It has been a long while since I posted, but I have been lurking!
My little sister is getting married in June (huzzah and facilitations!) and has asked me to cantor the Mass. In addition to cantoring, I will also be singing Pie Jesu, Shubert’s Ave Maria, and Panis Angelicus. For those songs, I will be accompanied by the string quartet she has hired.
My “issue” is the setting of the Mass itself. Since I have cantored and sung in quite a few Masses, I have a feel for a lot of settings. My sister, however, does not and is totally confused as to what setting she should pick. We discussed that common choices like the Celtic Alleluia don’t seem to fit with the Latin and strings. I may or may not have a pianist, so I am leaning towards a chanted Mass setting. Thus far I have looking into A Community Mass and Simple Mass. Any other Mass setting suggestions? (links to videos or audio samples would be amazingly helpful!)
Oh- and if anyone knows where I can get the sheet music for the Simple Mass, I would be eternally greatful.
First, if I may make an observation, the “Pie Jesu” is for the Requiem Mass and is really more fitting for a funeral mass or Requiem mass because it is asking the Lord to grant the deceased eternal rest. That said, it isn’t unusual that brides ask for some setting of this for their nuptial masses (usually they ask for the setting by Andrew Lloyd Weber or the one by Gabriel Faure). They don’t realize the context of the piece and do not know the translation.
"Blessed Lord Jesus, grant them rest eternal. "
Andrew Lloyd Weber’s version is “Blessed Jesus, who takes away the sin of the world, grant them rest. Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, grant them rest everlasting.”
Usually the priest or the music director will suggest the couple to choose another piece.
In regards to your question on mass settings, I personally would choose the Latin chants, myself. We used them for our nuptial mass and I have chanted them for a number of nuptial masses that I was hired to cantor and be a soloist for. And you are right, often the couples who ask me to chant them have chosen more “classical” works, usually in Latin, for the music. But if your sister would prefer not to have that, you could go with the Community Mass. I have done the Community Mass with strings before. The string groups that I worked with have their own music for it.
There is also the the German Mass by Schubert (Proulx) which work beautifully with strings. Only thing is that I wouldn’t suggest using the Lamb of God, because it has yet to be revised with the proper text (which is in the works).
When I have a chance I’ll see if I can find audio links.
Here’s the Sanctus for the Schubert mass (arranged by Proulx). My parish and the one I work at use this one often. We now just change out the Lamb of God, for either a chanted Agnus Dei or one from another mass that fits well within the same key. The “Amen” has the same theme.
Just found out that the revisions were made, especially for the Lamb of God.
You can listen to them here. The recording for the Sanctus is too slow for that kind of choir singing it (wimpy sounding choir) also, the tempi aren’t good for congregational singing. It works much better for congregational singing when it’s done a little faster.
I would also use chant if possible, but if not, German Mass, with agnus dei from holy cross Mass (Music attached) is awesome. The string part is particularly cool for German Mass. It was recently used at many of our Diocesan Masses, and when executed by a string quartet, it’s very cool!
LOL! That’s funny. Although, like I said, she’s not the only bride who has wanted it. A friend of mine who is an organist, once had a bride who wanted to walk down the aisle to a choral Kyrie. She was totally stuck on it as well, but we laughed because the thought of someone singing as the bride goes down the aisle to meet her husband, “Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.” was just a funny visual and audio. I think the pastor had to finally put the foot down on that.
Another funny story, I’ve had brides (non-Catholic) request Handel’s “Lascia ch’io pianga” because they love the music so much, not knowing that she is singing “Let me weep over my cruel fate.”
If there is a music director or the pastor requesting to see the music choices for approval (a lot of places I’ve sung at request this), she may have to change it in the long run, though.
I agree, the “Jesu…” would be more fitting and it’s beautiful sung with strings.
Then, if it’s just you, definitely do the chant. The Schubert is good with organ or piano as well, so if you have a pianist and they don’t want the chant, I would suggest that one. (or the Community, of course)