Music at a 'low mass'?

This was a new one on me. We recently moved into our new church :smiley: after years of holding masses in a local high school cafeteria.
The DRE told me that after the 9 am Sunday mass, in which I lead the music, would become a ‘low mass’ , and would no longer be called the 'family/children’s mass, and fewer mass prayers could be sung, especially on CCD Sundays, so everyone could rush out to the CCD classes, held less than 5 minutes up the street.

They’re also changing the time to 8:30 am. I spoke to Fr. and asked if he had a music-less mass in mind. He said NO. He did say having a shorter mass early in the morning might be appealing to certain segments of the population.

After that I asked if we could use chants instead of reciting the Lords prayer, Lamb of God, Memorial acclamation, etc. I offered to put in the Latin chants a capella and pointed out that they were much shorter than singing, though not as short as reciting. He said he would discuss it with those doing the planning and get back to me (can’t imagine who that would be), he’s in charge; whatever he wants is gets done.

Trying to post pics of the new building.

Sorry, folks, I got so caught up trying to post new building photos, that I forgot to ask my QUESTION:D. I know there is documentation somewhere…when not all parts of a mass are sung, what is the priority order for that which should be sung???

Trying again:

Try the Instruction Musicam Sacram (Congregation of Rites)

The part that answers your question is found in paragraph 28 and following. I’ve copied 28 here just to let you know what you will find (to avoid a post which is nothing more than a very long quote of an outside document). Click the link above to see the rest of the text.

Hope this helps.

  1. The distinction between solemn, sung and read Mass, sanctioned by the Instruction of 1958 (n. 3), is retained, according to the traditional liturgical laws at present in force. However, for the sung Mass (Missa cantata), different degrees of participation are put forward here for reasons of pastoral usefulness, so that it may become easier to make the celebration of Mass more beautiful by singing, according to the capabilities of each congregation.

These degrees are so arranged that the first may be used even by itself, but the second and third, wholly or partially, may never be used without the first. In this way the faithful will be continually led toward an ever greater participation in the singing.

See the continuation of the text in Musicam Sacram

So, if I read the first part correctly, the entrance song, Alleluia acclamation, Sanctus, Memorial Acclamation, great amen, Lords prayer and Lamb of God are to be sung if nothin else is to be sung?
If so, it sounds as if our DRE has it backwards by wanting to shorten the mass by reciting the Lord’s prayer and Lamb of God.

You’re (mostly) reading it right. That’s what the Instruction says. Although, note a few points:

1 the “Alleluia” is in the 3rd category, which makes it the least likely to be sung. The newest edition of the GIRM (which was promulgated decades after this instruction) now very strongly encourages the Alleluia to be sung, even to the point where it may be omitted if not sung.

2 The acclamations at the Gospel are “The Lord be with you, etc.”

3 The *Agnus Dei *is in the 2nd degree

5 The Memorial Acclamation isn’t mentioned in the Instruction (unless I am missing it)

It’s not as long as I thought it would be, so here’s the rest of the relevant text, for the benefit of other readers here:

These degrees are so arranged that the first may be used even by itself, but the second and third, wholly or partially, may never be used without the first. In this way the faithful will be continually led toward an ever greater participation in the singing.

  1. The following belong to the first degree:

(a) In the entrance rites: the greeting of the priest together with the reply of the people; the prayer.

(b) In the Liturgy of the Word: the acclamations at the Gospel.

© In the Eucharistic Liturgy: the prayer over the offerings; the preface with its dialogue and the Sanctus; the final doxology of the Canon, the Lord’s Prayer with its introduction and embolism; the Pax Domini; the prayer after the Communion; the formulas of dismissal.

  1. The following belong to the second degree:

(a) the Kyrie, Gloria and Agnus Dei;

(b) the Creed;

© the prayer of the faithful.

  1. The following belong to the third degree:

(a) the songs at the Entrance and Communion processions;

(b) the songs after the Lesson or Epistle;

© the Alleluia before the Gospel;

(d) the song at the Offertory;

(e) the readings of Sacred Scripture, unless it seems more suitable to proclaim them without singing.

I would assume this means the psalm as well, as the psalm should be sung unless it is at a mass with no music.

Well, in the Instruction itself, the Psalm is not specifically mentioned, so it would come under the more general description of the readings from Sacred Scripture, which is in the 3rd degree; that from the Instruction, but also note the following:

It is preferable that the Psalm be sung (GIRM 61). Which also comes long after the 1967 Instruction.

The GIRM has more authority because the Instruction is meant to explain the GIRM, and also the Instruction was based on an earlier, now outdated, version of the GIRM.

I don’t know that this Instruction has ever been revised or updated, but I am not familiar with it if such exists.

I’m really hesitating on this thread because what we see explained in the Instruction is markedly different than what most of us actually experience as far as what should be sung/chanted in a Mass that’s a mixture of recited & sung. Does the Instruction need to be updated? Not for me to say or suggest. Are we doing things wrong? Maybe, maybe not.

The OP asked for some documentation and I provided a link, but I think it’s very different from what most of us would expect it to say.

Thank you, I appreciate the link. Now I am more confused. I have very rarely heard a priest chant 'the Lord be with you’before the gospel. It seems that what is written and what is commonly done are 2 different things,as the above poster stated.

All the first and second degree things are the ordinary of the Mass, IOW “Singing THE Mass”; most of the third degree is ‘singing AT Mass’. Note that it is completely backwards from what we usually do: sing 4 hymns and little to none of the Ordinary.

Now that makes more sense. As a person who leads music at mass and loves to sing, I’d love to hear everything chanted.:thumbsup:

Now to decide if I have the guts to go in with the documents, or just do as I’m asked when I know they’re trying to shorten the mass for the early crowd who has other things to do on Sunday, and the mad dash to CCD.

Good luck with your decision.

We had a young Polish priest spend 6 months with us. He chanted most of the dialog and it took us all of 2 Masses to get used to it. The first time, the poor guy was disconcerted when he chanted “The Lord be with you” and got dead silence in response. He had to chant the responses too since most of the parishioners are too young to remember when that was the norm but we older folk really got into it the second time it happened – it took us back to our youth.:smiley: We were quite sorry to see him go at the end of his term with us.

How can a Catholic congregation young or old not know the response to a chanted “The Lord be with you” That’s mind boggling to me. The response is the same as if he had spoken it. “And also with you” in the same tone or chant that the priest used. Am I missing something here?

My church is being closed as part of the Cleveland Dioceses clustering initiative and now from what I can infer from this thread, I will walk into a another Catholic Church and feel so out of place because it will be different from what I have known all my life. It seems each church has it’s own interpretation of the documents governing what must be done during the Mass. Perhaps we are being dispersed to bring things back into order:)

Well, if you haven’t heard chanted dialog in 25 years it comes as a surprise.

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