QUAERITUR: music for a Low Mass

From a reader:

I have been asked to coordinate the creation of a Schola Cantorum at a church in our diocese that plans to offer the Extraordinary Form of the Mass beginning on First Friday in February. (They have not yet made a formal announcement, but I will notify you when they do.)

My question is which set of "the Red" we should do. The Mass will formally be a Low Mass, primarily due to limitations of a well-aged celebrant. [A "Novello" will do just fine, you know.] But he would like there to be as much music as possible. The Musicam Sacram of 1967 offers us a great deal of flexibility, but I am not certain we should consider it as our guide. It addresses, for example, the congregation joining in the singing of the Pater Noster which, I thought, was not even spoken by the people as of 1962.

What we would like to do would be to chant Mass VIII along with hymns as prelude, Offertory, Communion and Marian postlude. (In the short time to prepare I am uncertain of our ability to sing the propers yet.) Doing so would, I believe, enhance the prayerfulness of the Mass for all participants while maintaining its dignity within the intent of the rubrics. I want to do so, however, without having the first EF Mass in the history of our diocese make a shambles of the rules. But references such as Psalllite Sapienter, Musicam Sacram, and the similarly named blog offer a variety of guidance. I detect a bit of "Say the Black. Do the Rose." out there.

hmmm….

I am not sure how to advise you.  Usually Low Mass doesn’t have a lot of music. 

Holy Church assigns the antiphons for Mass, which should be preferred to hymns, but … since this is a Low Mass… 

Perhaps some readers out there can relate their experiences of what is happening in their parishes and chapels with TLM, the Low Mass.

Help this fellow out.

 

 

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47 Responses to QUAERITUR: music for a Low Mass

  1. Ken says:

    Nothing from the Ordinary OR Propers of the Mass may be sung at a Low Mass. No exceptions.

    If one is unable to do a Missa Cantata, then the Four Hymn Sandwich is the standard. That is, motets/hymns as the priest enters the sanctuary, at the offertory, at communion and as the priest leaves the sanctuary.

    Organ can play a big role in a Low Mass. There are even very good pieces written for Low Mass for the organ which licitly imitate the parts of the Mass. Care has to be given to do these right, but they were popular way back in the day, especially in Europe.

    The bottom line is that High Mass music (the Ordinary and Propers) cannot be sung at a Low Mass at all, but other things can.

  2. Rudy of C.C. says:

    We have a small congregation for our TLM, 20-25 people. Our 1 man schola sings an entrance hymn, the Kyrie, the Gloria, a communion hymn and recessional hymn. We have Low Mass every Sunday. The parish recently started having Low Mass every Sunday at 08:00 AM.

  3. Wm. Christopher Hoag says:

    Do not let personal tastes or desires influence liturgical decisions!!!

    Follow strictly what was in force in 1962 as those are the laws that govern the EF, unless otherwise modified by the Holy Father or PCED. In my years with the FSSPX where the only rule seemed to be: “Follow French tastes and the preferences of Msgr. Lefebvre”, I witnessed far too many eclectic Masses mixing elements from the missals of St. Pius X and Bl. John XXIII together with touches of pre-54 Holy Week.

    Stick to the RED of 62 which means a 4-hymn German sandwich for your Mass! You could have exposition and benediction after Mass just to squeeze in a little more music though.

  4. nat says:

    This is how it was done before Vatican II.
    Sometimes a hymn was sung during the prayers at the foot of the altar. (Sometimes)
    Usually a hymn was sung at the washing of hands and this would end before the Sanctus.
    Usually another hymn was sung during the distribution of Communion and depending on how many went to Communion another short hymn could follow. But the singing always ended before the Ite missa est.

  5. AnneMarie says:

    I’ve seen a lot of abuse in this area. People wanting to turn a Low Mass into a Novus Ordo like concoction. People singing the Our Father but not the Gloria or Credo during a High Mass. Our culture begs for silence and while it will be an adjustment for a crowd transitioning to the EF from the OF, I beg of you to keep the silence and not mess with tradition. May God reward you for your efforts.

  6. Thomas says:

    Please recall that the PCED has stated the people are only to sing “Sed libera nos a malo” in a sung Mass (and that they are not to say a second Confiteor).

