Dot wrote: ....lack of connectivity with the readings [is a] feature which detract[s] from their general use.
Another tendency to "themes". Where has this desire to make all texts fit snugly into a "relevant theme" come from? Where does the Church ask us to make sure all the songs we sing at Mass reflect the message of the Gospel, for example? (As if each Gospel pericope (or entire Liturgy of the Word) can be condensed into a single theme anyway) If you can find an ecclesial mandate for this please do tell - for the Liturgy is not, as it were, a divine lesson plan and we are not in a classroom expecting God to ram home one particular point into our brains.
So let's take the Communion Song. Read GIRM 87 and CTM 213.
Musical form follows liturgical function. This is a processional song for which the Antiphonal form is most appropriate. People are being asked to pray together (in unity) on the move, without books. Then after Communion, the assembly can sink into silent prayer.
Martin wrote:I think I want a simple Simple Gradual!
..... I think there is a lot to be explored in using short biblical texts that can either be sung on their own or in dialogue with verses sung by cantor or choir which accompany liturgical action
Yes there is. And if we took the Simple Gradual, at least as a guide, we composers should be able to see what kind of text
is appropriate for the Communion song. Consider:
1 - This is not meant to be a hymn of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (CTM 213 penultimate bullet point) or a meditation on the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
2 - The Psalms in themselves are the inspired Word of God - and they are Jesus' own prayers. (Does that make the relevant enough for you? Even the odd one or two which the Hebrews pinched from the Egyptian worship of pagan gods which were adapted to the cult of YHWH?)
3 - With whom are we being placed "in communion"? Through the crowning act of full and conscious participation in the liturgy - eating and drinking Christ's Body and Blood - we are in communion not with Him but
- in the unity of the Spirit - with God the Father.
Here are the recommended Psalms (prayers to the Father) for the Communion Songs throughout the year - (Graduale Simplex in usum minorum ecclesiarum
Advent Psalm 84
Christmas Psalm 97
Epiphany Psalm 95
I Psalm 5
II Psalm 44
III Psalm 26
IV Psalm 42
V & Palm Psalm 115
H Thurs Psalm 115
Easter Psalms 65 and 104
I Psalm 15
II Psalm 95
Ascension Psalm 109
Pentecost Psalm 77
Trinity Song of David
Corpus Christi Psalm 22
Xt the King Song of David
Read them. Pray them. Start composing imaginative and prayerful processional songs using them - with antiphonal refrains for the assembly - now! Make them paraphrased "Psalm Songs" by all means, if you want to.
And as regards so-called relevance - imagine we had only one of those psalms (taking one everyone knows) - Psalm 22(LXX) [23 Heb] Wouldn't that text be relevant at any Mass? Of course it would.