There's no getting around it here. At least we're doing good hymns and not Mariachi stuff. That's all right at the Mexican Restaurants, but not for Mass.
My hymn choices focus on all the aspects of the liturgical texts - and for some reason, all texts fare equally in my planning. In part because I must build a solid repertoire. My predecessor did some good stuff, and I have to build on that, plus reteach proper "counting" in a few pieces.
Our Pastor loves the Introit and Comunion Antiphon. Today, I began doing something new....with the Associate Pastor, I chanted both those pieces. With the Pastor, well, he recited the Introit, but I actually chanted the Communion. It was strangely beautiful - the response, I mean. The people were absolutely silent during the Communion.
Of course, our Masses were ad orientem, and perhaps that influenced behavior. I was struck though, by my own response at the Liturgy of the Eucharist. It was very moving.
Next goal: always ad orientem.
Next goal after that: (don't tell the "boss"!!) monthly Mass in Latin - at all the Masses on a given weekend. Hopefully the first weekend of the month, since that is typically the week that a school class is visible at the Noon Mass. And I want them to always be able to experience that form of the Sacred.
Which reminds me - VBS will close with a SOLEMN Mass on Friday, instead of a chapel service. This is because the entire week focuses on THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS.
Which also reminds me: REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED!!!!!!! We are at capacity, with 80 kids registered. This number includes the First Holy Communion Class, which are required to attend, as this is sort of like a "retreat" for them. More on all this stuff next time...next week...or later, after I recover!
Back to hymns: we use them. I told Fr. Glen before moving here, that if we use hymns, then we must allow them to be used as the liturgical music and art form which they are. We can't cut the entrance hymn short, simply because the ministers are in the sanctuary. Otherwise we teach the people that the show belongs to the ministers, and that it's not the Holy Mass.
Today, the first had interludes after each of the first two stanzas (incensing). The offertory hymn just made use of judicious registration, but the fun with the improvisation began immediately on the final chord of the hymn...because I needed a musical way to remind the people that we'd be singing the Sanctus from Mass XVIII. It worked!
NOW THE GOOD NEWS...... for "a nice, real, good-long-time" the Eucharistic acclamations will be in Latin. Including the Spanish Mass at 10am! They are not so eager to forget their guitars (the people, not the woman who leads the guitar section), but they'll come along, I think. The other music will be that which they are used to. . . for a while....
God is good.