    Thanks to Ken and Mr Hoag for their answers.

  7. Michael Kramer says:

    The rules for music during a Low Mass are clear.

    Music may be either played or sung throughout the entire Mass, with the exception of the reading of the Gospel, and the Consecration. Thats it. Singing at any other time is far game. In this Country, it wasn’t common, but it certainly is allowed by the law. Now, that being said, as it has been noted here, any of the Ordinary (Kyrie, Gloria etc) is STRICTLY forbidden, as are any of the Propers (Introit, Gradual, etc). Personally, a motet after the Consecration seems fitting, while many agree, Pope Pius XII stated his PREFERENCE was that there be silence there. Ultimately it’s up to you as long as you keep the above mentioned places without music. One final note: The music for a LOW Mass can be in any language. In other words, in the middle of the Mass, you COULD sing in Mandarin. Latin is only required for the Offertory and Communion Hymns of a Missa Canata or a Missa Solemnis. I hope this helps!

  8. The PECD has NOT said the people are to sing only the ‘sed libera nos a malo’ at high mass.Read tha actual documents on the St.Bedes site.

  9. T. Falter says:

    @SMJ: More specifically here. This is what we follow at our parish, though, we do have a priest that usually asks us to sing the Ordinary — which we (the schola) politely decline to do.

  10. I am very certain because I have it in my hand right now “The Pontifical Commission sees no difficulty in the entire congregation’s singing of the Pater Noster in all sung masses”.#40/97 march 26 1997. And “Pater Noster ab omnibus simul cum celebrante cantetur”.

  11. Thomas says:

    Thank you for the information, Father, and how peculiar! It appears that the PCED has altered its preference, though I think it unfortunate that some priests wish to break with the solemn and venerable tradition of the priest praying the Pater alone, as observed by Pope St Gregory the Great. Now is certainly not the right time to introduce changes into the celebration of the TLM.

  12. Thomas says:

    Were you to use Musicam Sacram as you only guide, there would be no music since its principle of graduated solemnity requires the priest’s parts to be sung before anything else.

  13. I. X. Nika says:

    Stick to the RED of 62 which means a 4-hymn German sandwich for your Mass!

    Where is that RED text you speak of?

    The choir and congregation are not forbidden from singing parts of the Ordinary and Proper at Low Mass, but it is probable that the celebrant should not do so himself.

    I’ve seen this done two ways at Low Mass: 1) Hymn, Kyrie, Offertory motet, Sanctus/Benedictus, Agnus, Communion motet, Hymn.
    2) Hymn, Introit (sometimes w/o verse or Gloria Patri due to time), Kyrie, Offertory verse, Offertory chant, Sanctus/Benedictus, Agnus, Communion verse, Communion chant, Hymn. Gradual and Alleluia can be sung mixing from Liber Usualis and Chants Abregés as appropriate for length if the priest is planning to read the Epistle and Gradual quietly.

    In both cases the choir will, as the lesser evil, respond if the priest does in fact sing parts of the Mass (like if he intones Gloria in excelsis Deo).

    I’ve also, of course, seen “silent” Low Masses and Low Masses with four hymn sandwiches.

  14. Argent says:

    At Low Mass, you are not allowed to sing any of the Ordinary or Propers or responses, as Ken and other respondents have said.

    One question for the reader above: Why is Musicam Sacram 1967 being applied to the 1962 Missale?

    For Low Mass music guidelines click here from Musica Sacra.

    This is what I do at my parish for Low Mass (celebrated weekly):

    Processional Hymn (but may also have Motet or Organ Music), mostly vernacular
    Offertory Hymn, Motet (usually the schola chants a Latin hymn or a motet…in rare instances, we will use a vernacular hymn as our pastor’s preference is Latin during Mass.)
    Communion Hymn (same as Offertory)
    Recessional Hymn (though a motet or organ music may be used here as well)

    To compare, here’s the link for High Mass.

  15. I. X. Nika says:

    Argent, if there’s an actual rule against it, can you post the rule itself instead of a link to a commentary by someone who is not a legislator?

