This year I would once again like to make available An Advent calendar of Hymn Tune Introits. This would make a nice early Christmas gift for a Pastor or Music Director who is convinced of the value of the proper texts of the Mass, but is unsure about how to begin introducing them to the parish.
It has been my experience that when a parish music program makes a significant change, it is often easiest to accomplish in stages. The Hymn Tune Propers can be the very first, low-resistance initial stage. They can build a bridge between the singing of hymns (the inadequate familiar) and the singing of Gregorian propers (the desirous unfamiliar), because they are unfamiliar texts sung to recognizable tunes.
Each of these texts may be sung to the tune of O Come, O Come, Emanuel, for example, or the tune for Creator of the Stars of Night.
These might be used simply at daily Mass. The page could be printed out just as it is, perhaps on lavender paper in honor of the season, and placed wherever people pick up worship aids.
The proper texts are a Catholic's liturgical birthright, and we have all been denied them too long. The Hymn Tune Propers are an easy, painless way to begin making the transition. I hope that the Advent calendar will help make this particular liturgical new year's resolution easy, and pleasant to manage.
Nathan Knutson, cathedral and diocesan director of sacred music, performing artist, father, lecturer on sacred music