I’m the Rel. Ed teacher for our 2nd grade class this year and I’m working on the music. Our DRE has asked for my input but we don’t really see eye-to-eye. (She want’s clapping and sign language… I do not:rolleyes:)
I’ve already taught my class Panis Angelicus for them to sing after communion but was looking for ideas for the rest of Mass.
I didn’t see that you had already had a spot for Panis Angelicus. The reason why I would put it as the offertory is because one of the recommendations made in Sacramentum Caritatis was to have a moment of sacred silence after Holy Communion for quiet meditation. Even though the Roman Missal does allow for a Communion meditation, it may not be a bad idea to teach the children the importance of sacred silence.
One possible back-up for the offertory could be Shepherd of Souls. This, too, is very easy to sing.
Panis Angelicus was my choice. I love that song and just sounds so beautiful. Although I do like One Bread, One Body. I found it inspiring that you taught your class Panis Angelicus. If the hair doesn’t stand up on that song I don’t know what will
Here’s what I’m planning for this year’s first communion:
First Communicants Entrance (80 kids, 1 at a time:shrug: )
Table of Plenty+ Glory and Praise to Our God
Priests and ministers Entrance:
Sing praise to our creator
Here I am Lord (Spanish and English)
This is Jesus + Jesus My Lord my God my all
One bread one body
Meditation: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Seek ye first
Recessional: This is the day + Alabare’ + (possibly) Avec Jesus, Tout va bien.
Around here, the bilingual songs are expected. And the crowd is the biggest we ever see.
I would even take Pan de Vida, but I can’t get anything with a remotely Eucharistic theme. I think I may have been a bit to forceful with my opinion of Peace is Flowing like a River, because at least they don’t play it when I’m around any more.
VAC, with all due respect, I wouldn’t choose Table of Plenty, One Bread One Body, Alabare nor Hear I Am.
Table of Plenty and One Bread One Body make for bad theology. Even though One Bread One Body might be scriptural, it still focuses too much on the horizontal. Table of Plenty waters things down too much. Alabare is just too charismatic sounding and not at all appropriate. I wouldn’t choose Glory and Praise, Seek Ye First nor Here I Am.
First Communion songs should be centered on the Eucharist and the Paschal mystery, since most of the First Communion Masses happen during Easter. They should also have a degree of solemnity attached to them. Having heard “This is Jesus”, I am not too fond of it either. This is the time that the kids should hear and be able to sing songs from the sacred treasury of the Church. I think that we do a disservice to the kids by only exposing them to stuff written in the 1970s or later. Granted, you have a couple of them, the quality of music should be upped quite a bit.
Alleluia, Sing to Jesus is appropriate because it factors both the Paschal Mystery and the deeper nature of the Eucharist, as does I Received the Living God. This is the first time that these children are going to personally encounter the Living God in Holy Communion. Even At That First Eucharist serves as a good starting point because at every Mass, we are taken back to that First Eucharist.
Initially the CCD director at the Cathedral wanted the OCP drek, but, after I explained the importance of having theologically rich and traditional music, she agreed. The children’s choir did a very good job because the traditional hymns are easier to sing. The faithful also sang as well. After Mass, she came up to me and told me that she was pleased with the music. In fact, they’ve been a staple ever since.
Pan de Vida is not the best hymn at all. In fact, someone tried to sing that during the Washing of the Feet because of the line “you call me Master and Lord, yet I wash your feet.” I looked at the cantor and said “no.” We sang “Where Charity and Love prevail”. Bob Hurd is theologically and liturgically not there.
We also stopped Seek Ye First, especially when a genius wanted to sing it during Lent because OCP suggested it. I told him that it was silly because of the Alleluias. Needless to say, we didn’t sing the song.
The one good bilingual song that OCP has for Communion is Amen by Fr. John Schiavone. That is a good, theologically sound song that goes for about five verses.
Now, you could also alternate between English and Spanish. For example, you could have Alleluia Sing to Jesus and then Donde Hay Caridad y Amor (you can find this in Flor Y Canto under the Holy Thursday section). Both songs go on for quite a while. Donde Hay Caridad y Amor is beautiful and easy to sing. It is also theologically and liturgically sound.
For the recessional, you could also split between “God We Praise You” and “Cantemos Al Amor de Los Amores”. Have “God We Praise You” first and then “Cantemos” second. “Cantemos” is beautuiful, traditional and quite triumphal. It makes a great recessional piece because it also sounds rather majestic, dignified and joyful all at the same time. They last for quite a bit and will cover the recessional. “Jesus Christ is Risen Today” can also be split because there is a Spanish version to this song. Just alternate the verses and it will go on for quite a good while.
Have you also factored in some time for sacred silence? As I noted in my original response, it is something that the Holy Father has suggested both in his pre-Papal writings and in Sacramentum Caritatis. It is important for the kids to have some quiet time with the Lord. While a Communion meditation is allowed, it is important for the children to learn to spend some time meditating and praying in silence. Quiet time is also sacred time. All too often we feel like we have to have noise and sound and we have forgotten that God speaks to us in silence. Remember the episode where Elijah found the Lord in the whispering silence. Our parish choir is really good about having sacred silence. It also helps them get some prayer time as well.
To add to this, our Church doesn’t sing Table of Plenty or any song with the word “table” in it because it’s not a table, it’s an altar. We’re also not singing “City of God” anymore because it’s not us building heaven…God already made it.