    You understand, we had this problem a lot in the OF during the 1960′s and 1970′s, where some liturgist would say something like “the Mass should no longer be in Latin”, and people would repeat it based on his authority, and eventually everyone in the whole world except for about 20 people thought that Latin was forbidden. Even today when we sing Latin some people still look at us like we are vile apostates. So I would think that now, having learned from history, we can have the humility to post and then follow the actual rules, if they exist.

  16. All,

    Ken has said it correctly in the first post and it is really just that simple.

    If you sing any of the Mass then you sing all of it and it is not a Missa Privata or Low Mass but a Missa Cantata or Missa Solemnis.

    The music at “Low Mass” is NOT to be any of the Propers or the Ordinary.

    As for any variance to this we including all singing the Pater Noster (which I would certainly prefer) it is up to PCED and not us.

    Let us not make this another hodge-podge of incorrect interpretation as happened with the Forma Ordinaria.

  17. I. X. Nika says:

    This isn’t a majority vote, David.

    The louder that people repeat the same cries, the more I know that there is no rule.

  18. “Comment by Thomas — 22 December 2008 @ 4:07 pm”

    It should be noted, having established the proper norms of celebrating the Mass using the 1962 Missale Romanum, that certain practices have been tolerated by competent authority (in the past, the SRC; in the present, the PCED). The use of the “second Confiteor,” while omitted in the 1962 Missale, is tolerated for those who have been accustomed to it until now. The faithful’s joining in the Pater Noster, while not normative to the 1962 Missale, is tolerated by the PCED. Such is best suited (and I concede to my own opinion here) to those congregations that had become accustomed to singing the Pater Noster for a Latin Mass with the Novus Ordo Missae. There is sufficient documentation to support both of these indulgences, and they have been referred to in this forum, in exquisite detail, on repeated occasions.

    As to the use of hymns during the Low Mass, the “four-hymn sandwich” became popular by the 17th or 18th century, as I recall reading. While it is also my impression that the hymns sung DURING the Mass cannot be in the vernacular, while the ones before and after can be, the use of vernacular hymns throughout has been popular over the centuries — if not allowed, at least implicitly tolerated.

    A conversation with the good Father Bisig on this subject, when I was privileged to serve Mass for him, proved rather illuminating, as it seemed that elements of High and Low Mass were mixed in Germany for years. Still, in the interest of the greater good, I would not venture beyond the proper norms for using hymns in the Low Mass. That is to say, the Entrance and Recessional hymns can be in the vernacular, while the Offertory and Communion hymns should be in Latin.

    The “Traditional Roman Hymnal,” published by Angelus Press, is an excellent source of Latin hymn chants for congregational use, many of which originated as vesper hymns.

  19. Argent says:

    Nika, Would it help to read De Musica Sacra from the Congregation of Rites 1958? It uses three primary sources: Tra le sollicitudini; Divini cultis (1928); and Musicæ sacræ disciplina (1955) and also quotes Mediator Dei. I apologize for the linking, but it’s better to read the whole thing than quote bits and pieces.

    I know it’s not legislative, but Psalitte sapienter is a good guide. I understand what you’re saying about needing definitive texts to answer people’s questions.

  20. athanasius says:

    According to Fortecue O’Connel for the 1962 missal, there are two forms of a Missa Cantata, a simple and a formal. The formal is the one with which we are more familiar that has all the ceremonies of a Solemn Mass (incense, MC turning the pages, etc.) without the deacon or subdeacon and the rites necessarily bound to them (pax).

    The Simple version, is Low Mass performed as normal with the music of the day such as the propers sung. The choir can sing everything as at a High Mass, and the Priest sings the parts of the Missal just as he would at High Mass. Like a more solemn Missa Cantata the servers do not make the responses proper to the choir (e.g. Priest chants Dominus Vobiscum, and the choir chants back et cum spiritu tuo), and likewise the priest may sit for the gloria and credo. The difference is there is no incense, four candles may be lit. But he Ceremonies are all those of low Mass. Another difference is the altar servers may go to the credence and take two torches (which in practice are usually the Low Mass Candles) during the Sanctus and kneel at either side of the altar, and carry them up to lift the chasuble and ring the bell (that’s optional). It is properly a Missa Cantata, however the ceremonies are those of Low Mass (see. Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described, Fortescue, repub. 1996 by St. Austin press). That in my opinion would be more edifying than a Low Mass with Music which has an entrance hymn, an offertory hymn and recessional.

