Monday, February 18, 2008

Interesting Communion Music Thoughts

As those of you who know me may know (ugh, horrible sentence construction!) ... I am an occasional cantor at the 7.45 am Mass at Immaculate Conception Church. I am one of four cantors, and we generally rotate the cantoring duties amongst ourselves. In general, the organist provides an Organ Voluntary during Communion. One of the cantors insists on singing a Communion song (with the drivel that comprises the Communion section in Gather Comprehensive, I refuse to call it a hymn) during that time.

As mentioned in an earlier post, for Lent II, the organist and I decided I would chant #383, Parce Domine during Communion. The way we handled this, I chanted the antiphon ("Parce Domine, parce populo tuo: ne in æternum irascaris nobis") only twice, once at the beginning and at the end. It essentially bookended Psalm 51:3-6; 12, chanted to Tonus Peregrinus. We received lots of nice compliments over that one that Organist and I had an interesting idea - just for a change of pace, I'd find some appropriate Latin chants that I could do at Communion. I've access to the Liber Usualis, so I could flip through that and see what would be appropriate.

Ah, a thought just came to my mind. I'm sure the Liber Usualis has the appropriate Communion antiphons for the appropriate dates indicated. An idea would be to propose to Miss Organista that I would chant those, with verses to an appropriate Psalm to ... something ... some sort of appropriate Psalm Tone for the season ...

If you're reading this, and you have an opinion one way or the other to share, please write down your thoughts in the combox. Concrit especially welcomed, particularly from the Liturgically Learned amongst you.


Scelata said...

Couldn't "get away" that at my parish, THE PEOPLE MUST SING OR IT'S NOT FULL ACTIVE CONSCIOUS PARTICIPATION, never mind that it is unnatural to sings and eat and drink at the ame time.
We can have choir after the congregational song, (and I admit, I "accidentally" reverse that order sometime.)
During non-choir Masses I fill in after the congregational communion song (I agree with you about Gather's contents,) with organ music.
But since one does not use purely instrumental music during Lent, I have been singing Attende Domine, or Jesu Dulcis, and hope to do Ubi Caritas, and the Gregorian Ave Verum both because I think them appropriate, and as a means of "stealth" teaching the congregation.

I think you idea is great, but you might want to limit it to one of the ad libitum communion antiphons that eventually the congregation would pick up in spite of themselves?


(Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

Lyn F. said...

Oh, I know - FCAP. Silly me - always thought that actively paying attention, even if silent, still falls under the FCAP umbrella. Perhaps I was wrong?

It looks like I don't cantor again until the First Sunday after Easter, but I'm sure we'll come up with something by then.

Thanks for your comments.

Brian Michael Page said...

When I was at the ghosthouse, I took a shot at chanting the Introit (to a Psalm tone) about two minutes before Mass, and the Communion (from the Gregorian Missal) while the choir received. However, the pastor asked me to stop. It was "confusing the people". "By Flowing Waters" didn't hit it off too well there either.


Lyn F. said...

Confusing the people? I wonder how? Or, could it have been Monsieur le Pastor who was the confused one?

Thanks for your comments.