I am a Confirmation catechist. My parish sings minimal traditional hymns – hymns that most of us grew up with via the Daily Missal. Because none of the students knew the song and just for fun, I asked my students to sing Immaculate Mary to close each class. We sounded terrible but smiled and belted our way through the song. On the night (last Saturday) they received the Holy Spirit, I asked our music minister if the choir could sing Immaculate Mary for my students. He said no because the song is not liturgically correct. Instead, to throw me a bone, they sang the song as a prelude WHILE the students were in the fellowship hall meeting with the Bishop. Ugh! Is the music minister correct? Is singing Immaculate Mary not appropriate for an Advent Confirmation service? Thanks – TC
Well, a Confirmation service isn’t the 100% best place for it, but given that the song had special meaning for the confirmandi, and also given that the service took place on a Saturday (which is special to the Virgin Mary), I can’t see anything wrong with it. As for it being Advent, we sing lots of Marian hymns during Advent. Plus Mary was present at Pentecost and of course it was the cooperation of the Virgin Mary with the Holy Spirit that caused the Incarnation.
In any case, I don’t think you can say it is “not liturgically correct” as if it were against the rules, because as all too many of us know, there are very few actual rules about the music at Mass. I think they were not being entirely honest, although it may not have been on purpose. If they never sing traditional hymns, they probably don’t like them, and they probably think it’s inappropriate to have any traditional hymns at a Mass that is primarily for young people (like a Confirmation). They’re wrong, but you won’t convince them. You might have better luck if you get the confirmandi to ask next year.
OTOH, you say “On the night (last Saturday) they received the Holy Spirit, I asked our music minister if the choir could sing…” if you mean that you didn’t mention it until that night, then that was pretty inappropriate. But if you mean that you asked earlier, then I’d say the music director was wrong.
Just my :twocents:
Thanks for your response, Jen. I made the hymn request to the music minister in late September. TC