SPLIT: Hymns during communion


#1

[quote="ChibiViolet, post:5, topic:315344"]
if it is how you say--with the host not consecrated at the altar than it's illicit.

[/quote]

No -- if the hosts are not consecrated, then they're bread. :sad_yes:


Non-Consecrated Eucharist?
#2

[quote="Jeanne_S, post:4, topic:315344"]
This morning at Mass,the homily was about embracing silence as a way of being closer to God,to communicate with Him.While the choir ,in fact while the entire congregation is receiving Communion,seems this would be a perfect time to apply this idea,;)

[/quote]

But that's not what the Church calls for.


#3

[quote="Phemie, post:2, topic:315588"]
But that's not what the Church calls for.

[/quote]

Actually, the Church calls for periods of prayerful silence. I wish the choir would honor this and keep silence during Communion, but particularly, for a few minutes after everyone has received. It is horribly distracting to hear the choir singing when I am trying to focus on Jesus.

While having a choir is nice, it is not necessary. The Mass is the Mass, even if no one is singing.


#4

[quote="Joan_M, post:3, topic:315588"]
Actually, the Church calls for periods of prayerful silence. I wish the choir would honor this and keep silence during Communion, but particularly, for a few minutes after everyone has received. It is horribly distracting to hear the choir singing when I am trying to focus on Jesus.

While having a choir is nice, it is not necessary. The Mass is the Mass, even if no one is singing.

[/quote]

However, that's not what the Church calls for. From the GIRM:

  1. While the Priest is receiving the Sacrament, the Communion Chant is begun, its purpose being to express the spiritual union of the communicants by means of the unity of their voices, to show gladness of heart, and to bring out more clearly the “communitarian” character of the procession to receive the Eucharist. The singing is prolonged for as long as the Sacrament is being administered to the faithful. However, if there is to be a hymn after Communion, the Communion Chant should be ended in a timely manner.

So, the 'Communion Chant' should run from the priest's reception through the reception of all the faithful.

Also, there may be a hymn after Communion:

  1. When the distribution of Communion is over, if appropriate, the Priest and faithful pray quietly for some time. If desired, a Psalm or other canticle of praise or a hymn may also be sung by the whole congregation.

I understand that it might be distracting for you, but that doesn't mean that it's something that's outside what the Church permits in its instructions for the Mass... :shrug:


#5

[quote="Joan_M, post:3, topic:315588"]
Actually, the Church calls for periods of prayerful silence. I wish the choir would honor this and keep silence during Communion, but particularly, for a few minutes after everyone has received. It is horribly distracting to hear the choir singing when I am trying to focus on Jesus.

While having a choir is nice, it is not necessary. The Mass is the Mass, even if no one is singing.

[/quote]

It's true that the Mass is the Mass even if no one is singing, but the norm according to the GIRM is for a Communion chant.

That said, the Church has built into the Mass moments of prayerful silence which the priests, in my experience, usually don't treat as such. How many times have you experienced silence after 'Let us pray'? If you're like me, almost never. Yet that is one of the major places for silence during the Mass, as is the period just after the Homily. After Communion it can be a period before the Prayer after Communion or, after the 'Let us pray' that precedes it.


#6

[quote="Jeanne_S, post:4, topic:315344"]
This morning at Mass,the homily was about embracing silence as a way of being closer to God,to communicate with Him.While the choir ,in fact while the entire congregation is receiving Communion,seems this would be a perfect time to apply this idea,;)

[/quote]

OH, how I would love this!


#7

[quote="Joan_M, post:3, topic:315588"]
Actually, the Church calls for periods of prayerful silence. I wish the choir would honor this and keep silence during Communion, but particularly, for a few minutes after everyone has received. It is horribly distracting to hear the choir singing when I am trying to focus on Jesus.

While having a choir is nice, it is not necessary. The Mass is the Mass, even if no one is singing.

[/quote]

Nor do they even have to be Catholic. Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago "employed" a group of Cathedral Singers, of different denominations. Maybe there was a member or two who would ask for communion but they kept right on singing through the communion. And beautifully, too, I might add.


#8

[quote="Joan_M, post:3, topic:315588"]
Actually, the Church calls for periods of prayerful silence. I wish the choir would honor this and keep silence during Communion, but particularly, for a few minutes after everyone has received. It is horribly distracting to hear the choir singing when I am trying to focus on Jesus.

