Catholic musicians gathered to blog about liturgy and life.
Many years ago GIA
had buttons that said "Let the people sing!" meaning turn off the
microphones and don't carpet the Church buildings.
I have introduced the SEP for Communion and Offertory now for about 6
months. After Easter season, I shut down the organ and use it only for
the Entrance (cough, cough) hymn and the closing hymn. I decided to
sing the Responsorial Psalm acapella, (I have been using the Chabenal
Psalms), the Gospel acclamation, Kyrie, Gloria (in English) Holy,
Mystery of Faith, Lamb of God and the Appropriate Seasonal Marian
antiphon without benefit of organ. If the priest sings the doxology we
answer him in like kind, if he speaks it, we create a unity with him and
proclaim in speech the Amen.
After quietly doing this for almost a half a year (with some
exceptions) I am finally hearing the people's voice, AND it is their
voice. I don't have "lead through the microphone" the response the
Great Amen, or the Alleluia. The people know. Little by little they
are discovering that they can sing as one voice where they are. As a
people, we have become consumers of music through electronic devices and
function more as voyeurs than participants. I see this in my students
as young as Kindergarten sometimes.
When the Fall season begins and we look towards the changes,
especially for the people, I am going to approach my pastor and ask that
all the dialogs be sung, "the Lord be with you" the doxology, the sign
of the Cross. I intuitively think that as we move slowly and gently
through this change from being held hostage to meter and major and
minor, and loud blaring artificially generated and amplified sound that
as a congregation we are beginning to "miss" the dialog portions being
sung which are ours to respond back.
I think that most people are afraid of the sound of their own natural
voices, especially in Church and part of my job is to restore what has
been devoured and taken from them in the process of the last 50 plus
years. It is very gratifying to be part of a singing humble
congregation where I don't force my expertise but lead by example, or so
I think that by Advent some of my masses will sung in just this way.
It isn't grand and glorious, but it is reverent, simple and intimate.