Monday, January 21, 2008

liturgical music in a rural NH parish

I attended two Sunday morning Masses. The music looked like this:

Entrance (called "Gathering"):
8:30: Dufford "All the Ends of the Earth"
10:00: Lift High the Cross (accompanied on the piano)

Opening prayer: sung

Resp. psalm: Cooney "Here I Am, Lord" (that's Cooney, not Schutte)

Alleluia: Celtic Alleluia

Offertory (called "Preparation"): Haas "You Are Mine"

Sn/MA/GA/Ag: Mass of Creation
"Jesus, Bread of Life" was the incipit for the 2nd of 3 iterations of the LoG

Communion: Behold the Lamb

Recessional: Sing of the Lord's Goodness

I think this is a "poster-child" for stereotypical American Catholic liturgical music. (Everything but the sung opening prayer.) The organ was a really crappy Allen digital thing, so I shed no tears over not hearing it very much. (The accompanist couldn't play it well enough to do the hymn, apparently.)

The congregation sang ok - most folks did not sing, but that's typical everywhere, so hey.

I avoid "You Are Mine". Enough people in a choir know it that they want to sing it, which necessitates rehearsing each verse because they're all slightly different. Then someone says, "can we run this whole song just once". Before you know it, 15 minutes of rehearsal time are gone that could have been spent developing the choir musically rather than teaching them congregational music.

I use "Behold the Lamb". It's simple and straightforward enough to be taught to folks who don't know it in about 5 minutes. And it's well-known enough that I usually have to spend little, if any, time on it.

Cooney "Here I Am" is not too bad. I'd use it outside the Liturgy of the Word, but I'd still probably use it. It's a good text for themes of mission. The accompaniment is very piano-ish, but it could reduce fine for the organ.

The Dufford is a little kitschy, I think.

"Sing of the Lord's Goodness" is fun, I think, but not consistent with an environment that Western culture connotes as sacred and awesome.


At Monday, January 21, 2008 3:56:00 PM, Blogger HilbertAstronaut said...

I can't sing or hear "You Are Mine" without imagining a Phantom-of-the-Opera - style minor modulation with darkened lights, simulated thunder, and "muhahahahaha!" on the words "you are mine."

At Monday, January 21, 2008 7:52:00 PM, Anonymous Klaus der Grosse said...

I began to write a Star Wars parody of "You Are Mine," but never quite finished it...the first stanza could go something like this:

I will come to you in the silence,
I will make you strong in your fear,
You will hear my voice,
I claim you as my choice,
Be vengeful when I am near.

At Saturday, February 09, 2008 9:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to reopen an old thread, but what is the source of this "Behold the Lamb?"

I'm always on the look out for halfway decent contemporary stuff, (because most of the contemporary stuff my parish is attached to is sooooooooo cheezy.)

You hit on one of my real gripes against so much of the Top 40 sacchro-sacro-pop -- the return on investment is so lousy.
We have limited resources of time and energy, and it takes up more than its worth.
You Are Mine was a request for a funeral this week, and I was reminded yet again why I resent the Gather Hymnal.

At Saturday, February 09, 2008 9:29:00 PM, Anonymous Cantor said...

“Behold the Lamb” is in most contemporary hymnals - Gather included. It’s not cheesy, IMO, though the entrances on beat 2 get a little old. Also not in conformance with my usual rule that good congregational music be able to be sung a cappella - long-held notes etc.

Yes, “You Are Mine” is not one I plan if I can avoid it at all.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home