.

[/quote]

No. Actually, the church calls for a communion song to be sung. Instead of being distracted during the singing, sing along.-- that is the prayer the church calls for at that time. It's not "either/or". It's both.


#9

[quote="Jeanne_S, post:4, topic:315344"]
This morning at Mass,the homily was about embracing silence as a way of being closer to God,to communicate with Him.While the choir ,in fact while the entire congregation is receiving Communion,seems this would be a perfect time to apply this idea,;)

[/quote]

:thumbsup:

I would far rather there was no hymn sung at Communion.

There is no other point in the Mass where we are closer to God than when we consume His body at Communion. This sacred event should be a time of deep personal reflection and reverence. Apart from at the Consecration, I can think of no other time during the Mass when silence is more appropriate.

We've made our offering to God accompanied by the Offertory hymn, now let us recieve him in silence. Ditch the Communion hymn altogether, have a Lector read the Communion Antiphon without the need for a hymn.


#10

[quote="agapewolf, post:8, topic:315588"]
No. Actually, the church calls for a communion song to be sung. Instead of being distracted during the singing, sing along.-- that is the prayer the church calls for at that time. It's not "either/or". It's both.

[/quote]

Please see what the GIRM says -

  1. Sacred silence also, as part of the celebration, is to be observed at the designated times.[54] Its nature, however, depends on the moment when it occurs in the different parts of the celebration. For in the Penitential Act and again after the invitation to pray, individuals recollect themselves; whereas after a reading or after the Homily, all meditate briefly on what they have heard; then after Communion, they praise God in their hearts and pray to him.

That indicates to me that after receiving Communion is, indeed, a time for silence. After a few minutes, the choir could sing again, but each person should be deep in prayer for those few minutes without any distraction.


#11

[quote="Brendan_64, post:9, topic:315588"]
:thumbsup:

I would far rather there was no hymn sung at Communion.

There is no other point in the Mass where we are closer to God than when we consume His body at Communion. This sacred event should be a time of deep personal reflection and reverence. Apart from at the Consecration, I can think of no other time during the Mass when silence is more appropriate.

We've made our offering to God accompanied by the Offertory hymn, now let us recieve him in silence. Ditch the Communion hymn altogether, have a Lector read the Communion Antiphon without the need for a hymn.

[/quote]

There is also no other time in the Mass when we are closer to all in the assembly. Singing the communion chant or hymn symbolizes our unity as the Body of Christ, all our voices lifted up together in praise of Jesus whom we are receiving. The Church gives us the time of silence following Communion. Sadly many parishes do not take advantage of this.


#12

[quote="Joan_M, post:10, topic:315588"]
Please see what the GIRM says

[/quote]

Joan,

See my post, earlier in this thread, in which I, too, quote the GIRM; there, you'll see that your assertions aren't what the Church necessarily calls for. ;)


#13

See post 13.

Your post refers to AFTER communion. At communion, a song is to be sung as well.

AND— a song is NOT a distraction.


#14

[quote="agapewolf, post:13, topic:315588"]

AND--- a song is NOT a distraction.

[/quote]

If you think that then come to our parish sometime where anyone can join the choir - regardless if they are tone deaf. It is extremely disconcerting (especially after Communion) and if I am unable to give proper thanksgiving to our Lord for the gift just received, I have not given HIM His proper due!


#15

[quote="Joannm, post:11, topic:315588"]
The Church gives us the time of silence following Communion. Sadly many parishes do not take advantage of this.

[/quote]

Is that silence after everyone has recieved Communion, or after the individual has recieved Communion?

In order for this to fit it with singing the Communion hymn, it would require the singing to cease the moment the first parishioner has recieved Communion. That would suit me. It is distracting when after I recieve Communion, and am trying to kneel in silence, the choir a few rows behind are belting out a hymn waiting for the last person in the church to recieve Communion before they stop.


#16

aaa


#17

[quote="Brendan_64, post:15, topic:315588"]
Is that silence after everyone has recieved Communion, or after the individual has recieved Communion?

[/quote]

if there's a hymn, it's to be sung until all have received Communion.

There's to be silence following, unless a hymn after Communion is sung. (In that case, it would seem that it's supposed to be a hymn sung by all, not just by a choir.)


