A fresh start for congregational singing

Necessity is the mother of invention, so they say, and the unprecedented circumstances brought about by COVID has changed the way we do many things. While there have been undesirable elements, the use of online platforms, for example, has opened up new possibilities for businesses and education.

This week the announcement has been made that churches may resume congregational singing and already, people of goodwill are posting online about resurrecting hymns of varying musical and theological quality.

In the case of sacred music I suggest that we also adapt our thinking and that the necessity of objectively beautiful liturgy should become the mother of a reinvention of how we approach parish music.

This fresh start for congregational singing is the ideal opportunity to rid ourselves of heretical ditties (eat my bread and drink my wine?!) and to get down to the business of singing the liturgy. Why sing at Mass when you can Sing The Mass? While many think that music at Mass is down to personal taste, we must remember that there are church documents on what is required for Mass and hymns are not the top priority.

It’s not as big a deal as some may think.

Have a cantor or group start with learning one Gregorian setting of the Ordinary parts of the Mass. Even have the organist play the chants before Mass as people gather and they will soon sink in.

Once this has been sung for a month and the congregation have joined in, have the cantors sing the introit/entrance chant and continue to build things up.

Don’t know where to find the chant?

Chant Tool

Ordinary Form or Extraordinary Form.

Website and App. Print or view on a device. Easily send  chant selections to others via email or WhatsApp. The full chant can be selected or a short and simple ‘psalm tone’ version.

Square Notes

Ordinary and Extraordinary Form. App.

 

Graduale Parvum

Ordinary Form only. Simple settings of the texts of the Mass in English or Latin. The Responsorial Psalm can be replaced with the original Gradual Chant.

 

ICKSP website

Extraordinary Form only. PDF downloads

Corpus Christi Watershed

Ordinary Form and Extraordinary Form. PDF downloads. Explore site to find beautiful responsorial psalms, the Ordinary of the Mass etc in modern notation and with options for organ accompaniments.

Let’s make the ‘New Normal’ in our churches, beautiful liturgies that draw the mind and heart to God and evangelise through transcendence.

If I can help any priests, singers or organists to get started, get in touch!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recording: O Quam Gloriosum, Victoria

Recorded at St Brigid’s Toryglen on the feast of All Saints 2020 Sung as a solo with the other parts supplied by the organ due to the covid restrictions on choirs.

O quam gloriosum est regnum, in quo cum Christo gaudent omnes Sancti! Amicti stolis albis, sequuntur Agnum, quocumque ierit.

O how glorious is the kingdom in which all the saints rejoice with Christ, clad in robes of white they follow the Lamb wherever he goes.

Christ the King Video Post

Music for the feast of Christ the King, comprising of sacred music written for the liturgies of the French monarchy.

Details of the organ can be found here

Prelude- Improvisation on the Kyrie from the Missa Regia, composed for the coronation of Louis XIV by Henri Du Mont.

Introit of the Mass-

Offertory- Duo from Clerambault’s Suite on the first tone. He was organist at St Sulpice, Paris and organist to the royal court.

The exception- Communion Motet-Jesu Rex Admirabilis. Palestrina. Written for three voices but sung as a solo due to the covid restrictions.

Postlude-

 

Music List: 25th October 2020

5.30pm Vigil Mass, St Dominic’s Bishopbriggs

Prelude- Duo, Suite du Premier Ton, Clerambault
Communion- Recit de Cromorne et de cornet separe, Suite du Premier Ton, Clerambault
Postlude- Grand Plein Jeu, Suite du Premier Ton, Clerambault

 

9.30 & 11am- St Brigid’s Toryglen

25th October- Christ the King
Proper- Dignus est Agnus
Prelude- Improvisation: Kyrie, Missa Regia
Offertory- Duo, Suite du Premier Ton, Clerambault
Communion Motet- Jesu Rex Admirabilis, Palestrina
Postlude- Grand Plein Jeu, Suite du Premier Ton, Clerambault

Music lists 17/18th October 2020

Vigil -St Dominic’s Bishopbriggs (2Man&Ped)

Prelude- ‘Durch Adams Fall is ganz verderbt’ BWV 705
Communion- Prelude in C Minor BWV 934
Postlude- Prelude and fugue in G Major BWV 557

9.30 & 11am- St Brigid’s Toryglen (1 Manual)

Proper- Omnia quae fecisti
Prelude- Duo sur Les Tierces*
Offertory- Trio a 2 dessus de Chromhorne et la basse de Tierce*
Communion- Recit de Chomrhorne*
Postlude- Kyrie et fugue sur la trompette*

* Messe Pour Les Couvents, Francois Couperin

Recording: Not the Fauré you may think…

Here is the tail end of the communion antiphon and  J. Faure’s O Salutaris Hostia during Mass at St Brigid’s, Toryglen yesterday. Experimenting with solo motets duiring covid restrictions on choirs. Excuse the couple of blips- I put the tv monitor in a different place and a glance turned into a search!

Posting the odd mistake is good for efforts to get over one’s self. I’ll get there one day.

 

Organ Masses 10th/11th October

5.30pm Vigil Mass, St Dominic’s, Bishopbriggs

Prelude- Prelude, Dubois*
Communion- Cantiléne Religieuse, Dubois
Postlude- Marche Sortie, Dubois

*Seven pieces for organ, 1898

9.30am & 11am, St Brigid’ s, Toryglen

Proper- Salus Populi
Prelude- Andantino ma non troppo, Cinq Elevations, Heures Mystiques Op. 29, Leon Boellmann
Offertory- Perambule, Op. 31, Louis Vierne
Communion- O Salutaris Hostia, J.B. Faure
Postlude- Allegro decisio, Cinq Sorties, Heures Mystiques Op. 29, Leon Boellmann