  21. “Another difference is the altar servers may go to the credence and take two torches (which in practice are usually the Low Mass Candles) during the Sanctus and kneel at either side of the altar, and carry them up to lift the chasuble and ring the bell (that’s optional).”

    I think additional servers (or at least one additional server) are expected if one plans to use toches. It’s not possible to ring the bell, lift the chasuble, and hold a torch all at once.

  22. “The louder that people repeat the same cries, the more I know that there is no rule.”

    De Musica Sacra 28-34 are the rules for which you are looking.

    http://www.unavoce.org/DeMusicaSacra-1958.html

    It describes reciting the propers and ordinary with the priest, saying the responses, and saying the Pater Noster. Remembering that liturgical law is primarily prescriptive not proscriptive, in the abscense of anything to the contrary, it’s forbidden to sing the propers, ordinary, and responses.

    ” Still, in the interest of the greater good, I would not venture beyond the proper norms for using hymns in the Low Mass. That is to say, the Entrance and Recessional hymns can be in the vernacular, while the Offertory and Communion hymns should be in Latin.”

    That would be more restrictive than De Musica Sacra, which permits vernacular hymns during Low Mass:

    “14. b. … But if, in addition to this direct participation in the liturgy, the faithful wish to add some prayers or popular hymns, according to local custom, these may be recited or sung in the vernacular.”

    “33. The faithful may sing hymns during low Mass, if they are appropriate to the various parts of the mass.”

  23. athanasius says:

    I think additional servers (or at least one additional server) are expected if one plans to use toches. It’s not possible to ring the bell, lift the chasuble, and hold a torch all at once.

    Could be, I was just summarizing Fortescue-O’Connel, where it was ambiguous. It said that the same two servers conducting the ceremonies for Low Mass may have torches, and that’s it. Therefore there are only two possibilities, they keep them with them or put them down. I’d have to look at the liturgical documents he was quoting to see.

    But a simple Missa Cantata with no incense and two altar servers performing the ceremonies of Low Mass was the norm for over a century, if not longer in some places, so it could be at the time the Ceremonies of the Roman Rite described was written, everyone knew how to do it and it needed no further comment. Much more time in the 62 Fortescue-O’Connel is spent on the solemn Missa Cantata, because it was a greater novelty permitted for the good of souls where there were not enough clergy, and hence many of the decisions about it were not known at the time, having more or less come into being by a gradual permission in local dioceses for ceremonies from High Mass to be used. Finally Rome said yes we can have incense at the Missa Cantata and thus the legislation for the current form, which is used in most places since there are rarely enough clergy for a solemn Mass.

  24. athanasius says:

    It should be noted, having established the proper norms of celebrating the Mass using the 1962 Missale Romanum, that certain practices have been tolerated by competent authority (in the past, the SRC; in the present, the PCED). The use of the “second Confiteor,” while omitted in the 1962 Missale, is tolerated for those who have been accustomed to it until now.

    The other reason is of course that the 2nd Confiteor was contained in the 1961 books which weren’t published until the beginning of the calendar year 1962, so that priests are technically free to use that one rather than the subsequent 62 since both the former indult and the Motu Proprio only make mention of the liturgical books of 1962, and make no distinction between editions.

  25. patrick finley says:

    I went to a low mass in Alabama where they had hymns during the procession to communion (it was a large community, and a large, beautiful old church, Praise God). I am trying to remember, I think they also sang a hymn, albeit a capella, after the priest had left the altar. I think in that context it works, because it isnt a distraction at that point. Not sure of the Rubrics on it, I am one of those “younger people who flock to the mass” so I am still learning.

  26. “Comment by athanasius — 23 December 2008 @ 9:45 am”

    Forgive me if I could barely follow that.

    Either the practice was omitted in the 1962 Missal, or it was not. That a clarification tolerating the practice is published at all, would suggest that it was omitted. The result is that, whatever a priest’s decision, no harm is done, no abuse is committed.

