Music Protocols in Covidtide

During the quarantine, we were able to continue offering music at Mass via our webcast.  With the resumption of public worship in the Archdiocese, it is a joy to once again provide live sacred music.  In accordance with archdiocesan guidelines, here are several notes on liturgical music in the Parish as we move through these phases of reopening.

The abbreviated leaflet for Mass must be be taken with your after Mass or it will be discarded by the sextons. 

Congregational singing is to be limited.  (Beyond the muffling difficulty and discomfort of singing with a mask on, the restricted leaflet size impacts this as well.)   The congregation is still welcome to sing the Roman Missal Mass, the setting of the Mass Ordinary (KyrieGloria, etc.) used during Ordinary Time, the Pater noster, and other dialogical responses.

As has been our practice for years, the cantor (or Schola) sings the Antiphons at the Entrance, Offertory, and Communion.  The Responsorial Psalm is the almost-universally used option for that which comes between the readings.  However, the Responsorium (also known as the Gradual) is the more ancient choice, which is sung by the cantor or Schola alone.  Before the Gospel the cantor now chants the Alleluia instead of the Acclamation.  These two chants are much more florid – the musical term is “melismatic” – and utilize shorter texts than the Antiphon genres, inviting contemplation. 

Parishioners consulting Magnificator some other hand Missal may notice the texts therein and those sung by the cantor often differ, even beyond translational variants.  For example, the Responsorial Psalm for the 22nd Sunday is “Lord, I love your commands” (Psalm 119) but the Responsoriumis “The nations shall fear your name, O Lord” (Psalm 101).  That is because the Responsorial Psalm is drawn from the Lectionary while the Responsoriumis drawn from the Dominican Graduale, the liturgical book of chants for the Order.   These chants compliment the rest of the lectionary, accommodate the restrictions on congregational singing, and expose the faithful to an exceptionally beautiful yet all-to-rarely heard genre of liturgical music.