
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Re: Involving visitors - music of First Holy Communion

Post by organist » Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:15 pm

I do not have to play for these services any more but a good booklet is an excellent start. It helps a lot if the clergy sing. An animator who can welcome everyone and go through some short responses beforehand helps too. Having a choir also helps! Responsorial settings are a good idea. Use settings the parishioners know well. Often what is known in school is completely unfamiliar! :)

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VML
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Re: Involving visitors - music of First Holy Communion

Post by VML » Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:40 pm

A singing celebrant does help, as I know from my daughter's parish. And PP there not only goes through responses vocally, but also, at FHC, makes clear that this is a solemn and holy occasion, not a photo opportunity. No cameras during Mass at all.

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Re: Involving visitors - music of First Holy Communion

Post by alan29 » Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:02 am

Yep. No cameras or phones, re-enforced at key points. Provide photo ops at the end.
And if the children know what they are doing and are well-behaved and joining in, the parents usually take their cue from them.

sjgc
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Re: Involving visitors - music of First Holy Communion

Post by sjgc » Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:50 pm

Thanks to organist, VML and alan29,
Lots of good pointers there, thank you. I think we could do more of a run through of key responses beforehand; we don't have a tradition of animators so that would be a good innovation especially for this Mass. The PP does emphasise that it is a solemn occasion and we also ban cameras - it was like having the paparazzi before we did this. I think I will finalise the music shortly and see if there are any opportunities to preview it with the children and their parents at least. The Kyrie will be responsorial, the Gloria used to be (as simplified) but is a through setting these days so quite a lot harder for infrequent or first-time visitors. Thanks, everyone, any further comments warmly appreciated.

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Re: Involving visitors - music of First Holy Communion

Post by Southern Comfort » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:44 pm

sjgc wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:50 pm
Thanks to organist, VML and alan29,
Lots of good pointers there, thank you. I think we could do more of a run through of key responses beforehand; we don't have a tradition of animators so that would be a good innovation especially for this Mass. The PP does emphasise that it is a solemn occasion and we also ban cameras - it was like having the paparazzi before we did this. I think I will finalise the music shortly and see if there are any opportunities to preview it with the children and their parents at least. The Kyrie will be responsorial, the Gloria used to be (as simplified) but is a through setting these days so quite a lot harder for infrequent or first-time visitors. Thanks, everyone, any further comments warmly appreciated.
Why sing the Kyrie? Why not just have a short spoken penitential act and get through it as quickly as possible on what ought to be a celebratory occasion. Or, instead of a penitential act, have a rite of blessing and sprinkling water to remind everyone, including the children, of their baptism, since 1st Communion is part of the initiation process. Then you can do a sprinkling song with a refrain, which will assist participation. Similarly, your diocese's current mass setting has a Gloria in two versions, one with a refrain, one without. Use the one with on this occasion, even if you don't normally.

Another maxim might be "Do less things", which will help infrequent attenders. But of course "Do them better"!

I'm in agreement with banning cameras (AND mobile phones). Otherwise you'll have phenomena such as, instead of holding the order of service and singing the entrance song, everyone is holding up their phones taking pictures of their kids...... But it needs explaining. People need to know that it's impossible to "photograph" a sacrament, and that by attempting to record a "magic moment" they are actually depriving themselves of the opportunity to enter into that moment by being fully present to it. Taking a picture in effect "distances" you from what's going on. You become a spectator instead of an integral "part" of the action.

These few thoughts off the top of my head.

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Gwyn
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Re: Involving visitors - music of First Holy Communion

Post by Gwyn » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:27 am

. . . have a rite of blessing and sprinkling water to remind everyone, including the children, of their baptism, since 1st Communion is part of the initiation process. Then you can do a sprinkling song with a refrain, which will assist participation.
An excellent suggestion S.C.

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Nick Baty
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Re: Involving visitors - music of First Holy Communion

Post by Nick Baty » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:06 pm

I agree with SC about using a responsorial Gloria. By introducing that, and a psalm response, before Mass, you're saying to the visitors, "You're welcome to be here and we'd love you to sing." Smile at them – and at their kids – and you'll get them on board.

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