May I accompany myself to chant the Sequence?

Pentecost is this Sunday. I’ll be chanting the Sequence.

Is it proper for me to accompany myself? Vacations, etc. have emptied our musician/cantor volunteers this weekend, so to keep me in tune, I need accompaniment - and that will be I, myself, at the keyboard with microphone. :o

Of course, the sequence may be read from the ambo, but we prefer to chant it.

Your help, please.

Mary Carolyn Mitton
St. Patrick, Salem, Indiana

Yes, that’s perfectly permissible. Although, if it’s just you chanting the sequence, I don’t know that you need to worry about drifting somewhat in either direction.

From the Introduction of Ordo cantus Missae, of 24 June 1974:
“8. When there is a sequence, it is sung in alternation either by the cantors with choir or by the two parts of the choir;”

(From Documents on the Liturgy 1963-1979, Liturgical Press, Minnesota, 1982, ISBN 0-8146-1281-4, page 1346).

So, it seems to me, that being at the ambo is not a requirement. But only one person singing the seqence, is a problem.

The rubrics for Pentecost, from the Lectionary are:
“The sequence may be said or sung.”
(Lectionary Volume 1 Study Edition, Collins Liturgical Australia, 1983, ISBN 0 00 599764-X, page 586.)

From the 2002 General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) approved for the USA, which can be accessed from romanrite.com/girm.html :
“64. The Sequence, which is optional except on Easter Sunday and on Pentecost Day, is sung before the Alleluia.”

Thank you all. And, Mark, as a retired airline captain, drifting in either direction isn’t good! :thumbsup:

We’ll see how Sunday goes. Many thanks.

Mary Carolyn Mitton

By the way, Mary, if you would prefer it unaccompanied but don’t think you can do it unaccompanied, I wonder if you could discreetly wear an earbud that would let you listen along privately, either to a recording or to yourself if you’ve got an electric keyboard. Not exactly how they did it at Chartres in 1350, but … !

If the choice is between chant accompanied by an electronic keyboard and unaccompanied chant, I would prefer to hear it unaccompanied.

That said, the chant is rather long and an instrumental accompaniment could be a help. For myself, generally I play the organ, or conduct the choir, or sing - I don’t do several things together. I think I would be under more pressure if I was both singing solo and accompanying myself on a keyboard/organ - I would probably find the accompaniment to be more of a hindrance than a help.

As a choir director I would not want to be seen to be advocating that singers not be worried about staying in tune, but if you sing the chant without an accompaniment you don’t have to be overly worried about tuning as long as you keep the chant’s modality. If you have nothing to keep you in tune (such as the keyboard), it also means that you don’t have anything to measure yourself against should you go out of tune while singing unaccompanied! So, of course it will be your choice, but I think you should consider chanting it without the keyboard!

John, Mark, and NPC, et als

All of your thoughts and links to our “rules” are wonderful. I have decided to accompany myself at the keyboard. As of now, my “rendition” sounds more like an expressive song than an organ supported chant. I still have 4 days to practice tho’.

We are a very small assembly, our seasonal choir has 9 members, and our “organ” is a Roland keyboard [a electronic stage piano with 64 voices and scads of electronic variations and effects possible. It has a handful of suitable voices for church] and about 100 families on our register. Our priest, who is a non-singing wonderful man, resides in the next county where the rectory is located adjacent to our larger shared priest church. We try our best to conform to the directions from Roma and the USCCB.

I am the newest one of 3 musicians, and the eldest, but a fairly new Catholic. Only one of us sings like an angel [not “moi”] and plays guitar on her Sundays, while I accompany her, or play for her every other Sunday. Our other musician is non-singing, playing the keyboard.

Again, my sincere thanks for your support, your quotes from sourced materials.

Oh, by the way … I have downloaded the optional sequence for Corpus Christi!

If our Fr. Louie agrees, I’m going to chant it, en anglais, of course, in two weeks. Our small, but mighty, choir will be singing as well: “Ave verum corpus” in Latin, with settings on the keyboard to emulate a string quartet as in the original by Mozart. We sang it for the first time on Holy Thursday and I saw a few tears on several cheeks, particularly our elder parishioners. It was beautiful!

I love a good challenge! :signofcross: to you all.

Mary Carolyn

Cool, have fun Mary! Lauda Sion is great, I’m glad you’re planning to tackle that one too.

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