Tuesday, November 02, 2010
What has happened to the Offertory
The Ordinary Form Mass here this morning, I thought was quite beautiful. We used black vestments, purple frontal, unbleached candles, we celebrated Mass ad Orientem, one of the countless options in the Missal. My people know the Requiem Ordinary, so we sang the Kyrie, Sanctus and Agnus. This morning Clare came along and sang the Entrance, Offertory and Communion antiphons, rather elegantly.
Does anyone know why the Missal doesn't print the Offerory Antiphon? Does anyone know if they will be printed in the new Missal? I mean it is in the new Graduale which Solemnes has just produced under instructions from the CDW but that seems to be the only source for it in the Ordinary Form.
An old priest friend of mine described hymns at Mass as a "nasty German habit". e are trying to get away from hymns here, it is just so difficult trying to get ones which echo in anyway the sentiments of the antiphons they might possibly replace. My big problem especially is: what hymns are suitable for the Offertory? There is a very limited choice. You don't want something rousing, people are either writing out cheques for several thousand guineas and filling in the Gift Aid envelope or looking for loose coppers in the bottom of their pockets for the plate.
The Propers of the Mass, I presume were never intended for congregational singing, they are too complicated. In the Novus Ordo the Gradual is replaced by the Responsorial Psalm but the Entrance, Offertory and Communion antiphons in the official book, the Graduale, are quite difficult, even in a monastery they tend to be sung by the schola rather than the whole community. The Missal speaks of people singing the Mass, hymns aren't the Mass, the problem is, what is the Mass, as far as singing, is it really just the Ordinary of the Mass?
One additional thing that has always interested me is why young men prefer to come to the EF than the OF. Someone yesterday said one important factor was men don't like singing, unless they are good at it, in the older form of Mass the choir sings the difficult bits, the congregation can if they want to, join in the Ordinary, but there is no obligation on Joe Bloggs in the pew.
Posted by Fr Ray Blake