#18

[quote="Gorgias, post:17, topic:315588"]
if there's a hymn, it's to be sung until all have received Communion.

There's to be silence following, unless a hymn after Communion is sung. (In that case, it would seem that it's supposed to be a hymn sung by all, not just by a choir.)

[/quote]

Interesting, isn't it? According to the GIRM it's perfectly acceptable for the Communion hymn to be sung by the choir alone (it's not the first choice, but it's still a valid choice) but if we have what is often called the "Post Communion reflection hymn' it's to be sung by everyone.

How many parishes do that??


#19

Some practicums, for your consideration and without documental citations:
1. Joan's citation of GIRM 45 demonstrates the unequivical mandate for contemplative silence after "Communion."
2. When, exactly, is "Communion" ended?
a. After the Communion Collect (Prayer) by the celebrant and congregational "amen."
3. Does that necessarily provide musicians with license to sing up to that Collect? No.
a. If the deacon(s) present, or the celebrant himself, ritually reserve the unconsummed hosts, take care of the vessels until the altar is cleared, and then take their chairs, when the ciborium containing the reserved hosts is placed within the tabernacle by either the deacon or celebrant, and when the celebrant takes his chair could be a very simple demarcation point as to when all singing should come to a final cadence as close as possible to that moment.
b. If the celebrant completes these actions under 3a, then the moment of ciborium "repose" still marks the moment when silence should be initiated ASAP.
c. Should the rite be inadvertantly interrupted by ushers taking up a second collection prior to the Collect, the musicians need to use great discretion as to whether they have enough music programmed to accompany that error, or feel completely justified after the tabernacle is closed to conclude singing. But the celebrant should take care to remind the usher captains of the sequence of communion events.
d. This is not from my experience, but should a parish have established and wishes to continue a congregational hymn of praise, that should occur either prior to the tabernacle closure, or after the Collect and amen. Just IMO. Then I would program just an organ postlude after the dismissal, save for Advent, Lent and the first two Triduum liturgies (if one uses organ during HT and GF, discussing that here isn't germane.)
4. Total silence during the whole sequence of Communion postures/processions is not what is called for by the GIRM, but I can see a rationale for it other than it is done at Missa Lectas.
Someone has mentioned the "symbolism" of the Communion chant as its own rationale. I don't wish to debate that. However, if a parish has maintained the use of an altar rail and the posture for receiving HC is normatively kneeling and on the tongue (even with allowing for one minister who distributes from a station at liturgical north or south for those who need to remain standing such as parents holding infants, etc.), then the procession towards the rail and the action of kneeling is much more a powerful symbol of that "unity" and song can but need not attend that sign or symbol.
a. I don't think that queing up from pew to pew with everyone moving inexorably to a standing minister has quite the same symbolism, and thus that procession should be accompanied by singing, which is the obvious rationale in the 1970 and 2010 GIRMS.
5. In any case, whomever leads the music for any Mass should be quite aware and observant and develop cues between organish/choirmaster/choir/cantor that indicate moments of impending cadences or transitions.

Basically, this is how we go about it in our mother parish of our multi parish merge:
a. Communio begins immediately upon celebrant's reception, no exceptions. (GIRM) It is finished ASAP when he and other ministers proceed to distribution "stations."
b. Congregational chant/hymn/song is then taken up and sung as fully through as there are congregants in procession to receive. In that time period the option of:
c. Transition to a choral motet or anthem (no solos unless there is a specific need for one) which should conclude by the reservation of the hosts in the tabernacle. We are a large church with farily large congregations. Done.
d. Intentional silence.
e. Communion Collect and amen. Announcements. Dismissal.

YMMV


#20

Hi

As a member of a church choir, the choir themselves can decide, if the atmosphere is right, not to sing a hymn

What we do is have a cantor sing a gentle hymn while the congregation are processing to communion. Our leader is very sensitive, both to the content of the hymn or song chosen, it has to be totally in keeping with the theme of the readings of that Sunday, and to the length of time taken to sing it. The timing is such that it finishes just before the last communicant receives.

We don't always have a post communion hymn, for seasons such as Advent and Lent, we usually use one of the Taize chants after communion to build up the atmosphere as we prepare for the two greatest celebrations of the Catholic calendar


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