    Now, I believe we were discussing the use of music at Low Mass…

  27. Daniel Muller says:

    I am a little surprised that so many commentators seem so sure of what they mean by the word “hymn” as in “four-hymn sandwich.” Many old “hymns” are metrical psalms (the only music allowed in many Protestant — i.e., historically vernacular — churches for many years), and the introit psalm, for example, could be sung “as a hymn.” Cf. Introit Hymns for the Church Year, which follows the current Graduale Romanum. Is this not preferable to some uninspired and, perhaps, uninspiring text? Especially one not found in the Liber Hymnarius? Why not paraphrase the propers if we are singing in the vernacular?

  28. chironomo says:

    WOW!! What a wide variety of opinions and interpretations we have here!! There seems to be a convergence of “Old Rules” vs. “New Paradigms” going on here. Seeing comments like “but wouldn’t it be better to…” do whatever recalls the very mindset that set us on the course of the “Spirit of Vatican II”. If the Low Mass is not supposed to have the Ordinary sung, then there is no reason to sing it just because it would be “preferable” to not singing it. If that is the sentiment being expressed, then the Mass should be a Missa Cantata, not a Low Mass.

    The fact that some of the Hymns are based on similar texts to the Propers, and therefore are somehow “preferable” to other hymns sets one down a very bumpy road towards blurring the distinction between the various forms of the Mass. Why not simply do a High Mass, but without the deacons and sub-deacons? Wouldn’t that be “preferable” to just doing a Missa Cantata since it would allow greater participation from the faithful? No… there are rubrics for a reason, and it would be best to not try and second-guess them when working within the EF. Now, as for the Novus Ordo? Well, of course anything goes there!

  29. dad29 says:

    “Follow French tastes and the preferences of Msgr. Lefebvre”

    You’d only have to change the proper name in that sentence to have the formula used by ANOTHER France-based EF Mass group…

  30. dad29 says:

    It appears that the PCED has altered its preference, though I think it unfortunate that some priests wish to break with the solemn and venerable tradition of the priest praying the Pater alone, as observed by Pope St Gregory the Great

    Thomas, you should read the Instruction of 1958 (Pius XII), which introduced the ‘participatory Mass’ format.

    In this (at one time VERY liturgically proper) Archdiocese, the schoolchildren sang the Pater Noster regularly, (after 1958).

    Very licit, very admirable.

  31. dad29 says:

    The use of the “second Confiteor,” while omitted in the 1962 Missale, is tolerated for those who have been accustomed to it until now

    I don’t think so. Fr. Z reprinted a letter (in French) from PCED stating that the 2nd/3rd Confiteor is NOT to be used in the EF.

    But Fr. Z has NOT ‘seen with his own eyes’ that letter and has not officially confirmed the circumstances.

    Of course, even if it is ‘tolerated where it has been customary,’ that would be a VERY limited set of places, indeed, since “custom” only applies to the EF, which was under virtual suppression from 1969-1983 or so.

  32. “Comment by dad29 — 23 December 2008 @ 1:18 pm”

    My source for this was the Ordo published annually by the FSSP, which is the most common one in use for parishes and oratories in communion with Rome in the USA. Where they got it, I do not remember. Consider, however (and I admit this is speculation here) that in the early days of the 1984 (and even 1988) indult, most priest equipped to say the Traditional Mass were accustomed to liturgical norms of the late 1950s, those of 1962 not having had enough time to “sink in,” so to speak.

    Now, back to the actual topic of this thread (as opposed to the one we manage to hash out two or three times a year), I was curious as to how it was that the use of vernacular hymns throughout the course of the Mass, when only Latin hymns were technically permissible, prevailed for most of the history after Trent up until Vatican II.

    I’ve actually been hoping someone would bring this up, but for getting sidetracked…

  33. Therese says:

    I have a question regarding music at Low Mass.

    Where an organ is lacking, is piano music permitted? We would like to have some type of accompaniment for carols at our Christmas Day Mass.

