As I continue to work on and talk with people about the Lumen Christi Missal, I continue to hear requests for covering the needs of Daily Masses.
Many people subscribe to seasonal and annual missalette services for nothing else but the Sunday Lectionary readings and for daily Mass antiphons. So many pastors, musicians and parish administrators who I've talked with absolutely loathe the idea of continually having to purchase and dispose of these booklets not only for the continual cost that it is to their parish, but also because it makes a common practice of habitually destroying the printed Word of God.
So I've been asking myself, "what do parishes really need for daily Mass?" The common practice suggests that what is needed are the texts of the Entrance and Communion antiphons and of the Responsorial Psalm, all of which are customarily recited at daily liturgies.
We have now decided to include these daily antiphons for all daily Masses throughout the year in the Lumen Christi Missal and find that this will be a relatively painless task and could ultimately save parishes loads of money while enabling them to upgrade the dignity of the resources they place in the pew.
The Church is asking us at this moment in history to increase our singing of the Mass. I wonder if the simple chanting of daily Mass antiphons with a parish's most dedicated membership, students, and so forth, might not only heighten these daily celebrations, but allow for the fruits of this prayer to begin to influence Sunday Masses as well.
The Lumen Christi Missal will include simple, through-composed Responsorial Psalms for every liturgy throughout the year, and we're considering pointing the daily antiphons to be sung to simple psalm tones, a la the methods used in the Mundelein Psalter. The MP has a track record of proven success. Do you think that a similar approach to the antiphons of daily Mass would be a welcomed upgrade to our current practice? Feedback welcome!
Nathan Knutson, cathedral and diocesan director of sacred music, performing artist, father, lecturer on sacred music
Kathleen Pluth, S.T.L., hymn writer, catechist, and schola director, currently studying for the STD in Rome