Monday, August 24, 2009

An Excellent Model for the First Steps Toward Sacred Music

I received the following from a priest who has been inspired by this site:

This morning, Sacred Music returned to Holy Mass. With the luck of the draw, I was able to hire a former seminarian who recently left the seminary to serve as Cantor and lead the chants. For the Entrance, Alleluia, and Holy Communion Chants, he chanted the Propers in English from the Anglican-Use Gradual. The Responsorial Psalm was from the Chabanel Psalms, and the Ordinary was the simple Jubilate Deo Latin chants. For the Offertory, he sang the traditional hymn, Love Divine, All Love's Excelling. The best thing about it- all of the chants were unaccompanied! For the recessional, there was silence. The Cantor is ready to sing the Propers from the Graduale. It'll just take some time for the Parishioners to get used to the chant sound. After a good bit of catechesis we'll go forward with the Propers from the Graduale and more beautiful Ordinaries.

On this first day, I heard many great comments. The people found the Music to be beautiful, and get his, Sacred! Even more...a middle aged man who had previously approached me about playing at Mass (Glory and Praise music on a classical guitar with a country sound) came to me after Holy Mass and said, "I'm willing to learn how to sing like that!" With a few more like him, we'll be able to form a men's schola!

To me, this is an outstanding model that requires no money and no instruments at all. There is no parish in which this could not happen this coming week. The only change I would suggest is using the Anglican Use Gradual for the offertory chant prior to the hymn, so that all propers are sung. Excellent job in every way and a good basis for building for the future.

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