  34. I. X. Nika says:

    Argent and Samuel J. Howard: none of the major documents on music legislation issued since 1903 has forbidden the use of the Ordinary or Propers at Low Mass. None of the passages cited forbid the use of the Ordinary or Propers. The silence is deafening, given the minute details of what else is forbidden in these documents. Is there really nothing, not even a 19th Century letter from some under-secretary of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, explicitly forbidding the singing of Propers and Ordinary at Low Mass? Nothing at all?

    Sections 5 and 16 of De Musica Sacra explain that Gregorian chant “is to be found in the liturgical books approved by the Holy See…its use is not only permitted, but encouraged at all liturgical ceremonies above all other styles of music” (emphasis added). Among the other styles of music listed in that part of the document is “hymns…[which] can, at times, be admitted to liturgical ceremonies” (9). The section on hymns at Low Mass is prescriptive because it allows what was previously restricted and what remains restricted at Sung Mass: namely hymns, even in the vernacular. Much of the section on Low Mass in De Musica Sacra (1958) deals with instituting the Dialogue Mass, which is by no means a common custom in the United States today.

    chironomo: blurring the distinction between the various forms of the Mass – There is only one form of the Mass in the EF. The Solemn Pontifical Mass is the perfection of that form. All other kinds of that Mass are adaptations for various exigencies. The distinction between kinds has been somewhat blurry for a long time. It wasn’t until very recently that the “Sung Mass” was promoted from “Low” to “High”, for example.

  35. I. X. Nika says:

    Therese, Piano generally shouldn’t be used in place of organ if organ is available. However, in case of poverty, it shouldn’t be a problem…and I’ve seen this done before after an organ tragedy without anyone registering a complaint. The relevant rule in De Musica Sacra regarding instruments is #60:

    The difference between sacred, and secular music must be taken into consideration. Some musical instruments, such as the classic organ, are naturally appropriate for sacred music; others, such as string instruments which are played with a bow, are easily adapted to liturgical use. But there are some instruments which, by common estimation, are so associated with secular music that they are not at all adaptable for sacred use.

  36. Robin. says:

    The problem with this site and one other site that deals with matters liturgical is that everybody and his brother is an expert on the liturgy both TLM and Novus Ordo. Everyone and his brother is a seasoned rubricist and of course they’ve all gotten their doctorate at the Angelicum…what a hoot. You people are to much…what arrogance. The way some pontificate you’d think you were listening to the pope himself define a dogma Ex Cathedra and as for the PCED, they’re just as bad, since anything and everything goes in the NO, well, what do they do? They just apply it to the TLM…in other words, do whatever…wrong! Then what happens in the end, everybody weighs in with his or her own subjective opinion and the question is never answered or the PCED comes out and applies some NO practice on the TLM and the liturgy gets screwed up…brilliant!

  37. Robin said it.

    Rather than cite rubrics about what can and cannot be done, here is a practical suggestion for the query. Since you already plan to sing the Ordinary, I suggest that turning this Mass into a Missa Cantata would not be hard. Have the priest recto tone his parts (including the reading) and reply to them in recto tone. He certainly could do that.

    Then have a small group recto tone the propers, or, if you have some people with good ear, recto tone them with harmonies a third and a fifth below. Eventually you could move to something better but at this point you would have a sung Mass. You could, of course, add other sacred music at Offertory or Communion (in Latin) and vernacular hymns before and after Mass.

    This would avoid the aesthetic problem of the variation between spoken and sung texts.

  38. I. X. Nika says:

    Hey Robin,

    I agree wholeheartedly. It would be nice to get a real “seasoned rubricist” here, perhaps with an old doctorate from the Angelicum, to explain why some people say certain things are “strictly forbidden”. All that I’m hearing are Ex Cathedra pronouncements from combox Popes. In the meantime, the “Low Mass with Chant” is spreading everywhere, as I understand happened in at least some places before the Council. A lot of priests don’t want to sing for some reason but they want Gregorian chant at their Masses.

  39. I. X. Nika says:

    Have the priest

    They don’t take orders, you know.

  40. Nika and Robin,

    It\’s ironic that you refer to our WDTPRS combox popes as \”rubricists\” (in their own minds, at least), since so few of the issues they\’re pontificating on are mentioned explicitly in the 1962 rubrics, which are generally silent on what the people should or should not at Mass.

