Saturday, April 22, 2006

LET THE NUMBERS DO THE TALKIN'

New policy from the Holy Ghost Music Department:
NO MORE ANNOUNCING THE HYMN!

We've had two number boards now since January 2005. I think it's high time we quit defeating the purpose of having these boards. For now, my only announcement comes about a minute before Mass - In order to ensure a smooth flow of the liturgy, please follow the number boards, as there will be no further announcements. Thank you.

Reminders will probably go on until summertime, then that will stop too. Does it work? I'll put it this way: Listen to Christus Vincit Podcast #25 (The Easter Special), and right at the beginning, you'll hear some pretty dang good singing - at 7:30 AM, mind you. The hymn: Alleluia, alleluia, let the holy anthem rise.

Of course, that means I now play whole verse intros as much as I can get away with, to give people the chance to check the board and find the page. I never favored the 2-4 bar intro. I had a deacon once tell me I "play like a Protestant". Though I'm a cradle Catholic, I take that as a compliment. ;)

Peace,
BMP

12 comments:

CastCantor said...

A great solution! I told my singers that for Lent I was giving up making extraneous announcements at Mass. ;) I prefer to say little or nothing, but I am following a person who was rather loquacious despite the hymnboard.
Curious: Does anyone still ding a bell to indicate the start of the processional? I miss that.

Brian Michael Page said...

I miss that too. My boss would rather not on Masses with music. I have worked parishes that do use it.

BMP

PhiMuAlpha2681 said...

Yes, we ring the sanctuary bell. Everyone stands on cue.

Brian, well how does that deacon expect the musically illiterate to get the melody if you don't play it the whole way through? It's only on RARE occasions that I don't play the hymn through.

~nb

Brian Michael Page said...

It wasn't only the intros that this particular deacon found issue with, but that most of the music was traditional, played with gusto, and sung with gusto.
BMP

lyn f. said...

I take it Herr Deacon is an aficionado of the Happy Clappy?

Brian Michael Page said...

Let me put it this way, Lyn - he tries to be a populist. He was a big fan of the gospel choir when I was at Holy Name. He liked some traditional, but in moderation. I think he got his liturgy lessons from some of the wrong NPM folk, if you ask me. Nice guy, don't get me wrong. But I didn't let his attitudes toward liturgy get to me, as the pastor not only signed my paycheck, but supported my every move and asked very little.

Peace,
BMP

Mary Jane said...

Sounds like a great idea. I think I'll float it with the director and pastor where I work. Of course, we only have one board and a big church. Maybe we could buy another board?

Anonymous said...

OK. Here's a good one for you folks who hate announcements. At St Francis Xavier in Gettysburg (nice church, liturgy going to get better soon) a lector welcomes the congregation (I like that), then reads a blurb about the focus of the gospel on that Sunday (yikes! that the homily's job), then asks everyone to "greet the person next you". On top of all that, after communion, usually someone pops up and, from the ambo no less, fills the meditative space with more announcements or calls for cash.

moconnor

Brian Michael Page said...

Greet the person next to you??? Isn't that supposed to be done in the narthex? Or even better, the parking lot? Kinda reminds me of the "Hour of Power", where Dr. Robert Schuller would invite all to greet the person next to you with the words "God loves you and so do I".

As for announcements, the GIRM allows for any announcements that need to be made to be done after the post-Communion prayer. Those announcements, however, should be made by the priest, if I remember correctly.

Peace,
BMP

lyn f. said...

As far as greeting the person next to you is concerned - unfortunately, I think that is a Southern thing. I have never encountered anything like this until I moved to the South. They make me announce that whenever I cantor, and so I have to grit my teeth every time I do it. I keep my announcement short: "Good morning, and welcome to Blah Blah Parish. Today, as we celebrate the (x Sunday of whatever), please rise and greet and welcome one another." Some of my fellow cantors will add, we sing our hymns out of the green Gather hymnal, found in the pews. Thank goodness we now have a hymnboard. I never announce hymns any more.

At least the friars have the good sense not to do a Monty Hall and poll the congregation at any time, as they do in some parishes in this diocese, as well as others I've seen in VA.

moconnor said...

Although I can't do much about the pre-Mass greeting frenzy, I will have some say over the music soon. I'll be taking over as music director after July. Fortunately, my predecessor wasn't as bad as some folks her age. What is it about white baby boomer women and Gospel music, though? I haven't seen an African American at any of our Masses, and she makes us sing Gospel settings at every feast.

For now, I'm just gritting my teeth and offering up the frustration.

moconnor

PhiMuAlpha2681 said...

Moconnor,

From what I understand, it used to be done here at the cathedral as well. I heard that they had stopped it because of concerns of spreading germs.

Used to do it at my parish in Chicago as well. Had stopped it there when we were implementing the GIRM, and the then-parochial vicar thought it conflicted with the prescription for silence before Mass. The "pro" argument I've heard is that by doing this, the Sign of Peace truly becomes the Sign of Peace rather than "good morning, how are you". Also how/when do you gather when (at the time) there was no parish center, average Mass attendance was 800/Mass, and the narthex could maybe hold 75 people.

~nb