    In the meantime, the “Low Mass with Chant” is spreading everywhere, as I understand happened in at least some places before the Council. A lot of priests don’t want to sing for some reason but they want Gregorian chant at their Masses.

    Hmm …. Organic development?

  41. Robin:

    A man has a right to his own opinion. He does not have a right to his own facts. You will find that VERY FEW people if any, who promote the Traditional Latin Mass, will go out of their way to do something unauthorized. To wit, most participants in this forum go out of their way to cite an authoritative source. (Even so, rubricists still go at it like Talmudic scholars over the ceremonial minutiae.) Then again, you will read of someone citing an authority properly, still leaving his adversary unsatisfied. That says a lot about the adversary, and the sorry state of the conversation.

    As a master of ceremonies, I have to know those sources, either to advise the priest, or merely to be aware of how he would advise me. I must also direct the other servers, in a way that the priest will be best aided. To say this is no boast, but is simply the way things are. I only hope that on those occasions when I do comment, I leave the situation better than I found it.

    If you read closely, you can tell the difference between a commenter’s preferences or prejudices, and when their citing a proper authority. It is unfortunate that the same topics get hashed over and over again, often the result of going off topic. For example, you will note that many of these comments have little to do with the use of music at the Low Mass. I believe that both Fortescue and O’Connell have commented on this matter in their ceremonials. If you can find your own copies, and they give you the answer, you won’t need to find it here.

    I only hope that in the next few hours, we can put it all aside, for what really matters.

    “Christos Razdajetsja! (Christ is Born!) Slavite Jeho! (Glorify Him!)”

  42. dad29 says:

    David, Mr. Howard’s comment (0923 12/23) covers the question you asked. Vernacular hymnody is allowed under the 1958 Instruction, albeit DURING the Mass Latin hymnody (Chant, e.g., Adoro Te, etc.) is preferred by the legislator.

    In Milwaukee, we never used ANY parts of the Ordinary or Propers during a Low Mass, period.

    As to the Confiteor, there is no debate. The legislation is clear. The “I wanna” syndrome should not be on the table.

  43. j says:

    Dear original poster;
    You are on a very good path.
    The predjudice towards silence in Low Mass is NOT what is directed by the Vatican instructions, though you will find it common in the United States. It is precisely that, a predjudice.

    Technically, what the choir sings at a Low (and low is really a general descriptor, not a rigid specific form of Mass – there is only one Mass) is simply not REQUIRED as it is in the more Solemn forms, there is nothing that BANS it from Mass. In fact, singing, particularly congregational singing of the Ordinary, is highly encouraged in ALL Masses. The French have a strong tradition of accompaniements and chant-base accompanied “Messe Basse”es, which usually means no Gloria or Credo. Hymns are merely TOLERATED, in case the proper Chant Propers are beyond the abilities of a Choir, any and all Chant Propers are encouraged, but not required.

    Low Masses are Masses of NECESSITY, and time, the lack of mobility of your Priest, insufficient Servers, lack of Choir, trouble with incense, or reluctance of the Priest to personally sing are all perfectly appropriate reasons to do them in preference.

    Also, to all the Choir Nazis out there – get over yourselves. The CHOIR does not make a Mass a Cantata (or more properly, cantata or a high), the PRIEST and SERVERS do.

  44. Therese says:

    Thanks, I.X. Nika, for the relevant quote. We did just that. ;-)

  45. j says:

    In the meantime, the “Low Mass with Chant” is spreading everywhere, as I understand happened in at least some places before the Council. A lot of priests don’t want to sing for some reason but they want Gregorian chant at their Masses.

    Hmm …. Organic development?
    Comment by Henry Edwards — 24 December 2008 @ 8:39 am

    No, it SHOULD have been common, but wasn’t done much in the US in the 50′s. The necessities that dictate doing Low Masses are different now, as are the interests and talents of the people who attend. It is unusual to have 6 TLMs in a row on a Sunday, or a crowd of attendees who just want to go and get it over with quickly. TLM Parishioners are fewer in number than in the 50s but much more committed, and often have to travel to get there. There is also much more interest in authentically learning what SHOULD have been, rather than just doing whatever was done last year.